When looking for the perfect running shoes for you, it is not only your body mechanism and the shape of your footprint that matters. It is also about where and on what type of surface you put down your sole. Do you plan to be running on treadmill or outside? And if it is outside, is it on roads or the trail with soil under your feet?
Think of the shoes like it is your tires needing right grip for right surface.
Road Running Shoes
Road running shoes are made to handle hard strides against pavements and packed surfaces. They should be light and flexible with a cushioning and stabilizing effect.
Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes are made for off-road running, to help you manage routes with more obstacles than road running. The sole need to be a more aggressive outsole to help your feet on mud, rocks, and to not slip on roots. The shoe needs to give stability and traction.
Treadmill Running Shoes
Some runners use the same shoes as running outside when running on a treadmill. In that case, you probably should go for the road running shoes, with not so aggressive soles. But it is probably better aiming against an even lighter pair of shoes with less cushioning if a treadmill is your main place to run. This because the surface on a treadmill is often softer than all type of surfaces your feet meet outside.
My first choice
I personally did choose a pair of “easy” trail running shoes as my first shoes, fit to run on roads in the forest. But I usually not run so much on smaller footpaths yet, so they didn’t need to be too aggressive with the outsole. So my shoes work quite good as beginners in between shoes. But if I keep up the training, I maybe should think about using a couple of different pairs if I also start with some treadmill running.
What type of surface is it where you usually run? And did you think about this when you bought your running shoes? Love to read about your experiences if you leave a comment below.