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Skechers for me and New Balance for you

Deepthi Velkur compares the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 with the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V4 to see which she likes best.

Every runner knows that the foot hits the ground really hard when you run. When you run the feet and ankles feel the most pressure. The natural rolling of your foot depends on your running style as well as how your running shoe is built.

In order to minimize the impact, different brands have developed their own cushioning technologies. The choices are aplenty and finding the right shoe is quite daunting and confusing, but, we should focus our search down to 3 key areas:

  • Reducing the force during impact
  • Protecting the musculoskeletal system and
  • Conserving energy

In this article, I would like to focus on two models that have used different technologies aimed at offering a smooth run.

I’ll start with the Skechers GoRun Ride 7 – which is a smooth riding lightweight running shoe that offers great cushioning and rebound. Also, the shoe has a breathable and comfortable knit upper that beats most in its class.

They are a slightly rockered shape which helps deliver a smooth transition from landing to toe-off. These are perfect every day running shoes and at 264 grams they feel good through the run.

On the other hand, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V4 – named after a beach in Greece, these shoes are a terrific all-around lightweight trainer that has the right balance of a soft cushioned ride and give you a fast-snappy responsive feeling. They are extremely versatile weighing in at 244 grams and can be used for racing 5Ks to marathon distances.

Let’s now do a little comparison between these two and hopefully, that will help you decide on what suits you best.

Fit and Ride

On the GoRun Ride 7, the fit is perfect and true to size. There is a nice mix of softness and bounce and they do equally well while running at an easy clip or speeding up. A word of caution though – it does feel a bit tight when using a sock-liner, so I would suggest buying half a size up in case you like some wiggle room.

The Zante V4 is a sleek, compact and well-designed shoe. It offers a snug fit similar to the Ride 7 and the only noticeable difference is the “No Sew” upper and Hyposkin wrap that locks your foot into the platform, quite well.

Upper

On the GoRun Ride 7, the upper is made up of Knit mesh, inner gusset, and synthetic overlays. It is a simple two-toned breathable upper with a single sew overlay that helps secure your foot. The knitted mesh upper is very comfortable, though it can get slightly warm in humid conditions.

The Zante 4 has a slim upper profile which is relatively pointed and made of engineered mesh, inner sleeve and fused synthetic. The No Sew upper along with the new Hyposkin wrap really holds your foot in place. However, be cautious as lacing up too tightly will cause your foot position to be a bit outward.

Midsole

The GoRun Ride 7 has been upgraded with the new Full-length Flight Gen foam and has a 6 mm heel-to-toe drop. It is light, responsive and mixed with the awesome M Strike (Midfoot Strike) technology which really makes the run smooth.

The midsole of the Zante V4 has a single density Fresh Foam 6 mm heel drop. The Fresh Foam is intended to give a soft yet snappy response but unfortunately, it can’t compete with other outstanding midsole technologies such as the FlightGen in Skechers Performance. The way the shoe is designed, Fresh Foam is holding it back from being a really superior fast trainer.

Outsole

The outsole on the GoRun Ride 7 is a combination of exposed Flight Gen and strategically placed rubber to provide traction and durability. This combination ensures that the shoe grips well on wet surfaces and stays durable.

On the Zante V4, blown rubber is used to provide solid traction and a smooth forefoot landing but unfortunately, without significant flex grooves in the outsole or midsole, the result is a stiff shoe.

Price and Recommendations

The GoRun Ride 7 is light enough, super cushioned for long days and recovery days, but still has some significant snap to it when you want to go fast. The fit is flawless and the shoe disappears on your feet when you run in it. At INR 6,499 (www.amazon.in), I highly recommend getting a pair of these shoes for your daily run.

The Zante V4 provides for an overall decent fit but unfortunately, the midsole Fresh Foam doesn’t offer as much feedback as you would like and that makes for an uncomfortable running experience. It is available on www.jabong.com for INR 6,599.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

 

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Picking between Nike and Adidas

Deepthi Velkur took to comparing two great running shoes to find out which one works best for you.

Finding the best-fitting running shoe among the innumerable choices at our local sports stores isn’t easy at all. To ensure you walk out a happy customer, you need to make sure the shoe fits properly from heel to toe and that it feels comfortable with your regular running stride.

All major sporting goods manufacturers from Nike to Adidas to Puma have spent millions in money and research time perfecting the running shoe and still continue to do so. It took Nike engineers, chemists and designers nearly 2 years before the company could release its Air VaporMax in February 2017. The shoe has an exaggerated bubble on the bottom paired with a sleek Flyknit upper, a combo that Nike claims results in the “most flexible Air Max ever.” How well does the VaporMax deliver on Nike’s promise of the “running on air” sensation from a functional standpoint – we will dive into that a little later in this article.

Adidas on the other hand had introduced its own big innovation in bouncy soles, the Boost cushioning platform and has become one of the company’s signature products – the Ultra Boost line of running shoes features a sock-like knit upper paired with a squishy, springy sole.

The rival shoes are so well-matched that they raise an inevitable conundrum for shoppers: Which one is better?

We set out to answer the question—and created a short checklist that makes a pretty good guide for rating any pair of running sneakers. The criteria include stats that affect performance, such as weight, but also things that matter to the average consumer, like price and the ease of adjusting the laces.

Fit

The Nike VaporMax is extremely lightweight and super flexible that gives you a custom fit feel and does not limit your natural movements. The shoe tends to be a little narrow but run true to size length wise.

The Ultra Boost boasts a Primeknit upper that provides for a customized fit for runners with narrow feet, however there have been concerns that the rigid frame can be a sloppy fit especially during fast paced runs.

Upper Comfort: The Flyknit material used on the VaporMax has more stretch to it which is welcome, given the somewhat constricting shape of the midfoot. This material gives the shoe that extra comfort, making it breathable and light weight. The Adidas primeknit material is flashy and non-abrasive but it is also hot and constricting. Also, the primeknit material gets waterlogged easily.

Stability: Adidas released the Ultra Boost with a staggering 27mm of Boost midsole which is unsupported by any material of a higher durometer. The effect is a slightly sloppy feel and you don’t feel like your feet are completely locked down but overall it does offer a comfortable and softer ride.

Nike on the other hand uses its Flywire system that holds your foot firmly in place and compresses your foot evenly. The traditional midsole is absent and the Flyknit upper sits directly on top of the Air bag.

Traction and Durability: The outsole of the VaporMax uses a durable rubber and also comes with extra rubber around the unit to help support it. The Ultra Boost, on the other hand, comes with a much more conventional sole and can be worn anywhere comfortably. The outsole of the Ultra Boost is made of continental rubber which helps in its durability and traction.

Underfoot Comfort: The VaporMax has a very bouncy ride and it does take some time getting used to. You also get the feeling on walking on stilts given its thick AirMax units. The Ultra Boost on the other hand is smooth and comfortable.

Price: The Ultra Boost is priced at INR 18,999 (https://www.adidas.co.in/) and the VaporMax at INR 18,995 (https://www.nike.com/in/en_gb/). Prices may vary basis the color and the model chosen.

Final thoughts – As much as the VaporMax might win from a style perspective, it probably won’t match up to the performance of the Adidas Ultra Boost. The numerous marathons won by the Boost clearly suggest a more effective performance platform than the Air.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Do you have the right running gear?

Choosing the right running gear can improve your comfort, performance and keep you injury free, writes Nandini Reddy.

The right running gear can be the determining point between a comfortable run or a run fraught with discomfort. If you are a new runner then it is best to visit a specialist store to ensure that you get the right kind of gear. Even if you are not a serious runner investing into good gear will always make running a pleasurable experience. R

Technical Clothing

If you are running in humid weather then you need to dri-fit clothes. In cold weather ensure your wear thicker clothing or cold resistant clothing. These fabrics know how to handle sweat and adjust your body temperature. If you practice layering you can also adapt to the weather by adding or removing items of clothing.

Sunglasses

When you are running in summer or running a long trail run ensure you carry a pair of sunglasses that are light. You get frame-less options that are made for running. These prevent your eyes from getting tired and also prevent dust from irritating your eyes while you run.

Socks

Socks are very important for runners. The right socks can ensure that you have a comfortable run. Compression socks are worn by a few runners while running to enhance blood flow. You can check with your trainer before using them. Invest into a few pairs of athletic socks. Remember to buy your socks and shoes together so that you know how comfortable you are using them in combination.

Drink Belt

This belt should be multi-purpose. It should hold your bottle, keys and phone. Most of us need to carry all these items when we run so its impractical to invest into two different items for them. You will get good quality belts that can hold all these items. You can also ask experienced runners for recommendations.

Sports Bra

Choose a sports bra that has adjustable straps and can wick moisture. No female runner should run without a comfortable and supportive sports bra. You can get more recommendations based on your type of activity from www.lessbounce.com

Water Bottle

Invest into a light weight sipper style bottle. It should hold at least 500ml of water. You don’t need a bigger bottle during your training and during a race you are likely to come across water stations. Ensure that you bottle fits securely in the belt and doesn’t disturb your running flow.

Right Shoes

If you want to learn how to pick the right shoes then read our article Pick the Right Kicks

GPS Watch

Ensure you get a GPS watch with a Heart Rate Monitor so that you can check if you are working in the right heart rate zone. These watches will also help you monitor pace, distance and timing and track your progress.

Read Potential of the Running Watch to know how best you can use your running watch.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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The Conqueror of the Everest – Part 1

In a two-part series, Deepthi Velkur connects with the Indian Woman who completed the Everest Marathon, Deepa Bhat.

Not so long ago, the start line for an ultra-marathon was only headed by the elite runners. When we speak of it today, there are hundreds of regular runners flocking to take part in a variety of endurance race challenges much beyond the 42k distance. They want to push their boundaries and achieve a dream that was reserved for the elite athletes in the yesteryear’s. Today, Bengaluru’s Deepa Bhat is one such aspiring Indian woman.

Deepa Bhat, is a 41 year old Ultrarunner, Triathlete, Scuba Diver, High altitude trekker, Creative chef, and a mother of two teenage boys. Building a career in the e-learning space, Deepa is also a running coach at the Cult Fitness centre, Bengaluru.

Running gives her the much cherished ‘Me time’, a feeling of bliss and helps keep her focused to achieve her goals year after year. Meticulously planning to balance all aspects of her life-family, career, and fitness have helped her strive and become one of the top runners in the country. This year she became the first Indian woman to have completed the world’s highest running event-The Everest Ultra marathon along with Taher Merchant. Having completed the 72k Kardungla challenge together last year, they decided to take on the challenge of participating in next high altitude race- The Everest Marathon.

We speak to her to find out more about how she conquered her dream of running The Everest Ultra -Marathon.

To conquer Mt. Everest is a dream for most people, to conquer it running is beyond our wildest dreams. What pushed you to take on this challenge(The Everest Ultra Marathon) and what was it like to be on top of the world?

I feel I have a strong connection with the mountains. Something about working hard towards accomplishing a goal and being in the wilderness, surrounded by breathtaking nature just appeals to me. I felt it for the first time when I was just 20 years old, my first High altitude climb to Sar Pass Trek in Himachal Pradesh. The force only got stronger from there on. Having completed the 72k Kardungla Challenge in Ladakh last year and being a podium finisher there, achieving the next high altitude run -The Everest Ultra Marathon became my goal. With sub-zero temperatures and snow in the evening, made it hard but went through the night without a break to finish the circuit in 19hours 50mins and 40sec.

What other Ultra races have you run in the past where you have made it to the podium?

A few of the ultra races that I have run and achieved a podium finish include:

  • 2nd runner-up at Khardungla challenge-72k
  • Winner at stadium run, Bangalore-86km
  • Winner at Jawadhu hills ultra-marathon-75km
  • 1st runner-up at the Half Iron Man-1.9k swim, 90k cycle and 21k run
  • 2nd runner-up at the Spirit of Wipro challenge-10k
  • 1st runner-up at the IDBI spice coast-42.2k

What were your goals before the start of the race and how thrilled were you on achieving them?

Unlike other ultras, where one drives to the start line with fresh legs, I had to trek for 11 days from Lukla (2860m) to the Everest Base camp(5364m). That meant 4-6 hours of walking on any given day over various terrains, including steep hills, high suspension bridges, and rocky paths. The trail is as tough and challenging as they come. Despite the trek being so tiring and difficult, my mission was bigger than just reaching the EBC. My mantra was to take one day at a time because overthinking can dilute the joy. The Everest Extreme Ultra Marathon wasn’t just another adventure race. Honestly, the magnitude of the achievement has sunk in only after all the love I received once I was back home.

What inhibitions or roadblocks did you face within yourself and from people back home before starting out on this adventure?

There were no roadblocks that i faced from anyone. Though I must agree, it involved a lot of planning, working from home and of course, I had to figure out the finances too. At times, people around me had more confidence in me than I had in myself and I’m truly blessed for that. Whenever I prepare for a race, be it a 10k or an Ultra, I do not have an iota of a doubt if I should or shouldn’t take part in the race. I do my research, train well, and prepare both mind and body for the big day. On the race day, I never forget to thank God for bringing me to the start line. During the race, I listen to my body (never push beyond what I can), because races will come and go, but I am precious.

Please tell us more about the Ultra Marathon?

Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa summited the Everest on May 29, 1953. A competition is held every year on the same day and this started from the year 2013 to commemorate the event. The Extreme Ultra-Everest marathon is considered the world’s highest running event, which also includes half and full marathons. The Extreme Ultra starts at EBC and goes through five Himalayan passes.

There were around 200 runners and high altitude trekkers from 30 different countries across the world. I chose to run the 60k of ultra-running bliss. The undulating terrain, the rarefied air, cold winds, the moraines, steep inclines just make this race all the more challenging. The day temperatures were -1degrees while the night seemed like -30degrees. A mock race is organized a day before the actual race to check if the entire path is clear for runners.

In the next part we will learn about how Deepa equipped herself to run this challenging course. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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The Running Mate: Nike Epic React Flyknit

Deepthi Velkur, takes a look at the Nike Epic Reach Flyknit running shoes designed in consultation with runners.

Sportswear companies are constantly faced with the challenge to innovate and redesign their products with new materials or features to offer their customers an edge over other competitive products in the market. Nike has been at the forefront of technology innovation to meet the demands of their customers.

With the feedback received from runners, Nike developed a shoe using the Flyknit foam technology that could do it all with features such as more cushioning, higher energy return, lightweight and greater durability. To achieve this, Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers, and designers and in February 2018, Nike Epic React Flyknit was launched.

Product features

  • Weight-239g(Men size 9), Women: 195g
  • Offset-10mm
  • Fits true to size for a snug fit
  • Heel shelf stabilizes the back of your foot and helps the heel from rocking as your foot lands
  • Style: AQ0067-002
  • Country of origin: Vietnam
  • Colour: Wolf Grey/Cool Grey/Pure Platinum/White
  • Synthetic suede heel lining prevents slippage and blisters

Why is it good for running

The Nike React foam is considerably softer and handles bumps on the road more effectively when compared to the EVA foam. The shoes upper is kept simple and the forefoot, toe, and arch are made from one-piece of the Nike Flyknit Bootie giving you the snug feel. The mid-sole is kept taller and wider to give better support and stability to the runner. The mid-sole is extended beyond the upper’s perimeter and around the heel to ensure the shoe provides the necessary cushioning, flexibility and breath-ability required by runners.

Price  (in India)

INR 15995. Available at the Nike store and other retail stores across India.

A final recommendation on whether you should try it or not

Some of the feedback received from buyers about the Nike Epic React Flyknit shoe-

  • The Nike Epic React Flyknit is a comfortable and good-looking shoe and the out-sole is surprisingly durable.
  • The lightweight disposition helps in increasing your running speed.
  •  The mid-sole is very responsive and has the snug fit and had the right amount of cushioning neither too soft nor too firm.
  • The shoe allows natural movement, even during fast-paced activities\running.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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When to replace your Running Shoes

A good pair of shoes can make all the difference to your run, writes Deepthi Velkur

Running is a simple sport – irrespective of the distance being run all you need are the right clothes and a good pair of running shoes. But how long do running shoes last? It’s an age-old question and unfortunately, no universal answer exists apart from the standard of 480 – 800 kms which for someone running 24 kms per week means changing your shoes every 5-6 months.

So how do you know if your running shoes need replacing? Start with looking for obvious signs of wear and tear but most importantly listen to your body.

Treads appear worse for wear and the shock absorption is shot

Start by looking at the out-sole – over time you will notice that the tread starts giving way. This is your first clue. Moving on to your mid-sole, look for signs of scrunching. If you press the center of the shoe and you find it is not “springy”, it is a clear indicator that the cushioning is done for. A washed-out running shoe like this can cause foot instability leading to ankle and knee issues.

Watch out for those niggling aches and pains

A quality pair of running shoes should leave you feeling as good as when you started with no lasting pain. If you start to experience soreness or pain in your feet, lower back and joints especially the knees, it is a sign that your running shoes are wearing out. A little twinge at the bottom of a foot could be your body’s way of telling you that your shoe is past its prime.

The mileage keeps adding up

A running shoes longevity varies between people depending on several individual factors. Seasoned runners need to replace their running shoes more often than a causal runner as the mileage covered is much higher.

Running shoes take quite a beating as we put four times our body weight and strike the ground nearly 1500 times in 10 minutes running. It is a good idea to keep a tab on the kms being run and this will give you a fair idea of when to replace your running shoes.

The terrain makes a difference

One of the biggest factors that determine if your running shoes need a replacement is a terrain you run on. If you run in tough trail conditions for example then clearly you will need to replace them faster than for someone running on a treadmill.

Looking out for these warning signs and replacing your running shoes regularly will keep you comfortable, healthy and extend your running life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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