1234

Light Weight Trainers/Racing Flats? (Read 1497 times)

Julia1971


    I tried finding information on this on my own, but am not coming up with much except a page in Pfitz...

     

    What makes a runner a good candidate for a lighter weight shoe and/or racing flat?  And, what are the negatives on making the switch?  (For the second question, I gather it's much the same as barefoot running - need to acclimate or risk injury - but would interested in other insights/experiences).

     

    I ask because I ran an interval workout today and during the hard sprints, my shoes (Gel Nimbus, which I've otherwise been very happy with) felt kinda clunky on the landings so it makes me wonder if a lighter shoe is in order.

     

    Thanks in advance!

    You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
    Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      But but but . . . wearing 'heavy' trainers in training makes me feel super fast at races when I put on my expensive racing slippers!

       

      I was told by the local running store that the differences are just arch-support and how long they last.  If you have neutral support shoes and don't mind buying 2-3x the number of shoes per year, then a switch is conceivable for you.  At least that's what they told me when I asked.

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!


      Feeling the growl again

        But but but . . . wearing 'heavy' trainers in training makes me feel super fast at races when I put on my expensive racing slippers!

         

        I was told by the local running store that the differences are just arch-support and how long they last.  If you have neutral support shoes and don't mind buying 2-3x the number of shoes per year, then a switch is conceivable for you.  At least that's what they told me when I asked.

         

        Well, this has not quite been my experience. Flats have less cushioning and a lower heel. The cushioning difference you will feel if you run in them enough. The heel drop can cause Achilles and calf issues if you don't acclimate yourself to it. I have been doing workouts in flats and easy or longer runs in flats for over a decade. By doing this I can race up to a marathon in flats with no calf issues. However I am considering trying one in a bit heavier shoe as the pounding does get to my quads the last few miles. I did try doing more runs per week in flats at one point but it cause me to need extra recovery and reduce my mileage so I stopped. Also, I find that the slower I run the more pounding I take in flats. I can wear them for a 13 mile workout mostly sub-6 pace no problem, but an easy run that long in flats is actually harder on my legs. My stride is just different in flats and it feels smoother moving at a faster pace. I would recommend trying flats for shorter tempo runs first and make sure you feel no Achilles or calf problems. Then add them for intervals. I say intervals second because adding them to your fastest work first may increase the risk of injury to your lower leg. Then gradually use them more until you find your sweet spot.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

        Julia1971


          The heel drop can cause Achilles and calf issues if you don't acclimate yourself to it.

           

          This is the part that concerns me. Last fall after a race, I was talking about random running stuff with the woman who finished 1st or 2nd overall and she said she loved them but can't race in them often because she tends to get injured when she does.

           

          I could always try experimenting with them.  And thanks for the tip re tempos first then intervals.

          You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
          Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


          Feeling the growl again

            This is the part that concerns me. Last fall after a race, I was talking about random running stuff with the woman who finished 1st or 2nd overall and she said she loved them but can't race in them often because she tends to get injured when she does.

             

            I could always try experimenting with them.  And thanks for the tip re tempos first then intervals.

             

            Even a 10k in them used to hobble me. After only a few months of doing workouts in them, I never got sore anymore. As the old saying goes, don't do anything in a race you haven't done in training. This applies to shoes too. There are always exceptions but I bet a lot of people who think the shoes injure them just haven't done their homework in acclimation.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

            Julia1971


              But but but . . . wearing 'heavy' trainers in training makes me feel super fast at races when I put on my expensive racing slippers!

               

               

              So, it's actually noticeable, huh.  I like the idea of feeling faster if I can't actually be faster.  Wink

              You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
              Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight


              I'm back!

                Not all flats lack cushioning and have low heels. I ran my first 100 miler in Saucony Fastwitch 4s, technically racing flats. They are quite cushioned and have a high heel, but are only 8 oz in M11.5. (I do go to a lighter shoe for marathon or shorter.) Unfortunately the Fastwitch 5 does have a much lower heel. I suppose I am going to have to adjust at some point. My calves will not be happy.

                xor


                  Ok. 

                   

                  Note that "heel drop" and lessening (aka flattening) the difference between heel height and toe is the current Big Thing in running shoes. Previous thinking led to shoes with drops of 10-12mm.  My trusty Adrenalines have a drop like this.  Heck, one of the newer "lightweight" shoes... Brooks Green Silence... also has a pretty severe 10mm drop. And Brooks encourages these for racing. Because they are light.

                   

                  But you will also find more and more shoes with drops of 8mm and 4-6mm.  And then the true "zero drop" shoes like Altas and some of the NB Minimus, etc.  Some of these are considered racers, and some really kind of aren't.

                   

                  I think what I'm saying is that some shoes that some of us consider "racing flats" aren't really flat.  (and which some would say "yes, those never were true racing flats anyway; go check out track shoes and cross country shoes") and some shoes that are flat may or may not be good for racing.

                   

                  Wee.

                   

                  The Adidas "AdiZero" racing shoe... says zero right there in the name... has a 9mm drop.  It is also pretty lightweight as shoes go (<8oz) and that's where the zip comes from.

                   

                  Anyway, that's just commentary on the drop stuff. Regardless of any other aspect of the shoe, if you start running in shoes with a lower drop than what you are used to, caution is advised.  Ease into it.

                   

                  The lightweight nature is a big deal.  But, as noted, the lack of cushioning can be ouchy.  More to the point, they may not be nearly as durable. That can add up if you are a high mileage runner.

                   

                  Side note: have you ever looked at the price of cross country shoes... both spiked and spikeless?  You can get these from runningwarehouse in spring for, like, 20-30 bucks.  So I invested 20 bucks in a pair of Saucony Kilkennys to see what the difference was between these and the current wave of spendy minimal trail shoes.  Not sure I know much yet, but I will say this.  From the perspective of a middle age dude who never ran track in high school: holy shit, they fit tight and weird.  "Slipper" ain't lyin.  And I'm scared I'm going to turn an ankle if I hit a rock at an angle.  But they sure are green.

                   

                  Side note to the side note: you can get them cheap in spring, I guess, because it is like w/ cars.  You are buying old inventory from the previous model year.  If you check runningwarehouse now, you will notice (at least on the mens side) not nearly the choices that were available 2 months ago.  I suspect that more will be coming out just before fall. And WONT be 20-30 bucks.

                   


                  I'm back!

                    I think what I'm saying is that some shoes that some of us consider "racing flats" aren't really flat.  (and which some would say "yes, those never were true racing flats anyway; go check out track shoes and cross country shoes") and some shoes that are flat may or may not be good for racing.

                     

                    FWIW, the "flat" in racing flats actually refers to the fact that they don't have spikes, not to the proximity of the foot to the ground.

                      Julia Try the Green Silence. They are wonderful! You still get a 10mm heel to toe drop with no more than 7oz. I am gushing over this shoe and only wear them for races with no issues! Incredible shoe and best racing shoe I have ever had. You will notice the difference!

                      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                      xor


                        FWIW, the "flat" in racing flats actually refers to the fact that they don't have spikes, not to the proximity of the foot to the ground.

                         

                        Not just proximity of foot to the ground, but also the heel drop... which may not totally relate to distance from ground.  Hokas are the prime example.  The moon shoes have a fairly low heel drop (Bondi is something like 5-6mm) but your foot is nowhere near the ground.  NOBODY, of course, thinks of Hokas as "racing flats" but lots of folks don't realize that they have a fairly low drop because we're conditioned to thinking low drop = minimal shoe = something like barefoot = close to the ground.

                         

                        The problem is that people not already experienced in such matters think that flat means flat and given the current Big Thing in running shoes, this gets very cloudy.

                         

                          Doing 200s in the Asics Nimbus?  Yeah that would feel clunky.

                           

                          Definitely try some racing flats.  Wear them in a few workouts before racing in them and build up the mileage you do in them at first.  But yeah you will notice a difference and my guess is you will feel faster in them.

                          Runners run.


                          I'm back!

                            Not just proximity of foot to the ground, but also the heel drop... which may not totally relate to distance from ground.  

                             

                            Yes, that's also what "flat" doesn't actually refer to.

                            Julia1971


                              I'm hoping my Local Running Store can guide me through the actual shoe selection.  I looked some of the shoes you all referenced and it's hard to know the difference between them by sight.

                               

                              I am a relatively high mileage runner, so that may be a concern.  Initially, I wasn't thinking I would log most of my miles in the lighter shoe.  Maybe just shorter races and speedwork.  But, I guess that's something else to figure out.  Today, it felt like I was sprinting in platform shoes or something.  Like there was too much distance between my foot and the ground.

                               

                              Great advice.  As always.

                              You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                              Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                                Sidestepping the whole discussion about heel-toe drops, midsole thicknesses, cushioning, and whatnot ... did the Nimbus feel clunky because they were bulkier/less flexible for really quick running?  One difference I felt right away with Adidas Rockets was that they are far more flexible shoes.  Yeah, lighter and a little less drop ... but they didn't feel anywhere near as restrictive as the stability shoes I was training in at the time.

                                 

                                More than the weight loss, I think the close fit and (relative) lack of any restriction is what made them feel so "fast".

                                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                                1234