Running Shoes: Info YOU Need To Know

Coach Casey · August 4, 2021

One of the many beauties about running is the simple lack of required equipment/gear to do it successfully. No sticks, balls, or pads required. No facility rentals or lugging 40 pound gym bags necessary. With a pair of shorts, a shirt, and the right pair of running shoes you can conquer endless days and miles of running. The key though will always be the running shoes. More than just a good pair of shoes, every runner needs the RIGHT pair of shoes for them.

Like any item now available for purchase, the sheer range of types of running shoes out there can be overwhelming. The coaches and shoe experts here at Charge are here to try to make things a bit simpler for you. While we’ll ALWAYS recommend heading to your local specialty running store for a full analysis, the following information will head you in the right direction towards finding your next pair of running shoes!

Running shoes are key to running success!

1. Price Is Important 

As runners, your running shoes will be by far the biggest regular gear investment besides your watch, and that of course doesn’t need to be replaced every 3-6 months. What that means is that price should of course be considered. More expensive does NOT always equal better. With the sheer variety of shoes now available online and in stores, there are always great options within a set price range. Be sure to set your own personal budget (accounting for a minimum of 3 pairs per year). However, be sure your budget is reasonable as well. It’s not uncommon for a good, reasonably priced pair of daily trainers to cost $100. Have an idea of the price range you’re looking for before going to see a salesperson even at your local running store. Some brands simply cost more than others for no reason other than supply/demand. Keep that in mind on your next running shoe shopping excursion.  

2. The Main Types Of Running Shoes

When looking for a daily trainer there are primarily just two types, neutral shoes and support shoes. This is where knowing a bit more about your foot strike mechanics comes in handy. For those runners who tend to over-pronate a support shoe is a better option. For those who under-pronate/supinate, a neutral trainer is the best bet. The primary, simplified, differences between these two types of running shoes are the amount of motion control they have. Support shoes provide stability and foot guidance to correct for the excessive inward rolling of a runner’s foot. Neutral shoes therefore have no guidance or stability built in and allow for the foot’s natural pronation, which in turn helps offset any under-pronation/supination a runner may experience. 

Your best course of action, if you’re still unclear what type of shoe may work best for you, is to first check the wear pattern on the sole of your shoe. Do your running shoes tend to wear out faster on the inside or outside of the foot? From there, take the information you have and bring it to a running specialist at your local running specialty store (not a Dick’s or Champ Sports). They’ll be able to do a few quick walking and running tests to figure out exactly what style you need.

3. Running Shoes For Different Runs

While there are just two primary categories of shoes in terms of mechanics, there are numerous different types of shoes for every possible activity. The most popular besides the daily trainers are trail running shoes (for those adventurous folks) and the road racing shoes, also known as flats. For those who may dabble in cross country or track racing, of course there are spikes for all different race distances and specialties. While smart spending and wise shopping is something that’s important, this is the point where you deserve to splurge a bit! 

It pays to have a few pairs of different running shoes for different types of runs. Racing shoes/flats are great for your next 5k or marathon and also for weekly speed work. With limited usage, these shoes can last a year or more and make a difference when you need extra pep in your step. Trail running shoes also serve an important purpose, even for those who mainly get in their miles on roads and sidewalks. When the rare time comes when you want to venture into a trail system for some running, a good pair of trail shoes will help immensely. You’ll feel more stable and secure with every stride despite roots, rocks, and dirt and that’ll allow you to focus on the quality of the run versus trying to stay on your feet. Again, with limited use these shoes can last at least a year per pair.  

Getting the RIGHT pair of running shoes is key!

4. Stick To What Works

Your daily running shoes are not where you want to experiment more than necessary. If you come across the opportunity to purchase multiple pairs of your favorite shoe for a discounted price, take it! It’s really that simple. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!   

5. Your Comfort Matters: Function Over Fashion

Don’t get caught up in the marketing and advertising of the major brands when it comes to buying your running shoes. The best commercials, coolest colors, and top celebrity endorsements have no bearing on how well a shoe works for YOU. Ultimately you’ll need to make the decision to choose function over fashion. Clearly many runners out there have already made that decision. Otherwise, let’s be honest, HOKA would never be able to sell a pair of shoes. The next time you see the eye-popping, heart-wrenching, inspiring commercial for the newest pair of Nike shoes, consider purchasing them just for walking around, don’t automatically make them your new pair of running shoes.

A final note here. Be patient as you break in a new pair of shoes. Even the perfect pair of running shoes for you may take a few runs to truly feel comfortable. If you close in on 7-10 runs and they still don’t feel right, then it’s time to reconsider. Any runs before that point though you should expect a bit of a breaking-in period.

6. Running Shoes Are Made To Be Worn 

The final point to note is that running shoes are made to be worn. They’re made to work hard and to get dirty. Embrace that dirtiness! Get a pair that you’re excited to splash through some puddles and kick through the dirt in. Ultimately your running shoes are your closest running partner so don’t hesitate to bring them along for every ride! A good pair of shoes are truly a runner’s ride or die.  

Get even more tips and information on all things running in the Charge Running app! Sign up today and get unlimited access to more than 100 LIVE runs/workouts per week coached by professional run coaches!

Comments 0

Download Charge Running today!

Access unlimited LIVE and on-demand classes for just $20 a month when you subscribe annually! Includes a 7-day free trial.