Style Guides

Determining the Best Running Shoes

Woman RunningA record number of runners are entering marathons and competitions around the world.

Runners are taking to the streets, trails, boardwalks, and tracks in pursuit of personal fitness or personal challenges.

Marathons and competitions are seeing record numbers all over:

Record number of runners at L.A. Marathon

Record number of runners in Air Force Marathon

More than 17 hundred runners take to the streets of Bismarck…

Record-breaking number of runners at 30th Robin Hood Festival of Running

Missoula Marathon: Record number of runners convene for race

London Marathon: Record number of runners

Running is as popular as ever. People are taking to the sidewalks, streets, treadmills, tracks, and trails to challenge themselves in the purest form of physical fitness known to man.

So it’s no wonder that running shoes always seem to be at the forefront of footwear technology. Every year there are new innovations in running footwear that allow runners increased comfort, safety, stability, and durability.

If you’re in the market for some of the latest running shoes available here are a few tips for determining what shoes are best for you…


Speed and stamina come into play for today’s runners. As a runner, you don’t want to be held back by footwear that is heavy and bulky. Today’s technology has allowed running shoes to get lighter and lighter while renaming durable. Look for shoes with uppers built with lightweight synthetic materials to take advantage of today’s technology.


For hot summer days of running there is nothing worse than wet feet. Thankfully today’s running shoes offer moisture-wicking material to allow your foot to stay dry so you can run in comfort. Typically there will be some sort of mesh on the upper of the shoe as well as some mesh on the lining surrounding your foot. Some of the better styles will include anti-microbial to fight off bacteria that feeds on moisture.

Comfort and Cushion

Look at the latest examples of running shoes and you’ll see some crazy looking designs. Around the heel and even around the forefoot you’ll see padding and shock absorbing contraptions designed to stabilize and soften the blow of landing on your feet while running. There are many designs and most will provide the comfort you need.

Also be sure to look for shoes with plenty of cushion on the inside lining. Make sure you have a tight, but not smothering fit. The lining is also a part of the shoe that can wear quickly. It’s a balance between comfort and durability usually. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra for a shoe that is known for comfort and durability. It’s difficult to find that combination.

Slip Resistant

Rubbers soles are the norm for a quality running shoe that won’t slip when you happen to hit a wet surface. You don’t want to get caught off guard and twist your ankle while running. Even flat terrain can lend itself to the occasional slip. Traction bottoms can be a savior when it comes to frequent running.

Safety Features

Some footwear manufacturers are adding reflective uppers so runners can be seen in low light conditions. This is a great addition if you like to run along busy roadsides or any other areas where vehicles are nearby.

Trail Shoes

Trail running is becoming popular. Runners that want a little extra challenge like to take their running off road and onto some more difficult terrain. Trail shoes are typically designed with a more rugged build to allow your feet to take the blows of landing on uneven ground. Some of the better styles even offer debris blocking tongues and some are waterproof, but be careful because there is usually a give and take with waterproof and breathable material.

Kids Running Shoes

Anybody that has them knows kids like to run. They may not run around tracks or fields, but they sure like to runaround wherever they happen to be. Kids style running shoes often mimic the style of adult running footwear, but some of the kid-friendly brands throw in some cool features like lights and cartoon characters. Durability is also important for kids since they’re likely to put their shoes through a lot of wear and tear.


Avia Women’s A5694W Running Shoe

adidas Women’s Galaxy Running Shoe

Reebok Women’s Zig Pulse II Toning Shoe


adidas Girls’ Adilastic Bounce J

Saucony Girls’ Jazz

Reebok Girls’ Reebok Motion KC


Asics Men’s Gel Cumulus 12 Running Shoe

New Balance Men’s MR7500 Running Shoe

Reebok Men’s RunTone Action Running Shoe


New Balance Boys’ K7500

adidas Boys’ Adilastic Bounce J

Saucony Boys’ Cohesion H&L





New Balance



What do you look for in the best running shoes?

What are your personal favorites?

Share your thoughts in the comments…

Woman Running image courtesy of Ernst Moeksis