Running Shoe Guide

Type of Running Shoes

Although many different types of running shoe sit on the market, trainers and running shoes can be defined by a few basic classifications. If you’re asking yourself ‘what type of running shoe is right for me?’ then foot arch type, leg axis and the type of running or athletic activities you involve yourself in will all influence your buying decision.

If you wish to view our running shoes up close and personal, simply click the links provided below once you have established which type of running shoe is the right choice for you. We have a wide choice of men’s running shoes and women’s running shoes for you to choose from, but it is important you make an educated decision.

We hope you find this basic running shoe guide useful and please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any additional information.

Neutral/Cushioned Running Shoes

If you have a high arch then you will require the increased cushioning provided by neutral running shoes, which will provide effective shock absorption to counteract the high arch. Cushioned running shoes have less added stability than motion control running shoes or stability running shoes.

Structured/Stability Running Shoes

If you are prone to mild-to-moderate over pronation, then the additional cushioning and support to the arch of the foot provided by structured trainers and running shoes will permit comfort, stability and durability. If you pronate more than normal whilst running then you will need specialist running shoes to help prevent this. If you have a normal foot arch, are prone to slightly over-pronating but don't have any major problems with motion control, stability running shoes are the ones for you.

Max Support/Motion Control Running Shoes

Maximum support running shoes prevent excessive over pronation (inward roll) and encourage the foot to adopt a neutral position through maximum support throughout the entirety of the shoe.

Barefoot/Lightweight Running Shoes

Barefoot running shoes give the athlete the barefoot feeling whilst still providing ample protection. Barefoot running shoes and trainers promote the ability to land with a flat foot (mid-foot strike) or on the ball of your foot (fore-foot strike), to permit a more natural running gait.

Trail/Off-Road Running Shoes

Off-road running shoes or trail running shoes provide enhanced outsole traction and feature uppers with toe bumpers and reinforced stitching for increased durability. Permitting stability and responsiveness, the foot typically sits slightly lower to the ground compared to its running shoes peers. It is also the norm for trail running shoes to have less cushioning than a road running shoe, due to the soft ground they are designed for.

Trail running shoes are built to protect runners when running on uneven, rocky and wet terrains by providing enhanced traction, stability and durability. Some are tailored to specific conditions and locations, such as running on mud or mountain running, while others boost performance on specific terrains.

Performance/Racing Running Shoes

Performance running shoes are recommended either for racing or, if you are biomechanically efficient, for training. Racing running shoes have varying degrees of support and cushioning, but typically at 250-300g, they’re generally lighter and narrower than other running shoes.

Racing running shoes often have minimal cushioning and stability features, tailored for high impact training sessions and short-distant races (5km-10km). Some light, quick and biomechanically efficient runners can usually wear racing running shoes for lengthier races.

Other types of running shoes you may stumble upon…

Minimalist Running Shoes

Designed for biomechanically-efficient runners who need optimum responsiveness from a lean profile, whilst still retaining sufficient cushioning, minimalist running shoes a happy medium between neutral cushioned running shoes and what some term performance running shoes. Minimalist running shoes are arguably part of the performance/racing shoe family.

Track & Field Running Shoes

Asics Track and Field running shoes uniquely cater to each specific athletics event with this fantastic collection divided between sprint shoes and spikes, throw event shoes, jumping shoes and distance shoes. Thus developing junior athletes, keen adult runners and elite athletes can buy a uniquely personal track and field shoe tailored for the demands of their athletic event and level of performance.

Lightweight Running Shoes

Light running shoes are designed for faster-paced practice sessions and are often worn for competitive racing in longer athletic events, such as a half or full marathon. Lightweight running shoes have good levels of responsiveness compared to its running shoe contemporaries, yet still provide some cushioning and stability features. Lighter runners can often get away with wearing lightweight running shoes in everyday training or everyday life. These can arguably be classified under the ’Barefoot’ umbrella.

Motion Control Running Shoes

Motion control running shoes are the most supportive and rigid running shoes on the market with their heavy-duty stability and control features ideal for runners with low arches. Developed for those who land with severe over-pronation (excessive inward rolling) whilst running, motion control running shoes also lend themselves to heavier runners requiring high levels of durability. Motion control shoes can be classified under the ‘Maximum support’ umbrella.

Other factors that determine which running shoe is right for you…

Weight

Your weight should be taken into account when mulling over which running shoes to buy, as heavier runners need extra cushioning and/or increased motion control features in order to counterbalance the additional weight. We recommend that men over 85kg and women over 73kg should be on the lookout for these particular features.

Where you run & what you run on

If you do the majority of your running off-road then specialised trail running shoes are the ones for you. More durable materials are usually utilised in off-road running shoes, which will also possess increased traction on the soles of the running shoe to give you superior grip on uneven surfaces.

Gait analysis

A Gait analysis will examine the degree of pronation when your feet hit the ground whilst walking or running on a treadmill. You can then determine the best running shoes to suit your personal gait.

75% of the nation over-pronate when they run. See our Wet Test/Gait Analysis Guide to determine whether you over-pronate.

See also: Running Gear Guide.

We hope you found this running shoes buyers' guide helpful, please contact us if you have any further questions.

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