Buying the right running shoes for you is very important for getting the best results. Designed for the road or track, the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit running shoes boast ZoomX foam – the company’s most responsive EVA foam to date. It’s ultra-lightweight, soft and capable of providing up to 85-percent energy return, all of which makes this a very fast and surprisingly stable shoe to run in. Next, tucked away within that magic foam is a full-length curved carbon fibre plate that covers the entire sole. This increases stiffness, creates a sensation of propulsion and puts more acceleration into each push off. For added traction there’s a blown rubber super-thin outsole, but this runs just under just the forefoot section rather than the whole shoe to save on weight. Finally the heel also features another thin layer of Zoom foam with added grip to soften impact.
The Kwicky’s weigh a mere nine ounces. For their size and amount of cushioning, this surprised me. The low overall weight is likely because of the foam sole and seamless upper. Both are great features of the shoe but provide the secondary benefit of reducing weight. The sole is a lightweight foam that is softer than other similar shoes like the ASICS Speedstar 6. Because of that, I’m more comfortable running prolonged workouts on the road in the Kwicky. In most cases, I prefer the combination of a firm shoe and dirt trails but the Kwicky’s give much needed cushioning on the roads.
What is gait analysis and is it worth doing? Basic gait analysis involves a few minutes of jogging on a treadmill at your natural pace, while an expert casts his eye over your running style. This will be done for free at many specialised running shops such as Sweatshop and Run and Become. The aim of these brief consultations is to ascertain your running style, most importantly how your foot lands in terms of pronation, which will inform your choice of shoes. It’s free, usually only takes around half an hour, and could make a huge difference to your choice of shoe, so gait analysis is certainly worth trying – especially when you’re spending big money on a pair of running shoes.
Unsurprisingly, designs with more cushioning like the Brooks Ghost 10 and Brooks Glycerin 16 typically score higher in landing comfort. The usual formula for the best landing comfort is a balanced design that is not too cushy and not too firm. You need balanced cushioning to find consistent comfort. We find this with the Nike Pegasus 35, which scored near the top of our measure. Its secret is that it embeds Zoom Air units across the entirety of the midsole. Elements comprised of hollow EVA structures even seemed to cushion more than that of the versatile Cloud. That difference in sensation could be partially explained by the rigid speedboard, which gave more pop and stability to each stride. This put the X at the top of the category and helped earn it the Editors’ Choice award.
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. Read extra info at https://info4runners.com/new-balance-993/.