Selecting the right pair of running shoes can make all the difference in your performance and overall running experience. 

Finding the right running shoe involves seeking professional guidance, determining your specific shoe requirements, testing multiple options, and ensuring a proper fit.

With a plethora of brands and styles available, it’s essential to understand how to choose the best shoe for your unique foot mechanics. 

In this article, we share invaluable insights on navigating the maze of running shoe options and finding the perfect fit for optimal comfort and support.

Step 1: Seek Professional Guidance

Before embarking on your quest for the ideal running shoe, invest in a thorough foot mechanics assessment by a qualified fitness professional. 

Whether it’s a physiotherapist, biomechanist, biokineticist, or podiatrist, seek out experts with extensive experience in running biomechanics. 

Avoid relying solely on layperson observations, as misdiagnoses can lead to unnecessary purchases and potential injury down the road. 

While this initial consultation may require a modest investment, it will ultimately save you time, money, and discomfort in the long run.

Step 2: Determine Your Shoe Requirements

Based on the insights gained from your foot mechanics assessment, identify the specific type of running shoe that suits your needs.

Whether you require a lightweight neutral shoe, a high-mileage neutral option, mild stability, or motion control, understanding your foot’s unique biomechanics is key to selecting the right shoe category. 

Armed with this knowledge, approach shoe retailers and request a selection of shoes within your designated category, regardless of brand or appearance.

Step 3: Test Drive Multiple Options

Once you have a curated selection of shoes at your disposal, it’s time to hit the pavement and put each pair to the test. 

Take each shoe for a 300 to 400-meter run, paying close attention to how they feel on your feet. 

The right shoe will feel comfortable, natural, and minimally intrusive, allowing you to run with ease and efficiency. Trust your instincts and select the pair that offers the most seamless running experience, regardless of aesthetics or brand loyalty.

The Ultimate Running Shoe Comparison: Trail Vs Road

Step 4: Ensure Proper Fit

After identifying your preferred shoe, it’s crucial to ensure it fits correctly to maximize comfort and performance. When trying on the shoe, check for excessive side-to-side movement, as this can indicate an improper fit. If necessary, inquire about narrower or wider fit options to accommodate your foot width. 

Additionally, verify that there is ample space between your heel and the back of the shoe, allowing for slight movement without feeling loose. Similarly, ensure there is sufficient room for your toes at the front of the shoe, providing comfort and preventing discomfort during longer runs.

Additional Recommendations

  1. Understanding Pronation: Consider discussing pronation patterns with your chosen fitness professional to better understand your foot’s natural movement and the corresponding shoe features that may benefit you.

Runners Guide To Pronation, Overpronation & Supination

  1. Consider Terrain and Running Goals: If you frequently run on varied surfaces or have specific running goals such as distance races or trail running, factor these considerations into your shoe selection process.
  1. Regular Reevaluation: As your running habits, fitness level, and biomechanics may change over time, periodically reassess your shoe needs and consider updating your footwear accordingly.
  1. Incorporate Proper Footwear Maintenance: Extend the lifespan of your running shoes by practicing proper maintenance, such as rotating between multiple pairs, cleaning them regularly, and replacing them when signs of wear and tear become evident.

7 Easy Steps To Clean Running Shoes


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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