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What Kind Of Running Shoes Do I Need

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Get Started By Walking

How to Buy Running Shoes | What Kind of Running Shoes Do I Need?| Naperville Running Company

Walking is a great way to get active and even to slowly work yourself into running. While some brands do create specialized walking shoes, running shoes are equally good to walk in. The cushioning and close fit of a running shoe provides support to your foot as it moves, regardless if you are walking or running.

Read more about using running shoes for walking.

How To Choose The Right Running Shoes For You

With so many to choose from buying running shoes can be a daunting task but we’re here to make it easy. If you are running high mileage, low or medium, there is a shoe to suit every runner. Just as there is a shoe for every runner, there is a shoe for every foot. Whether you need a wider toe box, a neutral shoe, a specific heel to toe drop, like more energy return through the shoe or just need something to control your foot roll, we have women’s and men’s running shoes designed to meet your needs. Just follow our handy guide to find out what questions you need to be asking before a long run or race day, and what it all means.;

How To Choose A Road Running Shoe

With so many brands, models, and styles of running shoes to choose from, its easy to feel overwhelmed when its time to buy a new pair.

With this running guide, well walk you through everything you need to know to pick out the best pair thats right for you.

Well cover the different categories of running shoes, the types of runners those shoes are made for, and the overall fit and feel of different shoes.

Ultimately, picking the best shoe comes down to figuring out which type or category of shoe works for you, trying a few of them on, then seeing what feels best.

For many runners, there is no one right pair of shoes. Different brands and models can often work equally well for the same runner.

Dont get stuck on one pair of shoes and think you can never change. Swapping between shoes is ultimately a good thing. It allows you to train your body to use slightly different types of muscles in different shoes.

With that said, heres what you need to know in order to choose a good pair of running shoes

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Try On Different Shoes

Once the measuring is done, the fun begins.

Its now time to try on several brands and types of running shoes. According to Maloney, working with an experienced shoe professional who can help you with a proper fit is key to this part of the process.

In addition to making sure you have the right fit, theyll help you choose shoes that consider your foot alignment, planned mileage, running surface, and other variables that contribute to which shoes you should wear.

Some specialty running shoe stores and sports-oriented podiatry offices also offer gait analysis. This can tell you how much support you need in the midfoot of your running shoe.

According to Nelya Lobkova, DPM, the results of a gait analysis will determine which of the three categories of running shoes you should consider:

  • neutral
  • motion control

This helps ensure you end up with running shoe thatll provide adequate support.

Once youve narrowed down your search based on these criteria, take some time to do a trial jog or run in the shoes. This will help you determine whether you like their responsiveness and heel drop .

Make sure to wear the socks you plan on running in and bring any inserts if you use them. Most stores will allow you to test the shoes around the store.

What You Really Need In Hiking Footwear

What Kind Of Running Shoes Do You Need? (Part 1)

When youre picking hiking footwear, these are the factors that are important:

  • They should protect your feet. That means no cuts or damage to your feet from the elements.
  • They should be comfortable. You should be able to use them without getting blisters.
  • They should be lightweight. You will step thousands of times when you hike. Every ounce saved on lifting your feet is more energy to hike farther.

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Hiking Boots Or Shoes: Do I Really Need Hiking Boots

In This Guide
  • Why You Might Need Hiking Boots
  • When a Trail Runner or Hiking Shoe Works
  • Conditions For Heavy Hiking Boots
  • Alternative Options You May Not Have Considered

The great dilemma do you really need hiking boots? Or can you use hiking shoes? Or do you even need hiking shoes? This guide will sort it all out for you, but the short answer is that you probably dont need hiking boots. Hiking shoes or trail runners will be a better bet for most hikers. Ill walk you through all the options and when it makes sense to use each one. If you want to see which specific models I recommend, check out my current gear page .

This guides recommendations are based on my experience trying lots of different hiking footwear over thousands of miles as a professional hiking guide. My experience is echoed by most long-distance;PCT and AT hikers who hike day after day. No gear company pays me to push a specific shoe or solution.


Im going to explain what really matters in hiking footwear, but if you just want to read about each option, scroll down a bit until you reach the section on Hiking Shoes.

How Do Neutral And Stability Running Shoes Function

First things first: Whereas neutral shoes have no stabilizing features, but instead allow the foot to flex and move without any guidance, stability shoes and motion-control shoes are designed to help offset excessive pronation, or the inward rolling of a runners feet after impact with the ground.

Every runner naturally pronates to some degree and thats OK, but excessive pronation can lead to common overuse injuries like Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome, and patellofemoral pain .

While the minimalist revolution of the early 2000s led to many shoes with little or no cushioning or protection, it also cued shoe brands and their designers to build both neutral shoes and mild stability shoes with slightly fewer guidance features that are lighter, more nimble, and more flexibleultimately shoes that allow feet to move more freely and naturally through the gait cycle.

The advent of mild stability shoes helped melt away the old-school belief about the need for rigid control in running shoes, and as a result, the motion control category maximum support/stability shoes that greatly limit how a foot moves while running has become almost non-existent and stability shoes have become less domineering to a runners stride. And generally speaking, those changes have been a good thing.

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Can I Take Them For A Test Run

Buying running trainers is a big investment, so its important you always test them properly before buying them. Padding around on a carpeted shop floor doesnt quite replicate how the shoe will feel and respond when youre out running in them. Always ask to take them for a test run on our in-store treadmills.;

The Drop Might Also Matter Especially If You Have Pain In Your Calves Or Ankles

What Type Of Shoe Do You Need As A Runner?

The total amount of cushioning is one thing, but shoes also differ in their drop, or the difference between the amount of foam under your heel and that under your toe .

The higher you go in terms of drop, the more youre basically wearing a running-shoe version of a high heel, Bowersock says. The average shoe has a 10- to 12-millimeter or higher drop, while more minimalist models have less or are even often zero-drop, or completely flat.

Although zero-drop shoes more accurately match the position of bare feet on the ground, transitioning to them too quickly can raise your risk of injury, Barnes says, likely because it stresses different muscles in your feet and legs than regular running shoes do. And if youre prone to Achilles problems, a higher drop can take some of the pressure off your heel and calf, reducing your symptoms.

If you dont have pain or a history of Achilles injuries, drop may be merely a matter of preference. If you tend to strike the ground with your heel firsta gait pattern common in newer runnershaving a higher drop, and hence more foam under your heel, may feel better, Bowersock says. However, since theres some evidence linking heel striking to injury, you might want to revisit that later on if you do develop pain in your legs or feet.

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How To Choose The Best Shoes For Standing All Day

Choosing the best shoes for standing all day is not as simple as you might think. Many people look for the best running shoes and call it a day. And, while there is certainly some crossover between the ideal footwear for running and the ideal shoes for standing, they are not necessarily interchangeable.

Running is a strenuous, dynamic activity that involves a lot of impact on your joints. Through a combination of cushioning and optimal shaping, running shoes work to minimise that impact to reduce the wear and tear to your body. Conversely, smart business shoes are built with a keen eye towards form over function. That is to say, they might look great, but they wont necessarily be comfortable for long periods of standing.

You will need to consider the grip. Very few running shoes are meant for smooth surfaces, which just so happens to be the most common surface you will find yourself standing on. You also want to make sure your potential shoe has plenty of room, something that your average pointy-toed business shoe will probably lack.

So without further ado, here are the

Trail Runners The Best Bet For 3 Seasons

If you want the best option and are okay getting new shoes every 500 miles or so , go with trail running shoes. They are lighter and more springy than hiking shoes. Trail runners have more breathable uppers than hiking shoes, but offer less protection. If youre bushwacking off-trail, trail runners are probably not the best bet. But the lightness and comfort make hiking feel like you are walking down the street in sneakers.

Some trail runners have problems with durability and will last much less than 500 miles. But you can and should get around 500 miles out of them. Read the reviews before you buy and check out my trail runner pick .

The lines between a hiking shoe and trail runner get more blurry as shoes evolve.

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Dont Forget About Good Socks

Get a wool sock that is tough and dries quickly. When conditions are sloppy wet, Ive also used waterproof socks, and they work great. Socks come in different weights that equate to warmth. When its hot, go thinner. Also, note that heavier socks can fit tighter in a shoe and cause blisters from too much friction. If you buy hiking footwear for the winter , go a half-size up to allow for thicker socks.

What Socks Are You Running In

Running Shoes vs Training Shoes: What Shoe Do I Need ...

It may sound silly but the thickness of your sock can make a big difference;difference to the fit and feel of your shoe, especially as your feet expand in the heat. Always wear the socks you intend to run in when you go for a shoe fitting.

Consider a good,;technical running sock;specifically designed;with added arch support and extra padding across the ball of the foot, toes, and the heel for better impact protection.

Although comfortable we wouldnt recommend wearing cotton socks when running. Cotton retains moisture, add to that the heat and friction from running and youre likely to end up with blisters, calluses, and hot spots.;

Always ensure your socks are higher than the back of your running shoes otherwise they’ll slip down during your run causing friction hot spots on the back of your heel.

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What Surface Are You Running On

If most of your training is on pavements, then;road shoes;are for you. With more cushioning than;trail;or;lightweight race shoes;these will provide shock absorption to minimise your risk of injury.

If you’re running through soft muddy trails you’re better off in a pair of;trail shoes;with a deep tread that offer better grip and ankle support, vital for running on uneven terrain. On pavement however, these shoes will be uncomfortable as the studs will press into the soles of your feet, and will wear away quickly.

If you’re doing a little of both you should consider a hybrid running shoe. These shoes work well on both roads and mixed trail conditions with a balanced mix of grip and cushioning.

Consider Where You Are Going To Run

Running on concrete and running on natural trails are very different beasts that require very different shoes.

Road shoes need to fight the hardest and harshest surface therefore their focus will be in maximizing the shock absorption, in various degrees, depending on the points above.

Trail running shoes need to focus on other characteristics such as traction, protection and breathability.

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Tulip Fabric Spray Paint: Best Fabric Shoes Paint

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Running Shoe Fit Tips

How to Determine Your Arch Type for Running Shoe Selection
Measure your feet each year, as they can change size as you age The foot arch may lower over time, resulting in a longer foot, or a stronger foot may cause the arch to rise, resulting in a shorter size. Weight changes and activity level can also influence foot size.
Women’s feet may become larger during and after pregnancy Weight gain during pregnancy may cause permanent lowering of the foot arch resulting in a longer foot.
Your standard running shoe size is typically a half size larger than your casual shoe In general, running in shoes that are a tad too large is preferable to running in shoes that are too small.
Fit your larger foot Your left foot and your right foot may differ by as much as a full size. A shoe that is too small is more likely to cause issues than one that is too big.
Faster running means you want a snugger fit A tighter fit means you’ll stay better connected to the shoes when picking up the pace, so it might be worth giving up some wiggle room for a more secure fit. Many racing and performance shoes have a tighter overall fit than everyday training shoes.
Sock thickness can affect shoe fit, so try on shoes with the socks you plan to wear You can change the thickness of your sock to fine-tune your fit. For example, use a thinner sock to create more space or a thicker sock to make the fit snugger.
Different lacing techniques can also affect fit For more information, watch the video below.

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Ultimate Runner’s Guide To Pronation

Whether you are a beginning runner or a pro, you have probably at least heard of pronation. The degree to which someone pronates can have a tremendous effect on their ability to run comfortably, as well as the overall health of their bodies. With this guide, we’ll try to provide a deeper understanding of the different levels of pronation and its effects on the body.Updated August 2, 2021

Running Shoes Guide: Different Types Of Running Shoes Explained

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The right types of running shoes are non-negotiable in your training and your race day, whether youve just started running, or have been doing it all your life.

But navigating the various decriptors and types of running shoes on the store shelves can be confusing:

Motion control.

Cushioned Ride.


When wondering What Type Of Running Shoe Do I Need?, its easy to get a little lost.

So weve created this guide!

The truth is that there is no one shoe to rule them all. The one you choose will need to fit your style of movement as well as how you plan to use them.;;

Because of this, our list can be broken down into two sections: features they provide and activity type.

The shoes from these two lists will most certainly overlap, so keep both in mind to mix and match and find the style that best suits you.

Whether youre just starting out or looking to fine-tune your sprint, we have our top picks to suit every kind of runner.

Lets get into it!

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Types Of Running Shoes By Activity

Now youve figured out your basic needs for your next shoe. Next, we have to think about the primary use of your new kicks.;

Your running speed and activity play a big part in whether you need something lightweight and bendy or something strong and supportive.;

Considering some shoes are made for a specific purpose rather than being a general training shoe, you have some factors to consider:

Do you prefer to go long distances at a time, or are you more of a sprinter?;

Do you need something that can handle abrupt turns, or one that provides more cushion in general no matter what youre doing?

Lets walk through the various types of running shoes by activity!

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