Buying the right running shoes for you is extremely important for obtaining the best results. Comfort comes first, second and third with this cushioned shoe from Brooks, and while it won’t win many plaudits from those seeking maximum speed from their footwear, it’s so nice to pull on that you might just forget about PB hunting for a while. The plush collar on the shoe sets the tone for what’s to come when you slip your foot in, as it wraps the ankle in what feels like a duvet’s worth of padding. The midsole contains Brooks’s DNA Loft cushioning, which provides an ultra-soft feel to every step, and the breathable upper stretches to wrap around the foot.
But there are certain shoes that I think have broad appeal and the Nike Zoom Streak XC is one of those shoes. I’ve been wearing the Streak XC for about three months and have run everything from a 5k race, duathlon, and track intervals ranging from 200m reps in 32 seconds to miles in 5:20. For any speed faster than a tempo effort, these racing shoes are perfect. With just the right blend of cushioning and responsiveness, I can run short intervals all the way to 10 mile races in comfort. Because of my over-pronation and tendency to get sore arches, I wouldn’t wear them for the half or marathon distance. Shorter races are a perfect candidate for this racer though.
What is gait analysis and is it worth doing? Basic gait analysis involves a few minutes of jogging on a treadmill at your natural pace, while an expert casts his eye over your running style. This will be done for free at many specialised running shops such as Sweatshop and Run and Become. The aim of these brief consultations is to ascertain your running style, most importantly how your foot lands in terms of pronation, which will inform your choice of shoes. It’s free, usually only takes around half an hour, and could make a huge difference to your choice of shoe, so gait analysis is certainly worth trying – especially when you’re spending big money on a pair of running shoes.
The On Cloud X handily picked up our Editors’ Choice award this year, unseating the exceptional Brooks PureFlow 6 from last year. These are part of On’s Performance running shoe lineup, geared toward high intensity running while the Clouds remain in On’s Active lineup, geared toward cross training. They offer a high degree of comfort through targeted padding along the collar, heel cup, and tongue while generously lining the upper with a smooth, felt-like sock liner. The upper has the right mix of malleability to naturally fit your foot and upper buttressing and structure to dial it in and stabilize your foot for a sprint. Their uniquely designed CloudTec midsole brings them excellent comfort, responsiveness, and stability. They incorporate a hard plastic speedboard that serves as the backstop for the hollow EVA pods, Cloud Elements, which individually flex, support, and spring to bring you a stable ride with pop.
Even after a lot of races and workouts, the Hyper Speeds are still kicking. Once in awhile I’ll even wear them casually (hey, I’m a running nerd). I credit the sole, which isn’t too stiff or too hard. If you’ve ever owned a pair of Saucony Kinvaras, you know that the soft sole deteriorates quickly. I only got about 250 miles on them before they were retired. For those looking for the most minimalist racing shoe on the market, look elsewhere. The Hyper Speed 4 has a substantially raised sole for a racing shoe and weighing in at 6.6 ounces it’s definitely not the lightest. Read more info at https://info4runners.com/new-balance-993/.