Spring 2008 Shoe Guide

This spring's best new running shoes

Posted: 27 January 2008

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Why doesn't RW seem to review racing or lightweight/performance shoes?  I never run in anything else (except X-country spikes and wet weather stuff) but I can't find reviews of the latest models
Posted: 04/02/2008 at 11:47

Another linked problem is many running shops don't stock racing-flat type shoes now - too many problems with people taking them back and blaming the shop for not advising them about lack of support, etc.  Means you have to buy from the internet without being able to try them on, which is only fine if you always know exactly what you want.  I bought lightweight shoes for track work and they do fit okay but I would rather have been able to try them on or, as you say, read some decent reviews before purchase.

Posted: 04/02/2008 at 12:06

I even went into the big NIke shop in Oxford street for a pair of Nike Firefly - only to be told that they were a specialist shoe and I needed to go to a running specialist like Run and Become etc for a pair - even though they had a pair of autographed Paula Radcliffe racing shoes on display!!

And that was Nike's own shop.

I suppose I shouldn' say this on here, but read Athletics Weekely because they do review them from time to time.


Posted: 04/02/2008 at 14:03

I buy all my shoes on-line now, I'm sorry to say.  Our local running shop has a very good staff who are all runners, but I'm not interested in running in what Gordon Pirie described as "diving boots".  Mostly I've been lucky - the three pairs of Saucony Fastwitch are only now reaching the end of their lives, while I have some new Acics racing shoes on order.  My worst recent buy was a pair of Adidas Mangostins - they will make adequate bedroom slippers, but you'd be better off running in socks.
Posted: 04/02/2008 at 15:40

I was in a local running shop the other day looking for racers and they said that because modern shoes are so light that there's not much difference in weight so there's no need for racers so they don't sell them.

Posted: 04/02/2008 at 18:38

Yabbut the point about racers (for me at least) isn't so much about the weight but the lack of a gigantic built-up heel.  The flatness, if you like.
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 07:57

Yabbut the point about racers (for me at least) isn't so much about the weight but the lack of a gigantic built-up heel.  The flatness, if you like.
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 07:58

There are a few 'not so happy's about the shoe guide on TriTalk too. (Some of them just Yorkshiremen unhappy at the thought of paying for anything though. Interesting idea on how to use a pound too). Someone has suggested a site called www.shoeguide.co.uk and from my browsing I can tell you that it does include racers. I'd want to see more details but it's a step in the right direction.
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 09:56

From a shops point of view - I guess its demand. If everyone was asking for them, then it would be worth their while selling them - but its a small market - so no point in them tying their money up in slow moving stock ?
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 09:57

That's a good site at www.shoeguide.co.uk - much better than RW's, for my purposes!
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 10:02

I still think there is a big big difference between flats and trainers - and for me was about themental process of running - getting ready to race - if you like - I didn't wear socks either as it was all about shedding the weight - it made no difference really I imagine but mentally it did
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 16:39

I only run in racers myself (or my fell shoes) and tried to explain that I wanted a shoe that was flat, low profile, but she didn't seem interested.

Shoe Guide is quite a good site. Cheers for the link.
Posted: 05/02/2008 at 16:43

Hi guys and thanks for your comments on the guide.

We are very happy to include lightweight/performance shoes in the shoes guides, but are limited by what the manufacturers can send us. Obviously shoe testing is very subjective, but to try to counteract this we ask for as many pairs as possible and send them out to our testers, as well as getting them tested in the shoe lab. Each guide is a few months in the making and much of this time is taken up trying to get enough of the new models from manufacturers, in time for our testers to run in them.

It's a difficult process for everyone concerned - the manufacturers aren't used to sending out so many shoes so far in advance of the on-sale date, as no-one else seems to do testing on this scale - but I'm constantly trying to make it better, so we can offer the most comprehensive guide possible.

This time we weren't sent any new lightweight shoes, which is why there were none in the guide. In terms of track and cross-country shoes, you're right, we dont' put those in the guide, mainly becaues they're a bit more specialist - so we might review them from time to time but not as a matter of course (same goes for off-roaders/trail shoes, which we do separately).

Incidentally if any of you would like to join the shoe-testing gang just drop me an email!


Liz RW

Posted: 06/02/2008 at 11:10

Thanks for the explanation - obviously if you don't get the shoes, you can't review them.  Maybe I should bombard the suppliers with requests to send you the shoes, and then hope you select me to test them if my application to join  the testing panel is successful!

Posted: 06/02/2008 at 11:33

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