Which Running Shoe Is Best for You?

Fitness Tips

Which Running Shoe Is Best for You?

When you’re in the market to buy new running shoes, it’s not always easy to figure out what kind is right for you.

With so many options out there, it’s important that you understand the differences and make an informed decision based on your running habits – this will help protect your feet and keep injuries to a minimum. Proper shoes also keep the body comfortable during exercise (and who doesn’t want that?).

Here's a look at different situations that affect the type of running shoe you should wear.

The Basics

Before buying a running shoe, there are some key factors to keep in mind.

It's important to understand your foot's shape and arch – different arches require different support. Also, consider the pronation, or shape of, your feet during movement. Finally, the purchase of a running shoe should be influenced by the location you run.

Road and City Running

If you normally run on city roads and sidewalks that are paved, you should consider a light and flexible shoe that cushions and stabilizes your feet during repetitive strides. Running shoes tend to come in four groups: motion control, cushioned, stability, and lightweight.

Motion control running shoes are best if you have inward-rolling feet. This condition is known as overpronation. These shoes help control extra rolling and absorb shock. They are rigid, durable, and make a nice choice for flat feet.

Cushioned running shoes help absorb shock on the joints. They will work for people who do not have feet that roll inward or outward. If you have a high arch, cushioned shoes would be a smart selection. However, they offer no help to feet that under-pronate.

Stability running shoes will cushion the feet and provide a middle ground between motion control shoes and cushioned shoes. They are quite durable and will work if you have normal arches.

Lightweight running shoes feel like air underneath the feet and come in varying degrees of cushioning. Since they do not weigh feet down, they are ideal for racers or people who run great distances.

Trail Running

You should consider trail running shoes if you frequently run off-road. They will be more rugged than normal "road-runners" and have better traction and weather-resistance.

When purchasing a pair, the main characteristic to compare is the level of grip offered. It is also important to consider the uppers. In general, trail shoes have durable uppers that protect the feet. If you plan on running through mud or water, it is best to select a shoe that allows water to escape.

Most trail shoes have a low profile, which keeps the feet stable. They are often stiff and require some breaking-in, which is important to note if you will be running a race. Since they have less cushioning than a regular road running shoe, trail running shoes should not be worn on long distance runs.

We hope you find the above information useful when choosing a shoe that keeps your feet safe, comfortable, and properly supported. Good luck in your search for new running shoes!