The most important factor in finding the best running shoes is to find out what type of feet that you have. People are born with different types of feet, such as flat feet, normal feet, or high arches.

Know your Foot Type

The easiest way to determine your foot type is by stepping in sand. A flat foot does not make an arch when you step in sand.  With a flat foot you will see a level print. The higher the arch, the smaller print you will have (ie. only your toes and heel will leave a print)  Another method is to wet your foot and make a print on concrete, which is called a wet test.  You also have to realize that a wet test can be inaccurate in some cases, because it doesn’t really exactly tell you how high of an arch you have. But for something easy to do to figure it out, it’s not a bad test.

Foot Mechanics

Foot mechanics is what happens when your foot lands and absorbs shock. This process is called pronation. Pronation is how your foot design allows your particular foot to absorb the shock of impacting with the ground. Runners can fall into a case of over-pronation (foot rolls excessively inward) or under-pronation (foot doesn’t roll inward enough, or possibly even outward a little).


If you are a runner with a low arch height, you typically fall into the category of being an over-pronator, which means that your foot rolls excessively to the inside. Being flat-footed is not really a problem, but in some individual cases, it could be, but this can be remedied by the right type of running shoes.


If you are a runner with a high arch height, you typically fall into the category of an under-pronator foot stride, which really means that your foot rolls slightly to the inside or even to the outside. These type of runners typically will not have a hard time finding the best running shoes.

Normal Foot Stride

If you are a runner with a medium arch height, you typically fall into the category of a straight/normal foot stride, which really means that your foot rolls mildly to the inside.  Shoes with cushioning are the best types for high-arched feet, while shoes equipped with motion control are recommended for flat-footed folks.

Now What?

You now know your foot type and your foot mechanics, so how does this help? Well since you know the most important factors, you should now be able to match a shoe to your foot shape and mechanics. If you have low arches aka flat feet, you should choose shoe with motion control. If you have medium arches, aka normal feet, a good stability shoe is right for you. And if you have high arches, then a good cushioned shoe will be best for you.