You need new trainers but where do you start? There are so many different brands, fits and prices. It can be overwhelming trying to make a choice. Here is my simple guide to help you to find the ‘right’ trainers for you. Please share with friends and family too!

Fit

It is important to start by looking at the way that you walk or run. Many specialist running shops offer a ‘gait analysis’ which does this for you. Put very simply this will establish exactly how your foot hits the floor. This is affected by the alignment of your hips, knees and ankles. Buying shoes that have the correct level of support in the right places will minimise problems with joints. I have a number of clients who have solved persistent niggles in their hips and knees by wearing the correct trainers for their gait. 

Trainers fit into 3 categories. Most retailers sell trainers as Stability, Neutral or Cushioned. You can see from the images below that each is designed for a specific gait. If you don’t have the time or access to a shop offering a gait analysis there is a simple way that you can do it home. All you need is a bowl of water to put your foot in, a piece of paper for each foot and a towel. You need to wet the sole of your foot and then stand on the paper. You need to do this for both feet. You can then match the outline left by your foot with one of the images and establish the level of support that you will need.

Neutral shoes promote a natural foot movement.

Stability shoes give arch support to flatter feet and help to distribute the impact of running more effectively to reduce pronation.

Cushioned shoes focus on midsole cushioning for extra shock absorption and along the outside edge to counter the outward roll of the foot.

Specificity

Make sure that you choose a shoe that is suitable for the activity that you doing. Running, Tennis, Weight Training or Aerobics will require different levels of support and weight to the shoe. Most retailers categorise shoes accordingly. There are many other features that you may need such as the shoes being waterproof or suitable for trail running. Make sure that you do your research and find the solution that has everything that you are looking for.

Budget

Set yourself a budget and stick to it. I have spoken to so many clients who have spent far more than they intended particularly if they have ventured into a specialist running shop to get their gait analysed. Shopping online can be cost effective and buying last seasons colours (yes that is a thing!) will save more money. I used to buy expensive trainers but have found that they don’t last any longer than those costing half the price. 

Durability

Trainers will wear out. They are designed to last for around 500 miles which means they should be fine for at least 6 months possibly more depending on your activity levels. Mine certainly last longer now that I have separate trainers for running and for wearing for work. You will need to keep an eye on the tread and on the cushioning. It can be really surprising to feel how much bounce there is in a new pair of trainers!

Size

If you are going to run and exercise in trainers then your feet will swell. As they get hotter they take up more room. I always buy running trainers half a size bigger for this very reason. It is also worth bearing in mind that children’s trainers go up to a size 5.5 so you may be able to save more money that way too if you have smaller feet. They do tend to be a little wider too. 

I hope that you have found this guide useful. My aim is to help you to be more active and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you want more tools and tips to help you then you can buy my book ‘ Moving More’ here. There are trackers, planners, help to get you started, recipes, workouts and more.

Here are some of the reviews from those who have already purchased the book from Amazon.

‘I enjoyed reading Clare’s book immensely. It is user friendly, full of helpful advice and taking you carefully through the stages necessary to achieve success in finding a healthier, happier lifestyle. The use of quotations from her clients is extremely motivating – if they can do it, I can. I have already recommended this book to my family and friends here and in North America.’

‘This book will have you off the sofa and moving well before you get to the end. Clare takes a simple no nonsense approach that is impossible to ignore. She is the little angel on your shoulder dismissing all your excuses with sensible and practical advice. This book is definitely worth the small investment and you also get access to lots of additional advice and support through her website. The stories of real clients making small steps are hugely motivating too. You won’t regret buying it.’

Buy your copy of Moving More by Clare Nielsen
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