Selecting a good pair of running shoes is much like creating the perfect playlist—both will help you run longer, faster and harder. But there are a lot of personal factors that must be considered when shopping for shoes as well. It’s not just about what’s in fashion. Your gait, arch height, toe shape and pronation will ultimately determine the comfort level of different types of shoes. Before you start trying on every pair of shoes in the store, though, it is helpful narrow down your selection based on where you will be running.
If you frequently run on a treadmill in one of our state-of-the-art UDR fitness centers , look for running shoes with extra cushioning in the heel and a reinforced sole. Running on a treadmill only affects vertical displacement and not forward motion, causing more stress on your heel and Achilles tendon. Many shoe manufacturers are now marketing running shoes specifically for treadmill use that boast extra air pockets or gel inserts in the heel of the shoes and less cushioning in the toes—like this women’s running shoe from ASICS.
Road or Track
When your definition of the rubber hitting the road refers to running rather than driving, you need flexible shoes with all-over cushioning. From heel-strike to toe off, the entire outsole should be durable enough to keep repetitive strikes on a hard surface such as a road, track or a packed surface path from wearing the shoe out prematurely, yet light enough to prevent fatigue on long distance runs. The Puma Faas 700 v2 is popular with both men and women who run on the road.
If you are fortunate enough to live in one of our properties that boasts easy access to running trails, look for shoes with rugged outsoles and impressive treads for traction, not to mention plenty of cushioning to absorb the shock from the many obstacles of trail running—like rocks and roots and ruts. The sole should be stiffer than traditional running shoes. It is also important to have proper stability and support to protect your feet and ankles from injury. This men’s trail runner from Salomon is a popular choice.
Regardless of your fitness level, if you take the time to find the right pair of running shoes for your purpose, your experience will be much more enjoyable.
What are your favorite brands and styles of running shoes? Where do you run the most: indoors or outdoors? Comment below to share your insights with other members of our UDR community.