Do You Need Help Choosing Running Shoes?
Posted on July 21 2021
The choice can be daunting!
We know how daunting it can be to choose the right running shoes when faced with a shoe wall of seemingly similar offerings.
At Gone Running we want you to get the best advise we can give you and by listening and talking with you to find the perfect fit between the shoes available and your needs.
After our years of experience we have built a library of knowledge which can help you understand not only what's on offer but how things have changed and are likely too in the future.
We don't carry every model of even the brands we carry but what we do so is select the brand and the models to play a specific role in what we offer.
Every runner is different but we do see patterns and we carry enough models to offer choice and preference in every segment of the market.
The first and most obvious choice is between Road and Trail so we have put together a couple of shoe matrices to position the brands and the models we carry. We have purposefully tried to make the roadmap as simple as possible.
Firstly, Road Shoes
We separate Neutral shoes from Support shoes and whether the main use will be to race of train. Obviously most shoes you can race in you can also train in but racing orientated shoes are typically a little more pricey so you may want to save them for that important race and take the load on a different pair.
In any case, there are significant benefits to your running development from rotating your shoes and not running in the same pair all the time.
Neutral shoes tend to be just that, very neutral in terms of the control of your running form where as support shoes are designed to provide additional stability, particularly to your arch if you overpronate.
You can read our BLOG on Stability Shoes HERE
The overall trend in shoe design in the last couple of years has been towards lighter, more cushioned shoes which brands like HOKA leading the trend. That combined with the inclusion of Carbon Plates, designed to give you that "4%" edge has spread across almost all brands. If you want to understand the theory behind Carbon Shoes, you can read our BLOG HERE
The other aspect that has become a discussion point has been Heel to Toe stack height "drop". There was a time when almost all running shoes came with between 8mm to 10mm drop . The barefoot running movement raised the possibility that this might not be the best way to ensure runners avoid injury and consequently the potential of less "drop" became more common.
Today, shoes come in a multitude of "drops" from the original 8-10mm to zero. ALTRA has led the charge producing their entire range with Zero Drop.
If you are curious why this might make sense, Check out our BLOG HERE
The shoe matrix above positions each of the brands and the models we carry across these parameters.
Now, for trails....
Here we have a different matrix segmentation.
The growth in popularity of Ultra Running has also driven a demand for ultra cushioned shoes to provide more comfort to conquer really long distances. So here we differentiate between shoes designed to go the ultra distance and the amount of heel cushioning they have.
We differentiate the <50km segment as more trail racing where pace and speed become more relevant and therefore some shoes are more suited to that.
Some people like having a lot of trail feel so having lower cushioning stack heights doesn't preclude shoes from the Ultra category.
There are a few shoes that cross-over between road and trail and if you are the sort of runner that does runs that have that characteristic then these may appeal.
The next important factor on trails is the outsole grip.
Many trail shoe brands develop shoes that are very suitable for US or European trail, but not always for the specific conditions we find here in Hong Kong. Our mix of steps, hard packed trails, slippery green rocks makes for a tough combination. We rarely have mud so the need for big cleats is just not there.
We have found 3 outsole compounds work well in Hong Kong. Virbram Megagrip is the clear favourite, Solomon's Contagrip works well and in some situations ALTRA's Maxtrak works well.
We have marked the outsole compounds of the various shoes on the matrix.
We have run in many of our trail and road shoes and you can find many reviews on our BLOG Pages
Here are a few.
ALTRA TORIN 5
NEW BALANCE RC ELITE V2
NEW BALANCE 1080 v11
HOKA CARBON X
Beyond that it will come down to the specific match between your foot and a particular model and this is best done in the shop. Narrow feet, long feet, broad feet etc etc can all be accommodated.
Come in and talk to us we will be happy to help.!