Buying guides

Running shoes

Running kit

Get out there, pound the pavement and build up those miles with our guide to buying a running kit.

Running shoes

How do you run?

When you're looking to buy running shoes for the first time you'll need to get to grips with your gait cycle, which is related to your stride and the way your feet hit the ground. The cycle starts when one foot makes contact with the ground and ends when that same foot makes contact again. Pronation is a part of this cycle; it's the inward rolling motion of the foot that absorbs shock and provides you with balance on each stride.

Nike Running Shoe

How to work out your pronation

Look at the soles of your old shoes
Bear in mind, that if your old running shoes are structured and show no sign of an inwards lean, it's probably the shoes stopping this and you will still need support.

The 'print test'
Wet your feet and then print a footprint onto a piece of paper, or a floor where it will remain visible. Your wet footprint roughly correlates to the way you plant your foot when running.

Shoe sole

Types of pronation

Neutral
Even rolling between the outside heel and the inside ball of your foot.

How to spot it: Even wear on your shoes. A footprint that shows a normal-sized arch and the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band.

Your ideal shoes: Cushioned

Over-pronation
Rolling onto the inside of your foot too much.

How to spot it: Wear along the inside of your shoes, mainly around the toes. Your footprint will have a low arch and will look as though it's the whole sole of your foot.

Ideal shoes: Structured

Under-pronation
Your foot doesn't roll enough onto the inside

How to spot it: Wear on the outside of your shoes. A very narrow footprint with almost no band at all between your forefoot and the heel.

Ideal shoes: Heavily cushioned

Weight

Your weight should also be taken into consideration when choosing your shoes, as heavier runners require additional cushioning and/or enhanced motion control features. This applies to men over 85 kg and women over 73 kg.

Running surface

If you predominantly run on a trail or off road then you'll need specialised trail running shoes. These will be made in more durable materials, and will have greater traction on the soles to give you better grip on uneven surfaces.

Barefoot running

Barefoot running shoes are designed to offer you thin, lightweight protection but also encourage your feet to move naturally. As with all running shoes, you need to consider the environment you'll be running in when choosing your shoes.

Running shoe

Running clothing

Advances in technology, fit and fabric mean that the right running clothing can help you have a more enjoyable and effective run.

Socks

Start from the ground up.

Padded socks - providing padding in areas you need them the most – arch, heel and ball of your foot.

Lightweight socks - are made to keep your feet cool and light so you can run for longer. These feature different compression areas to ensure they don't create crinkles.

Double layered socks – these socks are made from 2 layers which move against each other, preventing friction.

Running sock

Shorts

Things to look for:

  • Technical fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin 
  • Ventilation panels to keep you cool
  • Practical pockets for keys or other small valuables
  • High visibility piping to help you stand out in the dark
Running Shorts

T-shirts and vests

Things to look for:

  • Technical, synthetic fabrics. A good running top should feel light, cool and comfortable against your skin, unlike cotton which will become heavy and damp from your sweat
Running t-shirt

Tights

  • One of the most essential items in your winter running arsenal
  • Prevent wind hitting your legs 
  • Compression fit increases your blood flow, keeping you warmer
  • If you don't feel comfortable running in tights, try wearing a pair of shorts over the top
Running tights

Base Layers

  • Usually made from a performance fabric which is designed to keep you warm
  • Compression fit increases freedom of movement and improved blood flow
Base Layers

Jackets

Things to look for:

  • Lightweight, streamlined shapes that won’t restrict your movement
  • Wind and water-resistant shells coat in breathable fabrics. As a rule – the more water resistant a jacket gets, the less breathable it will be, so find out what is more important to you
  • Reflective strips can help keep you safe running at night

Headgear and gloves

When it's cold, your body will work on keeping your core warm first to protect your vital organs and will move to your extremities last. This makes hats and gloves an essential part of your winter running kit.

A good rule of thumb is to go out with more than you think you need; if you do get too hot, they're the easiest things to take off and carry or store away.

Things to look for:

  • Breathable fabrics to prevent you from overheating
  • Gloves that allow you to tie your shoes, adjust your clothes and use a touchscreen without taking them off
  • If you feel too hot in a full hat, try an insulated headband

Smart watches & fitness trackers

Monitoring your running performance is a good indicator of your improved stamina and ability.

For more information, read our guide on wearable tech.

Nokia