Choosing the right running shoe for different surfaces

Choosing the right running shoe for different surfaces


Various running surfaces - trail

If you are serious about running there are many things to consider and it can get complicated! To get started you need to choose the right shoe for the right surface, and then the right trainer for your foot size, etc. We’re going to start with choosing the right shoe for the right surface. And different distance trainers are also quite different for different surfaces.

choosing the right running gear

road running

The right running shoe for a variety of surfaces

This is probably the hardest surface you will walk on and by far the most common. When running on roads/asphalt, traction is less important so don’t worry too much about grip and focus on trainers with high cushioning. The cushioning will dissipate some of the impact and result in a smoother ride and less likely to pick up some most common running injuries Like the dreaded shin sprain.


Various walking surfaces - Grass

Grass provides more cushioning than other surfaces so cushioning is less important. But due to the uneven nature of grass surfaces, you need to focus more on running shoes with good support and stability. Any accent your body normally displays will be more visible on the grass. Expect your foot to move more laterally so the more rigid shoe can help control that movement a little better. And remember, grass is great when dry but slippery when wet, so make sure you have a good grip, trail running shoes are best for grip.

Expert advice on treating shin splints


Various walking surfaces - sand

Running on loose sand creates resistance and lots of slippage and cushioning, which ultimately provides a very effective workout and is a great way to catch the body off guard. The soft impact of the sand helps prevent injuries, but can sometimes force the ankles into a weak position, so choose trainers that have a more rigid upper with some support so that your foot is too high in the shoe. Don’t move Grip is also important.

How running on different surfaces can affect the body

Trail Running / Dirt

running shoe for different surfaces
a typical trail running show

A personal favorite of ours here at PledgeSports! Trail running offers so much that road runningYou are out in the fresh air, away from traffic and all kinds of surfaces to run on. The nature of trail runs also means hills, so in terms of exercise you get better throughout the workout.

This type of surface has an optimal degree of stiffness and sufficient relaxation to prevent the most common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis and IT band syndrome. But wearing the wrong shoe can mean the opposite!

best running workout

The nature of trails means running on a loose surface with rack and slipper dirt, so you’ll need to choose a trail running shoe that will provide good support and most importantly, good grip. Running up and down on loose surfaces or slippery rock will end in disaster when wearing normal running shoes.

8 different running disciplines

You also need good support from your shoes because of the great lateral motion and potentially sharp objects on the trails.

thread mill

Our least favorite, the treadmill is one of those running surfaces that moves at your command and, as many people are of the opinion, no running surface at all. It’s also a great tool to start with and isn’t gear intensive, any shoe with support will do

physical and mental benefits of running


The soft, spongy surface of the track is an ideal surface for running. This man-made 400-meter loop is perfect for short speed workouts or long distance running. This is the smoothest surface to walk on, don’t worry about the cushioning as the track already proves that, in fact too much cushioning in the sole can make you unstable! Go for running spikes.

Choosing the right running shoe for your foot

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