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Shoe Heel-to-Toe Drop: What it means for you

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I’ve received some feedback about confusion regarding the definition of shoe heel-to-toe drop, and its implications for running style. Therefore, I am writing this brief article to try and explain what it all means for the average runner looking to buy a new pair of running shoes.
You may sometimes come across terms like heel-to-toe offset, or heel-to-toe drop when you look at the technical information about a particular running shoe model. They pretty much all mean the same thing: the difference in height between the rear part of a shoe and the front. Bear in mind that all technical data are generally given for a size US9.0 shoe. It goes without saying that a smaller sized shoe with the same heel-to-toe drop would have a steeper ramp angle (that's the slope from the heel to the forefoot). [This section was edited on 27 Nov 16 2348Hrs. Thanks to Andy Neo for the correction] It is for this reason that brands like ASICS do not advertise the heel-to-toe drops for their shoes on thei…

REVIEW: Hoka One One Clifton 3

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Disclaimer: The Hoka One One Clifton 3 reviewed here was provided gratis for the purposes of a shoe review. All the opinions expressed below are my own.

My first experience with the Hoka Clifton started some time in 2014. I had suffered a pretty bad hamstring strain in my left leg the day before the 2014 Singapore Army Half Marathon, and in the 5-6 weeks leading up to the 2014 Berlin Marathon, I was struggling with the latter half of my long runs. I tried several different shoes to enable me to run comfortably and eventually settled on the Hoka Clifton as a last resort. I think most people would agree with me when I say that the release of the Clifton v1 was a huge turning point for Hoka as a brand. Overnight it went from this heavy, overbuilt maximalist brand that really only appealed to long distance triathletes and ultra trail runners to taking the mainstream everyday runner by storm. In the Clifton, Hoka had created a maximalist shoe that weighed as much as a Kinvara/Flyknit Lunar…

REVIEW: ASICS Sortie Japan Seiha

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The Sortie range of ASICS racers are probably not well known outside the Asian market. They are a range of very lightweight, high traction, no-nonsense racing flats that in truth, have not evolved a whole lot since their inception. As much as I love aggressive racing flats, I generally prefer shoes with less ground feel. The first Sortie in my collection was the ASICS Sortie Magic LT, the LT standing for lightweight trainer. This was the softest durometer shoe in the Sortie range, despite weighing in at under 170g. I used that shoe to race the ASICS City Relay 2015 and while I had a decent performance in that shoe (our team did win by nearly 20 minutes), I did feel a fair bit of shin strain during the race, and decided that it was still too little shoe for anything other than really hard intervals or fartleks.  
Fast forward to early 2016, and I saw a striking new Sortie model, the Seiha, with its striking Cerulean midsole, minimalist outsole coverage, and two tone upper. This Sortie…

REVIEW: Saucony Kinvara 7

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I managed to snag this shoe for a great price at the 2016 Tokyo Marathon race expo, and the fact that it came in a very snazzy Tokyo Marathon design scheme was a huge bonus. The first and only other Kinvara I ever tried was version 5. I had long heard about people using the Kinvara as a marathon racer, but never got round to trying it due to my early sponsorship with Brooks. The Kinvara 5 (K5) felt to me like a fairly soft shoe with good flexibility but was somewhat lacking in the rebound department. It was definitely exhibiting the right amount of “give” on footstrike, but not giving enough snap on toe off. The stack was just enough not to bottom out though, so it was still usable for general training, but I wrote it off for race use, after a lacklustre outing with it at the 2015 Newton Challenge 18km.

Last year, word trickled out that Saucony was getting into the TPU game (a la Adidas Boost), and so I put off getting the Kinvara 6, in the hopes that the new Everun TPU foam used by …

REVIEW: ASICS Hyperspeed 7

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Disclaimer: This pair of shoes was provided to me by ASICS Singapore for review purposes. My first experience with the Hyperspeed was version 6. It was and still is one of a very short list of truly soft and light racing flats on the market. I remember desperately wanting to make it work as a marathon racer. However, despite swapping out the minimal insole for a thicker more substantial one, I still found myself struggling to stay comfortable beyond 10km in it. You see, the Hyperspeed 6 used a very low durometer EVA foam.  What this means is the foam is very soft, and it so happens that when I ran in it at race pace, my feet had the tendency to bottom out on the shoe, i.e. my feet would sink down in the shoe to the extent that I felt the ground contact a little too much. I’d had similar experiences before with soft shoes that just did not have sufficient thickness to prevent the feet from sinking all the way in, e.g. Skechers GoRun Ride 4, Brooks Pureflow 3. These would work great for …