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10 Feb 2009

What to look for in a Good Running Shoe?

I would like to know what are the important features to look for when choosing a very good running shoe. I need cushioning and support all around.
There are so many shoes out there and it' s very confusing.
How do you rate Asics and New Balance shoes, in particular?

Answer 347 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Jenny

Comfort, comfort and comfort. And then fourth is comfort...

Seriously though, if the shoe is comfortable, then it's likely close to correct. If you end up in the wrong shoe, then you usually feel it, because it's too stiff or rigid. Likewise, a shoe that is not supportive enough will also feel too flimsy. So you can tell a lot by the comfort in terms of support and cushioning.

Broadly speaking, there are two categories, support shoes and cushioned shoes. If you pronate excessively, then you might need a more supportive shoe. However, I would caution against taking the advice of sales people who want you to wear a very heavy, stiff shoe with a lot of support. Cushioning is far more important. My advice is to buy at a specialist running store where you know people are capable of assessing. That's not to say that a general store doesn't know, but you have less chance of getting 'lucky' that way.

On specifics, Asics are the most widely worn shoe in SA, for the reason that the shoe is very well made, high quality shoe. They tend to cater to bigger, heavier runners, and I'm not convinced that their top of the line shoes are necessary, in terms of the support and gadgets they have. However, they are a good shoe.

New Balance are gaining popularity, though it's hard to tell if this is marketing and promotion or a because of a great shoe. I've heard different views, don't know them myself. However, I think they make an enormous range, which can be confusing and difficult to sift through. My advice is to buy from a specialist store, once again, because they'll do a lot of the 'filtering' for you. Adidas make excellent cushioned shoes as well. There really is little difference between them, it's a question of preference for each individual.

GOod luck
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