Buying Guide to Men’s Running Shoes

Do the shoes really make the runner? Some would argue that it really doesn’t matter, yet others would seem to argue the exact opposite. I truly believe that there is some need to have a superior shoe, regardless of the reason you are running at all. But there seems to be a lot of different worries when it comes to finding just the right shoe for you. Can you find one with the right stability, the right support, the right technologies, and the right comfort in order to make you want to try it out. I’ll explain to you what you should be specifically looking for in all of those qualities and even give you a lot of examples as to which specific shoes you might want to try.

Stability/Construction
A very important key is the stability a running shoe gives to your feet. Stability comes from a number of different factors, most important of which is the actual material of the shoe. When you are looking at the materials that a shoe is made of, the upper and even a bit of the mid should be of the leather variety, whether it is man made or natural is of little consequence. The uppers also have to be breathable, which you’ll notice with the combination of mesh and leather shoes used for uppers and mids. The bottoms should be a very strong rubber that will not wear with use on the streets or on trails. Some prefer some of the newer mesh uppers such as are used on the Nike Free editions, but to me those are flimsy and don’t provide enough stability for the runner. Your best bet is to find a show which has the combination of the leather uppers and rubber bottoms. Lastly, what I suggest is trying on as many shoes as possible, and doing a little test for stability. Walk on your tiptoes in the store with the shoes on. This simple test will allow you to accurately feel how much stability they offer. Stable shoes are easier to walk in while walking on your tiptoes.
Top Shoes (Stability): New Balance M1222, New Balance M767, Nike Shox FSM, Adidas adiStar Control

Support
Some would say that support goes hand in hand with the stability and construction of the shoe, but to me its two different concepts. For support, it’s not just the materials or the construction, but it’s the way they perform. Sometimes, you’ll find shoes which are made well but don’t offer you anything once they are used in real running situations. These shoes are the shoes that you may be fooled into buying. Some key points to look for when it comes to support. Pay attention to the construction of the shoe around the ankle. You want shoes that will hug your ankle bone, not cover it up or have little contact with it at all. This depends on your foot more than the shoe itself, because the same shoe will fit two different people in different ways. When a shoe hugs the ankle, it will support it without hampering its movement or giving too much slack to the ankle. You also want a show that will stretch to your foot. Once it molds itself, you’ll feel its specific support qualities for you in running. Roll your ankles when you try the shoes on. The shoe, if a good fit, will roll with the ankle freely. If the shoe either hampers the movement or allows too much freedom without moving with the foot, then it will not offer adequate support.
Top Shoes (Support): New Balance M498, Puma Phasis III, Nike Air Zoom Elite, Nike Air Max Moto IV

Technologies
It’s not just about air bubbles or shocks or pumps. New shoes come with technologies that can help your running motion, your health, and your comfort. Adidas has its adiStar line, which boasts a Ground Control System that limits the wear on a show and the effect your striking the ground has on your feet. Nike still has both the air bubbles and the Shox, but also the Free series which is extremely breathable and lightweight for your running. What I suggest is to find places where the people are more than knowledgeable and can answer advanced questions. You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn.
Top Shoes (Technology): Adidas adiStar series, Nike Air Max series

Comfort
Some would argue that this is the most important quality. You want a show that you’ll be comfortable in, whether it’s running or simply wearing around the town. A shoe that has the ability to mold to the specific contours of your feet can make the difference between sore feet and relaxed feet. One thing you need to watch for which could be deceiving is the amount of cushion in a shoe. Sometimes too much cushion can have as negative of an effect on your foot that not enough cushion will. It will make your feet sore, push into your feet and cause pains, and even wear on your toes causing skin to loosen. Push the shoe into the ground when you try them on. You should still be able to feel the ground through the cushion, but not enough to hurt your foot.
Top Shoes (Comfort): Nike Air Max series, Nike Free series, New Balance M975

Most importantly for each person, to find a running shoe takes patience and an understanding of what you like. If you’re looking for comfort, there’s a shoe for you. If you want the newest in running shoe technology or good construction, I’m sure you can find a shoe for you as well. Remember the tests that I told you about in each category. They will help you immensely in finding a running shoe that you can be satisfied with. Whether it’s Nike or Adidas, New Balance or Puma, the brand doesn’t matter as long as you can find the needs you’re looking for. Good luck to you in your hunts.

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