Purchasing the right running shoes for you is very important for getting the best results. This was the first shoe to feature Nike’s new midsole technology, React foam. This Adidas-Boost-bothering foam features a synthetic rubber compound that’s created by Nike’s clever chemical engineers to be light, responsive, durable and cushioned. What this means in practice is 20 per cent more mileage (that’s 600 miles instead of 500 if you were wondering) before your shoes need replacing, 13 per cent more energy return than any other Nike shoe and a midsole foam that’s 30 per cent lighter than Boost foam.
But there are certain shoes that I think have broad appeal and the Nike Zoom Streak XC is one of those shoes. I’ve been wearing the Streak XC for about three months and have run everything from a 5k race, duathlon, and track intervals ranging from 200m reps in 32 seconds to miles in 5:20. For any speed faster than a tempo effort, these racing shoes are perfect. With just the right blend of cushioning and responsiveness, I can run short intervals all the way to 10 mile races in comfort. Because of my over-pronation and tendency to get sore arches, I wouldn’t wear them for the half or marathon distance. Shorter races are a perfect candidate for this racer though.
The main thing to consider when selecting your running shoes is the type of running you’re likely to be doing, not only in terms of distance, but also terrain. If you plan to run only on the track or the treadmill, you can mostly ignore factors such as the amount of traction on a shoe’s sole. However, if you plan to head off the beaten track and regularly run on trails, picking ashoe with better ankle support and a specialised sole will be much more important. If you are more of a trail bunny, Salomon and Merrell both make excellent off-road running shoes.
The On Cloud X handily picked up our Editors’ Choice award this year, unseating the exceptional Brooks PureFlow 6 from last year. These are part of On’s Performance running shoe lineup, geared toward high intensity running while the Clouds remain in On’s Active lineup, geared toward cross training. They offer a high degree of comfort through targeted padding along the collar, heel cup, and tongue while generously lining the upper with a smooth, felt-like sock liner. The upper has the right mix of malleability to naturally fit your foot and upper buttressing and structure to dial it in and stabilize your foot for a sprint. Their uniquely designed CloudTec midsole brings them excellent comfort, responsiveness, and stability. They incorporate a hard plastic speedboard that serves as the backstop for the hollow EVA pods, Cloud Elements, which individually flex, support, and spring to bring you a stable ride with pop.
The ASICS Kayano 25 running shoe is custom-built for endurance, so whether you’re heading into competition or a long training run, this training shoe will keep you feeling strong all the way to collapsing in a heap at the finish line. Protection and stability are the name of the game here. The company’s FlyteFoam Lyte tech promises shock absorption, while the medial support system and metaclutch cradle hold the heel in place. There’s a redesigned, two-layer Jacquard mesh upper, and a more spacious toe box to protect your feet on those gruelling endurance runs. As always, ASICS offers a number of attractive colour options to keep you on fleek and unique during the slog (the white/blue variant is particularly attractive). However, all of that support does come at a cost. At 325g it’s a little on the heavy side compared to some of the running shoes in our list. If you’re looking for a little more responsiveness and flexibility, you might want to try the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20. See extra info on https://info4runners.com/.