Which running shoe is best?

Published: 10 Feb 2020

Which running shoe is best?

Are you having trouble working out which running shoes to buy?  It’s not surprising.  Think about at the options:

  • Minimalist
  • Stability
  • Neutral
  • Bare foot
  • Rocker bottoms

For all the runners out there, selecting the “right” shoe can be extremely confusing.  The task is only complicated by the amount of choice and conflicting information available to you both on line, and in store.

Nathan Duguid – one of our physiotherapists based at Jordan Springs has put in some thought, and done some research on this issue and he says:

pick a shoe that feels the most comfortable

don’t make a big change in shoe from what you’re used to

if you’re concerned with performance, a lighter/minimalist shoe should be preferred

What is the most important thing to consider?

Picking the most comfortable shoe should be the biggest factor to take into consideration for running shoe choice.  A study by Nigg et al. (2014) suggested a more comfortable shoe is associated with improved running economy. Comfort is of course subjective, so what may be comfortable for one person may not be for another. Take time to try out different shoes and brands and choose what feels right for you.

Some specialist running stores (if you don’t know who they are, reach out and we will send you in the right direction) will encourage you to try lots of different shoes, and even run in them.  We strongly suggest that you do try before you buy.  Comfort cannot be assessed from a photo, and every update of a shoe will mean small changes that could be huge for you.

The other thing to consider when getting a new shoe is not drastically changing from what you’re used to. If you traditionally run in a high heel and then go straight to using no heel drop you are asking for trouble.  You will be changing the way that the forces chain though your body, stressing different structures that aren’t adapted to that stress and therefore increasing your chance of getting injured.

If you race competitively or concerned with times, a light shoe will help you run quicker so that’s something to consider. Studies have shown that adding 100g to a shoe increases metabolic rates by 1%. If you consider transitioning to this type of shoe, give yourself plenty of time (i.e. months) to adapt to it if it’s something you’re not used to.

If you are currently struggling with a running injury or have pain with running, our team are ideally suited to assist you.  We have more than one runner on the crew.  Our cover photo for this blog is a photo of Steve Cunningham in the Cradle Mountain run (yes, 80k race).

We want you to achieve your running goals.

You can book at appointment with one of our team, here.