Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If You Were a Running Shoe, What Kind Would You Be?

I've gotten some great feedback recently from the athletes I worked with at Zoot. The general theme was trust. They trusted me to take care of there needs on a day to day running and racing standpoint. They enjoyed the trust and so did I.

My lifelong work goal is to improve the running experience for everyone.

I have chosen running shoes as my vehicle to do this and this is where the warning comes. If you think there are too many running shoes on the market today you haven't seen anything yet. In 2015 my estimation is that the total shoe count (shoes available for your feet) will almost double. The Big brands are attacking the new niches. The small brands are racing to the middle. By that I say that to get into a business you have to come in from the extremes. In running shoes that was minimalism/natural running and more recently maximalism. These companies are racing to the middle of the market and are doing so by adding new models.

Back to the running experience. I don't know your running style or your running goals. With that I can surely narrow the total selection down. But what I do know is that every runner should be looking for roughly the same feel. This is where I start: What Kind of Running Shoe Would you be?

You would be a shoe that allows your runner to feel the road. Too much feeling the road and the road bites back. To little and your runner would lose one of the beauties of running, Feel.

Every person in running has different flex needs. The best I can tell you is that you would feel natural to your running. If the flex is true flex or it's done with a rocker it doesn't matter what matters is that it feels natural. Shoes that don't feel natural in the forefoot feel terrible in running.

Heavy shoes suck. So you would feel light to your runner. You shouldn't scream your weight, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that you feel light.

Oh my this is the trouble spot for most shoe companies, but it's actually really easy for you and your runner.
Heel Fit - Your runner should be able to run in the shoe without lacing it, with no heel slip.
Midfoot - It should fit natural. Your runner has an instep and you should cover that instep naturally and let the laces do the rest. If you are too shallow the laces with cut and if you are too high the laces with pinch.
Forefoot - Your runner should be able to wiggle those toes.

If you are a track spike or a racing flat forget all the above except the heel fit. If you are an Ultra Running shoe good luck because you are dealing with a really rare breed of runner and their only loyalty is if you worked on the last 12 hour run.

The great thing about all the running shoes is that you are bound to find one you like. I highly suggest you find a couple. The other thing about being a running shoe, you will disappoint many who liked you before but don't like you now or really wanted to like you but for some reason couldn't.

It's a good life....

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