Trend maximum shoe - cushioning is trump!
Less is more - this credo has been particularly true with regard to the cushioning of running shoes. As a counter-trend to the natural running and running shoe minimalism of recent years, many major manufacturers are now increasingly focusing on comfortable, maximally cushioned models again - the French label Hoka One One, which has long enjoyed great popularity in the ultra and trail sector, is also right at the forefront. But what can the new cushioning wonders do and for whom is this type of running shoe suitable? Here you can find out everything you need to know about maximum shoes.
Cushioning shoes are generally characterized by higher damping, which is intended to cushion the impact of the foot during running and thus prevent running injuries. For this purpose, additional midsoles are usually installed, with various silicone, air and gel cushions or other flexible shock absorbers in the main stress zones (heel, forefoot) providing a soft landing and a comfortable running sensation, depending on the manufacturer. Asics, for example, relies on the proven Gel High Performance System, New Balance relies on a reactive Fresh Foam midsole with a 3D honeycomb structure, and Adidas uses an innovative midsole material made of expanded TPU in its Boost models. Hoka One One, on the other hand, combines its high-volume Oversize and Ultrasize midsoles made of foamed EVA with a novel footbed geometry.
"Fully cushioned running shoes are particularly suitable for long distances of 10 kilometers or more and runs on frozen or very hard surfaces."
It is also crucial that the new models, despite maximum cushioning, also offer sufficient flexibility and dynamics while supporting the natural rolling motion of the foot. The theory that maximum cushioning is particularly gentle on the musculoskeletal system is of course now outdated. Today, it is much more a matter of optimally adapting the degree of cushioning of the running shoes to the runner's body weight, his training condition and the respective conditions of the running route, e.g. the ground conditions. Fully cushioned running shoes are therefore particularly suitable for long distances of 10 kilometers or more and runs on frozen or very hard surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete. However, untrained running beginners, returning runners, runners with a high weight and/or a pronounced heel running style also benefit from the cushioning comfort of a maximal shoe. In addition, certain orthopedic problems (high arch, overpronation pain) require an increased level of cushioning.
Hoka One One - Time to fly
Once ridiculed as "mattress shoes," the voluminous running shoes from the French label Hoka One One have long since become the new secret weapon for ultra runners and triathletes. But what actually distinguishes them from conventional cushioning shoes?
More cushioning usually means more weight! Not so with Hoka One One. Thanks to its high volume and low density, the novel, particularly lush midsole construction offers up to 2.5 times more cushioning without any additional weight. The strong, springy cushioning prevents tension in the leg muscles caused by jerky movements while minimizing muscular fatigue. Combined with the Meta-Rocker midsole geometry, i.e. a rounding of the sole in the toe and heel area, it ensures an efficient and dynamic rolling motion. And Hoka running shoes differ from conventional cushioning shoes in yet another way: they combine maximum cushioning with a minimalist drop of just 2 to 6mm for the most natural running feel possible. With Hoka shoes, you feel like you're gliding lightly over the ground - it's not for nothing that the label's name translates as "time to fly." If you feel like taking off with Hoka One One, you'll find a wide selection of trail and road running shoes from the successful French brand in the Runster Shop.
Image: Hoka One One