With running shoes, there isn’t usually a best or worst pair, trainers are designed with different users in mind. Different supports, weight and materials are used for different environments and styles of running. Something runners can ignore is the pronation of their feet, this is the natural side to side movement as you walk or run.
Pronation is when your feet and ankles naturally dip inside, neutral is the balance (straight) and supination the foot rolls on the outside of the foot and the ankle dips out, it’s something that footwear can be designed to help with, it’s worth checking how your stance is so you can purchase the right pair next time. 2018 has a lot of new designs out by all different brands and here are the current highlights in different styles.
Short Distance Runner: New Balance Zante V4
In terms of the list, the NB Zante is a young trainer design with a strong following. The original Zante was a sensation, a lightweight, comfy shoe with a lively look about it. The second generation was released and wasn’t accepted publically, everything that made the Zante popular was changed, became heavier and unfit for running use.
Luckily New Balance has taken the feedback positively and the V4 has gone back to the roots of the Zante with some new beneficial features. A new mesh upper called hyposkin has been added to the midfoot which ensure a perfect fit, and the fresh foam is lightweight ideal for faster runners, and short distance running. Depending on your fitness it could be used for further running but it’s a trainer that focuses on being lightweight and with that, support around the ankle isn’t optimised.
Original Release: 2016
Heel Height: 16mm
Weight: 245 grams
Gym Trainer/Running: Adidas AlphaBounce Beyond
Also labelled as one of the top choices as an overall use trainer the AlphaBounce is a jack of all trades. If your gym attendance consists of cardio training and weight lifting its an ideal shoe to pick, it’s a medium support trainer suitable for 5km-10km runs on the treadmill but also holds steady for deadlifts and other weight exercises.
It’s also tried and tested for outdoor use which is already reliable for, if HIIT or CrossFit training is something you participate in, the Adidas AlphaBounce is a perfect all-rounder trainer for the gym and outdoor use.
Original Release: 2016
Heel Height: 27mm
Weight: 346 grams
Lightweight/Max Cushioning: Asics Gel Nimbus- 20
Asics don’t always offer the most attractive trainers to lure you into purchasing, but they understand running and what’s needed. The Asics Gel Nimbus is a support trainer for the ankles, knees, hips and back, they can reduce a lot of common injuries and aches so the simple designs they occasionally offer are made up for.
In the Nimbus-20 the midsole uses flytefoam which is ultra-cushioning for the middle of your foot to reduce any foot pain, whilst the front and back of the shoe use’s gel cushioning, which partnered with a sturdy sole makes the run a lot more comfortable. The Nimbus is also reviewed as an ideal trainer to select if you are heavier set, extra support means the stress your feet and legs go through are managed more effectively. Ankle support can be forgotten with some trainer manufacturers regardless of the amount you can spend, Asics trainers make sure their different trainers cater for all types of runners.
Original Release: 1998
Heel Height: 23mm
Weight: 303 grams
Long Distance: Asics Kayano 24
Every year the Asics Kayano is a best seller for long-distance running, the iconic shoe is over 20 years old and only become more advanced with new designs. It’s one of the lightest long distance shoes on the market that doesn’t compromise the stability, it’s slightly heavier than the nimbus but if your long to compete in a long-distance event or want optimised support the Kayano is perfect.
The Flytefoam makes the last mile just as comfortable as the first whilst keeping the trainers shape intact for years of use, a beneficial factor for anyone who rolls their foot around the outside whilst running. Recent updates include a better mesh upper for enhanced fits, a metal clutch which gives the wearer better heel grip and a more spacious toe box for supreme long-distance comfort.
Original Release: 1993
Heel Height: 10mm
Weight: 320 grams
Road Running: Adidas Ultra Boost
Adidas Boost can be a controversial trainer, the famous boost technology sole is known to be a bouncy foundation to the trainer that makes running more comfortable. For hard surface running the boost sole can help with reducing foot pain, helping general comfort and increasing balance. The other side of the argument is the trainer lacks support elsewhere and focuses more on appearance than performance.
It’s a best seller and a lot of people review it as a performance running trainer, it would be advised to use it for shorter distances. The 2018 ultra boost model uses an advanced upper to increase water resistance and a protective forefoot section to guard against debris on the toes.
Original Release: 2013
Heel Height: 30mm
Weight: 326 grams
For running and most exercises, trainers are the most important garments to research. In terms of activewear you can consider other apparel to enhance your performance, gym joggers, leggings or hoodie. It’s worth investing extra in trainers and selecting the right style and brand that will fit your needs.