Running shoes are unique from different types of shoes as they’re built to withstand long runs and exercising on different terrains, all while being comfortable and lightweight. However, it’s important to know what running shoe is right for you, as some are designed for specific terrains, distances, and exercises. If you are looking for a lightweight shoe that’s stable and soft, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is the top choice.
Your foot strike simply means how your feet strike the ground when running. Knowing your foot strike will help you determine what specific type of shoe you need. There are three common foot strike categories: toes and forefront, midfoot and heel, or rear.
With a toes and forefoot foot strike, your feet or toes hit the ground first. This running style is common among sprinters since you move faster when running on your toes, but your muscles tire out more quickly. Those with knee pains may naturally use a forefoot strike, because it decreases pressure on the knees. If you have a toes and forefoot strike, you’ll need a shoe with more cushioning toward the front, allowing your muscles not to be as tired as they would from a forefoot strike.
Midfoot strikes are balanced foot strikes between the front, middle and back of the foot. There’s really not a specific type of running shoe for midfoot strikers, but shoes with balanced cushioning throughout the entire shoe would be best.
Heel or rear foot strikers are the opposite of forefoot strikers; their heel strikes the ground first as opposed to the front of their toes. Heel strikes can provide relief for painful ankles but they cause stress on the knees. Look for shoes with added cushioning in the heel area for rear foot strikers.
While you don’t need to have a specific type of running shoe when running, it’s good to know what specific types there are. Three common types are stability, motion control and neutral. Stability running shoes are best for those with average arches in feet; they provide balanced cushioning and motion control. Motion control running shoes are ideal for those who have flat or low arched feet. These shoes have flatter outsoles, which prevents overpronation, where the foot slightly rolls inward with each stride. Overpronation can cause soreness and other issues. Those with high arches in their feet will find that neutral running shoes are the best fit for them. They offer midsole cushioning, which can help prevent supination, where the runner’s outer heel strikes the ground first.
You’ll want a running shoe that uses lightweight material, especially when running long distances. Cross-training shoes and hiking shoes may be slightly heavier than normal models because they provide more cushioning for uneven surfaces, but good quality ones still have a lightweight feel. Common materials used in lightweight shoes include mesh materials that are breathable and can help keep your feet cool.
Many shoes offer weather resistance, allowing you to run on wet surfaces or when it’s raining. The shoes should be labeled as having some type of weather or complete water resistance. Hiking shoes are especially good when running on wet and uneven surfaces. But always take precaution when running in wet conditions as it can get slippery.
While your shoes should offer slight space for when your feet swell while running, they shouldn’t be loose. Some shoes can be loose in certain areas of the shoe, whether it be the heel area, the middle, toe box, or top of the foot. If the shoe doesn’t grip well on your feet and is loose, it can cause instability when running and cause your feet to blister. Some shoes have specialized foam and different materials that adapt to the activity of your feet.
Men’s running shoes in the $50-$100 price range have good padding and can be useful for long runs. However, if you want heavy use and a great combination of cushion and a lightweight feel, high-end shoes in the $100-$200 price range are ideal.
A. One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying men’s running shoes just based on aesthetics. The shoes must have the proper support and fit your feet. Another mistake is that some people buy running shoes that are too small, especially in width. Your feet slightly swell as you run, so you’ll need a shoe wide enough to accommodate the swelling.
A. Traditional running shoes are most suitable when running on pavement and indoor surfaces. Trail running shoes have thicker soles and sturdier materials that help support the foot on uneven surfaces. While traditional running shoes tend to be more lightweight than trail running shoes, they’ll likely have less support. However, both shoes are suitable for clean trails.
A. Men’s running shoes tend to be slightly wider than women’s shoes. Women’s running shoes provide less impact support than men’s shoes because there is an average weight difference between both sexes.
What you need to know: With cushioning that lightens foot impact and adapts to your feet, these shoes are comfortable and great for running.
What you’ll love: These shoes are PDAC certified for diabetics and have a APMA Seal of Acceptance, which can be helpful for runners with certain medical conditions. There are over 20 colors from which to choose.
What you should consider: These shoes are less suitable for speed workouts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Lightweight and flexible, these shoes are great for jogs as well as high-speed workouts.
What you’ll love: The shock-absorption technology helps reduce the impact your foot makes with the ground. These shoes are eco-friendly because they’re made from recycled materials.
What you should consider: The middle of the shoe feels a bit loose for some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: While there is a great amount of cushioning in these shoes, they are very lightweight with unique color patterns from which to choose.
What you’ll love: The breathable mesh material keeps these shoes cool and lightweight. The specialized outsoles allow you to workout in various environments.
What you should consider: The thick soles may be overwhelming for some people.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.