Best Running Shoes for Women and Men

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to enjoy running. In fact, like walking, the main thing you need is a pair of decent shoes. Running shoes come in a wide variety of designs and materials, many of which are said to increase your performance. 

Let me tell you something – I’ve run in some cheap shoes, and I’ve worn some of the most expensive shoes around, and I couldn’t really tell the difference. Technological advancement can make a running shoe sound like it’ll do everything but lace itself up and do the running for you, but the main thing to consider when buying running shoes is that they are super comfortable. 

Even the most expensive shoe won’t make you run faster – that’s the job of your heart and lungs. So, don’t think that you have to buy the most expensive running shoes to enjoy running – you don’t. But you should buy the shoes that are right for your feet. 

With all that in mind, here is my review of some of the best running shoes around. Remember though, more expensive is not always better. 

Women’s Running Shoes

1. Skechers Performance Women’s Go Run 400 Obstruct running shoes

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Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400   Obstruct
206 Reviews
Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400 Obstruct
  • Radically lightweight and flexible
  • Responsive 5gen cushioned midsole
  • Highly breathable engineered mesh upper
  • Goga run return energy insole
  • Skechers

Sketchers make great walking shoes, but they also make decent running shoes too. These Skechers Performance Women’s Go Run 400 Obstruct shoes are made from lightweight mesh and have good shock absorbency making them ideal for heavier runners, and those who tend to do all their running on pavements.

These shoes have no reinforcement on the stress points, so they may wear out relatively quickly, but that means they very light and soft, so they should be super comfortable. They are not really suitable for off-road use so make sure you consider where you will be doing your running before buying. If you want to run off-road, you’ll need something more rugged.

Available in 13 different colors, you should have no problem choosing a pair that matches your running outfit.

Amazon reviewers award Skechers Performance Women’s Go Run 400 Obstruct running shoes 4.6 out of five stars, with 74% of users giving them five out of five. Looking for a fashionable, lightweight shoe for road running? These could be a good choice.

2. ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe

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ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
311 Reviews
ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
  • FlyteFoam Midsole Technology
  • Fluid Ride Midsole: Fluid Ride provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability.
  • Rear foot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
  • Fluid Fit Upper: ASICS Fluid Fit upper technology combines multi-directional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements that adapt to the athlete's foot, creating a truly customized glove-like fit.
  • Heel Clutching System Technology: Exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment.

If I could only choose one type of running shoe for me, these would be my choice. They might not be the cheapest running shoes around but, for me, they are the most comfy and long-lasting – exactly what I want from a pair of running shoes.

Asics use a special gel in their soles to maximize shock absorbency. Shock absorbing shoes are often heavy but that’s not the case with their ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoes. Nimbus is a type of cloud and these shoes live up to that name by being as light as a cloud. The gel isn’t just in the heel either but in the forefoot too. This makes them extra comfortable if, like me, you run more on your toes than your heels.

Made to withstand serious use, these shoes have a rugged sole, so you can wear them for light off-roading although they are better suited to road running. Light and well-cushioned, these are good shoes if you want to run longer distances.

Amazon users award the ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoes 3.9 out of five stars, with 49% awarding them the full five out of five. This slightly lower than average rating is due to them being a little on the small side. Just order half a size larger than usual and you should be fine.

3. New Balance Women’s 490V5 Running Shoe

New Balance Women's 490V5 Running Shoe

New Balance make great running shoes – period. They are tough, light, have good shock absorbency, and are long lasting. Designed for runners who want comfort and performance, if you want to give your feet a treat, New Balance running shoes are a great choice.  Available at Amazon.com.

These Running Shoes have a lightweight mesh upper, with a reinforced toe box to reduce wear. Like all New Balance shoes, they are available in a range of widths, so you have no problem finding the perfect shoe for your feet.

If I had to describe these shoes using just one word, I’d say they are serious. They look like professional athletic shoes and that’s why a lot of top runners wear them. This pedigree comes at a price which is why New Balance running shoes are some of the most expensive on review.

Amazon customers have awarded these Running Shoes 4.5 out of five stars, with 73% of reviewers giving them five out of five. Looking for a state-of-the-art shoe for serious running? Look no further.

What are the best running shoes for you – women

If you want a fashionable, good-looking running shoe that won’t break the bank, the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Run 400 Obstruct running shoe is a great choice. Available at Amazon.com.

Are you are a serious runner who doesn’t mind spending a little more for a professional running shoe packed with technological features? The New Balance Women’s Running Shoe is the one for you. Available at Amazon.com.

If you want one of the best shock-absorbing shoes around, but still want your running shoes to be light, bright, and fun, ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoes will be perfect running partner for you. Available at Amazon.com.

ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
New Balance Women's 490v5 Running Shoe, deep Porcelain Blue, 9.5 B US
Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400 Obstruct
ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
New Balance Women's 490v5 Running Shoe, deep Porcelain Blue, 9.5 B US
Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400   Obstruct
from $59.95
$59.95
from $29.50
311 Reviews
97 Reviews
206 Reviews
ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
ASICS Womens Gel-Nimbus 19 Running Shoe
from $59.95
311 Reviews
New Balance Women's 490v5 Running Shoe, deep Porcelain Blue, 9.5 B US
New Balance Women's 490v5 Running Shoe, deep Porcelain Blue, 9.5 B US
$59.95
97 Reviews
Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400 Obstruct
Skechers Performance Women's Go Run 400   Obstruct
from $29.50
206 Reviews

Men’s Running Shoes 

1. Tesla Men’s Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes 

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Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
630 Reviews
Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
  • Alert : True to size ! Recommend ordering usual shoe size
  • ex: usual size MEN 7 (D) > MEN 7(D)
  • 0.5 size up for Customer's with very wide feet
  • ex: usual size MEN 7(4E) > MEN 7.5(D)
  • 12th October, 2017 Updated size guide based on customer's comments*

I’ll be the first to admit that I’d never heard to Tesla sports shoes. But, reading the very positive reviews, they seem like a very budget-friendly alternative to the more expensive well-known brands. Available in a wide range of colors, these lightweight mesh-upper shoes are breathable, have a grooved outer sole for flexibility and have good cushioning. 

While the mesh upper is light and breathable, it is prone to wear and tear, so these shoes will not be as long-lasting as other models and brands. To keep cost and weight down, Tesla have not used any suede or other materials to reinforce key stress points. That’s not an issue for a few short runs per week, but if you run a lot, you’ll wear your shoes out pretty quickly. 

Reviewers on Amazon.com have awarded the Tesla Men’s Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes 4.4 out of five stars, with 66% of users giving them the full five out of five. If you are looking for lightweight running shoes but don’t want to break the bank, these are an excellent choice. 

2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Vanisher Ankle-High Running Shoe

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ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
125 Reviews
ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
  • Leave your competition in the dust with the ASICS GEL-Vanisher trainers.
  • ASICS
  • US Women
  • Grey

Asics make great running shoes. They are made for serious runners. They use gel technology in their soles to provide lots of cushioning but with minimal weight. The Gel-Vanisher is definitely a men’s shoe and is available in seven mainly dark colors so this is not a shoe to be seen in. That being said, darker colors don’t show the dirt as much as light-colored shoes which can look grubby after just a few outings. 

Asics shoes have the reputation of being hardwearing which is good as they aren’t that cheap. This mid-range running shoe has a mesh upper that is reinforced in all the right places to reduce wear and tear. The soles are rugged enough for light off-road running but are probably best suited to pavement pounding. 

The high level of cushioning makes these shoes ideal for heavier runners, or runners who tend to be pronounced heel strikers. If your running shoes show more wear on the heel than anywhere else, that’s you. 

Amazon reviewers award ASICS Men’s Gel-Vanisher Ankle-High Running Shoe 4.6 out of five with 77% giving the full five out of five. Those are great scores for a very well-priced serious running shoe. 

3. New Balance Men’s Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe

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New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
19 Reviews
New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
  • 8 Mm Drop**
  • Bootie Construction
  • No-Sew Material Application

When I first started running, New Balance were my favorite running shoes. They were the first running shoes to be made with different width fittings, so you could be sure you would get the best fitting shoe for your feet. They are now a very popular running shoe company and that’s because they make great shoes. 

New Balance Men’s Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe are made for off-road use. That means they are tougher than the average road running shoe. They are also a little heavier. However, this means they are very hardwearing, and suitable for more adventurous running. Don’t worry though, they’ll be right at home on the pavement too.  

They have a booty-type construction which means they’ll fit you like a glove, or should that be sock? They also have a lugged outsole which means they’ll give lots of grip in the wet. 

If you want a pair of running shoes that you can wear almost anywhere, and don’t mind the hefty price tag, these New Balance Men’s Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoes will be ideal. 

These shoes score 4.3 out of five stars with 72% of users awarding them the full five out of five. They’re a good choice for anyone who likes to run off-road as well as on pavements. 

What are the best running shoes for you – men

If you want a tough running shoe that’s at home on trials as well as the pavement, and you don’t mind a hefty price tag, the New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoes are your best choice. Available at Amazon.com

If you prefer your running shoes light and cheap and are happy to replace them every couple of months, Tesla’s  Running Shoes will suit you perfectly. Available at Amazon.com

If you want a serious running shoe with lots of shock absorbency, but don’t want to break the bank buying them, ASICS Men’s Gel-Vanisher running shoes are the best choice for you. Available at amazon.com.

Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
from $23.98
from $39.99
from $94.50
630 Reviews
125 Reviews
19 Reviews
Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
Tesla Men's Knit Pattern Sports Running Shoes
from $23.98
630 Reviews
ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
ASICS Mens Gel-Vanisher Walking Fitness Running Shoes
from $39.99
125 Reviews
New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
New Balance Men's Hierro V3 Fresh Foam Trail Running Shoe
from $94.50
19 Reviews

How to buy the right running shoes for you

Everyone runs slightly differently and, because of this, we all need different running shoes. The running shoes that are perfect for me might be uncomfortable for you and vice versa. This is not just a matter of manufacturer or price, but the way the shoe is designed and made.

Consider the following when buying your next pair of running shoes.

1. Fit – running shoes are often sized slightly differently to regular shoes, and sizes can even vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Make sure you try your running shoes on before you buy them. Running shoes also often vary in width with companies like New Balance being known for making wider-fitting shoes, and Reebok known for narrower shoes.

Running makes your feet swell and athletic socks are thicker than normal socks so make sure you take this into consideration too. If you are in any doubt, buy shoes that are maybe a half-size too big as that’s much better than too small.

2. Material – running shoes are made from a range of manmade and natural materials. Some are made of mesh which, while very light, doesn’t provide your feet with much protection or support. Other shoes are made with leather or synthetic leather which makes them stronger and more supportive, but also heavier. Some combine materials to create the best of both worlds.

In most cases, mesh shoes are softer and more comfortable, and are ready to wear right out the box. In contrast, shoes with more leather or synthetic leather are stiffer and may need to be worn around your house for a few days to soften them up for comfortable running.

2. Gait – as mentioned, everyone runs slightly different, what experts call your gait. It’s impossible for manufacturers to produce an infinite range of shoes to cater for every individual’s running style, but they do produce shoes for the three main variations.

Those are:

  1. Pronation – where you tend to roll onto the inside of your feet as you run
  2. Supination – where you tend to roll onto the outside of your foot when you run
  3. Neutral – where your foot neither rolls in or out

Your running shoe should match your gait and wearing the wrong shoe could exacerbate any existing problems or create new ones. Running shoe store assistants will be able to assess your gait and recommend a range of shoes that are right for you.

3. Shoe weight – heavy running shoes tend to be more hardwearing as they are made with more robust materials. If you are a heavy man, you probably won’t even notice this extra weight but, if you are a petite woman, that extra weight could be most unwelcome. Consider the weight of your shoes so that you don’t end up with a heavy pair that makes you feel tired faster.

4. Outsole – the outsole is the part of your running shoe that comes into contact with the ground. A rough, lugged, outsole is perfect for running on uneven and even slippery terrain as the lugs will grip the ground. However, this type of outsole is not so good for running on pavements or roads. In contrast, a running shoe with a very smooth sole is great for running on flat, paved surfaces but will not grip well on mud or loose trails.

Pick your running shoe based on where you are going to do most your running. If you expect to be crossing fields and following wooded trails, buy shoes with a tough, lugged outsole. If most your running will be on pavements, shoes with smooth soles will be best.

5. Price – running shoes can cost anywhere between $20 to $200, and in most cases, you get what you pay for. Cheap running shoes do not normally come loaded with features whereas more expensive shoes are usually state-of-the-art.

However, you don’t need to buy the most expensive running shoes if you only run a few miles a week. More expensive running shoes won’t help you run faster or further. That’s the job of your heart, lungs, and legs!

Buy the running shoes that represent good value for money to you. So long as you like them, they are comfortable, and you think they represent good value for money, you will be happy with your purchase. However, if you resent spending a lot of money on your running shoes, you are much less likely to enjoy wearing them.

A good pair of running shoes will make every run as enjoyable as possible. In contrast, the wrong shoes can make running an uncomfortable nightmare. Try your shoes before you buy, even if that means going to a running shoe shop for a fitting and then buying your shoes cheaper online.

How running can help you lose weight

Running is one of the most accessible types of exercise around. You can run at whatever time suits you best, and you can do it virtually anywhere. That means you can run from your house or run from work. You can also run while you are on vacation. It’s also a great way to explore your local area and get out and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. 

As well as being a very good way to get fit and tone your legs, running is a very effective way to maintain or lose weight. While running is a competitive sport, most runners do it simply to shed unwanted or avoid gaining fat. Although, a lot of runners who exercise for fat loss eventually try a race – such as a 10k or even a marathon. This can give you a great goal to aim for – even if it’s years away. 

But, what makes running such an effective fat burning workout? That’s a good question! 

Running is great for fat loss because: 

1) You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or to join a gym to enjoy the benefits of running. Because of this you won’t find many barriers to doing it regularly. The more regularly you exercise, the better your results will be. Because you can run almost anywhere and anytime, running is an excuse-free workout.  

2) Running is easily modifiable to reflect your current level of fitness. If you are new to running, you can run slowly or short distances to ensure your workout is hard enough to be beneficial but not so hard you feel sore and exhausted. It doesn’t matter how fit (or unfit) you are, you can create a running workout that’s right for you. 

3) Running burns plenty of calories which makes it good for fat loss. One mile of running burns around 100 calories so if you do 10 miles per week, you should burn an extra 1000 calories. While this is not an exact number, it’s clear that by eating less and running a few times a week, you’ll create the calorie deficit that your body needs to start burning more fat for fuel. 

4) Running burns mostly fat for fuel. Running is an aerobic activity. That means with oxygen. When you exercise aerobically, your main source of energy is fat. Needless to say, burning fat is a very good thing if you want to control your weight.  

5) Running is an instant workout. You don’t need to learn any special skills to enjoy the benefits of running. That means you’ll burn lots of calories the moment you lace up your shoes and head out on your first run. Other, more skilful forms of exercise involve complicated techniques that, until you master them, mean your workouts will not be as productive. With running, you start burning lots more calories right from the get-go. 

6) Running is a progressive form of exercise. Unlike group exercise classes, that never really get any harder and, in fact, often get easier as you get fitter, running grows with you. As you get fitter, you’ll be able to run further and faster which will ensure it always provides you with an effective workout. 

7) Running will increase leg strength and muscle tone. The stronger and more toned your legs are, the more calories your body will use, even at rest. That’s because stronger, more toned muscles use more calories, even when you are sleeping. 

8) Running increases your metabolic rate for several hours after your workout has ended. Like a car engine that’s been driven hard stays warm for hours after your journey is done, your body stays hot after a run too. Your body not only burns more calories while you run, your metabolic rate is also faster for a few hours afterward. 

This is due to a phenomenon called excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC for short, and also known as the afterburn effect. 

Running weight loss tips 

Any running you do can help you lose weight, providing you eat healthily of course. But, to help you make faster, easier progress, here are some tips so that you get even better results from your runs. 

1) Make sure you run at a comfortable pace 

Comfortable pace running is enjoyable, sustainable, and something you are more likely to do frequently. Running faster may burn more calories, but, unless are very fit, it’s not something that you’ll look forward to doing. Running fast can be very uncomfortable. 

For exercise to be effective, you need to do it often enough for it to work its magic. That’s usually 3-4 times a week at least. Running at a comfortable pace, when your breathing is faster than usual, but you aren’t panting, and you are still able to hold a conversation, means your workouts will be something you enjoy instead of dread. 

2) Try running on an empty stomach 

Running first thing in the morning before breakfast may speed up fat loss. Because your blood glucose levels will be lower than normal, your body is more likely to burn fat as there is less competition for fuel. 

Some people find exercising in a fasted state makes them feel more tired than usual and that means they cannot exercise as hard or as long. If you feel like this, running on an empty stomach is not for you. But, if you feel okay, running before breakfast could help you reach your target weight sooner. 

3) Consume caffeine before going for a run 

Caffeine can give you energy – both mental and physical. If you are feeling tired, we all know that a cup of coffee will give you a lift. Caffeine also speeds up fat burning which is why its included in most fat burning supplements. The caffeine makes your fat cells easier to break down for energy. 

You don’t need to start popping pills to burn more fat when you run; just drink a small cup of coffee 15 minutes before you start. 

4) Try interval training 

After a few weeks of running at a comfortable pace, you might enjoy the challenge of running a little faster – if only for a minute or two. This is called interval training. Simply pick up your pace for 1-2 minutes, and then slow back down again until you feel that you have recovered. Do this several times over the course of your run. 

Why? 

Because those short, faster bursts increase the number of calories you burn during your run, and also increase your metabolism more after you have finished. 

5) Listen to music to run faster or further 

I like running; I find it energising and relaxing at the same time. But, if I want to run further or faster than usual, I listen to music to motivate me. With my mp3 player and wireless earbuds, I select one of my playlists and let the music push me on faster than further than I could run without it. 

Of course, this not only boosts your fitness but also means you burn more calories per run. If you don’t like to listen to music while you run, try a podcast or even an audio book. If you do wear earbuds for your runs, make sure you can still hear oncoming traffic. 

6) Run with a friend

The only way running will help you lose weight is if you do it often and consistently. One run every few weeks will not do much for your weight loss. Running with a friend will increase motivation and exercise adherence. It’ll also give you someone to talk to as you run, confirming you are running at comfortable pace. I have a running buddy, and we often run together to make our workouts more enjoyable. 

Arrange to meet a friend 3-4 times a week for a run. Don’t let them down by being a no-show and ask them to do the same for you. That way, you can provide each other with motivation and support. 

7) Modify your food intake as well as running regularly 

When I first started running, I wasn’t eating very healthily. While I did get fitter and lost a little weight, my results were not great. That all changed when I started eating less sugar, eating more vegetables, fruits, and other natural foods, consuming superfoods, eating less meat, and drinking more water. 

Suddenly, my running improved noticeably week by week, and I started to lose weight much faster. As the old saying goes, you cannot outrun a bad diet. You’ll get much better results from your running workouts if you eat more healthily. 

8) Follow a workout plan 

To get the most from running, you should follow a progressive workout plan. That way, your fitness will gradually improve, and you’ll know exactly what you are supposed to be doing from one workout to the next. 

I’ve provided you with a running workout plan here, but you should be able to find more if you do an internet search. Having a plan means your runs will have purpose and focus, exactly what you need to maximise fat burning. 

9) Use a fitness tracker 

Fitness trackers are the perfect running companion. They track calories, distance, steps, and some even measure your heart rate. You can even set an alarm to remind you to get up and do some exercise if you have been sat down for a long time. 

The key to successful fat loss is staying motivated and exercising regularly. Studying the data on an activity tracker can help keep you motivated by showing you how far you have come since you first began, and displaying your achievements during each workout. 

10) Combine running with bodyweight exercises 

Running is a great form of exercise, but it only really works your legs. Make it more of a full body workout, burning more calories in the process, by combining it with some bodyweight exercises. 

Go for a run in a park or beach and stop every few minutes to do 10-20 reps of a bodyweight exercise such as push-ups, squats, lunges, bench dips, crunches, or planks. This simple tip could save you having to go to the gym to lift weights. It’ll also make your workouts more varied and fun. 

Frequent Asked Questions

1. How long do running shoes last?

Even the best running shoes eventually wear out. There are lots of factors that affect the longevity of your running shoes but things like shoe quality, your weight, your running style, where you run, and how heavy you are can all affect wear and tear. 

As a rule, replace your running shoes after every 1000 miles of running. If you notice that they don’t feel as shock absorbent or supportive as usual, or that there is noticeable wear of the outsole, consider replacing them sooner. 

A worn pair of running shoes might feel comfortable, but if they aren’t cushioning and supporting your feet properly, they could cause injury. 

2. Do running shoes make good walking shoes?

Running shoes are okay for short walks but if you are a serious walker, or you do a lot of walking on rough terrain, a dedicated pair of walking shoes will be your best choice. Not sure what to look for in a pair of walking shoes? Check out the article Best walking shoes for advice and reviews. Your running shoes will last much longer if you only use them for running. 

3. What type of shoes are best for walking? 

Walking shoes are designed for a heel-toe action, and usually have strong outsoles to minimize wear and tear while maximizing grip. Unlike running shoes, the best walking shoes are often made of leather or synthetic leather which makes them stronger and more supportive. This makes walking shoes heavier than running shoes. As to the best type of walking shoes, that depends on how far you walk and whether you do most of your mileage on pavements or off-road on trails. For details on the Best walking shoes, make sure you check out my article. 

4. Can you wash your running shoes in the washing machine? 

Running shoes can get pretty sweaty and dirty – especially if you run off-road on trails. I honestly believe that one of the worst smells in the world is sweaty running shoes! A lot of people toss their dirty running shoes in the washing machine, but this might not be the best idea, especially if you do it frequently. 

Washing machines usually operate on high temperatures. That’s good for getting your towels and bedsheets clean but could damage the glue that holds your running shoes together. I used to wash my running shoes in the washing machine but stopped when I noticed the soles were coming away from the rest of the shoe. 

Instead, wash your running shoes by hand using only a little warm water, soap, and a soft scrubbing brush. If you MUST put them in the washing machine, use a short, gentle wash cycle set at a low temperature. 

When you dry your shoes, dry them naturally to prevent them from becoming stiff and uncomfortable. In other words, leave them in a warm room but don’t put them on a radiator or in the dryer. Avoid direct sunshine too. 

If your shoes are really smelly, consider just washing the insoles, freshening them up with a fabric fragrance spray, or using a running shoe anti-odor ball which you can leave in your shoes when you aren’t wearing them. 

5. What socks should you wear with your running shoes?

Some people don’t wear socks with their running shoes, but this can make your shoes smell, and could even lead to painful blisters. Instead, I like to wear thin but padded socks. I usually choose ankle socks that are not much higher than the top of my running shoes. This helps keep my ankles cool. 

Sometimes I wear compression socks as I have found they not only feel good, but they also help stop my feet and calves feeling tired. You can read more about compression socks in this article. 

The main thing to look for in running socks is that there are no raised seams that could make your feet sore. Also, socks wear out and can become roughened so make sure you check your socks regularly, replacing them anytime they become worn to avoid blisters.  

6. How tight should your running shoes be?

Some people mistakenly believe that running shoes need to be really tight to support your feet. Big mistake! Your feet swell and spread when you run so a shoe that is snug at the start of a run will be too tight by the end. Instead, you should be able to get one finger down the back of your shoe when your foot is in it. This will give space for your feet to spread and swell. 

Also, don’t be tempted to lace them up too tight. That could restrict blood flow and leave you with numb or painful feet. 

7. Should I try minimalist running shoes? 

Unlike regular running shoes, minimalist running shoes are completely flat and have very little padding. This means that running in minimalist running shoes is a lot like running barefooted. Some people believe that running without shoes, or wearing minimalist running shoes, if good for your feet. 

I tried minimalist running shoes and liked how they felt at first, but they made my feet sore when I ran too far. That’s probably because I had to use the muscles in my feet more than normal. They were very light and made me more aware of my running style but I’m not sure I would want to run a long way in them. 

If you do decide to try minimalist running shoes, make sure you use them for short runs at first, and only increase the distance if your feet feel okay. You’ll also need to run a little more on your toes for better shock absorbency. 

8. Is it okay to wear running shoes to the gym?

I see a lot of people wearing special shoes to the gym – things like cross training shoes which are firmer and stiffer than running shoes. But, if you only do general workouts I see no reason why you cannot wear running shoes for gym training. 

The main exception to this is if you do a lot of group exercise classes like Zumba or aerobics. Running involves a definite heel-toe action and that’s what running shoes are designed to deal with. Zumba and other types of exercise class involve a lot of side to side movement, and even some twisting. You’ll also spend more time on your toes than your heels. 

The occasional group exercise class should be no problem, but if you do more classes than running, you would probably be better off buying shoes made especially for group this type of workout. 

If you take your gym work really seriously, you might need a dedicated pair of weightlifting shoes. Weightlifting shoes have a much firmer sole than running shoes which means they will not compress when you lift heavy weights. This gives you a much more stable base, so you can really concentrate on the exercises in your workout. 

9. Why do my running shoes give me blisters? 

Blisters happen when something rubs repetitively against your skin. It could be a raised seam, the shape of the shoe, or the shape of your foot that is the problem. If you buy properly-fitting shoes you shouldn’t have any problems with blisters, especially if you wear good running socks. But, a new pair of running shoes could cause blisters until your feet get used to them. 

You can prevent blisters by rubbing your feet with surgical alcohol or soaking them in salt water to toughen the skin. Alternatively, you can put some surgical tape on any hot spots where a blister feels likely. 

After a few runs in your new shoes, you should find that any blisters soon disappear. If you get a lot of blisters from a pair of running shoes, it could be that they don’t fit you properly and you’ll have to get a different pair. 

10. Can I wear insoles with my running shoes? 

Running shoes often come with removable insoles so that you can replace them with different ones. This allows you to make them more supportive, shock absorbing, or comfortable. 

If you have weak foot arches, you may find firmer, more supportive insoles really help. If you find your feet get sore after a long run, shock absorbing insoles could be helpful. 

Some people have foot problems that can only be treated with special insoles called orthotics. These are custom-made insoles designed to fix issues like fallen arches or extreme pronation or supination.

If you want to use insoles with your running shoes, make sure you take them with you when you try on your running shoes before you buy them to make sure they fit. 

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