How to pick good running shoes

There are plenty of running shoes available out there but the real test for them comes when they’ve gone a few miles of running. The perfect running shoes less to do with the logo on the side than with your running style and your foot’s shape.

Here are the try steps to finding good running shoes:

1. Determine what your running style is and what kind of running you do
2. Pick the category and features which suit your needs
3. Try the shoes to see which fits best

Categories of running shoes

  • Road-running shoes – designed to be used on pavement and, only occasionally, on packed surfaces which have only slight irregularities. They are light and are also flexible. Those running shoes are designed so that they cushion your feet or stabilize it during the repetitive strides on the hard and even surfaces.
  • Trail-running shoes – they are made for running of off-road routs where there are rocks, roots, mud and/or other obstacles. Those shoes are enhanced with aggressive tread which offers solid traction. They also offer support, stability and underfoot protection.
  • Cross-training shoes – designed to be used at the gym or on Crossfit workouts, or at any balance activity where you need to have more contact with the ground.

How do you run?

  • Pronation – your shoes will show a wear patter which is centered on the ball of the foot with a small portion of wear on the heel. This is due to the inward roll of the foot when the heel strikes the ground.
  • Overpronation – wear patterns along the shoe’s inside edge due to exaggerated form of the natural inward roll of the foot.
  • Supination – wear along the shoe’s outer edge due to outward foot roll which leads to insufficient reduction of the impact at landing.
  • Barefoot/minimalist running – usually the heels are the first to hit the ground. But with barefoot running the forefoot or mid-foot is the first to strike the ground.

Types of running shoes

  • Neutral – best for neutral runners and people who tend to roll their rood outward.
    Provide absorption of the shock to a certain degree and have some arch-side support.
  • Stability – good for those whose running style is mild-moderate overpronation. They have a strong “post” which reinforces the arch side of the midsoles (which are the areas where the overpronation has biggest effects).
  • Motion control – best for those whose running style is moderate-severe overpronation.
    Have stiffer heels and other features which counter overpronation.
  • Barefoot shoes – provide just the minimum protection from the potential dangers on the ground. Many of them are without any cushion on the heel pad and have a teeny,tiny layer of shoe (about 3-4 mm) between the ground and your skin.
  • Minimalist shoes – with really lightweight construction, almost non-existent arch support and a 4-8 mm heel drop, they encourage the natural motion of running but still offer you flexibility and cushioning.

Features

  • Uppers
    Synthetic leather – durable, supple and resistant to abrasion material for the production of which are usually used nylon and polyester. It is lighter, it dries more quickly and have more breathability than the real leather.
    Nylon; nylon mesh – durable materials. Used mostly to boost breathability and reduce weight.
    Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlays – they are placed over the breathable shoe panels and enhance the durability and stability.
    Waterproof/breathable uppers – have a membrane which is bonded to the linings’interior. The membrane doesn’t allow the entrance of moisture but still allows your feet to breathe.
  • Midsoles
    Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) – foam which cushions the shoes.
    Posts – areas where there is firmer EVA for harder-to-compress sections. Usually found in stability shoes. Used to boost the durability and decelerate the pronation.
    Plates – this and flexible material which is used to stiffen the shoe’s forefoot. Protects your foot’s bottom part when the shoe falls on roots and rocks. Shanks – stiffens the midsole.
    TPU – stabilizes the foot.

Heel-to-toe drop – the difference between the toe’s height and the heel’s height which affects primarily the way your feet strike the ground.
Heel counter – rigid structure that’s around the heel and provides motion control.
Medial post/torsion bar – controls excessive outward or inward motion.

Tips

Measure your feet to ensure proper fit.
Try shoes at the afternoon or at the end of the day.
Try to pick shoes which have extra space in the toebox of a thumbnail’s length.
If you wear orthoticks, take them with you.

Consider footbeds.

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