Running shoes are a type of casual footwear specially designed for running and exercise. They help athletes maintain balance, improve performance, and prevent injuries. Over the past decade, the running shoe market has been dominated by specialized manufacturers such as Nike Inc., Adidas Group, Asics Corporation, Mizuno Holdings Co., Ltd., Puma SE, and Saucony Inc. individual needs through several factors such as leg type and activity level.
In 2015, the global running shoe market was estimated to reach $22.77 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% during 2016–2021. The following factors drive growth:
Improved economies of developed regions, especially in countries like the US and UK, have led to a significant increase in consumers’ disposable income for running shoes. A large population in the Asia Pacific is the main driver for the growth of the running shoe market. Asia Pacific’s population is expected to reach 3.4 billion by 2050, from 3 billion in 2015, and surpass China’s 1.4 billion by 2030.
The growing popularity of trail running and an increasing number of runners will drive the trail running shoe market in the coming years. In 2015, about 3 million US citizens participated in trail running. With an increasing number of people wanting to run, it can be challenging to choose a running shoe that suits your needs, so here are some running shoe styles that everyone can enjoy. Consult to find the right shoes for you.
1. Lightweight Shoes
These shoes are characterized by a low-weight design that leans more towards cushioning and less stability. The main advantage of these shoes is the comfort they offer, but there is also a downside. Because they have a soft grounding on your foot, they wear out quickly and need to be replaced often. They will also mean running at a lighter weight than usual because the shoe is designed for less moving around. These shoes are generally for everyday use, not for long or high runs. Lightweight running shoes help reduce the impact of your feet on the ground. Consider asking a running shoe expert to see if they’re right for you or if you’d be better off with a pair with more cushioning and support.
2. Motion-control Shoes
These shoes are specifically designed to improve running techniques by significantly reducing the energy required for each stride. These shoes are typically lightweight and breathable, with shock absorption to minimize the joint load. Motion-controlled shoes use a sturdy shoe-bed interface and low-profile cushioning to assist with foot control in contact with the ground. Motion-control shoes typically have minimal stability than regular running shoes, but they can provide a smoother and more efficient running style. In addition, motion-controlled shoes come with plenty of support in the arch area to prevent your feet from being overworked (rolling in while you run).
3. Road Running Shoes
These shoes look like regular running shoes, but they provide significant cushioning as well as a heel-to-toe drop. They’re usually made from a lightweight, breathable material and designed to accommodate your toes and foot arch. The shoe’s arch is the “hot spot” for runners because it places your body weight on the fewest toes and distributes it across all of them evenly.
Some runners prefer this type over minimalist shoes because it provides more shock absorption for your joints and bones while still providing lightweight support. In addition, the cushioning material under the arch absorbs some of the impact force you would generally absorb when landing or pushing off.
The sole of road running shoes is very durable and has a flat, smooth surface. The sole provides a firm grip on the ground and allows for a fast running motion. On still surfaces, runners can feel a layer applied to the sole, which gives a noticeable bounce during running movements.
The shoe’s toe box is usually quite roomy so that the runner can put their toes in comfortably. The arch portion of the shoe should have a somewhat stiffer midsole, so it provides some support for your foot. The midsole should also have some cushioning to provide shock absorption to your bones and joints.
An added feature on road running shoes is the heel cup system underneath your heel area because this reduces heel slippage or popping that occurs when you are running or jumping. This is believed to be caused by the force of weight-bearing on the heel, which can be too much for some runners.
4. Trail Running Shoes
Trail shoes are designed to handle running on diverse terrain, so different than road running shoes. You should wear these for rugged conditions or when you’re uncertain of the ground surface. As these shoes are designed to provide more excellent reinforcement against uneven surfaces and wetland hazards, they will generally be heavier and less flexible than other types of running shoes. Since trail running shoes are made to handle uneven surfaces, they have a higher rand of protection around the heel area, often made up of dense materials. This is because it can be dangerous for the heel to come into contact with the ground.
Some shoes are designed so that they may be used for running on roads as well as trails. For example, roadrunners are usually no heavier than trail runners but have wider soles so that you can run on paved roads with ease. As a result, roadrunners are more like shoes with the ability to handle trails and pavements and may feel more like a clog than an actual trail shoe.
Designed for speed, road runners such as the Nike Free RN (also known as the Nike Free RN Flyknit) come in unique textured designs with a unique sole that makes wearing thicker socks easier. In addition, trail running shoes with treads on the soles, such as Keen’s Newport Trail, offer extra grip on incredibly slick surfaces while reducing slipping.
5. Training Shoes
These shoes are designed specifically to help runners train and prepare for a race. They feature soft, flexible soles and low heel-to-toe drop to neutralize any body shape differences by distributing the runner’s weight more evenly across their feet. Training shoes also typically come with thicker, durable midsoles that protect from excessive ground contact. They’re generally worn during running drills, workouts, and shorter distance races such as 5Ks or 10Ks.
6. Zero-drop Shoes
Zero-drop shoes have a natural ability to conform to the shape of the human foot. Unlike traditional running shoes, these models are created using a minimally structured or unstructured design, allowing them to move more naturally with each step. In addition, the lack of cushioning eliminates the previously needed level of support due to their enhanced heel height. Detractors argue that the shoe’s lack of flexibility can injure runners because they can’t absorb shock well enough. On the other hand, advocates of this product claim that they are great for runners because they can naturally absorb shock more effectively.
If you’re new to running, you might want to try on a more traditional pair of running shoes before switching to this one, which can offer more mobility but almost always less support.
7. Spikes Shoes
Reach for the spikes when running on a track or a cross-country course. Spikes are the lightest running shoes available, coming in little about 5 ounces in many cases (142 grams). As the name implies, spikes have a set of plastic or metal spikes in the forefoot for improved traction. These spikes assist you in touching the ball to your foot, and your heel won’t even make contact with the ground for specific sprints.
Spikes are usually the stiffest of footwear, thanks to the plastic plate on the bottom. More extended events, like 10,000m or cross country, may include some heel padding, but it will be modest compared to other shoes.
8. Racing Flats
Racing flats are running shoes with a flat sole and low-profile design to run very fast. These shoes are often used by endurance runners who want to maintain top speeds for as long as possible, but they also work well for those who only run short distances at high intensity.
The lack of cushioning on these shoes makes them more lightweight, so athletes using them should be prepared to feel the ground pressure. This means that those who use them should be capable of running on a variety of terrains.
Racing flats are ideal for races that don’t require a lot of turns, such as the 100-meter dash, but they’re also commonly seen at cross country tournaments. They’re also suitable for speed training due to the increased levels of responsiveness and stability.
There are a few disadvantages to this type of shoe, though. Due to the lack of cushioning, you could experience more pain and soreness after long runs. They’re also not great for long-distance races because they lack enough protection. If you wear these, make sure to wear them under socks, if possible.
9. Stability Running Shoes
Stability shoes are the most common type of running shoe. They are designed to provide a mix of stability and cushioning and work well for runners who don’t need the extra support that the other two types of running shoes offer.
They typically have a heavy heel counter and thick sole with plenty of arch support, but they won’t feel as heavy on your feet as maximum stability shoes would. They’re also not as clunky or bulky in appearance as max-support shoes would be. Stable shoes are great for runners who need to balance the needs of their feet with the needs of their running. Stable running shoes are often lightweight but still allow that extra cushioning that most runners enjoy. They’re perfect for beginners or those that need to keep their pace quick and steady.
Stability training running shoes can be found at REI, most mid-price department stores, specialty running stores, local sports stores, and online retailers. They’re also one of the most affordable types of running shoes.
10. Cushioning Running Shoes
If you’re looking for more cushioning from your running shoes, then a good pair of cushioned shoes is best. Cushioning running shoes have a soft sole and a sock-like upper with plenty of room for your toes to move around. They also have a thick midsole that will give your feet extra shock absorbency while protecting them from harsh impact while running on pavement, concrete, or other hard surfaces. They’re a great choice if you have a high arch, overpronate, have multiple injuries, or need added protection from the surfaces you run on.
Cushioned shoes are designed to give your feet plenty of comfort and support. They’re also one of the more expensive running shoes available. That’s because they’re made with top-quality materials that allow them to be lightweight without sacrificing performance. Cushioned shoes are often found at specialty running stores and online retailers.
11. Neutral Shoes
The conventional shoe is the neutral focus shoe. They are the most widely used running shoes on the market. These shoes are made for runners with a neutral posture, which means their feet roll inward no more than 15%, and their ankles and feet are appropriately aligned.
A curved or semi-curved end is one of the first things you’ll notice about a neutral running shoe. This is due to the shoes’ thick cushioning, which relieves pressure on the joints – the feet, ankles, knees, and hips – while also absorbing and minimizing the impact of footsteps.
Because your body weight is uniformly distributed and your entire foot is in contact with the ground, neutral shoes have no built-in support. This also helps to lighten the neutral running shoe. As a result, they’re ideal for tempo runs and interval workouts. If you’re an over-or under-provisioned runner, though, neutral running shoes may cause pain on your feet or ankles. This is because neutral running shoes do not provide adequate pronation support.
12. Waterproof Shoes
If you’re running trails twice a week, you might want to consider waterproof shoes. This will keep your feet drier and more comfortable as you navigate muddy, wet, or snow-covered terrain. Most waterproof trail shoes use Gore-Tex and add a special treatment to water particles and runoff. This keeps the shoe waterproof even if you get caught in the rain. The shoes will also feature a sticky sole with a long lung to stabilize when running on wet and muddy roads.
13. Carbon Plate Shoes
Carbon Plate shoes were created with a thin layer of polymer on the soles as innovators in the running industry. This thin layer is extra durable and improves grip. In addition, the wear protection lasts 1-2 years, depending on the runner’s mileage and frequency of use. For this reason, runners should replace their carbon plates after a certain point during their runs to avoid any complications that arise from missing too many layers of material on the soles. Running shoes with this type of sole are often used by runners who participate in long distances and marathon competitions.
14. Overpronation Shoes
If your feet pronate or roll excessively inwards, you have overpronation. This can lead to injuries on the inside of your foot, so it’s essential to choose the right running shoes. Overpronation running shoes are for those whose feet are high-arched. They allow the shoe’s midsole to be thinner and more flexible on top, which will help control overextension. This helps reduce and control overpronation, which leads to injuries such as shin splints.
15. Underpronation Shoes
If your feet supinate or roll excessively outwards, you have underpronation. This can make it more likely to overuse the outside of your foot, so it’s essential to choose the right running shoes. Underpronation running shoes are for those whose feet are low-arched. They accommodate the excessive inward roll of the foot by giving more room on top of the shoe, which enables them to move into a straighter position on the foot. This helps to reduce underpronation, which leads to injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis.
16. Speed Shoes
These shoes are designed to provide the most amount speed using minimal weight. The shoes sole is thicker than other running shoes, and it is built with less cushioning to create an efficient, barefoot-feeling upper. These shoes are typically for people who don’t need a stable shoe but want a pair that will allow them more maneuverability and speed. This type of shoe has become popular with high-school and college athletes, but casual runners often wear them.
17. Support Shoes
These shoes are designed to give extra support to your feet, ankles, and knees. They will help the body stay in balance and stay active. The last inch or two of these shoes can be shaped to fit your foot to help reduce impact and keep you comfortable during your run.
Elements used in models from this segment strengthen the interior of the sneakers, which indirectly increases the shoe’s stability and makes it safer but heavier and bulkier than cushioned shoe models. They are designed so that the foot’s arch does not slip through and has tilt adjustment with additional cushioning where the midsole is stretched. This means that shock absorption is increased. But the downside of this segment is the increased weight.