Racing shoes

I've only ever worn Brooks Adrenaline shoes for everything I do ranging from 3K to full marathon.  I have been looking at getting a pair of racers for 3K and 5K but finding it a bit of a minefield!  Obviously I understand that racers are stripped down so not going to offer up much in the way of support, but is there any particular brand/model that offers up more than the norm?  All recommendations/suggestions welcome.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    The Adrenaline is a moderate support shoe, so you need to consider whether you still need this in your racing shoe (there seem to be more neutral race shoes than support race shoes).

    If you like Brooks, then the Racer ST may be suitable.

    I went from Asics 2000 series (similar to the Adrenaline) to the Asics DS Trainer which was a half-way house between the 2000 and the racing flat (Asics DS Racer) and got on really well with them.  I ended up ditching the 2000 series and just using the DS Trainer for racing & training.  

    Since then I moved onto the lighter Saucony Mirage shoes as my main shoe.  These tend to be classified as "transition" shoes to the minimalist type shoe, but I dont intend to move down to a zero-drop shoe and I'm quite happy running marathon distance in these.  So this type of shoe may be worth considering as its not marketed as a racing shoe, but is lighter than a traditional shoe?


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    stutyr makes some good recommendations.  Also along similar lines to ST Racer and DS Trainer would be things like Adidas Adizero Tempo, and (a bit lighter) Saucony Fastwitch.  I'm using Fastwitch at the moment for all race distances (will be trying them out for the marathon in five weeks; fingers crossed but they were OK over 20 miles on Sunday.)  If you're a major heel striker, these shoes will probably offer a little less protection than the Adrenaline, but they will be a better compromise than an out-and-out racing flat, so I'd imagine you'd be OK over 3k/5k.

  • How fast do you run and what sort of build are you Merk? (calling Olson)
  • I recently changed DS Trainer for all my running and I'm very happy with them.  Not sure how much support they provide compared to other shoes, but perhaps you could consider whether you need support if you will only be using them for short races.

    Will you still use standard support shoes for training & longer races?

  • @Sussex Runner - 3K PB 10.50 5K 19.20.  Not ran either distance this year though as I'm in marathon mode at the moment, although I do have a 3 and 5 in the next couple of weeks.  Ran my first 1/2 marathon on Sunday in 86.12 which was quicker than I'd hoped.  Build wise I'm 5.11 and a touch over 12 stone.

    @Lou - Yes I'll be sticking with Adrenaline for training and distance. 

  • Another question.  Can I get away with my normal size or should I still be going up a 1/2 size? image

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    I've worn Adrenaline, ST4 Racer, Fastwitch and DS Trainer all in the same size, FWIW.  Adidas can sometimes be a bit on the small side, but then I wouldn't buy a new model of shoes without trying them on for feel, so it's largely irrelevant.  Get what fits.

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    f buying shoes online, what I do is visit the web site and use the "show me how it fits" button.  This launches the shoefitr application that gives you a comparison of your current shoe with the selected shoe and tells ytou the equivalent size (even shows where its tighter/looser etc).  NB this is a US only webiste, so you can't buy from there and remeber to use the US sizing (normally 1 size higher than the UK equivalent).

    I find it invaluable - I bought a pair of Saucony fastwitch after checking on there, and went for a half-size bigger than my Saucony Mirage based on its results, and it was spot-on (the same size would have been too small). Just to show we're all different - I had the same intention as PhilPub to use the fastwitch for my forthcoming marathon but found they hurt my feet after 10 miles, so they're now in the cupboard waiting for my summer 5k and 10k races.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    stu - Meant to ask you about that.  I had a quick look at the Mirage online to see what the difference was from the Fastwitch, cos I'm not familiar with them.  I notice they're a little heavier but couldn't work out much more.  Are they like the Fastwitch as DS Racer are to DS Trainer, kinda thing, or is it not that simple?

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Philpub, yes its along those lines - the Mirage is kinda like the DS Trainer in that they are lighter and less padded than traditional shoes, but not as stripped down as racing shoes.  

    Biggest difference is the heel-to-toe drop as this is only 4mm (compared to 10+ mm in the DS trainers) but if your fastwitch are version 5 or later you'll already be accustomed to this.

    I prefer the Mirage and they felt slightly lighter & faster than the DS Trainers to me, but I think this is more due to the firmer cushioning rather than the gram count.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    This is where I get all confused; it's a few years since I tried DS Trainers but didn't really like them because I felt that they were too firm, whereas I find the Fastwitch softer and more cushiony.  However, it's the version 4 I'd be using for the marathon; I do have a pair of v5 but they feel a little firmer, and also gave me rubbing problems on the arches during a HM.  (They currently have elasticated laces in them and I've happily used them for shorter distance racing during duathlons.)  So I don't know whether I was just unlucky with this particular pair, if it's my imagination, or if they've changed for the worse (for me).  I do suffer sore calves after a particularly long race in the v4 but being a heel striker I think this is inevitable; during the race they feel fine.

    Classic heel striking in Saucony Fastwitch at the Finchley 20 on Sunday!  image

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    v5 of the fastwitch is where they moved to the 4mm heel-to-toe drop, and a lot of web reviews complained about the change (e.g. "a good shoe ruined" type comments).  I have found them too firm to go over 10 miles, however they are the lightest shoes I've ever had, so I don't know if I would find similar racing flats just as uncomfortable over longer distances.

    I can't see the picture, but if you have a pronounced heel strike then I'd expect the v5s to get uncomfortable sooner, as the change in drop is primarily through removing heel cushioning whilst leaving the toe cushioning the same.  I feel like I mid-foot strike in the mirage/fastwitch, but the wear pattern on the heel suggests that I do still heel strike, so I wouldn't say they were definitely unsuitable. 


  • I think I'll just buy another pair of Adrenaline and be done... a mine field I tell you!

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Cheers Stu. The heel-to-toe drop would probably explain things then. I guess the v4 are just better suited to my style, the v5 definitely slap the road a bit more, like the transition isn't so smooth.  Shame... Interestingly last night whilst looking at all this I came across this review of the Nike Zoom Streak 4, which is interesting mainly because it's a direct comparison with the reviewer's current Fastwitch v5 - which he doesn't like for precisely the change mentioned.  So I've got my eye on those as a possible race shoe option - especially as I've used the Zoom Elite for everyday training, same midsole material which I like - although at this stage of the game I think I'm best off sticking with the v4 for the upcoming marathon.  Plenty of time for the calves to recover afterwards!

    Merk - Come on fella, push the envelope!  Get those bricks off your feet!  image

  • OK I'm a girl so maybe my advice is not really applicable...but I am pretty happy with Musha 4 (from Mizuno). I am a heel-striker with slight overpronation and these shoes are great even at the marathon distance (they survived Rome with its 20k+ of cobbles and me being on my feet for just under 5hrs). No problems with the calves (I wasn't exactly quick mind!). Just my 2p

  • I've still not made the leap yet!  I had planned on getting a pair of racers bought and broken in to wear at last weeks 3K on the Green in Glasgow but ended up running in a pair of Adrenaline.  As it was I came 4th in 10.39, taking 17secs off my PB (in gale force winds no less!) image

    While browsing at the weekend I came across More Mile racers.  Anyone had them before?

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