If you have tried shopping for running shoes lately, you probably were overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices that are available. With so many options, knowing which pair to choose can be complicated. Below, we take a closer look at three categories of running shoes to help you make a more informed buying decision.
Cushioned Neutral Running Shoes
Neutral running shoes are designed with foam that has a consistent density across the entire shoe. This provides a lot of stability by keeping the base of the shoe flat and even.
These shoes are not only lightweight but they also come in a number of different styles. Their design provides a lot of stability for running. They also make excellent orthotic shoes since the surface is flat.
These shoes tend to wear out more quickly than some other types of running shoes. They also may not provide enough support for special foot conditions.
Structured Supportive Running Shoes
Structured supportive shoes, like these from Orthotic Shop, are designed with a higher density or thicker foam in certain areas. This extra foam is typically located on the inside of the shoe. They are specifically designed for people who have fallen arches or whose feet roll inward when they run.
The extra density of the foam helps minimize pronation. The shoes themselves are also quite durable, making them a good choice for people who do a lot of running or for someone who has a relatively high body mass.
The extra support may be overkill if it isn’t required. The shoe may wear out unevenly, with the outside edge breaking down faster than the inside edge due to the lower foam density. Typically, there aren’t as many styles or colors available. The shoes themselves also can be a little bit heavier than other styles.
Minimalist Running Shoes
These shoes have a minimal amount of foam and no extra features for motion control. They are designed for people who have a neutral foot structure, who don’t weigh very much, and who have a lot of experience with running.
These shoes are not only extremely lightweight but also make it easier to feel the ground. This can lead to faster running. The pitch of the heel is typically lower than other styles of shoes, which can make it easier to run so that the toes come in contact with the ground first. They also come in a wide range of styles.
These shoes usually don’t provide enough cushioning or support for people who are on the heavier side. They also aren’t as effective as other types of shoes at minimizing joint stress. They have no built-in features that are designed to help control motion.