It’s A Shoe-In

Go the distance with the shoe type that is best suited for your running style.

If you are one of the “lucky” 21,000 who signed up for this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, there’s one piece of equipment you will find crucial: Running shoes. 

If you’ve taken on the full 42km, then what you wear on your feet are even more important.

First, and most basic of all: The shoe should fit well. Too many runners end up with painful blisters and ugly blackened toenails because they wear shoes that are too small for their feet. 

Second: The shoe should suit your feet and running style. Otherwise, you could end up damaging your legs and feet severely if you’re going such long distances. Running shoes have three basic functions: cushioning, stability and motion control.


But first, you need to know your feet. A visit to a podiatrist, physiotherapist or sports physician will allow them to analyse your feet and how they behave when you are standing barefoot or running in shoes. 

Having done that, they will be able to advise you whether you need a cushioning shoe (if you underpronate), a stability shoe (if you have neutral to mild overpronation) or a motion control shoe (if you have moderate to severe overpronation). 

Pronation is the movement of the foot commonly described as “rolling in” or “collapsing in” when the foot lands. It is a natural, and also necessary movement, because that’s how your foot absorbs shock. 

But there are cases in which there is too much or too little pronation. Or the pronation may occur too fast, or at the wrong time. While a running shoe can’t fix your problem, it can help control it somewhat. 

To assist runners with shoe selection, the Singapore Sports Council has just put together a very informative page on its website. 

Not only does it explain the basics of shoe functions, it also contains recommendations from three experts – physiotherapist Gino Ng, sports physician Patrick Goh and podiatrist Tye Lee Tae. The trio road-tested several pairs of shoes and rated them on the various functional characteristics that matter to runners. 

The three experts have also made their recommendations here for Urban readers who are running the marathon. 

Hopefully you’ll find a shoe that takes you to the finish line on Dec 4 without your feet throbbing as if they were on fire. 

  • For the SSC shoe listing, log on to
  • You can get more information about running shoes at the Sports and Fitness Expo held in conjunction with the Marathon Expo from Dec 1 to 4. Log on to for more details. 

By Pradeep Paul. Originally posted in The Straits Times, November 3, 2005.