Run Fast, Wild, and Free: The Different Types of Running Shoes, Explained

Did you know that in the past decade, participation in road races has increased by fifty percent? Running is one of the most popular outdoor activities for fitness enthusiasts in the United States, and the pandemic has not affected their willingness to take to the streets and the sidewalks in their running shoes.

If you’re someone who’s thinking of taking to the streets or the tracks yourself, it is important for you to have the right running shoes for the job. This article outlines everything you need to know about the various types of running shoes there are and how you should go about choosing one for your needs. 

Let’s get started by first taking a deeper look into the anatomy of your running shoe!

Shoe Anatomy

What purpose do the various parts of a running shoe serve? That’s precisely what you need to know to choose the right shoes and understand the finer differences between the various running shoes out there. 

The upper part of your shoe refers to everything that’s above the sole. This part is designed to be flexible and provide adequate support to your foot. 

The ankle collar is the curve or the wrap at the very top of your shoe opening. You want to ensure that this part interacts well with your ankle. Certain fabrics or paddings can cause irritation upon continuous contact. 

The heel counter is what provides support to your heel, and is underneath your shoe, towards the end. Look for a heel that allows your foot to rest comfortably while standing, but also allows you the flexibility necessary for motion control. 

The saddle is what covers the arch of your foot, beneath your laces. The saddle must be designed to fit perfectly over the natural shape of your feet. 

The toe box is where your shoe begins, right at the top. This is necessary to protect your toes from friction, rubbing, and stubbing and is a particularly important feature in trail shoes. 

The outsole is the underneath of your shoe. This should be lightweight and designed to provide you with stability during your runs. 

Additionally, your shoes may also include additional elements like flex grooves, toe springs, midsoles, heel cushioning, and forefoot cushioning to minimize impact while running or add to your range of motion. 

Types of Running Shoes

Now, you’ll find variations in the above-mentioned elements, giving you various types of running shoes. Here’s what you need to know about the five major types. 

Trail Shoes

Trails involve maneuvering your way across various obstacles, uneven terrain, and rocky surfaces. This calls for shoes that provide stability and high-impact absorption. Ideally, a quality pair of trail shoes combine the best features of hiking shoes with running sneakers. 

While choosing trail shoes you want to look for adequate protection around the ankle as well as the saddle. This is necessary to keep your feet safe from loose stones or rocks along your trail. Further, you should also look for good grip design on the outsoles which is particularly important when you’re running on uneven ground.

Lightweight Shoes

Lightweight shoes are ideal for quick races that require you to run at higher speeds. These types of shoes generally have less cushioning and foam in order to ensure a truly lightweight shoe. You may also know these shoes as racing flats or cross country shoes. 

Do not use these for long distances as they provide poor impact absorption, making you prone to injuries in the long run. They do, however, provide a more natural feel, which is why they’re your ideal choice for sprints. 

Stability Shoes

If you’re someone who overpronates, you will definitely benefit from using stability shoes. Generally, someone who overpronates is considered to have feet that roll more inward than those with regular pronation. Stability shoes are designed to provide support, particularly in the midsole area. 

They offer more ankle and arch support thereby reducing excessive pronation while you run. They help to distribute the impact of running evenly across your feet. 

Motion Control Shoes

Now, as discussed above, someone with a slightly higher level of pronation can benefit from using a stability shoe. However, if this pronation is excessive, you might benefit from motion control shoes that are designed for even more support along the arches and the ankles. 

They limit your foot’s ability to move excessively and reduces overpronation by a much higher degree than stability shoes due to their wider soles. Ultimately, you have to choose depending on the degree of pronation for your feet. 

Cushioned Shoes

Like the name suggests, cushioned shoes come with extra cushioning and shock dispersion features. If your pronation is at the lower end, these are the ideal choice for your feet. They provide little to no support. 

Find the Right Shoes for Your Feet Today

While looking for the right types of shoes, you should consider the type of feet you have and their level of pronation. Additionally, also consider the type of surface you will be running on and the speeds and distances you will be running as well.

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your feet. 

At Kicks Crew we’ve got an excellent range of the best running shoes on the market, from all the best brands! Have a look at our online store and find the perfect pair today. Happy running, folks!

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