Here in southern ontario the sun is out, Covid numbers are headed in the preferred direction and lots of our patients are poised to replace or improve existing running shoes as soon as retail stores are permitted to open.
The following running shoe review is primarily targeted at our typical symptomatic patient requiring mild to moderate functional control, moderating the impact of over pronation. Previously we reviewed shoes intended for the heavier and larger framed individuals. Some of these mid range shoes may work for them but will be less controlling or have a noticeably shorter life span. (mid sole material will compress of distort, and/or the stability in the mid-foot will weaken)
All of the major running shoe manufacturers produce bewildering ranges of models all boasting unique abilities and features. Some fact, some fiction. Within that range are likely some suitable shoes for you. What we’re trying to do is provide a few to models to compare to and then let comfort and common sense be your guiding light.
Basically we want a stable rear foot, incorporating some shock absorption, adequate cushioning in the mid sole, hard wearing outer sole and stable structure between the heel and forefoot preventing too much rolling. For a refresher shoe test video click the following link. How to test a shoe
Over the years I’ve gone from one brand to another, favouring one model for a particular type of challenge and different for another. Some brands I’m not as familiar with as I should be as a result of the limited retail experience I’ve had over the last 14 months.
For the purpose of this discussion I’m going to use Asics to illustrate my considerations and then list other options, but its in no way meant to be exclusive or biased.
We treat lots of active adolescents needing functional control yet they have not reached adult muscle and bone mass.
The Asics GT1000 has been a terrific option for them, especially where schools require black or colour neutral shoes. (some models have white lines in mid soles that can be made to disappear with a little black “sharpie” use). These work well for lighter weight adult female runners looking for more cushioning.
For larger teens, ladies, smaller guys and those in need of a little more control the GT2000 is a nice option to try. Again bear in mind the activity and the level of control required. A shoe that works great for walking many be too firm for running moderate or longer distances.
For those of us requiring even higher levels of control, or larger runners the Asics Kayano is a useful option.
All three models share many similar attributes with varying levels of control, shock absorption, stability and of course price tag!.
As always your mall sporting goods store offers good variety and pricing, however if running is your game find a specialty running store ( preferably not a franchise ) and (if not for ever shoe) once in a while visit and chat with an experienced runner who can present options based on your present model and past experience. Especially for new runners it can save you lots of money and potential discomfort to seek skilled advice.
For lighter weight runners some considerations include
Asics GT 2000, Kayano, Cumulus, Fortitude (w), GT 1000
Teen: Asics Dynaflyte & Roadhawk, Brooks Addiction
Young Kids: Asics GT1000, Noosa, Scram, NB 680, Saucony Cohesion
New Balance 880, 840, 1080, 990,
Saucony Pro Grid Ride, Echelon (wide)
Brooks Glycerin, Ghost
For the middle weight machines!
Brooks Dyad or Echelon (both wider)
Asics Gel Kayano (w), Fortitude (cushion-w)
Saucony ProGrid Omni
New Balance 928, 990,1260 (volume)
One last consideration for those that wear functional orthotic device. The design of our devices will vary in prescription and material based on your running style and discipline. A more controlling shoe or higher density midsole may cause the device to increase its function control and possibly reduce shock absorbency. A lot of the running publications provide reviews of new products and emerging technologies which while fun to read may not always be completely unbiased.
It can be complicated and as always if you get stuck we're here to help and again we intensionally do not retail footwear or other non prescription products as we can no longer remain unbiased and does you the patient a disservice in the long run.
Let us know what your personal preference is ( brand and model ) and a little about your style of running and body size.