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What Are The Best Women's Running Shoes For Newbies?

Updated on November 4, 2015

Women Having Fun Running


What Are The Best Women's Running Shoes? And How Do You Know Which Ones To Get?

The best women's running shoes are not those with the best colour or the most expensive brand, but the ones that fit your specific needs for running, terrain and body. To get the right running shoes you need to know what that is - and then consider colour and style.

Let's face it we weren't designed to run on concrete.  Modern running shoe design helps us to run in the modern world as safely as possible and reduces injury and damage to the body.

Lens Photo byjustin_a_glass

Beginners Running, Learning About Footwear

I recently decided to take up running. This proved to be a bit more complicated than I expected. Apparently getting running shoes isn't as simple as going onto the store and deciding on waterproof , size and colour! I know the runners amongst you may find it funny, but hey if you don't do the sport then you have no reason to know this stuff.

So for those of you like me who are on the road to better fitness I decided to share my research with you guys to make it a bit easier.

My main reason for researching was I didn't want to just pay out high sums of money for expensive trainers that I didn't need just because they had a "name". I did want ones with cushioning because I suffer from a long term back problem and had injured my ankle a couple of years back. This lens is what that research uncovered.

Muddy Running is Great Fun


5 Types of Trainer or Shoe

Gone are the days where you buy trainers - oh no, not that simple! These are Some of the types of trainers and shoes you will find in sports stores. Some will be obvious but if you don't know what to look for then you could easily get the wrong ones.

A quick overview of the types below will arm you with enough information so that you have an idea of what you are looking for when getting your trainers or running shoes.

Types of Footwear Explained

  1. For Leisure

    Great for strolling around, doin' nothing special. These are more a style statement and many don't seem to have much tread. Some are not to be used for running (except for a bus!) Others are more flexible in their use.

  2. For Running

    These are the ones I normally buy but always think of them as trainers. These are the ones to get if you decide to take up running. Fortunately they are all named "something running shoes" so they are easy to find. However you will need to know some of the other things in this lens before your buy. Check out the types of use and foot roll as these will help you decide which type of running shoes are best for you.

  3. Toning Trainers - for Walking, Fitness & Running

    If you run and want more tone or if you decide running is not for you after all or you can't run due to injury then these are great. These trainers have innovative sole technology and they are designed to help you tone your bum and legs as they make them work harder. How cool is that? Trainers that give you a tight bum! And to think all these years I have been wearing walking boots - hmm.

    You can tell these by their name they will be called women's fitness trainers or women's toning trainers in the trainer title. they will also indicate if they are only for walking or for running or fitness. If in doubt please check. Do on-line research before you buy.

  4. Fitness Matters

    These are designed for use in the gym and aerobic workouts. These are not meant to be used for people who run longer distances as they are designed for use for sports that are multi directional. They are more sleek and have less grip than an outdoor trainer.

  5. Outdoor footwear

    Aka walking boots. Definitely not for running.

Enjoying the Run at Any Age


7 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Buy

  1. Terrain type

    The terrain you intend t run in is important as you need to consider the impact it will have on your body, your running and your footwear.

    If you are running on rough terrain you will need to forfeit cushioning and have more grip. Some designs have studs on the base. These give extra grip and prevent clogging. Also some designs have gel in these can easily be punctured by stones or branches if running off road.

    Alternatively if you are running on concrete or other hard surface you will need more cushioning good grip but may not need the studs on the bottom of the shoe.

  2. Foot Type

    The type of foot you have will determine your shoe. If you have flat feet or raised arches you will need different shoes.

    Which way your foot rolls when your run will also determine the shoe design. (check out the videos about foot roll).

  3. Past Injuries

    Some types of running shoe can help cushion your feet and the impact on your body. Running is a high impact activity so if you are in any doubt you should seek medical advice before you start.

  4. Named brands

    Everyone who has read my walking shoe and boot lenses will know how I feel about buying named brands for show. It seems when it comes to running the named brands are not just a name but have put extensive research into running shoe design. They do have trainers and shoes in different price ranges and they are designed for the purpose you intend.

    The designs of the shoes are well thought out and aim to optimise your running. This doesn't mean you do not have to worry about that if you are a beginner - you do. It is vitally important because although you may not be winning any medals (yet) you do need to consider the other factors discussed in this lens.

  5. Price Ranges and Budget

    This is a difficult one because it varies so much. Beginner's women's running shoes start out quite low. If you are on a budget you can get a reasonable shoe for as little as £37/$58US. The challenge is if they are suitable for your needs. The lower the price the less features you will have in your shoe.

    These features are not just for show but essential for running regardless of how good you are at it. The thing to do is check out this lens to give you ideas of what you do and don't need or feel that you can do without.

  6. Beginners Running Shoes

    Beginners running shoes start at the above mentioned prices of approximately £37/$58US. You can get them in all the well known brands to be certain they are well designed. They are limited in features but a great way to start running for very little cost and protect you at the same time. If you can run to the extra cost go to the next level which is about £15/£23US more.

  7. Waterproof or Not

    This is mainly down to two things material and an inner flap on the tongue to prevent water seeping into the foot area. You could consider spraying your footwear however check first as many trainers these days are designed to breath so you want to make sure that spraying them is OK.

Reasons to get the Right Running Shoes

  1. Body Damage

    Running is a high impact sport and this can cause damage to your body and muscles. Getting the right running shoes can help prevent this. Changing them regularly can also help to prevent damage and injury.

  2. Comfort

    Comfort is vital for running as if you are in pain you will run awkwardly and may injury yourself.

  3. Slipping

    This is a big one for me. Having slipped and injured myself quite badly I am now careful about tread on whatever type of footwear I buy. It is not that simple however. Shoe type depends on the terrain type. What is suitable for one may not be for another. (See Terrain type for shoe explanation)

  4. Foot Roll (Pronation)

    The more you pronate or roll the foot inward the more stability will be required. Often it is people with low arches or flat feet that have pronation.

    People with high arches tend to underpronate that is they turn their foot outwards when they run.

  5. Cushioning and Shock Absorbency

    Proper running shoes are created so that they absorb the shock when you run and reduce stress on hour muscles. This can be up to two and a half times the weight of your body.

Running Shoes for Over Pronators

These should be more rigid and less flexible giving the runner more support as this will reduce the rotation and reduce the stress on the body.

Foot Roll and Pronation

Do What? What is foot roll? And why does it matter?

Apparently we all walk differently. Some people roll outward, some people roll inward and some just don't roll.

I know that when I walk I roll out because all my shoes and boots wear down on the outside. However I have never had to worry about getting a design to compensate for this, nor would it have occurred to me to do so.

You need to know about foot roll so that you get the right design for your feet. It's not just about style it is a practical application of design to enable you to run without damaging your body.

If you roll inward the shoe is designed to prevent this and to stabilise you. These have special strips on the inside of the foot but the outside of the shoe to show this. Check though because not all may do this.

Below is a video explaining foot roll and how to decide which way you go.

How to Chose Running Shoes

Explains about foot arches, flat feet and pronation and how this relates to choosing running shoes.

Running shoes for Supinators or Under-pronators - Turn Foot Outwards

Running shoes must have flexibility and good quality cushioning in the sole and upper part of the shoe to ease impact on the outer foot and to correct outward motion.

What Make a Great Running Shoe

10 Best Running Shoes for Women to buy 2015


If you want to share your experience, preferences or comments please feel free to share them here.

The Best Women's Running Shoes Guestbook Comments

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    • Gr8fulGirl profile image

      Gr8fulGirl 5 years ago

      Awesome lens! Thanks so much for sharing :o)

    • MayaIxchel profile image

      MayaIxchel 5 years ago

      Great lens and very good info. I am just starting out, so this is very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing. Greetings from 'the land of eternal spring'!

    • profile image

      ratetea 5 years ago

      I'm a guy, but I found this page and I think, besides the different shoes, the issues are the same. I'm not convinced that the shoes sold as "running shoes" are healthy for the body when running. For example, why do we need padding and arch support? I read a compelling study a while back that looked at risk of injury when running, and it found that the risk of injury increased with the price of the shoe...people buying the cheapest shoes were the ones who had the lowest risk of injury. I think this is because when we buy cheap shoes we just go for what is comfortable and that's probably what is the best way to buy shoes for running. I run in one of two pairs of shoes neither of which are made for running, they are just very cheap, minimal sneakers: no arch support, and little structure. You don't need to buy the fancy (and expensive) "barefoot running" shoes either. Just find something cheap and comfortable!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Appreciate the tips about choosing running shoes. I'm a supinator, so I'm glad to know about specific types of shoes to help me run more comfortably.

    • globaltravelgui1 profile image

      globaltravelgui1 5 years ago

      nice way to compose lens , really great !

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 5 years ago

      excellent lens on running shoes. very detailed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You certainly have covered the best women's running shoes subject with excellence in every possible way, very nicely done and congratulations on your purple star and home page honors!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Thanks for the great information. I just ran my first two 5k's and wanting to train for a 10k. Just purchased some running shoes for my running style and it has made all the difference in the world.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 5 years ago

      Some very good information here; I need a new pair of walking shoes, so the trainers insight was very helpful. :o)

    • profile image

      khatha0808 5 years ago

      Wow. This is very informative lens. Thanks

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Good lens - thanks for this!x

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Very well put together lens! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      I totally agree, when running, shoes make all the difference! I had an old pair i used for a long time, and when I got new ones (I ended up with Nikes) i didn't find running to be such a chore. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 5 years ago

      Great lens - I underpronate and it's always hard to find shoes that have enough cushioning and support. Thanks for the ideas.

    • Godweeno profile image

      Godweeno 5 years ago

      Good lens, I like that you've put up some links to info on supination and pronation for people to take a look at. female athletes naturally have different pressure points and points of contact than males so making the right choice of footwear is very important!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really a very helpful lens. I just got one pair last month. I wish I have read this before.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well pointed out the qualities of running shoes - You just can't run with any shoes there, the quality has to be good , they have to be really strong and comfortable.