Arch Supports Can Help Reduce Injury Risk

Sliding an arch support inside your running shoes can make the difference between comfortable running and chronic pain. If you don’t have adequate arch support, you may be more likely to develop any of a range of running injuries, from runner’s knee to plantar fasciitis.

The type of arch your foot has helps determine which type of running shoes will give you the best arch support.

Medium or Normal Arch

A medium arch leaves an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. A medium arch lands on the outside of the foot then rolls evenly through the ball of the foot. Runners with a medium arch tend to be Neutral Pronaters and should select shoes in the STABILITY or NEUTRAL categories.

Stability Shoes

High Arch

High arched feet leave an imprint showing a narrow band connecting the forefoot and the heel. A curved, high arched foot is generally termed a supinated or underpronated foot. The underpronator is prone to increased shock transmission through the lower limb. Runners with high arched feet should select shoes in the NEUTRAL or CUSHIONING categories.

Neutral Shoes

Low Arch

A low arch foot is referred to someone with flat feet. The imprint of a low arch has no inward curve where the arch should be, this usually indicates an overpronated foot. When an overpronated foot strikes the foot tends to roll from the outside of the heel inward excessively, causing the foot to collapse. Runners with overpronation should select shoes in the MOTION CONTROL or STABILITY categories.

Motion Control Shoes

But regardless of your arch type, you may need additional support, depending on the biomechanics of your feet. Talk to a podiatrist, and he or she may recommend an over-the-counter arch support or customized orthotics. And you can get extra arch support with running socks such as Thorlos, which provide specialized fit in the arches, heels and toes.

Pick the Right Pack: Technical Backpack Features

When choosing a backpack for hiking, you have a variety of options when it comes to style, features, brands and price.

If your hiking plans involve overnight camping, you might want a technical backpack. Multi-day hiking technical packs have either an internal or external frame. Some of the pros and cons are as follows:

Internal frame: This style fits close to the body and is more compact. An internal frame is recommended for skiing and rough trail scrambling, but be prepared for a sweatier back due to the close fit.

External frame: This style is usually less expensive than an internal frame and works well for hauling heavy gear. But it is bulkier and can shift around, so it is not a good choice for skiing or scrambling over rough trails.

It’s important to try on different backpacks because they vary slightly in shape from brand to brand. You may discover that one brand fits your body type especially well. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store for a wide selection of hardware packs and backpacking equipment.