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Cushioned Running Shoes

First of all I would like to define what cushioned running shoes are. There has been a great confusion as to what they are. The most common misconception is that they are shoes which are “cushioned.” People expect to find shoes are fluffy or have ungodly amounts of foam. They mistakenly believe that the “softer” the shoes are the better they will when running.

Let’s educate you more about this type of shoes. Let’s start with the word cushioning. Almost all modern running shoes are more or less “cushioned.” That is, there are elements within the inner sole that are foamy or rubbery to give everyone’s foot a “cushioning element” to land on.

If you are old enough you will remember shoes with cloth like interiors that weren’t at all mushy and had little give or bounce. Modern day insoles are made of superior foams which absorb the impact of each foot fall. Today most people call them insoles (however, to be accurate these are not insoles. Insoles strictly speaking are orthotic devices that add an extra layer of “cushioning”)

People generally think that cushioned running shoes are shoes that have these inner “insoles” that will help in well… cushioning their feet. This, as most people’s common sense would tell them, would make a shoe much more comfortable to run in. After all a softer shoe is better right?

Wrong, for walking softer shoes are nicer. The plush feeling is great to have and makes walking more pleasant compared to your very hard dress shoes. But for running softer may not at all better. Why? Because for running you need to get shoes that are right for your foot type and gait.

Generally speaking feet are divided into three types. First, we have flat feet where the arches of the medial inner part of the foot are very low or virtually non-existent (Flat). Next we have those with normal arches. Then we have the opposite of flat feet, the ultra high arches. All of them require different shoes.

Forget about “cushioning” for a moment and let’s concentrate on the running shoe requirements for each foot type first. Flat footed people have a tendency for have their ankle roll in too much with each stride. This action is called overpronation and causes all sorts of nasty inconveniences and injuries to your foot. To stop this excessive motion people who possess this kind of feet will need shoes that control motion.

Next are the normal people. If you have normal feet then you will most likely have gait that is within the bounds of normal pronation. Still people will be mildly overpronated or slightly underpronated but fall into that “safe” range. Almost all people with normal arches will require shoes that are designed for stability.

Lastly are those people who have very high arches. Their total amount of area that the foot lands on is vastly less than that of a flat footed person. Basically people like this will have a tendency to underpronate. That is, their foot refuses to roll inwards (towards the center) enough to disperse the energy generated on each foot fall. People like these will need cushioned running shoes.

Cushioned running shoes are shoes that encourage pronation or at least have no elements to prevent the motion. The absence of such is believed to encourage pronation. Then why are they called cushioned running shoes?

They are called that way because they generally are more cushioned than either motion control running shoes or stability running shoes. But that does that mean that those shoes do not have cushioning. The confusion lends itself to the popular use of the term cushioned running shoes.

These shoes are also called the following.
1) Neutral,
2) Light Neutral
3) Supination Running Shoes
4) Cushion Running Shoes
5) Cushioned running shoes
6) Cushioning Running Shoes
And even 7) Neutral Cushion Running Shoes

It is important to note that the term Cushioned is generally dismissed on model names but used in all types of shoes in describing their ride. A shoe maybe well “cushioned” but not be a Cushioned Running Shoe. Adidas has been known to stamp “for Cushioning” or “Cushioning” on the insoles (inside soles) of their previous line of shoes. But this has been removed recently.

Are you still confused? Just think of it this way, Cushioned Running Shoes are shoes meant for Underpronators (most of all High Arched Runners). But motion control shoes and stability shoes (basically all modern running shoes) have some cushioning elements.

If you are looking for some examples on the best “cushioned” shoes for each type look at this.

1) “SoftCushioned Running Shoes (for people with High Arches)
Nike Zoom Vomero+ 4


2) “SoftStability Running Shoes (for people with Normal Arches)
New Balance 1225


3) “Soft” Shoes that feature Motion Control (for people who have Low Arches or Flat Feet)
Nike LunarGlide+

A lot of people really mean “soft” running shoes when they search out for cushioned running shoes. Although more and more people are now beginning to distinguish “Cushioned Running Shoes” as running shoes meant for people who have high arches. Now you really know what this type of shoes are check out the best cushioned running shoes for this year.