How to buy the right running shoe

Are you a regular runner?  You’ll enjoy running a lot more if you buy the right running shoe. They may all look similar in a store, but you will soon realise that the ideal pair has more to do with the type of running you do and the shape of your foot.

Know your foot

Knowing your foot type is key to selecting a pair of running shoes.  Shoes that best support your feet shape will more likely to feel better and last longer.

Here’s how to determine your foot type:

Do the test

In a standing position, bear your full body weight and examine the inside of your feet to see if a slight arch is present.

If you struggle to see anything perform the wet foot test, place your foot in a basin of water. Remove it and stand on a piece of brown paper or cardboard on the floor. Once you lift your foot, a water stain should remain. The images below will help you to visualise which foot type you have.

Neutral feet

If your foot print looks the most like this one, you have the most common foot type. Your feet naturally support your body weight and act as a natural shock absorber.

Look for a stability shoe with the right mix of cushioning and support to help absorb impact.

Flat feet

If your footprint shows the entire sole of your foot with little to no curve on the inside, it means you’ve got flat feet. They tend to roll inward and are not stable.


You will need a shoe with maximum support  on the inside shoe to help slow down the rate of excess inwards rolling and keep your feet more stable while you walk.

High arch feet

If the footprint shows only a portion of your forefoot and heel with a narrow connection between the two, you have high arches and tend to walk more on the outsides of your feet.


You will need a cushioned shoe with a soft midsole to absorb shock and allow your feet to roll more.

Know your running surface

Now that you know your foot type, think about the surface you will most likely run on.

If your terrain is the flat plain of the streets and city parks, road running shoes may be a great option for you. They are light, flexible and are designed to protect your feet from repetitive strides on even surfaces.

If you are wild runner or enjoy taking part to obstacle races, you may find greater support and stability with trail running shoes. These are typically designed for off-road routes with mud, roots and obstacles.


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