The number one thing that every new runner needs (besides their A Game!) is the right pair of running shoes. With so many options available, it can be hard to find the runner that’s best for you. Here at Life Style Sports, we’ve got shoes for every type of runner, and we’ve broken down the basics to help you choose.
One of the biggest factors to consider when buying the perfect beginners running shoes is the type of “pronation” you have. Pronation refers to how your foot rolls when you walk or run. The best way to find out what type you have is to visit your nearest Life Style Sports store and have a gait analysis done for you, or you can refer to the guide below:
Under-Pronation occurs when the foot rolls outwards as you walk or run. The outer side of the heel lands on the pavement at an increased angle, causing a large transmission of shock through the lower leg. Typically those who under-pronate have a higher arch.
Neutral foot types land on the outside of the heel when they run or walk, and then roll slightly inward onto the ball of the foot. Weight is evenly distributed from the moment your heel hits the pavement until rolling on to the toe, reducing the risk of injury compared to under- and over-pronators. Typically these runners have a normal arch.
Over-Pronation occurs when the foot rolls inwards as you run or walk. The outside of the heel hits the ground first, then the rest of the foot rolls inwards excessively. This rolling transfers weight to the inner edge instead of the ball of the foot, which increases the risk of injury. Typically these runners have lower arches.
Not everyone’s feet are the same, and neither is every running shoe – but thankfully there are three main types of running shoes best for each type of pronator. Once you know what type of pronation you have, you know what type of shoe you need:
Natural Shoes are the best for under-pronators and neutral foot types. These shoes offer flexible support, allowing your foot to move naturally for a barefoot feel. One of the most popular models of natural running shoes would be the Nike Free Run.
Cushioning Shoes are best for those with a neutral foot type. Cushioned shoes are great for beginning neutral runners because they support your foot and absorb shock while you build up muscle strength. Popular cushioning shoes include the and Nike Zoom Pegasus.
Stability Shoes are best for mild to moderate over-pronators. They offer more structured cushioning for maximum support, and distribute impact evenly to minimize pronation. Top models of stability shoes include the Nike Lunarglide and the ASICS Kayano.