How To Choose the Best Running Shoe For 5k Training

What is the best running shoe for you?

Did you know that the way your foot lands and pushes off the ground has a huge effect on the type of running shoes you need to wear? If you have any preconceived ideas as to which colour or design of footwear you’d like, you should leave them at home.

Sure you’re going to have some say as to the colour or make you buy, but ultimately your decision should be based on which pair provides the right kind of support, comfort and fit for you.

You can expect to pay a lot of money on buying the best running shoe for you and generally speaking (although not always) the more you spend, the better quality you’ll get. However they will be the biggest expense you’ll have and so it is worth the money if you can afford it.

Here are the factors you’ll need to consider. I’ve broken down in to summaries of each factor. To find out the full story and how to do a clever little test yourself, go here now – couch to 5k to get hold of ‘5k Training For Beginners’

The first step to choosing a running shoe is to find out what foot type you have. There are three types of foot make up – a normal arch, a high arch and a flat arch.

The next consideration is pronation which is the action of your foot during movement as the body’s weight strikes at the heel and moves through to the toes.

  • Runners with normal or neutral arches are usually normal pronators
  • Those with high arches are often underpronators, which means the foot rolls outwards placing body weight on to the to the outer foot instead of evenly over the whole foot.
  • Finally, runners with flat arches are classed as overpronators, meaning the foot rolls inwards too much.

If you’re an underpronator or overpronator, you’ll be at a greater risk of injuries if you don’t choose the best running shoe for you.

Running shoes are categorised in three ways: –

Cushioned Shoes  

These shoes are for underpronators.  Runners requiring cushioned shoes often run on their toes and have a raised arch. These running shoes provide little stability but are softer under foot and more cushioned.


Support shoes

Suitable for neutral runners, support shoes are usually best for runners with a ‘regular’ or neutral foot plant.  Support shoes usually combine good cushioning with lightweight support features on the inner side of the shoe in order to limit excessive inward rolling of the foot.

Control shoes  

For more serious overpronators and also for heavier runners.  Serious overpronators usually have a flatter foot as their arch collapses through the foot strike.  These shoes are generally heavier and combine cushioning with extra support to provide essential protection which reduces the risk of injury.

I would advise that you buy a size bigger than you normally wear as your feet tend to swell slightly when running for any distances. Also take in a pair of the socks that you’ll wear when you are training just to make sure they fit ok. Choosing your shoes later in the day will also give you more of an accurate idea as to how they’ll feel when you’re running.

For a full breakdown of how to choose the best running shoe for you, why not pick up a copy of ‘5K Training For Beginners.’ You can find out more here – couch to 5k