This one is for our runners! Amidst all our pitbulls swinging kettle bells around, we see you gracefully gliding over the treadmill with your gazelle like strides! Well lets talk shoes here, because the number one cause of running injuries is improper footwear.

Selecting the right shoe for your foot type and running style is not an easy task. I am going to lay out some guidelines that should make the decision making a little easier.

Running shoes basically fall into three categories with varying degrees. These categories are neutral, stability and motion control. There are many features within a shoe that can make it more or less stable but for this article we are going to focus mainly on midfoot stability.pod-med-pronation-diagram

First and foremost, before selecting a shoe you need to determine your foot type. Are you an overpronator, a supinator or do you have a relatively neutral foot? I have included some generalized diagrams of the heel bone viewed from the back relative to the bones of the lower leg and images of footprints as well to help you. If you find that you have a pronated foot type (flat foot) you should be looking at motion control shoes. Motion control shoes tend to have a dense plug inserted under the midfoot in the sole of the shoe. This plug gives the shoe aggressive support in the area of the foot that tends to collapse during the stance phase of gait. If you have a pronated foot type, your foot is often quite flexible. To avoid repetitive strain injuries, a motion control shoe will tend to offer the rigidity that your foot is unable to provide.

If you have a supinated foot type (high arch) you should typically be looking at neutral and cushioning shoes. A supinated foot tends to be more rigid and does not absorb shock very well. This foot type is prone to injuries resulting from a lack of cushioning, i.e. stress fractures. A neutral shoe tends to have more cushioning properties to counter this.


From left to right, motion control, stability and neutral. Notice the grey plug on the sole of the motion control shoe and the similar but lesser plug on the stability and the lack there of on the neutral. This is a way to identify which shoes fall in which categories.

If you find yourself fortunate enough to be in the neutral category, recommending a shoe is not as cut and dry. Typically I would suggest a stability shoe. This type of shoe offers similar properties as the motion control shoe but to a lesser degree. Some people with a neutral foot find a neutral shoe that offers little support to be most comfortable. With this foot type you have some flexibility to play around with different shoes within the stability and neutral category and find out what is best for you. I would avoid a strong motion control shoe as you don’t want to over correct the foot. Determining which shoes fall under which category can be difficult to determine. I recommend purchasing your footwear from a knowledgable retailer.

Happy running!

Contact us at Dwell Gym in Lesliesville. We’d love for you to join our ever growing family!

276 Carlaw Ave unit #101
Toronto, Ontario
(Just North of Queen street in the Heart of Leslieville)

Gym: 416 465-6200
Eleni: 416 457-7813