If you are serious about running, then it is important to ensure that you have the right shoes for your running style. Your running style might not be something that you can change, it might be determined by biomechanics, how your foot is constructed, how the bones, ligaments and muscles all interact when your foot strikes the ground.
Choosing the wrong shoes is potentially opening the door to injury. Some people are lucky and can run in almost any shoes, some are more susceptible to foot motion which needs to be controlled, as ultimately it can transfer loads to other parts of the leg, typically the lower leg and knee, which the leg as a whole is not accustomed to.
With this in mind, there has been a growing trend of scanning machines in sports stores selling running shoes, giving customers the chance to have their actual strike pattern recorded so that a trained advisor can pick the most suitable type of shoes. Adidas Footscan is one such system, but there are others, some using similar technologies, or relying on visual feedback from a trained advisor.
Adidas Footscan comes in two components basically a pressure mat and a PC that contains the brains of the outfit. Having run across the mat, the pattern left by the foot will be recorded and able to be interpreted. Not only will it tell you which part of the foot hit the ground first, but the subsequent motion of the foot going forward from there, including, importantly, any lateral movement, which is often the problem. It will also show you the information for both feet.
We tested the system and were advised that the Adidas Adistar Control 5 shoes were the best option for us. We already knew that we needed motion control shoes, so it was good to see visual confirmation of the actual mechanics of the foot strike. But did the system correctly identify the right shoes for us and how did they perform?
The Adidas Adistar Control 5 shoes are aimed at those who need stability from running shoes, which it delivers thanks to the Pro-Moderator instep, which reduces overpronation and lateral movement. The sole features all the reliable technology you’d expect from Adidas, such as shock absorbing Adiprene soles and ForMotion for responsive grip on the ground.
For a motion control shoe it feels fairly lightweight, thanks in part to the use of lightweight materials. Whilst the bottom of the shoe provides plenty of support, the top mesh construction provides plenty of ventilation to keep feet cool and reduce the build-up of sweat. The downside of this is that during colder months you’ll suffer from cold feet. You’ll also find that moisture quickly enters the shoes too.
The tongue is also fairly lightweight, but the shoe does comes with padded laces, so shouldn’t provide too much pressure on the top of the foot. The top of the tongue, by contrast feels like quite a big lump, but does protect against tight lacing. It also gives you something to pull the shoe on by. There are no irritating seams in the upper either, so no problem if you want to run without socks.
The result is a very comfortable shoe, like slipping your foot into a glove. The instep support is instantly noticeable. This makes them an absolute pleasure to run in and suited our running style well, with no problems after sustained use. That ventilation, as previously mentioned, did mean cold feet for running in winter months, but will be welcomed in the summer.
Running without socks is very comfortable, so for triathletes who need some motion control, these might be a good option. The size 11 model came in at 400g, which makes them comparable to New Balance shoes we’ve used in the past. They do tend to come up a little small, too, being a half size larger than our normal shoes.
Choosing the right shoes is important if you are serious about running and not just for experienced runners – it is also important that newcomers to the sport, especially if overweight also have the right shoes. Adidas Footscan worked for us, providing interesting feedback and leading to the right shoes for our running style.
The Adidas Adistar Control 5 shoes have performed well, providing the support needed for a regular running training programme, and a great option for those who overpronate.