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Running is meant for people of all shapes, sizes and styles. But, if you don’t choose the correct running shoes, feeling the wind in your hair might be harder than it needs to be. At Rebel Sport, we’ve got an extensive range of footwear from leading running shoe brands. But where do you even start? What are the main types of running shoes? And how do you determine what running shoe is best for you?

With so many different brands, styles, and types of running shoes, finding the right pair can seem overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve set up this running shoe guide to equip you with the knowledge to make a smart shoe decision to smash your running goals. Here’s what we’ll go over:

Why it’s important to choose the right running shoe
The big differences between running shoe types
Factors that impact your running shoe choice
Tips for choosing the right running shoes
Why you should buy your running shoes at Rebel Sport

Let’s get started!

Disclaimer: this Running Shoe Guide should not be used in the way of a professional diagnosis or medical treatment; please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Why it’s important to choose the right running shoe

Apart from ensuring your new running shoes look good, there are many other reasons why it’s important to choose the right running shoe type and fit. Taking the time now can mean fewer issues in the long run.

You’ll be able to run longer

There is a lot of science to unpack with this point. But in short, if you’re running with bare feet or in the wrong shoes, your muscles will need to contract more to help your tendons absorb and retain energy. Whereas, if you have correctly fitted running shoes with adequate soles, your muscles won’t need to work as hard. As a result, you have more energy and can run for longer. There are lots of other online resources available if you’re looking to increase how long you can run for.

You’ll be able to run faster

Similar to how the correct running shoes can help you to run longer, buying the right running shoes can also help you pick up the pace. Once again, there’s a lot of science behind this but put simply, if your running shoes are light and shaped correctly to your feet, it will reduce drag.

It’ll help to prevent injury

Being injured as a result of running is a tough pill to swallow. Not only is it painful, but to add insult to injury, you won’t be able to run again for a while as you recover. While running, your feet are under constant friction against the surface. If your shoes are the right fit and style and offer the correct amount of support, it will help to minimise the impact and friction caused by your strides. This will, in turn, reduce stress on your muscles and joints. 

Top tip: Stretching is also important to help prevent injuries from running. It can be helpful to incorporate both static and dynamic stretching.

The big differences between running shoe types

There is no one running shoe to rule them all. Key differences between women’s running shoes, men’s running shoes, kids’ running shoes or even between trail running shoes and road running shoes all serve a practical purpose. Getting your head around the features and benefits of these options can help you make a smart purchasing decision.


Big differences between women’s and men’s running shoes

One of the main differences between men’s running shoes and women’s running shoes is the shape. Or, to be precise, the width of shoes. Sure, it will vary from person to person, but in general, women’s running shoes are wider at the front half of the shoe and then slightly narrower around the heel. On the other hand, men's running shoes are generally broader. 

Factors that impact your running shoe choice

Now that we’ve touched on some of the different types of running shoes, let’s look at factors that impact which running shoe type and fit is best for you. Sure, your local Rebel Sport team will help you with a lot of this if you’re trying on footwear in-store, but it can be helpful to gain an understanding before you visit or if shopping online.

The surface you regularly run on

​The surface you run on affects the impact force your body endures when your foot connects with the ground. It is important to have the correct shoes for the surface you run on to ensure you have the best support possible. This is where the difference between trail and road shoes comes into the picture. 

We recommend a regime that includes both road and trail running to avoid the repetitive movements that can contribute to injury – our bodies perform better when we train differently and a combination of road and trail running offers that kind of challenge. If trail isn't your thing, consider getting an extra pair of road running shoes for heavier running days. This will give your gear a chance to recover too.

The type of feet you have

At Rebel Sport, we offer running shoe support for three common foot types: neutral, over-pronation, and under-pronation. Picking the right fit, amount of roll and level of shock absorption associated with easy support type will help protect you from common running injuries. 


As you stride, a neutral foot touches the surface with the outside of the heel at first. It then rolls evenly inward all the way up to the ball of your foot. You can find out more information and shop neutral shoes easily on our website. 



Neutral runners can also often benefit from under-pronation footwear, given the similarities in foot shape. An under-pronated foot is often very rigid and doesn’t have much roll-in movement. As an under-pronated foot strides, the foot lands on the surface with the outside of the heel to start with. It then rolls outside right through to the ball of the foot. You can easily search for under-pronation footwear and find more information on our website. 



If you have over-pronating feet, your feet essentially over-roll and are not great at absorbing shock. As you stride, the foot first touches the surface with the outside of your heel, and then the ball of your foot rolls inward excessively. We have a fantastic range of footwear for over-pronating feet online, along with more information on this foot type.


The intensity of your running

Once you know your pronation type and what support you need, it is important to consider the weekly distance you cover and the effect your body build has on the lifespan of your shoe. Your running shoe’s intended purpose factors in your body build and running distance to identify what level of shoe intensity will suit you. Stronger builds and runners who cover distances over 36km of running per week could opt for high-intensity road shoes. In contrast, slimmer builds and runners who cover under 15km of distance per week may be better suited to a light intensity shoe. You can browse our range of running shoes online either by light intensity, medium intensity or high intensity.


Weekly Running Distance


High intensity shoes are best suited to the more hardcore runners that cover greater distances on a weekly basis.

Weekly Running Distance


Medium intensity shoes are best suited to dedicated runners that cover longer distances on a weekly basis. 

Weekly Running Distance


Light intensity shoes are best suited to casual runners that cover shorter distances on a weekly basis. 

Tips for getting the right running shoes

At Rebel Sport, our Footwear Team places a lot of importance on the fit of your running shoes. The width offered in some brands can accommodate wider feet to provide comfort and balance. Customers must consider the shape and style elements of running shoes, including the toe box's shape, fit of the ankle collar, and the tongue and lacing. The right fit means the pronation support is most effective. When looking for the right fit, we recommend these three steps to help get the best shoe for you. 

Tip 1: Ensure there is toe wriggle room

Your shoe should fit snugly around the heel and midfoot, with wiggle room in the toes. You should have about a thumbnail width between the tip of your longest toe to the end of the shoe. Toe wiggle room is essential for better balance.

Tip2: Get that heel locked in

When walking, the heel of the shoe should stay snug and tight around the heel. Any movement in the heel now could lead to blistering or ineffective pronation support later on. Try using the heel lace lock hole for added security. You may also find at this step that you need an inner sole

Tip 3: Check that laces are evenly parted

If your laces are too close together and you have an excess of laces once tied, the shoes may be too wide for you. If your laces are too far apart and you do not have enough lace left over, your shoes are too narrow. Laces should be evenly spaced when tightened. If you ever need new laces or would like to buy backup laces, we have a large variety of types, styles and colours at Rebel Sport. 




Tip 4: Try shoes late in the day

The best time to try on shoes is in the afternoon as your feet swell from the day's activities. This will give you the best idea about how your feet will feel in a shoe while running.

Bonus Tip: Understand running shoe jargon

When doing your own research as part of the buying process, getting your head around the jargon will help you better understand which running shoes are best. We’ve already covered what neutral, over-ponation, and under-pronation means, but let’s look at some of the other terms. 

  • Tongue
    This is the material strip that is beneath your laces on your running shoe
  • Toe box
    The toe box is a cover at the end of your shoe that protects your toes
  • Toe spring
    The toe spring is how the front of your shoe beneath your toes curves upwards
  • Heel to toe drop
    This measurement is the difference between how high your forefoot is and how high your heel is
  • Sock liner or insole
    Sometimes known as the insole, the sock liner is a layer of cushioned foam at the base of the inside of your shoe
  • Heel counter
    The purpose of a heel counter is to increase support to your foot. It’s a small insert often made of plastic that reinforces your shoes’ heel cup

These are just some common jargon that you may see or hear thrown around. Our friends at Asics have an in-depth look at the anatomy of a running shoe online. 

Why you should buy your running shoes at Rebel Sport

Here at Rebel Sport, we care about your feet and your running experience. Getting the best fit for the running activities you do, your unique pronation type and your physical build will make running shoes an effortless experience and help provide lasting support to keep you safe from injury. When browsing our range online, you can easily search for women’s running shoes, men’s running shoes, kid’s running shoes, road running shoes or even trail running shoes. Another great option is to filter our range by our leading brands, including: 

If you choose to purchase your running shoes online, take advantage of our cheap and simple delivery.

Ready to find your new pair of running shoes?

Buying new running shoes is an exciting time. Who knows where your new kicks will take you, what personal bests you’ll smash, and what new distances you’ll conquer. At Rebel Sport, we’re proud to provide kiwis with an extensive range of running shoes. View our range online, or drop into your nearest Rebel Sport and talk with one of our helpful team.