Since our clinic is so focused on treating foot conditions, patients often ask questions such as, ” What type of tennis shoes should I wear?” Although we may be able to provide some guidance on this, it really comes down to knowing how to select the best shoe for you personally based on proper fit and comfort.

When searching for a new pair of shoes, you should identify the shape of your foot. The three basic shapes of feet are : pronated, supinated and normal.

Shoes are designed with different shaped patterns ( or “lasts” in shoe making terminology ).

If you inspect the bottom of a shoe and draw and imaginary line from heel to toe, you’ll notice that it will either have a straight or curved appearance. Furthermore, as you look at multiple curved shoes, some have a subtle curve (or semi-curve), whereas others have a more dramatic curve.

A pronated foot is one in which the main arch of the foot tends to roll inward. Your feet may appear to flatten while walking. A pronated foot may benefit most from a shoe with a straight last. Straight lasted shoes tend to be more rigid and provide better support for flat feet.

A supinated foot is very rigid with limited flexibility and a noticeably higher arch. This foot pattern may be referred to as a curved foot and perform better with a curved lasted shoe. Curved lasted shows are more flexible allowing a rigid, higher arched foot to move better throughout the gait cycle.

Feet that have normal appearing arches while standing and walking usually do best with a shoe that splits the difference between straight and curved. There are referred to as shoes that have a standard or semi-curved last.

Take your time while shoe shopping and try on multiple pairs. Once you identify the general shape and foot type you have, you’ll be able to more consistently find the best show for your feet.