You are probably a runner who is super passionate about running and would dedicate much of your waking time to getting out and logging in miles every day. Perhaps you have been running with the same running shoes for a while now, and you have noticed it starting to wear off a bit. You realize that it is about time to change shoes, so you set about doing so.
However, perhaps you are not completely sure on how to get started. That is why we are here to help! Read on to learn more on how you can find the perfect running shoes for you, as well as receive a brand suggestion to help you get started. Soon enough, you will be cruising through the streets with your new, attractive athletic sneakers.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
How to Choose the Perfect Running Shoe
Aside from the basic needs such as knowing your foot size, there are a lot of other factors in considering the best fit for your next pair of running shoes. No two pairs of feet are the same, let alone the same pair of feet within an individual!
That said, knowing a bunch of aspects for your running shoes will not only keep your feet comfortable, but also keep them in good condition in order to log in lots of miles in the future to come. Here are some aspects for you to consider:
1. Your foot shape.
Besides just your foot size, checking out your foot shape is necessary as well.
What do we mean by this? In other words, it is the way your foot is structured, from toe to heel, and it especially concentrates on the arch, or center, of it. Knowing just how it curves and bends can help you determine which shoes offer the best arch support, so that you can feel balanced and run properly without the risk of getting injured.
That said, here are the three main arch types for you:
- a. High arch. As the name suggests, a high arch is one in which the center of the foot curves upwards, to the point of being almost invisible when a foot imprint is made. Without having a high-arch shoe design to support it, the foot can develop problems with aggravating bone structure and causing it to potentially collapse.
- b. Medium arch. Considered the “ideal arch,” the medium arch is one that strikes a balance between too-high arch and too-low arch. From a foot imprint, you can see a moderately-shaped arch. Runners who naturally have this particular arch tend to get injured less (although not in the sense that they do not at all), but statistically speaking, medium-arch people are rare to come by.
- c. Low arch. Also known as “flat footedness,” low arches are the definition of a collapsed arch. When you look at an imprint, you will see heavy pressure on the middle part of the foot. Runners with low arches are quite common, and having it increases the chances of improper running form and injuries, if not carefully supported. Heel striking is a problem, so having a specialized running shoe for low arches is necessary.
2. Category of running shoe.
This refers to the kind of surfaces you tend to run on, since not every running shoe is built for all terrains. From sand to gravel to dirt trails, here are some categories to look into:
- a. Cross-training. This shoe is specifically-designed for indoor gym wear, whether on treadmills or indoor tracks. It is also useful for performing other workouts, such as strength training or yoga, since it tends to work best on more-contact surfaces.
- b. Road-running. As the name implies, road-running shoes are for gravel, asphalt, and paved surfaces, whether on the sidewalk in your neighborhood or around the city center. They are light and flexible, able to cushion the impact on hard, flat ground.
- c. Trail-running. If you tend to go hard on rocky, uneven surfaces such as dirt trails, grass, or sand, then trail-running shoes are the best bet for you. Made from tough material and solid traction, these running shoes will give you all of the support you need to plow through the most difficult of runs with no sweat!
3. Type of running shoe.
Besides having categories of running shoes, you might be surprised to find that there is a wide range of different types of running shoes, too. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you can select from these following ones:
- a. Barefoot. From the name itself, you can probably imagine that this type of shoe has very minimal sole support, aimed to mimic the natural running processes as if you go shoeless. It helps you adjust to a mid-foot strike for developing more of a medium arch.
- b. Minimalist. Similar to barefoot shoes, minimalist ones offer little support, but at the same time a bit more cushioning and flexibility to keep you comfortable.
- c. Motion control. With straighter, stiffer heels, motion-control shoes are for low-arched runners to offer heel support as means of counteracting overpronation.
- d. Neutral. An “all-around shoe,” neutral ones are ideal for those who overpronation slightly, but as well tend to roll outwards. That said, it offers side-arch support for an all-encompassing support system.
- e. Stability. Similar to motion-control shoes, stability ones assist in correcting overpronation in runners while also having side-arch support like that of neutral shoes. Instead of controlling for movement, it stabilizes it from already natural running processes.
- f. Super-cushioned. For runners with poor foot structures, getting a super-cushioned shoe with over 50 percent of cushioning might help, as means of increasing shock absorption and decreasing the impact on the heels and other parts of the foot.
For a pair of running shoes to get you started, we recommend that you consider Airia running shoes, a Swedish-manufactured brand with a long history of making some of the best-quality products out there. With an excellent motion-control feature and its sole purpose dedicated to running, this pair is a good one to get started on. After we tried them on for the first time, we were super pleased at how light and airy it was, while all the same providing great stability and traction on any surface out there!
Overall, our hope is that you can continue to run your best with any pair of running shoe you choose to wear in the future. Happy running!