Like many, I used to assume that running shoes were running shoes and that there was just one type for everything, however I recently realised that this isn’t the case and that the type of running shoes you choose can really effect the way you run in different locations and even help prevent injury. Here’s a quick guide to the different types of running shoes on the market:
Road Running Shoes
These offer lots of support and cushioning to absorb the impact of hard surfaces. If you’re regularly running long distances – if you go for a morning or evening run, or if you’re training – these are the shoes for you. General purpose running shoes are available at reasonable prices from most, if not all footwear retailers.
Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes tend to have a deeper tread in comparison to the relatively shallow tread of general purpose running shoes. A deeper tread helps to provide better grip on softer, uneven and slippery surfaces. These are usually a bit more durable, too. Because of this, trail running shoes can cost slightly more than general purpose running shoes. If you’re in the market for a pair of trail running shoes, it’s best to go to a retailer that specialises in outdoor gear or activewear, such as GO Outdoors, Cotswold Outdoor and Mountain Warehouse.
As you may have guessed, racing flats have a very shallow tread and are consequently much lighter than the other types of running shoes. Racing flats are often raised at the front to encourage running on the toes to increase speed and some even have spikes to help improve grip. As these running shoes aim to help increase speed, they’re usually used by professionals or serious running nuts during races. If you’re after running flats, sports specialists such as Nike and Adidas have some great options.
Images courtesy of JD Sports, GO Outdoors & Adidas