The buzz is loud. Minimal shoes, while still making up a small portion of running shoes sold, have exploded in the marketplace, increasing in sales by 1,800 percent in the past two years.Some people wonder whether the minimalist movement should have a youth brigade. Is it something we should be experimenting with, avoiding or mandating? While I can't give definitive answers for each child, I can provide some details on physical development during childhood and how footwear might influence that development.Before we debate the merits of minimal shoes vs. protective shoes (with or without flashing lights and built-in squeak toys), we should discuss normal physical development. The alignment of your kids' limbs changes over the years. A lot. When they pop into the world, they've been crammed inside a space smaller than a basketball. Obviously they're weak and nowhere near capable of supporting themselves in standing against gravity. Soon, though, they begin to improve their strength and … [Read more...] about Shoes For Small Fry
Cushioned low drop running shoes
If you look at current running shoe offerings, you won’t see much evidence that minimalism and barefoot running were white-hot five years ago. Most midsoles are high and plush, and even many racing shoes have stability features.One tenet of minimalist shoe design, however, has become widespread—a relatively low heel-to-toe drop. That’s the difference in the combined height of the midsole and outsole where the back and front of your feet sit in a shoe. Maximalist shoes, such as nearly all Hoka One Ones and most Altras, offer plenty of cushioning, but do so on a flat platform. Many other manufacturers have also retained minimalism’s emphasis on little to no difference between heel and forefoot height (while still offering other models with a conventional heel-to-toe drop of 10-12 millimeters).According to minimalists, one benefit of a low or nonexistent heel-to-toe drop is reduced risk of injury. Shoes with a large drop encourage severe heel striking, it’s … [Read more...] about Does a Shoe’s Heel-to-Toe Drop Matter?
By Warren Green & Ray Fredericksen, M.S.Gone are the days of having to break in a new pair of running shoes. Thanks to new lasts (the foot form around which a shoe is constructed) today's shoes are narrower in the heel and broader in the forefoot so they fit a wider variety of runners' feet out of the box. Our 350 wear-testers noted these changes after we had them run in the following 27 shoes for a month. While every model went through these real-world tests, they were also scrutinized at the RW Shoe Lab--where we pound and prod hundreds of shoes to see how they perform. Runner's World is the only publication in the world that tests shoes this way.VIDEO: Watch as Brand Editor Warren Greene reviews the award winning shoes in this guide.MOTION-CONTROLBEST DEBUT: Adidas AdiFusion MC We Say: Thanks in part to a new last with a roomy midfoot, this new shoe from Adidas was well received by our testers. It's one of the softest motion-control shoes in this guide, according to RW Lab … [Read more...] about Fall Running Shoe Guide 2007
By Warren Greene and Roy Fredericksen, M.S.No matter how many features a shoe has, if it doesn't fit your feet properly, you won't run well in it. That's why shoe companies obsess over the shape and design of their shoe lasts the way runners obsess over mile splits. This year, almost every company adjusted its lasts to better fit a larger group of runners. Next year, they'll probably tinker with them again.To test the fit and performance of the latest batch of shoes, we had 350 wear-testers in San Diego; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and East Lansing, Michigan, run in them for a month and give us their feedback. Then we mechanically tested every model at the RW Shoe Lab, where we punish hundreds of shoes to see how they perform. Runner's World is the only publication in the world that tests shoes this way. Our goal: to help you find the best shoe for you.MOTION-CONTROLNike Cesium 2 We Say: The Cesium uses a heel wedge angled three degrees outward to keep the foot to the outside and prevent … [Read more...] about Winter Running Shoe Guide 2007
In the quest to avoid injuries, runners leave no stone unturned. Consider sticks and foam rollers; massage and chiropractic (and many other therapies); stretching and strengthening; anti-inflammatories and various supplements; diet and hydration.But the most common and most-hoped-for injury savior is shoe selection. Surely, there must be a running shoe that exceeds all others in its injury-prevention qualities. Or so many runners would like to believe.Unfortunately, research reports indicate it’s not that easy. The single best injury-prevention shoe hasn’t been identified yet. A recent study reaches the same conclusion about one of the newer shoe types: cushioned, zero-drop shoes, which have the same heel and forefoot height with plenty of cushioning underneath. “We found that overall shoe drop was not associated with injury risk,” wrote a team from the Luxembourg Institute of Health.This doesn’t mean that zero-drop shoes cause running injuries. It … [Read more...] about Study: Zero-Drop Cushioned Shoes Show No Difference in Injury Rates
Nike’s new LunarEpic Flyknit, which launches today, is like nothing you’ve seen in running shoes before. From the sock-like upper that stretches well past the ankle to the outsole that resembles a topographical map of a range of low hills, the LunarEpic breaks new ground.But the designers at Nike want to make sure you know this shoe isn’t all flash. The technology embedded into the DNA of the LunarEpic, they say, is there to make this a serious, performance-driven shoe.To see if that’s the case, Nike gave Runner’s World an exclusive opportunity to run in the LunarEpics for several weeks before the shoe’s release. Here are our first impressions.Vanishing-Fit UpperStepping into the LunarEpic is easy and intuitive, like pulling a stretchy sock onto your foot. The hold on the foot is smooth—so smooth it doesn’t feel quite tight enough. Nothing binds or grabs, and you don't notice any pressure on your foot. You particularly miss the … [Read more...] about Exclusive First Run: Nike LunarEpic
M 8.7 oz; W 7.3 oz WEAR-TEST REPORT This model could be called the Faas Ninja, given that it is such a quiet ride, other than the amplified volume of the bright colors. Our test team enjoyed the flexibility, lack of weight, low heel drop and fluid transition of these stealthy trainers. In cushioning they were divided: The Faas 350 lacked adequate cushioning for heavier runners, while those who run at more rapid speeds found the softness of the midsole compromised their turnover. Yet some Goldilocks testers were thrilled with the "just right" level of cushioning for "cloudlike" performance. The fit of the 350 was uniformly applauded as socklike and seamless, thanks to the supple materials.SIMILAR MODELS IN PERFORMANCE: Saucony Grid Type A5, Brooks T7 Racer, Newton MV2, Nike Free 3.0 V4, Reebok Racer ZSIMILAR MODELS IN FIT: Nike Free Run+ 3, inov-8 Road X 233, Mizuno Wave Elixir 6 … [Read more...] about Training Shoe: Puma Faas 350 S
"Okay, gang, follow me!" And with that simple command, Danny Abshire—all five feet, six inches of running-shoe showmanship—takes off through the streets of Boulder, Colorado, with 40 or so runners of all sizes and shapes and PRs following behind. Most of them don't know each other, or the man they're trying to keep up with. The only thing they have in common is the shoes on their feet, and for that they can thank this fast-moving salesman. At first glance, the shoes look like any ordinary trainers, except for the flashy neon color schemes. But those attending this Saturday-morning running clinic soon realize that the Newton—as the shoe is called, and which Abshire first started developing 20 years ago—is nothing like what they've previously worn. It weighs about a third less than a conventional running shoe but is not—as Abshire likes to point out—a so-called "minimal" shoe, the kind with the barely there sole. While Newton's heel-to-toe pitch is … [Read more...] about The Shoe Believer
Running shoes are on a diet. Over the past 2 years, the slimmed-down barefoot and minimalist sneakers have found their way into nearly every shoe store thanks to the popularity of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run and a 2010 Harvard study that touted barefoot running’s forefoot strike and its low impact on bones and joints.But injuries are rising with shoe sales, says podiatrist Marybeth Crane, a foot and ankle surgeon in North Texas. “I’d say that 85 percent of my patients get injured trying to transition to the new shoes.”The problem for those trying it isn’t the shoes, though, but weak feet and poor form, according to emerging research.Our ancestors’ way of running—landing on the forefoot—produces almost zero impact on joints and bones, the Harvard study found. Researchers videotaped runners on treadmills landing heel first and forefoot first, and measured the ground reaction force of each footstrike. They found landing … [Read more...] about Should You Run Barefoot?
Salvador, our amateur guide and Semipro Mariachi singer, is throatily butchering something about a bra-full of bad news named Maria when the song suddenly dies in his mouth. His eyes are fixed on a big, red Dodge pickup with smoked-black glass that just burst through the dust ahead on this dirt gully of a road. "Narcotraficantes," he mutters. Drug runners. Salvador edges our truck as close as he can to the crumbly edge of the cliff on our right and stops, granting the red pickup every bit of road he can spare. No trouble here is the message he's trying to send. Just minding our own, non–drug-related business. Just don't stop. . . . Because what would we say if they cut us off and came piling out, demanding we speak slowly and clearly into the barrels of their assault rifles, while we explained just what the hell we're doing out here in the badlands of Mexican marijuana country? We're not federales, we'd have to stammer, or under-cover DEA. We're not searching for … [Read more...] about The Men Who Live Forever