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Fitness

If the Shoe Fits (Infographic)

Runner’s Guide to Finding the Right Shoe

How long have you had your running shoes? How well do they really fit?

Finding a pair of shoes that really fits your foot and your gait can not only make exercise more comfortable and enjoyable, but it can help you address and prevent injuries.

“Finding the right shoe can be an essential piece of the puzzle to obtaining your goals,” says Steven Mayer, MD, a Northwestern Medicine Sports Medicine physician. “Your foot structure can make a significant difference in determining the best shoe for your safety and performance.”

Here are tips for finding the running shoe that fits:

  • Shop swollen. Your feet naturally swell during the day. Shop at the end of the day, when your feet are most swollen, to ensure that your foot will have room in your new shoes. Bring the type of socks you normally wear when you run or work out, and bring shoe inserts if you use them.
  • Ask experts. Enlist the help of a salesperson at the store who can walk you through your options. You can also consult a sports medicine physician or podiatrist before visiting the shoe store.
  • Get sized. Your feet change in size and shape over time. Your feet also differ from each other in size and shape. That’s why it’s essential to always try on both shoes, and fit to the larger foot.
  • Know your pronation pattern. Knowing how your feet pronate — or move from side to side — when you walk or run will help you find the right shoe for your foot structure. Learn more below.

“Picking out the correct shoe can mean the difference between developing a successful workout program or calling it quits,” says Dr. Mayer. “Northwestern Medicine has a multidisciplinary team of clinicians who can go through the best choices for you and develop an individualized plan based on your previous exercise experience, foot structure, past injuries, comfort and future goals.”

Learn more about the Northwestern Medicine Running Medicine Clinic.

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Steven E. Mayer, MD
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