Athletic Shoes and Technology
How to find the ideal athletic shoe.
A biomechanical evaluation can determine the type of shoe that will suit you better in performance, arch support and control. Your foot type usually indicates how much you pronate (the natural inward roll at foot strike) and, subsequently, whether you need an custom made sports orthotic to decrease and correct mechanical stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments bones and joints.
In choosing an athletic shoe there are three categories to consider:
Cushioning: How soft/firm the midsole is. Too soft, and it may lack durability. Too firm, and it might not provide enough protection.
Flexability: How much energy it takes to flex the shoe at toe-off. Generally, lighter runners need more flexibility.
Responsivenness: How smoothly a shoe moves with your foot from heel-strike, to toe-off. Shoes with low responsiveness tend to be more cushioned and flexible. Lighter, more efficient runners tend to prefer less responsive shoes.
Through extensive mechanical testing, shoe manufactures have been improving the development of shoe technology for ones specific needs. A well-trained shoe consultant will check your gait and direct you into a shoe that will best suit your specific needs with your custom made sports orthotic.
Their are four types of shoes to choose from, keeping in mind, cushioning, flexibility and
Motion Control: Recommended for runners with low arches who are moderate to
severe overpronators and who need maximum rear-foot control and extra support on the medial (arch) side of their shoes. Also best suited for bigger runners who need plenty of support and durability.
Stability: Suggested for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators and who
generally have low to normal arches. These runners tend to need a shoe with a
combination of good support and mid-sole cushioning.
Neutral-Cushioned: For runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and
minimum medial support. These shoes are best for biomechanically efficient runners
(minimum pronation) and midfoot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.
Performance Training: Chosen for either for racing or, if your biomechanically
efficient, for training. They have varying degrees of support and cushioning, but what
characterizes them is that they're generally lighter and fit like a glove.
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