Feet come in three basic styles: high arched, neutral and flat. The shape of a foot affects how weight distributes when standing and walking. Neutral foot position is both the most common and the best for injury prevention. High arches put more weight on the ball and heel while flat feet can cause considerable pain. The best running trainers help everyone achieve a neutral foot position and reduce impact.
Running is a high impact exercise that exaggerates the effects of small stride deviations. The knees and ankles are most affected by running. Over time, running can cause damage to the joints that will limit mobility. Properly cushioned shoes help prevent those types of injuries for people with high arches or under pronators. The wear pattern on your shoes can tell you if you over or under pronate. If the outer edge of the sole shows more wear, you under pronate. If the inner edge shows the wear, you over pronate. If you have flat feet, cushioned running shoes are not always the best choice.
Before you make a final decision on a cushioned running shoe, check your foot type and stride. The quickest way to test for stride issues and shape is to ink the bottoms of your feet and run across a piece of paper. The imprints left behind will show any problems that need correction. If the entire footprint is visible, you have flat feet. If the ball and heel show with little or no side visible, you have high arches. If a fair amount of the side of the foot is visible, you have neutral feet.
Top of the line training kicks can correct any and all of these issues while protecting the joints. The addition of roll bars, air pockets, and carefully shaped and crafted inner soles are just a few of the ways shoes can correct your stride and reduce impact.