Want to run faster? Running shoes are the answer...
You pondered it, I pondered it and we found the answer to every runner's biggest question... do running shoes make you faster?
BY BRISTON RAINS APRIL 9, 2021
I'm not a huge fan of articles dragging out the answer or the news so I'm here to give you the quick answer... yes running shoes can make you a better and faster runner and here's why -
Running shoes seem to be the biggest mystery in the sport, especially when starting out. I've been running for over 4 years now almost every single day. It wasn't until this week that I found the answer. There's a big debate on if you should wear barefoot and zero drop shoes or shoes with a lot of cushion and big drops from the heel to the toe box. I found that if you started running in the cushiony and big toe-to-heel drop shoes and you're staying healthy, keep it!
However, if you started running in flat shoes that are more natural or if you are getting injured all the time I would highly suggest running in zero drop shoes. Zero drop shoes like the ones Altra makes are great for how we are naturally supposed to run. Now if you are switching to zero drops... ease into it. Don't jump in and run 60 miles a week without ever running in them before.
Now that we got that big wander of what type of running shoes out of the way let's dig into why shoes do make you run faster. I had a pair of Altras that I literally ran into the ground to where the soles had a huge hole in them. Within the span of three months, I put over 700 miles on those bad boys. I'm in college, so I don't have a huge budget to go get new running shoes every two months. But, a good rule of thumb is 250 to 300 miles per pair of shoes before switching to new ones. A lot of really good runners make the life of their shoes last longer by rotating through several pairs of shoes throughout the year.
Since I had so many miles on my shoes I noticed weird foot pains, my shoes felt like bricks and when I ran fast it just was not comfortable. So the other day I picked up a brand new pair of Altra Torin 4.5s and in a couple runs over a few days it made a world's difference. I was running faster than I ever was before, my runs were so much more comfortable and I was just blown away. It hit me that shoes and the condition of them do affect your running and how fast you can run. The newer the shoes, the more comfortable you are and the more bounciness you have when running.
In January of 2020, the World Athletics committee banned Nike's Vaporfly from any world athletic events including the Olympics. The Vaporflys had a carbon fiber plate that increased the runner's speed. These shoes would propel runners and it didn't allow for the true human nature of speed to be shown in competition. Vaprofly's caused new records to be broken all over the world by so many runners. The committee found that running shoes, like the Vaporfly, in a way are almost like doping.
From personal experience, running in a pair of brand new shoes feels almost illegitimate. In bare feet or even just regular old running shoes, I would not be able to run some of the times I run now. However, it is a part of the sport and it's widely accepted. So we can use it to our advantage.
The moral of the story... go get some new running shoes to run fast.