The market is awash with hundreds of different brands, with thousands of different models that all claim to be the latest and greatest thing you’ll ever wear. So it can be pretty overwhelming when setting out to buy a new pair of runners. With great advances in materials and shoe designs most well known running brands all have shoes that are of great quality, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.
Firstly you need to decide what sort of running you will be doing. Trail running, track racing, road running, cross country. Are the shoes just for training or for race day? And what distances will you use them for? This narrows it down substantially and means you are going to have the right tool for the job.
Next you need to take into account your size and weight. An ex front-rower who has seen the light and decided to take up marathon running is going to need a heavier shoe with more support and cushioning than a 60kg female who is training for the City 2 Surf.
This leads us into biomechanics – the structure and function of the human body during movement. Generally the longer you have been consistently running for, the better your biomechanics are going to be. So someone with 5+years of relatively injury free training is going to be able to use a lighter, more neutral style shoe. Whereas someone who is just taking up running for the first time or after a long break should be looking at something that will give some stability, control & cushioning until they build adequate strength of their bones, tendons, muscles and ligaments and improve their running efficiency.
Foot type. This is a big one with regards to what shoe you should be wearing. There are 3 general classifications of foot type – Supinated foot (high arch, rigid foot), pronated foot (flat foot, flexible) and a neutral foot type which sits in between the two and often carries less chances of injury through better biomechanics of the foot and ankle musculature. All shoe brands make shoes for these different foot types, so it’s important to workout which one you are, a basic way of doing it is to wet your feet and then stand on a paper towel, you can then look at the below picture to see what one looks the most similar to your footprint.
Lastly if you have a history of injuries its worthwhile going to see a physio or podiatrist to get a full biomechanical assessment to make sure you are in the right shoe and to determine if orthotics could benefit your running mechanics.
|Novice 80kg Male||Advanced 70kg Male|
|Supinated||Asics Nimbus||Mizuno Wave Ryder|
|Nuetral||Brooks Glycerin||Nike flykint trainer|
|Pronated||Brooks Addiction||Mizuno Wave paradox|
Above is a sample of selected footwear for varying foot types who are training for a marathon with all there training on road surfaces.