Choosing the right running shoe - 3 types of running shoe explained



• The different types of running shoe out there can be confusing

• Clifton Bradeley, an advisor to the ASICS Running Clinic, wants to demystify running shoes

• Maximum support shoes are for severe overpronators

• Structured cushioning shoes give a mix of motion control and cushioning

• Cushioned trainers are for neutral runners who don’t need motion control features

Clifton Bradeley, specialist musculoskeletal sports podiatrist, and advisor to the ASICS Running Clinics, gives us his advice for choosing the right running shoe.

"Trying to find the right running shoe for your needs can leave you feeling bewildered and confused especially when you see so many different types. Buying the wrong running shoes can leave you injured and unprotected and by the time you have found the correct ones you may have wasted money too.

This is why I have decided to take the mystery out of choosing running shoes by explaining what the terminology means."

Maximum support running shoes

This category is the most supportive and controlling, and are designed to slow down excessive pronation. They include features like medial posts (ASICS Duomax™), which are higher density materials on the inner side of the midsole to stop it from collapsing as the heel everts onto it. They tend to have a carbon rubber outer sole for durability and are built on a straight last (mould), which offers maximum ground contact and stability.

Structured cushioned / stability shoes

These shoes offer a good blend of motion control and cushioning. They are not as heavy and controlling as maximum support running shoes, but still offer excellent support. This is the most popular category of training shoes and are generally built on straight or semi curved lasts to offer ground contact stability.

Cushioned / neutral trainers

Cushioned shoes generally have no motion control features and are lighter. They are built on a curved or semi curved last to encourage faster movement and feel softer under-foot. This shoe is great for neutral foot types who are less than 13 stone in weight and orthotic wearers. If you have a neutral foot type but are over 13 stone in weight, consider structured cushioning shoes, which offer a little more support.

See our full collection of running shoes


Related Articles


Running shoes guide

A comfortable running shoe is a shoe that fits, but finding one is not always easy. Since you spend a lot of time in a pair of shoes, it's worth getting to know your personal running style in order to find the perfect pair of running shoes.

Read Article

Running shoes for women

Until recently most running shoes for women were just smaller versions of men’s shoes. But ASICS is taking a gender-specific approach to designing running shoes, with the aim to improve women's performance, comfort and safety.

Read article