Shoes analysis ASICS, ALTRA, ON
This weekend, I joined a running clinic hosted by Robert Lathouwers as part of a collaboration between ASICS and Perry Sport. I really love clinics like these because it’s the perfect way to learn more about posture during running and meet new people. In addition, you can often try on shoes from ASICS, which I am always looking forward to. Here’s an overview of the shoes I have tested over the past weeks and those I own!
The Cumulus 21- ASICS
This is the shoe I got to test for the clinic and I’ve got to say, it’s a nice and steady shoe. The model is designed for neutral runners and is best for long distances. The FLYTEFOAM™ propel technology improves suspension during the run and the extra support around the heel helps to run steady.
We tried it for 90 minutes of posture training and ended with an interval run. Even though this isn’t the main strength of the shoe, I had a comfortable run and felt the suspension help me forward. With it’s €140, it is a very affordable shoe for long distances!
The Kayano 26 – ASICS
During the clinic in Amsterdam a few weeks ago, I tried the Kayano 26. This shoe is comparable to the Cumulus, but it is designed to correct your feet for over pronation. This means that you tend to tilt your feet inwards, landing on the inner side of your feet. I tend to run quite neutral so I don’t need this extra support, but I was curious.
This is a very nice shoe! It has GEL™ technology in the front and back of the shoe, so even for a mid- to forefoot runner like me, it’s really comfortable. The shoe isn’t too heavy but it does provide a lot of support while running. Something I am also enthusiastic about is the AHAR foam rubber, which should help prolong the life of the shoe. I tend to max out my shoes around 500-600km, so this sounds promising! With €180, you’ll find it in the higher price range of shoes, but if the life of the shoe would be prolonged, I wouldn’t mind the difference.
The Torin Knit 3.5 – Altra
I used this shoe for the first half of 2019 and I had some mixed feelings. Altra specifies in shoes for forefoot runners and provide shoes with a Zero Drop™ technology. Sounds promising, and the knitted top makes the shoe quite comfortable. I do feel the front of the shoe when I run, so I decide to take a size bigger than I usually wear. This helps!
In the beginning, I am happy about the shoe. The thick sole is comfortable and the zero drop makes running on my mid- and front foot very pleasant. So far so good, but then the sole starts to wear off. The FootPod sole is not placed over the entire shoe, as you can see on the picture. The outside front of the sole is not covered with rubber and only has foam. This starts to deteriorate very quickly and after 150km, my trainer informs me I should no longer use these shoes. Ai, that is way too quick. Luckily, the Runnersworld in Leiden helps me out and provides me with a new pair of shoes of my choosing. I’ve heard that the supplier has been changed for Altra and the new model is provided with a rubber sole all over, hopefully this fixes the issue for other runners. The old model is on sale but even for only €87, it’s a bit expensive for the short life of the shoe. I know enough for now. Back to my known brands ASICS and ON.
The Flow – ON Running
My current running shoe, and I am using it mostly for short distances and interval. The 18 Cloud elements are all provided with Speedboard™ technology which propel you forward as you run and are highly suitable for mid- and forefoot runners. The shoe is quite light with only 220 grams and is useful for training and competition on the road. Running trail or on soft underground isn’t it’s strength.
I have had quite a few of these shoes and that is immediately the pro and con. The life of ON shoes is a little shorter than normal shoes as the Clouds tend to deteriorate a little faster than regular soles. For me, that means that hitting 400-500k on these shoes is max. But I do keep coming back to these as one of my standard running shoes, as they’re very responsive during interval. I never feel like I need to work to get forward, although I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am really running on clouds… 🙂 With it’s price tag of €149,95 and relatively short life, it’s average priced.
The Gel Nimbus 22 – ASICS
In addition to my ON Flows, I use the Gel Nimbus on a daily basis. The shoe is designed for neutral runners and supports a heel landing as wel as a mid foot landing with its GEL™ technology. This is one of it’s main selling points and I do appreciate the extra cushioning during my longer runs.
I am quite content with my shoes at the moment. The shoe is very comfortable and that is a big win during longer runs for me. I tend to get blisters quite easily when I run less than 4 days a week, but these shoes help to keep blistering to a minimum. I did buy the shoe half a size bigger than my normal size to prevent my toes from hitting the front. With its price tag of €180, it’s quite an expensive shoe. Luckily, this shoe is also provided with life prolonging technology, and so far so good!
The Surfer – ON Running
The newer version of one of my first running shoes and my first experience with ON back then. The Surfer has been updated a little, changing the pattern of the Clouds underneath the shoe. The Rebound-rubber Clouds under the forefoot make them exceptionally suitable for just that – forefoot runners.
At the moment, this shoe is waiting for me to pick up the distance in my training. My injury prevented me from running more than 8k, so I have only done a few runs on these. The first model was always suitable for my long runs and my test-runs on the new model felt good. It’s not a shoe for racing, but perfect for training on the road. With €159,95, it’s also an average priced shoe. The life of the shoe is a little longer than the Flow, which is nice.
After the clinic, Robert advised me to have a look at the ASICS GLIDERIDE™. These shoes are mostly advertised for their great cushioning and support for heel runners, helping their feet roll to the front for take off. The push in the front of the shoe, however, can also be used when you only use your mid- and forefoot. The use of FLYTEFOAM™ and GEL™, which happen to be the two main selling points in my favourite ASICS, is combined in this shoe. It limits the strain on the muscles in your feet and should help to run more efficiently. I am REALLY curious for this shoe, and once I’ve had the chance to do some laps on it, I will get back to you!
If you are looking for new shoes and not sure what to do, I would definitely always advice you to go to a running store. This can be a Runnersworld, Run2Day, an ASICS store or any specialised store near you. It is really useful to do a running analysis and know if you need a neutral shoe or one that will help you correct pronation. Good shoes (and socks!) can prevent so many injuries! And if you are just curious right now, ask someone to shoot a video of the bottom part of your legs while you run a few meters, is your landing straight or do you land on the in- or outside of your feet?
I hope this overview of my shoes helped, and if you have any questions about shoes, landing or running, let me know!