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Best Running Shoes to Protect the Joints

author image Beth Rifkin
Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.
Best Running Shoes to Protect the Joints
Man running on open road for exercise. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Running provides an effective form of cardiovascular exercise and burns calories. Because it is high impact, running can cause joint pain or stress for some. Wearing the wrong type or an ill-fitting shoe can exacerbate the problem. With numerous types of running shoes on the market, the best one will reduce the shock placed on your joints and be appropriate for your particular foot.

Type of Foot

Most people fall into one of three categories regarding their footfall, or how their foot lands and rolls through to the push-off. Pronators have a normal inward roll, overpronators tend to roll excessively inward, and supinators possess an extensive outward roll. The latter group, supinators, are most at risk for joint issues when running due to a naturally poor shock absorption ability.

More Cushioning

The best running shoe for supinators are those that are cushioned. Supinators tend to have high arches and rigid feet; cushioning in the midsole and heel helps to protect the joints while providing flexibility for the foot. A curved shoe, which promotes an inward role, is also beneficial for a supinator.

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Form Comes First

Consult with a professional running coach regarding your running technique if you are experiencing joint issues. Regardless of the shoe you wear, your form must be correct to avoid or minimize stress or injuries.


Try straight-across lacing rather than traditional crisscross; the straight-bar approach can reduce the pressure on the foot caused by having a high arch.

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