The Best Shoes for Running on Pavement

Written by marnie kunz
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The Best Shoes for Running on Pavement
Running on pavement requires certain shoe features. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The best running shoes can help prevent injuries and keep you running comfortably for miles to come. If you often run on pavement, you will need shoes that have certain features to cushion your feet from the impact of repeatedly hitting hard ground. Pavement can be taxing on your joints without the proper shoe cushioning and support.

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Shoe Features

To prepare for pavement running, your feet will need some extra support and cushioning. Pavement creates a more forceful impact than other surfaces -- such as treadmills, tracks or dirt trails -- when your foot strikes the ground, so you will need medium to heavy cushioning in your running shoes. Choose shoes with stability features as well, to help your feet stay on track despite fatigue and heavy pounding. Shoes with extra stability and cushioning tend to be bulkier than the average running shoe, but it is well-worth saving your feet and joints.

Foot Type

When choosing the best running shoes for you, it is important to know your foot type, as it influences how you run and what features you will need in your shoes. To determine your foot type, stand with your wet feet on concrete or paper towels. If your footprints show the complete outline of your feet, you have low arches or flat feet. If there is a section missing from the inner, middle part of the prints, you have neutral arches. If there is just a line from your toes to heels, you have high arches.

Foot Requirements

If you have low or high arches, you need shoes that have stability and motion control features. Motion control and stability shoes help your feet move the right amount without excessively rolling inward or outward while you run. For people with neutral arches, motion control is not necessary and may actually hinder your natural gait.

Other Considerations

Other factors to consider when choosing your running shoes include your training habits and plans. If you currently run a few miles a day, for instance, you will not need shoes with as much cushioning and support as someone who is training long distances for marathons or ultra-marathons. If you currently do short runs but plan to do more long distance training in the future, look for shoes with high amounts of cushioning and stability. Although pavement running requires cushioning and stability, you will not need as much stability as trail runners. Navigating flat pavement requires less rigid support than trail running, which often covers uneven terrain.

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