Is Cushioning Good For Running

As a runner and someone who is passionate about the sport, I’ve often found myself asking the question: Is cushioning good for running? It’s a topic that has sparked many debates among runners and shoe manufacturers. Let’s delve into the details and explore the benefits and drawbacks of cushioned running shoes.

The Benefits of Cushioning

Cushioning in running shoes is designed to provide impact absorption, reducing the stress on the body during each stride. This can be especially beneficial for runners who log high mileage or those who are prone to overuse injuries. The cushioning helps to lessen the impact on the feet, ankles, knees, and hips, potentially reducing the risk of injury and allowing for faster recovery post-run.

The Drawbacks of Cushioning

While cushioning can provide comfort and protection, some argue that excessive cushioning can lead to instability and a loss of “ground feel.” This can impact an individual’s running form and proprioception, potentially leading to a decrease in running efficiency and an increased risk of ankle sprains or other injuries due to reduced stability.

Personal Experience

Having tried various types of running shoes throughout my running journey, I’ve experienced firsthand the differences cushioning can make. I found that moderate cushioning provided the ideal balance for me, offering protection without sacrificing too much ground feel. However, I’ve also encountered instances where excessive cushioning seemed to impede my performance and stability on uneven terrain.

The Role of Running Technique

It’s important to note that the impact of cushioning can vary depending on an individual’s running technique and biomechanics. Runners with a heavier stride or those who tend to overpronate may benefit from more cushioning, while those with a lighter stride and neutral foot strike might find excessive cushioning unnecessary.

Considerations When Choosing Cushioned Shoes

When considering cushioned running shoes, it’s important to assess your running style, the type of terrain you typically encounter, and any history of injuries or discomfort. Consulting with a knowledgeable running specialist or podiatrist can also provide valuable insights into the most suitable shoe type for your individual needs.


So, is cushioning good for running? The answer ultimately depends on the individual and their specific requirements. While cushioning can offer valuable impact protection and comfort, finding the right balance is crucial. Personal experimentation and expert guidance can help in determining the optimal level of cushioning for an enjoyable and injury-free running experience.