Running, as we all know, is good for the heart and lungs. Sadly, though, not everyone knows that this physical activity requires a special kind of gear—running shoes. If you are new to this type of physical exercise, then you might be asking yourself: What kind of running shoes do I need?
Today, you are in luck! Here, we’re going to talk about the different types of running shoes that cater to runners with different needs. We will also discuss the various features that you should be aware of, as well as offer tips that you can follow when looking for the right pair.
By the end of this article, we’re confident that you will be well-equipped with the knowledge of choosing a pair of running shoes that fit your preferences and needs.
What kind of running shoes do I need?
Let’s begin by listing the different types of running shoes that you can choose from. We will be categorizing them according to their intended use and who they would be perfect for.
- Lightweight Shoes
Are you into speed work, racing, and marathons? If you are, then lightweight running shoes are the right option for you. As the name suggests, this type of running shoes is lightweight, thanks to the fact that it has less cushioning built into it. As a result, this allows for a more natural running motion.
Then again, as with anything else, wearing this type of running shoes also has its downside. Because it has less cushioning, it also offers less shock absorption. This means that lightweight running shoes are only advisable if you’re running on paved roads.
What if you’re not running paved marathons, but instead, you enjoy off-road obstacles and beaten paths? That’s when you should get a pair of trail shoes instead.
This type of running shoes offers more traction and stability compared to other types on this list. With this, you get more traction and support as your feet trudge along slippery and rocky terrains.
- Stability Shoes
Different running shoes appeal to different feet types. For those with normal arched feet, what’s recommended are stability shoes. These offer a balance between midsole cushioning and support, preventing the inward rolling of the feet during impacts and decreasing the risk of injuries.
If stability running shoes appeal to those with normal arched feet, what about those with a low arch? For them, that’s what motion control shoes are designed to do. These prevent the excessive inward rolling of the feet with every gait. These also minimize the unstable motion within the shoes.
- Cushioned Shoes
Finally, there are also cushioned shoes, which are designed for high-arched feet. These are perfect for runners who need extra shock support at the base of the feet. They also help if you are running on pavement.
Cushioned shoes are also known as neutral padded shoes. Why? This is because they offer no extra support compared to stability and motion control shoes.
Different Running Shoe Features You Should Know
After knowing the different types of running shoes, you now have an idea as to what features to look for when buying one. These include cushioning, traction, and absorption. Are there other features that you should know about?
While you can easily purchase regular shoes online if you know your shoe size, the same isn’t true when it comes to buying running shoes. This is because you would need to test the flexibility of your shoes and how it reacts to the shape of your feet.
In addition to this, you would also need to break in your running shoes before wearing it on a marathon. Nevertheless, running shoes shouldn’t feel as stiff as a rock from the get-go—that is, unless that’s the support that you’re going for.
Another factor that you should look into is the breathability of your shoes. Your feet are going to sweat a lot, and under no circumstances, you’d want them to feel that it’s inside an oven. This is the reason why running shoes must have proper ventilation.
- Nighttime Reflectivity
Finally, although not really a requirement, another nifty feature to watch out for is reflectivity. This is especially helpful if you love to run at night. The reflective strips on your shoes are an additional safety precaution against traffic.
More Tips on Getting the Right Pair for You
We now have the different types of running shoes and the important features down. Are there any more tips that any running shoe shopper should know about?
- Know your feet type.
- Read runner reviews and testimonials on running shoes to gauge their performance.
- Try on multiple pairs of shoes before deciding on which one to get.
- Understand that the “perfect pair” doesn’t exist, and getting the right pair is a trial and error process.
If you’re a complete beginner, and you’re still unsure about what you should be looking for, then we recommend you to visit a specialty shop with a more knowledgeable staff that can help you out. We can only share with you as much information as we can, and in the end, we won’t be able to come with you and assist you personally.
After that quick rundown of information, let us now answer the real question by putting everything we’ve learned in this article. What kind of running shoes do I need?
Determine the type of terrain that you will be running on along with your feet type. If you want more speed, then a lightweight pair of running shoes is what you need. If you need ankle support, and you always run on a slippery trail, then you should go for trail running shoes.
Never underestimate the comfort of getting just the right type of running shoes, as well as the risk for injury of not getting one. Choosing a pair can make or break your performance.
Anyway, we hope that you now have the information that you need to find the right shoes that fit your needs. We have other articles about running shoes on our website that you can check out if you like. Enjoy running!