The Right Running Shoe for Your Foot
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The Right Running Shoe for Your Foot

Prevent workout injury by choosing the right shoe for your foot shape.

If you run two or more days a week, running shoes are a must. To find one that suits you, try this test from Stephen Pribut, past president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Wet your bare feet, step on a paper bag, and match your print to the following:

If your print is C-shaped (supinator):

There's little or no print between forefoot and heel, thanks to your high arches.
Look for: a shoe with a curved or semicurved sole, plus lateral stability features to prevent excessive outward rolling of the foot, which can lead to ankle sprains and other injuries.

If your print is brick-shaped (pronator):

Nearly all of or the entire sole leaves a mark, a sign of being flat-footed, which can lead to injuries such as shin splints.
Look for: a motion-control shoe with a straight-shaped sole and firm materials on the inner side of the midsole to keep it from sinking inward as your foot lands.

If your print is classic foot-shaped (neutral):

Connected fairly evenly from forefoot to heel; generally means less injury risk.
Look for: a blend of cushioning and stability features with a semicurved sole.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2006.