Overtraining and incorrect running techniques can indeed lead to serious running injuries. But did you know that wearing improper running shoes can be just as harmful? The best running shoes for runners serve a greater purpose beyond providing good looks. The right fit is pivotal in providing the necessary support to your feet that bear impact roughly 2.5-3 times the body weight. Besides injury prevention, good shoes can also significantly enhance your overall running performance.

When it comes to choosing the perfect pair for yourself, it is never about paying a premium price. Brooks Running is here to guide you on what truly matters when selecting the best running shoes for men and women.

1. Learn about your feet.

As a runner, you need to know your foot arch type. To do that, dip your foot in water, stand on cardboard, and examine the print to determine which of the following three categories it falls into:

  • Neutral arch is moderate curvature along the inner part of the foot. You will need the lightest running shoes with good heel cushioning and firm,  supportive midsoles.  
  • Low arch (flat feet) is little to no curvature in the inner part of the foot. The best running shoes for men and women with flat feet would have features such as stability and motion control. 

High arch (cavus feet) is more than the usual curvature in the inner part of the foot. Look for running shoes offering effective cushioning for shock absorption and quick heel-to-toe traction.

2. Consider your running surface.

Are you a city dweller running on concrete roads and pavements? Your best bet is the lightest running shoes with good cushioning, flexibility, and stability. If you run on natural terrain such as forests, hills, or along the shoreline, you should opt for the best trail running shoes with good traction, softer cushioning, rock & root protection, and stability on all terrain. 

3. Determine the level of usage of your running shoes.

Do you plan to run occasionally and do cross-training on other days? A pair of all-rounder shoes is ideal for you. Are you looking to train regularly and sign up for a marathon race? The lightest running shoes with ample cushioning will go a long way. 

4. Check all the specs of the running shoes.

If you are browsing the shoes online, review all the specifications on the product page to understand if they meet your needs. Examine details such as the technology, midsole drop, arch support, material, weight, and recommended usage to make an informed decision. 

5. Read customer reviews and talk to fellow runners.

Finding the best running shoes for men and women, particularly for first-time buyers, can be tricky. Hence, consulting experienced runners for valuable recommendations is a good idea. You can even check customer reviews to get first-hand insights into the product you intend to purchase. If you're stuck, consider visiting a specialty running store where trained staff can analyze your arch type, gait, and usage and suggest suitable options.

6. Try on the shoes to see if they fit right.

Whether you shop online or in-store, always try on the shoes before giving them the status of the best running shoes for runners. If possible, go out for a short test run or do spot jogging to check if they promise the following features: 

  • Spacious toe box 
  • Ample arch support 
  • Appropriate width 
  • Snug and secure heel fit 
  • Overall comfort and flexibility
  • 7. Purchase from a store that offers a return policy. 

  • You will likely need to undergo a few trial-and-error rounds before discovering the ideal pair for your needs. Hence, choosing a store with a flexible return policy, such as Brooks Running, is essential. This way, you can avoid being stuck with the incorrect pair of shoes, which is terrible for your feet and even your pockets!

    Browse the best running shoes for runners at Brooks Running.