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What are the best running shoes?   

Kevin Zhang
@Kevin · Posted 13 Nov. 2020

admin you
@admin · Posted 13 Nov. 2020

I know everyone would like a definitive answer to the “best shoe” but there is none. It is so personal.

We have different biomechanics, weight, joint mobility, foot structure, gait - that you have to find a pair that works for you and that is something you may not get on the first try. There is always more than one manufacturer that makes a shoe for you - so personal taste in style also is part of the mix.

The more knowledgeable your running store is on fitting the better outcome you will have. There have been successful and injury free (super important) runners in almost any shoe out there. My running store can do a 3D foot scan and start there with a recommendation.

I have a friend that actually buys two different sizes when he buys shoes - he wears a one size on his left foot and another on his right!

So here is what I think is important to know -

  1. You do not break running shoes in - they feel and fit right out of the box.
  2. Your toes need room! They splay when they push off. Take the insert out of the shoe and put your foot on it - if the foot overhangs the insert the size is too small
  3. The toe box needs flexibility - it should not be like a cast - you want to actively push off with your toes.
  4. Your heel should not ride up and down as you run - blister time!
  5. Any store worth its reputation will allow you to go outside and run a bit - maybe 100 meters or more. Do it. Walking is not running.
  6. Before you leave the store learn about lacing options with your shoes - different lacing patters can fine tune the fit.

Now I also think because it works for me and has for a long long time -

  1. The lower the heel to toe drop the better. To me the high drop shoes- those over 8 mm does not allow your foot to strike the ground naturally. I use shoes with a drop from 0 - 4 mm. Those are considered low drop. That said - yes, I know runners that run injury free (and this is what counts the most) in high drop shoes.
  2. The lower the stack height the better - your foot will feel the ground strike better and provide better feedback - this helps prevent over-striding. Yes, I know some like highly cushioned shoes and of course I know runners that use these successfully. I just do not like them and do not need all that cushioning.
  3. The toe box does not curve up much - I want to be able to push off with my toes.

Some call what I use minimalist shoes. They work for me. I will say that if you are used to highly cushioned and high drop shoes and you have no injury problems - don’t switch, do not buy into the sometimes overly vocal proponents of minimalist shoes.

If you are getting injured a lot maybe it is the shoe. If you decide to switch from say a high drop to low drop shoe - do it gradually. You will use different muscles and they need time to develop.

Do not buy a shoe because someone star endorses it - shoe manufacturers make custom shoes for their sponsors plus that star is a different body than yours.

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