What Shoes To Wear For Running

Is there a difference in shoes??

Many people start out their running careers grabbing an old pair of trainers from the back of the cuboard and pound the pavements, and within a few weeks wonder why they have pains in their ankles, knees and even back. This all may well be a consequence of simply wearing the wrong shoes!

The type of shoes you choose to run/jog in do in fact make a huge difference in preventing injury and being able to run without any discomfort. People who I see out running in old tennis shoes, football trainers or even casual leather shoes, make me want to run after them and advise them otherwise!...but i'm sure if I did they would think I was crazy and tell me where to go!

I know what you now maybe thinking...."so, this guy is now going to say I have to go out and spend 100 of my precious notes on a pair of shoes!". I have been a runner now for nearly 30 years and I can honestly say that I have never spent over £60 for a pair of running shoes, and that is when I am even training for a marathon. There is no need to fork out that much money for a descent pair. Your local running shop or sports outlet will have a running section, and a shop assistant with good knowledge should be able to advise what is the best for you.

The difference between running shoes and the standard gym/tennis shoes is that running shoes will offer much more support and cushioning along with the fabric uppers that will allow your feet to breath as oppose to the leather/plastic uppers on gym trainers. This of course will make the shoe lighter in weight and thus make it more comfortable to wear whilst running.

Ideal for running! Look for stability, cushioning and fabric uppers. See the Asics range at bottom of page on Amazon.
Ideal for running! Look for stability, cushioning and fabric uppers. See the Asics range at bottom of page on Amazon.

Which shoe?

NOT the best for running, but ideal for the gym.
NOT the best for running, but ideal for the gym.

How to choose the right shoe for you

Before you purchase your running shoe, it is important to find out what type of feet you have, as some running shoes cater for runners with very different foot types.

There are 3 different types of feet: High arched feet, flat feet and normal or neutral feet.

To determine what type you have, simply examine your bare footprint, either by walking on sand or on paper with wet feet (see picture at bottom of page).

1. High-arched Feet

You should be able to easily determine if you have high arches. You'll notice a high and definite arch on your foot. If you do the footprint test, your print will curve inward, making the middle part of your foot look very skinny. When you push your hand against the bottom of your foot, your arch will stay rigid.

If you have high arches, you probably supinate or underpronate, which means your feet roll outwards as you run. It's very important that runners with high arches periodically re-measure their feet because running will cause their arches to gradually fall, making their feet longer.

So, what shoes??

You need to look for flexible shoes with a soft mid-sole that absorbs shock. When buying running shoes, look for options with the words "flexible" or "cushioned" included in their descriptions.

2. Flat feet

You will know if you have flat feet as you will not see any arch. The complete foot will look completely flat with no curve in the middle of the foot.

If you're flat-footed, you're most likely an overpronator, which means that your feet roll inward when you run.

So, what shoes??

You will need a running shoe that maintains your stability. Running shoes with the words "motion control" and "stability" on the box is something to look out for. In addition to motion-control shoes, some flat-footed runners also need to wear orthotics which are custom made shoe inserts that correct foot abnormalities.

3. Normal or neutral feet

If you've examined your foot or your footprint and it doesn't look flat-footed or high-arched, you most likely have a normal or neutral foot. Your footprint will have a noticeable curve inward, but not by more than 3/4 of an inch.

As long as you pick a running shoe that doesn't counteract your foot type, you shouldn't encounter any problems. This is the most common type of foot, and it's also the least susceptible to injury provided it's outfitted with proper footwear.

So, what shoes??

If you have normal feet, you can choose from a wide variety of running shoes, including ones made for neutral runners or those with slightly flat-footed or high-arched feet. You don't have to pick running shoes that have a lot of stability or motion control.

Try several pairs!!

I would always advise to try more than one pair of shoes on whilst choosing to compare which feels the most comfortable for you, even if the first pair you try on feels great. The most expensive one is not always to best! It's all done on personal preference and how many miles you may be running a week.

You can pick up cheaper models of shoes that have just been replaced with the latest version!

And remember.......NEVER buy/wear second hand shoes even if they are supposed to be the best on the market! Everyone runs differently and swapping shoes could cause injury.

Foot Wet Test

Pictured left is a FLAT FOOT, Middle foot is NORMAL, and foot on right is a HIGH ARCHED.
Pictured left is a FLAT FOOT, Middle foot is NORMAL, and foot on right is a HIGH ARCHED.

Typical Shoes At Affordable Prices

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Comments 6 comments

SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

This hub was an eye opener. thank you for helping me understand how to choose the right shoes.


Lucky621 profile image

Lucky621 6 years ago from The Sunshine State

Great information - rated this hub up!!


tiptonite profile image

tiptonite 6 years ago from Leicester, England, UK Author

Thanks for the nice comments! Glad you found it useful.

More hubs slike this to come.

Good luck with the running!


Don Simkovich profile image

Don Simkovich 6 years ago from Pasadena, CA

Terrific Hub! I wrote a Hub on Avia running shoes - a decent pair for a discount price. I wear Nike Gels myself. I'm a bit too heavy and they provide the support I need. Excellent times! My marathon best was in my mid-20s when I hit 2:52:00.


tiptonite profile image

tiptonite 6 years ago from Leicester, England, UK Author

Thanks Don! 2:52 is excellent.

Yes..I am quite a fan of Nike. Currently wearing the vomero for training and Luna Racer for racing.

Thanks for the kind comments!


justin 6 years ago

Very great article, I got much out of it, very genuine and well structured

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