Running Shoes

Running shoes come in all shapes and sizes. From thick-soled maximalist trainers to light and fast racing flats, there are running shoes for every need—and every runner. The best running shoes for you, though, might not be the same as the best shoe for your co-worker or that guy in your running club.

Shop all running shoes at Fleet Feet, or see the latest men's running shoes and women's running shoes to stay on top of your training, plus get free shipping on all orders over $99.

How Should Running Shoes Fit?

Buying running shoes online can be hard. We're here to help make it easier.

Finding the right running shoes is essential for comfortable, happy miles of running. While nothing beats our unique, in-store Fit Process, we can help you find the best running shoes for you from the comfort of your home.

Shop for running shoes that fit your specific training and match your experience.Just starting out? Buy a pair of running shoes built for everyday training. Looking to break your PR? Shop for running shoes that are tuned for speed.

Here are our top 5 tips for choosing the perfect running shoes:

  1. Plan Ahead: Looking to get into a consistent running routine? Or maybe take on your first race? No matter your goals, create a plan around the surface you want to train on and how you want your shoes to feel while you’re running.
  2. Get Started By Walking: Running shoes are great to walk in, and walking is often a segue for beginning runners as you feel out the way your body moves for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Learn How You Move: The natural alignment of your joints and the degree to which you pronate can make a big difference in how you search for shoes to support your body. Using our in-store fit process or at-home wear analysis can help you determine how much you pronate and what kind of running shoe to buy.
  4. Find Your Fit: A good rule of thumb to determine that you’re wearing the right size is to keep a thumb’s width of space between the end of your toes and the tip of the shoe. Your foot should feel secure from heel to toe, without any squeezing or pinching. Pay attention to the way your foot aligns over the midsole to determine if you need a wide size shoe.
  5. Put On Some Miles: Once you find shoes with the support you need and a comfortable fit, hit the road! The average running shoe lasts about 300 miles for regular runners.

Types of Running Shoes

There are three main categories of running shoes: road running shoes, trail running shoes and race day shoes. Here's what that means.

  • Road running shoes. Road shoes are designed for the streets. Abrasion-resistant rubber outsoles hold up to rough concrete, and premium fabrics make for a comfortable fit.
  • Trail running shoes. Unlike road models, trail running shoes are designed for dirt, gravel, mud and anything else you might find when the pavement ends. Trail shoes employ stickier rubber outsoles, aggressive lugs and increased durability so you can go off road.
  • Race shoes. The fastest shoes in your closet, race day shoes give you an extra boost when you need it most. They're made to be minimal and lightweight, so they aren't ideal for your daily training. But lace them up when you toe the starting line and they'll help deliver your fastest times yet.

There are a couple smaller categories of shoes used for specific sports, too. Cross country shoes and track spikes are designed to meet the demands of competitive athletes.

Like road racing shoes, these models are the lightest and fastest of the bunch. But they're built for a singular purpose: to run on a track or cross country course.

Cross country shoes and spikes are engineered for the unpredictable conditions of an XC course. These shoes can come with a spike plate to give runners better traction on varied terrain, and they have some cushioning to stand up to the longer races.

Track spikes are only meant to be used on the track, and they come in models tuned for different distances. Sprint spikes use an aggressive shape that keeps runners on their toes, while distance spikes have a shallower heel-to-toe drop and can include some cushioning.

Pronation Guide

Runners not only have to think about what surface they're running on but also how they run. There are two things to think about: pronation and footstrike.

What is Pronation?

Pronation is the natural inward roll of your foot as it transitions from heel to toe during your normal stride. Every runner pronates, but it can become a problem if you overpronate or underpronate.

There are the two main types of running shoes:

  • Neutral running shoes. Neutral shoes don't offer any targeted support for overpronation or underpronation. These shoes typically use the same foam density all the way from heel to toe, and they don't add any posts or supports.
  • Stability running shoes. Runners who overpronate put extra force on the inside part of their shoes, which can cause shoes to wear out prematurely. So running shoe companies counter overpronation by using denser foam on the inside (called the medial side) of the shoe. The denser foam compresses less and lasts longer, so the shoe wears evenly from medial to lateral side. Shop all women's stability running shoes and men's stability running shoes.

Free Shipping & Returns

Not sure about buying a new pair of running shoes? Don't sweat it. Get free shipping on orders over $99 when you shop on fleetfeet.com.

If you don't like how your new shoes look, fit or feel, we'll take them back within 60 days. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

Don't know where to start? Check out our guides for running shoes, running clothes and massage tools to get you going.