The lowdown: Running shoes

Motion controlled

What are they?
Rigid, sturdy shoes that prevent what experts call "over-pronation" (the inward roll of the foot - particularly the heel - when the foot jars against the ground). Durable but often heavy. They will feel strong around the ankle and have a broad base for extra control.

Who needs them?
Anyone whose natural running style causes their feet to bend slightly inwards (pronation) should wear these to prevent discomfort and injury. Look at an old pair of your shoes for any pronounced inward leaning. If you have flat feet then you are most likely to benefit from these.

Good examples for men
Shoe fitter and marathon runner Phil Talbot of Runners World recommends:

Asics Gel Evolution (£90)

Brooks - Beast (£85)

Saucony Grid Regulate (£90)

New Balance M557 (£55)

Good examples for women
Phil Talbot recommends:

Asics Gel Foundation VI (£70)

New Balance W856 (£70)

Brooks Addiction 6 (£70)

Cushioned

What are they?
The standard type of running shoe stocked by most high-street sports shops. Neutral shoes usually have the softest and most cushioned soles and are often curved to encourage foot movement.

Who needs them?
If you have rigid, sturdy feet and do not lean inward these are best. Also best for those with high arches. Look at your wet foot-print: if most of the foot is not visible you have them and need cushioned shoes. If all the footprint is visible you have flat feet and need motion-controlled shoes.

Good examples for men
Asics Gel Nimbus VII (£95)

Brooks Radius 5 (£65)

New Balance M844 (£65)

Good examples for women
Asics Gel Nimbus VII (£95)

Mizuno Wave Creation 6 (£90)

Adidas Supernova Cushion (£50)

Structured cushioned

What are they?
These are rigid shoes with extra cushioning. They offer support without sacrificing comfort and are usually lighter than motion-controlled shoes.

Who needs them?
Suitable for the average runner with no serious pronation problems but who feel they need extra support. If your feet bend inwards you are most likely to benefit from these. Experts advise getting a professional analysis of your running style - usually free in specialist running shops.

Good examples for men
Asics Gel GT 2100 (£85)

New Balance 1050 (£50)

Reebok Premier Road Plus II DMX (£45)

Good examples for women
Asics Gel 1100 (£65)

New Balance 1050 (£50)

Reebok Premier Road Lite (£35)

Designer

What are they?
Most high-street sports shops are predominantly fashion shops and sell designer trainers which look suitable for running. These may feel like they fit well, but for the serious runner can cause injury. Avoid high street brand names and get a proper fitting at a specialist shop.

Who needs them?
Designer trainers are aimed at the conspicuous consumption "bling" market and not athletes. You might see 50 Cent wearing them but not Paula Radcliffe.

Good examples for men
Timberland Snow Lizard Lo Nike Shox (£115)

Good examples for women
Nike Impax (£65)Adidas Tuscany (£69). Not for sale in the UK

Cross-country

What are they?
Sturdy, rugged shoes with waterproofed uppers and heavier traction on the soles.

Who needs them?
Road running puts stress on the feet and legs so many runners prefer to be off-road. However, solo runners or beginners should stick to the roads until confident of their own limits. When switching to cross-country it is best to get re-fitted for shoes that will be sturdier and offer more support.

Good examples for men
Inov-8 Terroc 330 (£65)

NB RC230 X-Country Spike (£40)

New Balance RX Terrain (£50)

Good examples for women
Asics Wmn's 1090 H2O (£40)

Saucony Grid Aura LX (£50)

What are they
Spiked running shoes are used for track events to provide extra grip on the track. These can be used for sprinting, middle-distance running and also jumping events.

Who needs them?
Since spikes are suitable only for use on running tracks, they are suitable only for members of athletics clubs and serious runners.

Good examples for men
Nike Zoom Superfly G5 (£90)

Asics Hyper Middle Distance, (£40)

Good examples for women
Nike Zoom Superfly G5 (£90)

Asics Hyper Middle Distance, £40)

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.