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Road Shoe Revolution…

There has been a lot of talk in the press about ‘Minimalism’ in recent months, with Saucony definitely leading a program of shoe introduction for road runners.  Minimalism sounds quite daunting after all the years of ‘moderate support’, ‘Motion Control’ and ‘Anti Pronation’ footwear.
It is not just Saucony adopting a new approach.  Inov-8 just jumped straight in there, no messing.  New Balance have taken the market by storm with their Minimus range. Even the giants like adidas are making a move.

Simply, what it means is that all the technology we have been used to is being stripped out.  The heel to fore foot height differential is being lowered.  Midsoles are becoming firmer and all that in the past that could destabalise our running gait is coming out of the shoes.  The big difference for many people is going to be the heel to forefoot height change.  12mm differential become the norm some years ago and now we are starting to see 8mm as the new norm.  Simply, it appears this is allowing the foot to land in a more forward position, avoiding a heavy ‘crash’. Secondly the rotation of the foot in 8mm shoes, or less, clearly suffers less compared to the old 12mm differential shoes.

With this revolution has come a whole host of road running shoes that offer differing levels of heel to forefoot differential.  All are trying to allow the foot to move more naturally, land with less impact and to create a far better alignment of the leg as you enter the all important push-off phase.  The desire is to allow the runner to spring away from the ground with greater force, therefore to run faster and with greater economy.  Get it right and the chances are these new lower heeled shoes will leave you running with less effort for the same speed – I’ll take that, thank you!

Road Shoe Revolution

Top Left: Saucony Triumph, 8mm differential   Top Right: New Balance 1080v2, 8mm differential  Bottom Left: Saucony Mirage 2 4mm Differential  Bottom Right: Inov-8 Road X 233, 6mm differential and Centre: New Balance Minimus 00 Road, 0mm differential.

In essence we will still need a range of shoes offering different heel height differentials and also a continuation of some torsional control for some runners will be essential.  With this comes more choice, lighter weight shoes and a reel sense of ‘freeing’ your running stride.  We have now checked hundreds of people with the Accelerate Running Style Assessment that we have instore and we would tend to agree with all that is been said.  Or as New Balance say:

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The Saucony First Thursday Breakfast Run, 2nd February, 9.30am for 10am run.
Saucony will be instore on this morning and with them will be shoes that everyone can try on.  These will include Hattori, Mirage, Kinvara, Triumph and also the Periguine.
As ever the run will be ‘run’ at an easy pace and open to everyone, any ability.

In addition throughout the day, both instore (until closing) and on Face Book (via email, until midnight) we will be taking entries for the Saucony Prize Shoe Draw. Entrants will be given the chance to win any Saucony running shoe of their choice that is stocked by Accelerate, which will also include a free Accelerate Running Assessment.  Entries will be taken by email or instore and will have to answer a very straightforward question.  The question will be announced on Face Book and available instore on Thursday 2nd February.  Email your answer to: info(@)accelerateuk.com.

The draw will take place on Friday 3rd February, the winner announced on Facebook and notified by email.

About Run Stu

Accelerate Performance and Healthy Run Coaching, Heart rate, Periodisation, Strength & Stability. Business owner @accelerateuk Coach to #TeamAccelerate The open road, fell, moorland and high places. Sunny days, days the wind blows and rain is horizontal - 'You're Alive!' Twitter and Instagram: @RunStuCoach
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One Response to Road Shoe Revolution…

  1. Colin Papworth says:

    Hi Stu
    This is a very interesting time for runners and running footwear. I agree that we are seeing some very interesting gait changes with what would only appear to small changes in shoe design. The very obvious changes such as stride length, cadence, contact noise and ‘how it all looks’ are really interesting to see when we try out different shoes with changes such as torsional stiffness and heel height. It would appear that the only negative changes occur when we add in big medail posts and soft gels, etc into the outside of the heel or forefoot as this seems to send people lateral on the shoe and most people seem to prefer to be moving over toward the big toe at propulsion not staying on the outside of the forefoot.
    Could we suggest that people check the wear on the shoes or footbed and any high pressures on the outside of the forefoot would indicate too much control / support in their current shoes?

    Colin