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5 Tips on finding the best shoes for running

Runners for your body type & style

A question our physios are often asked is “what are the best shoes for running?” While this question is quite broad, the correct answer is there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to selecting running shoes. There are many factors you need to consider when selecting the right shoe. Factors such as your preferred terrain and running surface, average running distance, along with your individual running style and body type, will influence which running shoe is most suitable for you.

Running on Treadmill, Pavement or Track?

Running terrain and surface guides the amount of lateral support and cushioning the shoe will need to offer. If you are running on off-road trails for example, you’ll need a fairly hard-wearing shoe that offers lateral support on uneven ground. If you are running on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt, then you’ll need a shoe that offers improved shock absorption to account for the high impact upon landing. Can you see why the best shoes for running requires you to think about what you’re using your shoes for?

Every Body is Different

Body type will often influence your running style and can result in conditions like pronation of the foot and heel striking. That’s why choosing the best shoes for running isn’t as simple as finding a pair you just like the look of. If you are a seasoned runner, you’ll have an understanding of where you distribute the weight through your foot. Runners that tend to land more towards their heel (heel striking) risk aggravating current knee or ankle issues as the force of landing is transferred from your foot all the way up your leg. Heel striking can be corrected by opting for shoes that elevate the heel with a decline, shifting the load onto the ball of the foot. Runners with over or under pronation (leaning more towards one side of their foot or the other) will require running shoes with the appropriate amount of ‘arch support’ designed for under or over pronators.

Long Distance Running

If you tend to run longer distances, a more robust shoe is preferred as you don’t want to be wearing out shoes too quickly or jarring your legs too much. However, if you run short distances or if speed is a factor in your training, sacrificing some support for a lighter shoe means you won’t have to lug a heavy and bulky shoe around.

Finally, having said all of this, it is very important that your running shoe is snug, supportive and comfortable. That’s why the best shoes for running differ, depending on what your requirements are. If your foot slides around in the shoe when you’re walking, it’s only going to be worse when you get running. If you are an under or over pronator, you should test the shoe’s arch support when trying it on in store. Press on the arch of the shoe, chances are if it squashes down immediately, it won’t be firm enough to support your body weight.

Where to buy the best shoes for running

While we are not associated with any retail outlet or brand of shoe, we can recommend The Athlete’s Foot. They provide great service and advice on the best running shoes for you.

Physio Running Assessment

If you need advice managing your running or sports injuries or more tips on picking the best shoes for running, contact Fairfield Physiotherapy on 94897744 for a consult with one of our physios. Feel free to bring your most recent running shoe for us to examine and we can help guide you to the most suitable shoe for your body and your activity. We also offer a free postural assessment to help you understand what areas you can improve to help you run better! (New patients only).