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 what to look for when you're buying a new pair and teach you about the different 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.
- 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. Shoes like the Brooks Ghost 12 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 are perfect for the road.
- 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. Good examples of trail running shoes are the Saucony Peregrine ISO and the Nike Terra Kiger 5.
- 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. Race shoes include the On Cloudflash and the Nike Vaporfly NEXT%.
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.
Have you ever had a blister, had your shoe eat your sock, or lost a toenail? What if all of this could be prevented with the perfect pair of socks? With brands like Balega, Smartwool, Thorlo, and Feetures you can find the ideal fit. Our socks offer high and low volume, compression and comfort fits, a variety of styles, lengths and colors. Start your day off on the right foot by making sure its covered with a comfy sock!
The best running socks for you are really a matter of opinion.
You have to consider different levels of cushion, taller or shorter lengths, and natural or synthetic fibers. With those three basic considerations taken care of, you can start to choose the socks that best fit your feet, style and running conditions.
Running a marathon? A high-cushion running sock can offer you a bit more comfort over the long haul. Hitting the trails? A quarter-length or crew cut sock will keep out dirt and debris better than a low-cut or no-show sock.
Like choosing the right running shoe for your unique foot and gait, though, there isn’t one best sock for everyone. Instead, there are plenty of durable, comfortable and high-quality socks to choose from.
Do your feet hurt? Looking for a competitive advantage? Get the support you deserve. 72% of the population suffers from foot pain but never does anything about it. What would you say if we could minimize foot, joint and back pain by simply stabilizing the foot inside of your shoe? Reduce pain, fatigue and add comfort and customization with every stride!
Insoles to do just that.
There are three key components of an insole: shape, support and foundation. And each component plays a role in giving you a pain-free stride.
- Shape. Hold a insole up next to the sock liner that came in your shoe, and you'll see the difference. The contoured silhouette cradles your heels and hugs your arches to provide relief.
- Support. Shape doesn't mean anything if it falls flat under your weight. Good insoles enhance the way your feet are intended to move by supporting your arch and heel to disperse impact and decrease the stress of walking or running on your body.
- Foundation. Good insoles provide an energizing foundation that helps reduce foot fatigue so your feet feel fresh all day long.
A sports bra is an essential piece of running gear. No matter when you're running or where you're going, you need a bra that's supportive and comfortable (and it doesn't hurt to be cute, too). But finding one that's all three can be difficult.
Modern synthetic materials, like nylon, spandex and polyester, help make sports bras lightweight and breathable. Those fibers also wick moisture to keep you from getting clammy when the mercury rises.
Some sports bras zip up in the front, others clasp in the back and many slip on over your head. Finding a comfortable sports bra after breast surgery is even more difficult. But even the most advanced fabrics, best support and strappiest look won't make up for a bra that doesn't fit.
Shop from our collection of the best sports bras for running, yoga, weight lifting and more, so you can find support for whatever you're getting into.