How to Find the Best Running Shoes

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Running Gear
Tags: , , ,

Give yourself a running boost with the right running shoes for your foot type.

Running is one of the few sports that requires no equipment, beyond a pair of running shoes and some exercise clothes. The beauty of running, besides the many health benefits, is that runners can practice for free outside almost anywhere, any time. Lacing up with the right running shoes will help you enjoy your runs more and prevent injuries.

Once you know what your foot type is and identify your training habits and needs, you can find the best shoes for you. After lacing up with your new kicks, you’ll be hitting the ground running strong for many miles to come.

Foot Type Test

In order to find the best running shoes for you, you should first determine your foot type – whether you have high, neutral  or low arches. Your foot type will influence what features to look for in running shoes.

To figure out your level of foot arch, wet your feet and step on a paper towel or cement slab. Observe your footprints.

  • If your footprints show the complete outline and inner section of your feet, you have low arches, or flat feet.
  • If your footprints have a section missing in the inner, center part of the prints, you have neutral arches.
  • If your footprints show just a line running from your heel to your toes, you have high arches.


The degree of arch in your feet influences your running gait. Pronation is the inward motion that naturally occurs when your foot strikes the ground and rolls from your heels to your toes. If you have low arches or flat feet, you most likely will overpronate when running, which means your feet will roll inwards more than average. If you have high arches, you probably underpronate, meaning your feet do not roll enough when you run.

Runners with pronation problems should look for running shoes that are high in stability, which helps support your feet while running. In addition, if you have high or low arches, look for shoes with motion control features, as they help correct running gait problems. If you have neutral arches, your feet most likely have an ideal level of pronation, and you will not need motion control features. Runners with neutral arches should choose stability shoes, which offer support but do not hinder your natural foot motion.

Other Considerations

Your running training program should also influence the shoes you choose. Consider how far you run each week and what type of terrain you run on, as well as your body type and any history of injuries you may have.

If you are a long distance runner – such as a marathon or half marathon runner – choose shoes that have plenty of cushioning and support, as well as stability features. Likewise, if you normally run on hard surfaces such as cement or asphalt, you should choose shoes with extra cushioning. If you run a few miles a day on a treadmill, on the other hand, you will probably do well with a more lightweight shoe, as the treadmill offers some cushioning and your shorter run durations will not pound your legs as much. For trail runners, choose a heavier shoe designed for trail running, to offer extra support and traction for uneven terrain. If you are a heavier runner or injury prone, find running shoes with extra cushioning to help protect your joints from the pounding of running.

Once you identify your individual body’s needs, you’ll be able to arm yourself with a runner’s best friend and constant companion- a great pair of running shoes.

  1. Sarah says:

    Geez, I’m aware that I’m hardcore creepin right now, but THIS IS AWESOME and thank you. It’s so easy for beginner runners to overlook running shoes and think that a pain they’re having is being caused by them being a “bad” runner or whatever, rather than by running on inappropriate shoes.

    It looks like you’re just getting this blog started up, but eventually I’m curious to hear your thoughts on minimalist running shoes, if you have any!

  2. nb360 says:

    Marine I always get blisters in my feet because of running or walking . I normally walk on roads. There are not running tracks near my place so I hve no option. What can be the cause for that? and any tip for me ?

    I have figured out that if i put a double pair of socks when running I get less blisters.


    • Marnie says:

      Hello~ Have you tried different shoes? Sometimes when the shoes get worn out, they’re more likely to give you blisters or soreness. Also, make sure the shoes fit properly because blisters often come from when the shoes are too tight and put pressure on your feet. Or if the shoes are not tight enough, your feet will move around in the shoes and may repeatedly rub and hit in certain areas. You can test the fit by pressing down on your big toe with the shoe. Your toe should go almost to the end of the shoe, with a little less than a pinky space of room from your toe to the end of the shoe. Ask for help at the store if you can’t tell if the shoes are the right size. Also, if your feet get wet a lot from sweat, this could give you blisters. Try some moisture-wicking sports socks to keep your feet dry. Hope this helps, keep me posted!

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