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How to pick the best running trainers for you in 2023

Time to find new running trainersA pair of old used running shoes on cement steps.

Let’s not beat around the bush, it is January 2023 and you have probably stumbled across this running and jogging website because you are taking up the sport and are looking for tips on finding the best running trainers. Look no further, we have all the information that you need.

We have spoken to a whole host of running, jogging and fitness experts about what you should look for in a running training shoe. Getting it important is right because if you don’t have the right pair of running trainers you may feel uncomfortable or even hurt yourself and this will put you off running and we don’t want that!

From my own side, as someone who has run at a few events including an olympic length triathlon (OK, so by the time the running part came I was pretty tired and walked a little bit of it) I have always gone for ASICS running trainers but, as I found out from talking to all of the experts, there are lots of just as good running trainers out there. So, read on, how to pick the best running trainers!

Let’s start with Josh Garside who is a running expert from the mighty JD Sports.

“To make sure you choose the best running trainers, it may seem obvious, but keep the fit in mind. Your big toe should have about a thumb’s width of breathing room at the top of the trainer and your heel should be snug to the shoe collar but not too tight, as this risks Achilles blisters when you break the trainers in.

“Don’t assume your size will be the same fit across all brands, either: one brand’s size nine is not necessarily another’s. Try on the shoe if possible first, if you’re not 100% comfortable in it, try another! Focus less on the style and aesthetics and more on what’s comfortable for you.”

Josh Garside from JD Sports gives us his tips on finding the best running trainers.
Josh Garside Running expert from JD Sports

Next up we have Olly Laws from Swiss performance running brand On-Running.com

“When you buy a new pair of shoes, the key factor to look for is comfort. Everyone’s feet are different and have a unique shape – so you should go to a specialist store to try on a range of shoes to find one comfortable for you. Here you can also get advice on the amount of support you might need and also what level of cushioning is appropriate for your fitness goals. 

It’s worth knowing that your foot will expand slightly during exercise, and throughout the day, so try to test shoes in the evening or after exercise to give the truest fit based on your foot expanding when warmer. Aim for a fitted but not tight fit.”

Olly Laws from On-Running.com

Dean Zweck is the Product Development Manager from TotalFitness, his tips are:

“What surface are you running on? Running off road on trails and you’ll definitely need a trainer with additional grip, look for trainers with graphene-enhanced lugs are a good bet for trail running. Next consideration is a trainer that fits well, to prevent blisters and losing toe nails. If you have a wide foot look for a trainer that has a wide toe box.

I personally prefer a more minimal trainer, with less support and more malleable but this may not be suitable for everyone. If you do a lot of mileage, and have any weakness or loss of mobility in your foot and ankle, go for a trainer with more support and stiffness. Lastly, the cost. The trainer you choose has to fit your budget, but consider a cheaper trainer may need replacing faster, meaning you’ll have to purchase another pair much sooner that will cost you more over time. A good pair of trainers will last about 600-1000km or running.”

Dean Zweck from Total Fitness

Vikash Sharma from Perfect Stride in New York had the following advice:

“Look for a wide toe box. Fashion over function has become the motto of many shoe companies over the years, meaning the toe box on shoes has been getting narrower. This alters the anatomy of the foot and decreases its functionality, contributing to a whole host of issues such as bunions, neuromas, metatarsalgia, and more. 

My top tip. When selecting a running shoe choose one that has a wider toe box that allows your toes to sit in the shoe without feeling crowded or uncomfortably squashed together.”

Vikash from Perfect Stride in America
Vikash Sharma from Perfect Stride

Last, but very much not least, James Brady, Personal Trainer from OriGym said;

“When planning on running a 10k, give yourself enough time to prepare. Around 12 to 16 weeks to prepare for the event is enough to give runners enough time to build mileage, maintain peak performance, and practice tapering towards the end of a run.

You should also be mindful of how you’re fuelling your body. Eating a small meal of healthy, digestible carbohydrates a couple hours before running is a great way to replace glycogen stores and give you the energy you need. Runners should also learn how to pace runs correctly as this helps avoid going too hard and being exhausted by the end of it.

To reduce the risk of injury and complete exhaustion, start slower than you think you should. Beginners should start by focusing on the length of time spent running rather than the distance covered. For example, do a 30-minute run instead of a three mile run. This removes the mental aspect of hitting a certain distance which will make it easier to build your stamina as your body becomes more familiar with the exercise.”

James Brady, PT from Ori Gym
James Brady – PT – Ori Gym

So, there we have it, some actual experts giving their tips on how to pick the best running trainers that will work for you. It is so important that you get it right so you don’t give up on your plans to incorporate more outdoor running into your fitness regime.

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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