Best Running Shoes For Men and Women Are Not Quite Perfect
The Best Running Shoes for men and women depends upon three factors: The Activity, Your Foot Health, Your Fashion Tastes. Let Us Help You Choose The Best.
By now it seems that manufacturers with the help of technology and the input of avid runner both men and women sould be able to create the perfect running shoe. But in 2017 it seems that even the best running shoes for men and women are not quite perfect.
What Are The Basics For A Perfect Running Shoe?
The parts that make up the design of a good running shoe include the upper, the mid-sole, the out sole, the heel counter and the tongue. Other mention able parts include the lining, collar, toe box and cap, the vamp, and the eyelets and eye stay.
The upper must be made of material that breathes keeping the foot cool and dry, provides flexibility and pliability yet gives lateral stability by holding the foot in place and ideally projects foot location to passersby with its reflective materials. Even the newest of materials does not always provide the best breathe ability, comfort, flexibility, stability, and reflect ability for the foot. Ideally genuine leather used with a mesh material provides sufficient breathe ability; however the seams created when joining the material together can be troublesome.
The mid-sole must be made of a material that absorbs shock and provides cushion. The firmer the mid-sole, the more structure, more stability and weight the shoe maintains. The softer the material the faster it wears. Both firmness and cushion are needed to support the foot during pronation of a natural gait and guard against twisting.
The out sole must have tread for traction, grooves for flexibility and a firm closed layer to protect against dirt and rocks. The more durable to material the heavier it is. The lighter the material the more flexible and less durable it is.
The tongue must be long enough so it does not slip below the shoe laces and cushioned enough to protect the laces from rubbing the top of the foot. A loop on the tongue allows the laces to weave through and keep the tongue in place.
The laces must be thick enough to stay tied, yet not too wide so they are difficult to tie.
The heel counter must be firm and thick enough to cradle the heel and arch. A good firm counter helps lock the foot in the shoe and anchors it to the mid-sole.
The sizing and width must be carefully planned because no one has the same sized foot. Both too loose and wide and too narrow and tight of a fitting causes blisters.
The style must inspire the runner. Runner like to turn heads with the style and color of their shoes.
Which Running Shoe Parts Are Impressively Almost Perfect?
The best running shoes get better and better each year. Thanks to manufacturers who listen to input from avid runners. In 2017 all of the popular brands have best running shoe parts that are nearly perfect.
The New Balance Zante 2 is so comfortable; the cushioning is very good with just enough for the long distance runner and responsive and snappy enough for the short distance runner. It is also excellent for the speed runner. The outer mesh design is simple and durable without multiple layers of welded materials. Color preference accommodates the runner because it comes in several color variations
The Nike Lunaepic Flyknit mid-sole causes the runner to become all absorbed with the act of running. It enhances a natural stride. The mid-sole is just right – not too plush and cushioned and not too stiff. Flexibility is retained in its responsiveness. The style and color turns heads. In fact if you prefer another color pattern Nike encourages you to become creative in customizing the looks.
The Saucony Kinvara 8 rolls smooth and comfortable. The extremely durable and resilient EVERUN mid-sole supports enhanced energy return and cushioning for the short, long and marathon distance runner. In addition, the toe box is roomy preventing the worry of constraint and the internal strap system embraces mid foot support.
The Hoka One One Hupana mid-sole and out sole material is dynamite. The RMAT is responsive, cushioned, and resilient for short and long runs and holds up well. In fact its comfort, style and coloring make it a natural all around shoe. Do your workout, shop around town; and then go for a short run all in one shoe.
The Salomon Sense Pro2 uses an OrthoLite insole material that has been tweaked to a nice responsive comfortable shoe suitable for running, marathons, races, training and even provides good cadence over rough terrains. Its unique gusseted tongue provides a nice elastic fit and naturally grips to your foot when slipping into it. In addition the style and color are awesome if you are partial to blue and black like I am.
The Altra Lone Peak 3 innovation is found in its waterproof NeoShell upper which protects from the outside moisture elements yet provides inside breathe ability to the foot. The all-terrain crusher provides good grip with its MaxTrac out sole white providing good traction with its Trail Claw lug design. The sizing is good allowing for toe movement without excessive volume and a heel counter that fits nicely.
The Sketchers Performance GOrun 5 parametric web out sole pods are comfortable and wonderfully spaced to reduce weight and give additional flexibility. Even a few nubs on the outskirt of the sole give aid for cornering on wet surfaces. Its light weight aids a trainer for a marathon by giving the feeling of being fast. No runner will be missed with the reflective detail.
The Brooks Pure Flow 5 is known for its even well-rounded fit because it has no seams or parts. In addition, it feels comfortable for long day training and running because the DNA LT mid-sole cushioning is very snappy and dynamically adapts to every step and stride with less weight and the out sole grooves provide plenty of flexibility where it is needed the most – the fore and mid foot
The Mizuno Wave Hitgami innovation is found in its cloud wave technology in the mid-sole which provides a soft comfortable run. The overall fit is comfortable with an upper that is extremely light and seamless except for the tongue and heel counter, a heel counter that locks your foot in place yet allows it to breathe, a nice wide toe box which gives the foot a feeling of stability when on the ground, and an out sole of rubber with is stable in all weather conditions found on running surfaces.
The Adidas Adizero Boston Boost is known for its responsive boost cushion which provides comfort and energy return on even a long distance runner. Its trademark Torsion system which provides arch support that allows the forefoot and rear foot to move independently for better surface adaptation and stability and its Continental Rubber out sole which offers better traction on includes and W3ET weather conditions.
The Inova-8 Terraclaw works well for the short distance runner. The out sole is awesome because it is made of both soft and hard rubber which grips in a variety of conditions. The foot bed, which is nice and roomy, is well-built with surrounding synthetic canvas like material which is super durable and fairly breathe able.
As you can see, the above shoes have a lot to offer the avid runner.
What Is The Weakness Of Top Brands Almost Perfect Running Shoes?
The New Balance Zante 2 is heavy. Even though the upper has a new mesh design which is very durable, it adds weight. In addition, the tongue is comfortable, the additional padding contributes to the weight. The inner sole is thinner to decrease weight, however it is not as comfortable. The tongue loop for the laces was taken away to decrease weight; however there is nothing to hold the tongue in place which is a necessity.
The Nike Lunaepic Flyknit is too narrow in the toe box and the platform causing stability issues. The lateral of the shoe is super stretchy and fairly elastic which when cutting or making sharp turns causes the foot to slide on the inside which really cuts down on the ability to get lateral support in the shoe. The out sole including the pods are comprised of lunar lawn material which has cut-in ribs and grooves which become easily lodged with rocks.
The Saucony Kinvara 8 two locking devices for the laces midway up are in the way. The rollover material above the heel counter bends over when putting the foot into the shoe; it is not strong enough to stay up. The mid-sole material is responsive but not super absorbent and cushioned for the long run.
The Hoka One One Hupana does not conform to the foot well. The heel tends to slip out of the heel counter. The medial and lateral mid-sole is too stiff even though it is thicker and heavier which causes another issue – that of retaining moisture. Unlike most of the other brands, the outer appearance is drab since it only comes in black and gray.
The Salomon Sense Pro2 is wider throughout which helps those with wider feet, but its fit is not precise for anyone. The upper starts fraying quicker than most competitors running shoes where the netting meets the lateral. The nobs are not real deep therefore footing is lost in wet muddy conditions.
The Altra Lone Peak 3 has durability issues. The mid-sole wears down too quickly causing the cushioning and spring to dissipate. The upper material is weak which causes break through holes on the side and fraying. In addition, even though the sole is comfortable, a rock plate decrease the feel of rocks when present.
The Sketchers Performance GOrun 5 lacks snappy responsiveness even though it gives the feeling of being fast. As for durability, the sole pods wear faster because they are not high quality rubber and there no leather in high wear areas. In addition the tongue is not long enough for the laces to cover comfortably.
The Brooks Pure Flow 5 is difficult for a wider foot to wear because the fore foot is narrow and the 3DFIT tightly knitted upper has no give to it. The tongue is not comfortable either even though the top is made cushioned, the underneath is stiff plastic. In addition there is nothing to hold the tongue in place because there are no loops in the tongue for the laces which also allows the tongue to fold under.
The Mizuno Wave Hitgami mid-sole is made of U4 IC (EUPHORIC) does not hold up well. Fortunately this material does not go all the way to the front of the shoe otherwise these shoes would really feel harsh to the runner. Another irritant for the runner in these shoes is the laces which are not gripping. Even with double knots they do not stay closed. The coloring of these shoes will not turn heads.
The Adidas Adizero Boston Boost upper is not well built for durability. Even after only one hundred miles of running, the stitching comes out; the heel cuffs peel, the tongue wears through; and the little toes want to pop out. In addition the manufacturing material and techniques used are not state of the art. The welded overlays are not utilized well and because they are highly stitched down every stitch can be felt with a thin sock. As for weight, they are not super light and they are narrow in the mid foot and toe area.
The Inova-8 Terraclaw mid-sole leads to discomfort because it is tightly compressed which makes it feel harder with little cushion. In addition the mid-sole is thinner which causes the foot to feel rocks and other objects. One other challenge these shoes cause for the runner is that it is hard to keep the laces tied. The laces are rounded and super thin with little grip.
The above information reveals that none of the top brands of running shoes are perfect. In fact, more weaknesses were revealed that the average runner would expect.
So Which Brand Version Is The Perfect Running Shoe?
By now you are probably concluding with me that there may never be a completely perfect running shoe. With all of the feedback from serious runners I would expect that at least one running shoe designer manufacturer would have made the perfect shoe. But to date none of the brands running shoes have all of the parts of a perfect shoe.
I am proposing the perfect running shoe be a combination of the best of each of the above shoes. So which parts would be taken from which Brand?
The upper would come from New Balance Zante 2 because it is very simple and durable without layer upon layer; it is cushioning for even a long distance runner and responsive and snappy enough for the short runner. The upper waterproof protection would come from Altra Lone Peak 3 with its NeoShell which can both breathe and provide water proofing. The reflective markings would be from Salomon Sense Pro2 to protect the early dawn and after sunset runners. The tongue would be from Salomon Sense Pro2 because of its length and latches. The laces from New Balance Zante 2 or Nike Lunaepic Flyknit would be used because they are wide enough and have enough grip to stay tied. The heel counter would be from Altra Lone Peak 3 because it fits nice. The insole would be taken from the Salomon Sense Pro2 since it provides responsive comfort even over rough terrains. The mid-sole would be from the Nike Aunaepic Flyknit, New Balance Zante 2, Saucony Kinvara 8 , or Hoka One One Hupana because they are dynamic, roll smoothly and comfortably, enable the runner to forget about the shoe and focus on running and embrace mid foot support. The toe box from Saucony Kinvara 8, Altra Lone Peak 3, or Mizuno Wave Hitgami would be utilized since it is just the right size to allow the toes to move without too much unused space. The out sole from Hoka One One Hupana, New Balance Zante 2, Mizuno Wave Hitgami, Adidas Adizero Boston Boost, or Inova-8 Terraclaw would be used since it does not show signs of wear quickly, is stable in all weather conditions when on the ground and its grooves and crevises do not easily pick up unwanted ground objects. The fashion color would be taken from the New Balance Znate2, and the Nike Aunaepic Flyknit for those who want options and the Salomon Sense Pro2 for those like a blue and black combination.
All the running shoes mentioned above are good. Buying and trying any of them will bring satisfaction; however it is good to evaluate and make comparisons from time to time and hope the manufacturers continue to make great innovative changes.
As we all know new versions of the above mentioned shoes are already appearing on the market. Let us hope the manufacturers are making improvements to the weak elements and continue to enhance the good elements.
What Do You Think?
Though there is some universality of choice in the feel and looks of a shoe, there are differences of feel and opinion when it comes to evaluating which shoes parts are best. Difference of preference is why each of these manufacturers have a very large sales volume every year.