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How to choose running shoes?

Criteria for selection

Surface for running

On a road, track or paved path

→ Road running shoes: road running shoes are the best-selling type of running shoes. It can be used on roads, in the fitness center, on flat dirt roads and other hard surfaces. This type is also very popular for casual wear. 
The advantages of road shoes include great cushioning, which of course depends on the weight of the runner and running technique, light weight and a smooth sole that adheres well to the surface. Disadvantages can be the lower resistance of the upper to damage and the fact that these shoes are not suitable for off-road use - there is a risk of slipping, ankle sprains or getting the shoe wet (the shoe is usually not waterproof).

In the woods, on the dirt road, in the field

→ Cross running shoes: cross or trail running shoes are mainly used by runners on unpaved surfaces - in forests, mountains and rocky terrain. These shoes are designed to protect the feet from uneven terrain and prevent ankle sprains and other injuries that a runner can cause in the field. Thanks to the sole, the shoes have good traction even on wet and slippery surfaces (mud, wet stones). The advantages of off-road running shoes are that the upper part of the shoe is made of a more durable material and is often waterproof, they also have a thick sole through which uneven terrain is not felt as much, and the aforementioned support for the foot. On the other hand, the disadvantages are poorer ventilation and wicking of moisture away from the foot or, in some cases, the higher weight of the shoe.


                                Running on a paved road

                                                   Running in the field

Runner's stride


→ Running shoes for neutral stride: Neutral stride is the optimal variant when the heel hits the centre or only slightly to the inside or outside - the axis of the running stride passes through the centre of the foot. In this case, the runner can choose almost any running shoe that suits them.


→ Running shoes for pronation stride: the foot (ankle) is excessively deflected to the inside on impact (feet may be X-shaped). In running shoes, it is important to have a reinforced sole and inside of the shoe so that the pronated runner has firm support for the arch and the entire foot.


→ Running shoes for supination stride: In the supination squat, the heel is angled to the outside on impact (feet may be O-shaped). For supination running shoes, overall cushioning is important, as well as a firm heel for sufficient support. This will put less stress on the feet and ankles.

Foot size and construction
Foot length

→ Shoe size: the shoe size can be indicated by different numbers (EUR, UK, US, etc.). As each manufacturer may have their own numbering, you will do best to stick to the dimensions in centimetres when choosing your running shoes. Measuring your foot length is easy - either stand with your foot in the sock on a piece of paper, trace your foot (you need to stand on that foot for this exercise) and then measure with a ruler. Or you stand with your foot in a shoe box, rest your heel on one of the sides (again, you need to stand) and make a line at the longest toe. Then measure the distance from the side to the line with a ruler.

Furthermore, keep in mind that it is advisable to choose running shoes about 0.5 cm longer than the length of the foot. This is because the foot can easily swell when running, and if you choose shoes slightly larger, you will still find running comfortable. 

Foot width

→ Standard shoe width or extended models: the width of the foot is measured at its widest part, behind the toes on the ball of the foot. Manufacturers on the European market refer to wider models of shoes by the letters H, K or M, or by the word "wide".

Height of instep

→ Shoe for low, normal or high instep: You can find out the height of your instep simply by following the instructions on the right side of this article. You can also tell if you have a higher instep by the fact that your regular shoes are not fitting well or are pushing on your instep. Of course, it depends on the shoe fit.

Running intensity


→ Training shoes: in the beginning of running, but also during regular training, it is important to protect your joints (especially ankles and knees) from shocks. Especially if you run on hard surfaces. Thanks to their greater cushioning, training shoes are the ideal option for casual runners and frequent running sessions.


→ Závodní obuv: Mívá většinou nižší míru tlumení. Je to zejména kvůli přenosu energie mezi chodidlem a povrchem - s menší mírou tlumení je přenos energie efektivnější - to může být při závodě klíčové. 

Running spikes

→ Running spikes: These are special running shoes used by runners on the race track or in the high jump. They are special in that they have nails on the sole, and thanks to this the shoe sticks better to the surface and does not slip when landing (they are especially suitable for tartan or other artificial surfaces). This allows the runner to bounce back better.

Road running shoes - Hoka One One Elevon

Cross running shoes - Hoka One One Mafate Speed 3

Shoes suitable for pronation stride - Hoka One One Arahi 3

Shoes suitable for supination stride - Hoka One One Clifton 7

How to find out the height of the instep?

Nártvýška nártu/délka nohy
nízký                          < 0,68
normální                        0,69 - 0,79
vysoký                           > 0,80

         height of instep

   foot lenght

             Training shoes

               Racing shoes

               Running spikes

Terms used for shoe parameters


Drop refers to the difference between heel height and toe height. It's easy to calculate - if the thickness of the sole under the heel is 16 mm and the toe is 6 mm, subtract the drop value → 10 mm. The lower the drop, the more the shoe simulates barefoot running. Shoes with a lower drop make it easier to hit the toe when running, but on the other hand, such shoes are more demanding for the achilles, for example. Lower drops are more suitable for more experienced runners.

Propriocepcion of shoe

The proprioception of a shoe simply means the extent to which the runner (his muscles, tendons in the foot and the rest of the musculoskeletal system connected to them) is involved in running. The less support the shoe provides, the greater the proprioception of the shoe. A less cushioned shoe always requires a higher demand on running technique. Furthermore, a flexible shoe that is easily twisted and deformed in the hands provides less support to the foot than a stiffer shoe with reinforcing elements.


When you run, forces several times your weight are exerted on your shoes. For this reason, it is important that the shoe provides support to the foot and cushions the impact. Most commonly, there are three categories of cushioning: high, medium and low. Choose the cushioning of your running shoe based on your weight, your stride and how far you run.




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