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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I've been running competitively for about half a year now and time to get new shoes has past quite some time ago. I've been looking into all sorts of shoes and for the first time I see flat sole shoes which are said to be meant for racing. I wonder what makes them faster and why should I get them over any other training shoe?

Currently I have two sets of running shoes, I have the Saucony Shadow 9 which I run with at the base (I'm a soldier) and at home I have an old worn up set of Nike's, so worn up they're entirely soft all over. Even though they're soft and no longer offer any support I don't get pains after a session on them. Last weekend I checked my 6k speed and broke my personal record - 21:38

I'm 1.92m and 78.5kg (6'4" and 173 lbs) and am becoming increasingly serious in my training. I'm now heading off to try on my first racing shoes but I would like some insight on the differences between racing and training shoes and are racing shoes good for my training plan as well?

Thanks.
 

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Hi Shrewd

Some shoes are made for shorter distance, some for off-road, some for just "running". Best bet's probably to go to a specialist running shop, the good ones can tell you all about it & make suggestions. As far as I can tell, the racing ones are lighter, with less cushioning and grip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was at a specialist shop today, they explained that professional runners keep a set of training shoes and a set of racing shoes, racing shoes generally offer less support, and break your steps less making them less healthy but much lighter so you can run faster with them but you don't want to train with them because they're less healthy and wear out faster - 200-300 km only.

Next week I'm going to see more Brooks shoes and then I can reach a decision, so far I've tried Saucony and Asics, didn't like the Asics shoes at all, they were all far too hard, better off running barefoot. And Saucony were alright, but the Brooks I've see so far I liked better.

I'll see what I find and learn next week and update here as well.
 

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Shrewd, you'll ultimately find what suits you and makes you feel comfortable. As you've said you don't like Asics' offerings, yet I find them very comfy and have recently bought a new pair of Asics Gel Kayano XIII's and some Asics DS Racers for racing in.

Racing shoes are noticeably lighter, though they are less supportive and have less cushioning. Obviously trainers are made to allow you to comfortably run mile after mile as comfortably as possible and minimise strain and abuse on the body, so for everyday running and training they'd be your best bet by far, but should you want to shave a few seconds off your race time then go for some 'racing flats' too. If it's one or the other, go for trainers.
 

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Weight is the main thing with racing shoes...
If you are a light-weight runner you can even do a few training sessions in them (say, if you look like Paul Tergat).
For road racing, they may present a slight advantage as there is less weight to carry.

You may want to try what I do. I am not heavy at all, but also not that light that I could afford to run in racing flats and still feel good the next day.
So I buy what (at least here in Portugal) they call intermediate shoes.
Not a big sole as the training ones. Not such a thin one as the racing ones.
And I train and race in them.
They are light enough and still offer good protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I got the Brooks Adrenaline. Thanks for the advice everyone.

I'm light weight but I'm not Paul Tergat.. Right now I'm on a 50km/week training schedule and I can already feel how badly I needed to get these new shoes. Next time it seems I won't be delaying it so long and rather I'll go right ahead in 3-4 months and get these same shoes again.

Today I modeled 10k, new PB - 38:00
 
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