Running shoes come in all shapes and sizes. That means from thick-soled maximalist trainers to light and fast racing flats, there are running shoes for every need—and every runner.
The best running shoe for you, though, might not be the same as the best shoe for your co-worker or that guy in your running club. In this guide, we'll give you tips on how to fit your running shoes and what to look for when you're buying a new pair, plus we'll outline the differences between types of shoes.
There are three main categories of running shoes: road running shoes, trail running shoes and race day shoes. Here's what that means.
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.
Comfortable, functional and stylish. The best women's running shoes are all three.
Shop from our selection of best-selling running shoes, like the women's HOKA Clifton 6 or Nike Pegasus 36, to get a shoe that will take you through training and across the finish line in stride.
No matter where you run, your shoes need to keep up. Our most popular men's running shoes blend performance, comfort and style to help you run your best. Check out the men's Brooks Glycerin 17 or On Cloudswift for a ride that won't let you down.
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.
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:
When you run, do you tend to land on your heel, midfoot or forefoot? Your landing zone is called your footstrike, and finding shoes to match your footstrike can make running more comfortable.
If you're a heel-striker, a pair of running shoes with more cushion under the heel can reduce the amount of shock your body absorbs when you land. Forefoot and midfoot strikers might be able to wear a shoe with less heel cushion, since they don't put as much force on the back of their feet.
Your running shoes should be comfortable. Period.
If they're too small, you risk mashing your toes into the front of the shoe or squeezing the ball of your foot until you're numb. Too big, and you can slide around, chafe and feel like you're wearing flippers.
But when you get the fit right, you're in for mile after mile of happy running. Here's what you should look for in a running shoe:
For the best fit, visit a local Fleet Feet store where running shoe experts will walk you through our outfitting process. They will talk with you about your current running and future goals, precisely measure your feet using 3D scanners, and then match you up with shoes that will give you the best experience.
From finding the perfect running shoe fit to learning how long your shoes will last, we've got it all covered. Our Fleet Feet experts know everything there is to know about running shoes so you can start training with confidence.
Each running shoe is designed for a specific purpose. A road shoe won't give you the traction you need when the going gets slippery, and a trail shoe might be unwieldy when you hit the pavement. Dig deep into the differences between trail running shoes and road running shoes.Trail Running Shoes vs. Road Running Shoes
Running shoes are your most important piece of gear, so it's worth it to find the right pair. Learn what to look for in a new pair of running shoes, how to find the right fit and the clues your old shoes can give you.How to Choose Running Shoes
Nothing lasts forever, and your running shoes are no exception. Between the abrasive pavement wearing down the outsole and the weight of your body compressing the midsole over and over again, your shoes have a lifespan. Here's how to tell when you need to replace your running shoes.How Long Do Running Shoes Last?