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What Are Neutral Running Shoes?

Neutral running shoes support people who do not overpronate or underpronate their feet.
Neutral running shoes.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Neutral running shoes are a kind of shoe designed for people who don't overpronate or underpronte their feet when they run. To overpronate the feet means to roll the feet inward. To underpronate, on the other hand, means to roll the feet outward. In many people, overpronating or underpronating is slight, but should still be addressed in the design of their running shoes in order to support the feet as well as possible and avoid injury. These kinds of shoes, however, should not be worn by neutral runners, people who do not overpronate or underpronate, as the shoes will compensate for an issue that the runners don't face and can, therefore, create an issue.

Unlike shoes for people who roll their feet in one direction or the other when they run, neutral running shoes are not designed with stability control. Instead, they are simply designed to give the best possible support to neutral runners in order to keep their feet healthy and avoid injury. Like all other types of running shoes, there are multiple features available in the many kinds of neutral running shoes on the market.

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Some neutral running shoes, for example, are designed for people who have unusually high or low arches. Depending on the type of arch issue that is being addressed, the design of the neutral running shoes will include the correct kind of support. There are also neutral running shoes for people who have wide feet as well as people who have narrow feet. All of these sorts of issues are addressed in designs of neutral running shoes for men as well as for women.

In addition to the features related specifically for the shape of the feet and whether the feet roll to one side during running, neutral running shoes also come with a number of features that are used to distinguish other kinds of running shoes. Some of them, for example, are designed with superior treads so that the shoes can be worn in snowy or slippery conditions. Others are designed with reflective strips so that they can be worn at night and in low light along with other high visibility clothing to help keep the runner safe from oncoming traffic. There are also varieties that are made with waterproof or water-resistant material so that they can be worn even in wet conditions while keeping the feet dry.

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Discuss this Article

browncoat
Post 3

@Fa5t3r - Yeah, I have to say, that if I had neutral feet instead of overpronating, I wouldn't spend a lot of money on shoes. There are some very good shoes for under a hundred dollars if you've got neutral feet and don't have to worry about special support.

Just make sure you check that they aren't for a particular kind of foot before you buy them, because it's not always labeled in an obvious way.

Fa5t3r
Post 2

@clintflint - I find it easier to just go to a specialist shoe store. They will often give you a proper running test on a treadmill in order to determine what kind of shoes you need. And you are under no obligation to actually buy the neutral running shoes that they recommend (which will almost certainly be the most expensive pair they have available).

Once you've got the information from them, either ask them for the cheaper version of whatever you're offering, or even leave and see if you can find a deal online.

If you feel guilty about it, then buy some socks from them or something. They usually have the best kinds of running socks in those stores.

clintflint
Post 1

If you want to know whether you over or under-pronate, you can have a look at a worn pair of your shoes that you've used for running. If you overpronate, they will be worn down around the large toe area and along that side of the shoe. If you underpronate then they will be worn on the outer edges of your shoes. If you have a neutral stride then there won't be any difference in the wear of each side of the shoe.

Generally shoe stores will label their shoes according to what kind they are so that you can get the kind that you need.

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