Whether you are an athlete or just a fan of athleisure picking a sneaker can be a challenge. In a city like NYC
where we walk everywhere, comfortable shoes can make a huge difference in your foot health. From minimalist, to stability, motion control, to extra cushion, it is important to understand what shoe is best for your individual foot type.

We see it all the time… Friends posting to request shoe recs on social media 🤦🏼‍♀️. We get it… Choosing shoes is hard and your friends wouldn’t steer you wrong. Unfortunately, they might do exactly that if their foot type is different than yours.

Foot type refers to the bio-mechanical structure of your foot. This structure can predispose you to different ailments. Additionally, if you are already suffering from a foot condition your sneaker needs can differ wildly from your friend with no foot pain.

Let’s examine some of the different sneaker types and their function:

  • Minimalist | These shoes became popular when barefoot running came into fashion. People wanted a return to a more natural state of being for their feet. Shoes that were foot shaped, with a flexible base, and no height difference between the toe and heel are typical of the minimalist design. These can be great for experienced barefoot runners, people with a neutral and injury free foot, and sometimes for neuroma patients.
  • Stability | Stability is one of the more difficult categories of sneaker. There are varying levels of stability offered within this field and your needs will change over time just as your foot changes over time. Stability shoes use a concept called posting which essentially pushes the foot into a position that gives mechanical advantage to whatever area of the foot the shoe is designed to target. People new to running or recovering from an injury may need a higher level of stability while competitive or long distance runners will have different stability needs.
  • Motion Controlled | Recovering from an injury or surgery? Chronic plantar fasciitis or tendonitis? Motion controlled is a great choice for you as it helps your foot recover by providing a maximum level of support as you heal and strengthen. This shoe has a defined rigid, arch built into the shoe which prevents over pronation and holds the foot in position better than a less supportive option.
  • Cushioned | With a thicker and more narrow sole, cushioned shoes are a favorite among the high arched friends. They tend to be great shock absorbers and are more flexible than the motion control or stability shoes. Chronic ankle sprainers beware… This is not the shoe for you! The more narrow sole lends itself to less ankle stability leading to more frequent and serious sprains.

It is important to remember that our feet change overtime from growth, aging, stress, previous footwear, and injury. A shoe that was great in one phase of life may no longer serve you now.

With all the shoe choices on the market the best way to choose a shoe is to come in for a professional foot typing exam and the doctors here at AIRE Podiatry Studios will be happy to offer suggestions tailored to your specific needs. Book an appointment today.