As I had previously mentioned here, when I first started running I put on some trainers and just went from there. What I did not mention however, was that three weeks of pounding pavement with the wrong shoe caused me nearly of month of shin pain (which was extremely lucky, because many times that pain means shin splints, or worse, stress fractures). That incident taught me the first and most important lesson in running, FIND THE RIGHT SHOE.
The best way to do this is to go to a specialty running store that has a treadmill and running experts. Here they will check your pronation while you are running on the treadmill and they will select the shoe that structurally fits best. Running shoes are all designed for different purposes. Some of the heavier ones, are made to support the feet and absorb shock, while some of the lighter ones are made for speed and shorter distances. Although the shoe expert at the store might suggest a few specific ones, you are the expert on your own body and your way of walking and running. Do you have heavy steps? Do you wear a lot of heels? Do you like being barefoot? These are all things to take into consideration when purchasing your running shoe.
Personally, I wear two different types of running shoes. I wear the Asics Gel Kayano when I am running on the pavement or need more support to my legs. They are my heavier shoes and require more energy when running, but they provide my legs with more support. The Kayano features a Heel Clutching System that provides support and the right fit to my heel, and has 3mm of additional height which helps relieve Achilles tension.
For races or speed work, I wear the Nike LunarGlides which are lighter but have a layer of Lunarlon that absorbs shock and provides a soft and springy ride. The LunarGlides feature Flywire (which provides lightweight support for my foot) and a combination of strategically placed soft and firm foam for cushioning. Although both shoes feel and look very different, I love switching them up and using them in different running conditions.
The shoes pictured above where chosen due to their high quality ratings or my positive experience with the shoe. If you are looking to get more information about what shoe might be the best fit for you, you can take a fit test here.