Find Your Perfect Running Shoes


Hello shoe lovers!  My name is Angelo — not only do I work at Famous Footwear, but I am also a shoe enthusiast, just like you.

My experience in the footwear business has given me a great deal of knowledge and understanding on how to help find the perfect athletic shoe for a specific customer’s needs. Not every foot is the same!

So, what does your foot type mean? What kind of shoe should you be in?  At this point, you might even be saying, “Wait, there are different running shoes for different foot types”?  There sure are!

Types of Running Shoes:

  • Lightweight
  • Neutral
  • Stability

Next, what are the features, benefits and advantages for each?

  • Lightweight shoes are ideal for someone looking for a shoe that feels comfortable, is flexible, and allows for quick movement — whether you’re doing short speed workouts, or running mid-distance.
  • Neutral shoes are best for individuals with moderate to high arches in their feet.  This type of shoe also provides a lot of cushioning for high impact running, and has more durability than a lightweight shoe.
  • Stability shoes are ideal for runners who lack support in their feet. Typically, these people have low to flat arches.  Stability shoes have implanted arch supports and stability posts built into the sole of the shoe.  This technical shoe helps prevent a common movement, pronation, which is the rolling of the ankle and foot inward.

Determining Your Gait Cycle

So, now you know the different types of running shoes that exist, but how do you know which is right for you?  Have no fear — I am going to give you some tips and hints on how to figure out your gait cycle!

  • Look at the wear pattern on your old shoes.  If you see the outsides of the shoe worn, you might want to try a lightweight or neutral shoe.  If you see the wear pattern more toward the middle or the inside, a stability shoe is where you would want to start.
  • This next tip is something we probably have all done, but didn’t know it could tell us about our foot structure — All you need to do is get your bare feet wet and step on a piece of paper (or if it is nice out, step on the concrete) and look at your footprint.  If you see a lot of your footprint, a stability shoe is the direction to head for you.  If you see just a little bit of your footprint, try looking at lightweight or neutral shoes.
  • Typically, people with flat feet will need to have a stability shoe to help give support and control.  People with moderate to high arches will typically want a neutral or lightweight shoe to compliment their foot type.

The best way to know if a shoe is right for you is to just try it on! Whatever feels best is usually the way to go. Also, stop in to your local Famous Footwear store and let one of our friendly and knowledgeable associates help size and fit you in the perfect shoe. If you’re ever around the Pittsburgh area, you can always swing by the Cranberry Township location and say hello to me and let me show you the way.

The perfect shoe means happy feet, and a happy you! Victory can be yours on your next walk or run.

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  1. marsha clevenger says:

    Why are there so many athletic shoes that are so brightly colored? I would like to have mainly a whitely shoe with some color the ones at the store look like clown shoes

  2. Christine Brennan Christine Brennan says:

    Hi Marsha. Bright athletics are definitely a hot trend, but they aren’t for everyone :) Here’s a link to all of our white athletic shoes:

  3. Marsha says:

    I was wondering if any of your stores sold the New Balance 1540 running shoe?

  4. Christine Brennan Christine Brennan says:

    Hi Marsha,

    Unfortunately, we do not carry that style. However, please feel free to check out our other New Balance athletic shoes here:

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.


  5. Suzanne says:

    The article on how to pick running shoes is interesting — but now that I understand I should look for “stability” .. what do I do with this information ?

    I looked at the running shoes section under athletic shoes and thought that perhaps there would be a filter I could choose from (Lightweight, Neutral , Stability) … seems like you missed the boat. Now that I have all this knowledge, I’m unable to easily apply it on your site.

    Any ideas ?

  6. Lynn says:

    I have trouble with shin splints. I run about 15-20 miles a week and the pain is getting too bad to run at all. Running mostly on cement. Very frustrated.
    Right now I have a pair of asics running shoes, any suggestions?

  7. Jennifer says:

    What is the best running shoe for someone with a wide flat foot?