Tag Archives: shoes

Are Racing Flats Right for You?

Do you need a pair of racing flats?  The answer is maybe.  The contrasts between training shoes and race flats isn’t as dramatic as the differences between basketball and trail shoes but they are there.  More than looks or drop, the type of shoes you want for race day depend on what kind of runner you are.  Here are 5 ways to tell if you’ll want to stay clear of racing flats.racing flats

You’re a new runner.  Throwing on a lighter shoe won’t actually make you that much faster.  Hours of training and hard work do that.  A less cushioned, less supportive pair of racing flats is more likely to lead to an injury than a new PR.

Marathoners.  The marathon is a long race and you’ll be taking lots of steps while beating your body up.  Don’t make it worse by stripping away the layer of protection between your foot and the road.  Happy feet are fast feet so give them a little love on race day with nice comfy shoes.  The longer the race, the more shoe you’ll need.

Heavier runners.  You’ll need that extra cushioning for support over the length of the race.  The barefoot movement hasn’t been all its cracked up to be.  Typically, less protection means more injuries.  No matter what the scale says, your gait can have a big impact on how much pounding your bones take with each step.  Swapping into a lightweight shoe on race day can change the way you move and lead to injury.

You’re injured.  If you have any hint of soreness, fatigue or muscle strain, stick with your trainers.  You probably won’t be pushing yourself for the race’s entire duration anyway.  It always better play things safe than toy with making a minor injury more serious.

You didn’t train in them.  Nothing new on race day, right?  That especially goes for shoes.  Whether you’re tackling the course in brand new trainers or fancy racing flats, definitely spend time training in them.  Take them out for easy runs, a track session or two and maybe even a long run.  You have to prepare your body for the demands of a lightweight shoe.

Coach Meredith

Training Shoes vs Racing Shoes

Most runners have heard of people who wear different shoes on race day.  Racing shoes are quite common and can be worn for many reasons.  Aside from giving your trainers a break, racing shoes can help you run faster and feel sexier.

Kilkenny Flat, ViZiORANGE | Citron, dynamic

racing shoes






Lighter.  Training shoes come in all sizes and shapes but the one thing they usually all have in common is weight.  Trainers tend to be heavier for a few reasons.  The thicker soles and increased cushioning provide protection from the pounding of training mileage while lifting that weight makes you stronger.  Lighter shoes offer less protection but have been shown to increase speeds by an average of 1 second per mile for each ounce of weight lost.  Train in 8 ounce shoes?  Racing in 5 ounce shoes could lower your half marathon time by close to 30 seconds!

Lower profile.  Race day shoes are typically cut lower around the ankle and have thinner uppers.  This helps them weigh less while streamlining your foot.  Showing off those sexy ankles might be just the ticket to a strong finish line photo and new PR.

Lucky.  Whether it’s a trainer or a racing shoe, some pairs just have that sparkle.  Save shoes that make you feel pretty, fast or lucky for race day.  You don’t want to train too much in your racing shoes but you can definitely race in those favorite trainers.

Of course, all of these benefits can be completely muted if you don’t ever train in your racing shoes.  We all know better than to wear a new piece of clothing or try a new fuel source on race day.  Shoes are exactly the same.  Running workouts in your racing shoes should be definitely be part of your training plan.  You’ll want to do some speed work in the lighter shoes as well as some longer runs to strengthen your feet for the stresses of race day.

Coach Meredith