Choose the right running shoe and you’ll enjoy greater comfort, faster race times and fewer injuries. Kerry McCarthy, gear editor for Runner’s World magazine has all the answers.
Best for: Mr Average
Ideal for runners with a neutral gait. High levels of midsole cushioning and minimum support in the middle of the shoe make them good for mid-to-forefoot. Typical characteristics would be carbon rubber on the outsole for durability and open mesh for breathability.
Best for: Efficiency
Another shoe suited to more bio-mechanically efficient runners who don’t need the support of a ‘stability shoe’. Ideal for those who prefer a stripped-down shoe with some cushioning. Typical characteristics would be lower hell-t0-toe differential (<8mm) and less cushioning in the midfood for a natural feel.
Best for: Speed demons
With the emphasis on light weight and a responsive feel, these performance shoes have varying degrees of support and cushioning, but are generally used for races rather than training. Typical characteristics include stripped-down midsole for a responsive ride and snugger fit across the toe box for a glove-like fit.
Best for: Fans of nature
For lightweight runners or those who are looking to strengthen their lower-leg and foot muscles by adopting a natural forefoot strike running style. Introduce them into your repertoire gradually. Typical characteristics would be little to no cushioning, just basic protection and wider front to allow toes to flare naturally.
Best for: Over-pronators
These shoes are built to correct the common problem of over-pronation and are ideal for those with low-to-normal arches. They offer a combination of support and midsole cushioning. Typical characteristics of these shoes are more structure in the heel to control movement and torsion control to prevent twisting.
Image from Morguefile
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