Running Shoe types

We carry a wide variety of Trail and Road running shoes by Asics, Brooks, Hoka One One, La Sportiva, Pearl Izumi,  and Saucony for Men and Women.

lasportiva minimalistrun traditional support hoka

Natural Run Category

The Natural (aka. Minimalist) run category consists of shoes designed to “protect” the foot, but not “correct” the foot. In general, these shoes offer thinner mid-soles (better road feel and lighter weight), lower stack height/heel drop (0-4mm vs. 10-14mm, to better promote mid/fore foot strike vs. heel strike), and “deconstructed” uppers (acting as the foot-mid/outersole interfacing element vs. a multi-layered, structural component that holds and helps control the foot). Shoes in this category are typically very flexible and have a unified outer sole allowing for a more natural gait, from initial foot strike to toe-off. Please note that “Minimalist” does not necessarily mean “Barefoot” (Vibram FiveFinger, for example), but does incorporate this extreme in the natural run category. Also be aware that there are numerous “elemental” or “bridge” shoes that offer many features of a “natural” shoe and tend to add a bit more (Saucony Cortana – slightly posted; various Asics 33 series shoes -structured uppers, “controlled” sole flex).

Trail Running Category

Just as there are numerous trails to run on in the Upper Valley, there are numerous trail shoes to run in. Matching your shoes to your trails is crucial for maximizing pleasure, performance and safety. Consider the following guidelines for selecting the appropriate trail shoe. “Rail Trail or Appalachian Trail? This is the question.” There are many great road shoes that are given an aggressive outer sole and then called “trail shoe.” Brooks does this with the Adrenaline (GTS vs ASR). But just because the Adrenaline GTS is your “Go-To” shoe for the pavement does it mean the offroad version is right for you? Since the ASR is a medially posted stability shoe, it will provide pronation control – ideal for well traveled dirt roads and groomed surfaces such as the Rail Trail. But take that same shoe (with an 11mm stack height and medial posting) on the AT or through Boston Lot and you may have a lateral ankle sprain waiting to happen! Trail shoes should be selected primarily based on the trail footing, less on running mechanics/foot-type. As the technical demands (roots, rocks, off-camber surfaces, etc)of a trail increase, so too do the demands on the shoe. Here’s a trail run relationship: As the Trail Demands increase, the Shoe Stack Height should decrease; Medial Posting should decrease or dissappear; Outer Sole Lugs aggressiveness should increase. Of course, there are other factors such as rock plate vs. weight vs. flexibility, but the above are the most critical considerations (along with fit, of course) when selecting a trail shoe. Omer&Bob’s has trail shoes for the Rail Trail runner and the AT runner alike.  And just like trail options in the Upper Valley, our trail shoe selection keeps expanding. Check in with us to see what’s new!