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Article Recommendation: Alex Hutchinson on Choosing the Right Running Shoe

Hoka CliftonQuick post here to point you to an article by Alex Hutchinson in The Globe and Mail titled “Which running shoe is right for you?” You might know Alex as the author of the the Sweat Science blog at Runner’s World, and he emailed me a few weeks ago for some commentary on the current state of the running shoe market, some of which was incorporated into his article. Overall I think he captures well the changes we have seen over the past 5 years. Read the full article here.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. feelthhis says:
  2. Pete, as you know I love your site and your unbiased reviews. I am constantly seeking out new information on shoe types as they relate to injury prevention or even treatment(?). I have chronic plantar fasciitus in one foot. Normally, it really doesn’t affect my running (I couldn’t be slower), but occasionally something happens on a run and it becomes acute and I am done running for a couple of weeks… like now. I read this article and another one you either recommended or even wrote about that was about the lack of real injury prevention based on neutral vs stability or motion control and support shoes and a study that was done. This article and the flow chart was a little confusing to me. What I cannot find is any real help or data as it relates to insoles. I typically replace the stock insoles in my shoes with either Sole DK Response or Aline insoles as at least the sales theory is that IF you use say Aline you can put them in a neutral shoe and get the effect of a motion control shoe. Can you recommend any white papers, reports, articles etc… on how or IF replaceable and expensive insoles actually help and how they relate to the various shoe types. I would welcome any recommendations or comments. I am 52 and have been running about 5 years. 6′-0″ and 180 lbs and run about a 9:30 up to 10K and my first 1/2 marathon I was just over 10:00/mile. I have run in Mizuno Wave Inspire, Saucony Ride 7 based on your review, Mizuno Enigma 3 (on sale) and my favorite, Skechers Ultra as I like the soft ride. Can the shoes really make that big of a difference? Or, is the insole more important or at all?

    • Good question, and unfortunately I have no delved into the research on insoles/orthoses as it is a huge field of inquiry. You might look at Craig Payne’s site Running Research Junkie as he is well versed in the literature on inserts/orrthotics. Personally, I know that wearing Birkenstocks always makes my PF feel better when it acts up so what is underfoot does seem to have an influence. There are also certain shoes that can trigger a bout of PF for me. I still can’t quite figure out why.

    • Hey Ken,
      I have suffered from PF for years and have tried nearly every orthotic/gimmick you could think of and nothing worked. Then I saw an ad for Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles last year and figured for $19.95/pair what did I have to lose? Well, guess what…they worked great! Knock on wood, but I have not had any problems for the last year. Let me know if they work for you. Good luck and keep running!

      • Thanks Don. I’ll give them a try. Coincidentally, I was at the Houston Marathon Expo today and tried 2 or 3 different insoles on. In the end, I didn’t buy anything new, though I almost did. Spending $50, $60, or $70 for the same old thing is getting old. In general, they all feel good, but so far no magic elixir. My plan is to run a 1/2 marathon in February (not the Houston) another in March and then I will STOP running for 2 months.

        FYI for Pete. I bought Skechers Ultra 2 last night at a local running store in Sugar Land. Meb was there and I got a chance to meet him and get an autograph and picture with him. I will run in them tomorrow (on dirt). If you’re ok with it I’ll give you my impressions.

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