Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by way of Heather Hart, ACSM EP
If you question me, there are two things that may be absolute deal breakers and race enders throughout an ultramarathon:low blood sugar and indignant ft.
It is widely known a number of the strolling network that a) you have to eat sufficient food to avoid “bonking”, and b) satisfied toes same a glad runner.No one has time for blisters, hot spots, or shoes that don’t match quite proper (or low blood sugar, but that’s a subject for any other post).
And a blister which can sluggish you down at some stage in a 26.2 mile marathon, will sincerely convey you for your knees (or at least the feared chäir) at some stage in a a hundred miler.
If you’re getting ready to take the plunge from the traditional avenue racing world to ultramarathon distances, you’re probable thinking what the exceptional shoes for ultramarathon distances might be.Do you need a special shoe for ultra distances? Or will your ordinary street or path shoes do the trick?
In this post, I’ll cover ultra-particular elements you should think about while selecting the great long distance strolling shoes for ultramarathons
Table of Contents (Click to Jump Ahead)showHow to Choose the Best Long Distance Running Shoes for Ultramarathons
Having been across the long distance walking international for well over 15 years, and greater in particular the ultrarunning world for the closing 7 years, I’ve regularly determined that more recent runners are satisfied there is a mystical shoe hiding available that they really haven’t observed or heard approximately yet.This is fairly obvious if you frequent any sort of on-line ultramarathon community, as you’ll regularly see more moderen runners posting such things as “what are the nice footwear for ultramarathon distances” or “I’m jogging my first 50 miler, what footwear have to I put on?“
And the solution, time and time again, is constantly this: it’s going to differ from runner to runner.What works excellent for one runner will not always be the pleasant for some other.If this became the case, the walking shoe industry could probably best consist of one unmarried shoe brand with a handful of fashions to pick out from.But in fact, the walking shoe enterprise includes dozens and dozens of principal brands (and infinite other lesser regarded names, and became envisioned to be well worth about98,000 Million (USD) in 2019, and predicted to reach a hundred and twenty,000 Million via 2026 (supply). Very steep, very rocky, Rocky Mountain Colorado trails.
But with the appearance of things like the Nike Vaporfly (and all iterations) lending to now not simplest elites placing international document strolling times, but assisting ordinary runners set PR’s, it’s no wonder runners can also anticipate the same exists for an ultramarathon. The Best Ultramarathon Shoe is the One That Fits.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, however the fact is: there’s no such factor as one single “excellent ultramarathon shoe” on the market.(But don’t forestall studying here, I promise I actually have valuable records to proportion to help you discover the solutions you are seeking out!)
Let me give you two on the spot examples as to why:
Killian Jornet, arguably one of the most proficient mountain and ultrarunners on earth, runs in Salomon emblem footwear.Now don’t get me incorrect, they’re exquisite shoes, and lots of other ultrarunners will advise them as well.But for me, they’re a ways too narrow in the forefoot.If I tried to run even twenty miles in a pair of Salomontrail footwear, I could become with blisters on my toes (thanks to my bunions) that could bring me to my knees in ache.Therefore, despite the fact that they’re incredible shoes for some, Solomon would NOT be the “great” ultramarathon shoe for me. Here I am, sorting out the bunion – blister state of affairs.
Ultramarathon guides are exceptionally variable.For instance, the modern one hundred mile international file time changed into set via Aleksandr Sorokin in April of 2021 on the Centurion Track 100 on, you guessed it, a track.(And his time, incase you had been thinking? 11:14:fifty six).However, one of the more prestigious and widely recognized ultramarathons in the United States, the Western States Endurance Run one hundred miler covers plenty of terrain and unmarried tune trails thru the mountains of the Sierra Nevada’s, mountaineering a overall of 18,090 toes (5500 m) and descending 22,970 feet (7000 m).These courses arguably don’t have anything in common apart from the full distance included. Ultimately, the first-class ultramarathon shoe on the market is the only that:
1. Fits YOU, and
2. Meets the wishes of the particular ultramarathon direction you are jogging (greater on that under).
So, first factor’s first: get a shoe that fits you.Not a shoe that an elite wears, not a shoe that your strolling accomplice swears through, not a shoe that appears badass or that you had been capable of get a reduction on.When you surely forestall and do not forget how many miles you’ll be masking and steps you’ll be taking in an ultramarathon (do not forget that on common, runners take 1,500 steps in line with mile) you want footwear that are going to fit nicely and feel exact. What Makes an Ultramarathon Shoe “Fit”?
I often inform runners that the excellent signal a shoe fits you properly is which you neglect you’re wearing it.You don’t have any areas that rub your foot, or sense “funny”, or really simply make contributions to any type of nagging sensation. I have large, wide, toes.
Frankly, you’ve got enough to consider whilst running an ultramarathon, your footwear shouldn’t be certainly one of them.But what exactly are you searching out?A shoe as it should be sized for the period AND width of your foot.
You’re going to need a shoe that allow’s your foot, absolutely relaxed, sit simply within the shoe.Nothing ought to experience sharp, tight, or restrictive.For example, in addition to now not having your toes bent in anyway in any respect,the guidelines of your feet should no longer be rubbing against the the front of the shoe.
The width of the shoe should fit in a way that you aren’t spilling out over the sides of the lowest of the shoe. Running footwear are available in lots of widths, even in ladies’s sizing. A shoe that offers enough room for natural movement of your foot
Every time your foot hits the floor during the natural going for walks gait, your foot moves.This is a naturalpart of the jogging gait (extra on this later), and your body’s manner of absorbing the impact of the force of walking.In addition to the herbal pronation through the landing and toe-off, the muscle mass alongside the arch of the foot stretch and “flatten” quickly to soak up effect.They then agreement at some stage in liftoff, acting as a spring to propel you ahead.
But the vital element to notice right here, is that as your arch flattens, your foot quickly becomes longer and wider.
Therefore, a shoe that suits *just* sufficient will in all likelihood no longer allow for the natural movement, and might motive pain.Should Ultrarunners Size Up Shoes For Swelling Purposes?
When it comes in particular to the game of ultramarathon, you could have heard other runners talk approximately desiring to length up to deal with swelling of your ft for the duration of later stages of the race.
This may be authentic to an quantity, however there are a few matters to do not forget:
- Not each runners toes swell, and similarly, now not every runners ft swell all through every race.There may be various of factors that make contributions to whether or not a runner’s toes swell for the duration of a race, which includes matters just like the race direction itself, hydration and/or temperature instances (that can make a contribution to swelling standard)
- Sizing as much as the quantity that you are sliding around to your footwear earlier than your feet begin to swell (in particular on climbs or descents) will probable cause no longer handiest blisters or hotspots, however might also motive you to feel less assured in your toes.
My advice, if big swelling is a subject, is to have a backup pair of shoes in a bigger length to exchange into all through later ranges of the ultramarathon, so one can accommodate your swelling toes IF (and handiest if) vital. Shoe Cushion Level Desired
Do you decide on a ton of cushion?Do you decide upon a greater minimal ground contact sense?And, the bigger question: are you going to need something exceptional over he much longer distances of an ultramarathon?
Personally, I love a more minimal, floor touch experience for runs round a marathon distance or less.But once I hit that 40, 50, 60+ mile mark?My toes want more cushion.I’m not alone right here: there’s a cause why Hoka One One shoes, with their “maximal”, marshmallow like cushion are broadly popular within the ultramarathon international.Your ft can also or might not need the identical.
While extra cushion may additionally look like an excellent concept for ultramarathon distances, scientists aren’t so positive if that is as beneficial as it sounds.While the subject is still widely debated, there may be studies demonstrating that runners jogging in maximal shoes may not best growth effect forces and loading price, but can also change a runners biomechanics.
Point being: go with consolation, in preference to questioning a shoe will “do” some thing for you, such as prevent harm or make you faster.Stability vs. Neutral Shoes: Does it Matter in an Ultra?