Tortoise and Hare
Running and Fitness Center
Use this guide to learn about the different types of shoes we carry and to determine which type of shoe is best for you. A diagram of arch types is below.
Neutral Cushion - Neutral cushion
shoes are designed for the normal to high arched foot that requires no
pronation control. These shoes are flexible and allow the natural
roll of the foot without any excessive correction. They are
cushioned and tend to be more sculpted in the arch area. Neutral
cushion shoes are typically designed on a semi-curved last. They
can also accommodate an orthotic.
Stability - Stability shoes are
designed to support the foot with a low arch or with a medium to high
arch that collapses. These shoes usually have a broad base and
have a stability device on the medial side of the shoe. A typical
pattern will show pronation at the heel to mid-arch, with a lateral
rotation or slide at the forefoot.
Motion Control - Motion control shoes
are designed to support the flat foot. It supports the low,
flexible arch, and prevents overpronation. These shoes have a
broad base and have a stability device on both the medial and lateral
side of the shoe. This type of shoe is built on a straight last.
This shoe will accommodate an orthotic due to the straight last and
broad base. It provides a solid foundation for an orthotic.
This type of shoe is suitable for a heavier runner.
Racing Flats - Racing flats are
designed to be used for racing on the roads or on the track. They
can be used for training when doing speedwork. They are designed
to be very lightweight and have minimal cushioning. They usually
do not have any stability devices.
Lightweight Trainers - Lightweight
trainers are designed for faster runners or for someone looking for a
shoe to do speedwork in. They are lighter than regular running
shoes, but not as light as racing flats. Lightweight trainers can
be neutral or have stability devices. They are also excellent
choices for someone looking for a lighter shoe to race in without
sacrificing too much cushioning and support.
- Spikes are designed for racing. They are very lightweight.
They contain removable spikes in the forefoot of the spike that enhance
traction and push-off.
Cross-Country Spikes - Cross country
spikes have a similar profile to distance track spikes. They have
a full cushioned heel wedge that runs from the heel to the spike plate.
The spike plate is covered by a rubber that adds traction to the shoe.
The cross-country spike tends to be a bit sturdier/heavier than the
distance spike, which adds traction and support on the varied terrain.
Not sure what kind of arch you have? Use the following diagram to determine your arch type:
Normal feet have a medium arch and leave a complete imprint that shows curvature through the arch area. The flexibility of the normal foot decides the degree of support and cushioning. With increased flexibility, more support is necessary; with increased rigidity, more cushioning is necessary.
High-arched feet have high ridged arches and leave two distinct imprints of the heel and the forefoot with a separation between them. This foot requires more cushioning and a neutral midsole with a flexible forefoot. Neutral cushioned shoes work best.
A Note on Sizing:
Many people are surprised to learn that they have to get a bigger size than they are used to wearing when buying running shoes. In general, you should buy running shoes a half to a full size larger than your dress/casual shoes.