SPORTS DRIPS: It’s time to pound the pavement in comfort and style
NOW that the weather is getting warmer, after being stuck at home during the national lockdown, more and more people are hitting the road to shed some pounds or just getting back to basic fitness levels.
Running is one sport that anyone can enjoy, and having the right shoe could make all the difference to reach your goals. Lets looks at some of the top running shoes available in the SA market for men and women.
We will be taking a closer look at the Nike Flyknit React and Air Zoom Pegagus, Adidas SolarBoost, Under Armour’s Phantom 2 and Machina and a few other brands including Asics, New Balance and Puma.
I recently read Phil Knights book The Shoe Dog. The entire Nike brand was developed based on a running shoe. The comfort and style of a simple running shoe made in Japan changed the entire sports industry and created a mega brand.
Nike started its journey with the Bowerman waffle racer sole which took its first race in 1972. South Africa’s very first black Olympic Gold medalist Josia Thugwane used a Nike’s Pegasus to race to victory in 1996 Atlanta Games Marathon.
The evolution of running shoes have made major strides in the past few years with such innovative ideas being implemented to make runners faster, Lighter and more comfortable while taking on the hard tar surfaces.
One of the most technologically advanced brands is Under Armour – The Under Armour Phantom 2 which was recently launched is so advance that their Bluetooth technology built into the shoe will read your running patterns and coach you for your next run.
It connects via an app and has up to 6 hours of memory which is perfect for a 21.1km half marathon and is priced at R 2799. Under Armour also has a newly launched MACHINA which is the top of the range running shoe and retails for around R 3500.
Nike’s new 2020 range – The most innovative design is the Air ZoomX Vapourfly NEXT which has a futuristic design and massive sole this is their best marathon shoe at the moment and retails for R 3500. The best for everyday running is still the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus which is now in its 37th Edition. This has been the flagship running shoe since the inceptions of the brand this retails for R 2500.
The most stylish and responsive would be the Nike Air React Flyknit which is perfect for the 21.1km or daily runner and retails for R 1700. Most of the elite Long and middle distance road runners from Africa’s best marathon runners use Nike – SA’s Gerda Steyn and The fastest man Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge.
Adidas who has always competed on every sport has the Ultraboost and Solarboost range which is extremely comfortable and cushiony with a durable upper. Their primeknit upper allows your feet to breath while cruising on the streets. These retail between R2500 and R 3000 each.
Asics has always been a dominant force in world long distance running for a long time with the Gel system offering the athlete awesome comfort, The Asics Gel Nimbus and Gel kayano is priced around R 2500 – R2799 at leading retailers.
New Balance has its 1080 high cushion sole shoes which is really comfortable and retails around R 2500
One of my ex-colleagues and sub 4 hour marathon runner was one of the most modest runners and believed in the Mr Price Maxed shoes. These are reasonably priced and was used by Comrades marathon record holder and 2x Gold medalist Dave Gatebe. They are priced at less than R500.
There are other brands which are niche to runners like Saucony, Brooks, Hoka, Mizuno Decathlon and a few others are great and unique but not as easily accessible in the South African market.
Keep an eye out for our next edition coming soon!
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By Sundesh Mahes