It’s still chilly out­side but it won’t be long be­fore race sea­son brings warmth and hopes of op­ti­mum speed. James Witts tests 10 of the best light­weight run shoes

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

Smash your run PB with a pair of light­weight run shoes – we test 10 to the max

Light­weight run shoes – a rac­ing es­sen­tial or a mar­ket­ing tool for re­mov­ing £100+ from your ac­count? Crit­ics ar­gue the lat­ter, sug­gest­ing that a few grammes saved is triv­ial com­pared to the ath­lete’s over­all weight, with Univer­sity of South Aus­tralia re­search sug­gest­ing ath­letes over 85kg should stay away from lightweights be­cause of in­jury risk.

But there’s counter-ev­i­dence, es­pe­cially for lighter triath­letes and those with good run econ­omy, that states swap­ping your mileage shoes for lightweights will reap rac­ing re­wards. Take re­search by the Univer­sity of Colorado, who re­cruited 18 run­ners to com­pete 3,000m on a track, once a week, for three weeks. Lead pel­lets were se­cretly sewn into two of the three pairs of rac­ing flats. The re­sults showed that the ath­letes ran 1% slower in the lead shoes and oxy­gen up­take also rose 1%, re­sult­ing in greater en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture. Nike’s 2hr marathon project also cel­e­brated their sub-200g Va­por­fly shoe, al­beit both the Colorado and Nike stud­ies high­lighted that rac­ers aren’t all about weight. Both at­trib­uted a race shoe’s suc­cess to its cush­ion­ing, specif­i­cally its en­ergy re­turn.

So em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence, plus feed­back from 220’ s years on the UK race scene, sug­gests com­bin­ing min­i­mal weight with cush­ion­ing for com­fort and max­i­mal en­ergy re­bound is op­ti­mum. And that’s why we’ve tested 10 pairs that largely stick to this tem­plate.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.