Running shoes are confusing. There are so many shoes on the market today it’s hard to figure out which is best for your running. We know for fact that the best running shoe for you is the most comfortable shoe on your foot. Once you understand how shoes really aren’t that confusing the easier it will be to find comfortable shoes.
20 years ago when the internet was new I had the great opportunity to define running shoes. The owner at RRS didn’t believe runners would buy shoes on line (he quickly caught on) so he let us build an informational website only. It’s there where we really solidified the categories of Neutral, Stability and Motion Control and then to differentiate further we went Neutral Plus, Stability Plus and Motion Control Plus. With the influx of brands and shoes this system became too vague. In general most “experts” on the internet and in print are still basing shoe categorization through the lens of Neutral, Stability and Motion Control.
We are taking a shot at this with a simpler form of categorization. The basis is that every running shoe has support. The only real Neutral part of running is your bare foot. Once you put a shoe on you are adding support. The two variables then are degree of support and amount of cushioning.
Degree of Support
S1 – Basically a cover on your foot.
S6 – The Brooks Beast
Amount of cushioning based on S1. In reality there is no such thing as an S1.4. At the same time there will never be and S6 or S6.1. Any feel of the ground for that runner will go straight through to the knees, hips and low back.
S1 – Total Feel of the Ground
S1.1 – Minimal
S1.2 – Moderate
S1.3 – Maximum
S1.4 – No Feel of the Ground
For awhile, when we review a shoe we’ll give it a tag and a description. Once we feel confident on your grasp of the concept will simply go with the tag.
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