How to buy running shoes

How to buy running shoes – There isn’t a ‘perfect shoe’ in the world. People have different biomechanics, weight, uses for their shoes, and differently-shaped feet, which means that what is best for one person will be another person’s worst nightmare!

Here, I’ve divided the shoes into 4 primary categories – minimalist, neutral, performance, and stability to help you understand how to buy running shoes.

How to buy running shoes for beginners

It is best for running enthusiasts who require maximum midsole cushioning along with minimal medial support. Such shoes are ideal for forefoot or midfoot strikers with normal or high arches and biomechanically efficient running enthusiasts with minimum pronation.

These are ideal for racing purposes and can also be used for training if you are biomechanically efficient. They come with different degrees of cushioning and support. However, since they weigh between 250 – 300 grams, they are usually narrower and lighter compared to other shoes.

These are ideal for running enthusiasts who are also moderate to mild overpronators and for people who have normal to low arches. They typically need shoes that offer midsole cushioning and good support.

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Visit a bimechanics expert

Firstly, discover what you need by trying out the ‘Wet Test’ given below or visit a shoe retailer or biomechanics expert. This test involves using the shape made by your wet footprint on pieces of paper or dry floors. Using this, it calculates the level of stability that is needed in your shoes. It can help you discover what features are needed in your shoes and help you get the best, most comfortable shoe for yourself by using the RW Shoe Finder.

The Normal Foot

These feet have normal-sized arches and leave wet footprints with a flare. However, the heel and forefoot are connected via a single broad band. Normal feet land on the heel’s outside area and roll inward for absorbing shock. It is usually seen in biomechanically efficient runners who don’t require motion control shoes.

Ideal Shoes – Stable shoes that have moderate control features.

The Flat Foot

These feet have low arches and leave prints that show the foot’s entire sole. It indicates overpronated feet – which strike the heel’s outside portion and pronates (rolls inward) excessively. Over a period of time, this may result in overuse injuries and issues.

Best Shoes – Motion control or high stability-oriented shoes that have control features and firm midsoles, which minimize the level of pronation. Don’t go for highly curved, highly cushioned shoes, which are lacking in stability features and function.

The High-Arched Foot

These feet leave prints that show narrow to no bands between the heel and the forefoot. Highly arched, curved feet are usually underpronated or supinated. Due to lack of ample pronation, they are not effective shock absorbers.

Best shoes: Neutral or cushioned shoes that are flexible enough to promote foot motion. Don’t go for stability or motion control shoes, since they diminish foot mobility.


The type of shoe you wear is going to make such a big difference to your running and the health of your joints. You have to factor in the arch and many other components, which is why seeing a biomechanist can take the guess work out of it.