There can be no simpler joy than putting on a pair of running shoes and running. But choosing the right shoes is not quite as easy - good job, then, that we're here to lead you through the process.
We divide shoes into three main categories (cushioned, stability and motion control); and three minor ones (performance, off-road and track spikes). The first three are categorised by your biomechanical needs; the second group are more specialised.
The tools below will help you find your perfect shoe - and once you've tracked down the shoe for you, visit the RW Store to buy a pair.
How To Choose A Shoe | Interactive Shoe Finder | Autumn/Winter Shoe Guide 2012
Recommended for runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial (arch) support. Also best for lighter runners or those who are biomechanically efficient (minimum pronation), and for midfoot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.
Motion control shoes
Recommended for moderate to severe overpronators who need maximum rearfoot control and extra support on the medial (arch) side of their shoes. These runners tend to be flat-footed or strike hard on their heels. Also best-suited to bigger runners who need plenty of support and durability.
As the name suggests, these are designed for running off the beaten track. Also called trail shoes, they might be designed as a road shoe with a harder-wearing upper and extra grip on the outsole, or they could be a shoe designed specifically for off-road use. The latter are usually simple, technology-light but with tons of traction.
Recommended either for racing or, if you’re biomechanically efficient, for training. They have varying degrees of support and cushioning but they’re generally lighter (most weigh around 250-300g) and fit like a glove.
Recommended for runners who generally have good biomechanics and are mild to moderate overpronators. These runners tend to have normal to low arches and benefit from shoes with a combination of good support and midsole cushioning. They are also recommended for beginners or those who need extra support because they’re increasing their mileage.
Track shoes can seem intimidating. It’s easy to assume they’re the preserve of elite athletes, but they’re not. A weekly session at a track will not only help to give your speedwork an edge, but the variety will help keep you motivated, too.