Finding the right shoes for a marathon



• A marathon on the horizon might mean a new pair of shoes are needed

• Your pronation level is the most important to think about when choosing a pair

• But you shouldn’t forget your speed, weight, running style and preparation

You can get very attached to your running shoes. But with a marathon coming up, you might need a new pair. So how do you know if you’ve found ‘the one’?

What is your pronation level?

Pronation describes the inward rolling motion of your foot just after you land on the ground. This moment is called initial contact, which is part of the stance phase of the gait cycle. Our running shoes are split into 4 categories:

  • Overpronation: your foot rolls inwards too much when you land on the ground
  • Underpronation: your foot rolls inwards too little when you land on the ground
  • Neutral: your foot rolls inwards the ideal amount when you land on the ground
  • Severe overpronation: your foot rolls inwards over the big toe, making your push offs less efficient

Find out your pronation level

How fast do you want to run?

Some marathon runners are just looking to complete the course – others are targeting a time. Depending on your goals, you’ll need a different shoe.

Elite runners who are looking to attack the course could go for the men’s DS-RACER or women’s DS-RACER. But if you’re prioritising comfort over speed, maybe the men’s GEL-NIMBUS or women’s GEL-NIMBUS is more to your liking.

Only an experienced runner with an efficient style should do a whole marathon in a racing shoe – it can really takes its toll on you if you’re not prepared.

How much do you weigh?

If you’re a heavier runner, you might need to go for extra cushioning. It’ll reduce the stress on your lower legs and make your landings more comfortable. The shoe to have a look at is the Men’s GEL-FORTE

Training history plays a big part here though. Heavier runners used to running in lightweight shoes can do just fine, because their bodies have adapted to the style and become used to it.

If you’re a lighter runner, you can afford to go with less cushioning and get lighter shoes. The DS-TRAINER could be just right if you’re used to running in a lightweight racing shoe:
Men’s DS-TRAINER for:
Neutral runners

Women’s DS-TRAINER for:
Neutral runners

How have you prepared for the race?

If you’ve done all of your training in cushioned shoes, you should run your marathon in cushioned shoes – don’t be tempted by racers at the last moment, because your feet won’t be prepared for the change.

If you decide to run in a lighter shoe, you should start using it early in your training and get in at least one 30k+ run. That’ll tell you whether your body can handle the extra pressure.

Remember you should never run in new shoes on the day of your race. To break in your new pair, alternate between your new and old shoes during training.

How wide is your foot?

If your shoe is too narrow for you, you’ll be uncomfortable from the moment you start running. ASICS have wider shoes that mean your foot is more comfortable and it doesn’t rub against the side of the shoe.

The GT-2000 comes in wide and extra-wide, so you’re free to choose the width that fits you best.
Men’s GT-2000
Women’s GT-2000

What will the weather be like?

Over 26.2 miles you can get very hot, and that means your feet as well. You might want a pair of running shoes with breathable mesh in the upper so your feet don’t get sweaty and uncomfortable.

Ready to pick out your next pair of running shoes? Check out the ASICS marathon collection



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