Racing Flats

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15/03/2007 at 23:19
Could someone then enlighten me as to a decent racing flat?

I'll admit that it's a bit strange asking the question, as I've owned a few pairs previously and so know what to look for, but I'm an awkward type and my needs are not simply one or the other.

I'm ideally looking for a light light shoe in the racing flat category, but which will not wear down after around 100-200 miles, a la, the previous Nike Mayfly and Vapor Fly's that I had. Realistically I'd like a combination between a more harder wearing shoe, but with the same lightness as the Mayfly's.

I just tend to hate bulky trainers these days, and prefer the feel of racing shoes, that I sense an all out rejection of ordinary trainers coming.

If push comes to shove I'll just go back to what worked and purchase one of the above mentioned's, but realistically I'm looking to invest a bit more money and get more use out of a racing flat, for a longer period of time.

Any recommended models that people are using at the moment? When it comes to racing flats, I'm primarily a Nike man, but I'll sway to others.

16/03/2007 at 00:02
Fila Racers were always my favourite - the red ones that a lot of Kenyans used to wear - a proper flat but not in the super light category - don't think you can get them in the UK any more though.
16/03/2007 at 07:29
Try to get hold of a pair of Nike Air Zoom Streak Racers (aka Air Zoom Streak XC in the US) - they're about 200g and I find them a bit more comfortable and certainly more durable than the Mayfly. I wear them as my everyday trainer (I also hate any bulky trainers with stability / support) and my first pair show no real signs of wear after nearly 500 miles.

Without trying to sound like a shoe review, I personally found the ride of the Fila Racer K1 a bit too firm and the shoe lacked flexibility in the mid foot.
16/03/2007 at 07:36
You may want to try Puma H Streets (as recommended by the Pose running community) - light, cheap and hard wearing. They may be considered as casual trainers rather than running shoes but if they do the job who cares.
16/03/2007 at 07:57
Ideally I would choose Puma H Streets, as shown on my forum picture.

On PoseTech, people are suggesting a slightly bigger alternative, the Adidas adizero PR. I've not tried these but would like to.

Personally, I think any racing flat which meets the following criteria would suffice:
- lightweight
- flexible around the midfoot (perhaps a mesh upper would help)
- truly flat ie thickness at forefoot is not much different to the heel

Let me know if you find one ;-)
16/03/2007 at 12:23
JEJ - The Zoom Streak Racers had actually been a shoe I had considered, but wasn't entirely sure. They don't cost that much at Start Fitness, and so your positive comments convince me some more.

nrg-b - I like the adiZero range too, but unfortunately it seems limited to the US at the moment, and the hassle of ordering from outwith this country puts me off a bit. The Adizero PR, and other similar shoes in that range seem fantastic though, and definitely caught my interest. I've seen one of the shoes in that range in the UK but it doesn't look as good or light.

Was looking at the most recent Brooks T4 Racer (£39.99), but not being a Brooks user, I'm not sure what to expect.
16/03/2007 at 13:41
Stuart - I've also stockpiled the orarnge ones but will be on the look out for the US only blue ones when I'm over there next week - I've heard very positive things about them. If you get on well with the Mayflys, I think you'll like the Streak Racer.
16/03/2007 at 14:24
JEJ: The adizero is about half the weight of the Zoom Streak Racers. If you're in the US, would you consider doing some import/export business on the side?

Only joking.......I have enough shoes.
16/03/2007 at 15:06

I have the Brooks T4 Racer and love them.

If you can find them in the UK, whay don't you try them?

I read very good reviews about these shoes.
16/03/2007 at 15:33
The T4's look good, but I'm not sure of Brooks (not their credibility as a manufacturer), but whether I should take the gamble on them just now. I know reviews are good, but just now I'll go with the tried and trusted make of Nike, for me. T4's may be a consideration for a future purchase though.

JEJ - I'll go for the Streak Racers then, ta. Might stockpile them too. I'm just trying to phase out traditional running trainers in favour of lighter, more natural flats. Might cause more stiffness etc at first, but I'll get used to it.
16/03/2007 at 17:15
Ahh darn. Found a pair of Vaporfly's for £29.99 on (£10 less than I paid last year) and in honesty these were good racing flats. I still have a pair now which are virtually done in, so these could be an option...

16/03/2007 at 17:38
>Lurks in the hope of scrounging some recommendations for racing shoes which are as comfortable as Vaporflys.<
16/03/2007 at 20:25
Stuart - I agree with your approach to phase out heavy shoes in favour of lighter ones.

Here, hilly favours the Vaporflys over the Mayflys and even the Ekidens.

I love my Streak Racers and will probably do FLM in them. I was going to try the Vaporflys over 20 miles this Sunday. Although they are lightweight I do find them a bit bulky and not conducive to a good running style.
16/03/2007 at 20:34
I kind of like the Vaporfly's, so much so that I actually purchased them a couple of hours ago after weighing everything up and also looking at this thread. Admittedly, I preferred the slight differences that Mayfly offered in terms of closeness to the ground, fit, and comfort - but it was not enough for me to ignore the Vaporfly, and the price isn't that bad for it these days, so I went for it. The Vaporfly is a bit bulkier, but in racing flat terms, still pretty good compared to other ones out there.

The reasoning behind it all, is not simply because I want a racing shoe, and, as I've explained I actually like the feel of training in a racer. Yes, it's less supportive and cushioned, but also less restrictive. However...

In time, could this actually lead to stronger feet and a better running style? That's my aim. Using Nike Free trainers supposedly claim that, but a racing flat is not too different so should aim to achieve mostly the same gains.

I have done quite a few 10 milers in them BR in training, infact I even raced a half marathon last August (2006), where I ran 75:46 - so as for being useful over the longer distances, and possibly your 20 miler this weekend, they should be fine enough.
16/03/2007 at 20:58
Yep Stuart. I ran the Stamford 30k in the Streaks and they felt good, although legs tired by the end. I was going to run East Hull 20 in a similar manner then compare and contrast which would be better for FLM. I've run 20 mile training runs in them - I wanted to test them in near race conditions.
17/03/2007 at 06:10
Have a look also at the NB 550.

21/03/2007 at 11:58
Anyone with experience with the (new) New Balance racers? Even if you just picked them up in a shop, let us know what you thought regarding the overall flatness of the shoe, did it have a thick heel, etc.
21/03/2007 at 12:02
Or from the US site:-

The RC152 looks ideal for forefoot-strikers and is presumably a successor to the sorely-missed RC150.
21/03/2007 at 13:35
The blue Nike Streak XC are a brilliant shoe, unfortunately I don't think they are available in the UK. Bought a pair in New York last year and wished I'd bought a few more. At 5.5 oz they are the same weight as the RC152. I've not seen these for sale in the UK either.
21/03/2007 at 14:12
Hey Chaos! The RC152 looks good (lightweight, mesh upper) but I wonder if the thickness of cushioning would restrict flexibility across the ball-of-foot region?
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