What type of cushioning is best for running?
There are two types of padding that experts recommend looking for. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and supercritical nitrogen foam are the best choices of Anh BuiPT, CSCS, running coach at Run DPT resiliently. “EVA is the most basic form material, but it’s inexpensive and has less durability,” she says. “Supercritical Nitrogen Foam uses nitrogen to create pores in the foam to create a lightweight, firm and resilient midsole, but it is more expensive.”
Where cushioning matters most is in the midsole, according to Mendeszoon. “Higher cushioning levels can get higher mileage and go anywhere from 350 to 550 miles.”
Are cushioned running shoes good for running?
Yes, cushioned shoes are good for running as long as they are comfortable for the individual runner. In a Meta-analysis 2021 in European Journal of Sports Science, the most economical and protective shoes are the ones that runners feel most comfortable in. Your personal biomechanics, weight/height, type of course you run on and total running volume all impact what is best for you. “Some runners may feel more comfortable in heavily cushioned shoes; others may feel better with small amounts of cushioning,” says Norris.
What is the best cushioned running shoe?
It’s on this list, but the best one for you depends on your footing and running style. If you can be evaluated by a professional and undergo a proper biomechanical exam, it can really help determine which type of shoe is right for you, Mendeszoon says.
And your preferred route also counts towards shoe selection. “Surface will impact which type of cushioning is most suitable,” says Norris. “If you plan to run on roads, a plush cushion may be supportive. However, if you run dirt trails often, you will want a firmer cushion in your shoe. Trails are softer and therefore have less energy return, which is firmer. The cushion offers. A firm cushion also gives more stability on technical trails.”