FIND YOUR PERFECT FIT
Go large When you run, your feet expand with the heat, so buy your trainers a half-size bigger than your normal shoes. There should be a thumb-width between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe.
Collar down The collar height (the bit that curves underneath your ankle) should be at least 0.5 centimetres below your ankle bone to avoid any rubbing or irritation on your run.
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Toe-to-toe The toe-box should be narrow enough to prevent your foot sliding sideways but wide enough to let it splay out when your foot is flexed.
Laced with pace Cut down on blisters by tying your laces tightly from the bottom up. Pull up the slack on every loop, and use every eyelet so your arch is snugly wrapped and locked in place.
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Find your fit
The shoe’s cushioned material wraps like fingers around your midfoot and arch for a glove-like fit, eliminating the space between foot and shoe. A supportive option for road-runners who clock up high kays.Spalding Triathalon ($40)
A 1991 report in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise claimed runners were more prone to injury in expensive trainers, as the extra cushioning encouraged a harder foot strike. Sure, shoe technology has developed since then but, for lingering doubters, Spalding offers a bargain, entry-level shoe.Reebok RealFlex ($150)
Multiple sensors on the sole are positioned to twist, bend and support, encouraging your feet to move naturally. This provides some of the benefits of barefoot running, while offering protection to your otherwise defenceless tootsies.Asics GEL-Nimbus 14 ($230)
Lighter than its predecessor, this shoe is cushioned along its length to minimise shock. It’s built to last, too, with high-abrasion rubber placed in critical areas of the outsole for greater durability.Adidas adiZero Feather 2 ($120)
Researchers at the University of Colorado recently found that lightweight trainers help you run more efficiently than going barefoot. The aptly named Feather 2s weigh it a paltry 160 grams. Just be careful they don’t blow away when you take them off.New Balance M860 ($190)
Named “editor’s choice” in the March 2012 issue of Runner’s World, this is a high-stability trainer with an airmesh upper for breathability and a solid but lightweight arch support to prevent midfoot flex.
CATER TO YOUR NEEDS
Outsmart the techno-babbling shop assistant to find a shoe that’s perfectly matched to the way you run. Most fall into one of the three categories below.Neutral cushioning
For runners who are biomechanically efficient or “underpronaters” whose feet don’t roll in enough. This is the Rolls-Royce of running shoes – plush cushioning and a comfortable ride.Stability
Recommended for runners who “overpronate” by rolling their feet too far inwards. This can lead to injury, so correct it with footwear that provides a supportive wedge on the inside curve.
Normally kept for race day. The emphasis is on keeping weight down and support features to a minimum – so you need to be biomechanically efficient to really see the benefit.