Asics and Nike: two leading brands in the production of running shoes that offer quality standards and performance among the best on the world market. Yet they have some differences in the making of their products. Let’s see which ones.
- Asics: main technical characteristics
- Nike: main technical characteristics
- Fit and styles compared
- Which one to choose
- Back pain and running, which are the most suitable shoes?
- Causes of back pain
- How to choose
- Support defects
- Foot features
- Technologies and materials
- How to prevent running shoes from blistering?
- The right shoes and socks
- Foot care and hydration
- Change your running shoes frequently
Asics: main technical characteristics
Asics is a Japanese sports goods company on the market since 1949 and offers 3 key types of running shoes:
- Running shoes with maximum support, designed for total pronation control. To this end, they include specific features such as Asics Duomax, that is, the provision of higher density materials in the inner part of the midsole and an outer sole in carbon rubber that increases resistance and stability, while internally it has a straight orientation.
- Shoes with structured cushioning, the perfect combination of control and cushioning, are less heavy, but still, guarantee good support and have a straight or semi-curved insole.
- Neutral or cushioned shoes, the lightest, do not have any type of control and are mainly indicated for runners weighing less than 82 kg.
Nike: main technical characteristics
Nike is an American multinational created in the late sixties. Over time it has become the protagonist of a long series of technological evolutions, the most popular of which are:
- Air Max designed to offer the runner maximum cushioning and running control thanks to a less full midsole but with larger airbags.
- Flywire introduced to offer the foot greater safety in running, consists of a sort of cables attached from the upper to the sole that are activated in case of need.
- Air Zoom is a type of thin cushioning strategically placed throughout the surface of the shoe that offers a feeling of greater adherence to the ground.
- Free is characterized by a rubber sole with deep grooves that allows the foot to move more naturally.
- Flyknit is a particular type of knitting of the upper that makes it tighter in the areas that require more support and more open in the areas where it is preferable to have greater breathability and flexibility.
- Flyease is the type of closure that introduced the standard of the sports shoe without laces.
- Schield is a waterproofing treatment that prevents water from entering the shoe.
Fit and styles compared
The fit of the shoes of the two brands is roughly the same so the sizes seem to coincide. In some models for Asics, it takes half a number more than Nike’s size. As for the design, they both have a very recognizable and modern style. Both Asics and Nike offer an infinite series of models and shapes for all tastes and spending possibilities.
As for the colors and stylistic processing of the upper, Nike prefers a more sober and minimalist style, inspired by the aesthetic canons of the technical avant-garde. Asics, on the other hand, despite having different models with neutral colors and essential shapes, generally adopt very varied color games and shades that tend to be more lively.
Which one to choose
The first consideration to make is related to your physical and plantar structure. Then you need to evaluate your training habits: it is important to choose a more stable shoe or one with greater cushioning depending on what your comfort needs are, but also with respect to how you practice sports. As we have seen above, both brands from this point of view offer various and valid possibilities and advanced technology able to satisfy every type of need. Finally, orient yourself on a model that also in shapes and colors reflects your way of being, and here too, both with Asics and Nike, the possibilities of choice are many!
Back pain and running, which are the most suitable shoes?
Back pain is a common disease that affects a large part of the population. Suffice it to say that, according to statistics, one in five people suffer from back pain. This condition, however, should not prevent you from engaging in physical activity and especially running. First of all, in fact, it should be specified that there is no proven correlation between chronic low back pain and running. Sports activity, therefore, neither causes nor worsens this disorder. Additionally, it is highly not recommended for back pain sufferers to stay completely at rest. According to experts, this would only weaken the muscles of the spine, making the situation worse. However, for runners suffering from back pain it is good to take a series of measures to protect their health. Primarily,
Causes of back pain
While running, the lumbar vertebrae can be stressed and cause back pain. In the runner, nerve inflammation can be caused by several factors.
- Overweight: Much of your body weight rests on the lower back, so being overweight can increase this load and generate back tension. In the world of running, heavyweight runners are considered to be men who weigh over 80kg and women who weigh over 65kg. In this case, the most suitable type of footwear is the stable model, which supports the foot and supports the bone structure.
- Type of terrain on which you run: Running on too hard terrain, such as asphalt, can cause greater stress on the lumbar vertebrae, compared to dirt surfaces or the track. For this reason, there are different models of footwear on the market, designed according to the ground on which you run. In the case of physical activity on unpaved surfaces, it will be advisable to adopt trail running shoes. This footwear is specially designed to withstand rough ground, thanks to an outsole that offers tradition suitable for running on dirt, rocks, and mud. In addition, they are usually available in dark colors, to mask dirt, and have a gusseted tongue that prevents debris from entering the shoe.
- Use of unsuitable shoes: prolonged use of unsuitable footwear can be the cause of the runner’s back pain. For this reason, it is good to take into consideration a series of factors when choosing the best shoe, especially in case of support defects.
How to choose
The causes of back pain can be many. Among these, the feet play a fundamental role, because their support can compromise the alignment of the hips and the spine, causing low back pain. For this reason, a good pair of running shoes can help us reduce or completely eliminate the problem of back pain.
Beyond the technical specifications of the shoe, a practice to be adopted is to try on the shoe during the purchase phase, walking shoes for plantar fasciitis for a few meters in order to test it. In addition, particular attention must be paid to the measurement: it is necessary to make sure that there is a 1 cm distance between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe. According to the College of Podiatry, 60% of people have one foot larger than the other, so make sure you buy the right size running footwear.
Incorrect foot support can compromise the quality of the run and cause back pain in the runner. For this reason, it is necessary to examine the sole of your footwear and check for any support defects.
- Pronation: the shoe shows wear in the central part of the sole of the foot and in the heel. This running style is a normal characteristic of neutral runners, absorbing the impact of shocks and helping protect against injury and overload on the joints.
- Overpronation: the inner edge of the shoe is completely worn. This style of running increases the risk of inflammation and injury. In this case, A4 shoes are recommended to compensate for such foot support defects. These runners, on the other hand, are absolutely forbidden from super-light A1 shoes, which have a very limited movement control system.
- Supination: the outer edge of the shoe is totally worn. It is a lack of support that reduces the impact of the impact on the ground during the race. In this case, it is advisable to purchase A3 shoes, which guarantee maximum cushioning.
When purchasing running shoes, observe your foot and the following characteristics.
- Flat foot or low arch: in this case, it is advisable to buy a stable shoe, which helps prevent injuries. This model, in fact, prevents excessive movement of the foot. This type of shoe, also known as A4, is suitable for those who do not have good foot control during physical activity. It is also recommended for heavyweight runners and for those suffering from overpronation.
- High foot arch: in your case, it may be necessary to purchase a support arch that increases the cushioning effect on the insole of the shoe. In this way, the cushioning will take the stress out of your feet and joints, reducing the risk of injury and back pain. This type, also known as A3, weighs between 300 and 400 grams. The running shoe with maximum cushioning has a significant difference in height between the forefoot and heel. This is a recommended model for all runners who use custom orthotics.
Technologies and materials
Now let’s see what are the characteristics adopted in the design of running shoes.
- Ergonomic base: it adapts to the shape of the foot, maintaining its natural anatomical characteristics.
- Breathability: the alveolar conformation and the microfiber fabric absorb and transport the sweat of the body, in the form of water vapor, to the outside of the shoe, expelling it out of the shoe.
- Wear-resistant rubber: an innovative material ensures greater abrasion resistance of the heel and sole of the shoe.
- Ventilation system: guarantees the exchange of air in the shoe, even in the case of very intense physical activity.
How to prevent running shoes from blistering?
Not all shoes are comfortable. Many people, after buying a new pair of shoes, experience various kinds of annoyances and inconveniences. In short, some shoes hurt your feet and promote blistering. However, the problem is not unsolvable. One of the reasons many people get blistered is a passion for high heels.
It is known to spend many hours with the foot high-heeled shoes is an easy way to meet the blisters. It is no coincidence that many stars and celebrities, such as Meghan Markle, wear very baggy shoes when attending public events. However, wearing wide shoes is not always the best solution: the blisters may not come but walking could be quite tiring because the foot tends to slide forward. Unfortunately, blisters are not only a problem for those who wear shoes with high heels but also for runners, i.e. those who wear running shoes.
In fact, there are many athletes who, after a long run, have feet ‘broken’ due to blisters. In reality, even runners can avoid these problems with the right precautions.
The right shoes and socks
Can blisters also be avoided by those who love running? In short, every runner must not despair, must not resign himself to the idea of getting blisters on his feet. The problem can certainly be circumvented. Such as? With a few small tricks. If after a run you experience severe pain in your feet because the blisters have appeared, then perhaps you have ignored a few small details, first of all, the right shoe. Yes, it seems that the right shoe makes the difference.
First, runners should keep in mind to choose shoes that are suitable for their support, neither too tight nor too loose. You must feel a feeling of well-being when running, not discomfort. The best feeling is to feel nothing on your feet, in short, running shoes should not be felt, and therefore should not cause pain. The best way to avoid blisters is therefore to opt for running shoes that are right for your feet. Socks are essential to avoid blisters on the feet. It could be said that with running shoes for plantar fasciitis and the right socks the risk of blisters is almost eliminated. This is no small feat, given that the annoying bubbles represent the worst nightmare of running lovers.
Those who think about jogging must absolutely buy socks designed for running or those that do not have seams that cause discomfort to the foot. In fact, when the foot moves, the seams can generate rubbing. The material of the socks must be such as to allow the foot to breathe and therefore avoid the accumulation of moisture, a condition that favors the onset of blisters. Rubbing between shoes, socks, and feet generates heat and makes the skin more vulnerable and prone to blisters.
It goes without saying that the inconvenience can be avoided by strongly limiting the aforementioned friction. One remedy to reduce it, for example, is to lubricate the foot before running. In this way, the foot slips and does not rub. A useful and inexpensive lubricant for sliding feet is petroleum jelly. However, this substance has the drawback of attracting dirt; in short, at the end of the stroke, the socks could be dirtier than usual.
Foot care and hydration
Not just with the right running shoes for your feet and jogging socks. The risk of blisters is significantly reduced with some tricks related to foot care. Before you run, for example, you could put the tape adhesive surgical areas at risk, ie those where the most likely blisters “hit”.
Furthermore, everyday runners should take care of their feet a lot, washing them and moisturizing them with ad hoc creams. Hydration of the feet is also crucial to avert the risk of blisters. Feet clean, dry, and well-hydrated, therefore, ensure a run free from discomfort to the feet. Recently on the market, there are transparent gel pads, to be placed in the parts of the shoes that cause greater itching. These pads adhere well to the surfaces of the shoe and the gel makes you feel less contact with the ground.
There are blisters and blisters, some are so large and bleeding that it is impossible to continue running. Should the blister appear on race day, you should grit your teeth and maybe put a patch on it to reduce friction. Experts say that the risk of blisters can be greatly reduced with suitable running shoes. Basically, every runner should opt for shoes that are neither too wide nor too tight. In a nutshell, there must be space between the tip of the shoe and the heel. This is a very important detail, especially for downhill racing.
Change your running shoes frequently
It seems obvious, but it must be emphasized that it would not be good to face a race with a pair of ‘immaculate’ running shoes. New running shoes should be kept on your feet at home for at least a couple of hours to get your foot used to it. Before taking part in a race you should travel with them at least 20/30 km. Another tip for avoiding blisters is to change your running shoes often. It is not uncommon for some running shoes to cause inflammation in certain areas of the foot, so changing them would allow those areas to recover quickly.
It can happen that a pair of shoes has a manufacturing defect that causes discomfort and blisters on the feet. In this case, you can intervene with talcum powder, petroleum jelly, or patches. If pain persists while running, the defect in the shoes should be reported to the store where they were purchased.
Last but not least the insoles of running shoes. Not everyone knows how important insoles are. These are often the cause of blisters on the feet. If the insoles of new running shoes create problems, it is better to replace them immediately. Those who, on the other hand, have individual and orthopedic insoles, and notice that they do not fit well in new shoes, can easily go to a good shoemaker for a change.