Summer is a popular time for purchasing running shoes. People will invest lots of money in a good pair of trainers for charity 5k’s, 10k’s and marathons – some people even try to re-motivate themselves to regain the summer body somewhat lost by September due to all the alcohol consumed.
So, with so much choice – what do you go for? I’ve selected 3 well-known brands renowned for producing high quality running shoes, and analyzed each of them to help consumers make a decision.
Nike Free Runs: £90- £120
Nike are a popular choice when it comes to running shoes – with $18.3billion of their $30,601billion coming from footwear sales in 2015 (Statista, 2016). Their best model for running is the free runs. Original versions start at £90 on their website, with prices rising up to £120 for the latest Flyknit models.
The Free Run’s have cutting edge technology which allows the material to expand, flex, and contract with your foot while you’re running. It also has a rounded heel to mimic the shape of your foot and roll naturally with the ground as if you were running bare foot. Like a car, it has its own form of shock absorbers with a midsole foam which cushions the foot and provides lightweight durability for miles. The mesh provides lightweight and flexible support to the foot as well as allowing it to ‘breath’.
Adidas Ultra Boost: £130
Adidas are perhaps less renowned for their running shoes, turning over $9.13billion in 2015 (just under half of Nike) – this could be due to Adidas excelling in other areas such as shirt sponsorships and Nike’s plans to drop Rugby Union and Golf in 2016 to focus on footwear.
However, the Adidas Ultra Boosts are still a strong contender for you to consider, despite being the dearest. As you can see below they have advanced energy returning soles, and a Torsion system between the heel and forefoot which produces a stable ride. These shoes are perfect for both wet and dry conditions as they have a continental rubber outsole for a strong grip, as well as a ‘Fitcounter’ moulded heel which provides a natural fit so that the Achilles has optimal movement.
Asics Fuze X: £100
Asics are a hugely popular choice for the competitive runner. They have prioritized producing high quality running shoes for many years while brands like Nike and Adidas have started new ventures clothing and fitness accessories.
The Fuze X is perfect for longer runs because of the 360 degree lightweight gel cushioning surrounding your foot. This accompanied by an 8mm heel drop (lower than a standard road running shoe) allows a close to the ground feel without your foot absorbing all the impact. In addition there is an ‘OrthoLite’ sockliner which is supposed to improve comfort along with a ‘FuzeGel’ which can be seen in the windows surrounding the heel.
Priced at £100, the Asics Fuze X’s are our mid-range price of the three. However, I would recommend them over the other two options for regular runners – particularly over long distances. The Adidas Ultra Boost’s are most suitable for occasional runners – if you’re looking for a pair of trainers you can train in but also go out in, they’re perfect. This also goes for the Nike Free Run’s however, at a cheaper price they are a much more obvious choice. Having said that the Nike Free Run’s are also a good choice for people training for and competing in a race as a one off- I did the British 10k in a pair of fluorescent yellow free runs and they did the job just as well for £10 less than the Fuze X’s and £40 less than the Ultra Boost’s.
Will Wood, Leeds Beckett University, Sport Marketing Student
Adidas (2016) Adidas Ultra Boost ST Shoes. Available at: http://www.adidas.co.uk/ultra-boost-st-shoes/BB3930.html (Accessed: 8 August 2016).
Asics (2016) FuzeX. Available at: http://www.asics.com/gb/en-gb/fuzex/p/0010256025.9001 (Accessed: 8 August 2016).
Nike (2016) Nike Free Run Flyknit. Available at: http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/pd/free-rn-flyknit-running-shoe/pid-10943354/pgid-11266209 (Accessed: 8 August 2016).
Statista (2016) Nike’s footwear sectors net revenue from 2009 to 2016, by region (in billion U.S. Dollars). Available at: http://www.statista.com/statistics/227152/nikes-footwear-sectors-net-revenue-by-global-market/ (Accessed: 10 August 2016).