Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]


DOR Podcast #114: How to Pick the BEST Running Shoe for Your Race Day

You've got your race booked, so now comes the tough decision: what shoe do you wear on race day? With all the super shoes out there now, it can be a challenge to decide which one will be best for you when you toe the starting line. Two of the most important factors are race distance and course. What types of shoes are best for 5K/10K versus half marathon and marathon? What about hills, tight turns, and mixed terrain? Nathan, David, and BJ discuss their experiences with different shoes (both super and "normal") on race day over a variety of different distances, courses, and speeds. They also weigh the impact running economy benefits should have on our shoe decisions. Be sure to check out our friend Dustin Joubert's excellent work testing the running economy benefits of a variety of shoes on his website or on Instagram @labratrundown.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor

The Subjective: How do you decide what shoe to race in for different distances? 

0:00 - Intro
3:00 - The difference between short & long distance race shoes
9:44 - Should you always use the shoe that improves your running economy the most?
13:37 - What do you like in a 5K shoe vs. a half or marathon shoe?
27:21 - How course terrain & format effect shoe choice
43:24 - How do your goals change what shoe you choose?
47:13 - Balancing the value proposition of expensive super shoes
52:45 - Ideas for non-super shoes to race in
58:31 - How to prepare for & test your racing shoes
1:04:35 - Wrap-up

Science Feature:
Heel Drop This, Heel Drop That
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

We have discussed frequently on this website and our podcast how one heel-toe drop is not best for everyone. Some people do extremely well in zero or low-drop shoes while others do better in more traditional 10-12mm drop shoes. There are a variety of reasons that people do better at different levels, which is why the fact we have such a large variety of heel-toe drops on the market right now is so great. A lower heel height will place more emphasis on work from the calf muscles and will require greater amounts of ankle motion (dorsiflexion especially) through the gait cycle. A higher heel height will place more emphasis on work from the quadriceps and gluteal muscles, requiring less ankle dorsiflexion and more knee/hip motion. We suggest that unless you have some injury risk factors, you consider a variety of heel drops in your running shoe line. This can act as a form of cross-training, working different parts and systems. 

For those that want to maximize their abilities, understanding if you have some sort of muscular dominance (hip vs knee vs ankle strategy), can help factor into figuring out which heel height may work better or worse for you. Comfort also plays a large influence, as does whether the listed static heel drop is accurate (dynamic compression of midsoles can dramatically change the true height, which will actually vary depending on how you land and what part of the gait cycle you are in). 

For that reason, we encourage people not to freak out regarding the listed heel drop but use it as a guide to either add some variety to your shoe rotation or find footwear that optimizes your unique movement strategy

Recent Episodes

#108: Mailbag Episode!
#109: What do Heel Counters Actually Do
#110: Tips, Tricks, and Treats to Shopping Run Retail
#111: Mastering the Art of Running Over the Age of 40
#112: Best in New Balance, 2022
#113: The Truth about Shin Splints

Recently at Doctors of Running

Saucony Ride 15 TR - The everyday trainer gets some minor lugs for all-terrain use
Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature - A highly eco-friendly daily trainer
PEBAX and Carbon Fiber Plated Shoe Research Update
Asics Superblast - The brand new super stacked trainer from Asics
Fractel Performance Headwear - Check out running hats from the Aussie-based brand
Adidas Adistar CS - The heavy duty - and heavy - stability cousin to the Adistar

Follow Doctors of Running on Social Media
Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
Twitter: @doctorsrunning
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at

Adidas Adistar CS

Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>