While you might be able to find your favorite brand and style (like New Balance Minimus shoes), you probably won't be able to fully customize it to match your running style and foot shape. How you run and the surface you prefer to run on plays a critical role in the ideal design of your shoe. The impact on someone's feet varies from place to place. If you underpronate (rolling your foot slightly outward), you'll need lighter, more flexible cushioning for shock absorption on the bottom of your feet. We can customize Hoka running shoes, ASICS sneakers for women, Saucony running shoes, and everything else you see in our inventory with the proper insert. If you don't already know your preferences, come to one of our locations where we can analyze how you run and give you the exact shoe, soul, and insert you need to keep your body injury free after every marathon.
The Turbo 2 is built for women who want to go fast, with a soft, springy ZoomX foam in the midsole borrowed from the record-setting Vaporfly Flyknit 4%. Typically, an EVA foam midsole will compress easily and then take its sweet time recovering shape. But ZoomX technology has blown us away with its quick compressibility and immediate rebound. Nike has added a thin layer of React foam to the bottom so the shoe will hold up for longer, as well as a rubber outsole grid for traction. Overall, this is a high-mileage, versatile shoe that combines the fit and feel of a workhorse Pegasus with the lightweight speed of a racing flat. Just be warned that upper feels slightly less secure than the first Peg Turbo.
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The best running shoes for women share the same class-leading features with the best shoes overall—they’re light, comfortable, cushioned, and just supportive enough where you need it most. But that locus of support is where some of the biggest differences between men’s and women’s running shoes can be found. Check out quick reviews below of five of our top picks, or scroll deeper for more in-depth reviews of these and other options, plus buying advice.
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Modern high heels were brought to Europe by emissaries of Shāh Abbās I of Persia in the early 17th century. Men wore them to imply their upper-class status; only someone who did not have to work could afford, both financially and practically, to wear such extravagant shoes. Royalty such as King Louis XIV wore heels to impart status. As the shoes caught on, and other members of society began donning high heels, elite members ordered their heels to be made even higher to distinguish themselves from lower classes. Authorities even began regulating the length of a high heel's point according to social rank. Klaus Carl includes these lengths in his book Shoes: "½ inch for commoners, 1 inch for the bourgeois, 1 and ½ inches for knights, 2 inches for nobles, and 2 and ½ inches for princes."” As women took to appropriating this style, the heels’ width changed in another fundamental way. Men wore thick heels, while women wore skinny ones. Then, when Enlightenment ideals such as science, nature, and logic took hold of many European societies, men gradually stopped wearing heels. After the French Revolution in the late 1780s, heels, femininity, and superficiality all became intertwined. In this way, heels became much more associated with a woman's supposed sense of impracticality and extravagance.
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Studies on foot shape have shown that women’s feet aren’t just smaller, narrower versions of male feet—there are differences in overall shape that affect shoe fit. Women’s feet tend to be comparatively wider in the forefoot, with a narrower heel. Running shoe makers take this statistical difference into mind when designing their shoes, and generally build their shoes with different heel shapes and sometimes different heel materials between the two models of the same shoe. Companies like Altra, with its Fit4Her technology, specifically design shoes that anatomically mirror a woman’s foot.
With this newest update, we have added three new shoes to our list including some shoes in our top ranking positions. Be sure to check out the newly added products- ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5, Salomon Women's XR Mission, and Adidas Women's Cloudfoam QT. If you have any questions about these or the other running shoes featured on our guide, feel free to reach out to us and let us answer those queries and help you find the running shoes that are just right for you!
Running all winter takes a lot—extra motivation, tireless dedication, and in the worst conditions, the right pair of shoes. The ICE+ makes it easier to get out there on days that would otherwise confine you to the treadmill with a Vibram Arctic Grip outsole that can grab ice without tearing up bare roads like a spiked sole would. Overall, the neutral shoe’s fit is comfortable, with a flexible overall ride and extra cushioning in the forefoot, plus a heel fit praised by women on our test team for how well it locks the heel into place. A water-resistant upper fends off the snow, even when you’re breaking new trail. But for summer trail runs, the regular Saucony Peregrine is equally capable, bringing the same deep, lugged outsole and cushioned platform to a shoe with a more breathable upper.
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In a 2016 study from the Sahmyook University in Korea, researchers wanted to investigate the effects of high heels on the activation of muscles in the cervical and lumbar portions of the spine which refers to the neck and lower back. Thirteen women were recruited to walk down a walkway in three different testing conditions: barefoot, in 4 cm heels and in 10 cm heels. Surface electrodes were placed on the muscle mass of the women’s spines as well as their feet to measure the electrical activity of muscles at different points of movement. The results of the study indicated an increase in both cervical and lumbar muscle activation as heel height increased. The cervical spine, the neck, assists in maintaining head stability and postural control in the body. The usage of high heels shifts the body’s center of mass which forces the spine to adjust itself in order to maintain balance. The researchers mentioned that over time these results would increase local muscle fatigue that could lead to muscle swelling, decreased muscle movement and even tissue deformation.
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High heels have been made from all kinds of materials throughout history. In the early years, leather and cowhide was preferred. As civilizations progressed, silk and patent leather were introduced, while cork and wood were utilized as cheap resources in times of war. After the World Wars and the increase in production of steel, the actual heel was a piece of steel wrapped in some kind of material. This has enabled designers to make heels taller and skinnier without them snapping. The soles below the ball of the foot of Ballroom shoes can also be made of materials like smooth leather, suede, or plastic. 
A 2001 survey conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University using 200 women found that 58% of women complained of lower back pain when wearing heels and 55% of women said they felt the worst overall back pain when wearing the highest heel. The researchers explained that as heel height increases, the body is forced to take on an unnatural posture to maintain its center of gravity. This changed position places more pressure and tension on the lower lumbar spine which explains why the women complained of severe back pain at a higher heel length.
The perfect outfit just isn't complete without the right pair of shoes, and in many cases, a pair of high heels is the best choice. Women's high heel shoes can elevate your look, literally and figuratively, whether you're going out for brunch with the girls or attending a formal event like a gala or wedding. When you shop for heels in our boutique, you'll find on-trend shoes for any occasion, all at affordable prices that will make you want to fill your closet. (Go ahead: We won't tell!)