What's the best way to narrow down all these great shoes and find the pair that's perfect for you? Start by determining how you most like to run. Do you prefer running on a treadmill at home or the gym, or are you one to get outside and pound the pavement? If you answered yes to either of these, then road shoes will probably be the best choice for you. Designed to cushion and stabilize your feet over repeated impact on hard surfaces, these shoes will keep your feet comfortable and stable, no matter how far you choose to run. If you like to get a little adventurous by taking your run off road, then trail shoes are your perfect fit. Aggressive outsole lugs and traction patterns will keep you stable on even the toughest terrain, while water-resistant treatments keep your feet dry when you're running through Mother Nature's obstacle course.
The next thing to consider when choosing a running shoe is your gait. Everyone moves differently, so it's important that you find the shoe that best fits and supports the way your body moves during a run. In running, there are three gaits: neutral, underpronation, and overpronation. If you are a neutral runner, you strike the ground with the outside of your foot. As you move through your stride, your foot will roll in slightly, dispersing the shock of impact safely across your entire foot. This is the safest, most efficient of the three strides, and your best bet for a comfortable run is a cushioned running shoe. If you either under- or overpronate, you may have an increased risk of injury. If you have suffered from stress fractures, muscle strains and sprains, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis, it's time to find a better shoe for your gait.
Both of these gaits begin with you landing on the outside of your foot. If you suffer from underpronation, or supination, your weight remains here throughout the entire stride. High arches are usually to blame for underpronation. Support them by choosing a cushioned running shoe that will help better disburse the forces of impact across your entire foot. Overpronators — after initial impact, your feet will roll dramatically inward. Caused by flat arches, overpronation strains your ankles, shins, knees, and hips over time. To reduce this movement, choose stability shoes that help hold your feet in place, keeping you more comfortable. Here at Eastbay, you will find a large selection of shoes for every running gait and preferred location. We also carry extensive size runs and varying widths, ensuring that you find the perfect pair.