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Reviews Running Gear

10 BEST SHOES FOR RUNNING MARATHONS

Best shoes for marathons

 

10 BEST SHOES FOR MARATHON RUNNING

by BRIAN METZLER  | OCTOBER 2021

Running the New York City Marathon? Here are 10 shoes to consider for running the rolling, 26.2-mile route through The Big Apple’s five boroughs.

We’ve broken them down between models with more less inherent stability and more inherent stability with the notion that even a lot of runners with neutral gait patterns need some extra support after running 20 miles on the roads.

There are dozens of additional models to consider than just the 10 listed here. You have to consider how fast you’re going to run and whether you’re going to race all-out, run just to finish or somewhere in between.

Remember, the most important criteria you need to consider when looking for your race-day shoes is how it matches your foot shape and gait style.

BEST MARATHON SHOES: LESS STABILITY

Nike Zoom X Vaporfly NEXT%, $250
6.6 oz. (men’s/unisex sizing) 8mm heel-toe offset (40mm/32mm)

The Nike Zoom X Vaporfly NEXT% is the current hot shoe in the marathon world, the one Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele wore en route to running 2:01:41 and just miss the world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon. Nike took the learnings of its original Vaporfly 4% shoe and developed a new shoe with more rear-foot cushioning, a new hydrophobic upper, a lower heel-toe offset, a higher stack height and a more bulbous outsole geometry with better traction in the forefoot. The result is a slightly lighter, snappier and more stable shoe.

Adidas Adizero Adios 4, $140
7.8 oz. (men’s); 6.2 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (23mm/23mm for men’s; 25mm/25mm for women’s)

The Adidas Adizero Adios has been one of the world’s most popular—and one of the fastest—marathon shoes for years. Featuring a thin layer of energetic Boost midsole foam, it provides an electric ride with a low-to-the-ground feel. The upper has been updated in this edition with a more comfortable double-layer mesh construction that features a seamless toe box and just one midfoot overlay.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket, $160
7.3 oz. (men’s/unisex shoe) 1mm heel-toe offset (28mm/27mm)

Hoka quietly released this lightweight, moderately cushioned model with a carbon-fiber plate last winter as a 5K to half marathon racer. It has softer foam directly under the foot and a more durable, energetic foam below the carbon-fiber plate. With a snug, athletic fit from its two-layer mesh upper and a low-to-the-ground feel for the ground from heel to toe, the Carbon Rocket feels light and fast the moment you slip it on.

Saucony Kinvara 10, $110
7.8 o.z. (men’s), 6.2 oz. (women’s) 4mm heel-toe offset (25mm/21mm)

If you’re looking for a soft and light shoe for racing with a low heel-toe offset, the updated Saucony Kinvara 10 could be the race-day shoe for you. It has a soft and light feel like its predecessors, but this year’s version is slightly firmer and more energetic thanks to a thin layer of springy Everun foam on top of the traditional softer layer of EVA that has been the trademark of this shoe for years. A new, lightweight engineered mesh upper offers better breathability and a more snug, locked-down fit.

Altra Escalante Racer, $140
6.8 o.z. (men’s), 5.7 oz. (women’s) 0mm heel-toe offset (22mm/22mm)

If you appreciate the zero-drop geometry and wider toe box of Altra shoes, then the Altra Escalante Racer will be a good one to consider for a marathon. The Racer feels low to the ground and responsive, with semi-soft/moderately firm midsole cushioning that offers energetic pop in every stride.

The balanced cushioning allows a runner’s foot to move entirely uninhibitedly from foot strike to toe off, but it will take some getting used to if you’ve been running in shoes with a higher heel-toe offset.

MARATHON SHOES: MORE STABILITY

Hoka One One CarbonX, $180
8.8 oz. (men’s); 7.1 oz. (women’s) 5mm heel-toe offset (35mm/30mm)

Hoka made a splash with this carbon-fiber plate shoe when elite ultrarunner Jim Walmsley set a new world best for 50 miles (4:50:07) when this model debuted. Unlike the Nike shoes with stiff carbon plates, the Hoka One One Carbon X feels moderately soft and very stable, allowing a wider range of runners (and slower paces) to benefit from the propulsion provided by the carbon-fiber plate. It feels smooth and consistent running at faster speeds, but it takes a bit of getting used to before finding a rhythm and moderate paces.

Adidas Adizero Boston 8, $120
8.2 o.z. (men’s), 6.6 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (26mm/16mm)

The adidas Adizero Boston 8 is marathoning shoe that serves up both a very energetic, well-cushioned and inherently stable ride. The energy comes from a thick layer of Adidas’ extremely responsive Boost cushioning foam and a flexible, thermoplastic midfoot shank that helps optimally guide each stride to the toe-off phase, while foot-cradling plastic rails offer inherent stability. The updated outsole pattern on the Boston 8 provide more flexibility and traction on wet surfaces.

New Balance 1500v6, $125
8.6 o.z. (men’s), 6.6 oz. (women’s) 6mm heel-toe offset (23mm/17mm)

This low-to-the-ground model is a light-and-faster racer, but it also provides a bit of medial stability. The New Balance 1500v6 is an ideal shoe for runners who typically overpronate as well as runners with neutral gaits who need extra support in the latter miles of a race. The midsole is mostly made from light and responsive RevLite foam, although a firmer medial post and a plastic shank help provide surprisingly stability and arch support for such a lightweight shoe.

Brooks Ravenna 10, $110
9.6 o.z. (men’s), 7.6 oz. (women’s) 6mm heel-toe offset (23mm/17mm)

The Brooks Ravenna is a well-cushioned everyday trainer with modern stability-enhancing features. While it’s not pegged as a racing shoe, it can be a great choice for a committed, mid-pack runner or a first-timer because of its optimal blend of cushioning, protection and responsiveness. Plus, it’s lighter than most everyday stability shoes. It features Brooks’ new GuideRail technology, which keeps excessive pronation nicely in check.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 26, $160
11.1 ounces (men’s); 8.8 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (29m/19mm)

The latest edition of this popular stability shoe has been overhauled with an updated GEL cushioning capsule for better shock attenuation, lighter midsole foams in the heel for a springier ride and a contoured EVA sockliner for improved underfoot fit and feel.

The dual-density midsole in the ASICS GEL-Kayano offers ample cushioning, responsiveness and stability for the long haul, but it has a good amount of energetic pop for fast-paced running. The ride is extremely stable and secure, but not at the expense of being overly controlling or inflexible.

SHOP RUNNING SHOES AT JACKRABBIT

 

 

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Saucony

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO + REVIEW

Saucony Endorphin Pro + Review

THE BUZZ

The Saucony Endorphin Pro+ is a featherweight, top-tier racing shoe built on an energetic foam midsole embedded with a curvy carbon-fiber plate that enhances forward propulsion.

Designed for all-out racing from 5K to the marathon, it carries a higher price tag than the Endorphin Pro 2 ($200) but it’s lighter, more lively and faster than its predecessor. It’s also not as bouncy as some of the other models in the super shoe category.

Saucony Endorphin Pro + Review

WHAT’S NEW

The midsole foam is made from the same energetic PWRRUN PB compound as the previous versions of the Endorphin Pro, but this edition has a slightly leaner shape and a new flyweight upper and, as a result, it’s quite a bit lighter and more agile.

The Endrophin Pro+ is very similar to the original Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2, utilizing the same super-springy PWRRUN PB midsole foam and SpeedRoll technology with a similarly shaped carbon-fiber propulsion plate and rocker geometry. That’s still the speedy secret sauce, but there’s also a new featherweight mesh upper that contributes to this shoe being lighter, leaner and faster.

The outsole configuration of the Endorphin Pro+ is identical to the Endorphin Pro and Endorphin Pro 2. It features large sections of exposed foam complemented by high-abrasion carbon rubber in the forefoot and around the perimeter of the heel to keep the weight down, ensure optimal traction and maintain consistent durability.

The new upper is made from a premium, lightweight suede and an airy nylon mesh that combine to wrap the foot with a second-skin fit. The tongue is thin, smooth and perforated for optimal breathability and fit, there’s no heel counter and only a tiny bit of padding around the heel collar. The wrap-like fit is enhanced by Saucony’s FormFit technology, which allows the upper to move and stretch slightly while still keeping feet locked down to the chassis.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Endorphin Pro+ fits true to size with a medium to low interior volume from heel to toe. It has a snug, locked-down feeling from heel to toe with a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box.

There’s a sleek and semi-firm feeling the moment you lace up a pair of these thoroughbreds, similar to what you feel lacing up a pair of track spikes. Combined with the curvy carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole, it results in a lively but very rigid rolling sensation the moment you start running.

There is some softness in every foot strike, but that springiness is quickly converted into a forward rolling sensation by the carbon-fiber plate embedded in the midsole. The Endorphin Pro+ is a one-of-a-kind shoe that’s been stripped-down to make it as light and lean as possible.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

If you’re seriously training to run a new personal best at just about any distance on the roads — but especially from 5K to the marathon — you will love the Endorphin Pro+.

You still have to put in the hard work, but this shoe might be the closest thing you’ll find to a magic bullet when it comes to guaranteeing a new PB. It’s light, energetic and extremely agile, ideal for quick-cadence running for long periods of time.

Endorphin Pro + Pros

ENDROPHIN PRO + PROS

Saucony’s original Endorphin Pro shoes were amazing, but its shoe designers figured out that a slightly leaner midsole thickness produced even better results. The PWRRUN PB midsole in the Endrophin Pro+ is about 4.5mm thinner than its predecessors, and that’s a big reason why Pro+ is more than a half-ounce lighter, more nimble and potentially much faster than its predecessors.

Like other racing shoes with carbon-fiber midsole plates, the Endorphin Pro+ feels better the faster you run. You can definitely use it for fast training — from tempo runs to track intervals — but it’s best when running at race pace for long stretches of time. It eats up the road like high-performance tires on a sports car. Because the curvy plate in the midsole, the Endorphin Pro+ feels awkwardly bouncy at slow to moderate paces. (In other words, it’s best for running fast!)

Given that it’s made for high-end racing, Saucony is only making this shoe available in limited quantities. So if you’re interested in running fast this fall, you’ll need to act quickly before inventory dwindles.

Endorphin Pro + Cons

ENDROPHIN PRO + CONS

The only slightly negative aspects to a shoe like the Endorphin Pro+ are that it’s limited to racing and very fast training, and the precious foams and delicate upper are not likely going to have long-term durability if you use it for more than that.

ENDROPHIN PRO + TECH SPECS

Saucony Endorphin Pro + Review

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COMING SOON: ENDORPHIN PRO +

Categories
Asics

ASICS GT-2000 10 REVIEW

ASICS GT-2000 10 Review

THE BUZZ

One of the time-tested models in the ASICS line, the ASICS GT-2000 is an everyday trainer that offers sublime softness and moderate support in stylish package that’s comfortable, durable and reliable.

It’s a light stability shoe capable of running easy miles at moderate paces or comfortably covering high-mileage volume while training for a marathon.

WHAT’S NEW

A new, single-layer upper, more gender-specific features, a lower heel-toe offset and an updated midsole platform combine to offer a softer, smoother ride while still providing ample support.

The GT-2000 10 is enhanced by a full-length layer of lightweight and responsive Flytefoam Propel cushioning, which adds a bit of high-energy pop into every stride. The primary midsole compound is a generously thick layer of Flytefoam, a unique compound that utilizes organic fibers to offer extreme resiliency and durability.

The GT-2000 utilizes 3D Space Construction technology in the heel to create an individualized midsole deformation in every stride to give men and women runners the best possible gender-specific ride and support for their gait pattern. It’s essentially a strategically designed 3D honeycomb feature that’s cut out from the top of the midsole that allows a runner to compress and flex the shoe appropriately based precisely how their foot rolls from heel to toe.

The lowered heel-toe ramp angle — from 10mm of the previous edition to 8mm in this shoe — has reduced the heel prominence and really adds to the smoothness and efficiency of the ride. 

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The GT-2000 10 has the same classic fit most ASICS sheos are known for, only slightly improved over last year’s version because of the new upper.

It fits true-to-size with a snug hold in the heel and slightly more roomy volume in the midfoot and forefoot. (It’s only available in a B width.)

There is a noticeably soft feeling as soon as you step into it and lace it up, thanks to the molded EVA sockliner, generously padded tongue and the wrap-like sensation of the new upper.

The ride is smooth and consistent, providing a feeling of shock absorption and semi-firm control in the rear and midfoot and an easy-flexing consistency in the forefoot.

It’s not an overly energetic ride — and not meant to be — but instead it excels with a great combination of cushioning, comfort and durability.

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who need or appreciate plenty of cushioning and a moderate amount of support will love this shoe. It can be a reliable, do-everything shoe, a long-run training shoe or even a race-day shoe for someone interested in finishing a half marathon or marathon comfortably.

It’s not light and snappy enough for short-interval speed workouts or all-out racing, but it can definitely execute tempo runs, fartleks and longer interval sessions if called up. Bottom line: it’s comfortable, durable and consistent.

ASICS GT-2000 10 Pros

ASICS GT-2000 10 PROS

Gone are the rigid plastic Trusstic system on the outsole and the dynamic Duomax system built into the medial sidewall to offer medial structure. Instead stability is provided by the LiteTruss, a system in which the outsole wraps slightly upward under the medial side of the arch. Coupled with the gender-specific 3D Space Construction, it allows runners to engage as much of the stability as they need without using all of the plastic components or denser midsole sidewall.

The new, single-layer, one-piece knit upper provides lightweight breathability, comfortably wrapping the forefoot while accommodating for a wide variety of foot shapes. It provides solid foot hold and comfort as it tightens and loosens in key areas to allow the foot to move naturally.

For what it offers in comfort and durability, the GT-2000 10 provides good bang for the buck. On a relative scale of shoe prices and features, it offers great value at a relatively low price point.

ASICS GT-2000 10 Cons

ASICS GT-2000 10 CONS

The GT-2000 10 isn’t as light, flashy or energetic as a lot of other shoes out there. But it’s still a real well-built shoe that scores high marks for cushioning, comfort and consistency and ideal to be a workhorse trainer in your quiver of shoes.

GT-2000 10 TECH SPECS

ASICS GT-2000 10 Tech Specs

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MEN’S ASICS GT-2000 10

Men's ASICS GT-2000 10

MEN’S ASICS GT-2000 10

WOMEN’S ASICS GT-2000 10

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Categories
On Running

DAVID BROWN: ON ATHLETE AND THE WORLD’S FASTEST BLIND MAN

David Brown | On Athlete

Running 100m in under 11 seconds takes years of training, perseverance and complete determination. Doing it without eyesight: impossible…right?

But David Brown always kept dreaming of the impossible. Today, he’s the world’s fastest blind man. How did he do it? Find out in Untethered: The David Brown Story.

David Brown & Jerome Avery Adapt

Original story from On Running – Read fully story here

When David and Jerome sprint in perfect symmetry, it is the result of countless hours of training and constant adaptation. As the pair explain in the short film above, David is constantly taking cues from his guide Jerome, fine tuning the run from the gun to the finish line. We learn how adaptation has turned these two powerful individuals into an unstoppable team.

David Brown’s story is one of overcoming the odds. A three-time gold medalist, two-time record breaker and the first totally blind athlete to run 100m in under 11 seconds, his story transcends sport. To say he is an inspiration is putting it lightly.

Continue reading now:  https://www.on-running.com/en-us/athletes/david-brown-and-jerome-avery


TRAIN LIKE DAVID

David does the bulk of his training in the On Cloudstratus and On Cloudflow shoes.

David Brown On Cloudstratus

SHOP ON CLOUDSTRATUS  SHOP ON CLOUDFLOW

For recovery, David’s go-to shoe is the On Cloudflyer.

SHOP ON CLOUDFLYER

Categories
On Running

ON RUNNING: SUSTAINABILITY MVP

On Sustainability

Sustainability is on the forefront of brand initiatives and has been for years. For brands like On Running, sustainability is something that’s worked into the fiber of the brand. And to that we say HELL YES. More, please!

We love Mother Earth and need to do everything in our power to protect her. From what we wear to what we buy, every decision matters and you can do your part every day and choose to make a difference.

On has made really exciting moves to reduce environmental footprint, and they definitely are not stopping! Saving the planet is a team sport, so we’re here at JackRabbit to shout those awesome efforts from the rooftop and help educate customers and staff about how big of a difference it makes. 

Here are just a few ways On is making strides in sustainability…

NEW PACKAGING

You may have noticed a change in how On shoe boxes and hang tags look recently. Well that’s because On has changed their packaging to be more sustainable! You’ll start to see fewer black and white On shoe boxes and more brown boxes and apparel packaging/tags soon.

That’s because On has switched over to 100% recycled materials for sneakers and socks, and 99.9% recycled materials in apparel packaging! The boxes will now be mainly brown (no ink) with minimal water-based ink instead of the old fully PVC ink black boxes. Yearly, this will save about 160 tonnes of CO2!

Updating the all-black packaging for a lighter more sustainable alternative means On can use less ink in printing packaging. Plus the ink that’s now visible on the outside of the shoe box is a water-based alternative to the previous (plastic-derived) PVC inks, which is much better for the environment.

“Letting go of the all-black branding was a discussion for us. It’s quite bold I think, to do this as a young company. But when we looked at the numbers, it stopped becoming a question of if, and rather when,” says Maya Martin, Product Design. “The result is fresh, bright and optimistic and it still keeps the minimalistic, uncomplicated design we love.”

By switching to new packaging, each year On is projected to save at least: 

  • 7 tonnes of black ink 
  • 18 tonnes of paper 
  • 15 tonnes of plastic
  • 160 tonnes of CO2

If you’d like to dig deeper – read me!

MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS

Materials used in our industry are responsible for up to 80% of a company’s environmental footprint, so On made them a top priority. With sustainability at the core of how On works as a company, they don’t believe performance and sustainability are exclusive, but rather complimentary concepts to one another.

By introducing more recycled materials, reducing their CO2 footprint and creating circular systems for product life cycles, On is making real, impactful change while still producing the same premium performance shoes and apparel we all know and love.  

Check out our favorite sustainable must haves from On this fall

ON CLOUDSWIFT

On Cloudswift Sustainability

For swift runs in the city. Now with a 100% recycled mesh upper. 

SHOP MEN’S      SHOP WOMEN’S

ON CLOUDFLOW

On Cloudflow Sustainability

Step in and you’ll feel the comfort of the improved upper – made from 70% recycled polyester.

SHOP MEN’S      SHOP WOMEN’S

ON CLOUDSTRATUS

On Cloudstratus Sustainability

Around 75% of the polyester used is recycled, making the Cloudstratus forward thinking in more ways than one. 

SHOP MEN’S      SHOP WOMEN’S

ON CREWNECK

Sustainability On Apparel

A super soft wardrobe essential made with 100% organic cotton.

SHOP MEN’S      SHOP WOMEN’S 


SHOP ALL ON FOOTWEAR & APPREL   

Categories
Go For the W

GO FOR THE W: WIN WITH TRAIL

“Go for the W”

Throughout the months of July and August, the JackRabbit team wants to help you “Go for the W”. Going for the “W” can mean something different for everyone. Whether it’s winning a race, hitting a weight loss goal or just getting back into a routine – we want to help you get that “W”.

Over the next 8 weeks, you’ll find a great assortment of curated products to help you WIN in all different ways including: style, running, nutrition, recovery and more! We want to help you be the best you can be. That’s why we offer winning products to help find your inner champion!

Let’s all go for the “W”!


Go for the W: Win with Trail

WIN WITH TRAIL

“Go for the “W” by winning with trail. Escape the pavement and hit the trails this summer with these top trail footwear, apparel and accessory picks from HOKA, Nathan and more!

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TRAIL SHOES FROM HOKA

Take to the trails with these brand new trail shoes from HOKA including the Anacapa GTX and Zinal. Shop the full line of HOKA trail shoes.

Win with Trail: Hoka trail shoes

SHOP HOKA TRAIL SHOES

 

TRAIL APPAREL FROM NIKE & RABBIT 

Run with style and comfort on the trails with the top trail apparel picks from Nike, Rabbit and more!

Win with Trail Nike Apparel

 

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TRAIL SOCKS FROM FEETURES & SMARTWOOL

When hitting the trails, it’s always important to have a good pair of socks. Stay dry and comfortable with trail socks from Feetures, Smartwool and more!

Win with Trail: Trail Socks

 

SHOP SOCKS

 

TRAIL ACCESSORIES

Handle anything the trails throw at you with hydration products, headphones, accessories and more from top brands including Nathan and Amphipod.

Win with Trail: Trail Accessories

 

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TRAIL RUNNING BENEFITS

There are many ways to rejuvenate your running, but few as failsafe as trail running. Going for a trail run and implementing off-road running into your weekly regiment can work wonders for you with numerous physical, mental and emotional benefits.

Win with Trail: Trail Blog

 

READ MORE


SHOP ALL WIN WITH TRAIL PRODUCTS

Categories
Training

RUNNING FORM: DOES ARM SWING MATTER?

Arm Swing

Guest blogger Victoria Junious is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and exercise enthusiast.

How much do you think about your arms when running? Should you? I mean, it is less likely that you are running on your hands. Are your arms really that important?

TLDR version: In my opinion, if you’ve got a bend in your elbow, your arms are comfortable at your side, and you’re not doing anything crazy like flapping them like a chicken when you run, then they probably make a small impact on your running efficiency (unless we’re talking about high level sprinting). If you want to know if your arms can tell you anything about the rest of your body, you want to read about my journey with my arms, or if you want to hear more about my controversial opinion, keep reading.

Before I get into this, I feel that a personal story is in order. When I was just a little baby athlete, running my first real track and field season, I was a…gangly mess. I was incredibly awkward, and learning how to exist as a fourteen year old in a body that is suddenly five-foot-nine is a recipe for disaster. Imagine the inflatable red guys that live outside of used car lots and you get the picture. I felt incredibly clumsy and that did not stop when I stepped on the track.

I remember walking up to my teammates after my first track meet had ended, thinking that they were going to congratulate me for placing in my first meet, only to walk into a relentless roast session at my expense. Somebody said that I looked like I was throwing up gang signs. Someone else said that they were surprised I did not hit myself in the face because my arms were so wild. I was mortified. Looking back on it now as an adult with a fully formed frontal lobe, I can see that they were just teasing, but needless to say, 14-year-old me saw no other option but changing her running form completely, as soon as possible.

Instead of letting my arms just do whatever it was that they were doing, I started making my arms and hands really really stiff. My thought process: “If I make my arms like little blades, they’ll cut through the air for me and I’ll go faster. Simple physics. Watch out Allyson Felix, I’m coming for you.” As a highschool freshman, I thought that I had cracked the code for real speed. No, I did not consult anyone, obviously. There were a few issues with my logic, but I had the spirit. Long story short, I ran with reckless abandon and spatulas for hands for a month. Exhibit A in all its cringiness is pictured below.

Running Form: Does Arm Swing Matter?

After a couple of meets, my brother had noticed that I was running like a weirdo and offered me some advice. “ Just relax. Take the imaginary skittles out of your pocket and eat them.” He demonstrated that all the movement was coming from his shoulder, and told me that his hands were not really that important. Simple enough. My brother was fast. I wanted to be fast, so I decided to listen to him. I should get him a little gift or something to thank him for that because Victoria Spatula Hands was not a good look in retrospect.

I did not really think about my arms for the next few years that I ran. I started performing better as I got older and more comfortable in my body, and no one really commented on them. That changed when I started doing summer track, and I was forced to run a 20 minute warm up every practice. *Gasp* The absolute horror. At this point in my career, I was very used to collapsing from exertion following anything over a 400 meter run. Although I had run cross country before, suddenly having to do it every day in the Texas summer heat, was a different animal. Long distance was super uncomfortable. I felt like I was using way too much energy, and every stride felt effortful.

Now, looking back on it, I was just out of shape. However, at the time, I was convinced that the long distance runners on my team knew something I didn’t, so I decided to poll them about the secret to their success. One of them commented on how much I moved my arms saying, “this is distance running, not sprinting. You don’t need to do so much with your arms. Make them like little pterodactyl arms.” He made running the warm up look effortless. I also wanted to run effortlessly, so I listened to him. Did his advice help? Maybe. However, running was still hard no matter how much I moved my arms, but the longer I did it, the easier it got.

I have heard so many things about arms and running throughout my athletic and professional career. They are moving too much, they aren’t moving enough. You shouldn’t let your shoulders move; you should swing them as hard as you can. Don’t let your arms cross midline. Keep your arms relaxed. If you want your form to be perfect, you need to do this. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. All of these mixed and opposing messages can get confusing, especially for a mid-distance runner caught in a love triangle between sprinting and distance running.

Instead of diving directly into hearsay, I want to start with some research. To my extreme surprise, I found that arm swing has even less impact on running efficiency than I thought. Pontzer et al. (2009) found that while there is shoulder muscle activation when running, the arms aren’t really driving movement. They found that the arms are more along for the ride, acting as “passive mass dampers powered by movement of the lower body, rather than being actively driven by the shoulder muscles.”

Although there is still more research to be done on the subject, I found a few other articles echoing the same thing. Hinrichs et al (1987) found that arm swing had little impact on forward propulsion in running. However, they did find that arm swing does have a meaningful impact on lift (vertical motion) when running, which becomes even more important at increased speeds (So it seems my summer track teammate might have been onto something with his pterodactyl arms after all).

Haile Gebrselassie (pictured below), long distance god, well known for being good at all things running (the man has 27 world records, and I suggest you Wikipedia his name, so that you can also sit in awe of him with your mouth open at his amazing accomplishments) is a testament to this. He has a “crooked” left arm, which does not swing like his right arm does when he runs.

He has been so successful, and yet, his running form is not “perfect.” His arm swing is not “normal,” yet his success speaks for itself. If his arms were the things driving his legs forward, wouldn’t they be driving him sideways? If arm swing was key to running efficiency, there is no way he would have seen the incredible success that he has.

Running Form: Does Arm Swing Matter?

In general, as I looked through the research on the subject, I found that arm swing has more impact at higher speeds, it has a little to do with maintaining balance, and it is reactionary to the leg movement, not the other way around. With keeping all of that in mind, my physical therapy brain extrapolates out that on occasion we might be able to figure out leg problems through identifying weird arm movements.

For example, let’s say that you have your arms too far abducted (out away from your side when you run (kind of like how a baby holds their arms when they are learning to walk)), this could indicate that you might be getting a little bit too much movement laterally. If you were my client, I would investigate how strong your glutes are. Although lateral balance is not a primary function of the arms (Arellano & Kram, 2012), the excessive arm movement could be due to excessive leg movement laterally, which would point me towards strengthening up the glutes.

However, it could just be how you run. Throughout all my years running, watching other people run, and studying running mechanics, it has become increasingly clear that while there are general rules that people should follow to run fast and far, running form also depends on the individual. This confusing gray area is what keeps coaches and physical therapists in business. (I do suggest that if you are having pain with running you come see one of us!)

I don’t think that runners should be as concerned with what their arms are doing as we have been taught to be. Yeah, they have some impact on speed, but wonky arms are not the end-all-be-all. No matter how efficiently you move your arms, if you want to be able to run longer than a 400 without collapsing, you need to increase your leg strength and cardiovascular endurance. If you want to run faster, you have to train to run faster, no matter how perfect your form is. All things considered, I think you should focus more on the extremities that are doing the running, your legs.


About the Author: Victoria Junious ran track and cross country at the University of North Texas where she got her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. When she is not in the clinic, she spends her time eating doughnuts, lifting heavy things up and setting them down at the gym, and writing.

References

Arellano, C. J., & Kram, R. (2012). The energetic cost of maintaining lateral balance during human running. Journal of Applied Physiology, 112(3), 427-434. 10.1152/japplphysiol.00554.2011

Hinrichs, R. (1987). Upper extremity function in running. II. Angular momentum considerations. International Journal of Sport Biomechanics, 3, 242–263.

Pontzer, H., Holloway 4th, J. H., Raichlen, D. A., & Lieberman, D. E. (2009). Control and function of arm swing in human walking and running. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212(4), 523-534.

Categories
Go For the W

GO FOR THE W: WIN WITH RECOVERY

“Go for the W”

Throughout the months of July and August, the JackRabbit team wants to help you “Go for the W”. Going for the “W” can mean something different for everyone. Whether it’s winning a race, hitting a weight loss goal or just getting back into a routine – we want to help you get that “W”.

Over the next 8 weeks, you’ll find a great assortment of curated products to help you WIN in all different ways including: style, running, nutrition, recovery and more! We want to help you be the best you can be. That’s why we offer winning products to help find your inner champion!

Let’s all go for the “W”!


Win with Recovery

WIN WITH RECOVERY

Go for the “W” this summer when you recover as hard as you train. Win with Recovery using the top recovery products from Hyperice, Therabody, and more!

SHOP ALL RECOVERY PRODUCTS

RECOVERY TOOLS FROM HYPERICE

Whether you’re a pro athlete, weekend warrior or simply just looking to live a healthier lifestyle – Hyperice has a recovery solution for you. 

Win with Recovery: Hyperice

SHOP HYPERICE RECOVERY

 

CBD PRODUCTS FROM THERAONE

TheraOne has organic CBD lotions, oils, and balms for calming post-workout inflammation and easing soreness, so you can get back to doing what you love sooner.

Win with Recovery: TheraOne

 

SHOP THERAONE PRODUCTS

 

RECOVERY DRINKS FROM NUUN

Jumpstart your muscle repair and rehydration with Nuun Recover’s all-star combination of Vegan BCAAs, electrolytes, L-Glutamine, and efficient carbohydrates.

Win with Recovery: Nuun

 

SHOP NUUN RECOVERY DRINKS

 

COMPRESSION GEAR FROM CEP & 2XU

Recover faster after those hard sessions with the top compression gear from CEP and 2XU. Compression gear improves blood circulation and oxygen flow to your muscles to reduce soreness after exercise or physical exertion.

Win with Recovery: Compression

 

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RECOVERY BOOTS FROM NORMATEC

The NormaTec 2.0 is the next generation of athlete recovery. The Leg Recovery System gives you fresh legs faster, helps you warm up pre-workout, and recover right post training and competition.

Win with Recovery: Normatec

 

SHOP NORMATEC


SHOP ALL WIN WITH RECOVERY PRODUCTS

Next up, Win with Trail.

Categories
Superfeet

SHAPE YOUR RUN: SUPERFEET ADAPT RUN SERIES

Superfeet Shape Your Run

SHAPE YOUR RUN

Introducing the new ADAPT Run Series

Superfeet has combined their ultimate step-in cushioning with a flexible, lightly structured shape that adapts to your foot’s natural motion and feels like part of the shoe.

WHY USE INSOLES?

You’ve seen the insoles at your local running store, but what’s the hype? Why should you use insoles?

  • Insoles can improve the fit of your running shoes
  • Insoles make sure your arches are supported where they need it
  • They can provide extra stability and help to spread the running load when your foot hits the ground.
  • Insoles have been known to help the condition with their arch support and general foot stability for the runner.

Superfeet ADAPT Run Features

The new ADAPT Run series of insoles from Superfeet include the following top features:

  • Durable Aerolyte™ dual comfort layer: helps your foot relax in the shoe and provides optimal cushioning for flat feet and sore arches
  • Responsive forefoot zone: blends cushioning & rebound to maximize energy transfer and help you get the most out of every step.
  • Energizing heel cushion: helps disperse impact with every heel strike, reducing excess vibration to fight fatigue and minimize stress and stress that can lead to conditions like plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
  • Adaptive Comfort Technology™: patented design, made to help your feet move the way they’re supposed to,  flexing with the foot for efficient heel-to-toe turnover and a smooth, easy ride.
  • Moisturewick™: improved wicking and breathability with odor control keeps feet fresh mile-after-mile.

ADAPT Run vs ADAPT Run Max

The new Superfeet ADAPT insoles are available in two profiles to fit all foot types; ADAPT Run and ADAPT Run Max.

Superfeet ADAPT Run Insoles

Flexible cushioning insoles for running shoes

Superfeet ADAPT Run

The Superfeet ADAPT Run series features the signature Superfeet shape in a lightly structured, cushioning insole. This makes the insole feel like a part of your shoe. The ADAPT Run insole adapts and flexes to your foot’s natural motion for a smooth ride.

The ADAPT Run insoles are made to fit well in running shoes including shoes with zero drop.


Superfeet ADAPT Run Max Insoles

A Deeper heel cup and higher arch profile

Superfeet Adapt Run MaX

Superfeet ADAPT Max insoles deliver unbelievable comfort and support without changing how your running shoes were built to perform. ADAPT Max insoles feature lightly structured support and maximum cushioning with a deeper heel cup and higher arch profile to help minimize foot fatigue.


SHAPE YOUR RUN

Paring your favorite HOKA shoes with a perfectly matched Superfeet insole

Superfeet Adapt Run Men's Matching

Women's Superfeet Matching

Now that you have a better understanding about the benefits of using insoles and the new Superfeet ADAPT Run series, let’s take a look at which insole works best with your favorite running shoes!

Superfeet and Jackrabbit have taken several of the best-selling HOKA running shoes and paired them with the appropriate Superfeet insole to dial in your shoe’s fit and SHAPE YOUR RUN.

ADAPT RUN + HOKA MACH 4

HOKA Mach 4 + Superfeet ADAPT Run

The Superfeet ADAPT Run series features the signature Superfeet shape in a lightly structured, cushioning insole. This makes the insole feel like a part of your shoe.

In its fourth edition, the Mach 4 takes its biggest leap forward, built on themes inspired by the Rocket X and Carbon X. Designed for logging long miles, this everyday trainer delivers a lively ride and energetic underfoot feel that is unquestionably HOKA.

SHOP HOKA MACH 4

 SUPERFEET ADAPT RUN – COMING SOON

RUN COMFORT  + HOKA ANACAPA LOW

HOKA Anacapa Low + Superfeet Run Comfort

Designed specifically for running, Superfeet RUN Comfort insoles can help runners reduce foot fatigue while gaining efficiency. The Superfeet shape personalizes the shoe to your foot.

A sustainably crafted day-hiker designed for weekend adventures, the Anacapa Low GTX is a lowprofile take on the Anacapa Mid. Engineered from lightweight leather certified by the Leather Working Group, the versatile silhouette employs recycled polyester in the collar, mesh and laces.

SHOP HOKA ANACAPA LOW GTX

SHOP SUPERFEET RUN COMFORT

RUN COMFORT THIN  + HOKA ARAHI 5

HOKA Arahi 5 + Superfeet Run Comfort Thin

The Superfeet Run Comfort Thin insole is 20% thinner than other Superfeet styles for the runner who needs a slim fit in their shoes, but also need the support of an insole. The thin profile works with your race shoes and offers no extra bulk for a dialed in fit.

Boasting a seemingly contradictory combination of maximum cushioning and minimal weight, the HOKA Arahi 5 delivers a soft smooth alternative to traditional support shoes. A brand-new shoe from top to bottom, the Arahi 5 was envisioned with a laser focus on fit.

SHOP HOKA ARAHI 5

SHOP SUPERFEET RUN COMFORT THIN

RUN ADAPT MAX  + HOKA CLIFTON 8

HOKA Clifton 8 + Superfeet ADAPT Run Max

Superfeet Run ADAPT Max insoles feature lightly structured support and maximum cushioning with a deeper heel cup and higher arch profile to help minimize foot fatigue.

The Clifton 8 continues to deliver the perfect combination of soft and light. Crafted with a lighter, more responsive midsole and the same ride characteristics, the Clifton 8 features a streamlined silhouette and updated upper made from engineered mesh.

SHOP HOKA CLIFTON 8

SUPERFEET ADAPT RUN MAX – COMING SOON

 

Categories
Altra

ALTRA PARADIGM 6 REVIEW

Altra Paradigm 6 Review

THE BUZZ

The Altra Paradigm 6 is a max cushioned/max stability shoe that serves up a blend of comfortable softness, energetic pop and structured support built on a balanced cushioning platform with an accommodating rounded toe box.

It’s an ideal choice for long-distance runs and high-mileage training for runners who tend to overpronate or supinate when they run. Subtle changes have resulted in an improved fit, feel and ride.

Altra Paradigm 6 Review

WHAT’S NEW

A lot has changed since the previous edition of the Paradigm was unveiled last year. The most notable updates are the addition of the new Altra EGO Max cushioning material in the midsole.

The Altra EGO Max midsole foam is absolutely luscious, a welcome improvement over last year’s Altra EGO compound. It’s lighter and springier but it doesn’t compromise the shoe’s stability. It feels better and has helps make the Paradigm run better without any inhibitions.

All Altra shoes are built with a Footshape toe box design. The toe box is wider and more rounded than most other shoes. This allows a runner’s toes and the transverse arch to splay and flex to allow for more effective muscular output for natural stability and optimal propulsion at the toe-off phase of a stride.

It might feel excessively wide when you lace it up, but it will feel smartly proportioned during a run.

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The new Altra Paradigm 6 fits true to size with a medium volume in the heel and midfoot and a slightly wider toe box — though not nearly as spacious as some previous editions of this shoe. (It’s only available in a standard width.)

The step-in feel is soft, plush and comfortably snug, thanks in part to the interior arch support mesh that gently wraps each foot.

The new Altra EGO Max cushioning material feels light, airy and responsive when you first lace them up and start running, but especially so late in a long run.

What you don’t feel is the distinctive only-there-when-you-need-it support that accommodates the specific medial and lateral rolling of each foot as it rolls through the gait cycle.

If your ankles tend to overpronate or supinate when you run — especially in the latter stages of a long run — the ride remains supportive, cushy, energetic and consistent.

Altra Paradigm 6 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate a lot of cushioning and also need extra support to offset overpronation will love the Altra Paradigm 6.

The blend of comfortable padding and stability-enhancing structure are ideal for high-mileage weeks, training for longer races and long training runs.

It’s not a fast or especially agile shoe, so it’s not going to be a choice for faster workouts, up-tempo training or racing. But it’s as a reliable and comfortable as any shoe in the stability category.

Altra Paradigm 6 Review

ALTRA PARADIGM 6 PROS

The Paradigm 6 still provides subtle stability in every stride, but in a revised fashion from the previous edition.

Altra updated its GuideRail system to have two independent support rails on the medial and lateral side that provide stability to match a runner’s specific gait style and pronation/supination patterns.

It also removed the firmer SabiliPods in the base of the shoe to allow a more natural rolling sensation from touch-down to toe-off.

The reason Altra builds all of its shoes on a level platform is to allow the heel and forefoot of a runner’s foot to always be an equal distance from the ground. Unlike shoes with elevated heels and sloping profiles, Altra’s shoes create what the brand calls a balanced cushioning platform for optimal foot alignment and low-impact footstrikes.

Lastly, it brought a trimmed-down version of its InnovArch system that cinches in the foot with an interior netting integrated with the laces.

Altra Paradigm 6 Review

ALTRA PARADIGM 6 CONS

It might take some time to adjust to running in shoe with a level or zero-drop platform like this. Ultimately, it can be a great setup for a lot of runners to help their feet move and flex naturally.

But if you’ve been running in shoes with a high to moderate heel-toe offset of 8mm to 13mm, consider make a gradual transition into Altra shoes built on a level platform.

ALTRA PARADIGM 6 TECH SPECS

Altra Paradigm 6 Tech specs

SHOP PARADIGM 6

MEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6

Mens Altra Paradigm 6

MEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6 – COMING SOON

WOMEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6

Women's Altra Paradigm 6

SHOP WOMEN’S ALTRA PARADIGM 6 – COMING SOON