It might seem like a simple task, but if you’re a serious runner, choosing new running shoes is not something that should be done lightly. Here’s The Foot Hub guide on how to choose the best running shoes.
What Type Of Running Do You Do?
Where you run will have a significant bearing on the type of running shoe you should wear.
Are you going to be running on the road or paved pathways, off-road running like trail running, or will you mainly be wearing them while doing balance activities or gym workouts?
For road running, you’ll want a shoe that is flexible and light, and that cushions your feet.
For trail and off-road running, a running shoe with decent grip is essential to help keep you on your feet while tackling uneven, rocky and potentially muddy ground.
If training in the gym or at classes is more your style, cross-training shoes may be better suited as they have a thinner sole, allowing better contact with the ground and giving you better balance.
What’s Your Running Style?
How you run can also impact which style of running shoe is best for you.
Some people run efficiently, which is referred to as neutral pronation. This is when you run evenly on your feet, not leaning to the inside or the outside of your feet more.
Overpronation happens when you run mainly on the insides of your feet. You can see this on your running shoes if the sole of the shoe is worn along the inside edges of your shoes.
Supination is the opposite, and occurs when you run mainly on the outsides of your feet. Similarly, this can be seen if the outside of the soles of your shoes are more worn than the rest of the shoe.
Make sure you know which running style applies to you before you head to the shops or online to buy your new running shoes.
Work Out Your Foot Shape
Your foot shape will have a major effect on the type of running shoe you should choose.
There are three main foot types:
Flat Feet –if the bottom of your foot is completely flat from toe to heel, you’ve got flat feet.
High-Arched Feet – if your footprint is noticeably curved inward and there is a prominent arch in the middle of your foot, you’ve got high-arched feet.
Neutral Feet – if your foot is somewhere in between the two options above, and you have an arch that is not particularly high, your feet are neutral.
Look At Different Categories Of Running Shoes
Depending on how you run, shoes with different features will be better for your feet.
Some of the key features to consider in your new running shoes could include cushioning, stability, shock-absorption, stiffer heels and medial support.
Look For Running Shoe Features That Suit You
Neutral Running Shoes – if you’re a neutral runner, you can wear almost any type of running shoe.
Stability Running Shoes – these are ideal for those with overpronation as they help to correct your running style to a more neutral one.
Cushioned Running Shoes – ideal for those with high arches as they offer a cushioned base which gives padding that is flexible and comfortable.
6 Tips For Trying On Running Shoes
- Don’t choose running shoes based on colour!
- When trying new running shoes on, wear socks that you would normally wear when you are running.
- Get your feet measured professionally – different brands have different sizing and it can be hard to find the right size shoe if you aren’t sure what you would be.
- Make sure you have some wriggle room in the toe area – around a thumbnail between the tip of your toes and the front of the shoe is ideal for most people.
- If you wear orthotics, try on any potential new shoes with them.
- Don’t choose your running shoes based on price or brand alone. Going for the cheapest or the most expensive is not the best way to decide – go for the ones that fit your feet the best.
If you need help with your foot health, our podiatrists in Sydney are there to help you every step of the way – literally!