The Different Types of Running Shoes Explained

The greatest mistake newbie runners make picking regular sports shoes for running. Most people do not realize that running requires specialized shoes. Using the wrong shoes for running can result in injuries and discomfort. For this reason, every runner needs a good pair of running shoes. These shoes ensure shock absorption to counter the shock from constant impact on the ground. They also offer cushioning to promote a comfortable run. The shoes can also impact your performance, especially in races. However, it is also worth mentioning that the shoes are designed for various running activities. In other words, not all shoes for running are the same.

The market features various types of shoes for running. Before choosing one, it would be wise to understand what each type entails. Below are the most common types of shoes for running explained;

Lightweight shoes

As their name suggests, these shoes are lightweight. This element allows for maximum foot sensitivity and ample flexibility. They have a thin sole and often have a stretchy mesh upper sole. When you pull on them, they feel more like a sock than shoes. Additionally, these shoes help reduce the impact of your feet on the ground. However, they do not offer enough protection for running on rocky trails. Furthermore, they do not offer shock absorption. Therefore, lightweight shoes for running are ideal for short power workouts and running on soft surfaces.

Motion control shoes

These shoes offer a lot of support on the arch region of your feet to prevent inward rolling (overpronation) as you run. Overpronation can lead to severe injuries like IT band syndrome and shin splints. The shoes have a wider sole to counter the overpronation tendencies when running. In addition, they are more rigid than lightweight shoes for running and offer more cushioning.

Stability shoes

Some people refer to motion control shoes as stability shoes. However, the two types of running shoes are not the same. Stability shoes are a step down from motion control shoes. They feature the normal cushioning and arch support. However, they do not eliminate overpronation 100%. Their cushioning is slightly less. This makes them more comfortable and less rigid than motion control shoes.

Road running

These shoes are specifically designed for road running. They are built to provide support and shock absorption for running on pavements. In addition, their bottoms can grip smooth surfaces like concrete and asphalt to provide stability and prevent injuries. As a result, they are great for long-distance races and marathons.

Trail running

As the name suggests, these shoes are built for trail running. However, they offer ample support for running on natural ground. As a result, they are great for hiking and running on natural terrain. Additionally, the shoes provide a stable grip to handle various terrains like dirt and rocks. It is also worth mentioning that these shoes usually weigh more than other shoes on this list. Additionally, they might have special features like waterproof liners and ankle support for running in unstable conditions. Therefore, runners can pick shoes depending on their features and the terrain they intend to run on.

Training shoes

These shoes are heavier than the other options above. For this reason, runners do not wear them when racing. Instead, they wear them when training to prepare for races like marathons.

Zero-drop shoes

These shoes are zero-drop shoes because they do not have a heel-to-toe drop. This refers to the height of the heel from the ground compared to the height of the toe from the ground. This type of shoe is designed for experienced runners. They offer a lot of support but not too much mobility. Therefore, if you are new to running, you may want to check out conventional running kicks before shopping for this kind. It is also worth mentioning that these shoes can be uncomfortable for someone who has not worn them before or someone new to running. However, once you get into them, you will realize their benefits.

Final Word

Now that you know the different types of shoes you can use for running, you can make an informed decision when shopping. The best place to shop for shoes is online. There are numerous stores like Runners Need that specialize in shoes for running.

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