Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Featuring TheRunZone?s resident coach Tinman. All participants are welcome to post and reply to topics in this section whether you?re looking for advice, or sharing your own coaching experience.

Moderators: Moderator, Global Moderator

rxb

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by rxb » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:58 pm

I love my Adidas Ace training shoes-- when the weather is dry. Light (sub-8 oz.), narrow, neutral. But the vents in the soles allow moisture to get in, and that's not good right now where I live because it's so wet here from late Oct to mid-March.

So, I go to running stores for shoes that will withstand the wet winter climate, and it's incredible. I didn't find anything today in another brand that is even under 11 oz., never mind sub-10. New Balance used to have a good lightweight neutral trainer but now they've discontinued that line and the substitute version has a post in it.

Do people really think that running in boats is going to help them stave off injuries? The athletic companies are foisting unproven fad technology and overbuilt shoes on the public, who seem to believe all their claims about "stability" and "cushioning" and other blah-blah even though I've never seen any legitimate scientific evidence to validate these claims.

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by ap4305 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:01 am

[QUOTE=rxb;8430]
Do people really think that running in boats is going to help them stave off injuries? The athletic companies are foisting unproven fad technology and overbuilt shoes on the public, who seem to believe all their claims about "stability" and "cushioning" and other blah-blah even though I've never seen any legitimate scientific evidence to validate these claims.[/QUOTE]

While I agree wholeheartedly with your main point that most running shoes have basically become lightweight boots these days, there is plenty of legitimate science behind the shoes. There are some very bright and talented engineers working on shoe technology and if companies simply wanted to dupe the running consumers it would be far easier to rely on a marketing blitz than to invest in heavily both physical and human capital in the form of running a research lab and paying high priced engineers. The reason you haven't seen the science is that it is proprietary and it would not be in shoe companies' best financial interests to share their own secrets open with their competition (or even make that information public for another non-running company to start developing their own shoe line).

HOWEVER, in the end, none of that lab science really matters if the technology fails the 'real world' test. I suppose someone could develop a study comparing lighter shoes with the newer technology running boots, but it would be nearly impossible to get sufficient numbers of competitive runners to partipate within the study parameters for a long enough time to make the data worthwhile. Anecdotally, though, your own experience and the information you gain in talking to running colleagues is probably as valuable as anything that could be formally presented to you.

Unfortunately, the shoes are developed largely for the masses and the masses these days clarry more 'mass' than most serious runners. While most serious runners could probably do without the technology of most of the training shoes on the market, I question whether the overweight novice with poor running form could really survive in the lightweight trainers that you or I might find more comfortable. It would be easy to say "Get in better shape and get better form" but we are a 'quick fix' society and the companies are catering to what the masses want (so they can remain in business!) and the fact of the market is that the masses resemble out-of-shape Joe Jogger more than you or I or anyone serious enough about the sport to even be reading this on a competitive running message board. Also, as we as a society have become less active and more reliant on motorized transportation, the only time most runners use their feet to travel any sort of distance is when they run. As such, that foot musculature and lower leg strength is sorely lacking as compared to other societies where people walk places and do more manual sorts of tasks. It is very questionable whether Joe Jogger can come straight from many years of inactivity and hop right into a minimalist sort of shoe. The brutal truth is that he probably needs plenty of support to do the work for his foot.
Last edited by ap4305 on Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

Jeff_D

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Jeff_D » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:43 pm

Rxb,

If you are looking for a lighter weight performance trainer without holes try the brooks ghost (1 or 2)...I am unaware of the weights but both are available on eastbay for either 69.99 or 100ish for the 2s. I love the ones. I am on my second pair and they are fantastic. If they are too heavy for your liking just go under the flats section of eastbay and shop around. They give refunds within a certain amount of wear on the shoes so you can test them out.

Good luck with your shoe search!

Jeff

P.S good post AP! whole heartedly agree

rxb

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by rxb » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:12 pm

I am not going to be convinced, without significant INDEPENDENT studies to the contrary, that overbuilt shoes reduce injuries among runners-- be they novices or long-time runners, slow or fast, young or old.

Although I've never met Tom in person, I do understand that he has a rather muscular build so I'd be interested in his opinion regarding how much cushioning larger runners might require. My guess is that the actual required "protection" is less than imagined.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the law of unintended consequences raises itself frequently--some of the orthotics/posts/thick heel cushions that are designed to reduce shock in one area might very well increase stress upon another area, and/or ingrain bad running form that makes someone more susceptible to injury.

Regardless, I find it fantastical that someone who lives in a metro area that has a population of >2 million and one of the highest physical activity rates in North America, can go to reputedly respected specialty running stores and not be able to find a neutral training shoe that weighs under 10 oz.-- the Adidas brand excepted.

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Tinman » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:30 pm

I too believe that many shoes fail to meet manufacturer claims. I firmly believe that 80% of the runners who run in "stability" shoes do NOT need them. It is their running mechanics and foot-plant position that causes (either) excessiev pronation or supination.

My first coach, back in the late 1970's, used to say (at that time) that the shoe industry was going to pot. Repeatedly he said the high soled shoes were leading to injuries, poor mechanics, and would shorten the careers of promising young runners. He often said, "In the '60's, we never had Achilles tendonitis or calf strains. We had shoes that had front and backs - meaning the heel and forefoot - that were close to the same height. Soles that are too thick will make arches weak, cause ankle, calf, knee, hip, and lower back pain. It's just plain wrong!"

Further, my coach talked about a runner from South Africa who competed on the Southen Illinois University team. That runner trained and raced in barefeet. That runner was smooth, had flawless mechanics, and was unbeatable because he 'floated" while others strained."
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

ap4305
Hero Member
Hero Member
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:19 pm
Contact:

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by ap4305 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:45 pm

[QUOTE=rxb;8433]

Regardless, I find it fantastical that someone who lives in a metro area that has a population of >2 million and one of the highest physical activity rates in North America, can go to reputedly respected specialty running stores and not be able to find a neutral training shoe that weighs under 10 oz.-- the Adidas brand excepted.[/QUOTE]

As a general matter, I agree that most runners end up wearing more shoe than they need. Personally, I have weaned myself away from orthotics and motion control shoes over a period of years even though most 'experts' look at my flat and highly pronated feet and think that I would struggle to run more than three miles at a time. However, it has taken many miles many exercises and many years to get to this point. While Tinman might be a bigger guy himself, I am pretty sure he has good form, and if his biomechanics have deteriorated from not training as much in recent years I am also sure that he will put in the work to improve his form and leg strength when he tries to tackle higher training loads. Joe Jogger simply won't do that.

Adidas is a company with central European roots, where the people are generally smaller and fitter than Americans. If you want lighter and narrower Asics than what you can find in the US, you can certainly find them in the Asian markets where again, people are smaller and fitter.

It does companies no good at all to knowingly put products on the market that increase the injury risk to runners. In the end, running shoes are just a vehicle to keep people running so they can spend money on apparel, which is where the real money is made. Comparatively speaking, per unit, apparel is far more lucrative than footwear, both because of the markup and because apparel technology is more transferrable among sporting departments within a company thus requiring a comparatively smaller dedicated investment in R&D specific to the running division. If the companies had no technological basis for thinking that their newer technology is best for the masses, they would certainly be happy to save the money and simply crank out older products that pre-dated the current boot era.
Allan Phillips
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Tinman athlete since 2003
www.ventanapt.physio
IG: @thekettlebelldoc

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Tinman » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:18 am

As a general note, I think that "performance" shoes are the best type to wear, regardless of the brand-name.

Regarding strengthening legs, I think arch strength, calf strength, and hip strength are the most important things to work on, rather than upper leg strength. Even running striders in bare feet works one's arches well, and reduces strain in one's lower legs.

Another exercise: stand on a stairstep and let your heels drop over the edge. Then, raise up on the forefoot - the 'balls' of the feet - several times until fatigue sets in. Due this three times per week. After a month of this you can move on to doing the exercise with one leg, rather than two. This exercise, alone, will do wonders for your posture, for your stride length, and for your relaxation and fast speeds. Just think of what a sprinter does - works their calves - and you do the same, as a distance runner.

Leg presses or partial squats are good for hip strength. Also, lunges or step-ups are great for hip strength.

All exercises that help one run better up a hill are good for runners. If you can't run up a hill worth a hoot, then get going on the strengthening exercises I just mentioned. In just 6-8 weeks you'll run hills much better. In 3-4 months you'll be a new runner.

I know this presentation seems to sway away from running shoes, but I think there is a connection. "Cushioned" and "stabilty" shoes are needed by people that can not absorb body-weight well; due primarily to weak support structure muscles.

When I coached collegiate women - just one winter and and fall - my runners were amazed at how weak they were, when I sent them 'lunge-walking' cross-wise on the innner part of the indoor track. Most could not walk 30 yards without falling over. I gave them just 3 x 30 yards the first day. The following day they whined about how sore their butts were. I said, "when you can 10 x 30 yards and not feel soreness the next day, you'r ready to run fast." And, I was wrong - most were running faster, by a lot, by time they were up to 6 reps without soreness. That was 3 weeks later.

Regards,

Tinman
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

TexNav
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:17 pm

Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by TexNav » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:52 pm

The past month I made a transition from my regular Nike Free 5.0s to the Asics 2140. I found that because I had to do all of my running on concrete, even interval/fartlek work I needed a shoe with more cushioning. I couldn't believe the difference in weight and struggled a bit with that and feel. Otherwise I dont really like the effect even the 2140s have on my stride. I lose a certain feeling or awareness in my footstrike.

The only reason that I will probably continue to wear a heavier shoe (the Asics 2140s are about 12oz's I thinkg) though is to make the transition to running in lightweight boots easier which I will be required to do in the upcoming year.

Otherwise, I am also more of a performance/minimalist as well.
Last edited by TexNav on Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Zmae

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Zmae » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:48 am

Choosing the right running shoes for your own comfort is important in running. Some may prefer the lightweight running shoes while others will go for the extra weight and support. I believe running shoes manufacturers have best insight in designing their shoes. So, if they are making heavy shoes today, there must be a good reason behind. seo services
Last edited by Zmae on Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

liketorun1981

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by liketorun1981 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:08 pm

so what do you guys think about training in shoes like say  brooks t6  or nike lunar racers or one of those HM type flats?

Ron
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Ron » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:58 pm

I train a bit in the Nike Lunar Racer (speed work), but love the ride of the Lunar Trainer. I also have a pair or the Nike Lunar Glides, but are a bit on the heavy side for my taste.
-Ron
Admin
Image
TheRunZone.com is brought to you by: Xtreme Multimedia Marketing
A leader in AMP-HTML & Responsive Website Technologies
Image

HRE

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by HRE » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:15 pm

[quote="rxb"]
I love my Adidas Ace training shoes-- when the weather is dry.  Light (sub-8 oz.), narrow, neutral.  But the vents in the soles allow moisture to get in, and that's not good right now where I live because it's so wet here from late Oct to mid-March. 

So, I go to running stores for shoes that will withstand the wet winter climate, and it's incredible.  I didn't find anything today in another brand that is even under 11 oz., never mind sub-10. New Balance used to have a good lightweight neutral trainer but now they've discontinued that line and the substitute version has a post in it.

Do people really think that running in boats is going to help them stave off injuries?  The athletic companies are foisting unproven fad technology and overbuilt shoes on the public, who seem to believe all their claims about "stability" and "cushioning" and other blah-blah even though I've never seen any legitimate scientific evidence to validate these claims.
[/quote]

Try getting some bathtub caulk and filling in the holes in the bottom of your Aces.

squall88uk

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by squall88uk » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:54 am

I'll be honest and potentially controversial here.... I like supportive running shoes.

I've been running now for 10 years... for the first 5-6 I always had knee problems. This particularly related to the volume of training I was doing. Anything over 25mpw and I'd be sore. I occasionally had hip troubles as well. At the time (I was 15-16) I didn't mind this so much... just trained 3 times a week and still managed around the 41 minute mark for 10k and under 20 for 5k.

I met an old school friend who was a 100mpw kinda guy... (does about 14:30 for 5k on the flat)... he looked at my feet and running style and told me I pronated, similarly to him. He'd always worn shoes like Mizuno Wave Creations and Nike Structure Triax. So I gave that a go.

In the last year I've managed at least a dozen weeks of mileage higher than I used to be able to manage... including weeks of 50...

Now I know that isn't exactly huge mileage for most runners, but for me it seemed like a big step forward.

I guess I just have horrendous biomechanics/gait/footplant...... but without the right shoes I'd just be stuck around 20mpw, or give up running.

Tinman
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 4285
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 12:02 am

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Tinman » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:00 am

squall -

You prove the principle most important: Do what works for you. 


Denuement: By doing what works for you (wearing shoes that work for your footstrike and gait); you meet my second principle of training: Keep the ball rolling. That is, do whatever it takes, especially the little things, that keeps you training regluarly/consistently. Take care of the details and your momentuum will be improved. Reaching new levels of fitness and performance result from consistently doing the right kinds, amounts, and intensities of training.
Last edited by Tinman on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tinman
(coaching available)
Inquire via email:
runfastcoach@gmail.com

Moldy

Re: Most running shoes are overweight garbage

Post by Moldy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:45 pm

For what it's worth, I've never really run in real "trainers." My first pair of running shoes were a pair of road racing flats, and I've always done a lot of mileage barefoot (up to 50%, but I'm not a nutjob- I stay on the grass).

Right now I'm at 90+ a week and I switch between the Adizero rockets and Asics hyperspeeds. I too tired of the freezing wetness that comes about from running in shoes with vents in the winter, so I invested in a pair of those technical socks (I've always been a cotton guy). I'm really pleased with the investment- they seem to keep my feet much drier and when they do get wet, they dry fast (like before my run even ends!). I haven't heard about the bathtub caulk tho, I might have to give that a shot!

I did a little clicking around, and the best shoe I could find that doesn't look too vented is the Asics DS racer 8-

http://www.runningwarehouse.com/descpageMRS-ASDSR8.html#

You might want to shop around for prices, but running warehouse is usually pretty good.

Post Reply