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Shoes

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RUN SNACK – WHEN TO THROW IN THE SHOES

I become VERY attached to my running shoes. I have a pair that would be approaching 1500km+ of running kilometres, and yet I still pull them on regularly (at least once a week). So how do you know when to call it a day and retire a pair of shoes?

FEEL. And I don’t mean rub them between your hands and physically feel them – let me explain:

My opinion differs greatly from that of most podiatrists and physiotherapists, where the *general* consensus is that your shoes need replacing regularly (as old shoes lose their cushioning and are a source of injury).

I disagree.

Injuries come about more often from poor shoe choice to start with (with overly structured shoes being perhaps my #1 pet hate – motion control I hate you), combined with inefficient running technique.

If you are running efficiently, you will know when you need to replace your shoes – your body will tell you.

Runners who prefer a more cushioned shoe will need to replace their shoes more regularly as the cushioning structures will most definitely breakdown over time. Runners (like me) who like firm cushioning will get more time out of each pair of shoes…I actually prefer my shoes after 100km+ when that initial ‘softness’ has been worn in. Either way, you will know when it’s time to drop a shoe from your rotation.

Keep in mind that the surfaces you choose to run on will also affect shoe life – as a trail runner who likes to find rough trails I put my shoes through a lot of dirty work, and this obviously reduces shoe life. But hey, that’s a trade off I’m happy to accept!

See you out there – Juddy

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RUN SNACK – ROTATE IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT

Like changing your undies every couple of days, it’s important to rotate your running shoes.

I have several pairs of shoes on the go at any one time (usually 2 road, 2 trail), and I try and mix up what I wear on any given day. The idea has nothing to do with extending shoe life – it’s to add variety to the running stress you are putting your body under.

Like varying the terrain, rotating your shoes changes your stride (even only slightly) and the forces on your body, and this makes for a stronger, more adaptable and durable runner. And isn’t that the aim?

See you out there – Juddy

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RUN SNACK – THE GEAR I USE: SHOES

This week I’m going to outline a few of my current favourite pieces of gear.

Before we get started, in the interests of full disclosure, I am a brand ambassador for most of the brands of gear I’ll be writing about this week. That said, the only gear I can make informed comment on is gear that I use, and that happens to be gear from brands I have a relationship with (in most cases).

That out of the way, lets get to it:

SHOES

Altra Lone Peak 1.5
My Use: Long and/or rocky and/or muddy trail running
Stats: Zero drop, 17mm stack height, 290grams (stats taken from Running Warehouse)

altra_lone_peak

These are my all-time favourite trail shoe. They have enough cushioning (for my preferences) to deal with all trail conditions, yet are minimal enough to suit my desire for as little shoe as possible. They have a super wide toe-box which I love. They excel on loose and rocky terrain and make long trail runs a dream on the feet.

My only wish is for the rubber on the outsole to be a little more, well, like rubber – they’re like ice skates on rocks when crossing creeks (and on bitumen for that matter, but they don’t belong there).

Altra Superior (soon to be Altra Superior 1.5)
My Use: Shorter and/or less rocky trail running
Stats: Zero drop, 12mm stack height, 290 grams (stats taken from Running Warehouse)
[Stats for the soon-to-be released Superior 1.5: Zero drop, 15mm stack height, 320 grams (stats taken from Running Warehouse)]

altra_superior

The style of shoe that I wear most often. The Altra Superior is a stripped down trail shoe, perfect for faster outings or longer runs on more forgiving ground. Like the Lone Peak, they have a super wide toe-box that allows your toes to move, making for a really comfortable fit. I don’t find the grip on these quite as reliable as the Lone Peak 1.5, but if I know the trail conditions aren’t too rocky and/or muddy I’ll choose these every time.

I’m eagerly awaiting the Australian release of the Superior 1.5!

Altra The One
My Use:
Pretty much all my road running…unless I’m barefoot!
Stats: Zero drop, 13mm stack height, 225 grams (stats taken from Running Warehouse)

altra_the_one

The newest shoe in my rotation, The One has made a great first impression. I like my road running shoes with just a little cushioning, but I also like that cushioning to be stiff (not too spongy/pillowy…made up word?). The One ticks that box. As with all Altra shoes, the toe box is wide for maximum toe comfort and movement, and these shoes are also super light. I liken them to a traditional racing flat…and for me that’s exactly what I want.

Others

I would have added the Merrell Bare Access (version 1) to this list for road running shoes, however they have been superseded twice by versions 2 and 3, both of which I consider inferior to the original. The original was a great shoe (still is if you can find it) - I found the original Bare Access to run very similar to the Altra The One, although The One has a wider toe box.

I still like the inov-8 Trailroc range for trail running, with their greatest strength being their excellent grip on almost all terrain. I have dropped them from my rotation however as the durability of the shoes has been an ongoing issue for me (the upper kept wearing through), and the toebox was a little too narrow for my liking.

There you have it. What are your go-to shoes?

See you out there – Juddy

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