When you’re a runner, you don’t need a lot of equipment to begin with. You can wear anything comfortable, though those made from wicking material are recommended for the sweat. However, the real investment for those who want to up their running game lies in the shoes.
According to this piece from LIVESTRONG, running shoes are crucial to preventing injury and making the wearer more comfortable as they run. Ultimately, this means that choosing the right pair can help you perform better athletically, as well.
If you’re just getting started in running or need a quick refresh on what makes a great running shoe, look no further. Here we present you with a comprehensive guide to help you along.
What to look for in a running shoe
You can’t use just any type of shoe for running. That’s because when you run, a force twice as heavy as your body weight impacts your feet and ankles each time they hit the pavement. Running shoes muffle that impact with these unique features:
3. Torsional stability, which prevents shoes from twisting as you run
(And don’t forget to look for shoes that make you look great!)
How to choose the best running shoes
However, not every running shoe will suit you straightaway. There are a few other factors to consider.
1. Where you run. Road-running shoes are perfect for the pavement while trail-running shoes have additional sole grips and plates to keep you comfortable and light-footed on uneven paths.
2. Comfort level. The amount of cushioning is entirely up to preference, so try shoes ranging from “barefoot” to maximum cushioning to find your match.
3. Fit. Running shoes aren’t designed to be broken in, so make sure they’re snug before you buy them.
4. Durability. The industry standard is a shoe that lasts up to 500 miles. If you’ve read our post Health Tips for Heart Mind and Body and are exercising moderately for about 2 hours every day, this translates to about 3 to 4 months.
Here are some of the best running shoes available today.
Best running shoes (December 2021)
Brooks Revel 5
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If you’re looking for budget-friendly shoes with a premium feel, these are it. A stretchy knit upper accommodates most feet comfortably without feeling too loose to wear. Medium cushioning makes it perfect for everything from tempo and long-distance runs to single uses at a 5k. The midsole is even made from a biodegradable EVA blend but provides the necessary traction for smooth off-road runs.
Asics Gel Kayano 28
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The Gel Kayano 28 is the latest iteration in a series renowned for its stability. This pair in particular was designed with overpronators — people whose feet roll inward as they run — in mind. An external heel counter and unique Dynamic Duomax technology in the midsole helps keep the feet in place from toe-off. These features also provide extra comfort for long-distance running and marathons. If your feet aren’t overpronated, Asics also offers less intensive Kayano lite models.
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8
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For runners who prefer a lightweight shoe, try these for size. At 9 ounces, the recently unveiled HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 is 15% lighter than the Clifton 7, but still has superior grip and durability perfect for both on- and off-road running. Thanks to heavily-padded uppers and soles, it doesn’t compromise on comfort, either. An additional rocker-like design allows for smooth rolling movements from heel to toe.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
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The Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is arguably the most versatile shoe on the list. Nike’s trademark React foam under the midsole gives you energy return with each step, and a 10mm heel drop provides unmatched stability. With a roomy toe box and a foot-hugging upper, this iteration of the Pegasus is comfortable enough for everything from late-night Temecula shoe stores runs to actual runs on the pavement.
With hundreds of running shoes out there, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your foot. Just keep the factors we discussed in mind, and you’ll be all set for the best runs of your life!