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The Best Shoes for Running on Pavement

The Best Shoes for Running on Pavement
A woman is running on the pavement. Photo Credit Starcevic/iStock/Getty Images

Running shoes designed for pavement are made to handle repeated movement on a relatively even but hard surface. As such, look for shoes with a little extra padding in them. The best shoes for running on pavement have mid-level or maximum-level stability and are a little sturdier than other shoes. However, running shoes made for pavement won't have the same heavy-duty structure that trail running shoes do, as you won't need to be prepared for roots, stones and other obstacles you find on the trail.

Common Pitfalls

When shopping for a running shoe, the single most overlooked factor is fit. Make sure that running shoes fit absolutely perfectly, with about one finger's distance between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. By the laces, you should just be able to fit the width of one finger between your foot and the shoe. Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are a little larger than they are in the morning. This is when they are similar in size to when you are running.

Where to Buy

When buying running shoes, you have three options: local running stores, chain stores and online retailers. Local running stores offer smart, experienced salespeople and are a good way to support local businesses. However, their prices may be high and they may have limited stock. Chain stores give you a place to try on shoes, but their staff may not be able to provide much help, depending on the store, and their stock may be equally limited. Online retailers give you an excellent selection and usually a price to match it, but the only way to try on a pair of shoes is to order them and see if they fit.


A pair of pavement running shoes will cost you around $100. Fitness Magazine's Sneaker Guide lists several pairs of running shoes for pavement running, with the cheapest around $80 and the most expensive at $140. However, you can certainly pay more for shoes, and you may be able to find shoes on sale for less.

Insider Tips

The best running stores have a designated spot for trying out a pair of shoes on a trial run, such as a stretch of pavement behind the store. If they don't, you can ask the sales clerk if you can try out the shoes by running to the corner of the store. This will work best if you have already built a relationship with the sales clerk as a return customer.

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