T Nation

Attn: Runners! Sneaker Recommendations?

To all those experienced runners out there, what sneakers do you recommend for distance running?

I’m buying new sneakers to try and alleviate pain that appears to be shinsplints, so quality cushioning seems to be paramount.

Regarding training, I’m currently doing a simple 2 mile route and am completing it in about 18-20 minutes. My plan is to increase that pace to about 15 minutes and then increase the distance.

My current goals are simply to increase cardiovascular fitness and lower my body fat levels, but I’m considering running a marathon (or at least the half) in January, so my training may make a sharp turn toward long distance this fall…

While Nike’s are great, I’d like to hear a bit about some of the other hardcore running brands…(I know a lot of guys who do a lot of running think Nike is crap.) That said, I’m considering the Nike TurbOZ because they look nice and purport to be light and feature the SHOX cushioning…opinions? I’m also wondering about the traditional, classic grey New Balance (991?), of which my impression is that it is a great running shoe.

Running shoes are highly individual to your runing mechanics and foot shape. What works well for one will not be the best for others. Personally, I have always used addidas running sneakers. they fit my feet perfectly and just felt amazing to run in.

Basically, try to get the best fitting shoe you can at the store, notice things like the width of the toe, and how high the heel comes up. All the top shoes provide more than enough cusioning for any runner, just make sure you get one designed for max cusioning and not some lightweight racing shoe. Definately do not run longer distances in cross trainers.

V

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
To all those experienced runners out there, what sneakers do you recommend for distance running?

I’m buying new sneakers to try and alleviate pain that appears to be shinsplints, so quality cushioning seems to be paramount.

Regarding training, I’m currently doing a simple 2 mile route and am completing it in about 18-20 minutes. My plan is to increase that pace to about 15 minutes and then increase the distance.

My current goals are simply to increase cardiovascular fitness and lower my body fat levels, but I’m considering running a marathon (or at least the half) in January, so my training may make a sharp turn toward long distance this fall…

While Nike’s are great, I’d like to hear a bit about some of the other hardcore running brands…(I know a lot of guys who do a lot of running think Nike is crap.) That said, I’m considering the Nike TurbOZ because they look nice and purport to be light and feature the SHOX cushioning…opinions? I’m also wondering about the traditional, classic grey New Balance (991?), of which my impression is that it is a great running shoe.[/quote]

The NB 991 has its reputation for a reason, it is a top flight running shoe. Your best bet however is to determine how your feet work. Are you a pronater, flat footed, etc…?
After doing that, do reserach in some running magazine website or another similiar source and read which shoes best work with your feet. Then go try them on. While you can’t stimulate long distance running in a shoe store, take a few jumps in the air to test impact absorption, note how your knees and ankles feel.

2nd, Shin splints usually rears its ugly head due to a week tibialis (your shin mucle) or overworked tibialis (either running way too much or shoes causing more stress on that muscle). One way to help alleviate them is to ice, and to do duck walks (walk on your heels for 400-800m). Also, repitions of flexion and dorsiflexion of the foot help to strengthen and stretch the tendons as well, so you can also give those a try. Hope that helps.

when I was on an actual crew we used to do a lot of running workouts - I swore with New Balance ( I used to rock the retro 580’s and 586’s in Blue Suede) and if you’re a bigger guy (200lbs. +) they are awesome at avoiding shin splints.

Other model New Balances that I will vouch for are 587 and the black 991’s - all solid and with much more cushioning than Nikes for running.

use Nike Shox for fashion. Get a real running shoe for training.

Shoes are largely personal preferrence. Probably the biggest thing I have learned is dont be too overly concerned with the cushioning system like the SHOX for example. I hav found some of the best shoes dont have anything fancy about them. If you need that much cushion in the heel you need to examine how you run, a hard heel strike can be bad for your joints and will actually slow you down. You will constantly be re-accelerating rather than holding a steady pace.

Your foot should land almost flat just in front of your body and you should have the feeling of gliding over the ground rather than have the constant thump of a heel strike. Stride length doesnt make you faster, stride cadence does.

Personally I will run in either Asics or Saucony. The reasons, the toe box offers more room and width than say a Nike or an Adidas. Thats not to say they are bad shoes they are just not right for me.

Search for a specialty running store in you area, they should be able to set you up with a shoe that will work. Dont get concerned about brands, look for performance and feel. The store should be ble to look at your gait and determine whether you pronate/supinate or are a neutral running, most brands make a shoe to accomidate each type of runner. They should also have a place to try the shoe.

Also for the shin splints, stretch your calves, do toes raises, and one thing that has helped me…with your feet up write the alphabet with you big toe in the air. And dont forget the ice.

Hope this helps, sorry it got a little long.

Shox are the most cushining shoes available. They do wonders for your legs. Try a pair, you wont be dissapointed.

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
Shox are the most cushining shoes available. They do wonders for your legs. Try a pair, you wont be dissapointed.[/quote]

So says the man with the Nike insignia in his avatar.

http://www.runnersworld.com/shoefinder_nc/1,5038,s6-52-71-0-0,00.html

Runner’s World’s shoe finder is a pretty solid tool for giving ideas on running shoes.

I’m a big overpronator and I love my New Balance 855s.

The New Balance 856s are supposed to be even better if you are a big overpronator and need a motion control shoe.

The best idea though is to find a running store in your area and go down, talk to the salesperson, and try on a few different shoes before making a choice.

I tried shox, and was not happy with them, the pair I got had an arch that extended all the way through to the outside of the sole and was very uncomfortable.

The best thing you can do is go to a running specialty store. I had a great experience at one here in portland. The sales staff had me try on almost a dozen shoes and watched me run in every one of them to check my foot angle.

I eventually went with the mizzuno’s. They felt the best by far, and I could not be any more happy with them. I also liked the New B’s.

http://www.runnersworld.com/shoefinder_nc/0,5038,s6-52-71-0-0----D,00.html?shoe_id=316

This is what I have. Great running, either indoors or out.

Thanks

Chivas989

[quote]hoosierdaddy wrote:
PGA200X wrote:
Shox are the most cushining shoes available. They do wonders for your legs. Try a pair, you wont be dissapointed.

So says the man with the Nike insignia in his avatar.
[/quote]

Yeah, yeah I know but in all honesty I havent had shin splints since the day I switched to shox’ a few years ago. They helped me a great deal. No matter what, when I played bball they would flare up every few weeks no matter how much I “slowly” worked my way into playing shape. And strengthening the surrounding muscles proved to be meaningless.

Like what most posters have pointed out; shoes need to be fitted for your style, over/under pronation, heavy or light runner ( in regards to foot strike not BW!), and arches.

I have used addidas, NB, and Nikes; my best experience has been with the Nike Shox, that and learning how to stretch my iliotibial band!

Runnersworld.com has a pretty good shoe guide if you live in an area that has a good running shoe store then they have machines that can identify what type of shoe you need too.

I have run in Asic gel Kayano’s and I loved them. I also am a big fan of Saucony. I have a wider foot, pronate and I weigh 205 so a wider toe box is important to me. If you are running or planning on covering good distances try to buy shoes that allow for your foot to swell as you run.

I was a non believer in the Nike Shox but after rolling my ancle 3x in 1 month trail running I broke down and bought a pair. The shox come in two different types: one is very soft and shock absorbing and the other is stiffer and more for stabilization, (this is the style I went with). I have yet to roll my ancle on the trails I have been running and I am very happy with them. The only con is the price… well beside the absurd designs, but if you are big and planning to cover some distance the investment is worth it.

I also echo the previous advice to go with something built to take the miles and not a light weight race shoe, train heavy and race light if that is your plan. I would PM Trigwu for some input, I am sure he has covered many a mile both racing and training. Just make sure you get the right shoe for you and not a brand name. Find a running specialty shop, (like Marathon Sports in Boston) and they will watch you walk, fit a shoe and have you run on a treadmill to ensure it works for you. You are not going to find that level of knowledge in most footlockers. Good luck and have fun running.
-Will

[quote]PGA200X wrote:
Shox are the most cushining shoes available. They do wonders for your legs. Try a pair, you wont be dissapointed.[/quote]

Are you serious? Next to high-heels, Shox are the single-worst thing that you can put on your feet to run, jump, squat, or even just sit around in.

I second the choice of New Balance.

[quote]Eric Cressey wrote:

Are you serious? Next to high-heels, Shox are the single-worst thing that you can put on your feet to run, jump, squat, or even just sit around in.[/quote]

You must expound!


Thanks everyone for excellent advice. I’ll check the web links and search for a running store here in Miami. I appreciate the help.

Dude, run barefoot.

Or wear Feiyue Wushu shoes (on Amazon.com).

If you have shin splints, then getting a shoe with more cushioning isn’t going to help you in the long run. You need to fix your running mechanics. And when you wear shoes with monster fuckin heels, then you can’t feel the ground and feel if you’re running improperly.

If you took most people that run, and had them run barefoot (or in shoes with barely anything to them) then they’d take a few strides and realize that they’re pounding the hell out of their heels (try saying that 5 times fast) and this is usually the root of their problems.

Besides, the shoes on Amazon are $15. Not $189.

First and foremost, you need to determine what type of shoe you require - cushioned, cushioned support, or support - based upon the type of foot you have. You can do this by looking at your footprint on the rug after you get out of the shower.

If your feet are flat and your heel tends to roll inward upon strike (pronate), you will need either a cushioned support or support shoe. The degree of pronation will determine whether or not you need a cushioned support or support shoe. If you have an arch and either a neutral gate or your heel tends to roll outward (supinate), a cushioned shoe is your best choice.

Additional information regarding shoe selection based upon foot type can be found at either Road Runner Sports or Eastbay’s web sites.

No matter what, always ensure that there is adequate width and length in the toe box of the shoe. Sizes vary from brand to brand as well as shoe to shoe.

If you have selected the proper shoe in the right size but continue to have aches and pains either druing and/or after running, you may be a candidate for orthodics. Orthodics correct biomechanics such that feet, knees, and hips are properly alligned throughout striking (landing) and toe-off.

Last but not least, the type of surface you run on is also very important. If possible try to run either offroad on grass, sand, or dirt. These surfaces tend to be more forgiving to the body. If not available, asphault is the next choice with concrete being the least preferable. Likewise, you should frequently change the direction in which you run. Roads, in particular, and some tracks are crowned for drainage purposes, and running in the same direction everytime can cause overuse injuries sooner.

Any way, I hope this helps!

I personally have had great success with the Brooks Hydroflow shoes. Several models have the Hydroflow cushioning system. They’ve even saved me from having to buy orthotics!

Try www.zappos.com or a local running store.

I have always sworn by New Balance.

I walk, run, train, and sometimes (after a good training day) sleep in them.

I’ve run in many… currently wear 1221.

the 991 is the “Traditional” New Balance.

I spent the money and had custom orthotics made. In many cases this is more important than the shoe itself.

Track your miles and track your dates. Running shoes are no good after 300-400mi or 3-4 months. Even if they still look new… you’ve got to throw them out.

Once you’ve found a good pair… stick with it. The good thing about New Balance is that you generally can stick with a model for a long time and not have to worry about it going out of “style” as is the case with Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc…

Avoid shoes with the “Rollbars”. This was some great marketing idea but is actually terrible for foot biomechanics. It over pronates the foot too fast and doesn’t allow the talus to unlock for the pushoff or terrain adjustment. This can do numbers for overuse injuries.

It depends on your goals too.

If you’ve got the money and the time do a lot of research.

Get a great pair of orthotics and then take them with you to a top notch running store. Have them go through everything with your orthotics in.

I’ll keep it somewhat short. Feel free to PM.