As I revive my column and enter the world wide web, I can’t help but think of a suitable first topic other than the basics of health and fitness. I have been in the sports industry since early 2003, and over the years I have seen how this sport has grown and how endurance sports made an impact on our overall health and fitness. This brings me to share my experiences and knowledge on both the technical and practical side of this fast-moving industry.
I truly believe that knowing the foundations is critical in any endeavor. Having a jump start is important to get anyone off the couch and hitting the pavement in order to achieve greater peaks in life.
The first part of this article is about technology and technique. We’ll break down what makes the perfect fit and how science can make us a better runner, be more efficient and less prone to injury. Shoes have come a long way! Now, they come in all forms, loaded with technology for all sorts of technical purposes that leave us mortals bewildered and confused. The search for the perfect fit is more than length and width—it is a combination of the traditional and the modern approaches, the latter of which accounts for the foot type, analyzing the foot when it goes through movements.
Some of us will pronate, or tilt inward from the center of the foot on each stride. We generally call this pronation, and shoe brands have universally adopted this. Most serious running shoe brands incorporate this in their models. Modern running shoes are now so specific that each pair is designed for a specific purpose, and knowing how to distinguish one from another is critical. The evolution of technology applies to every facet of life. The basics of the prefect fit can be summed up in three points:
1. Length and width of the foot. Make sure to put an inch to or an inch and half allowance as the running shoe on a static position is stretch and curled up on an active state and size is more important on the active state which make it smaller when its moving. In short, buy an upsize . When in doubt ,buy a bigger size. Remember the shoe must fit you not the other way around. Advancement in shoe technology made “break in stage” obsolete when is fits now it will fit tomorrow.
2. Matching foot type and shoe type. To start this, you must know what active foot type you belong . They come in threes: you’re either a neutral, which means 50% of your foot pronates inward—neutral arches. Overpronators are those with over 50% of the pronation tilting inwards; these are people with low-to-flat arches. Lastly, underpronators are those who have less than 50% pronation, or those with high arches.
3. Matching skill and activity level to shoe technology. This is like coffee; years ago, it can either be black, with milk, or with sugar. Now, like with coffee, we now have a wide range to choose from when it comes to shoes: from training to racing trail; to road and barefoot; forefoot runners, midfoot runners, and heel strikers. Every imaginable terrain and technique each have a corresponding shoe with the technology to match, claiming to maximize your physiology and technique. Shoe Reviews
I take a look at the Nike competitor pack, designed for fast running. Each shoe is ultra-responsive, taking inspiration from the fastest athletes in the world.
Included in the pack are the following:
Nike Zoom Odyssey – Stability shoe equip with dynamic support platform that slows down the rate of pronation to provide a more stable ride. Heel cups provides enhanced lock down of the foot.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 – Responsive cushioning from air unit technology located in the fore foot to provide for faster feedback better pro prioception. Give a fore to mid foot responsive ride.
Nike Zoom Pegasus 32 – Highly responsive air unit from heel to toe, with crash rails under the foot that acts as a cushioning device to help smooth every ride
All models are made of breathable fly mesh, with the Nike Flywire cable system that enhances support and comfort. I tested each shoe on a 5k route using the same effort.
I am a neutral runner who runs on a pose technique, which makes me run mostly on the mid-to-forefoot. My strides are shorter, but there’s a quicker turnover.
Nike Zoom Elite 8 – Felt the air unit on the balls of my foot. It gave me a spring that I have never felt in other shoe brands before. The fly knit upper was in deed breathable and seamless. Down side is it’s a bit heavy for a me.
Highly recommend to runners that strike on the front part of the foot, a good 21 to 42 k shoe with no issues with pronation
Nike Zoom Odyssey
Felt the support all through the run highly engineered shoe provides the right technology for all of its claims. Has more room in the toe box, fly knit mesh provides for a more free movement and breathability
This shoe is perfect for runners with pronation issues and runners with bigger built as it has wider toe box and heel to arch area. The heel cups played a vital role as well in keeping the foot stable in every stride
Nike Zoom Pegasus 32
The air units and pressurized internal fibers provided a cushy heel to smooth out the transition from heel to toe. But again I run a technique that focuses the strike on the mid to fore foot area. The Pegasus felt a bit high for what I am used too.
The Pegasus is perfect for traditional runners that strike on their heels and the higher profile of the heel make is familiar to the runners of this discipline.
As with all shoes, it’s important to know the technology and compatibility of each so you can match what you would need. But if you’re new to running, it’s best to consult a competent running shoe specialist. He or she can help you identify your foot type and narrow down your shoe selection, so you can have a safe and memorable run each time you suit up!
A natural adventurer and pioneer, Patrick aside being a level 2 International Triathlon Union coach have been in the endurance industry since 2003 through various facets from coaching, events management and currently the editor in chief of multisport. founder of Fondo Manila a cycling tour company and Jumpstart a sports and health provider.