The Benefits of Using Both Speed & Distance Shoes

When you come to BlackToe Running you will often hear our staff talk to new runners about why they should use both Speed and Distance shoes.  If you haven't had the chance to talk to us about it, here is a little basic information on this important topic.


What are they?

Speed shoes are lighter, more performance oriented shoes that are generally used for shorter, harder efforts such as interval and tempo runs.

Distance shoes are higher cushion shoes that allow for less wear and tear on your body.  These would typically be used for easy runs, recovery runs or long runs. 

Why use 2 different shoes?

Take full advantage of the technology you have paid for.  Like any sport, you want the right equipment so you can perform at your best.  Shoes are designed for specific types of workouts so you will be better able to take full advantage of their features, if you are using them as intended. 

Reduce the risk of overuse injuries.  Studies have shown that alternating different types of shoes within your training cycle reduces the incidence of overuse injuries.  Adding the right kind of variability is always good as you activate different muscles and tendons in slightly different ways. This means they all get a little attention, and also get a little bit of a break depending on the shoe you choose for each workout.

Extend the life of your shoes.  This is especially true for people who are running more than 4 days per week.   Shoe manufacturers will tell you that the compression of the materials in the sole of the shoe can often take more than 24 hours to fully re-expand after your run.   Giving your shoes a bit of a "breather" means they won't pack down as quickly.

Help your head game!  After a few weeks of using a speed shoe for hard workouts and a distance shoe for recovery runs, you will soon start to draw psychological associations and experience the corresponding physical response to putting on your shoes.   Putting on a fast shoe commits you to running a harder workout, and a more cushioned shoe will remind you to run easy when your training calls for it.

So how do you pick the right speed shoe and the right distance shoe?   Your needs will vary based on your biomechanics, experience, and training plan.   Our expert staff can help you make the right selections.  Come in today or email/call us with your questions anytime!