If you need a non-slip shoe for restaurant or housekeeping work and you have a narrow foot, your choices are very limited. Fortunately, Skechers makes a non-slip lace shoe for men that — even though sized medium — runs narrow. The style is called Rockland-Systemic and can be purchased from Zappos.com.
First and foremost, this shoe is great because it laces (as opposed to being a slip-on style), which is always better for the narrow foot. Also terrific is the fact that there are 6 sets of eyelets: the more eyelets there are, the better the shoe fit, especially for a narrow foot.
Finally, there is no hourglass in the waist of the shoe, which provides support in the arch where needed most. This also makes for a stable foundation if orthotics are to be worn inside the shoe.
Most brands of trail running shoes are only offered in medium widths, and this makes fitting a narrow foot extremely difficult. Asics GT-2000 and Brooks Adrenaline ASR are my current favorites in this category, offering medium width trail running shoes which run narrow.
Both brands are excellent in terms of design and support. However Asics GT-2000 takes a slight lead in the narrow-shallow department, whereas Brooks takes a slight lead in the support department.
An added bonus — both brands offer Gore-Tex, waterproof versions of the above models.
If you’re a basketball player, then you know how difficult it is to find supportive, well-designed basketball shoes. The Nike Kobe VII has been a favorite of mine — and now I have Ektio to add to the list.
Ektio is a unique new brand of basketball shoe that offers unparalleled ankle support. Ektio was kind enough to send me a pair to evaluate — and FDFAC staff member (and former WNBA and professional basketball player) Brooke Smith gave the shoes a rigorous court workout. The Result: Ektio passed with flying colors.
This shoe is designed to support the ankle and prevent inversion sprains, which it accomplishes by utilizing the following features.
High Top Design — Supports and stabilizes excessive ankle motion
Two Strap System — Secures and cinches to the ankle to provide leverage against lateral inversion motion
Lateral Forefoot Flare and Graphite Outsole — Makes the shoe torsionally stable and less prone to twist
Overall, this is a terrific shoe — especially if you have a history of ankle sprains, or if you routinely wear an ankle brace for added support. You can also wear orthotics with this shoe, making this shoe my new favorite. Best of all, this shoe is reasonably priced at $129.95.
If you play basketball and haven’t tried Ektio, you will want to check them out!
JC came in with a pair of DZR shoes today to be worn with his new custom orthotics, and I’ve got to say I’m impressed. Designed as an Urban Cycling Shoe, DZR is hip enough to wear even if you don’t cycle.
DZR has the style of a skater shoe, without added forefoot flexibility — which is great for hallux limitus, sesamoiditis and metatarsalgia. For cycling, the outsole can be modified to accept Shimano SPD cleats for a clipless pedal ride, as the following video shows. Ingenious.
One of my favorite trail running shoes for the high volume foot as the following field review video shows.
Although the Gel Trabuco is only available in a medium width, it runs wider and deeper than many other brands of trail shoes. In addition to more volume, Gel Trabuco 14 also provides a lot of support, which is important for running on irregular trail terrain.
Mizuno Wave Creation 13 is a stable, well-structured shoe as the following field review video shows.
This shoe is torsionally stable, has a firm heel counter and an inflexible forefoot making it a perfect choice for those runners who excessively pronate. The generous use of mesh throughout the forefoot makes this shoe lightweight and forgiving where runners need it most.
The only problem with this shoe is it runs 1/2 size long based on heel-to-ball length with a correspondingly short toe box, so you will want to be careful when evaluating size. Other than that, Wave Creation 13 is a great shoe.
Mizuno Wave Enigma is categorized as a neutral running shoe, but has much more structure than a typical neutral shoe.
Important features include torsional stability and a firm heel counter, both of which help prevent excessive pronation. The forefoot is moderately flexible, but sufficiently cushioned to aid shock absorption. The waist of the Enigma is also wide and doesn’t “hourglass” in, making this one of my favorite Mizuno’s this season, as the following field review shows.
As the following field review of Asics Gel Foundation 10 highlights, this is one of my favorite shoes this season. It’s lightweight, yet structured and although it is no longer offered in narrow — medium and wide widths still provide a great fit.
I previously reviewed Asics GT-2170 and compared it to Asics GT-2160. The following video is a field review of Asics GT-2170, which has changed significantly from Asics GT-2160. Although GT-2170 fits the same volume-wise as GT-2160, structure-wise, it no longer supports the excessively pronated foot.
I’ve previously reviewed Mizuno® Wave Nirvana 8 but wanted to add my recent field review as well. Important note — this version runs approximately 1/2 size smaller than the listed size, so you will want to evaluate length when assessing fit.
I like this shoe, however, it won’t work for every foot type as the following field research shows.
I’ve previously reviewed Brooks Ravenna 3 but wanted to add my recent field review. Brooks Ravenna 3 provides a great fit for the rectangular foot. It’s lightweight and cushioned for the neutral runner who doesn’t pronate excessively.
ProGrid Omni has always been a solid shoe. For the past several versions, it has offered a rectangular shape and significant anti-pronation control — including a firm medial midsole, firm heel counter, and torsional stability.
Version 11, however, has reduced pronation control due to increased midsole cushioning (thickness) and less torsional stability.
This makes for a comfortable shoe with a trade-off in less durability and faster wear. In addition to the change from support to cushioning, the upper has also changed from a more fitted style to a more boxy style with a deeper toe-box. For some runners, this may predispose them to a less secure fit than previous models as the following field research shows.
Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 is one of my favorite shoes. It’s supportive and structured without being heavy. Wave Alchemy 12 is equally supportive — but runs narrower than version 11 as the following video shows.
The differences between Brooks Ravenna 3 and Ravenna 2 primarily involve volume and cushion. Version 3 is deeper, has more volume and fits less snugly than version 2. Ravenna 3 also has a softer midsole, which is great for cushioning but not as durable as version 2.
Overall, Ravenna 3 is a great shoe, however because of the changes with version 3, you will want to try on and confirm fit prior to purchasing. Video comparison between the two versions can be found here:
Asics Gel-3030 fills a much needed void left by Asics GT-2160. Torsionally stable, with a firm heel counter and an inflexible forefoot, Asics Gel-3030 is an ideal shoe for those runners wanting serious support or pronation control. The only downside — it’s only available in medium width. Apart from that, it’s one of my favorite Asics shoes this season.
Asics Gel-Nimbus® 13 is a great shoe for those runners looking for premium cushioning and shock absorption. Lightweight, yet supportive, Asics upgraded version 13 will provide a comfortable, stable ride.
I’ve been waiting for a well-designed pair of Asics® Gel-Kayano’s since version 14 — but I’m disappointed to say that Gel-Kayano 18 isn’t it. With significant changes to the upper, Gel-Kayano’s latest version will not provide the same structure or fit as prior versions. The following video highlights the differences, and prior Gel-Kayano posts follow the video.
Nike® Zoom Structure Triax has been a favorite of mine for several years, and version 15 is my favorite yet. Cushioned, yet stable, this shoe works for the runner who is looking for pronation control in a lightweight shoe.
Mizuno® has debuted some great shoes this season and Wave Nirvana 8 is no exception.
Supportive, yet lightweight, Wave Nirvana 8 has lower volume (narrow, shallow) than most shoes in this category (Brooks® Beast) which fits an important need for many runners out there. Although this shoe won’t work for everyone, if this shoe is a match to your foot type, you won’t be disappointed.