Monday, September 19, 2016
As we get into fall, many people are putting the final tweaks on training and gearing up for race season! Finally! A lot of runners have been racing all year long, but autumn is when the temperatures start to be a little more runner-friendly and more often associated with faster race times. If you’re thinking about trying to cut those extra 10 seconds per mile, a racing flat should be something to consider.
Deconstructed from traditional training shoes, racing flats are much lighter and snappier off the ground than a typical everyday mileage running shoe. In addition to not weighing you down, the firmer feel underfoot will provide a quicker feel on push-off. The combination of things can translate to faster times on the roads. Some flats will feel a little more reduced and lighter for the shorter events (5k or 10k), while others bridge the gap between trainers and racers best for longer distances (half to full marathon). Of course some people will prefer to use all different feeling shoes for different distances, so it’s all about what works best for your body. Our distance recommendations for each shoe are based off what the general consensus about the shoes happens to be. But again, find what’s comfortable for you.
- Nike Zoom Streak LT 3 “” Many of Nike’s professional track athletes make an appearance on the road scene as well. This is their go-to shoe for events like the 5th Ave Mile and the Carlsbad 5000. The LT3 is incredibly lightweight with a forefoot zoom air unit to spring you forward. It also has enough protection to make for a solid cross-country flat on a dry course. Note: Unisex sizing. Women should go down 1½ sizes for converting.
- Saucony Type A6 “” For those used to a track spike, this might be one of the closest conversions for the roads. The Type A6 provides a solid underfoot feel, allowing you to connect more with the ground as you glide over it. Flexible and firm, this shoe was made with lightweight materials that hug your foot to feel like there is nothing there.
- Asics Gel-Hyperspeed 7 “” With a crazy cushion-to- weight ratio, the Hyperspeed is one of the more versitle flats on the list. The extra pad helps you take this shoe farter but also manages well for a little extra protection for harder pounding those shorter races.
- Mizuno Hitogami 3 “” Sometimes used as a daily trainer for efficient runners, the Hitogami doubles as a wonderful distance racer. The firm midsole and soft upper combine for a very lightweight but durable package.
- Hoka Tracer “” The name of this shoe is literally derived from combining the words “˜Trainer’ and “˜Racer’. That being said, this low to ground feeling shoe has some extra stiffness to take pressure off the muscles of the foot in the later miles. Still in Hoka-like fashion, we are getting lot of cushion, weight reduction and forward roll we have come to expect. Now we just get these things in a proportionally reduced package! Note: Fits very narrow.
- Asics DS Racer 11 “” The DS Racer is a versatile shoe for all kinds of distances. This shoe provides extra medial support for those athletes that overpronate and want a shoe to help keep them a little more stabilized. There is a bit of a stiffer feel underfoot but that will assist the stability post in correcting the body’s excess motion. This shoe boasts that classic narrower Asics fit we know and love.
- Saucony Fastwich “” The Fastwitch has a lower, 4mm heel-toe offset encouraging a more forward footfall. Spending more time on the ball of the foot, and with the assistance of the built-in stability post, will help to keep your stride efficient whether it is for 3 miles or 23 miles. There is a little more padding underfoot than the DS Racer, but still a similar weight.