Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shoe heights and shoes for 2011

I have had a theory that when I used to run in road shoes on the trails I sprained more ankles. The basis of this theory was that I had a belief that either the heel height/forefoot height ratio was greater or that the heel height was too high. This effectively assumes road shoes have more cushion and support than trail shoes, I am not talking about the minimalist road shoes but the traditional cushioned support shoes.

So to prove/disprove my theory, I did some basic research on three shoes I have been running in. Before I looked up the numbers, my gut told me that my Salomon XT Wings (the ones I was wearing when I got hurt at Superior) had me sitting higher off the ground. I thought my Cascadias had me the closest to the ground.

So here are the numbers:
Salomon XT Wings - Heel 25mm, Forefoot 13mm, Delta: 12mm
Brooks Cascadia 4 - Heel 22mm, Forefoot 10mm, Delta: 12mm
Vasque Celerator - Heel 28 mm, Forefoot 16mm, Delta: 12mm

So the data doesn't exactly support the theory. My Cascadia's are lower to the ground but my XT Wings aren't as high up as I thought.

So what does this mean? Got me, if you want to read a bit more here is a post where the author spent more time looking into it - RunBlogger Shoe Height post

I still think my XT Wings were a contributor to the sprain as they are a more beefed up shoe, at least I think they are. It is my nature when an injury happens to blame the shoes, much easier than blaming myself.

Of the shoes above, the ones that I like the most are the Cascadia's, I like them for shorter runs. The Celerators fit a bit different and I need to wear a thicker sock. The XT wings, I don't like and I have concluded that Salomon's just don't fit me well. I wear a size 13 and my toes get crunched a bit, I think a 14 would be too long, I do love their laces.

So as I retire the shoes above, what will I be running in in 2011?

Montrail RockRidge - Heel 21 mm, Forefoot 11 mm, Delta: 10 mm
Montrail Sabino Trail - Heel 19 mm, Forefoot 9 mm, Delta: 10 mm
Columbia Ravenous - Heel 20 mm, Forefoot 10 mm, Delta: 10 mm

So it looks like all 3 will have me riding lower to the ground, so if my theory had any merit, my ankles will have a good year, that is after I get one of them back to good health.

I picked up all 3 pair from SierraTrading over the last 3 or 4 weeks for $121.36 (including shipping). I ordered the Ravenous and Sabino Trails first but the Sabino Trails had a defective loop so I sent them back and although there was an issue with the return, SierraTrading came through just fine. I wanted to exchange them and instead they gave me credit. Turned out though they then offered me free shipping and I ordered another pair but I was also able to pick up the RockRidges for ($35.67) and of course I couldn't resist as I think Montrails fit my feet really well. So now I just need the snow to melt and I am set to hit the trails.

2 comments:

wildknits said...

I love my Sabino's though am leery of mail ordering them as the sizing has changed drastically in the two pairs that I have owned. Had to downsize to a 6.5 in my 2nd pair. Luckily my local running store was more than willing to order various sizes and just sell me the pair that fit the best.

Mike said...

Interesting about the size issues. I have about as good as luck with mail order as I have with the local running stores. I do the on-line research and it mostly works.

I do agree with you about the service at the local stores, it can be great. I usually try to buy a few pair of year plus accessories from them.

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