Very few people know this but wearing the wrong type of running shoe can lead to many injuries including knee twists, ankle injuries and foot sores. Even fewer people know that there are three types of running shoes available: motion control, cushion and stability. Each of these differ in a lot of different ways, the most significant being the shoes’ insoles, the part of the shoes that provides stability and weight dispersion.

While talking to Reuters, Harry Pino, a Senior Exercise Physiologist at NYU Langone, emphasized on getting the right running shoes, especially if an individual is a beginner. He added that every new pair of running shoes feels great in the beginning but may not be best suited for the individual, depending on his body weight and pronation mechanism. The best way to select the right shoes is by getting one’s gait mechanism analyzed, according to Pino. He further added that running shoes should be replaced after three to four months or after completing an aggregate length of 400 miles.

The difference in the insole types of these shoes affects a person’s pronation, the way in which the foot rolls inwards when they walk or run. This natural inward movement of the foot is the reaction to the foot’s impact on the ground as it helps to distribute the force of impact of the ground. The size of the runner’s arch and his bodyweight can cause supination (underpronation) or overpronation.

Individuals who have a normal arch are usually normal pronators, so they are better suited to stability running shoes that offer moderate pronation control. Whereas runners who have flat fleet are more likely to overpronate, hence they will require shoes that control pronation, which the motion control shoes are better equipped at. As for runners who supinate (underpronate), they are most likely to have an elevated or high arch, hence they get injured due to their underpronation movement. For runners with high arches, it is best if they opt for a pair of neutral cushioned running shoes, which offer more flexibility, and allow for a more natural running movement.