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Racing Flats//Any recommendations? (Read 1084 times)

    I'm looking to find a good pair of racing flats to primarily use for 5k (and possibly longer) road races. I'd like for them to be very lightweight but I don't want to feel like I'm running barefoot on the pavement either. Does anyone have any recommendations for me? On a side note, I'm very partial towards Asics and am currently looking online at the Asics Gel-Ohana Racer, Asics Gel-Hyper Speed and the Asics Gel-DS Racer. That said, I suppose my racing flats really don't HAVE to be made by Asics as long as they're good shoes to wear for a race.
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Oh gee, this is a toughie.... I currently use a pair of Nike's that I found at a discount place. My wife calls them my Spider-Man shoes (she's funny like that). They are quite light, with a decent level of cushion. Unfortunately, I don't the model, and I've never seen them anywhere else. That being said, when I was younger I wore the waffle racers all the time. I've met people who swear by the Nike Free.
        It's pretty much a matter of fit and what you like. Since you train in the GT-1100's and Kayano's you will probably like the DS Racers. They are slightly posted. It's been a couple of years since I bought a pair of flats but I'll be in the market before Spring. In the past I've had good luck with the Brooks T4 Racers, Nike Air Streak Spectrum and the Nike Air Streak Ekiden (which are pretty much the same as the spectrum but with less goofy graphics.)

        Runners run.

          A slight high-jack (sorry), but this might be the place to ask: At what point is it worth it to get racing flats? I mean - is there any point in someone still running a 22:00 5-k getting flats? Would it actually make any difference in race times? A couple more: do you wear flats in longer races (HM or more)? Is the advantage just the weight? Modified to add: and what is the deal with Nike Frees? (I sound like Jerry Seinfeld). Just wondering - I hear about them constantly, and was curious what's so special.
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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          Scout7


          CPT Curmudgeon

            At what point are flats worth it? Probably about the point where you feel you're willing to buy them. I would say that you could get a pair of lighter shoes just for racing, without them being specifically called "racing flats", that you wear only in races. This is kinda what I do. My racing flats I wore for my marathon. But, they are more cushioned than a standard racing flat (i.e. the waffle racers), so I wasn't hurting too bad. Some people like the Free's because they say it mimics running barefoot, while still protecting the feet. I tried them on once, but didn't buy them. I don't think they'd work well with my personal running style.
              I agree with Scout, flats make sense as soon as you feel its worth buying them. It seems to me the factor should be how often will you wear them more than how fast you are. If you race a lot, or if you will wear them for workouts as well and will get a lot of wear out of them, then its worth it. I think flats will generally save you 3-5 secs per mile. It is basically all due to weight, but (and maybe this is jus psychological) I feel that the added flexibility also allows me to run faster. I have generally worn my "racing" flats in races up to HM, but I also used to train in beefier flats (Nike Pegasus Racer) and ran up to the Marathon in those. They were called racing flats but I always considered them lightweight trainers. As I get fitter and start racing more, I'll wind up actually doing a lot of training in flats too. I've never tried the Frees but the concept is interesting. I think there is some value in running barefoot to strengthen your feet and lower legs and those are supposed to be as close to barefoot as you can get without actually being barefoot.

              Runners run.

                A slight high-jack (sorry), but this might be the place to ask: At what point is it worth it to get racing flats? I mean - is there any point in someone still running a 22:00 5-k getting flats? Would it actually make any difference in race times? A couple more: do you wear flats in longer races (HM or more)? Is the advantage just the weight?
                To be honest, I used to run low 16s for my 5ks and I'm hoping to get back into the 17s on a consistent basis by the end of the year. Thus far, I've only just begun to build up my base with little to no speed work to speak of as of yet. Whether it's possible or not remains to be seen, but I've always worn specific shoes for racing only. In the past it was either spikes or waffles. The whole racing flat is new to me since I wasn't big on road racing back in the day. To answer the second series of questions, I've never actually run a race longer than 10 miles before. That may also change by the end of the year, but I'd like to take things one step at a time. No need to shoot for the stars before I've reached the moon, right? The weight of the shoe is definitely one big advantage (at least in my mind)... the other advantage I would get from wearing flats is knowing that I'm equipped to race. If I'm running a race in the same big cushy shoes that I train hundreds of miles in, I feel like I'd be more apt to fall into a comfort zone and could potentially slow my pace as a result. Having lighter shoes that feel fast on my feet will help to keep me in the right mindset. Thanks for everyone's feedback so far! It's definitely given me a couple of additional shoes to check out. I've read good things about those Brooks T4 Racers and they are the lightest pair out there I think. Hey Mike, are those things really under 6 ounces?! That's less than half the weight of my Kayano's!
                  I never weighed the T4's but they are definitely light. Probably the lightest shoes I've worn. And they don't seem to have any less cushioning than any other flats--maybe even more than some.

                  Runners run.

                    I've used a Puma Sprint as a flat shoe for doing my intervals and hill training and never had an injury with them. I suspect that with racing flats you'd want a firm, snug, flexible shoe without much of a wedge or posting. The ASICS Racers don't work as well for me as the Pumas.


                    Jeri from Houston

                      I currently have the ASICS DS Racer VII, Hyperspeed, Avia Avi Lite (lightweight trainer) and Spira Stinger. I have raced in all of them and have no particular favorite