London Marathon 2018: Best running shoes and top trainer tips

Buying the right pair of the running shoes is the key equipment choice ahead of running the 2018 London Marathon.

From fitting properly to working with your running style – it’s all important as the wrong shoe can ruin your race.

But you will also want something stylish which can be worn off the course.

Here we speak to keen runners and running shoe experts alike to help you get the best fit.

And they both say the same thing, getting the right shoe is key to the best time – and your well being on the 26.2 mile course.

Keen Marathon runner Laura Connor says…

Finding London Marathon trainers can be a bit tricky when you’re looking for something that feels both supportive and speedy – but Ride 10 tick these boxes.

I haven’t had one blister since training in them, and they feel bouncy underfoot. I don’t know whether it was the trainers, but I also got a huge PB in them while running the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon earlier this month!

If you’re looking for something that looks and feels amazing for shorter distance runs, try Under Armour’s HOVR Phantom Running Shoes , which include a 3D moulded midfoot panel with laser perforations for increased ventilation for that ‘zero gravity feel’.

I also love their knit ankle collar, which provides a snug fit for a more stable run.

Another great-looking shoe for neutral runners is the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34. They double up as both a fashion pair and a practical pair, perfect for long-distance running and an afternoon in the pub.

Top tips to get the right shoe

New Balance Senior Merchandise Manager Liz Ellyard knows a few things about getting the right shoe for the right person. Here she gives the official Virgin Money London Marathon site the lowdown…

Get professional advice

Liz says: “It sounds obvious, but the best place to start is a specialist running shop,” says Ellyard. “Try on a variety of different makes and models to get a sense of what you like and don’t like, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice from the sales staff on the different types of shoes available.

“The key thing to consider when buying a new pair of running shoes is cushioning, which is what essentially leads to comfort.”

Make sure your shoe fits correctly

Consider the following: heel, instep, width, length, flex and feel. There should be a thumb’s width at the end of the shoe, which might mean going up a size or half a size bigger than your everyday shoes.

“I’ve fitted hundreds of pairs of shoes and found that people usually wear their shoes too small,” says Liz. “Your feet expand when you run a long distance, so you need the extra length to accommodate that.”

You should also plan your shoe-shopping trip for late afternoon, when your feet have expanded to their largest size to ensure you buy the right size.

Running style makes a difference

Your running style will dictate your choice of shoes.

The most common way for sales staff to assess this is by watching you run on a treadmill in store. By analysing your gait, they will be able to spot any biomechanical issues you might have and suggest the best shoes to accommodate this.

If your ankles roll in when your feet hit the ground, for example, you may need to run in stability shoes that help to prevent excessive inward rolling (or over pronation).

Once the sales staff have assessed your gait, they will be able to recommend a variety of shoes for you to test for comfort and fit.

You get what you pay for

“Budget shoes tend not to be as durable as more expensive models because of the manufacturing methods and materials that go into them,” explains Liz.

“If you are running every day and putting in high-mileage weeks, you’ll need certain materials in your shoes to give them durability and cushioning over a longer period.

“From a UK perspective, the price point for these shoes will be around RRP £85. You can run in cheaper shoes, but for the best experience I’d recommend performance running shoes.”

Change on a regular basis

It’s also a good idea to rotate your shoes if possible, so you’re not always wearing the same pair. The minor differences between pairs will encourage your body to adapt and become stronger.

Liz suggests replacing shoes after you’ve run 400 to 600 miles – an industry standard – as the shoes will lose their cushioning after that.

Look out for signs of wear, such as creases on the sole, holes in the mesh upper and worn insoles and replace shoes if you spot any of these tell-tale signs.

If in doubt, ask the internet

If you can’t get to a specialist running store, or you want to do some research before new you set off on your next shoe-shopping trip, the internet offers a variety of resources you can tap into.

Runner’s World magazine produces a shoe buyer’s guide twice a year with its November and April issues, or check out the shoe reviews online at runnersworld.co.uk .

You can also take a look at running-shoe manufacturers’ sites to find out more about the shoes they offer.

And if you’d like advice from runners who have already tried the shoes you’re thinking of buying, head to a running shoe forum and get involved.

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