Running shoes can make or break your run. The wrong shoes will give you blisters, shin splints, flare up your plantar fasciitis, or have your body aching more than it should after you are done. By purchasing the best running shoes for your foot or run type, you can avoid all of these problems and have a more comfortable run.
Types of Running Shoes
The first thing to think about when purchasing running shoes is what type of terrain you will be running on. This is important because trail shoes are made differently than shoes you will use to run on the pavement.
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Trail shoes have a thicker sole so you will be comfortable over sticks, rocks, gravel, and any other types of terrain you may come across. They are made to be durable and last through tough conditions. If you are primarily a road runner, expect to buy a shoe that is more lightweight and has thinner treads than a trail shoe does. This is because you are going more for speed when running on pavement rather than trying to handle tough terrain.
If you run on both trails and pavement, there are shoes that support both types. Figure out what is most important for your feet. Will they need the extra cushioning like trail shoes or do you plan to run hard on pavement? Or do you want them to be more lightweight like road shoes? Deciding what you need most, which may take you trying on different shoes to find what provides maximum comfort for your feet.
Race or speed shoes are made to be lightweight to increase your speed. These are not made to be taken on trails and are not ideal for every day training. Since they are specifically designed for speed work, use them as such. The shoes will still be supportive and comfortable, but be sure to keep an eye on your form to prevent injuries. Speed shoes are made for more advanced runners, so it is not a good idea to purchase them as your first pair of running shoes.
Top 10 Best Running Shoes of 2016
The following is a list of the best running shoes of 2016.
Saucony produces well-made running shoes, and the Hurricane ISO is no exception. It comes in both men’s and women sizes and is made for runners who have moderate to severe pronation. They are specifically made for road or track running, so if you plan on using them on a trail, they may not be as comfortable. They are not waterproof, nor are they water resistant, so that is also something to keep in mind if you run on a rainy day. If you have a normal or low arch, this shoe will fit your feet comfortably. It has a firm midsole, well-padded heel, and an ample amount of toe room so your feet are cradled throughout the entire run.
The Wave Catalyst is a light-weight shoe that has enough cushioning to protect your feet. If you are training for speed, this is the shoe for you. Furthermore, it won the award for Best Runner’s Debut in March of 2016. While you are running, you will notice the responsive sole that will let you feel the terrain as you run while still providing stabilization. Overall, this will allow you to run farther and faster because of the advanced technology the shoe provides.
When you need racing shoes, Puma has you covered. The 300 Ignite was designed specifically to be a lightweight racing shoe for runners who like the combination of responsiveness and comfort. This shoe features a “propulsion zone” underneath the heel to help you keep good running form for the duration of your race. Not only that, it will return energy to propel you forward while providing a snug fit on your feet. If you are looking to run faster and have ample amount of grip to the pavement, this is the shoe for you.
When you want to run long distances, the SpeedForm Apollo 2 will help you do it. Users have reported the shoe feeling small at first, but once they wear it after a while, it is just what their feet want. If you like the tighter fit of a shoe to feel more secure, then this can be ordered in your normal shoe size. If you are looking for more room, it is recommended you purchase a half size up to ensure your feet have enough space. They do stretch out, so that is something to keep in mind when purchasing these shoes. These shoes boast a medium cushion that gives you responsiveness for the entirety of your run. It is made to be durable, so it will last long distances and many miles.
The Instinct/Intuition 3.5 has had a makeover to give it a softer feel, higher toe, and a comfortable hugging heel. Reviewers have said that even if you have tried the Alta Instinct 3.0 and didn’t like it, the 3.5 is very different. The materials on the 3.5 are different on both the inside and outside of the upper, so you get more support as you run. The lacing has also received an upgrade and is wider at the ankle and toe while being narrower in the middle. Even if you didn’t like the first version of this shoe, or were unsure about it, give this second version a try.
#6. ASICS MetaRun
This is another shoe made for long distance runners. It is made with MetaRun technology, which took two years to develop, that is supposed to adapt and contour to your personal running style. The foam inside is 55% lighter than standard running shoes, according to ASICS website. The MetaRun shoe has a low arch and memory foam cushioning. The main goal of this shoe is to be a supportive running shoe. Even with its support, it is still lightweight enough to run with on a daily basis. It is a little on the pricier side, which has some reviewers concerned. The shoe costs about $250 U.S.D., which is expensive even for a high-end running shoe.
#7. On CloudCruiser
The design of the On CloudCruiser is not what you would expect from a typical running shoe, yet runners are raving about how the design works for your feet. The shoe has running pods on the midsole that help reduce the overall weight of the shoe. Speed lacing is another cool feature of the CloudCruiser. If you don’t like that style, they also come with a pair of standard laces as well. They are specifically designed to be used on the road, so if you take them on the trail, be prepared to collect rocks and mud in the channels. They are also perfect for people who have a medium or narrow width and need some extra padding when they run. If you run 5ks or even 10ks on a regular basis, these shoes will have no problem keeping up.
These road running shoes are ideal for runners who have medium to high arches. They boast adaptive cushioning that will be comfortable, yet snug enough to provide stability. The Glycerin 13 will give you responsiveness through your entire foot strike to give you a smooth transition. The Ideal Pressure Zones creates a better ground contact from the heel to toe of your foot. The Glycerin 13 is an updated version of the Glycerin 12. Very little has changed between the two shoes because Glycerin 12 got a complete overhaul before it was released. Yet, Glycerin 13 does have its improvements so it is worth checking out if you liked the previous version.
The Climachill Cosmic Boost is made of PrimeKnit material, not mesh like most other running shoes. PrimeKnit is flexible, supportive, and extremely ventilated when compared to regular mesh material most running shoes are made out of. The shoe has vents in the midsole that allow air to flow through, sweat to evaporate, and water to escape. However, the shoes are not water resistant, so if you do go in the water, prepared to get wet. The shoe has a thick base so it is made to be durable for many miles.
#10. Newton Gravity III
If you are looking for a daily training shoe that can transition into a race shoe, the Gravity III has you covered. The shoe is made for high mileages and is very efficient. Themesh on the front of the shoe will keep your feet comfortable, even during the hot summer days. In addition, the shoe has reflective panels on the front for when you run in low light, or during the night. These shoes have lots of cushioning, which may be a pro or con depending on how you like your running shoe.
The Specialty Running Shoe Guide
Finding the best running shoes to suit your running style is imperative to your comfort. First, decide if you are going to run on pavement or a trail. From there, find a shoe that fits your arch comfortably, has the right amount of cushion, and provides proper stability for the distance you are running. If you need a racing shoe, make sure the running shoe is specifically designed for racing to optimize your performance. The above list of the best running shoes in 2016 will help you find the right shoe for your running style.
If you have high arches, flat feet, or plantar fasciitis, you may need to be extra picky about choosing your running shoe. Shoes are available for these certain types of conditions so as to help prevent injuries, make your run more comfortable, and keep the overall health of your feet in good condition.
Each time you take a step when you are running, you are putting an immense amount of weight on your foot. The right type of running shoes will help to absorb this force and help prevent injury. In addition, this will help you run longer distances, keep your body in good shape, and it will cut down on common injuries that most runners experience.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Flat feet are defined as feet where the arch sits on the ground. If you have flat feet, it is important to find a running shoe designed specifically for flat feet because the arch of your foot is designed to absorb shock as you are running. Without the shock absorbers from the arch, you can suffer from injuries to your hips, knees, ankles, and feet. This can get extremely uncomfortable in a short amount of time. The right running shoes will help prevent these injuries.
Overpronation is one of the biggest problems with flat feet, but Nike has reinforced the midsole of the Lunarglide 6 to reduce overpronation. The cushioning material is supportive, yet comfortable for every step you take. The shoe does allow for flexibility and will feel lightweight on your foot as you move through each mile.
If you know you over pronate, this is one of the most stable shoes on the market. They are slightly heavier than your typical running shoe, but your feet will be stable and comfortable for even long distance running. The medial post is made to promote natural pronation, which is necessary if you over pronate and are looking help combat this condition.
Best Running Shoes for Men
If you are debating between traditional running shoes and minimal shoes, the general deciding factor is to ask yourself if you can do a perfect single-leg squat. If you can do this with no problem, your body can handle minimal shoes. If you cannot, then try working on your core and hip strength before trying to run in these shoes and your body is not ready for minimal shoes. For now, check out this list of traditional running shoes to ensure you have proper support for your run.
The GEL-DS Trainer 20 got a makeover for its 20th anniversary. Compared to the ones before it, it is now more flexible and lighter than ever before. The design will support your arch and prevent overpronation to help you become a more efficient runner. While this is not made for speed work, it is a great shoe that you can use daily for training or running distances.
The Boost midsole is composed of Boost foam that is designed to give you an extra boost, hence the name, with each step of your run. Unlike the typical mesh material, this shoe has Primeknit to help your feet breathe on hot days. If your feet are prone to getting hot and sweaty even on normal days, the Primeknit is designed to combat that. The fabric is breathable and allows air to flow through. Along with that, the fabric will move with your feet to provide you with more flexibility. Stability is also built into the shoe so you get some movement, but not enough to cause injuries or poor running form.
Best Running Shoes for High Arches
If you shopping for running shoes and you know you have high arches, look for shoes that have higher support in the middle. This provides more stability for your arch, which will ultimately help prevent injuries.
For high arches, this shoe offers the perfect combination of cushioning and support. The foam is made mostly of rubber, which gives the shoe resiliency with an ample amount of softness. The shoe has a removable insole, so it can be somewhat customized to your specific arch. This is a nice feature as you will have enough room to put a custom insole in your arch, or keep the one it came with.
The PureCadence 3 will give your feet stability, cushioning, and is lightweight enough for long distance runs. The heel of the shoe features Ideal Heel technology, which helps you take a natural foot strike with every step. Furthermore, the shoe is evenly balanced and has the right amount of support for your high arch.
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain due to inflammation in the tissue, called the plantar fascia. This tissue is along the bottom of your foot and can cause stabbing pain when it becomes inflamed. Many runners experience this condition, so having the right running shoes can help prevent flare-ups of plantar fasciitis.
The Guide 7 are durable and give your feet support and stability to help keep plantar fasciitis away. It has a firm midsole, which will help to keep your foot stable and features light material that absorbs impact. Furthermore, the shoe offers a perfect transition from heel to toe while still providing you with a responsive feel.
The Glycerin 11 has lots of cushion to it to help keep plantar fasciitis away. DNA cushioning is the name of the technology and it runs along the entire midsole of the shoe. This allows it to be responsive and great at absorbing shock. For added cushion, the Glycerin 11 has a caterpillar crash pad that also helps with flexibility.
The Final Word
Finding the right running shoe for your specific foot condition is extremely important, especially if you are looking to run longer distances and improve your form. If you are unsure of where to start, it is a good idea to go with a more stable shoe then work down to a more flexible shoe. This will help prevent injuries and allow you to figure out what your feet actually need when it comes to running. If you do have flat feet, high arches, or plantar fasciitis, look for shoes designed specifically for those conditions, your feet will thank you for it in the long run.