If you’re starting out running, or have been running for a while and need a new pair of trainers, it’s worth considering that choosing the right shoe can really help improve your performance, as well as prevent injury to your feet.

Most runners have their own individual needs, so what might be right for one person can be wrong for another runner. As outlined in Runner’s World magazine, you should buy trainers according to the shape of your feet. This means that there is no definitive “best running shoe” and means that you’ll have to spend a little time researching into what suits you best if you are serious about sticking to your running regime.

Establishing the shape of your foot

The simplest way to work out what foot shape you have is to wet your foot and place it on a piece of paper. The resulting shape should correspond with either being, normal, high arched, or flat footed. If you have normal feet then a stability shoe with a mix of cushioning is usually recommended. For those with high arch feet, extra cushioning is required, and you may find that a softer shoe is more suitable for your needs. Finally, if you have flat feet a motion control shoe is best as it prevents injury, is designed to help you run better, and is more durable.

The shape of your foot also dictates which way your feet are likely to roll when running, so choosing the right shoe is imperative to ensure that you don’t injure easily whilst running.

Where to buy your trainers

Most high street retailers such as Debenhams offer a wide range of running trainers. This is usually a good place for beginners to start, as there is a good range of shoes to choose from, and once you become more experienced, there are lots of retailers who specialise in custom-made shoes.

However, don’t buy any old trainer: take note of your foot shape and make sure you buy specifically designed running shoes, as they are made to take the weight of your body as you run. Don’t be tempted to stick with one brand too: if you find one brand is too uncomfortable, switch to another as many different brands incorporate different technology into their shoes.