Our friend Maya Danielle at Happy Running Feet describes the best shoes for motion control.
Running is probably the simplest, most available, and incredibly healthy form of exercise you can take up. After starting out with some long walks and light jogging, many of us are inspired to take the next step into running on a regular basis. Perhaps just a short distance at first but soon you are increasing the distance, pushing yourself further, and testing how far you can go…
Once I started running, it quickly became apparent that sports stores carry a wide variety of running shoes for a reason. I wasn’t aware of this selection when I started out running, but what I did notice during my first few runs was not encouraging: aching and throbbing feet. And after consulting the ever reliable google search, off I went to get myself some decent running shoes for flat feet.
Not only do our sneakers need to be specifically designed for running but, they need to be a perfect fit for our individual feet. That is a pretty tall order as feet differ from person to person. Luckily specialists have developed running shoes for the various running gaits.
For runners who have normal feet with standard pronation, it is fairly straight forward picking up some stylishly appealing running shoes. For people with flat feet, however, it is often necessary to wear arch support orthotics inside the running shoes or to look out for running shoes specifically designed for people with flat feet, who more likely than not, have a tendency to over pronate. If you are not a severe overpronator some simple arch supporting shoes (also known as stability shoes) will do wonders for you. For runners who tend to overpronate to a greater extent, motion control running shoes are the answer.
With these shoes you are able to stop your flat feet from getting in the way of a good run. The reason why they’re so popular amongst overpronators is that they control the excessive inward movement of the foot and ankle bone rotation; allowing for a more stable and confident stride and movement without pain or risk of injury. This will allow for better performance and makes running more enjoyable and therefore more effective for you.
Before you get to actually buying a pair of these, as tempting as it may sound, you need to identify your foot type. What can help you determine if you are a serious over pronator, is checking your old shoes’ soles. If they are heavily worn on the insides compared to the rest of the sole, this is a sign that you are an overpronator and you should strongly consider motion control running shoes.
This type of running shoe differs from the ones you’d usually see in a few of ways: Because of their function they need additional cushioning and usually look larger and are slightly heavier. On the other hand, they are built to be more durable and offer features such as a firmer section under the arch of your foot which controls pronation (called a medial post), a midsole and outsole built of especially durable materials, together offering maximum control and stability.
One of the most important things to make sure you do in any type of running shoes (especially motion control) is choosing the right size. Many people realize too late that their feet are not limited to only one size. When you go shopping for a new pair of running shoes, make sure you wear the same type of socks (not the same pair of socks!) you use when you go for a run. Different types, although looking similar are often made of different materials thus differing in thickness. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that the longer the run, the more spacious your shoes need to be, as your feet will expand as they get hotter. An old, well-known rule is that there should be a finger width of space between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe.
Now you know your running gait and what to look out for in your future running shoes. So which are the best motion control running shoes out there? There are a number of reputable manufacturers such as Brooks, New Balance, Asics and Orthaheel. Brooks Ariel running shoes are best for very flat feet, whilst Asics GT is a better option for moderate over pronation. Between these 4 brands you are sure to find your perfect motion control running shoe and at the end of the day, all the research and testing will have been more than worth it once you find that special pair of running shoes, which fit like a glove and feel like they were made just for you.