By Eddie Suarez
I hate Brooks! I only wear Nike! Asics made my calves sore! I love Saucony!
We hear comments like this all the time from runners. But after asking a couple of follow-up questions, we learn that they haven’t realized each shoe company makes different types of shoes. Just like Ford makes the Mustang and the Explorer, shoe companies like Brooks will make the Pureflow and the Adrenaline. The Mustang and the Explorer appeal to two different markets. The same principle applies to the Pureflow and the Adrenaline.
The Brooks Adrenaline is a completely different shoe when compared to the Brooks Pureflow. The Adrenaline is a heavier shoe with hard rubber and plastic underfoot to keep the runner from over pronating. The difference (or drop) from the heel to the toe is 12mm. Compare this to the Pureflow, a soft neutral shoe with only a 4mm difference from heel to toe. The person who loves the Pureflow won’t necessarily love the Adrenaline. Additionally, and most importantly, the person who’s supposed to be wearing one can suffer discomfort or injure themselves if they opt for the other one.
Keep these differences in mind when you’re shopping for your next pair of running shoes. Don’t just choose Nike because that’s what you’re wearing now. Making the wrong choice could lead to shin splints, knee pain, or worse. Don’t assume that because you pronate now, that you’ll always pronate. Muscles in your legs and feet develop and can change your gait. Also, shoe companies make upgrades to the models just like car companies do with their cars. These upgrades may not be to your liking. Don’t take a chance. Before you make the purchase, visit the professionals at your local running specialty store and ask if the shoe has changed from what you’re currently wearing, and if this shoe is the right shoe for you. Take the 2 minutes to have them watch you run on the treadmill. You can discover something about your gait by analyzing it in slow motion on the video.
Hopefully with this knowledge you can continue to enjoy running for years to come!