Thanks for your question! Running in the proper shoe for you is extremely important! Most runners take approximately 1500 steps per mile exerting 3.5-4 times their body weight worth of impact force with step.This is why the majority of running issues come from the ground up including foot, ankle, knee hip, lower back and shin splints. Most of these issues have some relationship to your running shoes. Most folks run on relatively hard, unforgiving surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. Your bones and joints must deal with the impact force that your shoes don't. Obviously as individuals, we are all unique in many ways including our specifics needs for the proper running shoes. The size and shape of our bodies (including our feet) and our individual gait patterns dictate the type of running shoe that we need. Our gait patterns vary widely, with some folks over-pronating or rolling excessively inward while some do the opposite. Most folks are heel strikers while some are mid-foot strikers.
There are different types of running shoes to accommodate these different gait patterns as we have shoes with varying levels of support called neutral, stability, minimal and motion control shoes to accommodate these needs. With many manufacturers making many different lasts (shoe shapes), cushioning systems, arch heights and "heel to toe" ratios there are shoes available to fit pretty much anyone with a desire to run. Comfort, however, is always the main factor. If the shoes don't feel good then they're not going to work no matter what other criteria they may meet.
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Running shoe fitter since 1977
owner, Breakaway Running