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How to Buy Tennis Shoes

What's Your Foot Type?

The first step in finding the right shoe is figuring out what kind of foot you have. There are three basic types, and while only a podiatrist can give you a fully accurate analysis of your foot type, you can evaluate yourself at home, too. The next time you step out of the shower, take a close look at the footprints your wet feet leave on the floor.

If your foot leaves a crescent-shaped footprint with little or no impression made by your arch, you have a supinated foot. Supinators tend to wear out the lateral (little toe) part of the bottom of their shoes before the medial (big toe) side. Supinators tend to have wide feet and need to look for a shoe that provides extra room in the forefoot and toe box. They also need a shoe with extra cushioning to compensate for their high arches.

If your foot leaves a wet mark on the floor that's completely filled in, arch and all, you have a pronated foot. Pronators often have flat feet, and the medial portion of their shoe bottom wears down before the lateral part. People with this foot type often need extra support from their shoes, so a mid-cut model or a shoe with extra stability on the medial side is usually a wise choice.

If you're one of the few people who leave a wet footprint with a moderate amount of arch, you have a neutral foot. This is the most efficient and biomechanically versatile foot type. Players with neutral feet can play tennis in almost any shoe.

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