What Is A Neutral Running Shoe?

On the market today there are countless different types of running shoes and all of them claim to provide some sort of benefit. It can get very confusing but it is important to find the type of running shoe that suits you best. That is why we have decided to write a blogpost about neutral running shoes. Know the answer to the question of what is a neutral running shoe can really help you find the best shoe for you.

In the rest of the post we will be explaining the neutral running shoe and what it can do for your running. I will be using the knowledge gained from over a decade of running experience as well as time spent working as chair of the Scottish athletics advisory board.

The Concept of a neutral running shoe

Woman Lacing Up Her Gray and Pink Nike Low-top Athletic Shoe

Neutral running shoes are designed to work as your go to trainer for easy runs of all distances. They are not meant for racing or fast pace workouts like carbon plated shoes. They are also not designed to work on the trails or extremely muddy areas.

Neutral running shoes provide a good bit of cushioning but it is formed in a way that lets you run naturally without interfering with your stride. As someone who has no problem with overpronation I use neutral running shoes.

What is a stability running shoe vs what is a neutral running shoe?

As I am sure you might have noticed I have mentioned stability running shoes quite a few times. To properly understands what a neutral running shoe is you will need to understand the concept of a stability shoe.

Stability shoes are designed for people or pronate excessively. A small amount of pronation is okay and perfectly normal when it comes to running but it can get to a point where it puts extra strain on your lower limbs.

Within a stability running shoe there is extra support around your ankle on the sidewalls. There is also more structural support for your arches. They may also contain extra cushioning.

What is pronation?

Photo Of Man Running During Daytime

Just like understanding stability running shoes you are going to struggle to understand neutral shoes without knowing a bit about pronation.

Pronation is the natural inward movement of your foot when you land. It is a running trait that reduces the impact on the ground. It is helpful and not something to worry about to a point. Just like anything too much of it is not good, too much pronation is known as over pronation.

Overpronation turns your once high arches into flat feet. This slows means you can’t run with proper form and could even permanently effect your biomechanics.

Who are neutral running shoes right for?

This type of shoe is best for people who don’t need additional support in the arch or in preventing pronation. the best way to find out if these shoes would suit you is to get gait analysis at your local running shop. You can try on the support shoes and the neutral shoes and see which ones work best for you.

If you are someone who is used to the stability features of non neutral running shoes then running in this kind of shoe could feel a bit weird.

Do neutral shoes make your feet stronger?

How often should you replace running shoes

There has been some speculation about weather or not neutral shoes make your feet stronger. The idea behind this is that the minimal support ensures that your feet support themselves. They also allow you to have a running style that is natural for you.

That is true for many so called neutral runners but for many a bit of stability is best. As I have said before the best way to decide is to go to your local running shop and get a gait analysis on a treadmill. Which brings us onto our next point.

Gait analysis explained

If I haven’t already in this article I will be referring to a gait analysis. I can give you all the information you will ever need in this article about which kind of runner would suit the neutral running shoe but the only real way to know for sure is to go to your local running shop or anywhere else that does a gait analysis and get it done.

For those of you unfamiliar with this practise it involves hopping on a treadmill in a chosen type of shoes and having your stride filmed. This test will shoe if that chosen pair of shoes provided enough support as well as if that is the the best shoe for your individual level of mobility and gait cycle.

What shoes should beginners wear

As a beginner you will want to get your gait analysed. Go to your local running shop and even if you decided that you get get a better deal online then you don’t need to actually buy the shoes.

In my experience running shops rarely offer the best deals. The best coarse of action would be find the shoe that suits you and then find a better deal from an online retailer. This is what I always do and it is a really easy way to save quite a bit of money when buying running shoes.

What type of shoes do the professionals use?

Woman Running on Bridge

Most professional runners work very hard to ensure they are running with proper form. They put in hours of valuable time into the gym each week so they are strong and ready to run with amazing technique.

For this reason they don’t have any issue with over pronation and they just need a solid daily trainer that allows them to run normally. For many of the professionals I have interviewed and chatted too they mainly use neutral running shoes.


In conclusion I think neutral running shoes are a good option to considerer for almost all runners. As a competitive runner with over a decade of running experience I am a big fan of these neutral shoes. My personal favourite being the Nike zoom Pegasus range.

Th best way to navigate finding the best shoes is to get your stride assessed. I wish you well in finding the shoes that suit you best and I hope you have enjoyed this blogpost.

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