Runners tend to fall into three categories: those who pronate (roll inward at the ankle), those who supinate (roll outward at the ankle), and those who function with no problems at all (oh, if we could all be so lucky). Regardless of the category you fall into, though, choosing a running shoe that suits your needs is essential — for the body and the sole. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
People who pronate often have flexible, unstable feet and require running shoes with extra support, particularly on the inside of the midsole.
The Perfect Shoe: Runners with flat arches should track down Brooks’s the Beast (the women’s model is called the Ariel), with extra support everywhere to prevent overpronation. $120
Other great running shoes for pronators:
AdiStar Control by Adidas, $120
M/W857 by New Balance, $95
M/W992 by New Balance, $135
People who supinate often have high arches and inflexible feet that are poorly suited to absorbing shock, so their running shoes should have plenty of cushioning.
The Perfect Shoe: The M/W1122 by New Balance has specially designed cushioning in the heel and forefoot for maximum shock absorption. It’s ideal for a supinator who logs lots of miles. $120
Other great running shoes for supinators:
Air Max 360 by Nike, $160
M/W816 by New Balance, $90
People whose feet fall neutrally don’t need a shoe that compensates for problems. They need one that is comfortable, durable, and to their liking.
The Perfect Shoe: The Supernova Cushion by Adidas is durable on the outside and comfortable on the inside — a long-lasting shoe that goes easy on your feet. $85
Other great running shoes for neutral feet:
ASICS Gel-Kinsei, $165
M891 by New Balance, $80
M/W975 by New Balance, $85