Why There is No Best Running Shoe
Gear Review, Running, Running Reads

Why There is No Best Running Shoe

The best shoe doesn’t exist. 

It’s not the Nike 4% and it’s not the Brooks Leviviate.

Also, pumpkin spice lattes and unicorn frappucinos are not the best coffee…

But each of those has great marketing.

It’s no secret that every human is different, and thus, we have different feet.  Even your own two feet might be drastically different and that is okay.  Thinking out loud, that is why there are so many different shoes.

Why There is No Best Running Shoe

What works for me, might not work for you, and it certainly won’t work for everyone.  ‘

Some people thrive on minimal shoes, and other’s (like myself) thrive on maximum cushioned shoes.

Some need a lot of stability, and some need none. Stability and pronation is just one factor. A person’s foot shape has a lot to do with shoe selection too.

Each brand and style is cut a little different, and while most brands have both a narrow and wide option (some even double-wide), it’s important to realize you might wear a different size than you think.  I wear anywhere between a 9.5 wide to a size 11 depending on the cut of the actual shoe.

So then: “Why is There No Best Shoe”? 

The best shoe for you, depends on a few factors:

  • Foot shape
  • Personal gait cycle
  • What someone is doing in the shoes and their goals

Every running shoe is the best for someone.  Similarly, every running shoe is the worst for someone. 

A good pair of running shoes will cost you between $100-$120.  The cost isn’t because you are being ripped off, but because companies develop technology that cost that much to create, plus labor costs, etc.  There are plenty of shoes that cost more and even a few shoes that are a little less (for instance the Nike Pegasus).  Costing more does not make them a better shoe.

There are also plenty of ways to find sales on shoes such as older models or discontinued styles.  You might have to sacrifice the shape of the shoe matching your foot or older shoes tend to last less time.

As someone who works in a running store, I also tell people the best way to get a good shoe (for you) is to go get fitted for an appropriate pair.  Most local running stores employ people who run and know running.  The employees also tend to know the local area and can be a great resource.

For instance, on paper, I love a neutral high cushioned shoe.  If I were to shop online, I would think a shoe like the adidas ultra boost or Asics Nimbus would be a great option.  However, with the width of my foot, they never feel that great.  Getting fit for a pair of shoes, the first time I realized just how wide my feet are!

Running shoes are expensive, but it’s the most expensive part of the sport.  Once you find your shoe, you can find out when sales and deals are.  I always recommend signing up for your local running stores emails because they often have the best deals of any place! 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite running shoe?

What are shoes you’ve tried and have not worked?


5 thoughts on “Why There is No Best Running Shoe”

  1. My favorite running shoe recently was the Adidas Adizero before they went all Boost crazy. Those things lasted forever. Seriously, they used a material from the tire maker Continental for the sole and it just never wore out. They were awesome until they screwed them up. Sigh. Now I’m wearing the New Balance 880 and I’m happy although they only have 100 miles on them and the pattern not the bottom is already worn off … so that’s annoying.

    Shoes I’ve tried that didn’t work. Altras – couldn’t get past the look and they wore out quickly, Mizuno are the only shoes that ever actually gave me pain … and I’ve never met a pair of Asics that fit but that’s just me. Also I haven’t tried them in years so it’s probably not fair feedback.

  2. I had a favorite – Mizuno Wave Creations – until I started to get pain along the outside of my foot. Last year I switched to Hoka Clifton’s and the pain slowly went away. Soooo I can’t say that I have a “favorite” shoe, but right now the Cliftons are what are working for me! As a 200lb runner, I suppose I am putting quite a bit of pounding into those feet – i appreciate the extra fluff of the cliftons.

  3. My favorite running shoes these days are my Hoka Cliftons and my Saucony Triumphs. They both provide the room I need and a soft landing. Friends have suggested trying Topos, but not gotten around to that yet.

    1. I like the Hoka Clifton’s myself. I haven’t tried the Saucony Triumph 4 yet, but do like the feeling when I tried them on.

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