How to choose the perfect running shoe – three top tips from an expert (VIDEO)

As Commonwealth Games fever continues to grip the nation many of us will feel inspired by events in Birmingham.

For those now looking at trying their hand at running, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the right trainers from the seemingly thousands on offer.

To help simplify what can be a daunting purchase, Mike Caine, Professor of Sports Technology and Innovation, shares his top tips to find the perfect shoe for you.

Tip number one – one size does not fit all

“Think about size and fit. That's really the most important thing,” Prof Caine explains.

“If you can get a running shoe that's the right width, has the right arch form, when you lace it up, the tongue fits snugly – those basic kinds of hygiene factors really do make a difference.

“If a shoe is uncomfortable in the store and when you're wearing it, avoid it…try another brand. Try a different product and ensure that it fits well.”

Tip number two – what do you want from a running shoe?

“Understand what you want from your running shoes. What are the drivers?

“Do you want to run more quickly? Win races, set personal bests and so on, or do you just want to be comfortable?

“What type of runner are you? If you're a larger run, a recreational runner, you probably want to focus on cushioning and stability so that you stay injury free.

“If you're an elite runner, you probably want to focus on technologies that are going to help you go faster or avoid injury.

“Get clear about the drivers and be informed for what you're looking for.”

Tip number three – expensive doesn’t mean success

“Don't be put off by the price point in the brand. Often there's not a great relationship between the way the shoe is going to perform and what you have to pay for it.

“If you're price conscious, think about buying last season's colourways so you don't have to pay a top cost for a premium product. Shop around and look at the different brands, and perhaps be open-minded to trying products that you wouldn't have tried before.

“You want to feel good in the shoe. Whether you're running for fun or whether you're running to perform at your highest level.

“You want to feel confident and get joy from either the brand association or the latest look and fit and colourway. Don't ignore that, it's important that you are looking good when you're running.”

Professor Caine has vast experience in running shoe innovation and has worked alongside some of the world’s biggest sporting brands.

For all the latest news, videos, and medal tables from Loughborough’s 2022 Commonwealth Games, visit its dedicated microsite here:

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/160

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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