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Shoe Fit Guide

Finding the right fit is more than just selecting your correct size and width. For optimal performance, you need to be sure the shoe you choose is right for your foot type and activity. We created this Shoe Fit Guide to help you. If you have a question that is not answered here, check our frequently asked questions. Text or call (866) 590-4965 Customer Care to connect with a Product Specialist.

Selecting the right shoe for your activity.

Running requires the support of at least two to three times your body weight, and each stride has moments where neither foot is on the ground. With each step, the outer heel absorbs most of the impact. For this reason, running shoes often have more cushioning in the heel and midsole with more flexibility in the toe area than walking or cross-training shoes. This helps transfer energy from legs to feet and into the ground as runners move along. The soles of running shoes are curved so that the front tip of the shoe is arched upward and has distinct treads-both of which also aid in the forward running motion.

The amount of heat generated in the running motion is greater, so running shoes are also made with a higher amount of mesh to keep feet cool during exercise.

When you walk, your body's weight is distributed more evenly on your feet than when you run. When walking, your weight rolls from the heel through the ball and continues to the toe in one foot after the other. This gentler, rocking chair-like motion requires your feet to absorb the shock of only one to two times your body weight with each step. During walking, there are also points where both feet are firmly on the ground, dividing the body's weight.

Walking shoes are designed with the specific body mechanics and strike path of walking in mind. They are constructed to be more flexible through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion through the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot.

Cross-training exercises take advantage of repeated movements to condition specific parts of the body. This could mean anything from lateral moves in an aerobics class to the high impact of kickboxing to the repetitive motion of weight lifting.

Cross-training shoes are designed with this variety of uses in mind. They feature characteristics like flexibility in the forefront of the shoe to allow for more agility and added support on the sides to aid in lateral movement, with added cushioning placed in key areas of the shoe for shock absorption. This combination of support, flexibility and cushioning allow athletes to easily move from weight lifting exercises like squats along to more flexible movements like lunges, while accommodating linear movements for warm-up such as a brief walk or light jog. The soles of training shoes usually have a very supportive heel and slight treads because they are not intended for running on the road.

The difference between cushioning, stability, motion control and lightweight shoes.

Once you have selected the shoe for your activity, you may notice that some of the shoes are described as "cushioning" or "lightweight." Or maybe a health professional has told you that you need a "stability" or "motion control" shoe. If you are not sure what type of shoe you need, a simple arch type can guide your decision.

How to find your arch type:

  1. Pour water into a shallow pan.
  2. Step into the water.
  3. Step out of the water onto a heavy sheet of paper.
  4. Examine the foot print.
    • High arch: You'll see a narrow band connecting the forefoot area and heel.
    • Neutral arch: You'll see half of your arch in the footprint.
    • Flat feet or low arch: You'll see almost your entire midfoot area.

High arch - Cushioning shoes
Built for runners/walkers who seek the ultimate in cushioning and flexibility for their workout.

Normal arch - Stability or Cushioning shoes
Runners/walkers with moderate to excessive arch flexibility who overpronate may benefit from a stability or cushioning shoe, depending on their running/walking gait.

Flat foot - Motion Control shoes
Runners/walkers with flat/flexible foot types who have excessive overpronation (when your foot exhibits too much inward motion during your running or walking gait) may benefit from a motion control shoe.

Recently, there has been a trend toward Lightweight running shoes. These styles are designed for athletes who value speed and agility in a lightweight, responsive shoe.

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