How to Buy Running Shoes [Ultimate Guide]

Buying running shoes can be a hectic task when you have no idea what you’re doing.


Do you go cheap or expensive?

What features do you need and what type of shoe should you go for?

There are lots of questions that need to be answered and that’s why in my running shoe buying guide I will help you on your quest to finding the right shoe for you.

There is a lot to learn in this article so without further ado, lets get right into it.

Are You Doing Short Distance, Long Distance, or Casual Running?

There’s a big difference between running cross country everyday and going on a jog around the city every week.

You need to ask yourself what you’ll be using the running shoe for.

If you want something for daily fitness running, maybe 3-4 miles a day, then you’ll need a shoe that can last a good 100 miles before losing performance.

Something just over $100 is a good fit for this activity.

However, if you want a running shoe for one-time use such as a marathon, it’s okay to go cheap. The shoes can then be thrown out when you’re finished with them.

Running Marathon

Cheap or Expensive?

Now this one really comes down to your personal love for shoes.

I wrote this article on why it’s definitely good to go cheap if you’re not a huge lover of shoes.

Running shoes does not need to be expensive since you can find a good pair for around $100.

They are likely to last a good 100-200 miles.

Yes some expensive shoes offer more comfort, support and durability.

However, this is not needed for beginners.

It’s best to start off with something easy, then once you know what type of shoe you like, THEN you can move on to more expensive shoes.

But for the mean time, it’s better to go cheap until you know your body, your running style, etc.

Your Price Range

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

You can get a good pair of running shoes for around $100, sometimes less, and they will last an easy 100 miles.

A good price range for cheap running shoes is $60-$100.

So if you’re a newbie runner, I highly recommend keeping within this price range when first choosing a new running shoe.

Of course a little over $100 is okay, but don’t go all out in case you realize you don’t actually like running.

And it may be a big waste of money.

So the bottom line is this:

Stay in the lower price range until you get use to running and learn your running style.

Then when those shoes wear out, you can move on to more advanced running shoes that cost more and have more quality.

Your Arch

Another thing to take into consideration is the arch of your foot.

Humans have 3 types of arches.

High, medium (neutral) and low.

In rare cases there are some people with flat feet.

But the vast majority of people have the 3 types mentioned above.

In my experience, both from wearing shoes and reviewing them, a high arch and neutral arch can share the same type of shoe without much discomfort.

Some people with a high arch can wear shoes designed for a neutral arch.

While neutral arch people can fit shoes designed for high arch.

On the other hand, neutral and high arch people tend to find shoes designed for low arch extremely uncomfortable.

As a rule of thumb:

The more cushioning the shoe offers, the more arch support it has, making it good for neutral and high arch. The less cushioning, the less arch support there is which is more suited for low arch people.

Narrow or Wide Feet

Some people have normal feet, some have narrow and some have wide.

When purchasing a running shoe, you need to take into consideration the width of your foot.

You’d already know if your feet are wide because they usually split out the sides of your shoes.

It’s usually the first thing that damages them.

A wider shoe is more appropriate for you, one that’s a little bulky to compensate for the added size in width.

You’ll also know if you have narrow feet because shoes tend to fit correctly in the length but loose in the sides.

In this case, a narrow style shoe is more suited for you.

The Weight of the Shoe

It’s a simple fact that the lighter you are, the easier it is to move, the faster you can run, and the longer you can go for.

Even though this should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new pair of running shoes, it is not highly important.

As a rule of thumb, I do not recommend anything over 2 pounds, especially when starting out.

Running is hard enough as it is, and a heavy, bulky pair of shoes is going to make it even more difficult.

So always focus on anything under 2 pounds. If you can find a shoe under 1 pound, that’s even better.


The style of your running shoes are no big deal because you are not running to impress other people, or look “cool”.

You are trying to get fit and healthy, and a comfortable shoe is way more important than style.

However in 2020, there’s a massive takeover of stylish running shoes.

It is the “trendy” thing among young people, and especially social media influencers.

People would rather get a stylish running shoe because it looks good in picture.

But in reality the shoe is hella uncomfortable and they probably dread running in them.

Or they probably don’t run in them at all. It is social media at the end of the day, most of it is fake.

But they don’t care because they’re doing it for the style.

So in my opinion, I recommend going for comfort and support first, then style second.

There’s nothing worse than running in an uncomfortable shoe because that can cause all sorts of health problems and injuries down the line.

Don’t Assume Your Size

There are lots of different brands for running shoes, and some of them have different sizing.

For example: you might have purchased Adidas all your life and was always a size 10.

But if you purchase the same size in Nike, it might be too tight.

And that’s a good example because Nike shoes actually do run half a size smaller than other brands.

The only to know what size shoe fits you is to measure your foot from the heel to toe.

How to measure foot length

Add at least 2 centimeters when you purchase your shoes for a more comfortable fit.

This will allow 1 cm in the back and 1 cm in the front for movement during the ride.

If it’s too tight, this can cause all sorts of problems such as: toe deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, and the more serious one, bunions.

And that’s why you should never wear too-tight shoes, even if they’re the best looking shoes in town!

Wrapping Up

These are all the important factors you need to take into consideration when purchasing a new pair of running shoes.

The key takeaways to remember are:

  • You don’t need to go expensive
  • You need lots of cushioning if you a have neutral or high arch
  • Measure your feet so you know your size properly
  • Style is NOT #1 priority
  • Comfort and fit is ALWAYS #1 priority

Follow these simple rules and you will do just fine when buying some new running shoes.

Here’s a List of 10 Lightweight Nike Shoes

Well that concludes this article and I hope you found everything you were looking for.

If you still have any questions or concerns, please ask away in the comments below and I’ll get back to you asap!

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