With a number of different brands and shoe types, the running shoe market is crowded and can be confusing for buyers. On top of that, it's important that you consider your personal needs. There are several elements that will help you determine if you are choosing your ideal shoe for running.
Know Your Foot Mechanics
Foot strike will determine what type of running shoe you need to purchase. Supination occurs when the foot rolls outward slightly with each foot strike, while overpronation happens when the foot rolls inward. A neutral runner strikes the ground evenly. Shoe manufacturers have designed different shoe types to meet the needs of each type of foot strike.
Consider Your Distance
The distance you are running determines your shoe. If you're a runner focused on half marathons on pavement, you will need a different shoe than someone who runs trail marathons. Trail runners will need more tread for extra grip on rocks and uneven surfaces, while pavement runners will do better with extra cushion to minimize impact.
Ask an Expert
Because of the complexity of buying running shoes, many local running stores and physical therapists offer gait analysis, which reveals your foot mechanics and stride tendencies. Runners are asked to run on a treadmill, which allows the professional to analyze their stride. From there, the professional can provide a recommendation for the type of running shoe that would work best.