As we spend hours and miles out on the trail each week, we hear a lot of conversation about the right running shoe or “time to get new shoes!” Although a good pair can cost a pretty penny, Runner’s World experts state, “If you want to stay healthy, fit, and injury-free, invest in a good pair of running shoes.” And we agree!
Below are some questions we hear, as well as our own two-cents as recreational and somewhat experienced runners.
What is the best brand of shoe?
There is no best brand. There are so many brands out there because all of them offer something unique to fit your personal preferences. High arch. Over-pronator. Lots o’ cushion. Minimalist (my fav). Over the last ten years as a distance runner, the most commonly purchased and highly spoken of running brands I’ve personally encountered include Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno and Asics. I’ve owned each of these and liked them all. But there are a TON of other great brands out there too, so find something that works for you!
I’m a creature of habit in some ways. Once I find something I love – a dessert, a good red wine, running shoes – I’m usually loyal to the end. Don’t get me wrong, I love to try new things and be adventurous, but I’ll always come back to those old faithfuls. For me personally, my go-to running shoe is the Saucony Kinvara. It’s a lightweight, neutral shoe that I LOVE (I’m on my fifth pair/edition).
Kinvara 8 will be released soon and as Saucony says is Comin’ in HOT! Photo credit: Saucony
I also recently acquired the Saucony Freedom which is similar to the Kinvara, but with more cushioning. I save those for long & double digit run days, to make my knees a little happier.
Saucony Freedom with EVERRUN cushioning. Photo credit: Saucony
What is the right type of shoe for me?
GO GET FITTED. Let me repeat, GO GET FITTED. I HIGHLY recommend you go to your local shoe store to do a run-fit and have an expert find the pair that is best for you. Heck, while you’re there, some runners even get TWO pairs and rotate them, depending on your mileage. Stores around Columbus that are especially helpful include Columbus Running Co (also called CRC, my go-to store), Fleet Feet and Front Runner. CRC does a lot of demonstrations with various brands during their Saturday morning runs, check out their website and events list for upcoming shoe demos. The Dublin location is owned by Eric Fruth a super-cool, knowledgeable Cbus running expert!
Things to consider…
- Pronation – I personally underpronate, meaning I have a little more impact on the outside part of my feet/shoes. Therefore, I am in a neutral shoe. I could probably move up from a minimalist to a more cushioned shoe, but I like the lightweight feeling and haven’t had any problems (until I hit double digit runs). Check out this great article & some videos about pronation from Runner’s World.
- Arch – low, medium, high… plays into your shoe fit. Maybe you’ll need arch support or even orthodics (like my husband).
- Cushion – pending your pronation, arch, mileage and just general preference, you may need more or less cushion for quality impact support.
Style, color, price may play into your decision as well, but should be less important than the criteria listed above!
How do you know when its time for a new pair?
Many runners keep track of the miles on the shoe and then replace. According to TheRunnersGuide.com, “The generally accepted consensus is runners will require a new pair of running shoes every 300-500 miles.” I’ve never been able to track that and typically just buy a new pair for each spring and fall training season. I run an average of 15-20 miles per week, give or take, and typically train for a quarter or half marathon each season. So two pairs per year works for me. When my knees start hurting on a long run, its almost ALWAYS because I’m in a shoe that has too many miles. And off to CRC I go!
Any other tips or favorites? Here are a few from some runners in our crew…
- “I was a Mizuno WaveRider girl for 14 years… but just recently tried the Brooks Ghost and LOVE them! Neutral shoe, so comfy!” -Amanda R
- “Asics gt-2000 series” -Lauren & Leah // Amanda C just switched to Aasics too!
- “I like my Mizuno Wave Paradox. My feet are not great so I need a shoe with a lot of support.” -Deedra
- “I don’t have a favorite and get whatever the expert fits me in! I like a lot of arch support and cushion. I have several pairs of different brands & switch it up!” -Peggy
- “Saucony ISO Triumphs!” -Christine
- “Brooks Glycerine! The key is sizing up a full size and getting personal inserts.” -Jen
I (Teresa) used to wear Brooks Glycerine before switching to Saucony. My husband loves them too. Great shoe!
Thanks for reading! Let us know if you have a favorite running shoe, questions about shoes, running or just ideas for future posts. For more of our favorite FIT brands, check out our Brands we Heart page.
Photo credits to the following IG accounts: @LivingFitColumbus @Saucony @ColumbusRunning