The Best Running Shoes With the Most Cushion in the Forefoot
What to Look For
Before you start your search for a new running shoe, first determine your foot strike. You may land on the ground with your heel or your forefoot, and different shoes work best for these specific gait styles. Look at your old running shoes. A well-worn, smooth ball area of the shoe indicates forefoot striking. Such a person needs more cushioning at the front of the shoe. You will also benefit from a lighter weight shoe.
Forefoot runners should avoid excessive heel cushioning and strive for a lighter shoe. Some well-known athletic brands produce sturdy, lightweight running shoes for forefoot strikers. Several profiles of the Adidas adiZero line and some of the Nike Free Runner models feature a built-in heel as well as extra forefoot cushioning. Extra heel cushioning results in a comfortable shoe but may train the wearer to use his heel while running. It may also affect performance.
Where to Buy
Avoid mega-sports stores that sell every imaginable sports article and find a specialty runner's shop. If you don't know of one, ask other runners where they buy their shoes. Not only will a specialty store have a wider selection, but the employees tend to be runners themselves who can better advise you. To ensure you get the best possible fit, ask for a five-minute test run. Never buy a shoe without testing it first. Check out websites that specialize in shoes for forefoot strikers such as ForefootRunningShoes.com and NewtonRunning.com
A good pair of forefoot running shoes will cost you between $50 and $100, or possibly even more. Because of the lightweight construction of a typical forefoot shoe, it tends to wear out more quickly. You may need new ones as soon as after a month, depending on how often you run. Nike Free Runners score the highest in durability and value, according to the website BarefootRunningShoes.org. Newton Running shoes range from $150 to $180 and are supposed to be very good forefoot running shoes.
Julia Derek is a certified Manhattan-based trainer and writer. She has 14 years experience in the fitness industry. She works at Reebok Sports Club/NY or through her company www.AdrenalineFitnessNY.com. Her writing has appeared in New York Post, Los Angeles Daily News, and AM/NY. She attended George Mason University.