Determining Foot Type
This is best done by visiting a biomechanics expert. If you are like most people, you probably will not have the time to do this, so here is a simple test that will give you a a good idea.
The first step is to lay down a dark colored piece of construction paper.
Next, wet the bottom of your foot with some water and step on the paper. This will leave a nice imprint of how your foot strikes the ground. There are three general ways for how the watermark should look.
- The Normal Foot
If you have a normal foot you will have a watermark that will show an arch, that will be about 1/2 the width of the forefoot. This area connects the heal with the forefoot. This foot type is considered a correct and efficient foot. The foot will land on the outside and slightly role inwards to absorb shock.
Your shoes should feature moderate control for pronation with good stability. You should be looking for shoes generally classified as a Stability Shoe.
- The Flat Foot
If your imprint shows no definition in the arch, you have a flat foot. This is also known as a low arch. This flat footing is caused by your heel rolling in (pronating) and this causes your arch to collapse. If you run with improper shoes, over time injuries can result.
Shoes that correct over-pronation are termed Motion Control Shoes. These shoes feature a strong midsole to control the rolling in. Unfortunately, most shoes in this category are heavier because of the materials that are involved in motion control.
- The High-Arched Foot
If the band between your forefoot and heal is non-existent or very small this will indicate that you have high arches.
Your choice of shoes should be Cushioned Shoes. These shoes encourage the foot to flex and pronate to help aid in cushioning. They are very flexible with a lot of cushioning. You do not want too small of shoes that will limit your foot's flexibility because it will decrease the cushioning.