Running shoe categories: The 4 main categories of running shoes

Running shoe categories: The 4 main categories of running shoes 

In one of our recent blogs, we spoke about the four common types of running shoes and the purposes they serve. In addition to understanding the four main types of running shoes, we’ll take a look at a few other categories of running shoes that you need to know about. 

Road running shoes

Road running shoes are made to absorb the shock that happens when your feet strike the ground as you run. The shock absorption of these shoes helps to safeguard your joints while running on hard, solid surfaces, such as roads. Road running shoes are great at cushioning your feet when you run while also being lightweight and flexible. This type of running shoe is great if you’re planning on running on hard, even surfaces.

Trail running shoes

Trail running shoes are designed for people who plan on running on various terrains. These terrains could be through mountainous areas, forests, or wherever natural elements are present. 

This type of running shoe offers the runner a decent amount of traction to be able to provide a better grip. Heel and toe grip is essential for trail running shoes because they are intended to be worn on terrains that are known to be slippery, wet, muddy, and slightly unstable in general. 

Racing flats

Racing flats are a specific type of running shoe that is designed for long-distance running or track running. Racing flats are significantly different from road running or trail running shoes because they lack substantial heel-to-toe drop. However, racings flats are lightweight and provide the runner with adequate comfort for long-distance running. Racing flats will not make you run faster, but they will make you a more efficient runner. This is because they are light in weight, so your foot will have less weight to lift as you run. 

Running spikes

Running spikes are designed for fast performance, similar to racing flats. Running spikes are essentially running shoes that feature sharp metal or ceramic spikes screwed into the sole. The function of these spikes is to provide the runner with a better grip so that they don’t fall, slip, or stumble on harsh terrains. The spikes on running spikes can vary depending on the terrain the runner is running on. This type of running shoe is best for short-distance running. 


It’s important for runners to be aware of the terrain they’re running on and the type of running they’re intending to do. This will help runners choose the best running shoe to suit their needs while also being able to run as efficiently as possible.

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