ONE: Wear what feels comfortable for you. If you can run without pain, then you need to pay no more attention. If something hurts, then try to think of why this might be. Shoes may be the answer, but there are a lot of other things that can cause discomfort. |
TWO: If you are fat, with a heavy heel strike you will probably be better off with some well cushioned heels - but learn a better foot-strike too. This takes a couple of weeks and will set you up for a lifetime of weight loss and pain free running.
THREE: Over-pronation and under-pronation are often talked about, along with arch supports. Most people's feet require only decent technique and will run long happy miles in nice cheap running shoes.
FOUR: The fastest shoes are the ones with the least padding - they are good enough for the professional world record holders and will probably suffice for the rest of us mortals too. The best long distance runners in the world run in shoes with minimal padding. Since modern cushioned running shoes hit the markets some thirty years ago the rate of foot and running injuries has barely changed. So injury prevention might not just be about the shoes.
That having said - expensive running shoes are lovely and comfortable and buying a new pair of these can be fantastic motivation. But be careful your technique doesn't take a backward step and you aren't spending unnecessary money.
If you really are stuck with choosing from the hundreds of models and brands out there: try a pair of 'neutral' running shoes from the middle of the price-range, last year's model (just as good and 30% cheaper) from a decent company. I like ASICS and Inov-8 as they aren't very fashionable, so you know you aren't inadvertently getting a shoe designed to look good rather than do a decent job. Though over the last couple of years Nike and Adidas are making some better shoes for us runners. Don't worry too much about the shoes. Buy what feels comfy. Try them on if you can in the shop. If you order from the internet, leave the tags on and move about in your house. It will give you a pretty good idea of what it feels like to run in them. Unless they feel really nice, change them.
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