The Ultimate Marathon Runners Shoe Rotation

The Ultimate Marathon Runners Shoe Rotation

Firstly, I want to congratulate everyone on their marathon training so far, nailing the basics and building consistency is key! My name is Dave and I’m a BYS athlete who creates educational and motivational content about everything RUNNING :) Oh and I do a fair bit of running myself.

Today I wanted to chat about the importance of having a good shoe rotation. Just like any other sport, running requires you to invest in the tools and equipment that help you perform your best. How serious you want take your running journey will dictate how much you invest. If you’re running a lot, having more than 1 pair of shoes can help with things like injury prevention, conditions, comfort, performance and shoe lifespan. Just to name a few.
So let’s dive into why I think it’s important to have more than 1 running shoe and how you can build yourself a solid rotation.

What makes a good rotation?

To decide what makes a good shoe rotation, you first have to look at your own training to see what is necessary. Look at the different types of runs you’re doing and cater for them. Using my own training as an example, I run 4 different types of runs - easy, speed, long and race day. So with that in mind I’m going to want a nice soft shoe for my easy and long runs, some lighter more responsive shoes for my speed sessions and some super light, performance driven shoes for race days. I will explain more on what type of shoe you should choose for specific runs soon, let's talk about the reason WHY you should have a shoe rotation first. 

Why would I buy all these shoes when I can just buy 1 for everything?

Having different shoes offers varying levels of support, cushioning, and stability. Rotating between different pairs can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Wearing the same shoes for every run can lead to discomfort and lack in performance. Rotating allows you to choose the most comfortable and appropriate shoe for each workout, helping you perform at your best during training and on race day. Your shoes will also last longer if you use them how they’re intended to be used. For example if you’re running every day in super shoes which are made to be less durable, you’re going to wear through the shoe a lot quicker than if you were only using them for speed days.

What type of shoe would I reach for, when doing different type of runs?

Firstly let’s start with easy running. Look for shoes with generous cushioning to provide shock absorption and comfort. These shoes are also much more durable, as you’ll be doing a lot of your milage in them. So you’ll want them to last! Some examples of great daily trainers for your easy runs would be, ASICS Novablast 4, or the ON Cloud Eclipse.

For speed sessions such as interval training, tempo runs or track workouts, you’ll want a shoe that prioritises being lightweight and responsive. Something you can happily get to top speed in and will feel efficient. These are the shoes you will feel a shift in confidence. Speed sessions are where you get to have fun and get creative, so make sure it’s a fun shoe as well. Some examples would be the Endorphin Speed 4, Rebel v4, or the Mach 5.

Lastly we have the race day option! Racing shoes are tailored for speed, designed to be lightweight, super responsive and they almost all have a carbon plate in the midsole. When choosing a race day shoe, almost all the brands these days have very competitive options. It used to be Nike or nothing a few years ago, but now it’s a different story. When putting on your race day shoes, you should feel an instant shift in your being, changing the way you carry yourself. When the racers are on, I'm here to kick ass and that’s all there is to it. My racing shoe of choice is the Endorphin Elites! These definitely give me that feeling. Some other great options are the Alphafly 3, Adidas Pro 3, and Saucony Pro 4.

If you’re a beginner runner who runs once or twice a week and you’re not looking to spend the money on more than one pair of shoes, that is completely fine. Here’s some recommendations for a versatile (does it all) running shoe: ASICS Superblast, ON Cloud Monster, ASICS Novablast 4, Hoka Clifton 9, and Saucony Triumph 22.

The best way to find the shoe that works best for you, is to go down to your local running store and try them on. What works great for someone else, might not be the same for you. So take away the guessing game and enjoy your running :)
Follow Dave for more tips and tricks! @dave_the_runner