One of the initial things any prospective runner should consider when choosing a running shoe is where he will be running. The environment is critical because running indoors on a treadmill is a very different experience compared to running outdoors. In fact, the wear and tear your shoes will inevitably experience will be different as will the type of support your feet will require.
If you typically run on a dense surface, you should consider traditional running shoes. They are lightweight and provide an outsole that is flexible, which ensures comfort as well as support. Traditional running shoes are great for running on a treadmill, sidewalk, or even on a densely packed trail. If you prefer a running experience that is steeped in nature, you should consider a trail-running shoe as the bottom of the shoe, known as the outsole, is comprised of dense rubber to deliver the overall durability and tread technology required for a runner's off-road experience.
The demands on your shoe's outsole will shift between environments. However, once you determine where you will be running, you will still need to choose the outsole that best meets your particular needs. Therefore, you should be sure to choose a shoe that provides an outsole with the traction and durability you require.
Additionally, it is important to understand that the outsole affects how flexible and rigid a shoe will feel as well as how soft or firm of a running experience you will enjoy. Therefore, a good outsole is determined by both the quality of the shoe and your specific needs.
A flexible running shoe is a must have. However, it is important to understand what flexibility means because you might end up with a shoe that negatively impacts your running experience. To assess your favorite shoes, you can simply try on the shoes and check if they bend in the same spot as your foot naturally bends. If the shoe bends at the same place as your foot, you can be sure that the running shoe’s flex point is a good match for your foot, which will support a safe stride.
While most running shoes are neutral when it comes to providing extra stability, there are shoes designed to address gaits that can lead to pain and injury. For example, if your ankle rolls inward as you run, you are experiencing overpronation, which can lead to serious injury. For those of you who are basically knock-ankled, shoes with movement control can assist your feet. Such running shoes are comprised of a specific type of technology that corrects overpronation, which helps to ensure that your feet and ankles are always provided the best supported.
Another stability issue occurs with supination. This type of gait occurs when the heel rotates outward when the foot contacts the ground. When this occurs, the outside portion of the foot absorbs most of the impact which can be very uncomfortable. If you suffer form supination, a neutral shoe that provides high cushioning is a good choice.
The amount of cushion a running shoe provides between the surface you run on and your feet is referred to as stack height. The stack height can drastically vary between running shoes. If you prefer the feel of the ground on your run, you should consider a shoe that provides a low stack height. Conversely, if you enjoy a cushioned feel as well as protection against impact, you should consider a shoe with moderate or even high stack height.
In addition to providing the right amount of stack height for your running needs, a good shoe will hold your heel in place as you run.
Arch height ranges from flat to high. For maximum support and comfort, it is important that a running shoe accommodate the height of the individual’s arch. A good running shoe will fit the shape of your arch, providing support that does not press uncomfortably against your arch.
Toe width and length
It is common for feet to swell as you run. Considering swelling, you should look for a running shoe that provides approximately one inch of space between the end of the inside of the shoe and the toe that first reaches the inside of the shoe. The toe box should also allow for a bit of room to move as a too-tight fitting shoe will result in painful blisters.
A running shoe with poorly placed seams will lead to blisters. As such, you should look for a running shoe that does not have seams located on the upper portion of the shoe.
Designed to deliver smooth impact transition between your heel and your toe, this neutral running shoe from Brooks is a fantastic option for the gym or road. Additionally, this shoe’s foot technology includes a complex system of cushioning that absorbs every impact while still delivering a lightweight experience.
If you are looking to improve on your PR, you should consider the Endorphin Speed from Saucony. The ultralight cushioning and responsive design seamlessly work together to make each run feel like you have hit your best time. Unique to Saucony, the SPEEDROLL technology helps propel you forward in a natural and increasingly responsive manner.
Exceptional cushions in this shoe make marathons a joy. For instance, the EVA midsoles ensure this shoe will not compress and will easily form to the shape of your foot. In terms of support, the ABZORB cushioning is flexible yet stable for the utmost comfort on short or long runs.
This running shoe is perfect for any type of workout. The outsole is design to last while the midsole expertly absorbs impact and provides a cushioned ride. It is a responsive as well as an extremely light shoe that will help you slice and dice time off your running records.