I previously posted a review on Altra Instinct and was contacted by AltraZeroDrop as follows:
“Interesting review. A couple of things as I consider what is being said here. First, The Instinct is a neutral shoe and is sold as such. The Brooks Adrenaline is a motion control shoe. To compare the two with a pronator is not a fair comparison. To look at an Altra shoe that offers some pronation support please check out The Provision. This runner obviously needs some medial support and thus The Instinct may not be the best option right off the bat. As they strengthen their feet over time maybe.”
My reviews are based on the shoes that runners wear in, and the Instinct is the only shoe I’ve seen from Altra. In this runner’s case, he purchased the Instinct based on it’s “wider,” more supportive appearance, only to develop forefoot pain.
Altra’s website promotes Altra zero-drop footwear as “reducing forefoot pain, excessive pronation, IT Band pain, runners knee and shin-splints.” These claims are made independent of Altra model or style, but are instead specific to the zero-drop platform. So, based on these general design claims, this particular shoe should have worked for this particular runner.
My primary goal for doing shoe reviews is to reduce injury by educating runners about their foot type and alignment, and teaching them how to apply this to their shoe purchases. I agree that runners need to match their foot type (pronated, wide, etc.) to their shoes and I’m pleased that Altra offers a stability model.
I have asked Altra to send me a pair for review. I’ll keep you posted.
I have had several runners in my office asking me to evaluate to evaluate their Altra™ running shoes. As much as I want to recommend this shoe, I just can’t. There are too many runners for whom the fit and structure of this shoe is incompatible, as the following video shows.
Adidas Supernova Sequence 4 is essentially the same as version 3 — with features like a firm heel counter, inflexible forefoot and non-hourglass midsole/outsole that remain the same.
Good for the rectangle shaped foot, that doesn’t pronate excessively and is not too deep as the following field review video shows.
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.
Asics Gel Noosa Tri 7 is a racing flat that features a non-collapsible heel counter, an inflexible forefoot, and torsional stability. Although these features are not typically found in racing flats, they can really make a difference for the midfoot and forefoot striker.
The only issue with this shoe is the shape (last) is more C-shaped than rectangular. The last shape — coupled with a waist that hourglasses in — can cause excessive pronation in certain foot types, as the following field review video shows.
Let me first say that I am not a fan of minimalist running for the majority of my patients. Having said that, “just don’t do it” is not an acceptable directive to runners who are going to run in minimalist shoes in spite of what I recommend. Due to this, I have reluctantly learned to evaluate minimalist running shoes. Not surprisingly, the best way to do this utilizes some of the same principles I use when evaluating non-minimalist styles.
First and foremost, does the shoe match the runner’s foot type? Unfortunately, most minimalist shoes only come in medium widths and none are available in narrow widths. This excludes up to 50 percent of the runners who need a narrow or wide width running shoe. Second, does the shoe make the runner’s stride, shock absorption and/or pathology better or, at the very least, not worse?
Armed with the answers to these simple questions, my colleague Samantha Gibson, Bsc(Hon) and I have evaluated over 50 models of minimalist running shoes on hundreds of runners with differing biomechanics, pathologies and foot types. Based on this, we have created a minimalist shoe list to give to patients to use as a guide and educational tool. It’s not a perfect list but at least these shoes have our preliminary seal of approval, which is important, given the constraints we are forced to deal with when recommending minimalist shoes.
Minimalist Shoe List
Once a minimalist shoe has been selected, I will evaluate the patient running barefoot, running in the minimalist shoe and running in an appropriately structured shoe. Based on this analysis, I will recommend whether someone is a candidate to wear minimalist running shoes or not.
Additional blog posts on barefoot and minimalist running are as follows and provide more of my thoughts about minimalist running:
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.
One of my least favorite shoes this season. Although Wave Inspire 8 provides great support and structure, it’s oddly narrow in the forefoot and wide in the rearfoot. This design makes Wave Inspire 8 incompatible with a normal foot type, as the following field research video highlights.
I recently compared Asics Gel Foundation 10 to version 9.
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.
Other ProGrid Omni Reviews:
Brooks has done it again, with the introduction of the Adrenaline GTX, all terrain, trail shoe.
Adrenaline GTX is more rugged than Adrenaline ASR due to the Gore-Tex, waterproof, upper membrane. This shoe is also extremely stable, which is especially helpful during muddy or wet running conditions.
Additional features are highlighted in the following video.
Asics Gel Foundation 10 is similar to version 9 in that it is highly structured and torsionally stable, with a firm heel counter and an inflexible forefoot.
The differences between version 10 and version 9 have to do with volume. Version 9 was available in narrow, whereas version 10 isn’t. Version 9 was also more shallow than version 10 which will affect those runners who choose this shoe based on volume.
For all other runners, as the following video shows — this remains a great shoe.