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A Guide to Buying Running Shoes & Reviews

Find your perfect pair with our ultimate guide to running shoes and 2020/2021 reviews.

Whether you’re new to running regularly, preparing to run a virtual marathon, or you’re just ready to take your performance to the next level, wearing a specialist running shoe rather than your casual trainers is crucial. When you run, your heels hit the ground with a force of more than three times your body weight, so a specialist, shock-absorbing running shoe is a worthy investment.

The durability of the materials used and the complicated design means they can be expensive. However,  when buying running shoes, it isn’t necessary to splash the cash on the most expensive pair, you instead should find the running shoe that suits your running style, and best fits your foot.

Get The Right Fit For You

If your running shoes are not the right fit, then you may end up with painful blisters and, in some cases, black toenails!

Running shoes usually fall into two categories, neutral running shoes and support running shoes.

The midsole on a neutral shoe consists of one density EVA foam, whereas the midsoles on a support shoe are made from a harder foam on the inside to help avoid your foot rolling inwards as you run, this is known as overpronation.

There are also other types of support running shoes, with some boasting full motion control features for heavy runners or severe overpronation. If you’re an off-road runner you may consider specifically designed Trail running shoes, for fast training or racing you may need a more lightweight running shoe or racers. 

How to Choose The Best Running Shoe 

Lace Them Up! 

When trying on a running shoe, you should always tie the laces to lock your heel in place. When moving around, your heel should stay firmly in place and lift up from the footbed. 

Not Too Tight! 

However, you should avoid lacing up your running shoes too tight as you risk damaging the bones in the top of your foot. Always lace from the bottom holes and work your way up to evenly distribute the pressure. 

Allow Extra Space! 

Your toes should not touch the end of your running shoe! When trying them on, it’s always best to leave half a thumb space at the front of your shoe to allow for swelling when running. 

Running shoe lengths and widths can vary depending on the brand. So, you may need to buy a pair that is half a size larger than your regular trainers. The best thing to do is try as many as possible to compare fits before buying the right pair for you! 

Consider the Weight, Drop & Cushioning

Usually, the lighter the running shoe the less cushioning which can make the shoe feel ‘faster’. However, for long-distance runners heavier shoes with extra cushioning may be more suitable.

The drop is the difference between the shoe’s heel and forefoot measurements. A higher drop results in more heel striking. Most running shoes have a drop between 8 and 12 mm.

Cushioning provides impact absorption, consider the cushioning measurements in the heel and forefoot when shopping for a new pair of running shoes. 

Looking for a Bargain? 

One way to save on your perfect running shoe is to buy last year’s colour or design at a discounted price! However, please note that you should never buy running shoes that are more than four years old as the midsole EVA foam and glue can degrade over time, even when left in the shoebox! 

The Best Running Shoes - ACE Races Reviews 

There are several factors to consider when buying the best running shoes for you, such as your weight, your biomechanics, the shape of your foot and the surface you run on. 
Take a look at these men’s and women’s running shoes reviews from virtual running providers ACE Races. 

1. Asics Gel Kayano 27 

Asics Gel Kayano 27 Running Shoe Review

Price: Around £155
Weight: 309g (M) 244g (W)
Drop: 10mm
Type: Road / Stability

Classic stability running shoe from Asics. Boasts a sturdy heel counter, deep outsole flex grooves and gender-specific truss (torsion control device) for better performance. 

2. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Running Shoe Review

Price: Around £105
Weight: 287g (UK9)
Drop: 10mm
Type: Road / All-rounder 

A well-cushioned and comfortable running shoe with a bouncy Nike React form midsole and rubber outsole for improved grip on the road.  

3. Saucony Endorphin Speed

Saucony Endorphin Speed Running Shoe Review

Price: Around £155
Weight: 240g (UK9)
Drop: 8mm
Type: Road / All-rounder

Although designed for fast training, these running shoes are comfortable on easy runs.  The Endorphin Speed boasts a softer nylon plate than the carbon pro version, ideal for picking up the miles in training. 

4. Mizuno Wave Rider 24 

Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe Review

Price: Around £130
Weight: 290g (M)  240g (W)
Drop: 12mm
Type: Road / Neutral 

A reliable classic since 1998, the wave rider is a high-mileage, neutral-cushioned running shoe with breathable mesh and new cushioning foam. 

5. Adidas SL20 

Adidas SL20 Running Shoe Review

Price: Around £60-70
Weight: 230g (UK8.5)
Drop: 10mm
Type: Road / Neutral 

Fantastic value for under £100, the SL20 offers an impressive level of performance for the price. Although, you may require a comfier fit for longer, harder runs.