Live Blog: How to Find the Perfect Shoe for You by Reebok

Are you always asking yourself, “What’s the real difference between a running and cross training shoe?”

Are you curious about buzz words like “barefoot running,” “minimalism,” and “pronation”?

Are you frustrated with the performance (or lack thereof) of your current shoes and looking for a better alternative?

Well, Reebok is here to educate you about the footwear you use to pursue your daily fitness challenges.  By showing you the latest Reebok products in Running, Training, Dance, and Walking, we want to demonstrate the importance of having the right shoe for each of the different activities you do to stay fit.

Before getting started, Reebok presented a short video they call their “brand anthem”:

“Life doesn’t care what you look like,

or where you came from,

It’s not here to judge you,

Doesn’t care how tough you are,

It knows it’s not always pretty, easy or perfect,

Life simply asks that you join it.”

Chris from Reebok’s corporate headquarters in Canton, MA started by telling us that he was going to take us through the construction and biomechanics of how we move.  He wanted a show of hands: “How many people buy shoes because they are cute?”  He pointed out that we buy shoes because they are cute and have pretty colors but we need to make sure that we are not just picking a shoe because of it’s looks but that shoe is built for the end use we need it for.

The session was divided into four categories:

– Running Shoes

– Walking Shoes

– Cross Trainers

– Dancing

Running

Running is a big category for shoes.  Almost everyone has owned running shoes at one point.  The key is knowing which running shoe to choose.  Reebok makes the Series One running shoes.  This shoe is built different than any other shoe in the industry.  The Series One Guide helps with stability and pronation:

  • It has three zones in the midsole which culls out different densities.  The purpose for this because as you move through your gait cycle from heel to midstance to toe-off, you have different needs from your shoes.  When you strike from the heel you need something that will cushion you and be firm.  When you move into midstance you need stabilization and in toe-off you need propulsion.  The design of the Series One helps you move through these three phases of your gait.
  • The material and density in the upper and lining part of the shoe are different than the midsole. The upper is made to add support and stabilization.  The forefoot is made of breathable mesh.
  • Reebok says this shoe is “Built from back to front, the way the foot moves.”  Reebok has designed a shoe rather than from the bottom up but to mimic your gait cycle so that your shoe mimics the way your foot moves and addresses your gait.
  • The Reebok One Series show is made for mild to moderate pronators.  Reebok One Series Cushion is a neutral shoe made for those who tend not to pronate.  This shoe has a stable arch area for maximum comfort.  By contrast, the Reebok One Series Guide is a stability shoe addresses over pronation by adding a denser foam in the arch so don’t crash in as move through gait cycle.
  • Superpronation (pronating outwards) is more rare and you need a motion control shoes.
  • The One Series will assist with pronation.  If you have no idea how you pronate, go to a local running speciality store and they can go a gait analysis for you on a treadmill with cameras.

Another popular type of running category is minimalism or barefoot running, which became popular from the book Born to Run.  Born to Run talks about a guy who was running and was injured and went to Mexico and found an ancient Mexican tribe that ran great distances barefoot or in shoddily made sandals.  They could run for days so he wanted to figure this out.  Now there is movement to look at the biomechanics of how we run and these people are running without shoes and not getting injured because ever since the invention of complex running shoes, the average elite marathon time has not improved.  Reebok makes the Real Flex shoe.

  • Real Flex is not a barefoot shoe but rather it is a natural motion shoe.
  • Real Flex breaks the sole of the shoe into 76 centers and gives the wearer greater flexibility and the feel of the ground.
  • The heel drop of a shoe refers to the height difference between the heel height and forefoot height.  Zero drop shoes refer to no change in the height.  Reebok has a 12mm heel drop.  Low millimeter drops stem from the biomechanics of how you run because the lower the heel drop, the more efficient your gait is because you strike more on the fore- or mid-foot.

Walking

Reebok has a One Series Walking collection.  The One Series Walking are uniquely constructed for the way our foot hits the ground.  Many people walk in running shoes but some people want a specific walking shoe, especially oversees in Europe and Asia.  Reebok makes walking shoes that are good for hiking and go beyond just adding a tread to the bottom of the shoe for trails.  Reebok also constructs heels a little bit differently and with different cushion levels.

Question: How much do we benefit of having a walking shoe over a running hoes?

Answer: It’s fine to do either [shoe] but anyone who is running on a regular basis is not going to injure themselves by walking in a running shoe but these are for people who want walking shoes.  The rule of thumb is that you can run and walk in a walking shoe but you can’t run in a walking shoe so people tend to buy running shoes because they can use them for both.

Reebok also offers a Real Flex walking shoe.

Training

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 is designed for movement and activities inherent in a CrossFit workout.  This is an all encompassing workout so they built a shoe that could stand up to pretty much any different training activity.

  • There is not a ton of cushioning as opposed to a running shoe.  The material is not as thick and its a denser, firmer material.
  • The foot is flatter and closer to the ground for more stability.  You don’t want a bunch of foam underneath your foot when you are lifting weight on your back.  If you take some of the foam out and flatten the platform, then there is more stability
  • The CrossFit Nano 2.0 has a wider last.  A running shoe has a narrow last.  A wider last gives you a larger platform and more stability to help you lift weight and move laterally and provides stability.
  • The CrossFit Nano 2.0 is made of breathable mesh.
  • The bottom of the shoe is made of carbon rubber.  On the bottom of a running shoe there is carbon rubber and blown rubber so there is more cushioning in running.  Carbon rubber is more durable and less cushion for more durability, stability and grip.
  • There is a nice flex groove in the forefoot so if you do do some running, it will flex comfortably.
  • The CrossFit Nano 2.0 has traction on the bottom and side of the shoe so that if you climb a rope, you will not slip.
  • A running shoe is built to go forward to move in one direction versus a training shoe that is built to go in any direction for all different purposes so it should be closer to the ground, less cushioning than running shoe and a more stable platform.
  • These shoes could be used in a Spartan race, although Reebok alluded to working towards a Spartan-specific shoe to be released in 2014, which will have elements of running and CrossFit shoes.  They are also looking to create a machine washable shoe for mud runs- something reusable and high performance.
  •  The CrossFit shoe is not built for running but is built for workouts that contain running.  There is still a slight drop (4 mm).

Question: If you are an overpronator doing CrossFit, what type of shoe would you get?

Answer:  Typically pronation doesn’t factor in as much because you start to get injury from pronation is when you do it over and over like you do in a run, but in a CrossFit type activity you are doing less miles so it doesn’t matter as much, can put an insert in, if you need to.

Dance

Chelsea Hightower, a former So You Think You Can Dance and current Dancing with the Starsdancer wears Reebok and is a Reebok model.  When constructing dance shoe, they are built along lines of cross trainers but there are several distinguishing features in the bottom of the shoe because of the unique movements in dance.  People think they can dance in any shoe but need to build shoe for people’s whose passion is dance and addresses needs of that specific activity.

  • There are all kinds of moving around in dancing, like pivoting, so there is a turn zone on the forefoot of the Reebok URLead 2.0 shoe to allow you to spin.
  • Other components include flexibility and stability that requires a platform.
  • The ReebokUR Lead 2.0 has a forefoot grip.
  • The Reebok URLead 2.0 also has flex grooves and cushioning.
  • There is a high top and low top version.

Questions:

Question: If you can customize a shoe, what is the best type of shoe to buy?

Answer: CrossFit shoes are great for a wide variety of activities.  The beauty of customization is that you can make it online and it is unique to you because you can choose the colors and text.

Question: The dance shoe, is it targeted at Zumba?

Answer: It is a contemporary dance shoe and is good for Zumba and for other dance classes like IntenSati.

Question: Does Reebok make men’s dance shoes?

Answer: Reebok does not yet make men’s dance shoes.

Question: She loves dmx and zigs, she did an event at hq and she was introduced to shoes designed for running and the dmx were so cushioned and works very well for running and weight training, her question is that she likes zigs and likes a stable shoe and likes running and weight training in, she wants to run and weight train at gym- is there one model or make that is better?  She likes dmx and zigs for her but is there one particular shoe?

Answer:  Chris’s wife is not a huge fan of dmx to run in she must rather run in the one series, to answer her question, he likes the crossfit shoe for both but for some people it is not enough cushioning but he has been trying to get  more efficient gait and landing on his forefoot so he doesnt need cushioning but what he is getting at is everyone would have a different answer.

Go try on shoes and tell the associate at the store what you intend to do in it and they will make a recommendation.

Question: Is it always a good idea to go up half a size with running shoes?

Answer:  Sometimes you want to go up a half size for long distance running, give yourself extra run because your foot expands over a long run but sometimes you want a shoe that is snug for other activities.

Make sure the shoe you are being fitted for will be appropriate for the activity you intend to use it for.

This review was captured and written by Brittany from MyOwnBalance.  She writes about finding balance in her life through fitness, food and generally enjoying life while juggling a hectic work schedule.