Not all shoes are created equal. But we all love a little bit of cushioning while running. While you are running, you are likely to put about twice your bodyweight pressure on your legs. To reduce this stress, a good pair of padded shoes can help. However, additional padding can be detrimental to joint health, as it reduces the feel of the impact (and not the impact itself).
Now, cushioning isn’t for everyone. For example, minimalist or barefoot runners argue that over time they usually learn to move in a way that is less offensive to their limbs. The best way to figure out if cushioning is working for you is to try on a pair of shoes and see how you feel about yourself. To make it easier for you, here is a list of four padded shoes you can choose from, depending on your budget.
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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38.
(Courtesy of Nike)
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38: a pair of shoes for everything
If you want cushioning with enough comfort for long runs, look no further than Nike’s Pegasus 38. This shoe is intended to be versatile, especially if you do not plan to buy several pairs for your different training formats (beginners, this one is for you). The Pegasus 38 features a very slight upgrade over the Pegasus 37 by means of a larger toe box. You can customize it further by changing the fit of the shoes by adjusting the arch height, traction material, laces, entry methods with a traditional or FlyEase option, all at a little extra cost.
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The uppers are not very ventilated, so while the shoes are great for running during the fall and winter months, they can be warm during the more intense summer months. Nike’s Zoom air technology gives extra bounce for your runs (making it a great choice for your tempo runs). If you flip the shoes over you’ll notice tiny studs on the underside – these signature Pegasus waffle studs help with traction, even when running on trails or roads. My well-worn pair stood up to both brilliantly, but I feel wet roads are a bit difficult to maneuver in these.
The Pegasus 38 has a cushioned tongue which is also attached to an inner sleeve, preventing tongue slippage. A fully gusseted tongue means your foot stays locked even as you time the kilometers with pressure evenly distributed across the foot. I even tried it for a few CrossFit style workouts and they worked pretty well as long as I wasn’t trying to lift heavy weights. All in all, these are great shoes designed to last a long time, yet come at a comfortable price point.
??9,995; available at nike.com/in
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adidas adizero adios pro 2.0.
(Courtesy of Adidas)
adidas adizero adios pro 2.0: Shoes for the magic of race day
The last pair of adidas shoes I wore were remarkably heavy. And when I told the brand about it, they told me I just had to wait a month for a big surprise. And so, step into the adios adizero pro 2. Lightweight and comfortable, these are some of the best running shoes I have worn. The first day I stepped out in it, I felt a little unsteady on my feet while walking. But that disappeared as soon as I started my race, during which I felt faster and more in control. The reason for the instability is the heel bevel on the lateral side (a cut section of the foam in the midsole).
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I was puzzled, so I asked adidas about it. âThe point of this is to stabilize a foot through overpronation. More foam on the medial side protects against overpronation and helps stabilize the foot throughout the gait cycle and more secure flow when opening the toes. So when you walk you feel unstable, when you run at a faster pace you feel significantly more stable, âsaid Nick Roche, Global Product Manager-Running FTW, adizero at adidas.
The shoes come with a rear foot plate and carbon fiber uppers (visible) for an aggressively fast ride. The uppers have a super fine mesh, which makes the shoes breathable during extremely fast runs. Would I run into these regularly? No. They are priced higher and they are designed for race day. So keep them only for fast, long runs and race days. They are definitely not intended for trail running, as I almost twisted my ankles a few times when wearing them on trail. They’re responsive shoes, but it would be a waste to wear them for less than a 10k run. So unless you like to walk long distances at a decent pace, buying them may not be justifiable. But if you do, it’s one of the best options out there.
??21,999; available on adidas.co.in
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Reebok Liquifect 180 3.0.
(Courtesy of Reebok)
Reebok Liquifect 180 3.0: Shoes for eas, daily running
The Reebok Liquifect 180 3.0 looks great with a simple design. But my experience wearing them was a bit disappointing. The only reason was the fit. I’ve come to expect that Reebok shoes aren’t the fastest, but give me decent speed and mileage and are comfortable for everyday runs. Considering this, I found the midfoot segment of the Liquifect 3.0 to squeeze my foot a bit too tight for my liking. I felt tongues biting into my skin and it kept me distracted as I ran. Maybe a thicker sock or a size larger would have solved the problem (tip: try a size larger at the store and try to jump a bit to see if it moves too much).
Also read: Do Better Shoes Help You Run Faster?
That aside, the shoes do the job they are intended to do very well. They feature full-length padding making them comfortable for all types of kicks. The outsoles, made of a rubber compound, are quite impressive and can tackle the road as well as the trail. There’s a slight gel-like addition to the heel that helps absorb shock even more (yay for us hookers!).
??6,599; available at www.shop4reebok.com
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Puma Magnify Nitro SP.
(Courtesy of Puma)
Puma Magnify Nitro SP: Shoes for long daily runs
If your budget is slightly higher, you should try the Puma Magnify Nitro SP. The attractive colourway (multi-colored stripes on the shoes intended to represent runners from all over the world) makes them ideal even as usual lifestyle clothing. The shoes have the most cushioning of the entire Nitro product line (all of which have nitrogen infused foam to make them more bouncy), so you can trust them to be comfortable for long, easy runs.
PUMAGRIP technology allows you to run on any type of surface (I tried trail, grass and road) and in all weathers. There is no additional support for the pronators, but for anyone with a neutral stance, these are reliable shoes. They’re not super light (at 250-350g, like the Reebok Luquifect and Nike Pegasus) and can feel a bit big if you try to run fast with them, but they don’t get heavy or lose their breathability afterward. a long term. They have a plush feel, with padding around the collar and heel. Overall they are very comfortable, but only as a daily trainer.
??13,999; available on in.puma.com