Learner runner - transition shoes or not?

Learner runner - transition shoes or not?

runmanrun runmanrun


Been a club cylist for 30 years plus. Now mid 40s. A niggling undercarriage (a bloke's undercarriage) issue is interfering with my ability to ride now.  Discovered fun of running whilst chasing dog round field, and best of all, it doesn't aggravate symptoms.

Been meaning to give it a go for years, especially after reading Born to Run, so this is the push I needed.  I have been put off in the past by the high incidence of injury from running.  Some seem to hold the view that done properly and very cautiously, avoiding heel striking running style seems to reduce injury risk.

I have bought a pair of Asics GT 2170's from the specialist running shop nearby, but as I am still at the run/walk stage of getting into this, I don't yet have any particular running style, or bad habits.  I am I suspect a "blank canvas" in this respect.

Therefore, if running with a mid-foot or fore-foot strike is something that can be established as the running style for me, as I am very much starting out, is it worth going for a transition shoe which encourages the development of such a style, (I have in mind the Saucony Kinvara 2 or 3), or am I asking for trouble, and I would be better off sticking with Asics I already have?

Thanks in advance.






Westie Westie


Hi Runmanrun, when i started running I was a heel striker. My first pair of shoes were Asics Gel Nimbus which were heavily cushioned with a stacked heel. A bit into my running I decided to change my running style and started mid/forefoot landing , still in the Asics. Very quickly this became my new style of running; however, my calves were quite sore. After this I decided I wanted a pair of running shoes with a lower heel to toe differential. I bought the New Balance Minumus with 4mm heel drop. I knackered my calves several times again, but have finally transitioned into flatter shoes. I also have a pair of Saucony Kinvara's (4mm), but the Minimus are my favourite. Since running in flatter shoes I no longer have any knee pain. However, this might also be related to having tried to improve my running form. What I love about flatter shoes, is the sense of 'feeling' the ground underfoot. But as I say, the transition has come with a price i.e. a nuber of calf strains; these were probably related to my trying to rush the transition.

Basically, you don't have to have flat shoes to avoid heel striking; you can teach yourself mid/fore foot running in your existing shoes. However, a movement to flatter shoes has certainly brought me a better overall running experience.

All the best.

P.S the mind boggles with regard to your under-carriage!

runmanrun runmanrun

Posted in reply to Westie

Many thanks Westie.  I appreciate the insight - very helpful.