Monthly Archives: October 2010
Happy Fitness Friday friends!
This week is a continuation of our running shoe talk from last week. Click here if you missed Part I.
Today we are delving into how a running shoe is constructed + differences between popular brands.
I could ramble on all day about the little differences in fabrics, cushioning, and construction. But for brevity’s sake, I will stick to the basics. Things that stick out between brands and make a difference in how they fit your feet. In case you are wondering how I know all of this, I work in a specialty running store where I analyze gaits and fit people for proper running footwear. It’s quite interesting once you get into it!
We will start with my ole’ faithful…
I’m really starting with this one because I found this wonderful picture of the shoe construction. The upper is where the most fabric is. Usually some sort of mesh. The sockliner is removable in case you want to insert an orthotic. Everything between the top and outsole is called the midsole. This is where each brand uses their own “technology” for cushioning and support.
Most shoes will include the name of their technology in the model name. For example, every Saucony shoe is called a Progrid because they use a solid tennis racket-like plate for cushioning (and springy-ness). A lot of people will come in to my store asking for Progrids, but they are technically all Progrids. What differentiates the models is the level of cushioning and support they provide for a neutral runner, pronator or supinator. The above model is the Omni 8 and among the most popular Saucony in the stability category.
Also worth mentioning is that companies bring out new models every year. Sometimes they upgrade the shoes, other times they just change the colour. The older model of the above shoe would have been the Omni 7. That’s the purpose of the numbers!
Additional notes on Saucony
They are often made with a wider toe box.
People will often comment that they feel “flatter” on the bottom, or “more stable”
- Asics uses gel as their main cushioning technology. Every Asics shoe is called “Gel + Model Name.”
- Asics uses asymmetrical lacing with the idea that it laces up along the main bone on the top of your foot (you can really see this on the Kayano pictured above)
- Asics are comparable to Sauconys in that people who like one usually like the other. Most common comments are that the Asics mesh is a little more breathable and they feel more “cushiony.”
The above Asics Gel 1250 are the best selling running shoe in North America. They’re a stability shoe for a mild to moderate pronator, which means just a bit of arch support. A little more cushioning than the cheaper 1150 model. They use the same numbering system – the previous model being the 1240 and so on.
- My current running shoe!
- Nike uses a plate technology for cushioning, which is just a simple plate in the midsole.
- Nike Air models use gas-filled plastic membranes inserted in the sole for cushioning.
- The new Lunarglides offer what they call “dynamic support,” claiming the level of support changes with each foot strike as you need it.
- Notorious for running small and being narrow. People usually have to go a half size up in Nikes.
- Other Nike running technology includes the Waffle series which uses a waffle cushioning and grip on the outsole. Said to be based on an old track coach who used his wife’s waffle iron to create cushioning in his runner’s shoes.
- Uses the Wave technology for support.
- Claim that “the wave” better absorbs the impact of running, whereas a flat cushioning disperses the impact evenly along the midsole. The wave also better keeps the midsole from collapsing.
- Known for being a little narrow, very light, and a little extra cushioning in the forefoot.
- Brooks has started using what they call DNA cushioning. They use individual molecules connected by strands to create chains.
- Noticeable tip up at the toe to propel you forward when running. Because of this, they do not make for a good walking shoe.
Use foam and N-ergy materials which have no empty air spaces for additional shock absorption.
- A notoriously wider shoe.
- Funky ribbed shoelaces that are supposed to keep from getting loose on long runs.
Have your eyes glazed over yet? :P
Really, the most important part of picking a running shoe is determining what kind of running gait you have. From there, it’s all about what brand of shoes fit your feet best and how much cushioning you prefer. Personally, I’m starting to prefer lighter shoes. That’s why I made the switch from wide and cushy Sauconys to more foot-hugging, flexible Nikes.
It’s also worth mentioning that you want to go up at least half a shoe size for running sneakers. You need the extra space at your toes for the forward motion of running, plus your feet are likely to swell more than in your every day shoe.
Got any running shoe questions? Send them my way! There are a few from Part I that I’ll be answering in a post soon :)
Yo! Long time no blog. I’ve been working extreme hours and hanging out with my mommy. I’ve barely touched the my computer all week. Much to my dismay, my mom returned to New Brunswick today. But not without meeting some of my blogger friends first!
Karen and Morgan! Two of my No Limits Canada partners in crime ;) Karen is in town visiting family and doing wedding stuff. I haven’t seen her since June when we were climbing mountains together in Banff!
Morgan is a bagel pro and advised me to get the marble bagel.
It was so nice to catch up with my bloggie friends! We chatted about travel and half marathons. Karen just completed her first this past weekend!
Of course, it was made even lovelier by two wonderful ladies.
Moms! My mom and Karen’s mom tagged along. What good blogging moms they are too, they put up with our picture taking and even snapped a few photos for us!
Even though I’ve been spending all spare moments with my mom, I have been dragging her out around town. I’m working on a freelance assignment on fruit stands in the city and got to play around with my camera.
Local and cheaper than a farmers market. I love fruit stands. Best budget-friendly find in Toronto so far!
And with that, this busy bee is off. I’ve got a full Thursday on tap so I won’t be back until Fitness Friday. It’s gonna be a good one. All about running shoe brands. See ya then!!
Question of the Day: What’s your favourite way to have a bagel? A true Canadian, I will always love my everything bagel with herb & garlic cream cheese from Tim Horton’s. Don’t hate!
Remember when it was the weekend??
While Toronto may be a go-go-go city throughout the week, I love the pace it takes on over the weekend. Families emerge in their neighbourhoods with a more friendly and relaxed manner.
Let us bask in the weekend once more with a Sunday recap, shall we?
Sister Sara and I are doing a half marathon together!! Completing a half marathon was actually one of my 2010 goals. But it got sidelined once I decided to move halfway across the country. Now it will be accomplished in May 2011 with my big sis at my side! I think it’s the perfect goal for both of us to have right now and will be a fun bonding experience :)
We spent 4-ish miles chatting about our future half marathon and other things while running along my favourite lakefront trail Sunday morning. We’re lucky enough to pace similarly and are currently maintaining the same mileage base. Should be a fun adventure!
After working up an appetite running, Sara, my mom, roommie and I all hit up a local joint for Sunday brunch.
Pulp Kitchen has been on my “to-visit list” forrrever! They’re a vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a juice bar.
That waitress totally called us out for being East Coasters for talking about Joel Plaskett and Jill Barber. Ha!
I treated myself to a Chunky Monkey shake made with chocolate soymilk, banana and espresso.
Roommie Megan got the Cocoa Berry shake with chocolate soymilk, strawberries, banana and ginko biloba.
Megan’s was awesome, but I enjoyed the caffeine boost in mine!
Mom got the PK sandwich with crispy tofu, avocado and cilantro dijon mayo. She said she enjoyed the bread and crispy mayo.
Sara got the blueberry waffles. I tried a bit, but we all agreed mine are better ;)
Finally, I got the stewed beans and bangers with homemade vegan baked beans and veggie sausage. This was so filling! I appreciated that the beans were made in house and not canned, but now I totally want to try making this at home.
After brunch we wandered around the ‘hood poking our heads into all the antique and vintage clothing stores. I also brought Sara to get the best cinnamon buns in Toronto. I’m not joking here folks. And I’m something of a “connoisseur” on the subject.
These come from Sweet Bliss Baking Company on Queen St East. I first tried one in August and it was love at first bite. I held off on this day though. Instead I had a few bites of the blueberry scone which was also nothing short of amazing.
I want one so bad! Someday… When I’m no longer a vagabond…
Sunday finished off with a wonderful dinner at my aunt Heather’s place. She made a chicken chili (breast, not ground, yum!) topped with sour cream and an amazing olive bread. I had way more bread than pictured. Holymoly.
My mom’s mom, aka my Nana, had several siblings. Thus, my mother has even more cousins. All of which she is very close with. I’m not sure if her cousins are technically “aunts” and “uncles” by definition. But they’re as good as that to me!
Ahh… the weekend seems so far away now. But even after working 15 hours today (yes, I did) I was still able to find just as many joys. Here’s to a fabulous work week!
Question of the Day: What is your favourite weekend activity? I love exercising on the weekends then treating myself to a big meal (or beer!) after. And of course, exploring new spots in this city of mine :)