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View Full Version : Do good running shoes make a big difference?


dbernie41
06-04-2007, 11:01 AM
Im starting to run and for now I am just running in my tennis shoes. I was wondering if getting a true fitting, quality running shoe makes that big of a difference. Anyone have any input?

grizzly4life
06-04-2007, 11:15 AM
yes, good running shoes make a huge difference.... the big expensive shoe companies have good products but the markups are huge..... i often buy wal-mart (WM giant store) type running shoes and then put in those green spenco sp?? inserts. basically it's so much more affordable. i think the insert makes them reasonably close to expensive quality.

courtrage
06-04-2007, 11:23 AM
this made me rethink things...i've tried it on a treadmill in socks for a little bit and it felt pretty good....this was after a few weeks of walking around on my forefoot though to get a little stronger foot/ankle... http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=How

carrwash13
06-04-2007, 01:58 PM
with the impact that goes on in running (especially on hard surfaces) I'd say they make a big difference. Run in your tennis shoes and then run in even a medium priced running shoe like the Nike Air Pegasus and you'll know what I'm talking about.

rbowser
06-04-2007, 02:32 PM
If you just want to run to get fit, get a running shoe. On the other hand, if you want to run to get fit and to strenghthen your legs, get those shoes like the Nike Frees, they train your feet because it feels like your running without shoes, and the new tech like a3 from adidas and nike shox don't strenghthen your legs as much.

OrangeOne
06-04-2007, 02:55 PM
Yes, they do.

Forget 'trendy' brands like Nike, Reebok or Adidas.

Head to Asics, Brooks or New Balance. In the running world, which is very functionally focused (as opposed to the fashion focused tennis world), these brands are king, and for good reason. Go to a good store, they should analyse your foot-strike pattern and walking / running style, and select from the right range of shoes - there are shoes designed to help your foot roll or stop it from rolling depending on what you need.

forzainter
06-05-2007, 10:03 AM
are those nike frees actually any good? or is it just advertising crap?

progman_2000
06-05-2007, 11:53 AM
this made me rethink things...i've tried it on a treadmill in socks for a little bit and it felt pretty good....this was after a few weeks of walking around on my forefoot though to get a little stronger foot/ankle... http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=How

This is interesting stuff - I am always trying to figure out ways to prevent injury from running, I am curious if any other runners here employ these methods...

RedWeb
06-05-2007, 12:22 PM
Don't buy good running shoes unless your feet are worth more than the $80-100 they will cost you. 'Nuf said?

Noisy Ninja
06-05-2007, 01:10 PM
Yes, they do.

Forget 'trendy' brands like Nike, Reebok or Adidas.

Head to Asics, Brooks or New Balance. In the running world, which is very functionally focused (as opposed to the fashion focused tennis world), these brands are king, and for good reason. Go to a good store, they should analyse your foot-strike pattern and walking / running style, and select from the right range of shoes - there are shoes designed to help your foot roll or stop it from rolling depending on what you need.

+1. I've been running regularly to improve my tennis endurance and was experiencing some foot soreness and arch pain from a store-bought pair of Adidas running shoes. A running fanatic friend recommended I pay a visit to a dedicated running store. Had my foot-strike pattern analyzed and bought a pair of stability type Saucony running shoes recommended for my running gait. I'm been logging miles with ease with no foot complaints ever since. The price for dedicated quality running shoes are steep but worth the investment in the long-run in my view.

courtrage
06-05-2007, 01:17 PM
This is interesting stuff - I am always trying to figure out ways to prevent injury from running, I am curious if any other runners here employ these methods...

'jasonbourne' on this board said he runs barefoot...i made a thread titlted "pose running" before and i think he posted there...point is, running barefoot or with minimal shoes teaches you to run soft and on the forefoot and that elimates pronation and supination and all that stuff and by keeping your knees bent with no heel strike there is little impact...as i mentioned before, i ran in socks on a treadmill to show someone how it works and it wasnt bad...and that was a few weeks after i turned my ankle playing tennis and i wasnt 100% yet and i still felt nothing... posetech.com has a 'method' of running but if you poke around the site you get clips of examples and i say figure it out on your own rather than spending the money by using the runningbarefoot.com site i posted earlier...your body will tell you if you are doing it right...

progman_2000
06-05-2007, 01:31 PM
'jasonbourne' on this board said he runs barefoot...i made a thread titlted "pose running" before and i think he posted there...point is, running barefoot or with minimal shoes teaches you to run soft and on the forefoot and that elimates pronation and supination and all that stuff and by keeping your knees bent with no heel strike there is little impact...as i mentioned before, i ran in socks on a treadmill to show someone how it works and it wasnt bad...and that was a few weeks after i turned my ankle playing tennis and i wasnt 100% yet and i still felt nothing... posetech.com has a 'method' of running but if you poke around the site you get clips of examples and i say figure it out on your own rather than spending the money by using the runningbarefoot.com site i posted earlier...your body will tell you if you are doing it right...

Good stuff, thanks Courtrage - I am going to look for that thread and check out pose running. I'm 39 and my knees have taken their fair share of abuse, but I have been doing alot of running and am curious to look at anything that my lessen the impact. I'm itching to do a half marathon in September so I really would like to work on my form. I might head over to the local high school 1/4 mile asphalt track and give the bare foot thing a try

Richie Rich
06-05-2007, 01:39 PM
Yes, they do.

Forget 'trendy' brands like Nike, Reebok or Adidas.

Head to Asics, Brooks or New Balance. In the running world, which is very functionally focused (as opposed to the fashion focused tennis world), these brands are king, and for good reason. Go to a good store, they should analyse your foot-strike pattern and walking / running style, and select from the right range of shoes - there are shoes designed to help your foot roll or stop it from rolling depending on what you need.

you got it. i run quite a bit (5k, 10k, half marathons) and the best shoes i have run in are asics. best blend of fit, cushion, performance, durability for my feet. asics make great tennis shoes too!

you should add saucony to your list too.

courtrage
06-05-2007, 02:04 PM
Good stuff, thanks Courtrage - I am going to look for that thread and check out pose running. I'm 39 and my knees have taken their fair share of abuse, but I have been doing alot of running and am curious to look at anything that my lessen the impact. I'm itching to do a half marathon in September so I really would like to work on my form. I might head over to the local high school 1/4 mile asphalt track and give the bare foot thing a try

DONT do any distance too early...read over the howto on the runningbarefoot site ...says to walk around barefoot 30min a day if you dont already and to build up to it. i spent the last few weeks walking on the balls of my feet to get my ankle/foot a little stronger...

http://www.posetech.com/video/ video library...

blubber
06-05-2007, 03:00 PM
Asics Gel Nimbus VII all the way baby! They're well cushioned neutral shoes

To get an idea of what kind of foot you have and what type of shoe you need check out tw's sister site:

www.runningwarehouse.com

Also try these 2 forums:

http://www.coolrunning.com/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi

http://forums.runnersworld.com/eve


Don't spend the cash until you're sure that you're going to run a bit and you're sure that you know what type of shoe you need.

FuriousYellow
06-05-2007, 08:19 PM
are those nike frees actually any good? or is it just advertising crap?

I tried the Nike Frees earlier this year. I run pretty regularly, and have done so for almost 10 years now. I was hoping the Frees would build up the strength in my arches as they are very flat and I get cramps in them sometimes.

I followed the recommended break-in period then started running with them. They felt fine to run in which was surprising as there's minimal cushioning and almost no arch support. It actually felt like I was running faster in these shoes. However, after about a month I noticed a sharp pain behind my ankle bone getting out of bed in the morning that progressed from occasional to constant. I think it might be because I'm a heel striker when I run and the Frees offer very little cushioning in the heels.

After taking a some time off from running, I switched back to my regular running shoes and the pain went away. I haven't gone back to the Frees since and not sure I will.

Craig Sheppard
06-06-2007, 08:47 PM
I tried the Nike Frees earlier this year. I run pretty regularly, and have done so for almost 10 years now. I was hoping the Frees would build up the strength in my arches as they are very flat and I get cramps in them sometimes.

I followed the recommended break-in period then started running with them. They felt fine to run in which was surprising as there's minimal cushioning and almost no arch support. It actually felt like I was running faster in these shoes. However, after about a month I noticed a sharp pain behind my ankle bone getting out of bed in the morning that progressed from occasional to constant. I think it might be because I'm a heel striker when I run and the Frees offer very little cushioning in the heels.

After taking a some time off from running, I switched back to my regular running shoes and the pain went away. I haven't gone back to the Frees since and not sure I will.

I don't see how you can run w/ Nike Free's and be a heel-striker. That's your problem right there. They're just not made for that. Look at some of the barefoot running sites posted above, you'll see right away how bad heel-striking is for you, and how worse it probably is w/ Free's b/c of the minimal cushioning.

I am making a conscious effort to not heel strike anymore, and my running feels a whole lot better. And it's not hard to learn or switch.

progman_2000
06-07-2007, 05:57 AM
I don't see how you can run w/ Nike Free's and be a heel-striker. That's your problem right there. They're just not made for that. Look at some of the barefoot running sites posted above, you'll see right away how bad heel-striking is for you, and how worse it probably is w/ Free's b/c of the minimal cushioning.

I am making a conscious effort to not heel strike anymore, and my running feels a whole lot better. And it's not hard to learn or switch.

Hey Craig, you find it easy to not heel strike with regular running shoes? I am intrigued by the barefoot running methods above but these sites kind of make it sound hard to transition from heel striking if you are still using regular running shoes - I am curious as to what you run in?

Craig Sheppard
06-07-2007, 07:11 AM
Hey Craig, you find it easy to not heel strike with regular running shoes? I am intrigued by the barefoot running methods above but these sites kind of make it sound hard to transition from heel striking if you are still using regular running shoes - I am curious as to what you run in?

Yeah, I run in regular running shoes and don't find it too hard. Let me say up front that I'm no marathoner, and I go by what someone said a few posts back--let your body be your guide, I just have watched the videos and read the descriptions, and so try to run more in the ball/heel/ball style like described in the barefoot/pose sites. I have been using the same NB 1060 running shoes for a while, so I haven't bought a new pair yet to see if one is better than the other.

I find that picking up the technique causes me to run slower, but I feel lighter on my feet and don't feel like I'm crashing into the ground. I figure as I get better at it, I'll pick up speed.

About switching over... I don't think it's hard w/ regular shoes. For me the essence of this method is more about how you land and your body positioning than the shoes. From what I gathered, the point of ball/heel/ball is to run with relaxed legs and knees, and land with your front foot as directly under your body as possible, causing you to use your arch, ankle, knee, and leg as a shock absorber--not mostly your bones and knees as in heel striking. And in correcting this alignment, you'll almost always land on the ball of your foot, which then flexes your ankle, causing your heel to touch. And the other key is to not push off, but merely lift your foot and go...

I think all of that is possible in a regular running shoe--but I have noticed the heel gets in the way b/c it's so thick with padding (esp. in my ultra cushioned 1060s)

I'm no expert on this! I have just read the sites and have try to practice running like this. It does seem to work for me though, and makes running less stressful/more enjoyable. Would like to get out there barefoot someday!

Phil
06-07-2007, 09:21 AM
you got it. i run quite a bit (5k, 10k, half marathons) and the best shoes i have run in are asics. best blend of fit, cushion, performance, durability for my feet. asics make great tennis shoes too!

you should add saucony to your list too.

A question (or two), Richie: How are Asics for wide, high arched feet?

I bought a pair of Asics about 20 years ago-very expensive for that time, but they were the most comfortable running shoes I've ever had...don't know why I didn't continue to buy them.

Serve em Up
06-07-2007, 09:44 AM
Two Points:

If you are going to run regularly, get running shoes. Especially if you're over 30.

Go to a runner's store. They will check your feet and your stride. The ones around my home have treadmills and video and actually check your stride. You need to get shoes that give you the right amount of arch support and help your feet pronate correctly or your legs will hurt.

Tennis shoes are designed for lateral movement, they are not tooled for frontwards movement.

I generally agree that the serious runner's brands are better than the normal tennis brands. Asics, Saucony, New Balance, Brooks all make good shoes for a variety of foot shapes and strides.

Kevin T
06-07-2007, 11:23 AM
A question (or two), Richie: How are Asics for wide, high arched feet?

I bought a pair of Asics about 20 years ago-very expensive for that time, but they were the most comfortable running shoes I've ever had...don't know why I didn't continue to buy them.

Phil,

I have wide, supinating high-arched feet with a slight inward curve, run 4-5 times/week, ~5 miles per outing and have found that Saucony and Brooks fit me best. If you can find the neutral Asics models in 2E, those are good as well but Brooks seem to have the best durability for me and I'm a big dude (6'3", 225#). I want to like New Balance but their last is so straight I get big toe blisters. If you supinate/underpronate, you can't beat the Brooks Glycerin 5 or Cascadia for off-road or the Saucony ProGrid Triumph 4. The newest neutral Asics shoe, the Nimbus has been getting mixed reviews but the Gel Cumulus comes in widths and is a solid shoe. If you are true neutral/slight overpronator, the Brooks Adrenaline line is fantastic, as is the Asics 2000 line or Kayano or Saucony ProGrid Hurricane.

LuckyR
06-07-2007, 02:40 PM
Sure why not get the best? But to be honest, the tennis shoes of today are far better than the specialty running shoes from 18 years ago, for running. It's not like folks didn't use shoes of no better quality than current tennis shoes for centuries.

spam
06-07-2007, 03:10 PM
A question (or two), Richie: How are Asics for wide, high arched feet?

I bought a pair of Asics about 20 years ago-very expensive for that time, but they were the most comfortable running shoes I've ever had...don't know why I didn't continue to buy them.

Great on both counts ,also kind on achillies tendons as they have a low ,padded,cutaway on the heel.

Phil
06-07-2007, 07:41 PM
Phil,

I have wide, supinating high-arched feet with a slight inward curve, run 4-5 times/week, ~5 miles per outing and have found that Saucony and Brooks fit me best. If you can find the neutral Asics models in 2E, those are good as well but Brooks seem to have the best durability for me and I'm a big dude (6'3", 225#). I want to like New Balance but their last is so straight I get big toe blisters. If you supinate/underpronate, you can't beat the Brooks Glycerin 5 or Cascadia for off-road or the Saucony ProGrid Triumph 4. The newest neutral Asics shoe, the Nimbus has been getting mixed reviews but the Gel Cumulus comes in widths and is a solid shoe. If you are true neutral/slight overpronator, the Brooks Adrenaline line is fantastic, as is the Asics 2000 line or Kayano or Saucony ProGrid Hurricane.
I"ll to check out those Brooks models you mentioned, Kevin. Thanks for the recommendations. My quest in LIFE is finding the most comfortable athletic (and casual) shoes in existence, and I'm always looking at new possibilities. Been wearing the NB 587 in 4E for around 15 years now...it's a great shoe for me-you've got a couple inches on me, but I'm a not-so-small neutral overpronator and, good as the NB are, I'm just looking for a change of style. The 587 is a fugly wedge, but again, I'll probably wear it for as long as they make 'em.

Great on both counts ,also kind on achillies tendons as they have a low ,padded,cutaway on the heel.

Thanks a lot, spam. There's an Asics store down the road and I'm gonna have a looksee tonight.

rommil
06-07-2007, 09:16 PM
I like the Supernovas especially the cushion ones. Great looks too...

snoopy
06-07-2007, 09:32 PM
I think all Asics shoes are a half size small. I also find them a little on the narrow side. Good shoes.

If you're wearing NB 587s in 4E I doubt you'll find any asics shoes comfortable, no matter what their width. I have a pair of 587s size 10.5, D width and a pair of Asics Nimbus size 11, D width. I'd say I have a slightly wide foot. The 587s fit me loosely unless I really pull the laces tight whereas the Nimbus' have a more snug fit. I like both shoes for different reasons. The 587s are comfortable and rock solid but a bit heavy. The Nimbus' are lighter and have more springy cushioning.

Phil
06-07-2007, 09:54 PM
I think all Asics shoes are a half size small. I also find them a little on the narrow side. Good shoes.

If you're wearing NB 587s in 4E I doubt you'll find any asics shoes comfortable, no matter what their width. I have a pair of 587s size 10.5, D width and a pair of Asics Nimbus size 11, D width. I'd say I have a slightly wide foot. The 587s fit me loosely unless I really pull the laces tight whereas the Nimbus' have a more snug fit. I like both shoes for different reasons. The 587s are comfortable and rock solid but a bit heavy. The Nimbus' are lighter and have more springy cushioning.

Well darn. Yeah, I've have boats for feet, though the NB 4E's are slightly loose...but I couldn't wear a 2E in that model. I'll check on this tonight. Thanks.

Kevin T
06-08-2007, 08:19 AM
I"ll to check out those Brooks models you mentioned, Kevin. Thanks for the recommendations. My quest in LIFE is finding the most comfortable athletic (and casual) shoes in existence, and I'm always looking at new possibilities. Been wearing the NB 587 in 4E for around 15 years now...it's a great shoe for me-you've got a couple inches on me, but I'm a not-so-small neutral overpronator and, good as the NB are, I'm just looking for a change of style. The 587 is a fugly wedge, but again, I'll probably wear it for as long as they make 'em.



Thanks a lot, spam. There's an Asics store down the road and I'm gonna have a looksee tonight.

A high-arched overpronator? You're a rare bird, Phil-but I already knew that :) And a 4E foot? Hmm...you might want to look at the Brooks Beast, which is a motion control shoe comparable to the 587 and comes in a 4E. Looks much better than the 587 and Brooks is doing a lot of good things in terms of production-MoGo foam supposedly lasts longer and produces much less waste, many of their models use recycled rubber/biodegradable rubber soles. If the Beast is too much shoe, the Trance is made wider (probably a 2E) and the Adrenaline comes in a 2E.

forzainter
06-08-2007, 03:25 PM
I tried the Nike Frees earlier this year. I run pretty regularly, and have done so for almost 10 years now. I was hoping the Frees would build up the strength in my arches as they are very flat and I get cramps in them sometimes.

I followed the recommended break-in period then started running with them. They felt fine to run in which was surprising as there's minimal cushioning and almost no arch support. It actually felt like I was running faster in these shoes. However, after about a month I noticed a sharp pain behind my ankle bone getting out of bed in the morning that progressed from occasional to constant. I think it might be because I'm a heel striker when I run and the Frees offer very little cushioning in the heels.

After taking a some time off from running, I switched back to my regular running shoes and the pain went away. I haven't gone back to the Frees since and not sure I will.

cool, thanks for the response

Gash Bell
06-08-2007, 04:20 PM
Hey Kevin do you still like to wear Asics tennis shirts and footwear? I remember that you were always posting for the Thomas Enqvist stuff from before.The Asics tennis shirts and shoes that he was wearing.

thursdayisgod
06-08-2007, 11:10 PM
I run in my barricade 2s, but I run probably 10 miles a week on average. If I ran like 15 or more a week I'd probably go with some actual running shoes (New Balance would be shoe of choice for running, they are relatively cheap too, they just really suck for tennis) My brother wears Asics (he runs 10+ a day), and I guess they are like running on clouds.

Phil
06-11-2007, 03:11 AM
A high-arched overpronator? You're a rare bird, Phil-but I already knew that :) And a 4E foot? Hmm...you might want to look at the Brooks Beast, which is a motion control shoe comparable to the 587 and comes in a 4E. Looks much better than the 587 and Brooks is doing a lot of good things in terms of production-MoGo foam supposedly lasts longer and produces much less waste, many of their models use recycled rubber/biodegradable rubber soles. If the Beast is too much shoe, the Trance is made wider (probably a 2E) and the Adrenaline comes in a 2E.

Now I'm having doubts about my feet. That I have high arches and wide feet is beyond a doubt, but I better check on the overpronating part-at least this is what I remember a trainer telling me...not so much "over" but neutral, leaning toward...I'm out of my depth here, so thanks again for the model recommendations. I'm going to the store with a list of models to check out...they also have some high-tech equipment and have you run on a treadmill, so I'll get the scoop from them on exactly what my feet do or don't do.

morten
06-12-2007, 04:40 AM
I run in Nike Free`s , great, never worn normal runningshoes ever since, like running barefoot.

Trainer
06-12-2007, 12:23 PM
I'm 39 and I run 3 miles 4-5 days-week.

I'd say for someone our age, you need a shoe with a good bit of cushion.

I'm using the Nike Air Dual D (http://www.sportsauthority.com/sm-nike-air-run-dual-d-ii-mens-trail-running-shoe--pi-2466752.html) right now. These shoes run a full size smaller than Nike tennis shoes. Go figure.

Anyway, I have a pretty neutral stride, my foot is fairly wide, and I'm kindof big. 6'1" 195 lbs and I'm very pleased with the fit and performance of these shoes. I bought 3 pairs. If you fit this profile, I highly recommend these shoes.

Kevin T
06-13-2007, 09:16 AM
Hey Kevin do you still like to wear Asics tennis shirts and footwear? I remember that you were always posting for the Thomas Enqvist stuff from before.The Asics tennis shirts and shoes that he was wearing.

Still wear the shoes from time to time but finding Asics tennis clothes is like finding a needle in a haystack. I also really like NB and Yonex tennis shoes because of the wider fit options. As for clothing, I typically play in Patagonia and Icebreaker/Smartwool shirts and shorts. I do more trail running/surfing/backpacking than tennis these days and their gear works better than the Nike/Adidas/UA stuff out and has less environmental impact.