Picking the right running shoes for you is extremely important for obtaining the best results. Designed for the road or track, the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit running shoes boast ZoomX foam – the company’s most responsive EVA foam to date. It’s ultra-lightweight, soft and capable of providing up to 85-percent energy return, all of which makes this a very fast and surprisingly stable shoe to run in. Next, tucked away within that magic foam is a full-length curved carbon fibre plate that covers the entire sole. This increases stiffness, creates a sensation of propulsion and puts more acceleration into each push off. For added traction there’s a blown rubber super-thin outsole, but this runs just under just the forefoot section rather than the whole shoe to save on weight. Finally the heel also features another thin layer of Zoom foam with added grip to soften impact.
I’ve been training in ASICS Speedstars for over five years and can get away with running my longest workouts in them – even up to 22 miles. If you have always worn a more structured shoe then I wouldn’t jump into the Speedstars for 100% of your mileage. Be smart and make the transition gradually since they have neutral pronation control. In other words, there’s no pronation control. Weighing in at 8.9 ounces, the Speedstar is light but not as light as more traditional minimalist shoes like the the Merrell Trail Glove, which weighs only 6.2 ounces. This extra weight comes from a combination of a more supportive upper – more on that later – and a cushioned sole.
What is pronation and how does it affect shoe choice? There are three types of foot strike. Neutral is where the foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls a little inward to absorb the shock. Underpronation, also known as supination, is where you land on the outside of the heel and don’t roll inward enough. Overpronation, as you’d expect, is where the foot rolls too much from the outside of the heel to the inner edge of your foot, rather than the ball.
Brooks is known for its exceptionally comfortable running shoes, especially on the more stable end of the spectrum. The Glycerin 16s are a notable standout here, so we’d be remiss not to mention it, even though there’s no award, per se. Like the lighter PureFlow 7, it uses a good deal of padding in the collar, except there’s even more in this shoe. On top of that, it uses a thick, highly padded tongue to envelop the top of the foot in excellent cushioning too. The sock liner it uses is somehow even silkier and comfortable than its speedy cousin. For landing comfort, it’s one of the best scorers, using a thick slab of DNA Loft cushioning. It’s worth keeping in mind that these are heavier shoes meant to stabilize your gait, so they’re a bit more restrictive than other models. They’re also a bit clunky for that reason. Despite their mass, they tend to break down sooner than is ideal, but that can be expected from shoes with lots of stabilizing features and cushioning. Those who are looking for a protective shoe that will keep their gait straight and feet enveloped in pillowy goodness will get the most out of these running shoes.
Designed to make long-distance running easier, the MetaRide is structured to reduce movement in the ankle joint, where most of your running energy is expended. It does so with Asics’ new sole design, called GuideSole, which is a rocker-shaped sole that helps you roll forward smoothly through your stride. Layers of FlyteFoam Lyte and FlyteFoam Propel support your feet and provide good energy return, but the jury’s still out on how much these shoes can improve your distance running. See extra info on https://info4runners.com/.