Running Shoes Buying Guide

A good pair of needs and most brands produce shoes for different types of athletes. Running shoes are divided into three major categories: trail running shoes, however, are designed for specific running conditions.

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Foot Type

One of the first things a runner should consider is the shape of his or her feet. There are three foot types, each with unique characteristics that require specific considerations. * '''The Neutral-Arched Foot''' ** A neutralsized arch (neither too high nor too flat). ** The footprint of a neutral foot will have a flare in the mid-foot with a broad band connecting to the heel. ** A neutral foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls inward slightly to absorb shock. ** This type is bio-mechanically efficient and can typically fit any kind of shoe. * '''The Mid-Arched Foot''' ** Also known as a flat foot. ** Produces a footprint that looks like the whole sole of the foot. These runners have a tendency to overpronate (strike on the outside of the heel and roll inward), which can cause use injuries to the feet and lower legs. ** The best shoes for this foot type are motion control models or high stability shoes with firm mid-soles and control features that reduce the degree of pronation. Avoid cushioned shoes. * '''The High-Arched Foot''' ** This foot type leaves a footprint with a very narrow outer band or no band at all between the forefoot and the heel. ** Runners with high-arched feet have a tendency to supinate or underpronate. ** Because the foot fails to pronate enough, it doesn't effectively absorb shock. ** The best shoes for this foot type are well-cushioned ones with good flexibility that encourage foot motion. ** Stay away from motion control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.

Shoe Styles

Below you'll find a description of each type of shoe and for whom it is most suitable. 


There is a group of runners who believe you can buy the cheapest shoe on the market and still run a marathon. The theory is that the more cushioning and support the shoes offer, the "lazier" your feet get and the sloppier your style. If you run in a mimic barefoot running.

Quick Tips

* '''Pick the right size.''' Whether you are a distance runner or just enjoy light jogging, it's important to pick the right size shoe. When in doubt, opt for the larger size of the two sneakers you might be considering (anywhere from a half to one size bigger is ideal). This will save you from getting bruised toes and toenails as you'll have enough space in the toe box once your feet start to swell. * '''Break your shoes in before going for a long run!''' Try wearing them at home or out and about in dry weather to loosen them up. * '''Add insoles.''' If a shoe doesn't provide the sort of cushioning you need, look into purchasing an insole.'s article about supplemental support.

Major Manufacturers

Every sneaker manufacturer produces specialized running shoe lines along with their fashion and other sports sneakers. Each has its own innovations in running shoe technology, so it's best to try a few on and see what feels right and fits your needs. A few of the most well-known producers of running shoes include: ! *Nike+ combination. * Adidas: You'll get great protection and comfort, as long as you don't mind a little extra push from the heel in some designs. * Asics: Stable, solidly built running shoes with a good balance between cushioning and firmness. * Pearl Izumi: Plush cushioning on top of a hard forefoot makes for some pretty reliable shoes. Izumi also has a tendency to space the laces well, which creates an overall better fit. * New Balance: A brand known for updating successful shoes with some great improvements. * Brooks Sports: Offers very balanced running shoes. Even their trail shoes offer comfort and good impact absorption. * Saucony: Tends to be higher priced, but worth it for their variety of shoes, which can suit barefoot enthusiasts or those with high arches and a need for protection. * Reebok: It's not hard to find a basic running shoe from Reebok, and their more advanced models could prove useful to experienced runners.


Related Guides

* Trail Running Shoes * Men's Running Shoes * Women's Running Shoes * Track and Field * Women's Activewear * Workout Apparel for Men

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! NL: Sportschoenen Shopgids
FR: Chaussures de Course
ES: Zapatillas de atletismo