I’m often asked about my choice of running shoes. My number one piece of advice is: don’t buy a shoe just because you like the look of it, or like the colour, your friend wears them, or because an influencer wore it on Instagram. This could end up being a costly mistake. Selecting the correct running shoes is important, not only for your athletic performance but also for preventing injuries.

Choosing the right shoes for your foot type is essential for several important reasons:

  • Injury prevention: Wearing shoes that are suitable for your specific foot type can help prevent injuries. Different foot types require different levels of support and cushioning to maintain proper alignment and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
  • Comfort: Shoes that match your foot type are more comfortable to wear. They provide the necessary support and fit that align with your foot’s natural structure, reducing discomfort and pain during and after physical activities like running.
  • Optimal performance: The right shoes can enhance your athletic performance. They provide the support and stability needed for efficient movement, allowing you to perform at your best without unnecessary strain or fatigue.
  • Gait correction: If you have an irregular gait, choosing shoes designed for your specific foot type can help correct biomechanical issues. This can lead to a more natural and efficient stride, reducing the risk of injuries caused by improper foot motion.
  • Long-term foot health: Wearing shoes that match your foot type contributes to your long-term foot health. Ill-fitting or inappropriate shoes can lead to chronic foot problems that may require medical attention and impact your overall well-being.
  • Comfort: Different foot types have unique needs. By selecting the right shoes, you can customise your footwear to cater to those needs, ensuring a comfortable and supportive fit.
  • Enhanced running xxperience: For runners, in particular, choosing the right running shoes can make a significant difference in their experience. Properly fitted shoes can reduce discomfort, fatigue, and the risk of injuries, allowing runners to enjoy their sport more fully.

Where do I start?

To find the right shoe for you, you need to start by identifying your foot type. Research indicates that women are more likely to overpronate compared to men, so it is important to undertand your running style. Gait analysis services, such as those offered at the ASICS store on Oxford Street in London or specialty running stores like Runners Need, are a great starting point. These services use advanced video technology to assess your running gait, and determine whether neutral or stability/supportive shoes are the best option for you.

There are three types of feet: neutral, overpronation (where your foot rolls too far inward), and supination (where your foot rolls too far outward). I will use ASICS as an example they provide a variety of running shoe options tailored to different foot types:

  • For individuals with a neutral gait: Asics Gel-Nimbus or Asics Gel-Cumulus trainers are excellent choices, offering comfort and performance. Other options include: Novablast, Asics Gel-Pulse, DynaFlyte, RoadHawk
  • For those who overpronate: Asics Gel-Kayano, Asics GT-2000, Asics GT-1000 trainers provide the added stability and support necessary to correct your gait.

Remember that your running gait can change over time due to factors like aging, weight fluctuations, injuries, pregnancy, or childbirth. Therefore, it’s wise to periodically reassess your gait to minimise the risk of injuries.

Once you understand your foot type, you must then consider your specific running goals, terrain, and any other unique requirements you may have for your running shoes. Do you need a more speed-oriented shoe or one designed for long-distance running? Prioritising fit and functionality over appearance is essential; your shoes should snugly and comfortably accommodate your feet.

With the right pair of running shoes, you’ll be ready to conquer the roads in both style and comfort!