Research Proposal

US Running Landscape


1. To understand the running landscape in the US, specifically the trends, attitudes, behaviors, and different types of runners.
2. To gain insight on the preferred brands or types of running shoes and apparel suitable for different types of runners.
3. To understand what qualities runners are looking for in a shoe and their process and thoughts when buying running shoes.
This information will be used to inform a consumer segmentation proposal that will be pitched to a major sports manufacturer.

Early Findings

Types of Running Shoes Consumers are Looking For

  • The importance of a good pair of running shoes should not be underestimated. Running shoes are vital in improving training efficiency and preventing injury. Ill-fitting shoes are not only a waste of money but are a doorway to pain and injury.
  • A pair of running shoes that fit properly will increase efficiency and be comfortable. Different runners are looking for different
  • There are a number of factors that affect shoe choice. They include foot type, gait, personal preference, running surface, personal goals, biomechanics, and weight.
  • Lightweight shoes are designed for those that plan on doing a lot of speed work. They are built with less foam and cushioning so that the foot moves in a more natural and dynamic motion. Due to the lack of cushioning, they are not suitable for general training due to the lack of cushioning and shock absorption. This is definitely not a shoe for the beginner.
  • The Adidas Adizero Boston 7, New Balance 890v7, Nike Zoom Fly Fly Knit, and Hoka One One Cavu are some of the most popular lightweight shoes.
  • Trail shoes, as the name suggests, are for those designed for trail running. They are designed not only for a variety of surfaces (mud, rocks, grass, and off-road conditions) but also surfaces that undulate, with a range of different terrains. They provide the best stability, support, and protection. Traction and control are essential on slippery and uneven surfaces, and these shoes provide superior grip to accommodate this. They are one of the most popular types of running shoes.
  • Brooks Caldera 3, Eva Mafate 2, Bushido II, and Sub Lab Ultra II are some of the most popular trail shoes, recommended by the experts in 2020.
  • Stability shoes are designed for runners who need a mix of midsole support and cushioning, typically those with neural feet or a normal arch. Stability shoes help to limit over-pronation by offering increased support during the running cycle.
  • Motion-control shoes are for those with low arches and more than moderate over-pronation. They are designed for stability and to limit excessive motion while running. Individuals that are a little on the heavier side may also benefit from the durability and stability this shoe offers.
  • Cushioned shoes have extra cushioning and supportive elements incorporated into the shoe. While they offer protection and shock absorption, they offer little extra support. Generally, those with high arches or supinators prefer these types of running shoes.

Types of Running

  • In training there are eight different types of run. They are a recovery run, base run, long run, progression run, fartlek, hill repeats, tempo run, and intervals.
  • There are any manner of ways of dividing running into types. One way divides runners into speedsters, endurance runners, and combo runners.
  • Speedsters are those that enjoy short races and speed workouts. Endurance runners are the marathoners and long distance runners. They dislike short fast bursts, instead preferring long, tempo runs. Combo runners are the most common type of runners, preforming well in all types and styles of running from 5km to 42km or more.
  • Trail running is a growing pastime, with more people taking it up each year. Currently, in the US, there are 6 million trail runners (and growing).


  • There is a considerable amount of information available in this area. We have barely touched the surface in our first hour of research. While we have not had the opportunity to review all the requested information, we are confident that it exists and there will be no difficulty in identifying the relevant information
Prepared By
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