People have different gaits and shapes of their feet. Knowing what type of stride you have will help you determine what type of shoes you need. Whether you are or deciding on powerwalking vs running, knowing what type of stride you have will help make sure you are wearing the right shoe. Many athletes that are getting back into running complain of knee and foot discomforts. The main source of the problem for knee and foot pain is wearing the wrong shoe.
A trainer that has a running instruction certification can help you differentiate between the different strides. A trainer can often tell by the way that you run and your gait. Other times, you can look at the bottom of your running shoes and observe the wear pattern on the bottom. Many running stores will even suggest that you bring in your old pair of running shoes so they can look at your wear pattern to make sure that you are wearing the right shoe.
There are three types of strides. The three types of strides are pronation, supination, and neutral. When you have a pronation stride, your foot will tend to roll inward in stride. The insides of your shoes will wear faster than the rest of the shoe. Supination is the second type of stride. During supination, the foot tends to roll outward in stride. The outsides of your running shoes will show wear faster than the rest of the shoe. Neutral stride is the last type of stride. When you have a neutral stride, the foot does not roll to either side. It strikes in a neutral position and your shoes will show wear evenly.
Stadium running, aerobic running, barefoot running, and sprinting all have different types of gaits that correlate to that motion. It is common for a runner to have a couple of different strides depending on what type of running they are doing. This is why many runners have many different types of running shoes. You can talk to any coach that has a running certification or running store employee about your personal running to determine what type of stride you have and what type of shoes are best for you. Having the right shoe will help prevent injury and will lessen the little aches and pains in the knees and ankles. Remember that your shoes are the only thing between you and the pavement. You want a shoe that is designed for your stride. Running store employees are the most resourceful for shoes as they get to hear about all of the updates on shoe models directly from the reps. Many stores will have social run events with the shoe reps that allow you to test a shoe on a social run before you commit to it.