How to Choose Running Shoes | Road Runner Sports
Men's & Women's Running, Walking & Jogging Shoes and Clothing at Road Runner Sports w/ Free Shipping!



Already know what running shoes are perfect for you? Shop Now!

Need a little help finding the right running shoes?

No problem! You're guaranteed a perfect fit at Road Runner Sports.
To get you started, you'll want to consider two main features when choosing the best running shoe — cushioning and support.

How do I know what amount of cushioning is right for me?

You've probably noticed that running shoes offer a wide variety of choices when it comes to cushioning. Don't let all these options overwhelm you because there really is no ideal amount of cushioning for every runner. Keep it simple for yourself and consider two key factors when deciding how much cushioning is right for your running shoe: body frame and preference.

Body Frame

You might be surprised to know that running puts three to five times your body weight onto your feet, joints and muscles every time you strike the ground. So, you'll want to take your body frame into account when choosing the cushioning that's right for you.

If you're 6'2' and weigh 200 lbs., you might want a running shoe with lots of cushioning, like the ASICS Kayano, ASICS Nimbus or the Saucony Triumph.

But, if you're 5'5'' and weigh 130 lbs. you may not need as much cushioning and a shoe like the Brooks Adrenaline or the Nike Air Pegasus will be great choices.

Maximum CushioningNike Vomero
Nike Vomero
Moderate CushioningNew Balance Minimus
New Balance Minimus
Minimal CushioningMerrell Trail Glove
Merrell Trail Glove

You'll also want to ask yourself how much padding you like to feel under your feet when you run. If you like to feel as if you're floating on a pillowy-soft, plush cloud, you might want a running shoe with maximum cushioning, like the Nike Vomero.

Or, perhaps you prefer to feel really close and connected to the ground, experiencing the more au-natural feel of a barefoot or minimalist running shoe that has little to no cushioning, making a shoe like the Merrell Trail Glove or the Vibram FiveFingers Bikila a great option for you.

Maybe you'd love to find something that's right in between, so you can feel well-connected to the ground while still enjoying some cushioning on impact. If that sounds like you, the New Balance Minimus or the Newton Gravity might be your perfect running shoes.

How much support do I need?

When you're deciding how much support you need from your running shoes, you'll want to consider your arch type and your foot's flexibility, two factors
that go hand-in-hand.

High Arch Type Medium Arch Type Low Arch Type
High Arch/Low Flexibility Moderate Arch/Moderate Flexibility Low Arch/High Flexibility
  • If you notice that you have a high arch, then your foot tends to be less flexible and you require the minimum level of support.
  • You'll want to choose your ideal running shoes from the neutral, neutral plus, or
    performance neutral
    shoe categories.
  • Fall in love with these category favorites:
    ASICS Cumulus or the Brooks Ghost
  • If you're like 80% of the population, you have a
    medium arch
    , meaning your foot tends to be
    moderately flexible and you require medium support.
  • You'll find your best running shoe in the stability,
    stability plus, or performance stability
    shoe categories.
  • Check out some of these category favorites:
    ASICS 2000
    or the Nike LunarGlide
  • If you have a low arch, your foot is likely very flexible and you'll enjoy a running shoe that offers the maximum level of support.
  • You'll want to select a running shoe from the motion control or motion control plus shoe categories.
  • Consider these category favorites:
    Brooks Beast
    and the New Balance 1340
Questions Still have questions about finding the perfect running shoes for you?
Chat with a Fit Expert at 800-743-3206 or check out our most frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Running Shoes

  • How do I know my current running shoes are right for me?
  • You'll be relieved to know it's simple, actually. Your perfect running shoes should feel great from the minute you put them on until the minute you take them off. Your feet should not ache, blister, or chafe in your shoes. If they do, you may need to adjust your size or width, or find a different running shoe that's better for you.
  • What is Shoe Dog?
  • Shoe Dog is your Road Runner Sports' shoe finder service. You can try Shoe Dog online or at one of our retail locations. Either way, you'll be fitted with the best running shoes for you. Your perfect fit will provide ultimate comfort for your walking or running stride, arch type, and width. Once all of the technical aspects are taken care of, you'll choose from a variety of top running shoe brands, styles, and colors that are just right for you. Then bam! You'll be ready to hit the road, rockin' your new running shoes!
  • What if I have joint pain or previous running injuries? Can you help me find new running shoes?
  • Your Fit Expert will take your joint pain and previous running injuries into consideration when selecting the best running shoes for you. You might also seriously consider having us create custom insoles just for you. You'll get much more comfort and cushioning with custom insoles, and they take just a few minutes to fit to your feet.
  • Can I return my running shoes if I don't like them?
  • Your satisfaction is our #1 priority and you deserve a perfect fit. That's why everyone can enjoy 60 days to return new and unused shoes for a full refund.
    Plus VIPs enjoy a 90-DAY VIP Test Run. During the first 90 days after the initial purchase date, VIP Members may exchange worn footwear for credit towards footwear of a different make, style, or size.

    Not yet a VIP Family Member? Click here for your complete Returns Policy.

Tweet This!