A lady with dark skin, dark hair, and black leggings is running up stairs


As previously discussed, there are many options when trying to choose running shoes, often making the choice overwhelming. To make the process easier, here are four key points to consider when making your decision.

Please note: You can use these points even if you have not visited a suitably experienced podiatrist for more in-depth recommendations. A reputable running-shoe store will be able to provide you with great recommendations and advice.

  1. Choose a local running-shoe store vs shopping on the internet – Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Yes, you can buy running shoes cheaper online, but in my opinion, if you are serious about your running, there is no substitute for your local knowledgeable running-shoe store. They have firsthand knowledge about brands and models. They know which brands tend to fit certain odd foot shapes better, about shoe life expectancy, possess important feedback from other runners, information about changes from previous models, and have experience working alongside podiatrists. These are all important factors to consider and they are the experts at this. I would be lost without their knowledge, help, advice, and the great service they provide for my runners.
  2. Go into a running-shoe store with an open mind – This is especially true if you are a seasoned runner. Variations exist between brand models each year, and even if a previous brand or model did not feel right before, it doesn’t mean it won’t now. Conversely, the current season’s version of a running shoe brand or model you have been loyal to may no longer feel as good. So, don’t make up your mind beforehand. Consider trying on a few models you may have previously disregarded. You might be surprised how comfortable they feel now. Also, don’t be afraid to try on something non-traditional (minimalist 100 | The Runner’s Foot Guide or maximalist) to see how it feels underfoot. Ask questions. If you do not currently use non-traditional shoes in your rotation, you might well consider them at a later stage with advice from your podiatrist. See tip #3 for the potential benefits of rotating between different categories of running shoes.
  3. Have your feet measured – If this is your first serious running shoe, get measured by staff using a Brannock device. It’s tempting to assume that the size of your new running shoes should mirror your usual work or casual shoe size. But it can cause blisters, nerve irritations and even long-term toe deformity to wear an ill-fitting shoe. (How to fit your running shoes properly is discussed in more detail further on.)
  4. Try on at least two or three different brands and models and choose the one that feels the most comfortable – Across their ranges, each brand is trying to achieve similar things in different ways in terms of cushioning, support, and propulsion, making them feel different underfoot. Especially if you are new to running, try on multiple brands and models to assess how comfortable they feel through the entire stance phase of your running gait. Whether or not they fit the shape of your foot comfortably is important, particularly through the width of the toe box. If you have difficulty choosing because they all feel similar, choose the lightest shoes as this helps with the running economy. That said, lightness should never surpass cushioning and/or comfort. The running-shoe store staff or an online search will provide each shoe’s weight. I provide this for my patients when I am referring to shoes.


Sports & Spinal Podiatrist Aleks Baruksopulo is the Author of The Runner’s Foot Guide: Shoes, Feet, Myths and Tips. For more valuable Podiatry running advice and great tips, you can purchase Aleks’ book at Amazon here.

Aleks is also available for Sports, Running and Exercise consultations on the Gold Coast. Bookings can be made here.