So, you've decided that this is the year you take on a marathon, a half marathon or maybe you're just thinking about getting in shape. Whether you're tackling a road marathon or a trail run, the first thing you need to do is find a decent pair of running shoes.
From Nike and Saucony, to Salomon and Asics, with so many brands and styles to choose from, finding the perfect pair for your running style can be a challenge. It's vital that you work out what's best for you.
How to buy the right running shoes?
Here are three tips from T3's resident ultra-runner to help you whittle down your options:
1. Get your gait tested
Drop into a shop like Sweatshop.co.uk or Vivobarefoot stores and you can get a full gait analysis test done that'll help you identify the type of running shoes and support that's best for your style. You'll also get some handy hints on how to improve your technique along the way.
2. Think about your terrain
Where you plan to run is important. Will you be doing most of your miles on or off road?
3. Racing versus training
In a lot of cases you might want to choose a training shoe for longer mileage and a race shoe that's lighter but better used for shorter periods of time, like a four-hour race. Either way, it's important that you've worn your shoes in before you hit race day, or put in the longer runs.
Now that you know your style, it's time to choose. Every pair of shoes on our list has been worn, tested and put through its paces. Leaf through the list of the latest tech-filled trainers for your perfect running shoes.
Check our list of the best trail running shoes
Nike Free 5
If you’re looking for the perfect first running trainer, Nike’s Free 5 is a strong pick. It's comfortable, lightweight and has a rather stylish design. The low-profile midsole and rounded heel let you keep your natural stride, while the mesh upper offers much more support than you’d normally find in a shoe like this.
Weight is kept to a minimum by ditching sewn on overlays, but this doesn’t sacrifice durability. In-fact, these are some of the most durable shoes we’ve tried in a long time. They’ll last you plenty of miles, that’s for sure.
£100 | Nike
Saucony Ride 7
If there’s one thing that Saucony doesn’t do, it’s subtle shoes. The Ride 7 comes in a range of vivid hues, but they’re also lighter and more cushioned than before. A Powergrid material base gives heel-to-toe cushioning, making each stride that little bit more comfortable. A new vertical flex groove gives your foot more space to move, while a number of internal parts have been dispensed with completely to bring the weight down. As no one likes a sweaty shoe, or foot for that matter, Saucony has added a nifty interior lining that wicks away moisture.
£105 | Saucony
Puma Ignite PWRCOOL
Puma is known for packing each of its latest running shoes with a bevy of new tech, and the Ignite is no different. This particular one is said to be the brand’s ‘most responsive shoe ever’ and it’s worn by a guy who knows a little bit about running fast - Usain Bolt. A new cushioning material should disperse impact better than before, thus giving you more bounce with each stride. Essentially, it’s meant to make you faster. Though we doubt quite to Bolt’s levels.
As the name suggests - it’s Powercool, with a few letters missing - there’s plenty of temperature controlling stuff going on here. Comfortemp fabric keeps your foot at the optimum temperature, hopefully ridding you off sweaty digits come the end of your run.
£72 | Puma
Adidas Ultra Boost
Adidas claims these are the 'greatest running shoes ever', which is quite the statement, so let's take a look and see how it's backed up. There's 20% more Boost cushioning than we've seen before and the midsole has been ditched, so your foot is closer to the floor. Primeknit tech is back again for the upper, improving support and comfort while a Stretch Web outsole moves as your foot strikes. Adidas has completely remade the heel, so it moves better with your achilles and fitted this with a nifty sock lining.
£130 | Adidas
Saucony Triumph ISO
The Saucony Triumph is the firm's 'super-plush' neutral trainer, and claims to be the 'most cushioned running experience' they have ever created. Coming from a hardcore running brand it's no surprise that the Triumph deliver. Even cack-handed heel strikes are soaked up beautifully. At a lightweight 292g, the Triumph features Saucony's ISOFIT and PWRGRID, which add up to a snug fit that minimises chafing and 20% more cushioning than the previous version, respectively. The colour scheme is bold, but the ride is smooth as silk. Well worth considering for the spring season...
£125 | Saucony
Nike Air Pegasus Zoom 31
The Nike Air Pegasus Zoom 31 gets its name from being a 31st generation product. It is a lightweight running shoe with an Air Zoom unit to help give you a bit more forward inertia. More than 16,000 research and development hours have gone into its creation, which is probably why Mo Farah has been known to wear a pair when training.
£85 | Nike GB
Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0
The Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0 is a 228g running shoe that has a 'Torsion System' for ensuring energy isn't lost while your shoes flex unnecessarily. The boost system, meanwhile, stores up energy when you foot hits the ground and uses it to add bounce each step.
£110 | Adidas
Newton Gravity III
Rather than provide lots of cushion in the heel, the Newton Gravity IIIs also pack padding below your forefoot. A fifth lug for the Pop1 platform below the shoe helps with stability. Newton says to drop down half a size compared with the Newton II, in case you are looking to upgrade.
£140 | Newton Running
Saucony Virrata 2
The Saucony Virrata 2 has 18mm of EVA in the forefoot and heel, giving it more padding than the competition and a position that makes you run on the forefoot and midfoot. At 184g, they are some of the lightest in our list, but still durable thanks to a chunky outsole.
£95 | Saucony
Asics Gel Kayano
Boasting a whole load of tech, this pair of running shoes is more akin to a computer than a fitness accessory. First off is the Impact Guidance System, which helps your toe strikes, while FluidRide cushions the foot and improves durability. A multitude of gel, both at the front and rear, keeps the foot comfortable too, even on a long run.
£145 | ASICS
Puma Mobium Elite Speed Night Cat
Made specifically for midfoot and forefoot strikers who run at speed, the second generation Mobium Elite boasts the Night Cat reflective print for improved visibility when sunlight is nowhere to be found. The fit has also been improved and a new elasticated band added to move in time with your tendons.
£100 | Puma
Adidas Energy Boost 2
Designed for all types of weather, the Boost tech built into these shoes retain energy when you run and then returns it to the foot. The Techfit upper gives a natural, comfortable fit, that almost feels like a sock and the molded overlay increases foot support no end. It’s miCoach compatible, too.
£115 | Adidas