The runner must now learn about the relationship between running and the needs of the human body,

and needs to use this new knowledge in buying the proper running shoes. The right choice on shoes can

make a critical difference in running. Some runners will have special needs, possibly due to an

abnormal gait cycle, which causes them to be prone to injury.

A good running shoe is a must to begin your program as well as to increase the training program.

Obviously, not all runners are 130-pound flashes. Featherweight shoes could be a disaster for someone

who weighs 180 or 200 pounds. If you are a medium or lightweight runner, your weight should not be a

More Information

Fact box

factor in shoe selection. Look for a shoe with at least three layers of rubber and good flexibility for

shock absorption.

Heavier runners should look for strong heel counter -- the rounded piece in the back of

the heel -- to provide stability to the foot and mid-sole --the resilient material between the tread and the insole -- that does not compress excessively.

High-arch feet do best in narrow-heeled shoes with good shock absorption and flexibility factors. Flat feet do better in more rigid shoes to control the possibility of excessive pronation (inward rotation). Morton's foot (short big toe, long second toe) may require biomechanical balancing in the shoe.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a Sport Podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 & 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials.