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Generally finding the best running shoes for you will involve developing an understanding of the type of running you anticipate pursuing, developing an understanding of your personal biomechanics and finally performing some experimentation on which combination is right for you. This may seem like an insurmountable process, but if you can break the larger process down into smaller parts, it becomes much easier. Therefore, let’s consider the steps in finding the best men’s running shoes for you:
What Type of Running Will You Do?
The primary two types of running are road running and trail running. Understandably, road running involves running on primarily paved surfaces, while trail running is off-road and commonly involves rocks, roots and other obstacles. When selecting the best running shoes for your application, consider which type of running you plan on pursuing most. Since road running focuses on repetitive forward motion, running shoes for this type are constructed accordingly, so lightweight running shoes and those that focus on cushioning or stability are often used. If trail running is your preferred activity, there are trail shoes for men that are built for lateral stability, support and under-foot protection. Clearly, selecting the right men’s running shoes starts with your favored type of running.
Everyone has their own way of running. Typically your heel strikes the ground first and then rolls slightly inward as the arch flattens to cushion the impact. Known as biomechanics, this process is related to the shape of the feet and provides important clues when trying to find the best running shoes for you. Your biomechanics will reveal different types of arch motion experienced while running and the primary forms are:
Neutral Pronation - The foot's natural roll after the heel strike, neither inward or outward.
Overpronation - An exaggerated form of the foot's natural roll, rolling inward of the big toe.
Supination / Underpronation - An outward rolling of the foot.
Once you gain a better understanding of how you run, finding the right pair of men’s running shoes will be much simpler. Although the best way to truly determine your running style is by visiting a podiatrist or physical therapist, you can find some clues by simply looking at the wear pattern on an existing pair of your shoes:
Neutral Pronation - Shoe wear is present on the ball of the foot and heel.
Overpronation - Shoe wear is present on the inside of the foot.
Supination / Underpronation - Shoe wear is present along the outside of the foot.
Men's Running Shoes: Your Selection
Once you’ve answered the basic questions, it’s time to assemble all of the information collected to gain a good understanding of which men’s running shoes should be considered. Among the many important factors, your biomechanics is probably the single most important and you should initially focus on running shoes that will support your running style. Among the primary types of shoes are:
Neutral Shoes - Best for runners who underpronate or have a neutral pronation. These shoes provide increased shock absorption, but minimal arch-side support to promote the foot's natural gait cycle.
Motion Control Shoes - Intended for severe overpronators, motion control shoes include increased arch support and stability to counter the exaggerated inward roll of the foot.
Stability Shoes - Good for mild or moderate overpronation. These shoes offer medial support and additional midsole cushioning to decrease the foot's tendency to roll too far inward.