Category Archives: Running Shoes

Running Barefoot vs Running in Shoes

Running without running shoes had been very popular not long ago however interest in it and the number of runners doing it have decreased substantially. It was a fad which went on for several years and was mostly influenced by social media discourse. This was a short lived trend towards barefoot running which began around 2009 with an increase of interest in running free of running shoes. It was stated in numerous books, websites and magazine content that barefoot running was more natural, that it was a more economical technique to run and that you got a lesser amount of injuries running barefoot. Many runners tried out barefoot running instead of using running shoes and fascination with it peaked about 2013. The sales of minimal or barefoot running shoes furthermore peaked about that time, achieving almost 10% of the running shoe market.

After that initial interest and peak interest in barefoot running and minimalist running shoes were gradually decreasing. Runners lost interest in running barefoot. The sales of the minimalist running shoes have been dropping steadily since about mid- to late 2013. The promoted advantages for it did not eventuate to most runners that tried barefoot running but, naturally, those who publicized barefoot running just are convinced that those runners were doing it incorrectly. When the scientific research was published, the benefits were not just there. All of the running injury epidemiology reports were showing that the risk of injury was the same had you been running in footwear versus running without running shoes and most of the running economy investigations were also demonstrating that generally there weren’t any systematic advantages.

While some runners, that are rather vocal, still do their running barefoot the big trend has now been towards maximalist running shoes with the Hoka One One running shoe being the innovator in that category of running shoes. It has now reached the stage where that brand now outsells the entire group of minimalist running shoes which provides a clear indication of the popularity of cushioned running shoes compared to running barefoot.

New Running Shoe from Asics


Asics is just about the most well-known and widely used athletic shoes available on the market. Like any athletic shoe brand they will continue to innovate to keep that market leading position. Asics currently have a variety of running shoes with different versions to try and meet the needs of a wide range of runners. Each of those versions is frequently updated. Asics recently announced a different model to the range, the Metarun. Not much was initially known about the footwear, simply a taster video clip on the Asics website and a countdown clock ticking down to a launch on November 12 2015. When the clock reached zero a tweet was dispatched by Asics to a video which revealed more details and the web page was updated with more on the running shoe. They are certainly declaring that this is their best ever running shoe.

The Metarun shoe goes against the current tendencies of fewer gadgets and features in athletic shoes, adding several features which have patents associated with them. The midsole, labeled FlyteFoam, is their lightest and most sturdy midsole material. They mention “organic fibers” for the best level of cushioning. The shoe gets its stability from the patented AdaptTruss which is a carbon strengthened adaptive stability product. The “Sloped DUOMAX” is a dual density midsole which is meant to adjust efficiently to dynamic movement of the athlete. The upper features a glove-like, one-layer Jacquard Mesh as well as MetaClutch exoskeleton external heel counter with a built-in memory foam. There’s also a X-GEL hybrid high-tech gel in the midsole to aid cushioning.

Is it their finest running shoe ever? Time will tell. Athletes will vote with their feet after they test the Metarun. There was a bit of discussion in social media prior to the release. These shoes won’t be obtainable until late November plus they are likely to be expensive and just obtainable in restricted release.

The Springblade from Adidas

adidas springblade

The Adidas Springblade athletic shoes are quite a different and strange running shoe. It has only been in the market for about a year to varying opinions. The main feature of the Springblade are, as the brand suggests, individual blades that produce a spring action for both cushioning and energy return to move the runner ahead while running. The footwear was developed over the 6 years and had been put through extensive evaluation for the resilience, comfort, and energy in order that the different versions would fit runners of all types. They just do not match all runners and weren’t actually designed for running long distance which is what some of the critics of the shoes have tried to use the shoe for. They are probably more suited to runs on the track or trails, with shorter runs on the road.

There are various types of the Springblade out there. You have the Adidas Springblade Drive that is created to be there all-rounder running shoe form this range. It offers the ESM-mesh technology which is supposed to help improve the breathability as well as comfort while at the same time staying very conforming to the form of the feet. The Drive is suggested to be the best option for those seeking a more all purpose cross-training shoe and simply want one shoe that addresses all of their requirements. The next shoe in the line-up is the Adidas Springblade Razor which is more firm than the Drive so that it supports the foot better in place. It is devised for runners using the track alot more for faster training as opposed to the road. The last shoe in the selection is just called the Springblade. It is considered the workhorse of the Adidas range. The shoe features a tech-fit upper construction that does trade-off some levels of breathability for further flexibility and comfort. An additional different feature of this range is when you order the footwear through the website, you can personalize it by incorporating personalized reaches.

Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila was a marathon runner from Ethiopia, winning dual Olympic gold medals: Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964. He died in 1973 at the age of forty one from troubles after having a car accident. There’s a arena in Addis Ababa named after him. Google recognized him with one of Google’s doodles on which would have been his 81st birthday on 7 August 2013.

Abebe Bikila

1960 Olympic Marathon in Rome:
Abebe was a last minute substitute in the Ethiopian squad for that Olympics. He had no athletic shoes to run in and Adidas, the official sponsor only had a few pairs left that didn’t fit him, and so he competed in the marathon without running shoes (he previously had been running without running shoes). He won the race in a time of 2hr 15min. After the marathon, responding to an inquiry as to why he ran without shoes, Bikila answered: “I wanted the whole world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.

1964 Olympic Marathon in Tokyo:
Forty days before the Olympics he was operated on for an serious appendicitis and at one stage it was believed that he would probably struggle to take part. Abebe went on to win this marathon in a world record time of 2hr 12min, being the first runner to win two Olympic marathons. Bikila was using Puma athletic shoes in the race (which he also competed in to finish 5th in the 1963 Boston Marathon).

Abebe is an easy to mild heel striker with some midfoot strikes as well. Despite that, he is not overstriding and did break a world record. Bikila is oftentimes held up by the barefoot running community as a idol for running the marathon without running shoes (as well as other elite athletes). Critics of that like to point out that he did compete faster and break a world record when using running shoes.

As part of Abebe’s legacy, the minimal running shoe maker, Vibram FiveFingers have the Bikila model of their range branded after abebe. Early in 2015, the descendants of Abebe Bikila announced they were beginning a law suit against Vibram for registering the ‘Bikila’ name without authorization.

Enko Running Shoes

The new entrant into the running footwear market is an original shoe from Enko. These new athletic shoes from France were first publicized in late 2014 and produced through a crowd funding project at Indiegogo at the beginning of 2015.

This shoe features mechanical spring loaded pieces that are included in the midsole. This particular design provides the shoe with increased shock absorption as well as energy return. This is advertised to help increase comfort as well as performance. The springs are interchangeable and are calculated depending on the weight of the runner. Calculations supplied by the company claim that the gains provided by the shock absorbers in terms of mechanical energy is somewhere between 6% and 14% based on the pace of the runner.

It’s not at all obvious if the shoe will likely be widely adopted at this point, but some issues have been expressed about the structure and how it might impact the lower limb biomechanics.