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How to Choose Trainers for Running: 7 Useful Tips

How to Choose Trainers for Running

There are so many different types of running trainers with different technologies available and choosing the one that’s right for you can be a challenging task. These trainers feel comfortable when you’re standing in a store, but the true test comes several miles into your run. The ideal trainer has more to do with your running style and the shape of your foot than it does with the logo stitched on the side.

Following are a few tips to keep in mind while choosing trainers for running because selecting the right pair will prevent injuries and they’ll also make you feel comfortable.

1. Understand the Biomechanics of Running

Whether you run for fun, fitness or de-stress at the end of the day, the right pair of running trainers can help the miles fly by. Choose the pair that best fits your style, it’s important to understand some of the biomechanics of running.

The design of traditional road running trainers encourages the heel to strike the ground first and from there, the foot moves in one of three different ways:

  • Basic Pronation aka A Neutral Strike
  • Overpronation
  • Supination

Basic Pronation

Most runners experience basic pronation. This is the natural inward rolling motion where the foot rolls to the arch side to cushion the impact and stiffens to propel you to the next step. This neutral strike is common and helps your body dissipate impact forces. To see if you’re a pronator, check the wear pattern on your trainer. If you see wear mostly on the ball of your foot and some at the heel, you likely have a neutral strike.


The second type overpronation is when the foot rolls too far to the arch side upon impact. While basic pronation can help absorb the force of repeated impact, overpronation can lead to joint pain and injury. Where concentrated along the inside of the trainer is characteristic of overpronation.


The third type supination is the opposite of pronation. After the heel strikes, the foot rolls to the outside resulting in reduced impact absorption. Supination is very uncommon and is characterised by increased wear on the outer edge of the trainer.

2. Types of Trainers

Once you know how your feet behave when running, you can look for the right type of running trainer.

Cushioning Trainers

Cushioning Trainers are designed to greatly enhanced shock absorption for runners experiencing basic pronation and supination.

See the Best Cushioning Trainers

Stability Trainers

These trainers can be an option for runners experiencing moderate pronation or those wanting more arch support. They have denser foam along the inside heel to help decelerate pronation.

See the Best Stability Trainers

Motion Control Trainers

Runners experiencing moderate to severe overpronation should choose motion control trainers. These trainers have special internal construction designed to counter overpronation which may include stiff heels and progressively denser foam.

See the Best Motion Control Trainers

Minimalist Trainers

Minimalist Trainers are designed with less cushion and a lower drop than a traditional trainer to encourage the more natural strike and a mid-foot or forefoot strike. Some runners find this style reduces the impact on joints and builds stabilising muscles.

See the Best Minimalist Trainers

Barefoot Trainers

Similar to minimalist, there’re barefoot trainers, these have very thin soles and zero drop to force forefoot strike. If you’re transitioning to a barefoot running style, take it slowly. Any changes to your stride will work new muscles and this is especially true of barefoot running.

See the Best Barefoot Trainers

On the opposite side of a minimalist movement, are new styles that greatly increase cushion. In order to counter the inherent instability of tall stack height, these trainers usually feature a low heel to toe drop to increase stability. Runners who prefer these super cushion trainers say that they reduce impact forces and joint stress.

Another useful thing to keep in mind is your trainers’ heel to toe drop also called the offset. This number is measured in millimetres and it’s the difference between the stack height at the heel of the trainer and the height at the toe. Most traditional trainers have drops of 10 to 12 millimetres which often forces you to strike off your heel.

Outside of the traditional running trainers, several other running styles have gained popularity and offer new ways to enjoy a run.

3. Don’t run in Casual Trainers

Many of the casual trainers are made up of soft and comfortable material, which is also easy to wear, but they might not be breathable, and other trainers include work wear too, which is not suitable for running because of “not so comfortable” factor.

Running trainers are made up of breathable material and provide comfort during the run. But it is essential to buy the correct trainers so that you will not regret afterwards. Before buying trainers there many questions to be asked before buying like on what mileage will you be running, there are different trainers for high, medium and low mileage runners. Every trainer might not suit every foot, different foot need a different trainer, and different foot movement style has the same case. There are many categories of trainers like neutral or structured, wider toe box and specific heel to toe drop. This guide can help you choose the most suitable trainers.

4. Categories of Trainers

Trainers are divided into two major categories, which are further divided according to fitness and styles. The major categories are:


These trainers are made for mild to moderate runners having minimum to normal arches. This category is also known as injury prevention trainer, which provides midsole cushioning, and good support and grip.


The second major category is made for most runners who have normal to high arches. The trainer does not provide built-in support. The cushioning may vary like minimum as a racing flat to the maximum as in trail trainers. The trainer is the best choice for biomechanically efficient runners (as having minimum pronation) as well as midfoot and forefoot strikers.

5. Surface available for running

Walkways and pavements are durable surfaces. They are hard and strong surfaces. For the runners having pavement places to run soft, lightweight, and cushioning road trainers are best to decrease the pressure and decrease the risk of injury by giving shock absorption. For soft muddy running surface trails, trainers with deep tread are the best choice for ankle support and better grip and best to run on uneven ground. And the choice may vary in a similar format for different running surfaces.

6. Price does matter

If you are going to buy running trainers, remember they are quite expensive, and you get what you pay. The difference in comfort and technology makes a difference in prices. You do not have to buy the most expensive trainers for a run, but low prices trainers are not for running. You need to be clear about the prices otherwise, the quality will be compromised. To buy good design trainer good research may help with prices too. Usually, the sports trainers’ prices lay between $100 to $250 and you can get a good running trainer within $110 to $150 and higher the prices higher the comfort and technology grow.

7. Choose the right fit

Of course, when selecting a trainer, it is important to get the right fit. A good fit is snug everywhere and tight nowhere. It keeps your toes from hitting the front of your trainers and keeps your heels from lifting and blistering. There are many factors to consider while selecting the best fitting of the trainer like:

  • Squirm Room: That means you must have space between the front of the trainer and the tip of your longest toe. You can use the thumb method by putting on the trainer and pressing the front with your thumb.
  • Grip: Look for a contented and secure grip from the mid like a hand softly grasping your foot in position. It must not be tight or too sloppy but comfortably draped.
  • Compact Healing: The trainer must be minimal or nix slippery from the heels.
  • Accurate fitness: The size of the feet may differ while running, as they tend to spread. Sometimes feet also swell which affect the size it is good to try on your trainers after a little bit of work routine like in the afternoon or evening to get not too tired feet size but some.
  • Width accommodation: There are also models available to choose width along with length. Some trainer models have wider and narrower size options available. The most common foot widths used are D for men and B width size for women.
  • Try both trainers: to get the perfect fit, you should try both trainers as there might be the slightly pressed heel of one trainer or loose cushion, which might make you, feel uncomfortable during the run.
  • Material: Check the material as it may cause abrasive spots or irritation. Small irritation at the beginning may cause blisters on long runs


There a lot of features to mull over when it comes to buying trainers and that might be open to you when you got some familiarity and awareness during long runs, but this guide gives basic tips to beginners.

How to Choose Trainers for Running: 7 Useful Tips