Are you excited to get a new pair of running shoes? When you check a local store, there are hundreds to choose from–those varying in style, construction, and weight. The excitement somehow turns into confusion as to what pair you will purchase. At this point, it is essential to have a better understanding of how the shoe technology works and how much do running shoes weigh to be able to know which running shoes suit you best.
What Are Running Shoes?
Running shoes are ergonomically designed to handle partially the shock of your body weight every time your foot strikes the ground. It can provide a cushion excellently to both your heel and your forefoot. It can also give utmost protection to your feet, legs, and body against the repeated stress from foot landings.
These running shoes are made with built-in features that allow you to run, walk, and train comfortably and will lessen the chance of incurring injury due to over usage. Some of the advantages of running shoes include flexibility, stability, breathability, traction, and cushioning.
What Are the Cushion Levels?
In most cases, the cushion level of the running shoes determines its weight. Let’s take a look at the different amounts of cushioning and determine what’s best for you.
- Level 5 Cushioning
This is the top-of-the-line technology that offers optimum cushion. It is perfect for daily high-mileage running routines as it provides maximum protection for runners. Running shoes under this category are built for long races such as half and full marathons. It is also ideal for runners with larger frames or built.
- Level 4 Cushioning
This is your go-to running shoes for high-level performances. It is recommended for long and short daily racing and running. Shoes that fall under this category are versatile for high and better mileage.
- Level 3 Cushioning
This features a perfect balance of lightweight, moderate cushion, and flex. It allows you to pick up your pace with a fast and energetic feel that’s perfect for daily, tempo, and even race running. Running shoes under this category represents the exact midpoint between the cushion and natural feel and is ideal for expert runners or those looking for a good-tempo shoe.
- Level 2 Cushioning
This includes incredibly light yet extremely flexible shoes. It features a touch of cushion with a minimal feel as it strengthens the feet and its practice form. Highly competitive racers often use shoes under this category since they allow a better feel and connection to the road.
Level 1 Cushioning
This is the lightest and probably the most flexible design that offers minimal protection to the feet. Using these running shoes will make you feel almost barefoot yet still protected. Running shoes under this category will help strengthen your feet while walking, running, or during training.
How Much Do Running Shoes Weigh?
The trends toward the different weights of running shoes have evolved through time. Normally, a standard running shoe weighs more than 10 ounces. But now you’ll be able to get a pair that weighs around 5.3 ounces–a shoe designed to mimic barefoot running revolution.
Lighter and more minimalist shoes are specifically designed for racing on fast and clean roads. However, these shoes tend to be easily worn down and quickly lose support and cushioning as compared to bulkier and heavier ones.
Is Running Shoe Weight Really Important?
A more important question that you really need to ask yourself is why are you running? If your answer is to have a fast pace, better racing performance, and increased race time, then the weight of your shoes might make a big difference.
According to scientists, the weight of your running shoes greatly affects your speed. Their studies show that the lighter the running shoes, the faster one can run. Those wearing shoes that is 100 grams lighter than the normal ones can shave off up to 57 seconds in his marathon time. However, the next question that comes to mind is, “Are these lighter and faster running shoes better?”
It is important not to sacrifice comfort in pursuit of speed. Reducing the shoe mass by removing the cushioning can actually cause you to expend more energy by absorbing shock from each foot strike.
On the other hand, if your goal is focused mainly on running for recreation, enjoyment, relieve stress, or just to shed a few pounds, then the weight of your running shoes is not really a critical factor. You can opt to use whichever running shoes you want for as long as you and your feet are comfortable with it.
- Always practice “feet first, before you buy.” Know the type of feet you have as they can come in different sizes and form. The shape and components of the running shoes should match with your foot type for the best fit and more comfortable running experience. There is no “perfect” running shoe as it entirely depends on the shape of your feet, your biomechanics, and the frequency of running routines you have.
- Try experimenting with different brands and models of running shoes to find the right feel, fit, and functionality.
- Trust your feet. The best shoe is the one that feels best while you run. Forget about what you see in marketing tools, what you hear from your running buddy, or what worked in the past. Instead, get the one that will make you feel that your shoes are an extension of your body.
Knowing the basics of shoe technology and how much do running shoes weigh can greatly help in choosing the best pair to suit your needs. For athletes and professional runners, the weight of the shoes greatly matters as it enhances their speed. But for those who run for fun, this is not really an important consideration.
Remember that the weight of the running shoes is only one factor of many when it comes to the shoe selection process. There are other qualities to look after in a perfect pair of running shoes–design, construction, and comfort are just some of them.