Staring down a wall of shoes—all different shapes, sizes and color schemes—the idea of selecting a shoe that’s right for you can seem daunting. With all of the technology that goes into modern-day running shoes, there are also a few important questions.
Should you go for the top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles? Do your really need that? What features can you afford to pass on? Most importantly—what type of shoe is best for your body?
Well, contrary to what most people think, it’s not really the specific features of the shoe or the ability to manage over pronation that make it best for your body. It is, first and foremost, how comfortable it feels on your foot.
According to a recent review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which looked at many studies done over the course of several decades, the most important factor in choosing the best running shoes is the “comfort filter,” or, in other words, how comfortable the shoe is. Researchers from the University of Calgary found that people who choose their shoes based on comfort are less likely to suffer injury than those who buy shoes aimed at correcting their form.
In fact, according to the report, those who wore shoes aimed at “fixing” their form were no better off (and sometimes even worse off) on the injury front than those given shoes randomly. In the end, researchers said, people are typically good judges of comfort and that is the most important factor.