Find the Best Running Shoe for You


The time has come to get a new pair of running shoes. But with so many options, finding the right pair can be confusing to even the most experienced runners. Should you go with an eye-catching color or pattern? Will a lightweight shoe work for you? Or maybe you should just stick with the same model you’ve worn for the past several years.

First thing first, the shoe has to fit. Most runners go by feel but many have never had their feet measured. It’s well worth your time to go to a specialty running store with knowledgeable staff that can help you find the right size shoes for your feet.

Once you know your size, you can work on finding the type of shoe that’s best for you and your running style. Running form, along with foot and ankle mechanics, play a big role in finding the right shoes. If you use orthotics, make sure that you have them along to make sure that they fit well into the new pair of shoes. There is an abundance of shoe styles to pick from at every store, including:

  • Minimal Shoes – Best for strong runners who are biomechanically sound
  • Cushion Shoes – Works well for neutral foot runners with good mechanics as well as heavier runners
  • Stability Shoes – Good for runners that needs a little help at the foot to control excess movement
  • Motion Control Shoes – Typically reserved for people with foot and ankle instabilities
  • Ultra cushion – Ideal for runners putting on a lot of miles or post-operation/injury that are looking for some extra cushion.

Now for the fun part: shoe shopping! When you’re in the market for new shoes, the best plan of attack is to find a store with plenty of variety between brands and models. Try on as many shoes as they have in your type and size. Walk or run in them and try putting one shoe model on your left foot and another on your right so you can see what differences there are between the shoes. Don’t be afraid to try something new or different from what you are accustomed to wearing. Slight changes and variations in the shoes you run in can be beneficial to you in the short and long term. Most of all, don’t let price, color or brand influence your decision. Research has shown that the shoe that feels the best is likely the best shoe for you no matter what anyone else tells you to purchase.

Get more running tips from Nate Vandervest, Bellin Health Titletown’s running and strength coach. Contact him at Nathan.Vandervest@bellin.org.