Running shoes sport high-tech cushioning, ranging from grids to gels. This benefits underpronators, or supinators, whose feet roll outward when striking the ground. These runners usually have higher arches and require proper cushioning or their bodies become injury-prone shock absorbers. Opt for neutral shoes and avoid motion control shoes for overpronators. The following shoes are endorsed by the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and recommended by shoe specialists at Road Runner Sports.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 11
This shoe boasts silicone-based gel in the forefoot to soften blows. Other features include gender-specific cushioning and an asymmetrical lacing pattern to enhance fit. This is Asics' ultimate cushioned shoe. Specifications: 10.4 oz. (women), 12.4 (men), $125 in 2010.
Brooks Glycerin 8
The Glycerin 8 promotes a customized ride with specific "DNA technology," which better adjusts to changes in impact and pace. In addition, the BioMoGo is a full-length midsole made of a soft, cushy and environmentally-friendly material breaking down 50 times faster than competitors. Specifications: 10.3 oz (women), 12.6 (men), $130 in 2010.
Mizuno Wave Rider 13
Instead of relying on flat insoles, this shoe's support resembles a wave. When the foot strikes, the wave compresses between midsole units to disperse impact and guide the foot through its gait. This lightweight shoe sports "SmoothRide Engineering" to reduce shock vibration and provide necessary stiffness. Specifications: 8.6 oz (women), 10.5 (men), $100 in 2010.
Newton Running Gravity
Named for Sir Isaac Newton, these shoes are based on the premise that running on your midfoot/forefoot is natural and efficient. Designers want these ultra lightweight and thoroughly vented shoes to feel like nothing at all--as if a runner is barefoot. Activator "lugs" are pushed into hollow chambers when your foot lands and then release stored energy, propelling you forward to increase performance. The priciest entry, but a truly different shoe. Specifications: 7.6 oz (women), 9.4 (men), $175 in 2010.
Nike Zoom Vomero-4
Nike has placed "zoom" units--an ultrathin cushioning device--in the heel and forefoot for low-profile cushioning and lightweight performance. The idea is that it keeps your foot close to the ground and delivers good maneuverability. Specifications: 10.5 oz (women), 12.4 (men), $130 in 2010.
Saucony ProGrid Triumph 7
This shoe provides a midfoot support bridge to prop up your arch and uses full-length ProGrid technology to deflect impact and allow for a smooth transition from heel to forefoot. Specifications: 11.4 oz (women), 12.3 (men), $130 in 2010.