For the past few years, I have run the 10K during Ottawa Race Weekend. The biggest struggle, hasn’t been the training or the race, it’s finding an athletic shoe that is comfortable and supportive.
Have you been athletic shoe shopping lately?
Walls and walls of shoes – with so many styles, brands that pretty much look all the same – to me at least.
So this year I reached out to Nick Rizzo for some advice. He is the Training Director at RunRepeat, a site that compiles reviews for all different types of athletic shoes. They have over 4 million reviews – 4,244,783 users and 12,260 experts have reviewed shoes.
Here a some things to consider when buying your running shoes:
Higher quality running shoes are designed specifically for the environment they are being constructed to deal with FIRST. So, that’s where you should start.
1) Are you going to be road running or trail running?
If you are going to be road running then it is safe to assume that your shoe will be interacting with the same type of environment consistently. Meaning, you will be running on a generally flat, even surface, in an environment where there is limited debris. So you are going to want shoes that:
- are smaller and lighter
- built focusing on speed, responsiveness, and performance
- less durable materials on the soles to focus on flexibility and speed
- a relatively flat undersurface made from some form of abrasion-resistant rubber to provide solid traction and grip
When it comes to trail running, the shoes are built to deal with a more aggressive terrain. Dealing with tons of uneven surfaces, rocks, sticks, grass, dirt, mud and other debris is a major focus in these shoes. So you are going to want shoes that:
- provides protection for the whole foot from top to bottom
- does well at protecting from shock forces
- provides adequate landing control
- will typically be bigger and heavier than a road shoe
- designed for specific environments by adding features such as waterproofing, mudguards, durable toe caps, and more.
- extremely durable in order to take a beating from nature
- soles will have aggressive lug patterns made from durable, sticky rubber to provide traction and grip on a wide variety of terrain
2) Determine your running style and gait to decide on what type of arch support you need.
Neutral Running Shoes: These are shoes with less cushioning to support a flexible heel-to-toe transition and are made for runners with neutral/normal pronation. Although, if you have a supinated foot motion, neutral running shoes can still be fine.
Stability Shoes: Stabilizing shoes provide a platform and cushioning that helps to keep runners with overpronation on track with the proper heel-to-toe movement.
Motion Control Shoes: For those with flat feet as a result of overpronation, the best option is motion control shoes. These shoes limit excess motion while providing stiffer, thick midsoles to prevent too much rotation of the foot during the gait cycle.
3) Using the CoreScore to pick the perfect shoe for you.
What is the CoreScore?
The CoreScore is a 0-100 score that indicates how liked a shoe is based on reviews and ratings from experts and users. The CoreScore is a weighted average of user ratings and expert reviews adjusted for spam, shoes with few reviews, what version is reviewed and the credibility of the expert reviewer.
How to use it to pick the best shoe for you for 10K runners?
By now, you have determined between trail shoes and road shoes, as well as determined what kind of arch support you require.
Next, you can simply head over to our rankings of the best long-distance runnings shoes. On the left side, use the filters to select your terrain, arch support, size, gender, and any other features you might have preferences for like width, heel to toe drop, color, brands and more.
From there, the rankings of shoes will update to show you the best long distance running shoes that meet your specific criteria.
How I picked my shoes…
If you are like me, you are a road runner, who is an overpronator (needs motion control shoes), and has a size 9.5 foot. Also, you might be the type to be kind of “stingy” with their money. So, when I saw Asics Gel Foundation 13’s had a 92 CoreScore and were significantly cheaper than any other option, I snagged them real quick!
…now that all the guess work has been taken out of it – the only thing I need to do is pick one!