What Is Running Shoes?

Unlike sneakers, running shoes are designed to help you avoid injuries when taking hits, offering dedicated cushioning that helps absorb impact, along with design features that will help propel you forward more easily. The American College of Sports Medicine says the foot cushioning provided by running shoes may decrease some of the stresses placed on your heels, ankles, and toes while you are running. While runners who are flat-footed can get more out of the arched stability found in most running shoes, even those who have higher arches may benefit from having the proper type of support.

Runners World recommends the Brooks Dyad 11 for runners looking for a light-weight shoe that provides them cushioning and stability. Runners World recommends the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 for walkers who want the support of a shorter-to-moderate walking stride, but who want to avoid a higher heel-to-toe drop. Running shoes are distinct from other types of shoes in that they feature high heel-to-toe drops with low heel cushioning ratings. Running shoes are generally lighter weight, but heavier on the cushioning, particularly in the heels and toes.


A number of running shoes, particularly those made for trail running, feature an open-toed heel that provides stability to runners landing in their arches or balls of the feet. Runners should not run with trainers because most are too rigid and will not bend as runners want. Walking shoes, which did not even exist until 1986, should not be so lightweight and breathable, but walking shoes do need to offer a good amount of support for your arches. Good Running shoes offer great support for your ankles and arches; they also have a cushioned, springy heel, which absorbs the force as you land, and provides extra propulsion, which allows you to begin the next stride without lag.

Running shoes do not just offer substantial mid-sole foot padding, but they offer support for your arches, which helps prevent injuries and may encourage better athletic performance. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine notes that both good walking shoes and good running shoes provide stability, cushioning, and allow a fluid stride. Yes – Running shoes can provide a wider range of cushioning and support than walking shoes, making them an excellent choice regardless of how quickly or slowly you are moving. Some things that make running shoes stand out are excellent cushioning, flexibility where you need it, stability or movement control, grip on roads or trails, torsion stabilization (stiffness where you need it), breathability, and nighttime visibility.

Other things to think about when buying running shoes are the shape of your feet, how much support you want, how much cushioning you need, and what you want your shoes to look like. Whether you want stability to counteract excessive pronation, grip for trail running, or comfort for that first 5k or half-marathon, this guide can help you pick out the best shoes for your needs. The following guide will help you identify how to shop for shoes that are the right fit for your feet, and it will explain when it is time to ditch your old shoes for a new pair. To find the best running shoes, you are probably going to have to try on several different pairs, whether it is in a local running shop (where you can use staff knowledge to help you find an ideal fit) or in your living room (if you choose to buy online).


From the most comfortable, lightweight shoes for an everyday run, to the highest-performance trainers designed for elite runners, and everything in between, shop below for 16 of the best running shoes to include in your running routine. You may be tempted to grab whatever shoes are on sale or looking cool, but the shoes made just for running are what you actually want. While it is always good to visit a dedicated running store to be fitted and try out some options, if you know what you are looking for, picking out a pair of running shoes online can be easier (just make sure you check out the generous refund policy). To try on shoes before buying, visit your local Fleet Feet shop to have the experience of getting fitted yourself.

We marked this shoe as a Performance Shoe; however, lighter, more experienced runners may also find that they are an excellent option for daily running. The 1080 is a high-quality, neutral-cushioned running shoe, and although it was once suited to just longer, slower runs, technology advances and lowering of shoe weights have meant that it is much more versatile: This model has given a lot of runners a ton of enjoyment in anything from 5K races to marathons. If you are not familiar with Brooks Adrenaline, this is an excellently cushioned, near-old-school racing shoe, with a high heel-to-toe drop (12mm), is slightly heavy, and is a great long-running shoe for anyone who just wants maximum dependability with minimal fuss.

Running PROS will provide you with a free Gait Analysis to help find the correct shoe for you. This shows that, for many runners, the goal of choosing a shoe is just finding shoes that get out of your way, that do not interfere with your running, and simply let you go.


A shoe that feels like an everyday walking flat is likely to not help as much when it comes to running, and the opposite is true if you are an outdoorsy runner looking for the most supportive shoes on the market. If a shoe feels wrong when you try it on the first time, chances are, it is going to be much worse when it comes time to run. When you are doing all of the hard work of getting better, the last thing you want is for your shoes to be holding you back.

More advanced runners will generally be wearing flatter, supple shoes that will enable them to run faster and more comfortably. Wearing the right type of shoes is crucial for keeping the joints and muscles healthy as you take a run, walk, or hiking trip.

This post was proofread with Grammarly.

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