If facing a wall of sleek, neon fitness shoes has ever made you want to run the other way, we have good news. New research suggests that when choosing shoes, the most important factor may also be the simplest: comfort. Wearing shoes designed to correct foot pronation (rolling in), for instance, was linked to more injuries — not fewer. Running shoes that overly restrict feet or have too much cushion can make you unable to adapt to the ground beneath you and may lead to lazy foot muscles — two factors that can make you prone to injury. Unless you have a structural abnormality or are injured, choose comfy shoes that fit your feet (and your budget!) and aren’t too restrictive. Just like Carole King sang, you should “feel the earth move under [your] feet.”
“There is some science behind running shoes, but there’s also a lot of hype and marketing,” Susan Joy, MD, Cleveland Clinic sports medicine specialist.