How to Find the Best Running Shoes


OK, so finally I am starting to catch up on some posts that I have been promising — I’ve been having some issue with my computer while traveling — I thought that our 15 hours flight to Hong Kong had internet — I was WRONG — and I was planning on getting some serious writing done! Then we couldn’t find the correct adaptor for my computer charger — ugh! But everything is good now!

Anyway, I’ve been promising some tips for half-marathon training — so I thought one of the biggest tips I could give was to help you choose the right running shoes. It is SUPER important for any running — but especially for long distance running!


Has this ever happened to you?? — you go shopping for shoes, try them on in the store — they look great, feel great — so you buy them…Then, the first time you wear them — even after wearing them for just 15 minutes — you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake??

Yeah — it’s the worst — and it’s even worse when it’s a pair of running shoes — and you’re 2 miles away from home and have to get back home.

Most running shoes feel comfortable when you’re standing in the store, but after a few miles into your run, you’ll really be able to see how they feel. 

But, choosing the running shoes that will fit you best doesn’t have to be rocket science — and once you find a good fit, it can make ALL the difference in your workouts. Here are a few tips, I’ve learned along the way in helping pick out the best running shoes for YOU.


What kind of running do you do?

  • Road-Running – Road-running shoes are designed for smooth and even ground — like pavement. They are lighter and more flexible, but still offer plenty of support for repetitive strides on hard surfaces — pavement is very hard compared to running on a trail, and results in more impact to the joints.
  • Trail-Running – Trail-running shoes offer more tread to help with the rocks, mud, roots or other obstacles that you’ll be running on off-road. They also come with more support and provide better stability for your feet and ankles.
  • Cross-Training – Cross-training shoes are designed for the gym or cross-training workouts — like cross-fit or interval-style bootcamp workouts. They are best for workouts that incorporate running within the workout, but also have other modalities — like a circuit workout. The soles of these shoes are often thinner, and may not offer as much support.

What kind of support do you need?

Grab an old, well worn pair of running shoes and take a look at the bottom of the shoe. Check to see the wear-pattern on the tread on the sole. This will help you decide what kind of support you’ll need in a running shoe.

  • Neutral shoes – If the wear pattern of your shoe is centralized in the ball of your foot with just a little wear in the heal, you’ll be best with “neutral” running shoes. These shoes provide some shock absorption and some arch- support.
  • Support/Stability Shoes – If the wear pattern of your shoes shoe has a lot of wear on the inner part of your shoes, you’ll want a good “support” running shoe. These are good shoes for runners who over-pronate — or tend to “roll in” on their feet. Support shoes often include a firmer arch-support in the sole of the shoe to help reduce impact.

Shoe Fitting Tips

  • Go a half-size to a full-size bigger – As a personal trainer for 10 years I have made very good friends with local running shoe stores (wherever I have lived) and always ask for tips when I go in. Most of the associates at these store (usually a Fleet Feet Sport store) have told me to get a full size bigger in running shoes. And personally, I have found this out numerous times the hard way — over the last few years I have had probably 3 pairs of running shoes I mistakenly have gotten too small, and end up donating before they have worn out because they are too small and uncomfortable.
  • Try on shoes at the end of the day – During the day, your feet normally swell up a bit from walking around, or wearing poor-fitting dress shoes, and will be at their largest at the end of the day. To add on to the previous tip, try on running shoes at the end of the day — especially if you do most of your running at the end of the day after work. This will also help you avoid buying shoes that are too small.
  • Allow for a little wiggle room – Aim for a thumbnail’s length of extra space in the toe of the shoe. The width should be snug but allow a bit of room for your foot to move without rubbing. Laces should be snug but not tight.
  • Come Prepared – When you go to try on running shoes, be sure to bring athletic shocks — DON’T show up wearing flip slops, and expect to put on those nylons socks they have for trying on shoes. Your athletic socks will be much thicker and with impact how the shoe fits. The same goes for orthotics — if you wear orthotics, bring them along, they will impact the fit of a shoe.


Personally, my favorite running shoes are Mizuno. Currently I’m wearing the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 — it’s a neutral shoe.

I ran the LA Rock & Roll Half Marathon in them, and LOVED how they felt during the run. I’ve never had one blister wearing Mizuno, and they feel as light as a feather. They have a great amount of cushion — which really helped during the 13.1 miles — it’s almost like running on air.

If you really need some help picking out the right shoe for you, head to your local running store, they will be able to assist you, check your running patterns, and help guide you in picking the best shoe for you — you’ll even probably be able to do a test run in the store to really get a feel for them.

In general, a pair of running shoes should last between 400 to 500 miles of running — or about 3 or 4 months for regular runners. Take a look at your shoes and check if the midsoles and outsoles are compressed or worn. If they are, it may be time for a new pair.


What’s your favorite running shoes? Do you have some other tips for finding the perfect pair?


This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Mizuno Running & Fitfluential. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Live Fit Girls, and all the content you see on this blog possible.

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