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79% of UK runners could be running in the wrong shoes


The majority of UK runners could be running in shoes that aren’t suitable for their own foot type, according to independent research commissioned on behalf of ASICS.

  • Over three-quarters (79%) of runners surveyed ‘could be unaware of their running style having never had a gait analysis’, the test that examines an individual’s unique movement when running.
  • A further 70% of surveyed participants didn’t know if they were a pronating runner (when the foot rolls inward) and needed a stability shoe, or a neutral or under-pronator runner (when the foot rolls outward) and needed a neutral shoe.
  • Only one-third (30%) of UK runners admitted to actually knowing the difference between a stability and neutral running shoe.

If runners are unaware of their running style and the type of shoe best suited to them, ASICS adds that research has shown that they are at a higher risk of injury if they run in the wrong shoe.

To help runners reduce this risk, find their appropriate shoes and help to improve comfort and performance when running, ASICS has launched the Running Lab at its flagship Regent Street, London store.

The service provides an opportunity to have one-on-one time with ASICS FrontRunners – ASICS’ expert community of runners. The booked-in-advance session will help to provide runners with a full gait analysis, advice on running style and posture and a prescription for the right shoe for them.



Linda van Aaken, VP of Running at ASICS Europe, said, “As the leaders in running we want to ensure that all runners run in the right shoe. This research indicates that a lot of runners don’t know what to look for in a running shoe or find the selection process overwhelming and confusing. For that reason, we created the ASICS Running Lab service, which offers people expert advice on which shoe best fits their needs and their own foot type.”

Research was also performed across a sample of 3,205 runners across Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain). In these countries overall:

  • 70% of adults in all markets combined were unaware of the purpose of having a gait analysis
  • 77% have never had a gait analysis / 4% can’t recall
  • 62% do not know the difference between stability & neutral running shoes
  • 54% unsure of their running gait / style

Sports Podiatrist, Mick Habgood, advised on the importance of wearing the right shoe when running. “Research has shown that runners are at a higher risk of injury if they run in the wrong shoes, so I would always recommend runners to complete a gait analysis to ensure that they end up with the right shoe for them. Not only could this help to reduce the risk of injury but it could also help to improve their overall comfort and performance.

“We’re not all built the same and we all have different running techniques, but I definitely see more runners who over-pronate in clinic and it’s these runners that I would prescribe a stability shoe.”



  1. I am sorry to say but this is research sponsored by a Running Shoe manufacturer. Runners have always a high risk for an injury even if they would be wearing the ‘right shoes’. The use of stability shoes is overrated anyway. Feet have the possibility to pronate so they do; correcting might even lead to more injuries. There has been a lot of research, and there still is a lot of research going on in running-technique direction and the prevention of injuries. Most injuries occur by doing and wanting too much in too little time, like going to a 10k distance in a couple of weeks or wanting to run at least 30 minutes where 10 is more than enough to start with. It would be very interesting to see the full questionnaire and the results of the study. In that case it is also better to have a discussion on it. However, if I see an article like this I have to respond. It’s a brand sponsored article; Asics has been market leader (and probably still is) for stability shoes. I just see this as an advertisement for stability shoes. Results of Asics are declining the last few years and they do not tend to recover with their current strategy. They might have invested a lot of money in this research but in the end it doesn’t solve the problem of declining sales. From one of the front-runners they became a company which follows the latest market trends. It’s time for Asics to return to their core and start developing shoes that everybody wants again. It is like Jamison Michael says in his running videos on YouTube; he want to make Asics ‘great again’ but the shoes introduced lately, like the Metaride, it is hard to make them great again (from both the running and pricing point of view).


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