How are you doing?
Today, I'd just like to breakdown what to look for in good running shoes. Whether you're wearing them for sport, style, comfort or safety there are 7 main components that make your trainers great. So let's break them down!
The midsole is what runners are first drawn to when it comes to picking up a new pair of trainers. The midsole provides comfort, should be lightweight and most importantly provides protection and response. The midsole should be a great shock absorber as it is, for example, in the Ardent 1s. It should use a light and responsive material, such as phylon, to allow for speed when running. Obviously the priorities will change from runner to runner. Some runners want more protection, so opt for a gel midsole as it is a better shock absorber than some rubbers. Others want speed for their short distant runs so will opt for a very light and responsive midsole. There is no one right answer, but generally speaking, a good running shoe has a light, responsive durable and protective midsole.
The insole is major for running. Not only does it provide the bulk of the comfort, it is also removable. This means that you can switch them out for another set of insoles that fit your needs, whether that's more comfort, more protection or a set that will help the way your foot lands to prevent pronation. Midsoles have these qualities, but they often compromise at least one or two of these to maximise another, so you can select an insole to fix this problem. Gel insoles are protective and comfortable, which is usually what we runners look for when choosing our insoles, but different people have different preferences. Whatever you choose, make sure that it will help you get to your goal for which you buy running shoes.
Outsoles are found on the bottom of the shoe and provide all of the traction with the floor. This material must be durable and in the right part of the shoe, otherwise there is no point of having it. Most trainers use a sort of carbon runner because it is light, grippy and durable. There's not much else to it. Pretty much every running shoe uses a good outsole.
The upper in trainers needs to be light, flexible and breathable. Mesh uppers or knit uppers are runners' favourites, for these aforementioned requirements as they are light, flexible and breathable. Some uppers are more breathable than others. These can be told apart through the size and number of air hole in the fabric. You can choose whether you want your shoes to be very breathable or not, depending on where you run and what time you run. Generally speaking, if it's hot you'll want more breathable shoes to wick sweat away from your foot, otherwise it doesn't really matter.
Laces provide excellent lockdown, when done up properly. They keep your foot in place and will keep you from hurting yourself. Some lacing systems are linked with a midfoot caging/support system which further allows you to stay safe, but this isn't necessary, as long as you tie the laces up properly.
While laces give you lockdown around your midfoot, the heel counter will give lockdown around your ankle, which is ever so important. If your heel is slipping when walking or running, you need to get new running shoes from another brand so that you don't get injured, because the injuries that are caused through poor lockdown can destroy your ankle or achilles or both! The heel counter must be strong and stable so that your ankle doesn't move into weird position when you are wearing the shoes or when you are exercising. This is a must for good running shoes.
Finally, this is pretty much a bonus. To be honest, most good running shoes look horrible and it's always confused me as to why, but you can make these shoes great by making them look nice. Ardent 1s look nice, for example and this gives these shoes the edge over a few shoes that are similar in terms of performance and protection. So running shoes don't have to look nice, but it just gives the shoes more versatility.
I hope all of this information gave you some deep insight into what to look for in good running shoes. There are plenty of good running shoes, you just have to find the ones that work best for you!