running surfaces

Running Surfaces : A Guide for Every Runner on Different Surfaces

Running is one of the best physical activities in the world. Anyone with sound health can go for a run on a regular basis.  Doing the same thing on daily basis may be boring and tiresome. Repetitive motion on the hard surface like pavement may cause knee pain and muscle injury. You can experiment with different running surfaces. This would add a little variation to your running and definitely add value to your overall performance. Let us discuss different type of running surfaces. Take a look.

We have categorised the running surfaces. Scroll down to check.

Soft surfaces

soft surface

The experts who treat knee pains suggest soft surface for running like grass, sand, and trails. If you have an existing injury, you must try soft surfaces. Here the risk of injury is less.


grass surface

Grass is the best natural surface for running. According to a research, running on grass reduces 17 % less pressure in your feet in comparison to running on concrete. Instead of running on the hard surface, try to give your feet a soft touch. However, it’s not completely injury-proof running surface. While running on grass you must watch out for hidden holes, rocks, and grits. Fresh air and surrounding scenery will make your running experience more enjoyable.


Sand also falls under this category. The unstable surface of the beach helps to reduce soreness. The chances of injuries are less compared to the concrete surface. However, soft sand is not recommended for all. If you have limited flexibility in your ankle or already have an injury, you must avoid this surface. It may put an increased strain on your lower legs. So, start from wet and packed sand and then eventually you can move to the softer sand.


It is one of the best running surfaces to run on. If you have already impact-related injuries, trail running is best for you. The trail may be uneven, be careful about it.

Hard surfaces

The Hard surface is exclusively for those who love to take difficult challenges. Here the risk of injury is more.


trade mills

Treadmill provides you an even surface for smooth and effective running. The risk of an accident is less here. For a less stressful running experience, a treadmill is the best option. As treadmill helps pull you a little, it becomes easier to run longer distances. It’s not suitable for a professional runner. If you are preparing for an event, you need to familiar with the irregularities of the road before the final event.


If you live in the city, running on the concrete sidewalk is the safest option. However, it’s the most difficult surface for runners. Forceful landing on concrete may create injuries. This may break blood cells which is enough to reduce the amount of oxygen carried my blood cells. Runners may also experience shin splints. When running on concrete, choose the right footwear which can provide enough cushioning to your feet.


asphalt surface

Freshly laid asphalt road is an ideal surface for a smooth run. As the time passes, this surface becomes harder and develops cracks and uneven spots and path holes. When running on this surface, avoid these worn down areas. Otherwise, you may experience stress fractures and aggravate knees. If you are wearing headphones, keep the volume low so that you can be aware of what’s going on around you.

As per the experts, if you want to avoid injuries, incorporate a variety of surfaces into your training, including grass, dirt, asphalt, concrete, and tracks.

Footwear also plays a very important role in running. As per your body type and preference, choose the right footwear and surface for yourself and keep running.

Trail Running Shoes