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3 great new running shoes you should try

With the final few marathons of the season around the corner, here are three great new running shoes for you to prepare in

Great running shoes for the season.
Great running shoes for the season. (Istockphoto)

April is a busy month in the running world before races and runners take a summer break. It is the month of some of the most popular races, such as the Boston Marathon, the London Marathon and, closer home, the TCS World 10K Bengaluru. These last few days of March constitute a critical time of training before runners line up to race one last time.

I have been doing just that as I look forward to my first race of the year in Bengaluru, following a brand new training plan and trying out some new shoes that are designed for regular training. I have put three pairs of shoes from top three global sports brands (Nike, Adidas and Puma) through interval training, threshold runs, easy recovery runs, long runs and walks over the last month. Here are the key things I experienced, that are likely to help you choose a pair that work for you.

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The Adidas Supernova Rise 3.
The Adidas Supernova Rise 3. (Courtesy Adidas)

Adidas Supernova Rise 3: While the race day pair of shoes is sacrosanct and thus sparingly used for speed training and races, your regular training shoes should be used for much more than running. A friend wanted a pair that he could use for some running, use it in the gym, wear with casual clothing on weekends, should be comfortable for walking on vacation and must look smart.

He is not alone in making so many demands from his shoes. Brands, of late, have realised that a shoe buyer wants a versatile and multipurpose pair when they invest in daily running shoes. With the Supernova Rise series, Adidas has gone back to the basics as far as design and colours are concerned. There are no garish colours or outlandish midsole designs; they readily double up as smart casual shoes that can be used beyond running.

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As for how the Supernova Rise 3 perform, there are plenty of positives and some shortcomings too. The brand’s Dreamstrike+ foam is not as light as the Lightstrike Pro foam it uses in its Adizero racing range, nor is it as distinct as the very successful Boost foam with its beads. However, the Dreamstrike+ is a workhorse that feels bouncy and spongy.

There are two rods in the midsole, though not visible when you turn the shoe upside down, and they help in speed workouts but don’t quite come into play during your easy runs. The Supernova Rise is a good pair to help you transition to the world of carbon race shoes. The shoes feel light and perform well in the long runs too. The toe box is wide but fits snugly, not letting your foot slide around.

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The biggest drawback is the material that the upper is made out of. Even in the mild heat of March, my feet felt hot and that’s not a good feeling. The pair is good for bodyweight workouts, treadmills, and for use in the gym, especially strength sessions on machines. However, if you are doing any complex lifts like a snatch, clean or squats, it’s best not to wear these (or any other running shoes for that matter). 14,999,

The Nike Vomero 17.
The Nike Vomero 17. (Courtesy Nike)

Nike Vomero 17: Not quite as old or popular as the Pegasus, but Vomero is a legacy pair from Nike which is a bit of a cult favourite among runners. I know one runner, for instance, who did all his training and races in Vomeros till the new carbon racing shoes came in.

The Vomero 17 also has a practical and classic design, sticking to solid colour combinations and nothing garish, which makes it a great multi-tasking pair of shoes: great for your active life and for adding some style to your outfits. Nike uses its updated Zoom X foam in the midsole. It is dense, soft and extremely bouncy at the same time. For the outsole, the shoes use Nike’s retro‘waffle’ pattern, which I love, because it provides great grip.

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The Vomero 17 performs very well on fast runs and is a sturdy partner for long runs. The pair is comfortable to walk in for long hours in and also perfect for those easy recovery runs (if you do them). The rocking geometry, where the sole is thinner at the back of the heel and under toes and the thickest around mid-heel, makes transitioning from heel strike to toe-off smooth. The shoes have no-frills, straightforward uppers and are just about breathable.

Does the Vomero 17 pass the gym test? Yes, they do, working well on treadmills, jumps, boot camp workouts, upper body and machine sessions, but won’t work for technical lifts and weighted squats. It is the rocking geometry design that makes the pair unstable for lifting and squatting exercises. From 14,247,

The Puma Velocity Nitro 3.
The Puma Velocity Nitro 3. (Courtesy Puma)

Puma Velocity Nitro 3: This one is loud. The neon yellow is so bright that you are likely to feel fully awake by the time you finish lacing these shoes up for your early morning run. If that isn’t enough, the stylised sole has a notch at the back that also makes one notice the Puma Velocity Nitro 3. Apart from the colour and self-design spots on the layered mesh upper, what I loved about this pair is that the upper is very airy making it perfect for the Indian climate.

While Puma has had a lot of success in lifestyle shoes, it had struggled to offer a decent pair of running shoes till it developed its Nitro foam. Since then, it has launched some good running shoes, including a pair of carbon racing shoes that US runner Molly Seidel won a bronze in women’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics in.

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The sole on the Nitro Velocity 3 feels dense and a bit stiff underfoot while running. While I didn’t enjoy the fast runs and interval sessions as the sole felt a bit stiff during toe-off, the shoes performed very well while holding a race pace and, in fact, was the best pair of the three for the long runs. Walking in these is comfortable and again these are good for gym and body weight sessions. As for casual wear, it depends whether you have the personality to carry off the bright neon. From 12,999,

Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and the co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.

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