Lots of exciting developments going on lately.  We’ve got free shoes to give away, a new article on Peaking I wrote for Running Times, and a great podcast on Running Form and shoes I participated in last night.

First off, thanks to Brooks shoes, we’re having our first real give away on the site.  They’ve offered to give a free pair of any Brooks running shoes and shorts to the winner of the contest.  So how do you win the shoes?

Simple. Leave a comment.  I want to know what your ideal running shoe is and where you see the running shoe industry going.  For decades we saw little change in the running shoe, but now we’re seeing several radical new approaches and technologies.  For example, you have many companies addressing minimalist shoes while at the same time Brooks has switched from a standard cushioning to an adjustable cushioning system, which can be seen in the video at the end of this post.  It doesn’t matter how simple or complex your answer is, it will enter you in the contest with a chance to win.  I just want to hear opinions, no right or wrong answers.

What you need to do: Leave a comment about what your ideal shoe consists of and what direction you see running shoes going in the future.  Be as creative and off the wall as you want. Comment on both questions or just one, and don’t worry about the length. Just give me your opinions!  Also, since there are other topics included in this post, you can respond to them too in your comments.

What you win: One lucky winner will be chosen and will recieve a free pair of any Brooks running shoes they want and a pair of Brooks shorts.
Deadline to enter:  Get your entry in by Friday 9/24

Writing and Talking
Secondly, I’d like to point you guys towards an article I wrote for Running Times. In the article I discuss the science and practical approach to peaking.  Scientists and coaches seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to the best approach to peak and I try and look at why this is and what is right.  I think you’ll find the article informative and thought provoking.  I’d like to thank coaches Greg McMillan and Chris Puppione for taking the time to answer some of my questions and help me sort the peaking problem out.
You can find the article below:

While we are talking about shoes, I took part in a great podcast roundtable in which we focused on running form and shoes.  In the hour long talk we covered a whole slew of topics including, how to change form, what keys to focus on, minimalist running, and barefoot running.  It was a great panel with Pete of RunBlogger Joe Garland of the Run Westchester blog, Jason Kehl of the Geeks in Running Shoes podcast, and Mark Ulrich of the Run In America .  It was a great experience and there was a large amount of knowledge passed along by all the contributers.  I highly recommend you taking a listen.  It can be accessed below or on iTunes.

Listen online:


Brooks DNA cushioning
What do you think of this technology?

Get My New Guide on: The Science of Creating Workouts


    1. Tait on September 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Ideal shoe would be a zero drop, minimal upper and light as the wind. Fortunately some players in the industry are starting to give consumers shoes like this and the more diversity we have in shoe choice the better in my opinion.

      Great writing all around Steve – keep it up!


    2. Dan Clark.... Passinthrough on September 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      My ideal shoe would be one with no heel lift. Snug fit around the ankle but with plenty of room in the toe box.

      Dan AKA passinthrough on twitter

    3. Dwayne on September 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      My favorite show right now is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. I think the shoe industry is going to continue to broaden out its minimalist lines and then see where the runners go – traditional or minimalist. Or somewhere in between. Personally I am going to try to get into a little "less" shoe on one of my next few pairs.

    4. runputt on September 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      My ideal shoe would most importantly be light; no need for heavy padding and motion control. Something that I can wear while racing a 5K but comfortable enough to carry me through a marathon. And while we are dreaming, make sure it has enough room in the toe box!

    5. Adam L. on September 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      What I would like to see is running shoe companies take into consideration studies that are conducted by academic research groups, whose lack of bias (hopefully) will better inform them of what designs they should make. Hopefully this will lead to shoes with less stuff going on, because I think we can all agree that the current "thick as possible" heel designs aren't working the best!

      Also, the Brooks DNA stuff is interesting, although I should point out that there were some hypervalent atoms on that blackboard in the middle, and the scientist should have been wearing gloves (I am a science guy, after all!).

      I'm looking forward to hearing the podcast and your future writing! Way to combine two interesting fields on your blog!


    6. Alex on September 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      First of all, thanks for the awesome blog, read it all the time and it is very informative and I appreciate the hard work it takes to write it. The Ideal Shoe…would be easy to break-in and made of a durable material. It would be composed of a light mesh top, short tongue maybe some protection on the sides (leather or some other material) and ideally would be a shoe that can be both a road and trail shoe. The shoe would be able to perform just as well on a trail and on paved roads…I guess a fire road shoe. Also if it was able to drain sweat and water well that would help. The shoe itself would have 0 & 4mm drop. I think that a range could be accomplished by offering 2 different insoles with each purchase to offer diversity and keeping the cost down. The shoe, would appease minimalist runners and entice pending minimalist runners, like myself would not hurt so bad when we ran around.
      The future of the shoe market is going to be determined by blending price and function. There is a lot being done to "fix" runners with the latest and greatest shoe. But the company that succeeds will be the one that keeps the runner running. How? Affordability, Durability and consistency throughout their whole product line over a long period of time. I have a few different shoes myself, my favorite…Rainbow sandals. Although not a running shoe I feel like I am cheating on a friend when I use other sandals or even sneakers. I have worn them since I can remember and they never let me down. Any shoe company that can generate that attachment to a product line will determine not only its own future but that of the market as a whole.

      Alex Mares

    7. Meg T on September 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      My ideal shoe would have a little bit of cushion, but otherwise be stripped of a lot of the technology found in some of the beefier shoes. While I'm not "complete" minimal yet, I do like the shoes with less "technology" in them. I'm loving the Launch right now.

      Right now, it seems like the shoe market is going in a lot of different directions. To the minimal extreme and also to the complete beefier extreme as well. I suspect most runners fit somewhere in the middle and would be happier in lighter shoes, but not quite "super" minimal. But, that's just my opinion about the large majority of runners.

    8. Steve on September 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm


      I'll take a shot.

      My latest favorite is the Saucony Kinvara. Now I'd like that shoe with gore-tex for a trail shoe.


    9. dml on September 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm

      I currently run in cross country flats(Mach11) on some rough trails here in TX, and while I think they're excellent shoes, after about 25miles i'm looking for additional cushion. I think that many shoes will go to a <4mm drop with a little more cushioning. I'd even like to see some type of thin rock plate put in the Mach series of shoes.

    10. Mark U. on September 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Steve – I also enjoyed last night's RRT, and really appreciated your clear and concise explanations. I totally subscribe to your view that it's a bit crazy to think that of all athletic endeavors that running is unique in not requiring any training for an improved form!

      As regards my views of the shoe industry, and where it's going, I believe that there's a large and growing group of runners who like myself have been inspired by the running skills of the Tarahumara Indians accomplishments with a single strip of rubber and a leather strap (as depicted on "Born To Run"), and are intrigued by the whole minimalist running shoe movement. Some of these runners have become injured wearing 'conventional' stability or motion control shoes (as myself in '09 with a tibial stress fracture), others *become* injured through inadequately transitioning to minimal support shoes (such as to the VFFs) while unfortunately retaining their prior over-striding heel-striking form. It is with the latter group of open-minded runners in mind that I believe the shoe industry can make its greatest contributions, i.e. by broadening its supply offerings of shoes such as the Nike Free Run+, Toe-less versions of the VFFs, lighter weight versions of the Newton training shoes, etc.

      Thanks again, Steve!

    11. TriExpert on September 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

      Ideal: sub-6 oz, <4mm drop, fit like a glove and perfectly flexible. Favor at present my 2 yr old Brooks Mach 8 spikeless; Saucony Kinvara for longer stuff on harder surfaces. BF, always, on the beach and on grass!

    12. Grant Boland on September 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Love the blog. Keep up the amazing work.

      My ideal shoe contains software and biofeedback which will help me analyze and correct my stride telling me about my cadence and strike angle.

    13. mo on September 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      I have run in the Adrenaline, Defyance and Launch. I was told for years that I need a stability shoe, and have also suffered many varied injuries over the years. I finally decided to try the more neutral/minimalist approach and bought the Launch and a pair of Newtons. I would like to try the Vibrams too, as soon as I get over my latest aches and pains!
      I dont know what the future is – the trend seems to be strongly towards the midfoot/forefoot strike and shoes that will accommodate that, but it seems trends are usually just that, and the pendulum swings back the other way at some point.

    14. Ivan on September 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      My ideal shoe (as others have stated) is super light (think Mizuno Wave Universe), super breathable (think Nike Zoom Streak XC 2), no heel to toe drop (think Vibrams), and very flexible (think Nike Frees). Of course it has to look really ridiculous too.

      I think the minimalism movement is here to stay and we'll see that in the shoe industry. More and more of the market will be made up of minimalist shoes.

    15. rocky wing on September 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      my ideal shoe . . . (sigh)

      . . . is one that i don't notice at all. one that i get lost in and forget that it's a new shoe. one that allows me just to run and think about running not about the shoe.

      . . . a super flexible sole. i want to feel every bump on the sidewalk, every rock in the gravel, every individual bark slice on the cinder trail.

      . . . light. i hate the feeling of clunkiness, like i'm wearing bricks instead of shoes. at the end of a long run going uphill, this is the worst.

      . . . complete comfort. a shoe that i look forward to slipping on, a mushy cloud of velvety silk.

      . . . if it costs over $100, then it would last longer than 300 miles.

      . . . something that has a smooth, poetic transition whether i'm going uphill, downhill or on a level path. nothing is worse than the slappy shoe, one that you have to work against instead of with.

      i don't really know where shoe companies as a whole are moving towards. i am currently a tester for nike and it seems like they are simultaneously chasing both extremes. from their lunar racers and frees to the (ugh) 360's and shox. though their new line of lunar technology (racer, trainer, glide, etc.) is considerably lighter and smoother than previous air technology.

    16. Morten on September 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      As light as possible, minimal drop from toe to heel, as flexible as possible – all while giving -some- cushioning. But not at the cost of changing the gait from barefoot running…

      We basically want to run as naturally as possible on surfaces that are too hard to actually run barefoot/with vibrams.

    17. RICK'S RUNNING on September 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      MY SHOE
      I want a shoe that fits like aglove!
      I want a shoe as light as a feather!
      I want it to flex with every contour of my foot.
      To have a Zero rise heel.
      To have enough padding under my midfoot so I can run 20 miles without pain.
      I want tread that will grip on road or trail.
      I want a shoe that will last a 1000 miles.
      I want a shoe that lets my arch compress and spring back!
      And finally I want a shoe that is not white or brown :]

    18. Jim Hansen on September 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm

      I have been running for over 35 years and have always done well running in lightweight racing shoes. I have been running with minimalistic shoes exclusively for about 10 years. Now I find out that I need to wear orthotics for functional hallux limitus and that may mean a beefier shoe. I also had a postural restoration PT advise me on shoes with calcaneal support so I have been using Brooks Defyance this summer. That is a total change from my minimalistic preferances. I just want a shoe that can keep the foot and heel aligned so that the rest of my body (hips) doesn't hurt. It is funny at the running shoe store. Everyone else is trying to get into vibrams or other minimalistic shoes and I am going the other way for now.

    19. Jeremy on September 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      Zero Drop, maybe 7 mm EVA, no arch support, less than 7 grams, decent tread, durable materials.

      I think the industry is going more minimalist. I believe that the science that supports this direction will continue accrue.

    20. BP on September 17, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      I believe the running industry is moving towards providing recreational runners more and more diverse options – a great move. What's better is that the industry itself is growing with company's like vibram, golite, and the various new minimalist shoe-makers breaking into the market. Some consolidation will naturally occur as certain trends take off/die and the big shoe-makers earn back larger shares of the market. But in the end, the running consumer will be the big winner.

      As for my ideal shoe – it's tough because I run in several different types of shoes and I like them each for different reasons. But if I had to pick one it would be:
      1. The lighter the better – in no case heavier than 7 ounces.
      2. 0 to 4 mm heel-toe drop, perhaps adjustable (we're talking "ideal" here, right?)
      3. Durable without sacrificing weight.
      4. No toes, but a wide foot box that allows the toes to splay naturally.
      5. thin, flexible, waterproof outsole, with adequate tread/material for light trails and roads.
      6. snug around the ankle and heel that holds the foot in place and doesn't rub/chafe.
      7. minimal upper that breathes but keeps out trail dust.
      8. Minimal to zero "toe-spring"
      9. It wouldn't hurt if it was all black. 🙂


    21. Evan xc on September 18, 2010 at 12:26 am

      my ideal shoe would be:
      1. zero drop
      2. 4-5 ounces
      3.minimal cushioning/support
      4. snug toe box/body

      and for the future of shoes, i think not much will change, but one day we may be able to pay certain companys to make us our own custom footwear

    22. Janine on September 18, 2010 at 2:31 am

      Future of shoes/industry:

      We seem to be in the middle of an evolution in the running industry, and I think that the key word here is research. I see the running industry as changing simply because there is an increasingly strong call for evidence to support claims. People of all ages and walks of life are turning to running as a daily fixture in their lives, and they want to be able to continue the habit for the long haul. It seems like there is a decent bank of qualitative and quantitative work coming out, and I expect to see more of the same….but better with time. To be able to buy a shoe and trust that claims are scientifically based (through actual human trials) would rock my world. To know what to buy because there have been repeated studies attesting to the value of certain shoe/running gear qualities….that would seriously rock my universe.


    23. David Tiefenthaler on September 18, 2010 at 3:10 am

      A cheap shoe with no padding and no funky toe holes like Vibram has. I really like the idea of a running shoe with no padding, but do they have to be so god blessed expensive? How much should it really cost to make a shoe that doesn't have much to it?

      Also, the shoe should be waterproof. Kinda like watershoes that fit really nice, but with no padding. I haven't tried the Vivo Evo shoes, but that is what I mean, except not for $160!!!! Try $50 at the max. Come on shoe makers – BROOKS. Minimalist shoes should be at a minimalist price.

    24. Angel on September 18, 2010 at 3:31 am

      the ideal shoe for me would be light and with firm but responsive cushioning and a low-profile design and little bells and whistles- except that it can tie and untie itself at the push of a button! and the option to have lights flash with every step for night time running safety and fun!
      -angel anguiano

      i believe the running shoe industry will begin producing more minimalist shoes as well as shoes like the ones mentioned above, although i hope they don't for it sounds like a good money-making idea..

    25. Kimberly on September 18, 2010 at 5:39 am

      My ideal shoe would be zero drop, with plenty of room in the forefoot and an upper that lasts forever. My ideal shoe would also be as light as absolutely possible, nothing unnecessary is allowed!

    26. John on September 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

      my dream shoe? less is more in a red/orange color scheme like the brooks launch. this, in my opinion, is the way the shoe industry will/should go.

    27. Matt Sutcliffe on September 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

      My favorite shoe to date is the Nike Free 3.0

      However, my dream shoe would consist of the following:

      -no heel-toe drop, no need for it

      -close to the ground so I can feel it (Like I can in zoom xc streak 2's)

      -extremely lightweight

      -wider toebox (Nike's usually go too thin, Asics are generally wide enough)

      -ultra-lightweight upper that is not sacrificing weight just to put their logo on it.

      -Extremely flexible, I love the feeling of the 3.0's, but it could be even more flexible

      -Good traction, but not sacrificing weight, once again

      -A wide variety of color schemes

      -Not very expensive. I feel like there's no reason for a shoe to cost more than about $75. ex: Asics Piranha ($110). Paying more for less?

      Anyway, that would be my ideal shoe for training. Now the running shoe industry. I feel like they all need to realize that 15 oz shoes with over an inch of heel cushioning is not the way to go. Some shoe companies claim they know that minimalist shoes are better and have made one shoe for it. But they keep their giant bulky shoes and promote those. They have been destroying people's forms for years. It's also been causing a countless number of injuries. Granted, people can run with relatively good form while wearing the bulky trainers. But it's so much easier just to throw your legs out there if it doesn't hurt like it should.

    28. Pete Larson on September 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Great talking with you on the RRT panel Steve! You can leave me out of the contest as I have more shoes than I can reasonably run in right now, but I'm holding out hope that a shoe like the soon-to-be released Altra Instinct (minus about 3-5oz) will meet a lot of the requirements people have mentioned above (and that I look for as well) – zero drop, anatomical shape with wide forefoot, etc. Check it out: http://altrarunning.com/mens/instinct/. I also suspect that Brooks themselves may have something interesting on their production boards…

    29. Orange on September 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      My ideal shoe must be one that reflects the spirit of a 14-year old and that can allow me to go places, run marathons, and sprint.

    30. Anonymous on September 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      They do make shoes that many of you described. Terra Plana vivo barefoot line of shoes (evo, aqua). As well as Vibram Five fingers. All of which I own. Unfortunately, they all look ridiculous, in my opinion. My wish would be to have a shoe for running/walking that truly function as your own barefoot while providing "protection" and not "correction" but to actually look normal and not so out of the norm.

    31. Zach on September 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      My ideal shoe is an all purpose lightweight trainer; something not just intended for racing or speedwork, but can also stand up to longer runs.

      Durability is a must, as is a choice with regards to width. Colour options would be the icing on the cake.

      I see the running shoe industry marketing lightweight shoes more heavily than they have been in the past few years. I think we'll start to see more lightweight shoes being sold at big sports stores as apposed to only being able to buy them online.

    32. Mark E. on September 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      Ideal shoe is a lightweight trainer…Brooks

    33. Mowgli on September 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      My ideal shoe is incredibly light, very breathable (put holes in it if you have to), zero drop, nonrestrictive, customizable tightness (some sort of lacing system or velcro), soft comfortable interior, and has a relatively (depending on roads or trails) thin non-squishy sole which offers protection without sacrificing ground feel and is flexible enough to allow my foot to redistribute weight around any rocks i may step on.

    34. Bess on September 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      My ideal shoe would be lightly constructed, waterproof (or very resistant), and have more thread-throughs on the tongue. Seems that it always shifts when I'm running, no matter what fit I try or how tightly I do the laces and gets uncomfortable. I'm looking forward to more and more minimalistic shoes as well

    35. Mac on September 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm

      My ideal running shoe weighs about 9 ounces, neutral cushioning. I like the direction towards minimal shoes that most companies are going, but would like a more subdued color scheme. I don't necessarily mean whie, but no more bright ugly colors.

    36. Utz on September 18, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      Question A) A great running shoe would be one that has the potential to handle a tough XC season.

      Question B) Shoe companies are obviously going to follow what the consumer demand is. If demand for the vibrams and minimal shoes continue to grow, then more of those shoes will be produced; if consumers enjoy another type of shoe, then that type of shoe will be produced in greater amount.

      Wow, this is a really popular post. 😛

    37. Allan on September 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

      Light, no heel lift, and fits like a glove. Sort of like the Vibram Bikila?

      My only complaint with the Vibram shoes is that if my foot gets wet then the insole retains water and my sole gets "prune" skin. The form fitting nature of the shoe doesn't encourage socks and if you do wear them they have to be toe socks like Injinji's. It would be nice to have an insole that transports water to the outer.

    38. middle.professor on September 19, 2010 at 12:57 am

      Shoe companies need to abandon the under/over pronation model of injury prevention. Shoes should be light and flexible with a range of cushioning and much lower heel drops. No shoe needs to be heavier than 11 oz. The ways shoes flex is important. Inov-8 seems to be leading the shoe industry in this direction. When will a road shoe company follow? The $160 minimalist shoes are a joke. Who wants to pay more for less?

    39. Ach111es on September 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

      The ideal shoe would be essentially like a rubber dipped foot. A modification of the Vibram KSO kinda deal, but no velcro, and more flexible rubber
      -0 drop from heel to toe

      -one layer of a latex or latex like rubber,to pad the foot and prevent bruising. this would wrap the majority of the foot, stretch to fit, glove like.

      -outer layer of very durable rubber, possibly using old tires to be eco friendly. This would only wrap the outside egdes of the foot, as well as the striking surface.

      -separated toes to prevent blisters

      -snug, stretch fit merino wool/bamboo blend upper fused to the outside rubber. Goes above the ankle slightly,wide elastic seam at top with rubber grips inside to grip the skin.

      -ideally a custom fit last to build the shoe around, but the latex will allow flexibility with the fit.

      -reflectivity on the heels for visibility

      This shoe is not only the perfect minimalist design, but is eco-friendly and made with renewable resources.

    40. Eva on September 19, 2010 at 3:12 am

      what is my perfect shoe? Hmmm…

      I'll take a racing flat, any racing flat, but with a toe box that doesn't make me feel like i should have one less toe!

      The shoe industry is going to start recognizing that the body needs to move the way it wants and will start to produce more shoes that don't try to 'fix' what isn't 'broken'…

    41. Daniel Weston on September 19, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Lets face it Brooks and other major trainer making companies are always improving their trainers with every model based on sound research and the SAC system is awesome. However what I would like to see on trainers is a bit more funkiness. The option to choose the colours, flashing lights, changing colour based on the heat etc.

    42. DumpRunner Matt on September 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      Surprised at all the Zero Drop comment. IMO, that is a recipe for disaster.

      Slight drop, light upper mesh with vents across the narrow direction of the foot, quick drying material. An optional 'Winter liner' for cold days. I still think there is too much material in shoes- I would like to some idea of trusses incorporated into shoe- minimal amount of material but still keeping the strength.

      I think some shoes with a sensor in them to analyze foot stike (heel, mid or forefront) would be a HUGE sell although I wouldn't buy them.

    43. Alex on September 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      I'd love an affordable shoe that was made for mid-foot strikers. I don't need the heel to be build up with a much thinner forefoot. I'd love to have some of that cushioning be placed where I impact instead of weighing down my shoe and not getting much use under my heel.

      I really hope some section of the market would go toward shoes of this nature, but most joggers heel-strike, and that's where the money is.

    44. Dave on September 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      My ideal shoe is currently evolving…I've been running in the same kind of stability trainers I was fit into 20 years ago. Recently I've been changing how I run (apparently like just about everyone else) and have been trying more neutral/minimal shoes. The one thing I'm sure of is that I want a lot of durability.

    45. John on September 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      I'm hoping to transition to a more minimalist shoe. As a heavier runner, I have been running in massive ASICS Gel Kayano – in a 2E width for my wide feet. Looking to find a minimalist shoe that will fit and give me more feedback to correct departures from optimum form…

    46. Boom547 on September 19, 2010 at 10:10 pm

      My ideal running shoes would have a nice, breathable upper, a roomy toebox, and plenty of cushioning for my arch, as well as a little remote control that would let me instantly choose the pace I wanted to be running at. They would be lightweight and flexible without sacrificing any cushioning, and maybe two small rockets on the side to get me over those tough hills. While we're at it, they would look pretty darn cool, too.

      Of course, over the past few years, I find that the shoe industry has gone against every thing above listed. We are getting lightweight, flexible shoes with hardly any cushioning, and we don't even have a single rocket.

    47. Zach on September 20, 2010 at 4:23 am

      Something lightweight and inexpensive. I like to feel the ground a little (not so much on technical trails) and that are a little narrower that the average shoe. That said, I have not been running long enough or tried different enough shoes to know what would be ideal.

    48. Dan Stoner on September 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      Shoe should be shaped like the foot… so many shoe designs squeeze the toes together. The foot is longest at the big toe or 2nd toe… the shoe should be cut the same way.

      Zero-drop or near zero-drop.

      Lightweight and no socks needed.

      Durable and washable.

      Least amount of "stuff" (e.g. cushion) between the feet and the ground as possible.

    49. Aaron on September 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      I like the direction the shoe industry is going, and I hope they continue on their minimalist/reduced shoe tack.

      My ideal shoe would be something akin to a racing flat, but with a wider toe box. It would need to have a zero drop or 1-2mm drop maximum with very little cushioning to get in the way. It would also need to be inexpensive. These days, it is really hard to justify paying anything over $65 for running shoes.

    50. marathonmaiden on September 20, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      my ideal show would require no breaking in period and feel sooooooo light. also: waterproof! i live in new england and run through snow and i have yet to find a shoe that keeps my feet warm and dry!

    51. jvruns on September 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

      My ideal running shoe would: be neutral and responsive; not too cushioned, especially under the heel; have a sockliner that I wouldn't mind destroying (I cut out the bottom 75% to accommodate a 3/4 orthotic); be durable, too – I can barely get 250 miles per pair; and finally, have a bangin' color scheme complemented by the mud, track residue, and grass and blood stains I add to them.

    52. Ben on September 21, 2010 at 2:11 am

      Well I suppose the ideal shoe would be quite minimal. Zero drop of course and about half a centimeter of EVA. While I do enjoy the toe independence that comes with Vibrams, I don't feel it's necessary. So probably some toe protection like a closed toe sandal would have and a lightweight upper like the VFF KSO's. Definitely laces for adjustable fit (VFF Speed).

      As for the running shoe industry, I feel it is doing the same thing it always has – expanding with regard to consumer demand. Recently much more of that demand has been related to minimalist shoes, of which I am a fan. However I feel that not all the average runners going out for a few miles a week are interested in this. As a result, the classic trainer will still maintain a significant place in the market. Meanwhile, there will be an increase in odd-looking minimal shoes.

    53. Greg White on September 21, 2010 at 3:47 am

      Agreed: my ideal shoe would have the cushioning of the Glide BUT with a thin sole–say, 6mm–with no drop, and a lot of stability in the upper while coming in at under 8oz. Oh, yeah, and a wide toe box with a super flexible sole.

    54. Ewen on September 21, 2010 at 6:14 am

      A shoe that you're not thinking about.
      Light weight, small drop, wide in the forefoot (in two widths – normal and wide), 'some' midsole cushioning, durable rubber where it contacts the ground, not too high on the achilles but padded, breathable mesh upper that's durable, good grip.

    55. Ethan on September 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      I'd like a low weight, flexible shoe that lets me feel the road, low/small drop, a sturdy enough outer that I won't blow through the tread in 100 miles.

    56. Nick Pang on September 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      I want to see Brooks make me an ideal shoe:
      lightweight (8oz or less)
      4mm or zero drop differential
      wide toebox
      cool looking colors
      Brooks technology and reputation

    57. rjsmerigan on September 22, 2010 at 2:17 am

      Over the past few years, I've jumped back and forth over between traditional stability shoes (Mizuno Inspire / Brooks Adrenaline) and posted light weight trainers (Mizuno Elixer).

      Most recently, I've jumped on the Saucony Kinvara bandwagon. I have a pair with about 40 miles on them and so far I am happy. At first, I was hesitant to go too long in them. I just did a 10 miles in them last night. They felt great, but the transistion to a mid-foot strike definitely works the calves more.

      I'd like to see more options for shoes in this category between a racing flat and a stability shoe. Shoes that are light weight with enough support, so you feel safely do a long run.

      From a non-performance perspective, I strongly believe the running shoe industry needs to take a note from Brooks and their BioMoGo technology, and start developing and implementing more environmentally friendly materials in to their products.

    58. Blaine Moore on September 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      My ideal shoe depends upon what I'm doing and where I'm running. I'll often run barefoot or in my huaraches if I'm going for a short and easy run just to reinforce good running form (I do this once or twice per week on a recovery day or an additional workout.)

      For longer or faster runs on trails, I'll want something flexible but with an aggressive tread to keep me from slipping.

      For longer or faster runs on roads, I'll want something relatively lightweight and it doesn't need as much traction.

      I've found that shoe companies are going for a more "natural" approach (apparently, minimal is becoming a bad word to use, and some of these new shoes aren't really minimal anyway.)

      For example, the Newton line is designed to prevent you from heel striking and to stretch out your achilles and calves, and the Saucony Kinvaras are very lightweight and have only a tiny heel/toe differential, but are still so cushioned you are way up off of the ground.

      The Inov8 X-Talon 190, on the other hand, also has a minimal heel/toe differential, but has almost no cushioning and any height you get from the ground is almost all devoted to the spaced out lugs to give you traction.

      As for where the industry is going, it will go more towards this "natural" niche for another year or two, and then it will just remain a niche product and the main focus will again be on building up the shoes. The industry seems to go in phases like that.

    59. Joseph on September 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

      Brooks is very close to my ideal shoe with the Green Silence. I could go for just a bit less drop, but I love the weight and the fit, and even the crazy colors.

    60. rana on September 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

      heeey, I want my running shoes to be
      – Light, no need for any resistance caused by shoe weight
      – Minimal cushioning, I want to feel how my foot is interacting with the ground, although i had one puma pair where running on trail was painful!! so for trail running, i want some protection, still minimal.
      – Big toe box, sick of losing nails !!
      – Good lining, no blisters please !!!

      I used adidas adizero PRO for a while, i like it, but the toe box is a bit small, and i like less cushioning

      ASICS Piranha SP 2 is great, soooo light, so far this is my favorite shoe until now.

      I got me a Vibram recently, only ran twice with it, so maybe it is too early to say. But I love it so far, i did one long run with it, and it was enlightening 😛 I sprained my left ankle so many times, and I went by the book and did all the rehab thingys and the balance exercises, and I thought I was doing fine, but running with the vibram made me realize I have absolutely no balance in my left leg!! my left foot goes left and right when it lands on the floor. The second time I trained with it, I did sets of 200s, and I was 2 seconds faster !!! I even notices I started spreading my toes wide when I run 🙂 🙂 so maybe the future should be heading somewhere in the vibram direction ….

    61. Daniel Bryan on October 3, 2011 at 1:25 am

      There is a science in choosing your running shoe. According to my podiatrists, each person's foot is unique and thus we have unique needs for shoe structure.

    62. Cazzy on June 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      I think in terms of materials you are not going to get much more in terms of revolutionary concepts. Softer, more impact resistant etc will continue to happen with decreasing margins.
      I see running shoes evolving in two directions. The first is naturally technology. I am running with an app powered by an iphone and currently it takes data from gps, a heart rate monitor and perhaps a foot pad. By placing a reactive mesh into the shoe with precise gps foot pods apps could be designed to take this extensive information to help evolve your gait to prevent injury, to run faster and to provide the information to an outside person such as a coach.
      The second evolution will be into shoes which cater for your running ideology rather that genetic foot strike. The huge surge in popularity towards the 'bare foot' style shoes and 'low support' style shoes will mean that shoes will look to support values rather than simply offer more protection depending on your foot roll and strike.

    63. Vaibhav Gautam on August 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      What kind of shoes are better for training? And for racing? For everyone i recommend

      1. The shoes should be light, so that their weight didn't deteriorate the feeling of the foot as a part of the leg. It means that the feeling of the foot wouldn't differ from the feeling of the whole leg, psychologically. Biomechanically it may affect the foot transfer in space and time: its speed, acceleration, and trajectory, which could all be deteriorated by heavy shoes. We can deliberately use heavy shoes for some special occasions of strength development, but not for a long time, and surely not permanently.

      2. The shoes should have thin soles, with no cushioning at all. It reduces the weight, but this is not the main reason. First of all, it allows you to develop a very precise, refined feeling of interaction between the foot and the ground, while landing. Obviously, it is impossible to do this through a thick shoe sole. In a movement, when every hundredth of a second counts (the time of support in best runners is 0.15-0.20 sec.), the support time is a crucial thing for neuro-muscular coordination. When the signal for the foot to touch the ground reaches the muscles and makes them prepare for landing, it's already too late. And cushioning here is the factor which deteriorates timing and as a consequence, running technique, by increasing the time of support and due to this, loading of joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

      Second, a thick sole and cushioning increase the possibility of pronation or supination, if the runner has a tendency to it. Hence, it leads to injuries, and we'll talk about this separately.

      Third, in Pose Method landing occurs on the ball of the foot, not on the heel, so the thick shoe heel structure doesn't make any sense. Even more, it reduces the freedom of the heel, and ankle movement and decreases the calf muscle stretching elasticity effect.

      Therefore, i would recommend light weight shoes with thin soles, some racing flats meet these requirements.

    64. Anonymous on May 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      1. To me the main thing about a very good running shoe is the inner sole, a sole that can with stand the weight of the runner as well as give comfort and help reduce the shock to the arch and the ankle joint.

      2. The shoe must have a good break on the bottom of the shoe, most running shoes limit the break to one or two make a running shoe with three breaks along the bottom and it will help the runner in a longer run.

      3. Light weight shoes are good for running in certain areas, give the runner who runs off the beaten trail a good grip along the bottom and make the shoe affordable for everyone.

    Leave a Reply