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My Top 3 Running Shoe Recommendations for Runners of All Levels

We all know running is a great way to stay in shape, but another important element of running is ensuring you have the right shoes for your feet. If you know Atlanta, you know running is in our blood. The Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running club in the US, so as a physical therapist in Atlanta, I've seen my fair share of injuries that can be attributed to improper footwear. When it comes to choosing the right shoes, there are so many factors to consider and it can be overwhelming to the average runner. Rather than simply picking a shoe that looks good on the shelf, I wanted to share my top three picks for the best running shoes on the market today, and explain why they're great choices for runners of all levels.

First up is the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2. This shoe is a favorite among beginner runners because it offers a great balance of cushion and support. The Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 has a lightweight design that allows for a natural foot strike, which is important for preventing injury. The shoe also features a ZoomX foam midsole that provides excellent energy return, meaning a sweet spot between compliance and stiffness. Most runners use this shoe for their 10k and longer races but if you are looking to take seconds off your 5k look no further.

Next up is the Brooks Ghost 15. This is a popular running shoe that is known for its excellent balance of cushioning and support. The shoe enables runners to go above and beyond, thanks to features such as DNA LOFT cushioning in the midsole that provides a soft and responsive ride. The Ghost 15 also has a 3D Fit Print technology that adapts to the shape of the foot for a customized fit, that helps maintain your form for long or short distance runs. Additionally, the Ghost 15 has a durable outsole that also provides plenty of traction, making this shoe a great option as an everyday runner. Overall, the Brooks Ghost is a great all-around shoe that is perfect for runners of all levels.

Last but not least is the Hoka One One Bondi 7. This shoe is a great choice for runners who are looking for a shoe that will help them tackle hills, which is especially helpful in our hilly Atlanta neighborhoods. The Bondi 7 features a thick, cushioned midsole that provides excellent shock absorption, resulting with the great benefit for tempo to medium-long runs. The shoe also has a wide base that provides a stable platform for running, perfect for flat hard surfaces like roads or treadmill training.

Of course, it's important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to running shoes. The right shoe for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. That's why we offer running assessments right in our office. Our Fit Run Shop (located in our Dunwoody office) is the one-stop-shop for a running assessment and shoe fitting. Stop by our office to be fitted with the current best selling shoes from Big Peach Running Co. and undergo a video analysis of your running gait with before and after comparison images. You will also receive suggestions to improve running efficiency and a copy of our Running Readiness Checklist! Having a physical therapist go through these steps with you gives you a more in-depth look into your running gait and how important proper footwear is to achieving your goals!

To review, the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2, Brooks Ghost 15, and Hoka One One Bondi 7 are all great choices for runners of all levels. The Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 is perfect for beginners, the Brooks Ghost is a great choice for runners looking for a shoe with a lot of cushioning and support, and the Bondi 7 is a top pick for runners looking to tackle the hilly Atlanta terrain. The best part is that we carry both the Brooks Ghost 15 and the Hoka Bondi 7 as part of our Fit Run Shop. If you are unsure which ones are the best fit for you, schedule a Fit Run Shop assessment today.

Our physical therapists are ready to give you a shoe fitting experience like no other. Not only do we fit you for comfort, we analyze your running gait to ensure you are getting the right fit for your running form. This partnership with Big Peach Running Co, offers a selection of premier shoes to try on and a discount on your next purchase. To top it all off, our Fit Run Shop and Running Assessments are on sale through the end of March. You’ll get $70 off a one hour assessment with our expert physical therapists. Not sure where to start, give us a call today and we will help you find a shoe that keeps you running your best miles ahead.

Thanks for reading,

Ashleigh Tompa, PT, DPT

Ashleigh is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with a specific interest in manual therapy, sports orthopedics, and women's health. She is either working out at the YMCA, coaching A5 volleyball or watching Star Wars content with her boyfriend, Bin, and their two dogs.




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