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Sweaty Betty are experts when it comes to recommending the best running trainers. Whether you run 20 minutes as a warm up or you're training for the London Marathon, we have the perfect trainer for your individual needs. It's vital that a running trainer fits perfectly, performs and goes the distance. For 'barefoot' or natural runners find an edited collection of trainers here or follow the barefoot blog.

Finding the perfect running trainer

trainer guide - find the right running shoeRunning is a high impact sport which means you need specific trainers designed for that activity. If you're running you need a proper running trainer to give you the correct support (your cross trainers or netball shoes will not be sufficient!).

The right shoe will protect you from injury so it's essential that you're assessed properly. For the best results come and see our experts in store - a full assessment only takes a few minutes! First we start with the 'Footdisc' which is an important bit of technology that helps us determine the shape of your feet, then we look at your legs to determine your static leg axis. We then put these two bits of important information together to determine which category you will fit into - Cushioning, Structured or Max-Support.

If you wish to purchase running trainers online the guide below will help you choose your trainers from the right category.


Three steps to the right running shoe:

1. Identify the arch of your feet

High Arch Foot

High arch foot:

Only the heel and the front of the foot make contact with the ground. It is often rigid and is less likely to absorb shock, which causes additional stress to the foot (as well as on the knees, hips and lower back).

Neutral Foot

Neutral foot:

A moderately high arch which tends to process impact on the foot though normal pronation. The front of the foot and the heel and the outer border of the foot come equally into contact with the ground.

Low Foot

Low arch foot

The arch of the foot is not pronounced.

Flat Foot

Flat foot

The entire sole of the foot is in contact with the ground. It is not uncommon for the foot to excessively over pronate (foot rolls inwards).

2. Identify your leg axis

The leg axis is the line which extends from the hip down to your foot along which the knee joint flexes. Research has shown that the movement patterns of the knee affect the biomechanics of the foot. So… it is vital that you analyse your leg axis before deciding on a trainer.

Legs can be broadly categorised into one of three different types:

Your legs

3. Select the right shoe

Decide on your foot type and static leg axis. Find the colour and leg shape in the following options, and this will then tell you what type of shoe would be best suited to you.


Neutral: Neutral Pronation (High arch bow legs, High arch straight legs, Neutral arch bow legs, Neutral arch straight legs and Low arch straight legs)

Cushioned trainers have increased cushioning through the shoe to absorb the shock which a high arch is less able to cope with.

View all neutral trainers.



Structured: For Mild to Moderate Over Pronation (Low arch knock knees and Neutral arch knock knees)

Structured trainers provide cushioning but they also support the arch of the foot to compensate for mild to moderate over pronation.

View all structured trainers.


Maximum Support

Maximum support: For Severe Over Pronation (Flat foot knock knees)

Maximum support trainers prevent excessive inward roll (over pronation) and encourage you into the neutral position through maximum support throughout the shoe.

We do not currently stock any maximum support trainers. Please see our full trainer selection.

Across the female population over 60% of runners require a structured shoe, 20-30% a cushioning shoe and maximum support shoe is only required when arches have collapsed. Of course as soon as you receive your new running shoes you need to run in them to ensure that they are the correct fit and have the appropriate support.

Purchasing your trainers

To see a list of our UK boutiques - all of which have staff trained in Footdisc analysis - click here. To see our range of trainers for purchase online click here. If you would like any more information, or have questions please contact our UK customer care team on customercare@sweatyBetty.com or 0800 169 3889.

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