The second part of our blog to help you select the best kind of running shoe will explain the different types of running shoes, their features and how to properly try and fit a pair in the store.
The Types of Running Shoes
By this we don’t mean the brand, it is the style or type of shoe that we will be looking at here.
- Neutral – good for pronators but are probably best for runners who roll their feet outwards on landing. These types of shoes give good support and shock absorption.
- Stability – excellent for runners with mild over-pronation with reinforced posts for each midsole.
- Motion-control – suitable for those with over-pronation, with stiffer heels and more strengthening.
- Barefoot – this type of shoe gives the very bare minimum of underfoot protection, quite often with no cushion in the heel and only 3mm between your skin and the ground.
Features of Running Shoes
- Nylon – durable, light and very good for letting your feet
- Synthetic leather – a great material that is supple and abrasion resistant made from polyester and nylon. It is better than real leather as it is faster drying and more breathable.
- Waterproof – these uppers use a membrane bonded to the lining which blocks water from entering the shoe. These types of shoes will keep your feet dry but they are not good for letting air to the feet.
- TPU overlays – fitted over breathable panels on the shoe to make them tougher and less prone to abrasion.
Midsoles – this is the cushioning part of the shoe between the outsole and upper.
- EVA – most shoes have a single layer of EVA but others have multiple layers to form a flex pattern.
- Posts – are harder sections of the midsole containing firm EVA, they are used for reinforcing the arches.
- Plates – help to stiffen the front part of the shoe, often used by cross country or trail runners to protect the sole of the foot against aggressive terrain.
- Shanks – shanks are used to strengthen the arch, heel and midsole. They will make the whole shoe more rigid and great for rocky ground.
- TPU – is a type of flexible plastic used to stabilize the midsoles.
- Always try on shoes at the end of a day as your feet swell.
- The foot size should be taken as a guide, manufacturers sizes differ due to stitching etc.
- At the toe, give yourself about half an inch room, the width of the shoe should be snug but your foot should be able to move a little.
- If you are choosing a barefoot shoe, then it must fit like a glove.
- If you wear orthotics, then they should be used in the fitting also as they will impact the size.
All these tips should give you a better idea of what to choose when you are looking for new running shoes. The best advice is to go to a specialist store, tell the salesperson what type of runner you are and they will bring an appropriate selection for you to try. You cannot do this online and buying mail order is not a good idea unless you are buying exact copies of shoes that you have had before.