Sports technology has surged in the past few years, which means brands have been able to produce different types of running shoes for all feet types. Unfortunately, this also means that deciding on a pair can be complicated.
The wrong pair of shoes can cause long-term injuries to your back and knees, so it’s important to get it right.
We give you some tips (and shopping recommendations!) on how to get off on the right foot with your running shoes.
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1. For the trailblazer: The Trailtalon 290 by Inov-8, $199
Photo: Key Power Sports’ website
Not all running routes are built equally – trails and paved roads require different levels of stability and cushioning. Some lightweight shoes are strictly meant for running on treadmills and pavement, whereas those meant for exploring the outdoors will offer more protection and traction for uneven ground. For trail running, give the Inov-8 Trailtalon 290 a try.
2. If you under-pronate: The Adizero Prime Ltd Shoes by adidas, $300
Photo: adidas Singapore’s website
Under-pronation occurs when the outside of your foot absorbs the most impact as it strikes the ground. Some under-pronation is normal during exercise, but when excessive, it could cause severe pain. For a smooth run, look for shoes that are lighter and offer more arch-support, like this pair by adidas.
3. If you have a normal gait: The Cloudflyer by On, $259
Photo: On’s website
Neutral pronation is the ideal way your foot should hit the ground, so if this is you, congratulations! This means your weight is distributed evenly when you push off from the front of your foot and you can wear a variety of shoes. Try this pair on for size – the Cloudflyer’s wide sole and cushy padding deliver a smooth and stable run, while maintaining a light feel so you stay quick on your feet.
4. If you over-pronate: The Gel-Kayano 24 NYC by Asics, $259
Photo: Asics Singapore’s website
If your feet roll inward when you run, then you likely have over-pronation. In terms of form, the experts at Runner’s World say this is a problem because “the foot and ankle will have problems stabilizing the body, and shock isn’t absorbed as efficiently” when your feet hit the ground. Try these Gel-Kayano’s by Asics if you’re prone to this — they are great for runners with flat feet or low arches.
5. For the style-savvy: The Labs Techloom Phantom Sneakers by APL: Athletic Propulsion, $220.34
Photo: Shopbop’s website
Women who are used to buying shoes that fit perfectly should keep in mind that high-impact exercises like running usually cause feet to swell and expand, which means ample space is needed unless you want the dreaded black toe. We suggest shopping for shoes in the late afternoon or in the evening, which is when feet are the largest due to fluid retention. In general, you can follow this rule of thumb (literally): keep a thumb’s width between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe. The Techloom Phantoms are 4-way stretch so they’re more flexible to changing feet sizes. A clean design and a myriad of colour options (Hello, Rose Gold pair!), mean you don’t have to compromise on style. Oh, and did we mention they’re one of Oprah’s Favorite Things?
6. For the fit-obsessed: The Ghost 10 by Brooks Running, $199
Photo: Key Power Sports’ website
The Ghost adapts to your every move and 3D Fit Print technology keeps the shoe’s structure intact even as it moulds to fit your feet. A tip: To get the most accurate fit, wear the same type of socks you would typically wear during a workout when you try on new shoes. The disposable socks that stores keep out for customers to borrow tend to be much thinner than those you would normally wear.
7. For the Sneakerhead: The Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit 2 by Nike, $269
Photo: Nike Singapore’s website
Unless you’re an experienced runner who knows exactly what you want, get an expert to weigh in on which shoes are best for the type of running you do. If possible, go to a shop that specialises in running, like the Running Lab, where the associates are trained to help you find the right fit for your foot type. Generally, shoes in Nike’s VaporMax series provide adequate support, are made of flexible knit material, are light as a feather and are all around just aesthetically pleasing.