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Running has evolved into a popular enough sport that it seems like you can get a special pair of shoes for almost every type of feet. My only problem is trying to identify exactly what type of feet I have.

From my own research I know most feet fit into one of three instep categories:

  • Pronators
  • Neutral
  • Supinators

And on either side of neutral you can be either: mild, moderate, or severe pronation/supination. But what else is there to know? Start googling foot types and you get a flood of classification types. This site claims to have a algorithm that identifies 24 different foot types.

Then there's your toe type:

  • Greek – Foot with the second toe being the longest.
  • Egyptian – Foot with the big (first) toe being the longest.
  • Square – Foot with even length toes.

Each of which can be further categorized as tapered or wide toe.

But what about everything else? Say you have wider feet, narrower heels, longer toes, heel spurs, small ankles, big toe gap?

Aside from visiting an orthopedic doctor is there a way for people to learn what kind of foot type they have?

  • While your question in the current form is off topic for our site, there are many running shoe stores that offer gait and foot analysis to better fit you into a suitable shoe. – JohnP Mar 9 '15 at 17:26
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    I'm not sure this off-topic, footwear is vitally important for running, and having the right equipment is a part of safe training. – user2861 Mar 9 '15 at 23:25
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    Obviously I'm biased, but I also disagree that this is off-topic. Knowing your foot type is very important for picking the right kind of shoes, if only so you can spot the BS some sales rep will try and sell you. Not everybody buys their shoes at a (decent) running shoe store or can afford to do so – Ivo Flipse Mar 10 '15 at 9:43
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Aside from visiting an orthopedic doctor is there a way for people to learn what kind of foot type they have?

Yes, easily! Just look at an old pair of shoes!

Below we see two shoes, one old (left) and one new (right). As you can easily see, the left shoe shows excess wear on the outer toe.

enter image description here

You've probably seen the kind of graphic below that relates wear to foot-roll. So just compare your shoe to the graphic.

enter image description here

Based on the above shoe, this person is an "underpronator".

With regards to foot type, the amount of ankle roll is the most important, everything else is just overclassification. With regards to toe length or foot width, these can be addressed by trying on shoes.

However, foot roll is something that shoe manufacturers do advertise and you can easily come across while doing research.

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  • I'm interested in the "overclassification." I went to the most recommended pro running store in the city and they did a quick gait assessment then had me try on a bunch of pairs of shoes. I walked out with a pair that I thought felt good, but the next day got blisters on my heel-spurs, then the day after ran 6km and got a foot sprain in my lateral arch. My next step is obviously to look for different insoles, but there's too many different types that it'd be too expensive to just try them all out and find something that works. Hence why I want to learn how to better identify my foot type. – ShemSeger Mar 10 '15 at 15:19

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