what shoes do you recommend?

At the moment I'm running in some cross trainers (I mean they're designed for going to the gym in, not that they're angry) that I bought years ago. I thought I'd treat myself to some proper running shoes but I went into one of those shops and it all felt a bit terrifying - too many choices. The salesman just felt like he was trying to get me to spend lots of money. Is it worth it? What shoes do you run in/recommend?


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21 Replies

  • My ankles & feet were hurting after week 3 & I went into Sweatshop where I knew they had a gait analyser. I was looking for something around £50 (I thought). Having been approached by a young lady assistant and admitting this she led me over to a machine which photographed my feet, ankles and lower calves from behind which showed us both how wonky they were. She explained about under & over pronation decided what type I'd got, recommended a "neutral" shoe and went into the back to have a look. She came back with two possible pairs one at £85 and one at £90 (everything on display cost more than this).The £85 ones felt better and were actually originally more expensive but had been on a test run by one of the staff. I bought them and they've been great, no more pain. As an overweight 53 year old in a suit I felt very self-conscious but the service and manner of the staff was great. I might have paid more than I needed to but I was very happy with the whole process and in the end didn't feel embarrased at all.

  • thanks that's really useful - I must admit I was hoping to spend around the £50 mark too

  • I'll just add, if you live in Scotland, Run 4 It are a good chain of running shops with a great reputation for their shoe fitting service. Shops in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Dundee. I got mine in Inverness and the staff couldn't have been more helpful.

  • thanks

  • I always go to the Sweatshop and am pretty much a Nike Structure Triax guy now. Not that they are necessarily the right ones for you but there is a "right pair" out there and its so worth a bit of investment. After all unlike other sporting equipment if you end up not continuing running (go figure!) then you still have a pair of trainers.

    I spent a while testing these when I first started and kept buying the same model for the next 18 months or so at which point I though I should try something else, none of the others quite did it and I have now, learned my lesson and gone back to the Nike ST.

    I mentioned this to the guys at the Sweatshop and in the nicest possible way they rolled their eyes and said something along the lines of "what a plonker Rodney, if they work keep with em!".

    Sorry that went on a bit, in short go somewhere where they specialise in this sort of thing do the analysis and go with it if you can afford it. I have never been suggested the most expensive pair.

  • just to add, I bought a pair of running shoes from Sweatshop and just couldn't take to them at all. I kept going with them as I thought I probably just needed to bed them in, but after nearly a month, I decided that they were definitely not working for me.

    I returned them to Sweatshop (all muddy and scuffed), they could not have been more helpful - did the whole gait analysis again from scratch and sent me away with a brand new pair (which I love). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

  • I'd also recommend sweatshop, the guy was really good, even when i couldn't really get on with the treadmill, he had me running up an down the shop instead and I'm sure they will find the right shoes for you.

    I bought Brooks Ghost 4's for about £90, they cost about £50 now. But I'm looking forward to a new pair (fancy a different colour, I know!)

    I think they have 20% off for parkrunners until the end of feb with your bar code.

  • so you fancy a different colour?...well, you deserve it. Running is a relatively inexpensive activity and if it means your health, well why not! ;)

  • Just to put the cat among the pigeons, I bought some trainers from a sports shop (and I was very nervous about going in, but they were lovely) - but have since discovered that my work shoes (flat lace-ups from Ecco) are actually more comfortable for me for running in.

    There's a fair bit of discussion on various threads on here about 'barefoot' style shoes (but searching this forum is a bit hit and miss - always seems to come up with very old threads rather than more recent ones for some reason) which is a whole different subject... Worth reading up a bit about it though. That's what made me try running in my Ecco shoes, because they don't have a raised heel or thick soles. Just wish I could get another pair of them, but they don't make this style any more. :(

  • When I first started C25k I had a cheat pair of trainers and soon swopped those for a Asics Gel 1170 pair from the local sports shop which cost about £50/£60.

    Eight month later I have just had my gait analysis done at Sweatshop, I ended up with a pair of Adidas Adizeros Adios 2 , neon yellow £85. However after two weeks I couldn't get on with them they rubbed the top of my feet (as if they weren't finished off properly inside), I took advantage of the 30 day return guarantee and changed them for a pair of Mizuno Waver Rider 16's which are Corally/Pink and cost £100 but I took advantage of my 10% Parkrun discount so only had to pay £5 extra and I love them.

    I'm still going to use my Asics probably rotate them and use on muddy runs. My Mizuno's are far to pretty to get muddy (I wonder how long that will last).

  • Had to threadbutt - I love my Asics, not professionally fitted or anything but suit me fine.

    I got a new pair of lovely shiny white ones for Christmas - ran through ankle deep black mud yesterday and stood scrubbing them with a nailbrush and washing liquid in freezing, bare, still wet feet on a cold tiled kitchen floor - hope your corally/pink ones don't come to the same sticky end, morningglory!

  • Hi runner45, I swear by my 'Adidas 19 response cushion,' If you underpronate slightly or having a neutral gait they are perfect.They're amazing, feel like slippers and hardly notice them when I'm running.

    They also got rid of my recurring shin splints after wearing some basic (one and a half sizes too small )running shoes. I'm a size 6 normally but found out I need a 7.5 in the Adidas. Hope this helps? Oh very important had a gait analysis and found all this out and why I was having problems! They cost me around £55 as last seasons, and worth every penny.

    Good luck


  • Thanks for the tip on the Adidas, as I suspect I underpronate too. I will check them out. (presuming they are at my local running store here in Canada).

  • Good for high arches as well. Have got a second pair now:


    very similar,but prefer the Adidas ones, even though they were on offer at a massively reduced price. The latest Adidas shoe is now '21cushion,' but like I said last season's or before will be fine. Good luck and enjoy.

    Susie :)

  • In short, preference for particular shoes varies enormously from person to person, as you can no doubt tell! Your best bet is to go to a specialist running shop and get properly fitted - and if they do a decent returns/guarantee thing, you have the assurance that if you don't get the right shoes first time, you can take them back and try again...

  • Thanks for everyone's answers. Clear message is I need to go to a proper shop and not be so tight fisted!

  • I tried five pairs on before I was happy and spent about an hour in there. If you can go on a weekday, you'll get more attention. The guy who helped me was brilliant, I couldn't decide between two pairs and when I finally picked them he said I was hoping you'd go for those. He wasn't pushy at all and knew which ones were most suitable. He also could have sold me the latest ones, but he said there's no difference apart from the colour and apparently Adidas Response have been going for years. Good luck. Oh have fun on the treadmill, much respect to people on here who use them, I felt I was about to fly off the end!!


  • I still use the ones I bought for £30 in a cheap sports chain, I chose them because they felt comfortable and they haven't let me down. I've had the gait analysis done since but to be honest, until these die on me I'll stick with them. And then probably look for another pair.

  • I refuse to believe that I need to spend huge amounts of money on trainers. I over heard an assistant in SportsDirect telling his colleague that they were "all made in China anyway" - too true! Panorama ran (forgive the pun) a programme last year that blasted all the myths about gaits, over pronating, under pronating, sports drinks and the like and it was very interesting. This was research carried out by universities and NOT sports companies, who just want your money!

    Hence, I have a pair of £15 trainers that are comfortable and I don't feel fleeced!

  • Amen to that!

  • I don't think it's the price that matters....but if you have a pair of shoes that don't work for you, then it can be agony. (Spoken from recent personal experience.)

    Some people (like me) have to be careful about their shoes, others, not so much (lucky devils!).

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