It’s probably the most asked question in our inbox, and one we’re keen to answer… sort of.
Well, whilst these shoes suit us and the way we run we can’t promise you they’ll sit as your silver slipper in the same way. We run differently to you, we move differently to you and we are different from you. We wear these shoes because we feel good in them, and most likely because someone has told us to (we’re talking to you, Emma Kirk!). We’ve gone through numerous gait analysis and ran in a hundred shoes that haven’t worked for us all in a quest to conquer the right fit, and this is where we’ve ended up. And just to be clear…
Disclaimer: These are our favourite shoes, they don’t have to be yours. Even we wear different!
H – This one has reignited an old flame with Asics. I used to run in Asics way back when it was all about the track, and nothing more than a mile. Asics (like me) have grown a bit since then, so it’s less about the chunky kicks with all the flashing lights and more about a slick shoe that weighs no more than a feather. Cue: Asics Novablast. H tried these on a press trip to Berlin, and to be honest it was not love at first sight… at least not with the way it ran. Saying that H is a sucker for a shiny new piece of kit and cool colourways stole her heart. It wasn’t long before the Novablast became the go-to for anything slightly shorter and speedier. The outsole and midsole of the shoe have been designed to accentuate the energized feeling of the FLYTEFOAM BLAST™ technology, creating a “trampoline” effect that propels you forward. They’re not lying with this one. The NOVABLAST™ shoe is higher off the ground than most running style shoes to promote lasting comfort over long distances.
E – It’s not often that I dip into the shorter speedier distances any more but if I do (or I just fancy a lighter shoe for a casual 5km at We Are Runners) then the On Cloud X is my go-to. It’s the kind of shoe H hates where you can really feel the ground beneath your feet, but I love it! The sole of the shoe is made from is CloudTec® which is designed for explosive movement in all directions. This makes it feel really reactive. I’m not going to lie I stumbled across this shoe by accident as I wanted a white shoe to match H for some images (we try and match the colours of our kicks even if they are different preferences). I had been running in the On Cloudflow for a few months but sadly they did not have the model in white, so this was an accidental love story.
H – This one is H’s longest lasting relationship and one she associates with some of her favourite racing stints… she ran 250km through the desert. Did she tell you? Anyway, this shoe started the ‘no injury’ streak back in 2018 and has carried her through many hundreds of kilometres without a niggle in-sight. The ‘On Stratus’ is a strong, sturdy and supportive shoe (and yes it does look great too!) It provides maximum cushioning thanks to being the first of its kind with the double cloud. The shoe distributes pressure evenly as your foot lands, then supports a powerful push-off as the Speedboard™ (on technology) drives you forwards. I fell in love with these following my search for a cushioned shoe to support my slightly temperamental calves, one that didn’t come with the extra kgs. Some say they find this shoe quite wide which I personally don’t see. It doesn’t feel chunky to run in and has seen me through numerous marathons and more.
E – As I mentioned above my first and ongoing love affair with On shoes started with the On Cloudflow in 2018. It’s had a small facelift since the first edition and it’s an even better shoe now.
The sole is made up of 18 adaptive Cloud elements and Helion™ superfoam combined with the re-engineered Speedboard™ to turn impact into acceleration. It feels like a fast shoe but it’s still safe enough to get in some decent mileage so much so I wore mine for 100km trail race! I don’t recommend that as it pretty much wrecked them as they are a road shoe, but it is possible. I have run London Marathon, Paris Marathon, countless half marathons and a 70.3 Ironman in them too, so it’s safe to say I’ve really put them to the test. Just to be clear that wasn’t just one pair of shoes though (I have gone through a few).
H + E – This is the one shoe we do cross over on, kudos to you Salomon Sense Ride. Again, this is quite a high support shoe and one that comes with a fair bit of cushioning, especially for a trail shoe. We first tried them at the Salomon Trails festival at Box Hill over a testing and undulating 20km. H immediately fell for them, thanks to their grippy soles and kindness on the calves. E soon followed when a shiny new pair were kindly gifted ahead of some trail races we’d pencilled into the calendar. Our favourite feature is one that appears on lots of Salomon shoes is the ‘Quick fit’ type lace making it super easy to tighten up and stay fixed thanks to the mini lace pocket on the tongue. It’s suggested to suit a midfoot runner, hosting an all-surface rubber compound and a versatile lug pattern (base of the shoe), it ensures a confident grip on both wet and dry surfaces. Tried and tested by us… it passed!
If you want to hear a bit more about running shoes check out our IGTV, our blog on running gait and our Q+A with ‘shoe geek’ Emma Kirk.