GET KITTED OUT
Marathon training, particularly through the winter, will require the right gear. PAUL FREARY picks some out
New Balance: Fresh Foam Vongo V2 – £110.00 (newbalance.co.uk)
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.
FOR THE WEEKS OF HIGH MILEAGE...
Brooks: Levitate – £140.00 (brooksrunning.com)
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 (361europe.com)
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.