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Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Taylor Kamnetz
Author
Taylor Kamnetz
 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercial runaround as a consumer. There are brands doing up their marketing game like the world’s existence depends on it, while others let their products speak for themselves. How can you, as a consumer, know what’s what in a world dominated by dollar bills? Simple: research.

However, sometimes proper research is a forgotten piece of the puzzle. If you fall under this category, keep calm and read on.

First off, if you’re new to the running game, don’t think that you can’t get a decent pair of running shoes within your price range. Though the market may not want you to know this, money spent doesn’t define the quality of a shoe. I know, this may be a shocking revelation to some, especially when you’re in a domain you’re not familiar with. It’s easy to get transported into the mindset that more money solves your problems and answers your questions. However, with running shoes there’s much more to it than the price tag.

There are 3 different types of running shoes for 3 different types of running styles. First there’s the over pronated foot, making for an over-pronated shoe that offers motion control. This means the shoe itself emphasizes medial support by having dual density midsoles and foot bridges. This amount of support slows the rate of over pronation, giving you a smoother run. With over pronation, your foot and ankles struggle to stabilize the body, meaning shock isn't absorbed as effectively. These shoes slow down the rate of pronation with each step.

The second type of shoe is for the neutrally pronated foot, and offers stability. This type of footwear combines cushioning and stability features in its design, allowing for a smooth and supported run. Pronation is measured by how much your foot rolls inward with each step while in running motion, and if your foot rolls inward about 15 percent, then you’re likely a neutral runner.

This is the shoe for the supinated foot, offering up massive amounts of cushioning. This emphasized enhanced shock dispersion in the midsole of the shoe, and in the outsole design. For instance, this a shoe that will have gel, air or hydro flow in its heal to enhance the cushioning properties of this shoe. With this running style, over supination can occur, leading to injuries. This is very common in runners, and can be easily corrected by the proper footwear.

So, how can you tell which kind of runner you are without professional help? Take note of how your feet land when you’re on a run. Are you landing entirely flat-footed, or are is there inversion occurring? Do you feel that you’re feet are turning over 15 percent inward with each step? Taking note of these things on your own will save you time if you’re going into a store, and will lead to better understanding if you’re ordering online without professional help.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of shoes there are on the market, let’s talk about some quality picks for each variety of shoe type. You obviously have more than one choice here, or there wouldn't be rows upon rows of running shoes at sporting stores, and there definitely wouldn't be stores dedicated solely to running in general.

For the over pronated runner, there’s the Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 ($115). This shoe offers lightness with each step that is hard to find with many other motion control shoes on the market, and also offers durability due to its carbon rubber outsoles. This shoe is also very breathable, making it the perfect year-round running shoe that will last.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

For the neutral runner, a pair of Asics GT-2170 running shoes ($110) are perfect for your stability needs. This shoe contains gel in the heal to offer cushioning and support, offering a stable ride throughout your run. It’s consistent throughout the shoe, and the only thing you may not like about this shoe is its semi outdated look.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Lastly, there’s the shoe for the supinated foot. The need for shock dispersion while running makes the Nike Pegasus ($100) an ideal shoe for this type of runner. This shoe offers a substantial amount of impact protection while remaining lightweight. Because of it’s lightness, the Pegasus has unbeatable flexibility allowing for fast transitions.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

If you have the time, it’s recommended to go into your local running store for a professional fitting. Even if you’re just going in to see what type of running style you have and the best type of shoe to fix it, they’ll be able to pinpoint all of the things you’ve been questioning about running and then some, all with a smile on their face! What else could you ask for?