Racing Flats

Could someone then enlighten me as to a decent racing flat?

I'll admit that it's a bit strange asking the question, as I've owned a few pairs previously and so know what to look for, but I'm an awkward type and my needs are not simply one or the other.

I'm ideally looking for a light light shoe in the racing flat category, but which will not wear down after around 100-200 miles, a la, the previous Nike Mayfly and Vapor Fly's that I had. Realistically I'd like a combination between a more harder wearing shoe, but with the same lightness as the Mayfly's.

I just tend to hate bulky trainers these days, and prefer the feel of racing shoes, that I sense an all out rejection of ordinary trainers coming.

If push comes to shove I'll just go back to what worked and purchase one of the above mentioned's, but realistically I'm looking to invest a bit more money and get more use out of a racing flat, for a longer period of time.

Any recommended models that people are using at the moment? When it comes to racing flats, I'm primarily a Nike man, but I'll sway to others.



  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Fila Racers were always my favourite - the red ones that a lot of Kenyans used to wear - a proper flat but not in the super light category - don't think you can get them in the UK any more though.
  • Try to get hold of a pair of Nike Air Zoom Streak Racers (aka Air Zoom Streak XC in the US) - they're about 200g and I find them a bit more comfortable and certainly more durable than the Mayfly. I wear them as my everyday trainer (I also hate any bulky trainers with stability / support) and my first pair show no real signs of wear after nearly 500 miles.

    Without trying to sound like a shoe review, I personally found the ride of the Fila Racer K1 a bit too firm and the shoe lacked flexibility in the mid foot.
  • You may want to try Puma H Streets (as recommended by the Pose running community) - light, cheap and hard wearing. They may be considered as casual trainers rather than running shoes but if they do the job who cares.
  • Ideally I would choose Puma H Streets, as shown on my forum picture.

    On PoseTech, people are suggesting a slightly bigger alternative, the Adidas adizero PR. I've not tried these but would like to.

    Personally, I think any racing flat which meets the following criteria would suffice:
    - lightweight
    - flexible around the midfoot (perhaps a mesh upper would help)
    - truly flat ie thickness at forefoot is not much different to the heel

    Let me know if you find one ;-)
  • JEJ - The Zoom Streak Racers had actually been a shoe I had considered, but wasn't entirely sure. They don't cost that much at Start Fitness, and so your positive comments convince me some more.

    nrg-b - I like the adiZero range too, but unfortunately it seems limited to the US at the moment, and the hassle of ordering from outwith this country puts me off a bit. The Adizero PR, and other similar shoes in that range seem fantastic though, and definitely caught my interest. I've seen one of the shoes in that range in the UK but it doesn't look as good or light.

    Was looking at the most recent Brooks T4 Racer (£39.99), but not being a Brooks user, I'm not sure what to expect.
  • Stuart - I've also stockpiled the orarnge ones but will be on the look out for the US only blue ones when I'm over there next week - I've heard very positive things about them. If you get on well with the Mayflys, I think you'll like the Streak Racer.
  • JEJ: The adizero is about half the weight of the Zoom Streak Racers. If you're in the US, would you consider doing some import/export business on the side?

    Only joking.......I have enough shoes.
  • Stuart,

    I have the Brooks T4 Racer and love them.

    If you can find them in the UK, whay don't you try them?

    I read very good reviews about these shoes.
  • The T4's look good, but I'm not sure of Brooks (not their credibility as a manufacturer), but whether I should take the gamble on them just now. I know reviews are good, but just now I'll go with the tried and trusted make of Nike, for me. T4's may be a consideration for a future purchase though.

    JEJ - I'll go for the Streak Racers then, ta. Might stockpile them too. I'm just trying to phase out traditional running trainers in favour of lighter, more natural flats. Might cause more stiffness etc at first, but I'll get used to it.
  • Ahh darn. Found a pair of Vaporfly's for £29.99 on (£10 less than I paid last year) and in honesty these were good racing flats. I still have a pair now which are virtually done in, so these could be an option...

  • >Lurks in the hope of scrounging some recommendations for racing shoes which are as comfortable as Vaporflys.<
  • Stuart - I agree with your approach to phase out heavy shoes in favour of lighter ones.

    Here, hilly favours the Vaporflys over the Mayflys and even the Ekidens.

    I love my Streak Racers and will probably do FLM in them. I was going to try the Vaporflys over 20 miles this Sunday. Although they are lightweight I do find them a bit bulky and not conducive to a good running style.
  • I kind of like the Vaporfly's, so much so that I actually purchased them a couple of hours ago after weighing everything up and also looking at this thread. Admittedly, I preferred the slight differences that Mayfly offered in terms of closeness to the ground, fit, and comfort - but it was not enough for me to ignore the Vaporfly, and the price isn't that bad for it these days, so I went for it. The Vaporfly is a bit bulkier, but in racing flat terms, still pretty good compared to other ones out there.

    The reasoning behind it all, is not simply because I want a racing shoe, and, as I've explained I actually like the feel of training in a racer. Yes, it's less supportive and cushioned, but also less restrictive. However...

    In time, could this actually lead to stronger feet and a better running style? That's my aim. Using Nike Free trainers supposedly claim that, but a racing flat is not too different so should aim to achieve mostly the same gains.

    I have done quite a few 10 milers in them BR in training, infact I even raced a half marathon last August (2006), where I ran 75:46 - so as for being useful over the longer distances, and possibly your 20 miler this weekend, they should be fine enough.
  • Yep Stuart. I ran the Stamford 30k in the Streaks and they felt good, although legs tired by the end. I was going to run East Hull 20 in a similar manner then compare and contrast which would be better for FLM. I've run 20 mile training runs in them - I wanted to test them in near race conditions.
  • Have a look also at the NB 550.

  • Anyone with experience with the (new) New Balance racers? Even if you just picked them up in a shop, let us know what you thought regarding the overall flatness of the shoe, did it have a thick heel, etc.
  • Or from the US site:-

    The RC152 looks ideal for forefoot-strikers and is presumably a successor to the sorely-missed RC150.
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    The blue Nike Streak XC are a brilliant shoe, unfortunately I don't think they are available in the UK. Bought a pair in New York last year and wished I'd bought a few more. At 5.5 oz they are the same weight as the RC152. I've not seen these for sale in the UK either.
  • Hey Chaos! The RC152 looks good (lightweight, mesh upper) but I wonder if the thickness of cushioning would restrict flexibility across the ball-of-foot region?
  • I used my Vaporfly's in New York and they were fine, plus a 20 training run 2:20:24, so wasn't dawdling... never had a problem, apart from theyr'e one size too small. If your'e a 10 in ASICS for example, get an 11 in Vaporflys, I ordered mine in a 10 of Tinternet and they're just slightly too small, need a new pair actually for Edinburgh!

  • Stuart, thanks for the heads-up about where to get Vaporflys for £29.99. I've, er, stockpiled. The same site also has eL Bee!'s preferred racers, Asics Hyper Speed, at £39.99.

    Pug, I take exactly the same size in Vaporflys as I do in my everyday running shoes :o) And have raced up to 20 miles in them without any problems and plan to use them for FLM.
  • hi Chaos,

    Do you know where I can find any reviews about the NB 152? I googled it but could not find anything.

    thank you.
  • I've not seen any UltraSpud, but it might be worth a search on the US runnersworld website.

    nrg-b (hello!). They do look marginally thicker in the forefoot than the old RC150 which to my mind had it just right - enough to act as a load-spreader across the ball of the foot thus preventing small stones/unevenness digging in and bruising of the foot, but not enough for any sponginess & also a pretty firm bit of rubber in there that didn't absorb energy. My 150s are also well over the 1000 mile mark and still going...

    Whether that thickness is just due to the outsole wrapping round the upper very slightly or not, would be handy to know. No plans to go to the States this year so I probably won't see any. Just done a round-the-world trip so a bit skint!
  • Like I say, I got a pair of Vaporfly's recently and now use that mostly as my everyday trainng shoe and will race with it too. However I can't deny that the Mayfly had that special feel for racing in that the Vaporfly doesn't. Just a shame that the Mayfly doesn't have as long a life span as the Vapor, or it would be crowned the king of flats in my opinion!

    Tiny bit of cushioning, little support but paired down more than any other racer out there - you virutally get nothing. But that's how it should be for racing. ;)
  • Chaos: I helped out the Edinburgh Pose clinic over the weekend with Dr R. He wore the Adidas SL-72. The pictures show a heel which is far more raised then in real life. What I like is they have nylon uppers and clearly are flexible over the BOF area. Also they have a simple flat sole.
  • Tom.Tom. ✭✭✭
    Mention of the SL72, is guarenteed to bring me out of the closet. They are my fav training shoe of all time (even better than Tigers). Ran in them constantly from 1972-77, even the revamped SL76 didn't dissuade me. However putting nostalgia on one side, although they were a great ride they weren't for me particularly hard wearing, as I was pushed to get more than 500 miles out of a pair without having to resort to some serious DIY cobblering.

    Currently I'm training in Ekidens, which I think are a great shoe. The're getting close (850 miles) to the nirvana of a £30 pair of trainers giving me 1000 miles running, and I've got another pair in the closet. Also I managed to pick up a pair of Onitsuka Tigers for £20! Saw them in the window of a sports fashion shop in Cardiff and nearly collaped with amazement. I've done a few parkland miles in them, but they are flimsier than I remember them.
  • Is the NB152 the sequel to the 150? (Much loved by many forumites).
  • Tom: You've been outed ;-) I don't like the SL76 as it is all suede. Well done, on the Onitsukas. I have a pair and they would be perfect if only the uppers were made from softer materials. Otherwise they are thinner and more flexible then the Puma H Streets. I think tonight I'll go running in them :-)

    Treadmill: Can't say for sure as I haven't tried them, But looking at the pictures the NB152 looks thicker and has more heel cushioning.
  • Just to make you all jealous - I got 2000 miles from my last pair of NB150s 8oD

    I have to confess I'm quite excited by the 152s. And there's a chance that I'll be moving to the States soon...
  • ATMF: Well Done! In just over 2.5 years (excluding 1 year of injury non-running) I've used up 1 pair of NB150s and the second pair is still going strong. I won't make you jealous by stating how many pairs I still have ;-)

    Good luck with the potential move to US - (which is the bit that does make me envious!) :-)))
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