I have recently received several questions from people who have just starting running or trying to get into it. Some of these questions have come from reading the posts here on running, and some from people who know I run and want to try running as a way to lose a little weight, become more fit, and generally get in better shape. One common question is: what are the best running shoes?
Everyone’s feet are a little different, and you may have some specific issue with your feet that require special insoles or some special orthotics, but there are a couple of general guidelines that do apply to all new runners.
1. If possible, have your shoes and feet checked at a runners store. These people specialize in matching you with the right products and can help you get the right shoes for your feet, weight, stride, etc. This is absolutely your best bet to get the right shoes for your feet/body/weight/strike etc. Keep in mind that shoe brands are like other things – everyone has their favorite. This goes for running and shoe stores as well. It is a good idea to talk to some other runners about brands before going to get specific recommendations on the type of shoe that is the best fit for you so you can approach this with the focus being on the right fit/support for your feet and body.
2. Check the soles of your current shoes (even better if you have some running or athletic shoes).
Here’s a very basic guideline: if your shoes are worn evenly – you have a neutral strike. If they are more worn on the inside edge of the sole you most likely over-pronate, and if they are more on the outside edge of the sole you most likely under-pronate (supinate). If you pronate or supinate, you need to target shoes that will address those issues. There are specific shoes that will address your degree of pronation. There are also shoes designed for different calibers or runners and different styles of running. This post will highlight three recommendations for those with a neutral strike.
3. Use one of the many tools available on the web to help you measure and analyze several aspects of your feet, legs, body and physiology to find the best type and fit of running shoes. I’m a big fan of the My Precision Fit site Mizuno has set up at http://wwww.myprecisionfit.com.
So here are my top three recommendations for runners looking for a good quality neutral shoe:
Mizuno Wave Rider
Mizuno is my favorite brand overall, and is my first recommendation.
The Wave Rider is now in it’s 16th generation and is better than ever if you have a neutral stride and are in the low-mid BMI range. The shoes will wear well, are light, and you should many miles out of them. For many runners these are their overall go-to shoes for training and racing. The Wave Rider is my personal favorite and the shoes I wear for almost all of my running.
Nike Air Pegasus
The Air Pegasus is a time proven favorite of many runners. With a long history and proven track record of good performance, the Air Pegasus is a solid choice for everyday running and casual racing. Great wear and a comfortable feel make this a good choice for many runners. The Air Pegasus is relatively light and yet holds up well. As with the Wave Rider, you will get many miles out of this shoe.
The Brooks Glycerin (and the Brooks Ghost) is another good choice for a neutral runner – especially if you tend a little higher on the BMI scale. Actually, Brooks has always been an excellent choice for a heavier or bigger runner and has engineered their shoes to hold up well to the extra stress from a heavier strike.
Each of the shoe manufacturers above have excellent websites with good descriptions of these models and their other shoes. If you want to understand more about pronation, under-pronation, and over-pronation (supination), check out this article from Runners World.
I also highly recommend the My Precision Fit site from Mizuno – their goal with that site is “to help you find the running shoe that works in best harmony with your body.”
Questions or comments – please use the reply form below, I’d love to hear from you.