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

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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

1 thought on “Training Shoes vs Racing Shoes

  1. Pingback: Are Racing Flats Right for You? - East Coast Run Project

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