Gear

The Secret To Pairing Your Training Shoes And Racing Shoes

Just as you'd pair wine with cheese, you should be pairing your training and racing shoes; one for long mileage and one for speed work.

In The Photo: Train with Adrenaline (pictured right)—This high-mileage trainer from Brooks is stable and luxurious, serving up comfortable mile after mile. Race with Hyperion (pictured left)—As the lightest, fastest offering from Brooks, this flat gets you up on your toes with its snappy midfoot transition.

Wine goes with cheese. Beer with race finishes. Compression socks with shorts. The list of quintessential couplings goes on and on. Sometimes the selection process seems very subjective. It’s enough to make you scratch your head and wonder how the pairing was made. Who makes these calls?

Like a sommelier recommends wine pairings, I’ve been known as a shoemmelier. Given my vast collection, affection and geekiness when it comes to footwear for the fleet, I feel particularly qualified to play matchmaker. Road shoes are the white wine of running footwear, while trail shoes are the red. A sommelier wouldn’t discuss both types of wine in the same breath, so likewise this shoemmelier won’t mix road and off-road, purist that he is.

The scope of running-shoe pairings can be very broad, so let’s simply look at which training shoes go with which racing shoes. When you start training for a race, you should be prepared with at least two mainstays. The trainer should give a little more cushion and comfort for logging mileage, and the racer will see you through speed work.

Luckily brands tend to make the selection easy by making a range of shoes, and there’s no reason not to pair racers and trainers with the same logo. If you are allegiant to a particular manufacturer, it is a safe bet that the company’s racing shoe will have a similar fit and ride as its trainer. Brands tend to use the same or very similar lasts (the forms used to make shoes) and materials between their racing and training offerings.

RELATED: Summer 2017 Road Shoe Review

Here are 10 of the best pairings:

Adidas
Race: Boston Boost
Train: Supernova ST

Altra
Race: One
Train: Torin

ASICS
Race: 22
Train: GT 2000

Brooks
Race: Hyperion
Train: Adrenaline

Hoka One One
Race: Tracer
Train: Bondi

Mizuno
Race: Wave Sonic
Train: Wave Rider

New Balance
Race: 1400
Train: 1080

Nike
Race: Zoom Fly
Train: Air Zoom Pegasus

On Running
Race: Cloudflash
Train: Cloudflow

Saucony
Race: Fastwich
Train: ISO Freedom