Dear Shoe Lady,
I always wear down my shoes on the inside bottom of the heel area. Is this significant?
EVERYTHING about shoes is significant! Your shoes are telling you that you are probably a PRONATOR. Don’t worry, you will neither be arrested or required to change your voter registration. But knowing this will help guide you in your selection of shoes. A pronator has a type of foot that rolls far inward during the weight-bearing phase of the stride. This type of foot is characterized by a very low or flat arch.
Arches in your feet are more than just decorative features. According to the folks at Northwestern Health Sciences University: Discovering what type of shoes, (especially running shoes) you need has a lot to do with simply looking at your feet, which is the first step to finding the right shoe for you. There are three different foot types, based on the height of your arches. A quick and easy way to determine your specific foot type is called the “wet” test. Pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan; wet the sole of your foot; step on a shopping bag or blank piece of heavy paper; step off and look down; and analyze the shape of your foot and see if it matches with some of the foot types mentioned below.
Normal (medium) arch: If you only see about half of your arch you have the most common foot type, meaning you are a normal pronator (your foot can support your body weight without problem). You can wear just about any shoe but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support or medial stability.
If you are a lightweight runner, you may favor a stability shoe with a moderate level of arch support or medial stability. Lightweight runners may want neutral-cushioned shoes without added support or a performance training shoe that provides some support but less weight for a faster feel.
Flat (low) arch: If you see almost your entire foot, you have a flat foot, meaning you are an overpronator (your foot and ankle have problems stabilizing your body and shock isn’t absorbed properly). Mild to moderate overpronators need stability shoes or motion-control shoes that have devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive “posts” to reduce pronation. Severe overpronators, as well as tall, bow-legged runners or people over 165 pounds need firmer support devices.
High arch: If you see just your heel, the ball of your foot and thin line on the outside of your foot, you are an underpronator (meaning the force of impact is not evenly distributed, resulting in too much shock traveling up your legs). Neutral-cushioned shoes are recommended for you because they have a softer midsole to encourage pronation. No stability devices should be added because they reduce pronation.
And, of course, I recommend reading up on shoe fit here, too. http://www.designershoes.com/about-size/measure-feet
Aren’t you glad you asked?!?
The Shoe Lady