Running is an increasingly popular way to keep fit and running in Ireland gives you the chance to explore the beautiful countryside on your doorstep. Wearing the right gear will help you to stay comfortable and safe as you run, and this includes running shoes, which are designed to protect your feet from impact and give them the support they need when you are running.

Running shoes are engineered to offer support, cushioning and protection for the feet and a high level of technology goes into each design, considering the biomechanics and potential impact forces involved in the sport. Investing in proper running shoes is essential if you are running regularly, and even a short run in non-purpose-designed shoes can do damage to your feet and risk a painful injury.

Read on to find out more about why running shoes make a difference to your foot health and check out our top tips for running in Ireland.

Running Shoes: The Benefits

Running shoes feature many benefits for your feet and we always recommend visiting a specialist store to try on several pairs and take advice before you buy. Your feet are unique and your running shoes should offer support and protection in all the right places. We suggest considering the following factors:

  • Cushioning. Running is not easy on the joints, involving repetitive impact which can put them under a great deal of pressure. This can particularly affect the knees and ankles and is usually worse if you are running on roads.
    Running shoes are designed to contain cushioning materials such as EVA foam or gel in the midsole to absorb shock and reduce the stress on your joints, and this can help to prevent injuries that are frequently caused by the impact of running on hard surfaces. 
  • Support. Running shoes provide support for the whole foot, particularly in critical areas like the arch and the heel, and your ideal running shoes will fit your foot like a glove to offer the optimum support for your foot shape and contours.
    Running shoes are designed to stabilise the foot and support a more natural and efficient gait, so having the right shoes on your feet can help prevent excessive rolling of the foot inwards (overpronation) or outwards (supination), helping to improve your running performance.
  • Shock absorption. Running on roads or hard trails can take its toll on the feet since they are repeatedly hitting hard surfaces with great force.
    The midsole of running shoes is designed to absorb and dissipate impact forces generated during each foot strike and this is essential to protect the joints and reduce stress on the muscles and tendons, helping to prevent injury as you run.
  • Traction. Many runners experience painful injuries as a result of slipping on wet or muddy surfaces, particularly in poor weather conditions or when running on uneven trails.
    Running shoes feature soles with a specific tread pattern that is designed to provide better traction on a range of surfaces, and this can make all the difference to your stability and your safety as you run.
  • Breathability. It’s not just injuries that threaten the health of your feet when you run, Athlete’s Foot is also a potential problem that can be prevented by the use of good running shoes.
    Most running shoes are made with breathable materials that can help regulate your temperature and reduce the buildup of moisture inside the shoes, which can help reduce the risk of bacteria growing in the shoes and causing fungal infections. Breathable shoes will also help to keep your feet cool and comfortable as you run, especially on hotter days. 
  • Toe protection. Broken or stubbed toes are common running injuries, especially if you often run on uneven surfaces, and a good pair of running shoes will help to protect your feet and toes.
    The toe box of running shoes will be reinforced to protect your toes from impact with the ground or loose objects in your path, and this can help to prevent stubbed toes, broken toes and damaged toenails.
  • Durability. Running shoes are constructed using a high level of sports technology and make the most of durable materials that are designed to withstand the wear and tear that running involves.
    The midsole, outsole and upper materials will be carefully engineered to maintain their integrity and performance over the lifespan of the shoe, which will depend upon your running habits and is usually around 300-500 miles. 
  • Biomechanics. Biomechanics is the study of the forces that act on the body and the forces generated within the body, and this is very helpful to consider when you are choosing running shoes.
    Every runner is unique and will have different biomechanics, including variations in arch height, foot pronation and gait patterns. Running shoes are designed to accommodate these differences, so it is essential to consider your choices carefully and find the best options for your feet, providing stability, cushioning and motion control that suits you and your body. 
  • Injury prevention. Runners often incur injuries such as shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and IT band injuries, and these can be very painful and take you out of the running game for extended periods of recovery.
    You can help prevent injuries like this when you choose running shoes that support your body’s natural movement and protect the bones and muscles in your feet.
  • Performance enhancement. Did you know that the right pair of running shoes can improve your running performance? Good shoes will help to develop your speed and stamina by optimising comfort, support and efficiency to improve your running form and endurance.

It’s well worth taking the time to try several different options and styles before you buy your running shoes, and it helps to see this as an investment in your running. Getting it right will protect your feet and help you enjoy your running more, and we’re here to help you get started.

Running Shoes: Our Top Picks

Our range includes running shoes to suit everyone, and your own requirements and personal preferences will help to narrow down your options. Talk to us about what you want from your shoes and we’ll help you find the best options for your running habits and your lifestyle. Our top picks include the following pairs of running shoes for men and women…

For Women:

Hoka One One Women’s Clifton 9 Wide Citrus Glow/Sunlit Ocean
  1. Hoka One Women’s Clifton. This stand-out design is ideal for a lighter, better-cushioned running experience with a responsive new foam and improved outsole design. You’ll love the bright colours that will ensure you get noticed on the track or trails, and the inherently stable geometry offers all the comfort and support you need.
  2. Brooks Women’s Glycerin GTS 20. Comfort and support don’t come much better than this, with a nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 midsole, you’ll experience a soft, smooth run every time.
  3. Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano. These shoes feature in our top three for many reasons and we know you’ll be impressed with the run quality they offer. We love the 4D Guidance System, that helps to steady your stride as you run, and the PureGEL technology with FF Blast Plus Eco Foam ensures a comfortable experience whether you are running on trails or roads.

For Men:

Brooks Men’s Ghost Max Black/Atomic Blue/Jasmine
  1. Brooks Men’s Ghost Max. These new running shoes from Brooks offer soft cushioning and rocker-like transitions that help to propel you forward, absorbing impact and promoting a more effective stride. 
  2. Asics Men’s Gel-Kayano. These great-looking running shoes feature revolutionary 4D guidance system technology to give you adaptive stability and PureGEL technology with FF Blast Plus Eco Foam to ensure that your feet are comfortable every step of the way. We love the outsole, specially designed for better traction and durability, and the added reflective details give you extra peace of mind when running in low-light conditions.
  3. Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire. Running shoes from Mizuno don’t compromise on comfort and support, and this stylish design will make you stand out for the right reasons. With a redesigned, anatomical Wave plate that follows the shape of your foot for more support and helps to reduce over-pronation, you’ll instantly find better alignment and this will enhance your running performance as well as increase your comfort as you run.

Pop into The Edge and discover our extensive selection of running shoes for yourself. You’ll be surprised by the difference these styles can make to your comfort and performance while running and we’d love to hear your feedback!

Running Essentials from The Edge

Here at The Edge, our friendly team understands how much difference great kit can make to your outdoor adventures and we supply a wide range of clothing and equipment for running, cycling, swimming and triathlon. We can help you find running shoes that will give you superior comfort and support, and we also stock the socks, hats and gloves you need when you’re running.

Our cycling equipment includes a wide selection of mountain bikes, road bikes and electric bikes and we are always on hand to discuss these. Pop into our store in Cork or visit our website to see our full range, seek safety advice and more.


Love to cycle, run and swim!

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