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Help! I don’t know what running shoes to buy?

You can spend endless hours researching the best running shoe on Google or speaking with a friendly retail assistant, a process which can be quite overwhelming. “Which running shoe is best?” is one of the most common shoe questions we are asked at My Family Podiatry, with a different answer for everyone dependent on their foot posture and requirements. First though we will discuss the two categories of running shoes.

Stability vs Neutral


Running shoes are categorised as either neutral or stability shoes. A stability shoe will provide support to the arch of the foot and is most appropriate for those who have a pronated (low or flat arch) foot type. Neutral trainers do not provide support through the arch and are designed for those with a neutral or supinated (high arch) foot type. Wearing the incorrect running shoes may increase the incidence of issues such as plantar fasciitis, knee, hip and/or back pain.


Stability Trainer: Asics Kayano and Brooks Glycerin GTS


Asics Kayano:


The Asics Kayano has long held a place in hearts of many runners as the premium stability running shoe. The Kayano 28 maintains this legacy with a combination of GEL cushioning, Dynamic Duomax support and FlyteFoam midsole to provide stability through the heel and midfoot with a smooth transition to a cushioned forefoot.


A 10mm heel to toe drop works to de-load the Achilles’ tendon and the small external heel counter provides rear-foot stability. The engineered mesh upper is designed to be lightweight and supportive, with my only critique that the forefoot can sit a little narrow for those with a wider foot.



Brooks Glycerin GTS:


Replacing the Brooks Transcend, the Glycerin GTS is a very comfortable shoe. Brooks have moved to GuideRail technology, a system of providing support without the traditional medial posting. The combination of the GuideRails with a lot of their DNALOFT cushioning leads to a stable and very plush shoe.


Similar to the Kayanos, the Glycerin GTS has a 10mm heel to toe drop and an engineered mesh upper. The fit of Brooks do tend to accomodate a wider foot with a little more space in the toe box than Asics and may be suitable depending on your foot type. Both the Brooks Glycerin GTS and Asics Kayano are excellent stability trainers, utilising different technology to achieve a supportive and cushioned running shoe.



Neutral Trainer: Brooks Ghost and Asics Cumulus


Brooks Ghost:


The Brooks Ghost is a premium neutral running shoe. With a midsole made entirely of DNALOFT, a material developed by Brooks to provide cushioning in their shoes, and an engineered mesh upper, this shoe has been designed to provide comfort. The new Brooks Ghost is also their first carbon neutral shoe, quite a big deal in the notoriously polluting fashion industry.


With a 12mm heel to toe drop, firm heel counter, supportive mesh upper and removable insole, the Ghost works well with any form of orthotic to provide a cushioned and supportive base for your foot.


Asics Cumulus:


The technology and materials used by Asics is a little different to Brooks in their attempt to provide a cushioned, neutral running trainer. Utilising a combination of FlyteFoam and their GEL materials, the Cumulus is an excellent neutral running shoe.

A 10mm heel to toe drop, engineered mesh upper which has been designed to improve breathability and the FlyteFoam and GEL cushioning gives a cushioned but stable shoe which is perfect for those needing little midfoot support or in conjunction with an orthotic.


For Budget Conscious:


Asics Gel Contend:


The Asics Gel Contend are a great entry level neutral trainer you can pick up for <$100. With an engineered mesh upper, a textured rubber outsole and AmpliFoam midsole, you do lose some of the higher end features in shoes like the Nimbus or Cumulus, but you are also paying 1/3 the price.


The Asics Gel Contend are a comfortable and cushioned shoe perfect for those just getting back into running and training and are quite commonly used as a kids school sport shoe. For those requiring an orthotic, the Gel Contend will accomodate this with a stable shank and heel counter providing a solid base for the orthotic to work from.



Honourable Mention: New Balance 680

Sitting at a slightly higher price point, the New Balance 680 will set you back closer to $150 for a V7 model. For those with a wider foot, New Balance tend to have a wider last and will accomodate the broader foot more comfortably than the Asics Gel Contend.


With a mesh upper and a Fresh Foam midsole, the 680 provides a cushioned and supportive ride however I have found the more recent models tend to sit a little shallower, making orthotics a bit more difficult if required.



If you know your foot type and what your feet require then these recommendations should provide guidance and point you in the right direction. If you are uncertain on your footwear requirements, please get in contact for a detailed assessment to determine which shoes are best for you. Running in the right shoes can prevent injuries and save you time and money on unsuitable footwear. To book an appointment, call us on 07 3088 6116 or online through the button below.


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