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Basic Shoe Types and Assessing Stability of Your Shoes

When going out to purchase new shoes, the color, and design of the shoe tend to be biggest factors considered before deciding to buy them. As a result, people tend to overlook the importance of shoe’s stability. Each person has unique feet and some shoe types are more appropriate for their feet than others. Choosing the appropriate shoe type with proper stability is a very important decision for your foot health and can help improve the quality of your walking ability.

Basic Types of Shoes

There are basic shoe types categorized for the type of foot they are meant to help. The following list are the basic categories:

  1. Neutral Shoes – These shoes are primarily intended for people who have high arch feet and/or have lack of shock absorption when they walk
  2. Stability Shoes – These shoes are used for people with normal arch feet and have mild pronation when walking depending on the patient’s weight. These shoes control small amounts of pronation and are not intended for individuals with severe flat feet
  3. Stability Plus Shoes – These shoes are primarily used for people who have normal arch feet as well as a lower arch with a moderate level of foot pronation
  4. Motion Control Shoes – This shoe type is intended for people who have normal and lower arch feet and is used to help maintain maximum control over people who over-pronate when they walk (flat foot).

Quickly Assessing Shoe Stability

After your podiatrist recommends the appropriate shoe type for you, having knowledge in assessing shoe stability before purchasing them is beneficial for your foot health. The following are basic rules to help you quickly and properly assess their stability:

  1. Take note at where your shoe bends – The bend should be at the ball of the foot
  2. Check the firmness of the heel counter – The heel counter is the back of the shoe where the back of your heel rests and the level of firmness determines its stability. If the heel counter is not firm, it acts more like a cushion, rather than stable heel counter.
  3. How much torque the shoe has – By twisting the shoe, you can check the torque of the shoe. A decrease in the torque increases how much stability it has and an increase in the shoe torque will reduce the shoe stability
  4. Shank Rigidity – The shank of a shoe is part of the midsole and serves to provide cushion and stability for the shoe under the arch. The shank provides shoe stability by making the middle portion of the shoe more resistant to flexion and torque. Even though the different shanks add weight to the shoe, it is helps the shoe bend at the toes, rather than the arch.

If you do not know your foot type or what shoes are best recommended for your feet, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment  with Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona, and have all your options presented to you and ensure you are walking in the shoes best for your foot health.


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Tuesday 6:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday 6:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday 6:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday 6:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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