I am lucky enough to able to wear any kind of shoes I like to work, well, maybe not flip-flops or
open-toed shoes. For years, I wore nothing but New Balance cross-trainers. Over the last couple of years, either my feet have changed or New Balance has changed the last in their shoes. I have tried various styles and brands with no luck. I even went to a specialty running shoe store and they videotaped me walking and worked with me for about 2 hours trying to find the perfect pair. I have also tried several inserts. Nothing had been working. Princess and the Pea, shoe style.
I did, eventually find a pair I loved: Asics T154N running shoes. A stability shoe.
Almost every shoe company has 3 basic categories of running shoes:
- Cushioning: for those with more rigid, higher arched feet that tend to supinate. (curved last)
- Stability: for those needing moderate pronation support and good cushioning. (semi-curved last)
- Motion Control: for those with a hyper mobile foot, needing a lot of support for their rear-foot and flat feet. (straight last)
Because of the shape of my foot and my bad arch, I might fit into the motion control shoe on paper. I find those shoes a bit heavy because of everything that goes into them to make them so supportive. They also tend to run a bit on the ugly side. If they made me feel great, I would not care how they looked, but I also seem to crave more cushioning.
Minimalist shoes are a whole other category of shoe. I am not a runner and have experienced a variety of foot issues and injuries, so I do not believe that this is the right answer for me. The story that I have heard behind this movement is that heel to toe running is a fairly modern invention. People were looking for ways to increase stride length and this may have led to the heel striking running form. The heel now needed more cushioning. Starting with waffle makers and extending into the high tech shoes of today, shoe companies have made millions on cushioning the heel and making the muscles of the feet lazy with all of the support. Just go slowly into the minimalist option, if you go. Your feet need time to adjust. I encourage you to check out these links for more information.
Running Times: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=19217