Three female runners run past a brick building, they are all smiling
Image credit: ASICS

A high percentage of UK runners could be running in shoes that aren’t suitable for their running style and needs, according to independent research commissioned on behalf of ASICS.

In a European study, ASICS found that over a third of UK runners do not know their running style, despite running at least 2km per week. Consequently, many are unaware if they are a pronating runner and need a stability shoe, or a neutral runner and should be running in a neutral shoe.

Consequently, individuals may be missing out on comfort and other benefits (such as injury prevention) that come from running in the right shoes.

The study also found that 68% of UK runners have never had a gait analysis and are therefore not purchasing the right shoe based on a personalised recommendation.

The majority of UK runners also had a knowledge gap regarding the difference between a ‘neutral’ and ‘stability’ shoe, with over half being unaware of the difference between different running shoe types and therefore how they could benefit their running experience and performance.

This is significant for UK runners because ‘comfort’ was voted the most important feature for consumers when purchasing a running shoe. The majority (82%) of survey respondents stated that they would be more likely to run in a stability shoe if it had increased comfort, with the on-foot feel being a priority for shoppers at the point of purchasing a style.

Lucy Greenhalgh, ASICS Marketing Manager UK & Ireland, comments: “The research indicates there is a clear need for many runners to better understand their running style and reduce the risk of discomfort.

“We’re encouraging consumers to take an in-depth look at their running needs and discover the most comfortable ASICS running shoe for them. This can easily be done with an in-store gait analysis to get our experts’ recommendation, and by doing so, we aim to shrink the knowledge gap in this area and help consumers identify the right shoe.”

ASICS is giving all runners the opportunity to find the right shoe by visiting their stores and specialist running retailers for a free gait analysis, and to discuss their running style in detail with experts. Additionally, they can use ASICS’ digital Shoe Finder tool on the ASICS website, which uses running style in conjunction with gender, target distance and personal goals to find the perfect shoe recommendation for those unable to visit a store.