Marathon train­ing, par­tic­u­larly through the win­ter, will re­quire the right gear. PAUL FREARY picks some out

Athletics Weekly - - Marathon Guide 2018 -

New Bal­ance: Fresh Foam Vongo V2 – £110.00 (new­bal­

If you are look­ing for a train­ing shoe ca­pa­ble of han­dling high win­ter mileage but which also of­fers a lit­tle sup­port, the Vongo could be the per­fect, light­weight so­lu­tion for you.

It man­ages to pro­vide a smooth and sup­port­ive ride thanks to a com­bi­na­tion of an in­jec­tion moulded process and unique ge­o­met­ri­cal de­sign used in the mid­sole of the shoe.

Dif­fer­ences in the con­struc­tion on the lat­eral and me­dial side of the shoe al­low it to cush­ion on ini­tial im­pact and pro­vide sup­port for over-prona­tors. A split in the out­sole also com­pli­ments this de­sign and helps guide the foot for­ward in a smooth and neu­tral man­ner. A knit­ted mesh up­per pro­vides a seam­less fit and feels plush and com­fort­able.


Brooks: Lev­i­tate – £140.00 (brook­srun­

In the quest for shoes with highly re­spon­sive and ‘spring-like’ qual­i­ties to their mid­soles, Brooks have joined the party with the Lev­i­tate. The shoe feels very ‘springy’ and of­fers a highly-cush­ioned, plush run­ning ex­pe­ri­ence. The mid­sole, ‘DNA AMP’ is very sim­i­lar to that used in the adi­das Boost and in fact is in the main man­u­fac­tured by the same com­pany, BASF. In the case of the Brooks shoe, the polyurethane cush­ion­ing has been en­cap­su­lated within a ther­mo­plas­tic ‘skin’; this es­sen­tially aims to con­tain the en­ergy and spring the mid­sole back into shape, thus giv­ing a re­spon­sive feel. Tech­ni­cal­i­ties aside, the shoe feels great. Testers im­me­di­ately en­joyed run­ning in it and, whilst it’s not par­tic­u­larly light, we think its shock

ab­sorb­ing qual­i­ties make up for a lack of weight sav­ings.

361°: Mer­aki – £119.99 (361eu­

The lat­est shoe from 361° is a neu­tral trainer that of­fers the cush­ion­ing of a high mileage shoe with the re­spon­sive na­ture of a racer. The cush­ion­ing comes from the brand’s ‘Qu!kfoam’, a full-length layer of cush­ion­ing in­cor­po­rated into the mid­sole that ab­sorbs im­pact with great

ef­fect while of­fer­ing a smooth ride. An added fea­ture is a car­bon-fiber plate that runs through the mid­foot and into the fore­foot of the shoe. This has the dual ef­fect of pro­vid­ing sta­bil­ity as well as a def­i­nite ‘push-off’. Here the ‘springy na­ture’ of the shoe feels nicely

balanced and makes it per­fect for faster paced runs.

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