How To Choose A Run Racing Shoe | Running Shoes For Your Next Triathlon

– Just like you’re training
and preparation would vary for different types of race and terrain, so should your running shoe. Now, it’s common to see
athletes spending huge amounts of money on their bikes, trying to make them more aerodynamic, shaving off weight, etc. But for a much smaller investment, having the right running kit, and specifically the right running shoe, can see significant gains in your race. Now with so many options on the market, I’m going to look at
various race scenarios, and what shoe would best
suit which situation. (upbeat music) Before we go any further, I
am aware that you might only have one pair of trainers that
you wear day in and day out, irrelevant of the type
of training session, the weather, the terrain, and the thought of having a second pair might sound rather extravagant. Well, just hear me out a moment, because having the right
type of shoe for the right situation, can give you massive gains, especially when it comes to racing. I’m not actually going to
be addressing what type of support you might need for your specific personal gait in this video, but if you are buying a brand new trainer and you don’t know where to start, we’ve made a video to help you with this, that you can find in
the description below. Now, the first thing you need to do, is work out what type race you’re going to be running in most regularly. Because realistically, you’re
not going to be able to have a running race
shoe for every different type of distance or terrain that you’re going to be running in. It gets a little bit expensive to justify. If, for example, you know
you’re always going to be racing in 70.3 half
Iron Man distance races, then the choice becomes much easier. Well, I’m going to be covering different race scenarios and then you can work out what sits best in the
middle ground for you. (upbeat music) Weight and cushioning are
probably the most significant differences between a training
shoe and a racing shoe, and it’s about finding that happy medium. Now, research does show
that you spend more aerobic energy the heavier the shoe. That said, the heavier the
shoe, the more cushioning, but then, the more cushioning, usually the less energy return you get. If you look at the pros
racing the ITU circuit, over the sprint, and Olympic distance, they’re all going to be wearing what is known as a racing flat. (upbeat music) So, this shoe is designed
for those who want to have a light weight shoe and
prioritise that over the need for support. Now, the average running flat
comes in at around 150 grammes. Although, as you can
see, these aren’t mine, they are Mark’s so they’re
probably going to be slightly heavier in this huge size. But compared to an average trainer, that weighs around 250 grammes. For this distance of 5 or
10K, speed is everything, and that includes your transition. So you can actually get
tri specific race flats that will have an inbuilt
type sock that’s designed to prevent, or at least reduce chafing, so you don’t need to wear a sock with it. And some will even have a loop on the heel so it’s easy to get them on, or an exaggerated tongue
with a hole in it, where you can put your
finger through to help you get your shoes on that bit faster. Well, whiles we’re on the
topic of speedy transitions, it’s probably a good time
to address elastic laces. Now, as you can see, Mark’s
actually got elastic laces here in his flats, and
this just allows you to be able to get your shoe
on really quickly without worrying about getting
your fingers in a twist as you’re trying to quickly do
up your laces and tie a knot. With that said, you don’t
need to have elastic laces for all of the distances, because
the longer the distance becomes, the less
significant transition is and maybe comfort and
having that exact support becomes a little bit more important. So, it’s up to you to decide
when you want to transition from elastics up to normal laces. The final point on
shorter distance racing, your gait is likely to look very different than what it would in a marathon
at the end of an Iron Man. Now, your form is likely
to be much better, so you’re not going to require that same cushioning and support. And the reactivity of a racing flat will make sure that you
get that energy return back up from the ground that you need to feel good and feel fast. Right, where is that other shoe I need. (upbeat music) The half Iron Man, or
middle distance races do, unsurprisingly fall into middle ground, not just in distance, but
also in choice of shoe. So, if you look a the pros, you will see some of them
running in racing flats, and then you’ll see others
wearing slightly more supportive, heavier type shoe, and it really does come down to personal preference. But if you look to the age group field, the majority will be
wearing shoes that offer a little bit more support
than a pure racing flat would. There are actually shoes on
the market that are designed to fall exactly into this category. So that’s somewhere between a racing flat, and a training shoe, and it’s
actually this type of shoe that I choose to use for the 70.3’s that I did last year
because they are lighter than your normal trainer, but they do offer more support and cushioning than a racing flat. As you move to this distance,
remember the triathlon, you’re going to be more fatigued than if you were running just a pure half marathon and as a result, your gait will change and your likely to start to move towards
more of a heel strike. So, that’s when you will
want to have more cushioning, just to help absorb that extra shock. (upbeat music) If you’ve entered an
Iron Man distance event, then you’re going to need something pretty supportive and cushioning, that’s going to look after your feet for 26.2 miles of pounding on asphalt. Now, when we look at the pros, it’s when we start to
see quite a spectrum, because you will see some that have huge thick, mid-sole cushioning,
with lots of support, and then others will be
racing in something more like the previous shoe that we looked at. And then if you look at the
professional marathon runners, well, they’ll be in something
more light weight again. But, most of us age groupers, by the time we get to the marathon, our legs are already going
to be pretty fatigued and are looking for that added support. With so many shoes aimed
at this type of mileage, it really does become
a bit of a mine field. But you might find that the
shoe that you use for training, fits the bill perfectly. And if that is the case, I would recommend buying a second pair, making sure that you’ve worn
them in really thoroughly, but that they still stay fresh enough so they’re not going to be compromised from miles and miles of training. And you put them to one side, carry on training in you’re other pair, and you’ve got a nice fresh, but worn in ones when
it comes to the race. (upbeat music) If you plan to race Xterra, or any other type of cross triathlon, then you are going to
need to invest in a shoe that offers a bit more grip. Because there’s nothing worse than trying to race someone up a hill, and the more effort you put in, the more you slide, and the same goes when
it comes to descending. But beyond the grip on
the bottom of the shoe, you will need the upper
to be slightly stronger, as your foot needs that support. It needs to be held securely in your shoe because if you think, when
you’re running off road, it’s going to be moving in
all sorts of directions. And if you are doing long
distance off road racing, you might want to consider
a waterproof upper, that’s just going to help keep your feet a little bit dryer and warmer. As for that cushioning
verses weight debate, well again, it does depend
slightly on what distance that you are racing, so the same rules from earlier will apply. (upbeat music) Some of you might choose to
run in pure running races. Now, if you’re sticking to road, the shoes that we have already covered should meet your needs sufficiently. But if, like me, you
dabble in a little bit of cross country during the winter, then it’s worth investing in a
pair of cross country spikes, just to give you that extra grip while still being ultra light weight in order to be competitive. And if you are feeling brave and you want to venture onto
the track to run a fast 5K, then again you might
want some track spikes. But I warn you, your legs will certainly feel it for a few days after. I’ve covered a huge variety of race types, and therefor, also race shoes. So now you need to decide
what you want to get from your racing shoes and what type of race you’re most likely
to be doing most often. Once you’ve got this information, I suggest going to your
local running shop. Because they are there to advise you and they will help you find the right shoe for your requirements. Now I personally find that
having a race specific shoe, helps me both psychologically
as well as physically. But please remember, if you’ve got a nice brand
new pair of racing shoes, please wear them in adequately, and make sure they’ve at least
passed that comfort test. Now, if you’ve enjoyed this, hit the thumbs up like button. And to make sure that you don’t
miss any more of our videos, hit the globe to subscribe. And if you want to know when
to replace your running shoes, if you’re worried that
they’re running out, we’ve made a video on
that, just over here. And if you want to know how to pace your next running race in a triathlon, we’ve made a video on
run pacing, just here.


  • Good one! Also a video on running minimalistic or barefoot will help!

  • First full distance marathon on Sunday 😀 Cape Town Marathon! Went to the expo today and glad to see Polar there in full force.
    During the cross country league in Cape Town most people run in trail shoes or barefoot because of all the mud in winter.
    Agree with Praveen, what do you think of the minimalist shoes?


  • This is a much more palatable way to show off a sponsor than the Polar video the other day. Yes we got that you use On shoes, but you spoke about general traits of shoes, what to look for for various distances and types of racing, etc without talking strictly about one particular shoe brand's line up and ignoring the general aspects of the shoe to consider, like was the case with the other video.

  • I know it's a subjective issue, for me Sketchers GoRun 5 is the best, I train and race all the way, good advice to have a second pair, thanks

  • nice vid 🙂 Since I'm running, I'm worse than women, when it is about shoes 😛 I have 3 times more running shoes, than all my other shoes combined :-S 😀

  • I normally wear stability shoes due to overpronation.
    Do I have to pay attention to this when buying race shoes?

  • Honestly if you have twice as many shoes they last twice as long. So go wild and buy all the shoes you want.

  • I've sewn on my own heel loop onto my racing flats. When I ran Boston I had to do it in my regular trainers, it was only onc race an anecdotal, but I think I ran faster than I would have in flats. I run best in flats with more cushioning, in my case I use the NB 1400, rather than the 1500 (I previously used the old 1600). I also had a period where the 1600's were not working for me and I bought a special color pair of my trainers and used that is my race shoe, that is a good tip you gave. For the same reason I have also abandoned track spikes for events more than 800m and just use flats.

  • Have 6 pairs.

  • When heeling striking, you’ll want More cushioning to absorb that extra shock? That extra shock will be 4-5 times your body weight that cushioning isn’t going to do much but send the shock straight to your joints and get you hurt. If your form deteriorates at the end of the race, you didn’t train enough… the cushioning in your shoe won’t save you from injury.

  • It's actually a load of balls. So all pros run in racing flats? Out of all those pros they have no pro/supination?

  • I've never had a shoe I was satisfied with until I bought the saucony kinvara 9 (or 8). I've even opted to run track events as short as a mile in them over spikes. Works wonderfully with elastic laces too.

  • How To Choose An On Running Shoe. Don't get me wrong, I own Ons, and I like to run with Ons, but in nearly 8 minutes you could have presented loads of other brands as well

  • and now I have all the knowledge I need ?

  • Hi GTN. Are you able to make a video about Heel Drop Effects on Performance & Injury Prevention

  • good info… you style yr stuff like GCN. I see you. ,… still.. its good stuff.

  • I've been running using On shoes for many years and really love them! I would have actually preferred if you would have actually explained which model of On shoes do you recommend for each race type! I'm doing 70.3 and planning to use Cloud X for that…

  • not sponsored of course

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