Running Shoes: Which Ones Should I Buy?

Running Shoes: Do Your Due Diligence to Choose the
Right Pair for YOU

running shoesSpring is in the air, athletes are itching to get into full-bore training, and with that comes a deluge of questions about running shoes.

"Should I be in a stability shoe?"
"Can I try minimalist running shoes?"
"How about this shoe for trail running? "

I'm sure you have asked some version of these questions yourself. So let me spend a moment guiding you on the best way I, personally, advise runners on how to go about choosing proper running shoes. We also have a free ebook offer at the end of the post that provides even more detail and guidance.

The truth is, despite the confusion running shoe manufacturers or your local store fit "expert" might stir up, there IS an appropriate running shoe for every single runner. To get to that proper running shoe choice, however, there is quite a bit more information that should be examined.

To determine which running shoes would be appropriate, the most basic questions to start with are:

1. How much ankle dorsi-flexion do you have?

2. How much do you pronate?

3. Is the pronation beyond what would be considered ideal, or is it within an ideal range? (A certain amount of pronation is not only normal, it is necessary.) Does your pronation come more from the front of the foot (varus) or the back of the foot?

4. How much do you weigh?

Running shoe companies want to sell shoes and are great at marketing their messages. In our Gait Analysis Lab, we have worked with many runners and triathletes who became injured switching to a shoe because they saw an ad, or because someone who didn't have a clue suggested they try it.

Running: A Holistic, Total-Body Activity

For example, if you have limited dorsi-flexion, you have no business whatsoever wearing minimalist running shoes with near zero drop. If you have limited dorsi-flexion, wearing a Newton-type shoe with an elevated forefoot is a recipe for disaster.

If you have limited hip mobility, or an extreme forefoot varus or any of a variety of other issues that reflect the simple fact that running ISN'T just about the weight or color of a shoe, but a HOLISTIC, total body activity requiring everything along the chain from the big toe to the trunk to be in balance. Every part of the chain must be doing "its job," or something along the chain is very liable to break at some point in time--and usually at the worst time in your training. For what its worth (and its worth a lot I think!), these things aren't just about staying healthy--they're also about reducing energy leaks and being able to run faster and longer, as well.

Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes, and Dating

My partner at Pursuit Athletic Performance, Dr. Kurt Strecker, put together a concise e-book on the topic of the "feet" titled, Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes, and Dating. We have it available for you below. When you share it, the direct download link will pop right up. Just copy and paste it into your browser to access it immediately. Have a read (pay no attention to the dating part! 🙂 ), and be empowered with with the information you need to set yourself up with some nice, new kicks!

Email Address * First Name


  1. Coach Al;

    I purchased your Runners Core CD and also receive e-mails, including one about selection of shoes. When I tried to download it I ran into a problem that I do not use Twitter or Facebook. When I attempted to sign up for Twitter they wanted me to select 5 somethings to follow, but I apparently could not get past four and therefore the Twitter sign-up did not work. If there’s a way to see the shoe information, I’d like to view it. Many thanks, John 503 228-5121

  2. Hi ,
    This article came at the perfect time!! But the ebook did not appear when I liked on Facebook.
    I just had a terrible run ( practicing for Tap Rock 50k) the trail shoes that where suggested by a sales person in Florida where not exactly like my road Altra zero drop shoes! which i love and have taken knee pIn and plantar away! I have been on a shoe mission forever and have spent millions it seems.
    Would love to read your ebook.
    Can you send it by email.
    Thanks Karen

Leave a Reply