I can not tell you how many times a day I get asked “which sneaker is right for me?” Well they must be pink and sparkly of course, that’s what makes them a good pair of shoes.
Just kidding, in all seriousness a good shoe depends on many things, one of the biggest factors is what are you using them for. Are you looking for a walking sneaker, a trail running sneaker, a general all purpose one?
(Obviously there are some specifics that may not apply to you so in order to find the right sneaker for the right job I do recommend finding a good shoe store and actually getting your foot fitted, I highly recommend Inside track in Lancaster, Pa.)
Ok, first assumption is most people have flatter feet or tend to pronate, which basically means you walk more on the inside or your foot. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Converse or Vans style sneaker however they are flat. These types of sneakers provide no arch support and they are soft material so they do not offer any support on the inside of the foot and ankle, allowing your foot to pronate inwards while you walk. They are fine for quick trips to the grocery store but for longer day use I'd skip the flat sole ones.
Next question for finding the right sneaker I ask a patient, “what do you need them for/want them for?” If the patient is looking for a nice good all-purpose sneaker, I typically recommend a sneaker with a thicker sole to help absorb and protect the lower extremities while walking.
However, if my patient is more of a trail runner, cross-fit, doing activities involving quickish movements, I do not like a thicker sole because you are more likely to roll/twist your ankle so a sneaker with a lower profile sole is typically what I recommend.
For my road runners who go the distance, assuming they have strong ankles I recommend thicker soles to help minimize the impact of pounding on the pavement.
Again, it's hard to make a generalized statement and find the right sneaker without looking at the biomechs of a patient's foot, their specific anatomy and taking into consideration any traumas they may have had along with their specific needs/ or goals.
I encourage you to go to a good shoe store and talk to a consultant about it, or one of the doctors at OWL Chiropractic. We do free orthotic and sneaker consultations for our existing patients in our office.
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