What is the best footwear for running?
Unfortunately the research is not there to support any such grand statements and you should be wary of anyone who is definite on advising a particular type of trainer. I prefer to think of running trainers as a sliding scale, or a bell curve. At one end you have trainers such as the Hokka One One; a very thick soled trainer that many ultramarathon runners a preferring to use. At the other end of the spectrum you have the minimalist footwear such as the Nike Free 3.0, vibrams and the most minimal of all barefoot.
The best advice research can offer when deciding on which footwear is most suitable for you is… wear what feels the most comfortable. The majority of people will fall in the middle of the bell curve and will find they suit a trainer that has a moderate level of support, while others will prefer a thicker sole and others prefer to be closer to the ground and the surface they’re running on.
The only way to know for sure is to try before you buy. And a 30 second run outside the shop is not going to be enough. Many good running stores will allow you to take the trainers for several days so you can do a couple of proper runs, before you make a decision. I would urge everyone not to just follow the latest running fad but experiment with different types of footwear and then decide which trainer you found the most comfortable.
Due to the way different manufactures make their trainers, I will allow myself to give some general advice. For those of you with narrow feet I would recommend trying adidas trainers. If you have fairly broad feet brooks and asics trainers may fit you better and nike trainers tend to fall in the middle.
Just remember, which ever trainers you choose are not going to dramatically change your running style, so it is best to work to improve your running technique and not hope a change of trainers will suddenly turn you in Mo Farah. Form before footwear!
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