The trials of trainers

Posted on February 12, 2012


Perhaps because I now have as many trainers as Imelda Marcos has shoes full stop, I’m constantly asked by others what they should buy … and no wonder, my last trip to adidas HQ, my super fun shopping trips when I literally scour the aisles with my scanner, left even me exhausted with the sheer amount of soles up for grabs.

The technology that goes into these shoes is pretty incredible but I admit too much talk of mid soles and materials, cushioning and cambrelles, can also at times induce sleep in a nano-second.

Personally, I’m a staunch devotee of Cushion Response … I wouldn’t wear anything else to run in. I think of Cushion Response for running in the same way as the world thinks of coke for cola or ketchup for tomato sauce. As for gym going and general cross-training, the only real criteria are shoes that look hot and feature pink, black, anything shiny or a sexy combo of all three.

But back to choosing running shoes …

There are few people I know who have truly discovered the perfect shoe for them, who never get blisters, who feel as comfortable in their trainers as they would in their slippers … so about time, you find the right pair that rectifies that.

To control or to cushion …

adidas, breaks their running shoes into two main categories: control and cushion.

Control shoes are also commonly called stability shoes.  They offer a blend of support and cushioning for the person who needs a bit more motion control and has a tendency to overpronate or run on the inside of their foot.  This is the most common type of running shoe because the majority of people either have low arches or normal arches both of which cause overpronation.  Control shoes offer support on the inside of the shoe. Think the AdiSTAR Ride, AdiZero Boston and Supernova Glide shoes.

Cushioned shoes offer the least support along the inside of the shoe however they, as the name implies, offer the most cushioning. If you run on the outside of your feet, underpronate or have high arches then this type of shoe is what you’ll be looking for. Think AdiSTAR Revolt, Supernova Riot and AdiZERO Adios.

The adidas website is a great tool to get you started:  you can choose from men’s or women’s shoes, why you run, where you run and then your motion mechanics or how you run.  The site gives you a short list of shoe suggestions which you can then go try on in a store. Easy!

Make sure you wear the same socks you plan to run in and pay attention to any slips or rubbing you might feel.  Make sure also that the shoe fits not only the length of your foot but also the width.  You should always get half a size bigger to allow for swelling and to protect your toes.  The alternative of course, is a distinct lack of toenails.

Remember that running shoes that fit your BF with perfection need not necessarily be perfect for you. Don’t think either that you need pick the most expensive pair in the store. What does count is your foot shape, running style and the type of running you do.

I think finding the right trainers for you is a little like finding the perfect pair of jeans.  It can be time-consuming and even downright heart breaking at times but there is the perfect pair out there for everyone and when you find it, you will want to buy in the masses and hoard them in your bedroom.

But fear not, because when it comes to adidas, that pair with your name on it won’t suddenly disappear season after season … it just gets replaced with a same but different pair.

Same levels of comfort.

Same ‘fit like a glove’ ability.

Different (improved) technology.

And guess what?

Different colours … which means you then might need treat yourself to a few new tops that match.

As if you ever need an excuse anyway!

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