Buying Runners

A good pair of runners is key to your enjoyment of the sport, allowing you to increase your mileage and combined with strength and conditioning, stay injury free.

There are significant differences between one pair of feet and another, not only in size and shape, but also in how they operate. The most important difference between one running action and another is known as pronation. Pronation is actually the normal rolling movement of the foot from the outside of the foot as it strikes the ground to the ball of the foot as the body moves forward. The motion is central to the absorption of shock, and when in some runners it is over-emphasised or under-emphasised it can lead to a range of injuries in the lower leg and knee.

What is Normal Pronation or Neutral Running?

Suitable Shoes: Typically athletes with this running style and a low weight are most suited to neutral shoes. That is shoes without the addition of a support on the inside of the shoe.

What is Over Pronation?

Suitable Shoes: Typically athletes with this running style are most suited to stability shoes with added support on the inside. There are many differed shoes with a variety of levels of stability but generally the more over pronate you experience while running the more stability you will require in the shoe.

What is Under Pronation?

Suitable Shoes: Typically athletes with this running style are most suited to neutral running shoes with extra cushioning which are more flexible.


When selecting a shoe for training or racing remember to that the further you run, the more your foot will expand. Over long distance your foot can expand a half or full size so bare this in mind when trying the shoe on in the shop.

Along with the size of the shoe different brands also produce shoes in different widths. Some brands may favour an athlete with a narrow foot while others will favour someone with a wide foot.

Other Tips

  • Visit a specialised  running store who can offer free gait-analysis
  • Try before you buy. Go for a short jog in the runners before you purchase to make sure they are comfortable for you.
  • Choose the right sock! Avoid cotton and go for a running sock which will wick away moisture and help to avoid blisters.
  • A shoe will last for 500 to 800 kilometres, depending on the shoe, your weight, the surface you run on, and your running gait. After this time you are at an increased risk of injury.
  • Lace your shoes up the way they were designed to be laced up!


The majority of athletes will wear the same shoe for a race as they do for training. Athletes at a high level, with a very efficient running gait and of a low race weight sometimes opt for a lightweight racing shoe. Some features of triathlon race shoes include:

  • Lock Laces - elasticated laces which allow the athlete to quickly up on and take off the shoe without the need to try laces.
  • Drainage - some specific triathlon racing shoes allow water to drain out of the shoe.
  • Light Weight - racing shoes are often very light however the downside is there will be much less stability and cushioning in the shoe, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Socks - as many top triathletes don't use socks while racing in order to save time, some triathlon specific shoes have a seamless inner which is said to reduce the chances of getting a blister. 

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