Over the past three months, I have been testing several shoes, trying to find my perfect running shoe. Well, here is the thing: there just isn’t ONE “allrounder” you can wear for different kind of running routines, since there are so many factors to consider.
Finding the right running shoe is super important. It helps protect you from getting hurt and it can actually make you enjoy running! Thus, it took quite some time to test several running shoes over the past weeks in order to find my perfect match.
Before I asked for different samples from the respective sports brands, my personal trainer wanted me to do a gait analysis. True gait analysis is not a generic exercise, but is a scientifically-based and technically-precise process. It is highly individualized, and reveals a lot about how you will hold up to training and, ultimately, perform. When conducting a gait analysis, your feet are only one small piece of your biomechanical puzzle. What happens to your feet is merely part of a holistic, whole body, integrated movement pattern. Running, like most other whole-body activities, is essentially a unique way of moving.
When an athlete is analyzed statically, dynamically, and then running on the treadmill during a gait analysis, it serves to provide a unique, personal movement “map.” That “map” reveals the programming of everything happening within your body—from kinestetic awareness and habit, to individual levels of mobility, stability, flexibility, and functional strength. The analysis of all these different elements taken together is what creates a complete picture of a person’s gait. In essence, it is far more than just gait analysis. It is true “movement” analysis.
Gait analysis uncovers precisely how your body is moving. Every activity, even standing still, represents a unique movement pattern. That pattern is bred from your habits and lifestyle, as well as your body’s mobility, stability, flexibility and strength. Every action you take—running stride, pedal stroke, swim stroke, etc.—represents that unique movement pattern. If your movements include compensations (and they likely do), gait analysis can pinpoint the areas in the body where these losses of efficiency originate.
For me, this was the most important part before actually trying on a pair of running shoes ’cause after this analysis I actually needed to learn how to run. My personal trainer found several weak spots: my right knee, instability in my hips and too much tention in the shoulders. So, during the first four weeks I did nothing but working on a proper running routine with my usual running shoes and added some strength exercises and a lot of stretching, till I finally had it all down.
Pick your running shoe
When I finally had quite a good running technique and managed to properly integrate some strength training, I went to a specialist sports shop and asked for some advice. Due to the gait analysis and my new running technique, I handed over all my specs so that they could actually show me some running shoes that would match my purpose.
These were the specs they needed: height, weight, type of shoe (I prefer trail and citytrail but sometime also go running on the road), level of running experience (according to my personal trainer, I am an intermediate runner), how much I run in a typical week (30-40 km per week), my average pace (6:45), if I have had any injuries in the past 12 months (I’ve had some minor problems with my right knee), how high my arch is (mine is flat), my motion mechanics (I am an overpronator) and my heel strike (midfoot).
Thus, they gave me several shoes to try on the the treadmill: Brooks Pure Grit 2, Saucony Peregrine 3, Nike Zoom Wildhorse, Salomon X-Scream 3D, adidas boost. Well, I have to admit that running on a treadmill was not very efficient, which was the reason why I contacted the respective brands myself and asked for samples so that I could try different shoes for different running techniques to figure out what I feel most comfortable in and which pair actually made me enjoy running the most.
(but just a little side note: I did not get paid by any brand, nor did any brand try to influence my review or training; it’s all based on my personal experience from my point of view)
My all-time favorite running shoe (so far): Salomon X-Scream 3D
I am a huge fan of citytrails! Wether it’s during the early morning hours along the river bank or late in the evening, I love the smell of the trees, the sound of the water, simply forgetting everything else – becoming one with nature. For me personally, this is my biggest addiction and a feeling of total freedom at the same time.
I tried all kind of shoes, but for me, according to my specs as described above, I feel most comfortable in the Salomon X-Scream 3D. The X-Scream 3D is meant for urban runs that involve both road and easy trails. It serves me well on the road as well as on rough terrain and I highly appreciate its durable, responsive ride. For me personally, the fit is comfortable and I am a huge fan of the pull-cord lacing system. No matter whether I go for a short 5k run in the morning or for longer runs on weekends, I always enjoy myself and don’t suffer from any pain in my right knee, which is extremely important.
Salomon S-Lab Sense 4 Ultra and adidas boost
When I wanna challenge myself on difficult trail runs in the mountains, I love to put on the a S-Labe Sense 4 Ultra (yes, the shoe Kilian uses). Those runs are VERY challenging, but also energizing. On technical terrain you have a constant feel for the ground and due to the tight fit, the shoe goes exactly where you want it to go and importantly your foot does not move inside the shoe. I am not sure, whether it’s an emotional trigger, but every time I run in these shoes, I become faster, better and get one adrenaline high after another. BUT, it’s definitely not for regular training and surely more for VERY advanced trail runners such as Kilian. However, I LOVE these little challanges every now and then. :-)
When I am a bit tired and my knees are sore so that I only wanna go for a short run on the road, I sometimes put on the adidas boost – it has a high stability and a very comfortable fit for a relaxing run. But it is nothing for my regular training, since I cannot increase speed and endurance wearing them.
So, as I mentioned in the beginning, there isn’t just ONE “allrounder” for everything and for everyone, but I definitely picked my three favorite shoes and am very happy with the results.
See ya on the Isar running track! ;-)
photo credentials: V’s World