In my last post, I shared my top five tips for buying the right running shoes every time. But to make getting it right even easier, I’ve rounded up this list of my favorite shoes for every foot type, running stride, and terrain trained on. Check it out to find the sneaker that’s worth giving a run for you.
1. Reebok REALFLEX: I have got to hand it to Reebok, the ReelFlex is ingenious. The designers combined a natural, almost barefoot feeling with optimal protection. This shoe has 70-plus massagers that thicken the shoe's sole, allowing your foot to properly react as it strikes the ground. RealFlex is the perfect shoe for runners who want protection but still are looking for the natural feeling of barefoot running.
My two cents: Made for the minimalist who desires a little bit of protection.
2. Nike Free Run: This shoe is all about flexibility—you can even roll it completely into a ball. Light and perfect for gym-goers or business travelers, it makes you feel as though you have nothing on your feet and is great for people who prefer to run sockless. That said, I would not recommend this shoe during the winter months. One problem I have encountered is having to remove the little stones that became wedged between the flex lines of the sole, which can make the transfer from trail to pavement uncomfortable.
My two cents: Perfect for sockless runners.
3. Skechers Go Run: At first thought you might ask: Skechers makes running shoes? But it seems they have run themselves right into the race as a performance brand. I was initially a bit skeptical about the Go Run, as there is a great deal of thickness under the arch of the foot. However, as soon as I began to run, the overdeveloped mid-sole prevented me from hitting the ground with a hard heel strike. Surprisingly this more-cushioned shoe’s flexibility and weightless feel parallel that of Reebok and Nike.
My two cents: Run around the store when you try these shoes; simply placing them on your feet can make for an awkward experience. These puppies are meant to be run in.
4. Altra Zero Drop: This sneaker provides much more room than most running shoes that tend to be narrow in the front. It was nice to finally put on a sneak that I could wiggle my little guys around in. However, all this room may not be a plus for all fans of minimalist shoes or someone who prefers a secure fit. Like the Skechers, take these shoes for a jog around the store before you make a decision. The Zero Drop offers little in terms of flexion, making for a stiffer run than the Nikes or Reeboks. But what it lacks in flexion, it makes up for in performance.
My two cents: This shoe is great for the more advance runner.
5. K-Swiss Blade-Light Run: If you are looking for a secure, lightweight running sneaker that is really going to connect your foot to your shoe, the K-Swiss Blade-Light Run is the right for you. Because of the snug fit, your foot and shoe move as one solid unit, which prevents rubbing and irritation. The Blade-Light Run does tend to collect pebbles and breakdown quickly, so it’s best suited for use on flat surfaces such as pavement.
My two cents: This is the ideal shoe for those who are prone to blisters.