How to Choose Running Shoes

Last updated: June 22, 2020
Published 8:05 pm

Shoe Finale supports our readers with hundreds of hours of research and analysis to help you secure the best products for your life and your family. You support us through our independently chosen links, which earn us a small commission. About Us

Introduction

Are you looking to buy a pair of sneakers, but you are unsure of what to look for in a pair of running shoes? You are not alone with your questions. Many people, such as you, are not sure how to choose running shoes that are best for their needs and wants. They aren’t aware of running shoes’ features to keep in mind when they are looking for a pair. Choosing the best sneakers can be a challenge.

On the other hand, some people buy a random pair of sneakers who did not put much thought into their purchase. They find out later that they had not gotten the best pair of running shoes. The way to do that is to learn about the makeup of the running shoe. Let’s find out what you need to do to find the best pair.

Upper Part Of The Running Shoe

When looking for a pair of shoes, you may think that the first thing you need to look at is the sole. And the bottom is a significant factor when choosing the best shoes. However, you need to factor in the upper part of the shoe. The upper part of the sneakers is composed of many layers of fabric. And there is the mesh that is both glued as well as sewn in with the other materials. That was more common among older running shoes. Modern running shoes are often still made the same way.

However, modern sneakers are often composed of uppers that are in a one-piece that was printed or knitted. They stretch and are supportive of the foot as well. When you look for a pair of running shoes, you’ll want to see a pair with an upper part that has the shape of your foot. You want it to be smooth as it rests across your top foot without chafing, binding, or touching it. If the upper part of the sneaker is making your feet uncomfortable, then it is the wrong pair of running shoes.

The Ankle Collar

The other important thing to factor into how to choose running shoes that are the best type is how the ankle collar fits. You want to know how comfortable it is as well. The ankle collar is the padding that is at the top of a shoe opening, which is known as the wrap. That part of the running shoe is what holds the heel into its place. Some sneakers have ankle collars that are composed of thick padding. Others don’t use thick padding but rely on the shape of the ankle collar to keep the heel in its place.

When it comes to looking for the best type of sneakers, you must pay attention to how well your heel is in place. If the padding makes the ankle bone uncomfortable, then it is not the right pair of sneakers. If it irritates your Achilles tendon, then it is the wrong shoes. If your heel slips in the shoe, then that also means that the ankle collar is not supportive. The only way to know is if you try the pair of sneakers on and walk around for a few minutes. If the heel is bothered or not supported, then the ankle collar is the determining factor that the pair of running shoes are not ideal.

The Heel Counter

Do you know what that layered cup is semi-rigid inside the rearfoot of your sneaker? That is the heel counter. And the purpose of the heel counter is to support and to cradle your heel. But not all shoes have this. Many minimalist shoes don’t have the heel counter as the intention is to allow the feet to move freely. Other shoes feature an external heel wrap that provides the same type of function.

It has found through research that heel counters are not capable of providing control when it comes to the motion of your feet. But they are necessary for keeping the heel in the center when you are walking or running, or are doing anything that requires you to be mobile. When you are looking for the perfect running shoe, you need to find one that features a heel counter that allows your ankle to move comfortably. When you try on a new pair of sneakers, test them out by walking around and making sure that your ankle can move comfortably.

Cushioning

A good pair of running shoes will have the right amount of cushioning in the midsole, the heel, and the forefoot. If the shoes lack cushioning, you will end up with blisters, and you could end up with other feet problems as it will require the comfort that your feet need. But you don’t want the cushioning in any of these areas to be so thick to the point that your feet cannot move properly within the shoe.

Again the only way to know if the running shoes that you are looking to purchase have the right amount of cushioning. The only way to know is by trying them on and walking in them for a few minutes. If you feel the cushioning is too much in the shoe, or don’t feel enough is cushioning to the point that your feet are feeling uncomfortable as it is, then those are not the right pair of sneakers.

Toe Box

Another thing to keep in mind when buying running shoes is to make sure that the toe box is wide enough for your feet to breathe and do not cramp. If your feet are crammed into the toe box because it is too narrow, then not only will this increase the chances of developing a lot of discomforts. But you will end up developing complications such as bunions, which need to be appropriately managed and still require surgical removal.

The only way to know if your running shoe has a wide enough toe box is by pressing on it to make sure it is spacious. There must be enough space between the edge of the sneaker and the tip of your big toe. Your toes need wiggle room to stay in a comfortable position, and a wide tox box will allow that to happen.

The Outsole

Another essential feature to look for when purchasing a pair of running shoes is to look at the outsole. The outsole consists of rubber as well as foam. The purpose is to allow the shoes to bounce off of the ground stably and flexibly. You want to make sure that you are not feeling as if you are going to slip off of the ground as you are walking on it.

If you feel as if you are about to slip off, then the bottom of the sole is not gripping the ground properly. You also want to make sure that as you walk, you can move your feet quickly and comfortably. You want to make sure that the sneakers are providing the right amount of traction as well as durability in a comfortable way.

Conclusion

Now you are aware of how to choose running shoes that are right for your needs. One type of sneakers that is ideal for you will not be the right fit for someone else. That has nothing to do with the size of the foot. It has to do with the shape of your feet and how well your feet move as well. Trying on new sneakers feels like a chore. However, it’s important to never settle on the first comfortable pair of running shoes you try on. There are likely other pairs of running shoes that may be a much better fit for your feet.

No votes yet.
Please wait...