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:
Race: Boston Boost
Train: Supernova ST
Train: GT 2000
Hoka One One
Race: Wave Sonic
Train: Wave Rider
Race: Zoom Fly
Train: Air Zoom Pegasus
Train: ISO Freedom