Running is a widely practiced physical activity. Some run for fun, to exercise, professional running and others for charitable reasons. To hit the running tracks one needs proper equipment. Among these essentials are running vests, shorts, and shoes. Shoes are arguably the most essential of them all. This is due to the fact that they carry all of your body weight while running. A good running experience can be determined by the choice of shoe you make.

A good running shoe is dependent on a number of things. These include the type of running activity you choose to undertake, a runner’s feet pronation, best fit size, it’s durability among other factors. For example, road running shoes should be cushioned to offer shock absorption from the hard grounds, while trail running shoes should have rough treads so as to offer solid traction on the off-road trails. Here are some of the common features of these shoes.

Shoe Uppers

This is the top part of the shoe. It is characterized by the type of material used. Several materials are used for different purposes. Synthetic leather is a good example. It’s advantageous in that it is light and durable. It dries quickly and offers more breathing ability to the feet than natural leather.

There are nylon uppers also. Nylon is used to offer light weight in shoes and enhance breathing ability. It is usually in conjunction with synthetic leather so as to enhance the shoe’s durability. Other available uppers are the thermoplastic polyurethane overlays, popularly known as (T.P.U) and waterproof uppers. Waterproof uppers are good for wet terrains but then you have to compromise on the breathing.

Mid Soles

The midsole is the layer between the uppers and the outsole. This layer offers stability and cushioning to the feet. This is important in shock absorption and it protects the feet from blisters. There are several types of midsoles. E.V.A (ethylene vinyl acetate) is a foam-like material which is generally used for running shoes. It is mainly enhanced with firmer areas to strengthen the midsole. These areas are referred to as posts. There are plates, made of TPU or nylon. They are flexible and stiffen the shoe. They are best used for trail running shoes.


This is the part of the shoes that comes into contact with the ground. Outsoles for running shoes are mainly made of rubber to increase the traction. Rubber is preferred for its durability and lightweight characteristic as well.

Heel-to- toe Drop

This is basically the slope from the heel to the toe of the shoe. It is affected by the difference in height of the heel and toe level. This drop affects the manner in which the foot strikes the ground while running.

Heel Counter

This is a structure which is rigid around the heel. It controls the motion and adds support to the heel. Athletes with Achilles tendon problems are advised to use such shoes.