A good pair of running shoes should provide flexibility, durability, motion control and shock absorption. However, a runners' foot size, shape and movement combined with their biomechanics and specialty means that different people may have different requirements from their running shoes. Running shoes tend to sit within five main groups; motion control, cushioned, stability, lightweight and trail. |
Motion control running shoes
These shoes are for feet that roll inward too much, or overpronate. They are built to reduce or control the excess rolling action of the foot and act as shock absorbers too. They're the most rigid of shoes and are designed to slow overpronation. They also tend to be fairly heavy but durable and features include a polyurethane mid-sole and carbon rubber out-sole for durability. Most offer stability and a maximum medial support (also good for flat footed people).
Cushioned running shoes
Cushioning is very important for runners whose feet do not roll inward or outwards, as it is this rolling movement that helps absorb the shock that would otherwise be sent through the joints to the spine. The cushioning is designed to reduce the shock when the foot hits the ground. If you have rigid and immobile feet and tend to under-pronate then cushioned shoes have little medial support and soft mid-soles. They enable foot motion and are also ideal for high arch runners.
Stability running shoes
These types of shoes provide a cushioning, medial support and durability and offer a compromise between motion control and cushioned shoes. They tend to prevent excess motion and are ideal for runners who have normal arches and who prefer some medial support and good durability.
Lightweight running shoes
These shoes are lighter and more responsive than standard trainers and may have varying degrees of cushioning and/or stability, but they are too lightweight to be classed as motion control shoes. These are ideal for fast-paced running training or racing.
Trail running shoes
These types of shoes tend to have a special set of features to help you run on all kinds of rugged terrain, including Gore-Tex liners, midfoot wraps and lugged outer soles.
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