Health & Fitness

Running-shoe designers put function before foam

Runners run through a lot of shoes -- the reason is the foam midsole, which steadily loses its cushioning. Brands are experimenting with models that replace foam with shock-absorbing structures they claim don't degrade as much.

-- Roy M. Wallack

More bounce to the ounce

Adidas Megabounce+: Almost-foamless shoe using clear urethane doughnuts as shock absorbers. Some forefoot foam.

Likes: So fun it makes you feel young again. Pronounced bounce upon a heel or midfoot landing seems to aid forward momentum.

Mesh upper and roomy toe box provide a very balanced, comfortable fit.

Dislikes: On long runs, the bounce fades from memory as the 14-ounce heft takes a toll.

Price: $120. (800) 448-1796; www.shopadidas.com.

Ride the Infinity Wave

Mizuno Wave Creation 8: Cushioned trainer with foam in the forefoot and undulating, plastic Infinity Wave suspension structure in the heel and midfoot.

Likes: Wide, comfy toe box. Firm suspension action gives it a fast feel. Cool mesh upper. 13 ounces.

Dislikes: Not enough cushioning. Even after a week of running, the Infinity Wave is still a bit stiff for a cushioned shoe. Stiff price, too.

Price: $129. (800) 966-1211; www.mizunousa.com.

Foam and function

New Balance 8507: Trainer that mates conventional forefoot foam with a foamless, rearfoot "NB ZIP" cushioning structure made of a dozen flexible struts.

Likes: Comfortable, wide toe box and smooth ride. A firm, fast feel like the Mizuno. Tactile grip of a trail shoe; cool, breathable mesh upper. Priced far lower than the rest.

Dislikes: Light feel, but just as burly as Adidas (14 ounces).

Price: $85. (617) 783-4000; www.newbalance.com.

Endurance runner and cyclist Roy M. Wallack can be reached at roywallack@aol.com.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Adidas
    Adidas

    More bounce to the ounce Adidas Megabounce+: Almost-foamless shoe using clear urethane doughnuts as shock absorbers. Some forefoot foam. Likes: So fun it makes you feel young again. Pronounced bounce upon a heel or midfoot landing seems to aid forward momentum. Mesh upper and roomy toe box...

  • Mizuno
    Mizuno

    Ride the Infinity Wave Mizuno Wave Creation 8: Cushioned trainer with foam in the forefoot and undulating, plastic Infinity Wave suspension structure in the heel and midfoot. Likes: Wide, comfy toe box. Firm suspension action gives it a fast feel. Cool mesh upper. 13 ounces. Dislikes: Not...

  • New Balance
    New Balance

    Foam and function New Balance 8507: Trainer that mates conventional forefoot foam with a foamless, rearfoot "NB ZIP" cushioning structure made of a dozen flexible struts. Likes: Comfortable, wide toe box and smooth ride. A firm, fast feel like the Mizuno. Tactile grip of a trail shoe; cool,...

  • Break from the bustle of L.A. with a hike in Elyria Canyon Park
    Break from the bustle of L.A. with a hike in Elyria Canyon Park

    Tucked away in an off-the-map spot between the communities of Cypress Park and Mount Washington, the quiet, 35-acre Elyria Canyon Park is a nice break from big-city noise.

  • So, how do I become vegan?
    So, how do I become vegan?

    I’ve heard from many people motivated to become vegan by animal welfare issues. Health and the environment are other reasons to discuss, but this week, about halfway through my month chronicling my vegan ways, I’m going to turn to some practicalities.

  • Gym Rat: Sharp-eyed teacher enhances Body Sculpt class at SC Fitness
    Gym Rat: Sharp-eyed teacher enhances Body Sculpt class at SC Fitness

    A reader recommended Sandy Campanella's classes to me, praising her for a couple of the things that make fitness classes great: Campanella, she says, can watch everyone and make corrections throughout class. And the students occasionally meet at a restaurant serving healthful food to share tips...

  • Small, local and delicious health food thrives in L.A. area
    Small, local and delicious health food thrives in L.A. area

    Where I grew up in New York City, every corner bodega seemed to keep the same mysterious cookies by the register. They looked like oversized, homemade Fig Newtons and sat in short stacks above the name-brand candy, encased in plastic wrap and devoid of labels. I always wondered: Where did...

  • 3 dietary lifestyles up close: Paleo, veganism and Slow Food movement
    3 dietary lifestyles up close: Paleo, veganism and Slow Food movement

    I wasn't sure what to bring to the dinner party. My hosts were not only gluten-free, they were also on the Paleolithic diet. Based on the premise that people are healthiest when they follow a diet that early humans evolved to eat, the "Paleo" diet consists of foods similar to what might have...

Comments
Loading