The right running shoe for you

The Active Times

(Photo: Brooks)

(Photo: Brooks)

More than ever before, the marketplace offers a shoe for every runner. From barefoot to beefed-up varieties, running footwear runs the gamut. But there can be too much of a good thing, particularly when you're at your local running store, standing in front of a towering shoe wall and hemming and hawing over what shoe is right for you.

To narrow down your options, you need to equip yourself with some solid intel. Once you know the shoe categories and where your foot fits, shopping will be easier and you’ll run better in the shoes you choose.

A smart salesperson will take into account your injury history and running goals to help you make a choice. But going to the store armed with a basic understanding of the shoes, you’ll be able to better communicate exactly what you’re looking for and what might work best for your training. Your running shoe education begins here.


This category offers a well-cushioned shoe without any medial posting or extra arch support. This is a hot category for runners with fairly high arches. Since a higher arch usually means a rigid foot, a stiff shoe isn’t necessary.

Brooks Ghost 5 (at top)

This award-winning neutral trainer from Brooks gets it just right. The right amount of cushion, a cozy fit and all-terrain versatility without giving you too much shoe. They're fairly lightweight (11.3 oz.) given their durable, sturdy (not stiff!) build. Expect to get a lot of miles out of these. $110.

Mizuno Wave Precision 13

View photo


(Photo: Mizuno)

The neutral Precision is a traditional trainer, with a lot of underfoot cushioning and a fairly high heel-to-toe drop. But it's lighter than most of its neutral counterparts (at 9.6 oz.) and encourages good form while providing everyday, all-purpose utility. The upper is roomy enough for wide and tall feet, but lacing options allow it to snug in for lower-volume feet, too. Consider this a go-to training shoe. $110


(Photo: Brooks)

(Photo: Brooks)

The stability category is where the majority of runners tend to migrate. Stability shoes offer ample cushioning, but also added arch support. If you have flatter feet—which are more flexible, causing them to roll inward, or overpronate—the medial posting helps control excessive foot motion by supporting the arch and eliminating inward torque. It’s a great solution for runners with chronic knee pain associated with overpronation.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13

The GTS—or "go-to shoe"—is the most popular shoe in Brooks' lineup, and for good reason. This classic stability shoe features a medial post that's firmer toward the shoe's inside edge, helping reduce the foot's inward roll. Yet for all the extra stability it offers to overpronators, the Adrenaline remains pretty light (11.3 oz.) and flexible, thanks to the addition of deep grooves in the midsole foam. This is a solid daily trainer. $110

Saucony ProGrid Guide 6
(Photo: Saucony)

(Photo: Saucony)

Saucony's flagship shoe is also one of its lightest, at only 10 oz. After a major overhaul last season, this year's Guide is only slightly updated, increasing flexibility in what's always been a warrior of a stability trainer. As always, this classic provides a good balance of mild stability and lightness while providing adequate cushioning for plenty of miles. $110;

Motion Control

(Photo: Mizuno)

(Photo: Mizuno)

A dwindling category, motion control shoes are the heaviest of the bunch. These shoes are also the stiffest shoes around, specifically made to offer supreme support to runners with extremely flat feet and weak ankles. With a growing movement towards lighter weight shoes, though, there are fewer and fewer motion control options every year. Even still, a small number of runners will find this to be the best shoe to keep them up and running.

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12

The Alchemy is a lightweight control shoe with a flat midsole, high support and wider base that delivers the smooth run and uncompromising structure required by severe overpronators. Plastic plates protect feet from inward rolling, and durable carbon rubber helps keep the whole package light and extremely firm. In short, this protective trainer is the solution to your problem feet, though it may require some breaking in. $115

Brooks Trance 12
(Photo: Brooks)

(Photo: Brooks)

The more control and stability you require, the heavier your shoe will generally have to be, and for good reason. It takes a lot of cushioning, and a lot of smart technology to provide adequate support to severe overpronators without significantly slowing them down. The Trance has all the design work of the Batmobile, including Brooks' proprietary Caterpillar Crash Pad to smooth heel-to-toe transition and DNA Technology gel cushioning that responds to the amount of force placed on the foot, providing custom support. If that's not enough to keep your stride in line, you're probably out of luck.


For the most part, trail runners are heavier than road shoes, and are designed to support and protect the foot on rugged terrain—roots, rocks, mud and other obstacles. They tend to have durable soles fortified to protect against these uneven surfaces and aggressive treads for better off-road traction.
(Photo: Asics)

(Photo: Asics)

Of course, some road shoes will do just fine on fire roads and tamer trails, but when the going gets rough, you'll be happy to have trail shoes.

Asics GEL FujiRacer

This fast and light (8.8 oz.) trail racer is pretty much an Asics road shoe upper with a tough sole. It sports burly, x-shaped lugs on the tread for better grip on the trails, as well as a plastic plate beneath the outsole for protection against sharp sticks and rocks. Diamond-shaped "drain holes" extend from the footbed all the way through to the outsole, allowing water to be quickly and effectively pushed out of the shoe when you're splashing through streams or wet, slushy snow. $110

Brooks Cascadia 8
(Photo: Brooks)

(Photo: Brooks)

This traditional trail runner offers a good mix of cushioning, fit and agility on the trails, which comes at the cost of a little weight (11.9 oz). The woven microfiber uppers keep out grit while shedding water, a rock protector in the forefoot keeps sharp sticks and uneven rocks at bay, and the tread is burly and grippy. In short, the Cascadia will take on any terrain you can throw at it—rugged technical, mud, rocks, roots, you name it—with ease and aplomb. Looking for something similar, but with a touch less bulk? Try the 10-ounce Brooks PureGrit 2. $120

Click here to see more types of running shoes

More from The Active Times

Six Worthless Exercises You Probably Do

The World’s Best Bike Cities

10 of the World’s Most Luxurious Gym Amenities

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Kim Kardashian Concierge Reveals New Robbery Details: ‘They Weren’t There for Jewels’

      ET sits down exclusively with the concierge during Kim Kardashian's robbery, who recalls the terrifying events of Oct. 3.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be 'missing' after all

      Hillary Clinton just can’t seem to catch a break with her her ongoing email woes. While the consensus was that Clinton’s 33,000 notoriously ‘missing’ emails were permanently destroyed and beyond recovery, newly released FBI notes strongly suggest this might not be the case after all, the NY Post reports. In a May interview with the FBI, an anonymous executive from Platte River Networks (PRN) – the Denver contractor responsible for maintaining Clinton’s private server – revealed that an underling failed to purge all of Clinton’s subpoenaed emails, deleting only the ones he stored in a data file he used to transfer emails to the assistants of the presidential candidate. According to the PRN executive, the democrat’s tech specialist Paul Combetta “created a ‘vehicle’ to transfer email files from the live mailboxes of [Clinton Executive Services Corp.] email accounts.

      The Next Web q
    • Tim Tebow answered Stephen A. Smith's dumb question with a riveting inspirational speech

      Hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but there’s no denying he’s one of the most motivational guys in sports — period. On Tuesday he appeared with Stephen A. Smith on First Take and dropped the best speech you’ll hear all week. When he was criticized for taking a long shot at making an MLB roster, Tebow dropped the hammer.

      SB Nation q
    • 'Nothing short of a miracle' how kids survived suicidal bridge fall with dad, police say

      "When the officers found the children -- conscious and alert -- it's nothing short of a miracle, that's for sure," said Captain Christopher Depuyt with the Pequannock Police Department.

      WABC – NY
    • Mom Pictured Holding Syringe While Allegedly Overdosing With Infant Son in Car: Cops

      In the picture, the woman's head is tilted back and her hand loosely grips a syringe.

      Inside Edition
    • The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Are a Disgrace to Music

      Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced 19 nominees for its class of 2017. Five of these nominees will be inducted into the Hall. I am certain many of the Hall’s members and voters mean well, and I have heard nice things about their museum (which I have not visited). But the Hall, as it exists now, is so deeply flawed that it risks not only having a lack of credibility, but also a lack of validity. In other words, it doesn’t just make mistakes; the mistakes seem to be endemic, built into the fabric of the organization. And you know what? Rock ’n roll deserves better. Rock ’n roll (by which I mean any and all manifestations of music-based expression and art, from King Oliver to Tony

      The New York Observer q
    • Disturbing Photos Sum Up The Horror That Has Been Trump's Campaign

      The apocalyptic nightmare that is the 2016 election is almost, really truly, so close to being over. If, for any reason, you are not already haunted by the dank trash that Republican nominee Donald Trump has littered all over the American people’s consciousness, photographer Jean Malek is here to summarize all the very worst moments, in photographic form.  In his series “Locker Room,” Malek revisits the most grotesque instances of trumpery that occurred throughout the campaign. “The current campaign is unique and very entertaining,” the photographer wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “I wanted to visualize what felt like a significant moment in contemporary culture.” In “Miss Housekeeping,”

      The Huffington Post q
    • World Series of Poker player lectures another about being a bully

      Poker is generally a quiet game with occasional banter, but Englishman William Kassouf just doesn’t shut up.

      Sporting News
    • Royal feud – why Prince Charles won't allow Beatrice and Eugenie to be pampered princesses

      This question has reportedly left the Queen's two sons, Princes Charles and Andrew, at loggerheads. It also requested that Beatrice, 28, and Eugenie, 26, be granted better accommodation at Kensington Palace – because they are currently tolerating "small" apartments at St James' Palace. The Queen is said to have been "stunned" by her son's proposition and left it to her private secretary Christopher Geidt to sort out.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Sexy & Gray: 13 Women Who Prove That One Does Not Negate the Other (13 photos)

      Sophie Fontanel — Parisian Instagram star, fashion journalist, and author of The Art of Sleeping Alone — has a thing or two to say about going gray. “Accept yourself and you will see a big change,” she tells Vogue in an Oct. 24 interview focused largely on her decision to stop coloring her hair. Fontanel, who is 54 and has more than 87,000 Instagram followers , takes Vogue readers through her own journey of acceptance that came after what she calls “living a lie” by never letting her roots show. After achieving literary fame in her 50s, she explains, she began noticing beautiful gray-haired women seemingly everywhere she went. She stopped one such woman in Los Angeles. “I was asking, ‘is it easy to be like you are?’ She said, ‘Yes. You know, before I was much more invisible and now I'm really someone strange. Everyone notices me,'” Fontanel recounts. “Life is full of signs. Two months later I was in Rome. There was a second one. Then I was in St-Tropez at a café and there was another woman with long white hair, very chic, in Valentino. She was very sexy. I [said], ‘OK, you're the third woman I've noticed, so tell me, does it take courage to get your hair?’ And she said, ‘No. It takes curiosity.'” The writer was emboldened by these other women, and, after some thought and convincing, decided to let her own locks go natural — but gradually, by growing her roots out slowly, and documenting the transformation on Instagram. Today, she says, she’s “happier than ever.” Click through the slide show above to take in the splendor of Fontanel and a dozen other empowered, curious, and sexy silver-haired women. Let's keep in touch! Follow Yahoo Beauty on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest .      

      Yahoo Beauty
    • Hillary’s 33,000 emails might not be ‘missing’ after all

      For months now, we’ve been told that Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails were permanently erased and destroyed beyond recovery. But newly released FBI notes strongly suggest they still exist in several locations — and they could be recovered, if only someone would impanel a grand jury and seize them. In a May interview with FBI agents, an executive with the Denver contractor that maintained Clinton’s private server revealed that an underling didn’t bleach-clean all her subpoenaed emails, just ones he stored in a data file he used to transfer the emails from the server to Clinton’s aides, who in turn sorted them for delivery to Congress. The Platte River Networks executive, whose name was

      New York Post q
    • You Need To Read These Stories About Marshawn Lynch From His Former Seattle Teammates

      Just watch his episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls for proof of all of this. The Seattle Times caught up with a few guys on Seattle’s roster and asked for their favorite Marshawn stories. My first week here, we were outside on the field, and I was talking to Justin Forsett.

    • Family Heartbroken After 4-Year-Old Is Killed by New Dog Dropped Off Minutes Earlier

      The owner reportedly dropped the dog off less than an hour before the attack.

      Inside Edition
    • Mama Dog and Her Day-Old Pups Rescued Right Before Being Put Down

      The whole dog family is now happy with a foster mom.

      Inside Edition
    • Mom Pleads To Save Her Nearly 300 Pound 11-Year-Old Daughter

      Miranda and her mother Julie have come to The Doctors seeking guidance and help to transform their eating habits in hopes of reversing their health issues. Miranda says the bullying from other kids has become a “daily routine” for her. Miranda, who has struggled with her own weight over her life, explains that they have attempted to change their eating habits, but admits she doesn’t know how to fix the issue.

      The Doctors TV
    • Pollster Frank Luntz: The Trump campaign ‘is an absolute joke’

      Perhaps best known as the wordsmith behind many Republican talking points, Luntz had quite a few zingers about Trump, including one about the GOP nominee’s sometimes stilted delivery of prepared speeches. “Stevie Wonder reads a teleprompter better than Donald Trump,” he jested.

      Yahoo News
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Phil Collins Witnessed Princess Diana’s Affair and 7 More Shocking Revelations From His Memoir

      In his new memoir, 'Not Dead Yet,' Phil Collins shares shocking stories about Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Adele and more — read Us Weekly's top revelations!

      Us Weekly
    • IT HAPPENED TO ME: My Boyfriend Turned Out to Be a Slumlord

      In March of 2016, Malcolm* and I decided to move in together. We’d been dating for just about four months. It was alarmingly fast, but it felt right. We spent just about every waking second together.We met on Tinder and had an instant connection, even though our personalities were a bit mismatched. ...

    • Bella Hadid’s New Haircut Just Changed Her Entire Look

      Bella Hadid has the kind of face that looks just as beautiful under crazy runway makeup or interesting wigs—she could probably even wear a paper bag over her head and somehow remain recognizably stunning. But her latest hair update (thick-yet-wispy bangs with longer face-framing sides) just changed her entire look in the most unexpected way. Is it just […]

      The Zoe Report