Holiday Shopping For the Runner on your List
There was a story told over the Thanksgiving dinner table that should be retold to everyone who is going to be doing any Christmas shopping this year. As a matter of fact, this is prudent for anyone who is doing any holiday shopping, birthday shopping, or when buying a gift for any imaginable reason. The story is of a couple who were beginning snowboarders and last year had told others that they were wanted a snowboard. They had given an example of professional model snowboards that they liked, as well as suggesting that anyone giving this gift should look for a used model since they were beginners and the boards can be expensive.
Soon, a well meaning friend took to the internet and found something remarkable…snowboards at some “Wally-Mart” retail store were selling for $25 and best of all, they were new. The friend purchased one for each of theme and even had money left over for hats, gloves, and crash pants. Unfortunately for the friend, those retail shop snowboards were just glamorized toys. Real snowboards buckle in specialty snowboarding boots, while these toys instead had straps to put street shoes into. Professional boards also have metal strips on the side to lock into snow properly and boot ties to prevent “runaway boards” that are a threat to others on the hill. Ski resorts would not even allow any other kinds of boards onto their hills, and will instead make riders rent boards at high prices if the snowboard is not up to these standards. On Christmas morning, the couple were smiling and nodding, but inside they were shaking their heads. These snowboards were utterly useless.
Choosing The Right Shoe
Well, the same holds true for runners. The wrong kind of shoe for the wrong kind of runner or foot style and the shoe may as well be a flip-flop. For instance, everyone knows the name Nike ® , but what many do not fully grasp is that the serious runner on that holiday list is going to need certain important features within the shoe structure in order for the shoe to be something that can really be used. Those new Jordan’s may look nice, but it is something like Nike’s “Racer” shoe which use a very durable yet lightweight design for optimal performance that would be far better choice. They call it a Flyknit design, and many runners today call them the most comfortable running shoe on the market. With Lunarlon cushioning that keeps strain and overexertion down to a minimum, Phylon midsoles for added support, as well as “Air Zoom” technology that is combined to make for one of the best options to choose this gift giving season.
Here are some options:
Also, some shoes can be very cumbersome to run in. The average person just skimming the internet may be tempted to purchase what is called a Maximalist shoe because it feels really good when held. It has some weight to the shoe and one can tell just by lifting it that it will hold up well. However, these kinds of shoes can be like running with cement boots to some runners, while the opposite called “Minimalist” shoes can be too lacking in both comfort and practicality. For many, the answer is a “Neutral” style running shoe because these, as the name implies, is sort of the happy medium that proves quite popular with those who have been running for quite some time. Shoes such as the Salomon S-Lab Sense and the New Balance 890’s which are good for almost any kind of workout, including running should be looked at. They are often called the most comfortable running shoe on the market, and are perfect for combating over-pronation.
Top 10 Running Shoe Gift Guide
With these kinds of shoes, style also matters, which is why shoes like the S-Lab feature also Quick Lace systems as well as offering strong lug design structures that make running over mud or water prone areas much easier. Fans of this kind of running shoe will be thrilled this holiday season when they open the package and find something like a pair of Saucony’s Cohesion sneakers inside! These ultra comfortable shoes are always on the top of the list and for good reason. They hold up well, and when it comes to shock absorption and arch relief, these shoes are quite hard to top.
While on the topic of practicality meeting style, there may be no better shoe than the ASICS GEL Venture. Not only that, but these shoes do not come with the hefty price tag that some of other shoes of like quality do. This means that it is possible to save a little bit of money and still not give someone a sub-par “toy snowboard” kind of a gift for Christmas. They also hold up for a very long time even under even the most trying of conditions, such as seen by many trail runners. The have some of the best traction of any shoe extant today, and they hold up with the kind of durability expected from Maximalist running shoes!
Salomon Speed Cross 4
Speaking of trail runners, they can really be the wrench in the machine when it comes to shopping for shoes. Finding the right trail running shoe for the right person can be a real list stopper, but this need not be the case. The truth is that these kinds of shoes can be often be the most fun to shop for because of all of those mentioned today, these may be the most cutting edge in appearance, which make them a joy to pick out. This is seen in the Salomon Speed Cross 4’s, Asics Gel Venture 5, and the almost futuristic looking Merrell All Out Peak trail running shoes. On the Minimalist end of the trail running spectrum is even the ultra lightweight Merrell Vapor Glove 2 which features Vibram sole and a mesh design that will be a huge success for those who like such additions.
Inov-8 X-Talon 200
If the person shopping is really into how things look as well as how they perform, then the Inov-8 X-Talon 200 is the trail running shoe to purchase because they boast some of the best grip on the market. The DWR coating keeps moisture and water out, making for one of the most comfortable shoe designs for those in inclimate weather ever. These shoes are also very easy for the foot to breathe in, and best of all, it makes the sharpest looking shoe design of any shoe being sold today.
Adidas Adistar Boost ESM
If stability issues were mentioned by the runner on the gift list then there is good news to be found in this regard, as well. Take the Adidas Adistar Boost ESM, for example. Adidas is a company that has been around for a long time, and they have really established themselves in both the fashion market and the serious running market. Nowhere is this more widely seen than in the Adistar Boost ESM series. These shoes offer a sleek, common sense look combined with a stretchable design that conforms better to the runners actual foot than most shoes. It also has some of the best support found in any running shoe, something vital for overpronators.
The Asics Gel Noosa Tri is also worthy of a look this holiday season since they offer some of the best midsole comfort of any running option, which is music to the ears of any light to moderate overpronators on the list. These shoes are made with an inpart guidance system which compliments the runner’s natural gait. These Asics also offer absorption comfort while featuring a dynamic duomax support system which only add to the overall stability of the shoe. Not only that, but these are also a pair of shoes that really show that time and thought were put into the presentation and artful design of the shoe. The runner who gets these as a gift will likely be quite happy if they are into running with any passion whatsoever.
Skechers GOrun Ride
The Skechers GOrun Ride is yet another shoe that displays a level of stability and panache that earns them some honest consideration this year. Much like Adidas, Skechers are a shoe company that really has stayed on the cusp by marrying design and style with the utmost in running needs. These shoes are much lighter expected for how well they actually hold up and perform. They also rate very high in reviews from runners when addressing shock absorption, and these highly cushioned shoes are also very weather resistant. No one is happy running when every slight drizzle results in wet feet.
New Balance 990v3
The New Balance 990v3 running shoe is also a very popular choice when it comes to addressing issues of stability and durability. This is a shoe for those who want a much more classic approach to the look while still having all of the perks that come with owning New Balance. For issues regarding overpronation there is no better choice, plus they have a reputation for holding up for a very, very long time. These are also the perfect choice for runners who are seeking a shoe that allows the foot to breathe while they are running. These are some of the most high end shoes produced by New Balance and the reason will be quite obvious once they are worn.
North Face Ultra 109 GTX
With a cutting edge Gore-Tex lining, The North Face Ultra 109 GTX is yet another shoe that should be considered this gift giving season. The protection from the elements that this shoe offers is something that will be talked about by whoever gets these shoes for quite some time. It even offers some correction for pronators and it does so while presenting a look that is streamlined with one of the best looking styles to be made all season long.
ASICS GEL Fortitude 7
Another fantastic option is the ASICS GEL Fortitude 7 which is a return to the basic of presentation while being a shoe that is a bit lower in actual height. The approach to motion control is a bit different than most other shoes on the market, yet the shoe is a success for those with overpronator concerns. If flexibility matters then this is the shoe that should maybe be chosen because this model is known to excel among runners who crave such features. This is even true for those who do not run really long distances at one time. It is also one of the better priced shoes that are being sold at this time.
There are many things to be considered when purchasing a shoe for someone who is really driven by a passion for running. Ideally it is best to ask the runner what kinds of shoes they like, but with it being the holidays it is often a surprise factor that matters, so just asking is often not much of an option at all. In this case, it is suggested to ask a spouse or friend what kinds of shoes they usually run in as well as to gather any facts about what kinds of things are complained about either with the shoe or immediately after a run. Is foot pain a problem that is mentioned a lot? If so, shoes that focus on stability and comfort are going to matter quite a bit. Likewise, if the runner is saying how the shoes feel as if they are equipped with weights and fatigue is a problem, then a good lightweight shoe that can hold up to the durability standard is in order.
There are so many factors ; climate, running surface, etc that need to be considered when shopping for running shoes that it can seem daunting, but it need not be. What matters the most is that the basic needs of the runner are met, but beyond that, have fun. After all, Christmas gifts and any gift of love is a gift that says to the receiver, “Here is something that says how much I care. I listen to what you enjoy, and thus have chosen this present to convey that,” so have fun. Look over the options, the designs, the colors, and get excited. This is going to be the best holiday season ever, and with these simple running shoe items and suggestions on the checklist, shopping is going to be an absolute blast!