Best running shoes: The best from Asics, Adidas, New Balance …

Whether you’re a complete running newbie, or a veteran of marathons all over the world, it’s absolutely essential to buy the right pair of shoes. Picking the best running shoes can reduce your risk of injuries, set you up for faster times, and make the whole experience more enjoyable, thus ensuring you actually keep using them – rather than making you want to give up after a couple of uncomfortable jogs.

Given that you’re likely to travel more than 500 miles in them before they finally wear out, it’s worth devoting a little bit of time to selecting the best running shoes for you. Different runners have different needs, both in terms of the distance they expect to cover, and the speed they’re planning on covering that distance in. You also need to consider your running style, and whether you need shoes to support your particular gait.

It can all seem a little overwhelming, so we’ve asked the experts at Coach (www.coachmag.co.uk) to lend a helping hand. Here they explain all the key features you need to look out for, and pick their five favourite running shoes for everything from a 5km parkrun to a 26.2 mile marathon.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best fitness trackers you can buy

How to choose the right running shoes

What kind of surface are you going to run on?

The main thing to consider when selecting your running shoes is the actual running you’re likely to be doing, not only in terms of distance, but also terrain. If you plan to run only on the track or the treadmill, you can mostly ignore factors such as the amount of traction on a shoe’s sole (unless the gym in question frequently ices its treadmills). Even more importantly, if you plan to ditch the beaten track and regularly run on trails a different type of shoe could well be required, will better ankle support and a specialised sole. If you are more of a trail bunny, Salomon and Merrell both make excellent off-road running shoes.

What is gait analysis and is it worth doing?

Basic gait analysis will involve a few minutes of jogging on a treadmill at your natural pace, while an expert casts his eye over your running style. This will be done for free at many specialised running shops such as Sweatshop and Run and Become. The aim of these brief consultations is to ascertain your running style, most importantly how your foot lands in terms of pronation, which will inform your choice of shoes. It’s free, usually only takes around half an hour, and could make a huge difference to your choice of shoe, so gait analysis is certainly worth trying – especially when you’re spending big money on a pair of running shoes.

What is pronation and how does it affect shoe choice?

There are three types of foot strike. Neutral is where the foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls a little inward to absorb the shock. Underpronation, also known as supination, is where you land on the outside of the heel and don’t roll inward enough. Overpronation, as you’d expect, is where the foot rolls too much from the outside of the heel to the inner edge of your foot, rather than the ball. Any runner can get injured, but over- and underpronation can lead to more problems if you don’t opt for the right shoe. Underpronators should look for a lot of cushioning on their shoe, neutral runners should be comfortable with most shoes, but neutral shoes are most suitable (unless your BMI is 27+, in which case some extra support might be advisable) and overpronators would likely be best off with stability running shoes.

All running shops will offer similar advice, but it’s also important to remember to listen to your body. If a shoe feels comfortable when you’re running, it’s likely the right shoe for you, even if it doesn’t follow the prescribed type of shoe you’ve been recommended.

How long will a shoe last, and how do I know when it’s time to get new ones?

In general, brands will advise that running shoes will last 500 miles or so, but they’re not going to fall apart at that point, so unless there are clear signs of disrepair, there’s no need to move on immediately. Signs to watch out for are when the cushioning starts to feel squishy, rather than firm, and the grip on the sole being eroded. Also if you suddenly start picking up injuries when you haven’t changed your running routine, it could be a sign that your shoes are no longer providing the support needed.

The best running shoes to buy

1. Asics Dynaflyte: The best all-round running shoes 

Price when reviewed: £130

The trade-off in any running shoe is weight vs cushioning: every bit of extra support ends up adding bulk. The goal for every running shoe manufacturer is to create the perfect blend of materials and technology which can provide maximum support for long runs with a minimum of weight – and for now at least, the Asics DynaFlyte has left rivals trailing in its wake.

The FlyteFoam midsole provides plentiful cushioning that doesn’t lose its shape no matter how long you’re on the road for, in a shoe that comes in under 300g on the scales (up to a men’s 11, a size 9 is only 270g). The result is a very comfortable neutral shoe that can be worn for any distance, and one that will allow you to set new PBs over longer runs due to its lightweight design.

Terrain: Road; Arch Support: Neutral; Use: Daily Running; Weight: 264g; Heel Height: 20mm

Image of Asics Dynaflyte 01 A3 Man - 10.5 US

Asics Dynaflyte 01 A3 Man – 10.5 US

£108.82 Buy now

2. Saucony Triumph ISO 3: The best for marathon runners 

Price when reviewed: £135

Saucony’s neutral Triumph ISO line is just about the last word in comfort when it comes to running shoes, and the third iteration is the best of the bunch. The mesh upper ensures the fit is perfect for any foot, and keeps the ISO 3 fairly lightweight (around 312g for a men’s 9) despite the ample amount of cushioning on the sole. This extreme comfort makes the Triumph ISO 3 a joy to pull on even in the bleakest parts of a winter marathon-training regime, and will keep your feet in fine fettle no matter how many miles you rack up.

However, the Triumph ISO 3 promise offer more than comfort, with Saucony’s Everun sole providing 83 per cent energy return according to the American brand. The ISO 3 also has an updated landing zone under the heel to help out heel-striking runners – the most common natural style in amateurs. In practice, this really tells on long runs, where you will veritably bounce along.

Terrain: Road; Arch Support: Neutral; Use: Daily Running; Weight: 312g; Heel Height: 30mm

Image of Saucony Men's Triumph Iso 3 Running Shoe, Blue/Sil, 12 M US

Saucony Men’s Triumph Iso 3 Running Shoe, Blue/Sil, 12 M US

Buy now

3. Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged: The best for 5km/10km runners 

Price when reviewed: £130

Most casual runners haven’t got a marathon on the horizon, so can do without a huge amount of cushioning on their shoe. For those who plan to stick to runs ranging from Parkruns up to half marathons, you cannot go wrong with the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged.

The energy-returning midsole on Adidas’ Ultra Boost line rightly has an excellent reputation for putting a spring in the step, and uses tech developed for elite track athletes, so should ensure you challenge your PBs. The latest version of the line, the Uncaged, strips away the plastic on the upper sole to create a relaxed fit, and also a style that wouldn’t be out of place in day-to-day life. Something most other running shoes cannot boast.

Terrain: Road; Arch Support: Stability; Use: Daily Running; Weight: 303g; Heel Height: 30mm

Buy the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged from Adidas.co.uk now

4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17: The best running shoes for stability 

Price when reviewed: £115-120

If your running style dictates that you would benefit from a stability shoe (mainly if you overpronate when running – which you can read more about in the buyer’s guide lower down the page), then you should look no further than the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17. This line of shoes has been a firm favourite for many years, and the modest tweaks made to this latest iteration have confirmed it as the go-to shoe for stability seekers.

Extremely supportive, with a soft feel underfoot as you run, the GTS 17 guide you back to the perfect balance when you run, providing a smooth transition from heel to toe and so reducing the risk of injury. The GTS 17 do all this in an impressively lightweight package, weighing in under 310g, so you should have no difficulty picking up the pace.

Terrain: Road; Arch Support: Stability; Use: Daily Running; Weight: 303g; Heel Height: 30mm

Buy the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 from Millet Sports now

5. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2: The best running shoes under £100 

Price when reviewed: £95

Those seeking a top quality shoe for an excellent price should look no further than New Balance, which has several fine models hovering around the £100 mark, the pick of which is the Fresh Foam Zante v2.

A neutral cushioned shoe, the Zante v2 incorporates New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology, which provides a comfortable but highly responsive feel when running. The Zante v2 has enough cushioning to handle longer runs, but really comes into its own in shorter, speedier sessions. No matter how fast you’re actually going, the Zante v2 is so responsive you’ll feel like you’re flying.

Terrain: Road; Arch Support: Neutral; Use: Daily Running; Weight: 244g; Heel Height: 16mm

Buy the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 from New Balance now

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