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Lightweight & Race Shoes - The How, When & Why!

Lightweight race shoes - the how when and why

Your top Lightweight shoe questions answered!  

Whether you are a pro or an enthusiast – knowing which shoes to wear when and why can be very confusing! As we welcome the warmer weather, we also usher in the running event season. And there’s never been a better time to decode the mystery that is – the lightweight running shoe

We spoke to Damien, our Prahran store manager and keen runner, for his best lightweight and race shoe tips! 

Why would I need specific lightweight shoes?

Lightweight shoes are great to have in your rotation not just for race day, but also for more specific speed sessions. They provide a lighter and more responsive feel which is great for when you’re trying to hit your next PB!

Active Feet pick: Asics Metaracer, New Balance FuelCell TC & Rebel, Brooks Hyperion Elite & Tempo, Hoka One One Carbon X2Mizuno Wave Shadow, Nike Zoom Fly, Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro


At what point in my training before a marathon/ long distance event should I start wearing them to train?

As soon as you get them. It’s great to wear them in before any major event, but wearing them in your training first can also provide more benefits. You will get used to the feel of the shoe, which is important to experience before a big race, and it will mix up the input signals through your muscles and help to develop strength in your feet and legs, reducing your risk of injury in the process.


Lightweight race shoes - the how when and why

I’m running a 5/10km event, do I need lightweight race shoes?

While it’s not crucial to have a lightweight shoe for race day I would personally recommend it as I feel there are more benefits than harm. As mentioned the lighter weight and greater responsive feel to the shoe make a real difference when running faster. Find what is right for you, not every race shoe will be perfect for every distance and not every person will feel the same way in any one shoe.


When would you advise against lightweight shoes?

I wouldn’t recommend using your lightweight shoes for every run, try to keep them for a specific time in your training. Whether that’s just for race day or even just specific sessions. I personally will have certain shoes that I try to wear for different sessions, eg. For a tempo/threshold run I have a pair that I wear and then for reps on a track I have a different pair.

(Talk to staff about what the best option for your training would be and the types of sessions/training runs you are doing.)

Active Feet pick: , Asics Kayano Lite/Nimbus LiteNike React Infinity Run, Brooks LaunchSaucony Kinvara 11 

Lightweight race shoes - the how when and why

What is the difference between a lightweight and an event/ race shoe?

The type of run/session that you will be doing in the shoe.

As mentioned some shoes are better for a longer session like a threshold run as they have a bit more volume and cushion to them while some shoes are made to be light and fast, but don’t offer as much padding or protection from the ground. 

Is there a good mid-way point if I think I might need more support?

Yes. While some of the lightweight shoes that we stock will offer a bit of support sometimes it still may not be enough for what your foot needs. Sometimes going into a different full volume shoe that has less posting and less weight can be a good compromise or even an entry point if you have never worn a race shoe before.

Active Feet pick: ASICS DS Trainer 25, Nike Pegasus, Brooks Asteria, Brooks Launch, Mizuno Wave Rider, New Balance Fuelcell Prism

Again talk to the staff about what it is you currently wear and what you may need to help give you a bit more support


Examples of training & race shoe combos by brand
ASICS running shoe combinations
ASICS Shoes for training rotation
Brooks Hyperion Tempo and Hyperion Elite
New Balance Running shoes
Saucony Running Shoes
Mizuno Running Shoes
Nike Running Shoe Options
Brooks Running Shoes
If in doubt? Come talk to us! It is always best to have the shoes fitted specifically to your training and biomechanics. We focus on the fit so you can relax and enjoy the run.