Shoe manufacturers have responded to growing interest in running by adding options and styles that cater to just about every athlete's needs and desires.
These days, the hard part is sifting through the vast selection of running shoes on the market to find the best pair for your needs.
"There's this inherent complexity when it's the piece of gear that's between your body and the ground. This can either be a good experience or the wrong experience," says Claire Wood, senior product manager of performance running for New Balance.
Luckily, New Balance has developed a design foundation that helps them create the perfect shoe for almost every athlete, from newbie roadrunners to experienced trail chasers.
"Just like any other object of desire, your jeans or a shirt, you're looking for something specific, so with the availability of materials and different compounds and innovation in developing these wants, we're able to provide a wide range of experiences," Wood says.
These shoes aren't just created to look good—though most of them do, especially their new Fresh Foam line. At New Balance, every shoe is created with specific goals in mind. Three of these goals form the prerequisites for which every pair of New Balance shoes needs to have, regardless of who they're made for.
Use New Balance's foundation for an excellent shoe as a guide for choosing the best one for you.
The New Balance Beliefs
1. Intelligent Geometry
What it means for them: Meticulous work is put into every single pair of shoes made.
"We really obsess over every single notch and groove on the midsole, on the outsole and then the way the upper is really going to hug that foot," Wood says.
What it means for you: Look for a shoe that hugs your foot just right. You should have a snug fit in the midfoot, while still being able to wiggle and splay your toes.
2. Beautiful Simplicity
What it means for them: Intention is important to New Balance. They use materials and pieces that have a specific purpose and positive effect for the runner.
What it means for you: Don't choose a shoe simply based on color or popularity. Look for one that provides specific support or accessories that will help you run better, safer and stronger.