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Everything You Need To Find The Perfect Running Shoe

Then take a quick quiz to find the shoe of your running dreams.

by ,
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The right running shoe is super important! It helps protect you from getting hurt and can make you actually enjoy running.

BuzzFeed Life spoke with Harry Pino, PhD, exercise physiologist at the Sports Performance Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Mary Arnold, Field Marketing Manager for Running Specialty Group.

Here's what they say you should look for when choosing a new running shoe. You can also just skip straight to the quiz to find the best shoe for you.

1. How does your foot hit the ground when you run? This is called pronation.

The way your foot pronates determines how your body absorbs the impact of running. There are three kinds of pronation:

Underpronation (also called supination)

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

This is when you tend to strike the ground with the outside of your feet as you run. You'll notice that the outside edges of your soles usually get worn down first. Underpronators need neutral shoes with extra cushioning.


Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

This is when your feet roll inward, forcing the inner side of the foot to bear your weight. The inside edges of your soles will get worn down first. Overpronators usually need motion-control or stability shoes.

Normal Pronation

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

This is when your whole foot bears your weight as you run (meaning that it doesn't really roll in either direction). Normal pronators need neutral shoes.

2. How much cushioning are you looking for?

Shoes with lots of cushioning are usually more comfortable for people with higher arches, and shoes with less cushioning tend to be more comfortable for people with flat arches.

3. How many miles do you plan on running per week?

If you plan on running a lot of miles during the week, you're going to need a shoe that has a lot of durability and can handle the wear.

4. And remember to get the right size, and factor in that your feet sometimes get a bit swollen.

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You should buy a size where there's a fingernail's length between your big toe and the front of your shoe for when your feet get hot and expand.

Got all that? Good. Now take this quick quiz to find the perfect running shoe for you.

What type of stability do you need?

Neutral Normal Pronators and Underpronators
Some Stability Mild to Moderate Overpronators
Lots Of Stability Severe Overpronators

What type of cushioning do you prefer?

None I like to feel the ground
Moderate I like some cushioning
Lots Like I'm running on a cloud

How many miles per week do you run?

Less than 20 miles per week
Between 20 and 35 miles per week
More than 35 miles per week

Here Are Our Recommendations:

Adidas Adizero Boston 5 Asics Gel Cumulus 17 New Balance Fresh Foam Zante
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Mizuno Wave Rider 18 On Cloudsurfer
Saucony Ride 8 Saucony Zealot Iso Asics Gel Nimbus 17
Nike Air Zoom Structure Asics DS Trainer 20 Nike Air Zoom Structure 18
Saucony Kinvara 6 Mizuno Wave Paradox Adidas Adistar Boost
Saucony Hurricane Iso Asics 2000 v3 New Balance 870v4
Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Brooks Ravenna 6 Mizuno Wave Inspire 11
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 Hoka One One Constant New Balance 860v5
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 On Cloudster New Balance 860v5

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For the combination of high stability, moderate cushioning, and running more than 35 miles per week, we switched in a shoe that more closely fits within the parameters. Thank you to several commenters for pointing this out.