The Diversity of Running Shoes

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The current market for running shoes has never been as diverse as what it is at the moment. The choice that runners now have is very wide, but also very complex. There are over 150 different manufacturers of running shoes and each manufacturer has anywhere from a few to over a dozen different models, making the choice for the individual runner somewhat difficult. Within that wide range there are so many different design features, such as the amount of or lack of cushioning, the drop or height of the heel, the amount of stability or lack of stability, and from what has become known as minimalism to maximalism. The challenge for the runner and the running shoe retailer is to match the runner with the right design features in the shoe. If you get it wrong, there is a theoretical increase in the potential for injury and a decrease in performance. If you get it right there is a theoretical decrease in the risk for an injury and an increase in running performance so the choice is crucial.

Most recently we have seen the launch of the Hoka One One running shoes which are maximal cushioned running shoes. There are also shoes that have come on the market such as the Enko which is spring-loaded under the heel. There is also the Airia One which is elevated under the outside of the forefoot. There are just so many different variations, some of them very subtle and some are more significant. On one hand all of these design features and variations are good, in that we have this diversity to choose from. However, on the other hand it also makes it very complex when trying to make decisions as what is the best running shoe for which runner. If you you need advice on which running shoe to use then it is often a good idea to consult and good podiatrist with an interest in sports medicine.

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