The only real piece of equipment that a runner needs to buy are the running shoes, but even then there was a fad a few years back for running to be done barefoot so running shoes are not that necessary anymore. There are many trends and fads that happen in running shoes and this fad that occurred a few years ago and running shoes has led to a large number of what are known as minimalist running shoes on the market. These shoes have minimal padding and support. There are many different brands such as the Vibram five fingers, Vivobarefoot, the New Balance Minimus, and the Merrell glove range, to name a few. The market for the minimalist running shoes properly peaked around early 2013 and has been declining steadily since then as the large number of runners that followed the marketing and the hype went to the shoes and found that the promises of better running economy and less overuse running injuries did not eventuate to all runners who decided to go down this pathway.
Now the fad has been all the way in the other direction. There is a big swing away from the minimal running shoes that had the minimal padding and cushioning and motion control features built in them to big and bulky maximally cushioned running shoes, such as the Hoka One One. What is available on the market now for running shoes is a great diversity that never existed in the past. All the way from the minimalist, almost barefoot shoes to these maximally cushioned shoes; the range has never been this great. The challenge now for the runner is to find a shoe that best suits them. Is an individual runner best suited to minimalist shoe, or are they best suited to the maximalist shoe? There is very little consensus, let alone research evidence to support one shoe over another. This certainly does appear to be a one best shoe for one runner, but what suits run one runner will not suit another runner.