How to buy a proper pair of running shoes: What you need to know from foot type to shopping online
by geemong

You walk into a sports shoe store and immediately feel overwhelmed by the options on display. You see words such as “stability” or “motion control” on the description tag, and wonder: Shouldn’t all footwear (maybe with the exception of stilettos) ensure sure-footedness? And why would you want a running shoe that controls your motion?

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Other than enquiring about the latest models, you’d probably base your selection on price and the shoes' overall aesthetics. While practical, those aren’t the parameters podiatrists would go with because you aren’t buying shoes to up your street or style cred (unless you are).

But if you're looking at a pair for more functional reasons, these are what you should be looking for instead when shoe shopping.

Most people would fall under one of these three foot types: Low arch (flat feet); medium arch (neutral); or high arch, said Radiance Fong, a senior podiatrist with SingHealth Polyclinics – Tampines. This is determined by assessing the shape and height of the arch that runs along the inside of the foot.

Having said that, “it is important to understand that there is no perfect arch height or ideal foot type”, she said. “Individuals who do not have a neutral foot type or medium arch should not be considered as having ‘abnormal’ feet.”

Your feet pronate as you walk or run, meaning they naturally roll inwards to absorb the shock from contacting the ground, explained Fong. Here’s how your foot type may determine your feet’s “behaviour” when you’re walking or running

Individuals with low-arched or flat feet tend to have more pronounced pronation and because of this, they are “frequently linked to a higher risk of lower limb injuries” such as shin splints and knee pain, said Fong.

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