Rack Up the Miles in the New Balance 850 Series

Here at Running Shoes Research, we go straight to the runner to get the best word on sneakers. Today, we’ve profiled one runner has been loyal to the 850 Series by New Balance.

Name: Maureen
Age: 22
Location: Washington, DC
Biggest Running Feat: A 32 km run through Pavia, Italy
Shoes of the Moment: New Balance 856

Why she loves these shoes:

“I’ve been with this model since it was the 851…I like it because it’s a sturdy shoe and really controls my landing to minimize injury. It’s not designed for speed and it’s not particularly light or cushioned, but its sturdiness and rollbar support make it perfect for a distance runner who wants to pound a lot without making her knees and shins suffer the consequences. I run particularly heavy on my feet and need to watch out for shin splints and runner’s knee when I start upping my mileage – so the New Balance 856 has been a good model for me because it seems to have minimized those injuries.”

The New Balance 857, New Balance’s newest shoe, features a TS2 dual density medial post and an ABZORB SBS cushioning system that may make this version softer than the last. This stability shoe weighs in at 11.3 oz for women, and 13.7 oz for men. It runs about about $90-$95. More information on the 857 and other shoes can be found on the New Balance website.

April 12, 2006 | by Admin

Find me a Running Shoe!

You’ve read the reviews. You understand the importance of a properly fitting shoe. You know your gait. You’ve identified your foot type. Your running stride is no mystery and you’ve analyzed your running habits. All you want is a running shoe. But, so many shoes remain. You’re a lot smarter about running shoes, cross-trainers, racing flats and trail runners, but your foot is still bare. Is there any hope?

Some runners benefit from an interactive Running Shoe Finder tool. Several online sites offer short questionnaires to help you narrow down a shoe for you. It’s like your own personal podiatrist running shoe expert living in your laptop. Check out the sites below and determine the shoe for you:

Runner’s World Shoe Finder

RunningShoes.com Shoe Finder

OnlineShoes.Com Shoe Finder

March 29, 2006 | by Admin

New Balance: Balancing Great Shoes and Commendable Labor Practices

Long has negative publicity surrounding shoe manufacture labor practices in developing countries plagued the athletic shoe industry. New Balance, however, has been paraded as the exemplary brand for runners concerned with fair labor practices. Unlike other athletic shoe producers, New Balance rarely outsources production. In fact, 100% of New Balance’s manufacturing plants are located in the United States. At the height of public awareness about labor practices in the athletic shoe industry, New Balance was the clear choice for socially aware runners. But, it turns out, New Balance also makes a fantastic running shoe. Regardless of manufacturing labor practices, runners love New Balance.

So, you’ve decided a New Balance shoe is for you. But which one?

Supportive Cushioning Models

Stability/Motion Control Models

Lightweight Models

March 17, 2006 | by Admin

Dr. Running Shoe: Should your Physician Prescribe your Footwear?

Your healthcare provider advises to stay fit and it’s well-known that running is one of the best ways to get and stay healthy. Our running shoes, cross trainers and trail runners aid our quest to stay out of the doctor’s office. Or do they? Could your running shoes actually cause your doctor visit? According to The Physician and SportsMedicine “running related injuries are among the most frequent reasons for primary care visits.” Many runners suffer from malaligned legs and abnormal foot type, which if not compensated for by a shoe, greatly contribute to injury.

Don’t fret dedicated runner, hope remains. Many physicians are armed with a solid understanding of basic foot types, gait patterns and running shoe design. In fact, with a simple office visit, many physicians can recommend the right footwear for your foot and leg anatomy.

The anatomy of your running shoe may compensate for the anatomy of your foot. To fully understand your physician’s running shoe recommendation, understand your running shoe.

Running shoes, crosstrainers and trail runners are made up of 4 primary components: the upper, the midsole, the last, and the outsole. Check out the link below to learn where each part is and what it does to keep your feet healthy:
Anatomy of a Running Shoe

March 3, 2006 | by Admin

Avoid Injury with an AAPSM Selected Shoe

“Sports injuries impact the health and quality of life of millions of Americans,” or so says the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), who publishes an annual list of selected athletic shoes, including running shoes, cross trainers and trail runners. By providing information to advance the understanding, prevention and management of sports related injuries, the AAPSM strives to optimize fitness activity enjoyment.

Check out the list of selected running shoes and see if your current shoe or that snazzy one you’ve been eyeing makes the grade. AAPSM list of selected running shoes In selecting running shoes for the list, the AAPSM tests shoes for stability, durability, availability, price, quality control, orthotic compatibility, and specific, unique features. Selected running shoes are categorized by Mild Motion Control, Moderate Motion Control, Maximum Motion Control, Cushioning and Trail so you’re certain to find a great shoe to fit your specific foot structure and activity needs. For those of us with special size or width requirements, the AAPSM denotes shoes available in variable widths and larger sizes.

If you’re researching running shoes, cross trainers, aerobic shoes, hiking shoes or even walking shoes, start with safety and start here!

February 27, 2006 | by Admin

Nike Air Zoom Percept – Softest Review Yet!

If you’re looking for the softest stability shoe on the market, the Nike Air Zoom Percept might be for you. Sorry boys, this comes specifically tailored for women in a lightweight, 10.1 oz design. This little sister to Nike’s 2005 Air Pegasus is our “softest” review to date.

What makes this stability shoe so comfy? Two key technologies. First, the heel comes with a Zoom Air system specific to Nike Air Zoom shoes. This cushioning allows the heel to keep momentum throughout the stride while minimizing impact on the forefoot. Additionally, a soft midsole and flex-grooves specifically geared to women’s feet give a runner the feeling that she’s running barefoot. These shoes can give mild pronators with normal arches the most comfortable run on the road! The come in around $110 and can be found at a variety of stores and on a number of websites. For more information from the source, visit Nike’s website.

February 17, 2006 | by Admin

Saucony Grid Hurricane 8 – Well Worth the Honors

One shoe I’ve kept my eye on during my running history is the Saucony Grid Hurricane. The latest version, the Hurricane 8, uses a number of different devices to help give runners maximum comfort. As hinted at in the title, the Saucony patented “Grid” (woven filaments) at the heel helps stabilize the foot on impact. For additional comfort, a MCD (Motion Control Device) helps reduce pronation, and an increase in HRC (“high rebound compound”) makes it the most comfortable version of the Hurricane ever.

The other key to this stability shoe lies in the midsole. Saucony’s patented Dual Density Impulse™ EVA system helps to minimize shock while its Arch-Lock system (see above) provides control and support. The shoe weighs in at 13.2 oz for men, and 11 oz for women.

While I haven’t purchased the shoe myself (it isn’t exactly right fit for my foot), reviews of the shoe have been impressive. Runners’ World magazine recently named the Saucony Grid Hurricane 8 the Editor’s Choice shoe of Spring 2006, and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine has named previous models some of the best shoes for mild motion control. The Hurricane rings in at a heavy $125, but if you’re willing to fork out the cash, you’ll have a great run!

February 15, 2006 | by Admin

Asics Gel-Kinsei – Most Revolutionary Shoe Yet

On February 1, 2006, Asics launched its Gel-Kinsei, its most advanced running shoe to date. This stability shoe is jam-packed with features while weighing 13.2 oz for men and 11.5 oz for women. Here’s why you might want to consider a pair:

-The upper was created with a mesh material called Spacemaster-UV®. The material was inspired by sea-coral, and is very light, dry, and durable. Additionally, the shine reflects UV rays, making for a cooler run for your feet.

-The Solyte midsole cradles the foot and connects to the heel, providing maximum support

-The heel features two separate Gel® columns, and allows the heel to move independently while absorbing shock

It’s no wonder that Asics calls this shoe its “golden star” (kinsei’s English translation!). Previously launched in small quantities as the 2005 ING NYC Marathon, the shoe is now available in wide release for about $165. For more information, visit the Asics website.

February 13, 2006 | by Admin