The best shoes at Runner’s World combine individual functionality and aesthetic appeal. Runner’s World is a publication dedicated to runners that recommends shoes based on the mechanics and shape of your feet, your training routine, and other physical factors; thus, the best shoes can vary between individuals. Each season, the magazine releases a list of some of the best shoes available on the market. Currently, the winter 2011 guide lists the best shoes for neutral cushioning, stability, and minimal design.
According to Runner’s World, shoes that are heavily cushioned in the mid-sole area can provide comfort and adequate support to runners who don’t over-pronate when running. Pronation refers to a healthy inward rolling motion of your feet, while over-pronation refers to an excessive inward rolling movement that can cause physical injury and unnecessary stress on your feet. Recommended shoes in this category include Nike Air Pegasus+ 28 and Adidas Adistar Ride 4. The redesigned Nike Pegasus+ 28 incorporates a lightweight, flywire structure, and plenty of thick cushioning to keep you comfortable during long runs for $85. If you’re looking for flexible and stable cushioned shoes that can withstand heavy footfalls, check out the Adidas Adistar Ride 4 shoes, which retail for $140.
If you tend to over-pronate when you run, look for shoes that incorporate a stable structure that limits the rolling-motion of your foot. These shoes don’t provide as much cushioning, but they give certain runners the support they need while working out. Top picks in this category include Asics GT-2160, and New Balance 860 V2. Dubbed “The Best Shoe in the World,” Asics GT-2160 was selected as the best shoe currently available. The shoes incorporate a high level of support, as well as thick cushioning and a snug fit for $100. Available in standard and wide fits, New Balance 860 V2 shoes were an editor’s top pick, because they incorporate thick cushioning, a comfortable fit, and a sleek design perfect for beginners and long-distance runners. You can buy them for $110.
If you love the sensation of running barefoot, or are seeking the health benefits of this shoe trend, try selecting shoes that are built out of lightweight materials, and that incorporate thin soles and flexibility. Currently, the best shoe in this category is the Brooks Pure Connect shoe. Although they can run small, Brooks Pure Connect shoes were selected as the best shoes recently introduced to the market. They feature an innovative rubber design, and effectively recreate the sensation of running barefoot, while providing adequate cushioning and support for long runs. You can pick them up for $90.
If none of these shoes appeals to you, or you’re looking for the best shoes for your specific training routine and natural movements, try using the Runner’s World "shoe advisor" at their website. You input basic information, including your height, sex, experience, and running routine, as well as if your foot type, and running motion. The site brings up a list of shoes that fit your criteria, as well as reviews and pricing information. You can also compare shoe attributes on a side-by-side basis.