"I was going to say asics it does change depending on what you put in the weight sections"
Yes. One caveat: For those over 13 stone there is no fine tuning so you'll get the same recommendations whether you're 13 stone or 20 stone.
But it worked for me. I took their recommendation and bought a Cumulus 14 just now which I have tried on a short run. I am wearing them now.
I must admit they do feel very good and the gel is responsive to my low weight. I won't take a scalpel to the gel on this pair but it's obvious from looking at it that the (translucent) gel is more than a couple of mm thick (though whether they really needed "gel" to get that level of response is debatable). Suffice that it works. Thanks for the suggestion.
Thanks, Ballasteros. That's useful. If they publicised those recommended weights for each model (instead of some of the other marketing fluff they put in their descriptions) it would be a lot more useful to consumers.
Wilkie, I didn't go out and buy a whole load of trainers because I lack occupation. I'm just trying to get trainers that are kind to my old and dodgy heels.
fat buddha, I have no doubt there's considerable science driving improvements in footwear. But the gimmicks are what shift products off the shelf. I accept your point about running style and to some extent that's taken into account: trainers are advertised / reviewed as suiting overpronators or underpronators. It wouldn't take a great deal more to disclose, for example, the optimal weight range the manufacturer recommends.
"you can't just cut one open and deduce the characteristics of how the shoe will work in practice"
True. My surgical exploration wasn't so much to unravel any esoteric facts about the science behind the construction, it was to confirm my suspicion that the gel was more cosmetic than functional. I have the same suspicions about air cushioning i.e. not that it's useless but that it exists more for the marketing mileage. The same effect could highly likely be achieved just modifying the materials used to provide an effect equivalent to that provided by trapped air (and it would probably be cheaper too).
BTW, I don't claim expertise in shoes, but I used to own my own heel bar and was in shoe repairs for many years ...so I do know a little bit. I've even built shoes from scratch for the occasional pensioner who couldn't wear off the shelf products.
I've been running for a few years now and have had one or two good pairs of trainers in the past but am in the market for a new pair and finding it very frustrating.
I went out and bought half a dozen pairs or different types/makes and have been trying them out and am disappointed with all of them.
What I *think* I've discovered: All this talk of air and gel in the heel to absorb shock is a bit more psychology/marketing than science. This is 2012 and materials must exist that provide the same absorbtion without all the gimmickry.
Further, the volumes of gel provided in trainers seems to be the same whether the trainer is a size 6 or a size 14. I can't help thinking that someone who is a size six and nine and a half stone (like me) is going to have requirements quite different to someone who's a size 14 weighing 20 stone. Why then the same thickness of gel whatever the size of the shoe (in the makes I examined)?
Why do trainers make no mention of the body weight they are most suited to? Or is that irrelevant?
One more thing. I took a knife to a brand new pair of Asics and cut the gel open. Guess what?! It's 2-3 mm deep, that's it. This seems to support my theory that gel is more for show than for actual runner benefit. It's stuck on to the outside of the shoe so a few extra quid can be added to the price.
Somebody tell me I'm nuts and I've got this all wrong!