Lightweight running shoes are quickly rising in popularity. These innovative race shoes make runners feel as if they are taking to the open road faster and with ease. So, if you are looking for a new pair of running shoes, consider looking for a lighter model.
Before we dive into the benefits of lightweight running shoes, let’s take a look at what defines a lightweight shoe.
What is a Lightweight Shoe?
Modern material and new manufacturing methods such as fewer overlays and lighter midsoles as well as less stitching, all play a role in the rise of lightweight running shoes. These methods result in shoes that weigh less and have more flexible cushioning than traditional shoes.
These shoes also encompass the trendy minimalist approach to shoe making, sometimes even making you feel like you aren’t wearing shoes thanks to features like a mesh upper and flexible cushioning material under your feet.
But, how do lightweight shoes translate in the running world?
Benefits of Lightweight Running Shoes
Good for all runners
If you are a runner with good form and if you have a natural gait, lightweight shoes will give you a sense of ease as you stride off the miles. This is because the shoes are designed to work harmoniously with your body, no matter if you are running a marathon or just running for a few minutes.
If you have inefficient form and run with heavy shoes, you’ll know that running can quickly become painful for your body. Heavier running shoes with built-up heels translate into a steep ramp angle. This will make your running even more destructive, encouraging braking and a heavy heel-striking gait both of which can cause significant injury. This is why lightweight running shoes will be better for you.
As opposed to heavier running shoes, lightweight running shoes have a low heel-toe slope which encourages more natural running gait. This means that the foot will hit the ground lightly and almost at level near the ball of your foot.
The above highlights that lightweight running shoes are good for all kinds of runners but it’s important to note that the weight isn’t what makes all the difference. It actually comes down to the way the shoe is built and how much downward energy the shoe can turn into forward propulsion. Lightweight shoes are designed to convert impact energy into a forward motion – but don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you will start running like a sprinter.
Less Fatigue and Faster Recovery Time
Lightweight running shoes make less impact and result in lesser fatigue and quicker recovery. If you run with a softer footstep, these kinds of shoes can be incredibly beneficial for a runner at any level of experience.
Lighter shoes also ensure less braking and less energy output because you are not carrying extra weight. Think about it like this: Heavier shoes translate into extra weight to be carried as you run and the impact force of the extra weight will shoot up your body every time your foot meets the ground. This kind of impact will be significantly less when wearing a lightweight shoe that promotes an easy midfoot or forefoot gait. Essentially, a lightweight running shoe means that you will experience less physical exertion and less fatigue – ultimately helping you recover faster.
Are Lightweight running shoes better than other running shoes?
There is no right answer to this question as running shoes all come down to the runner. Heavier and lightweight running shoes both have their benefits but there has been a trend toward lightweight running shoes in recent years. it’s important for runners to trust their bodies and go with what feels most comfortable to them. To put it as simply as possible, trust your body’s reaction to your running shoes and do what feels right for you.
Lightweight running shoes can play an important role in how efficient you are as a runner as these shoes allow you to run with a natural gait and softer midfoot, lessening muscle fatigue and muscle strain while improving your endurance and helping you recover faster.
All of these elements add to bettering your running and if you are considering trying out a new running shoe, try out lightweight running shoes to see what all the fuss is about – you won’t be disappointed. But remember to make the change gradually, it can take some getting used to.