On the subject of running away from zombies... should everyone be wearing racing flats? Let me start off by saying that the idea of wearing racing flats has always scared me just a bit. I've been terrified of getting injured after racing the 2-mile for a few months in high school in spikes and winding up with really bad shin splints (granted, they were sprinting spikes... I had no idea they made different types until college and figured that I could just run in the same ones I used for hurdling). After that, I outright refused to wear anything but my regular training sneakers for anything longer than 1000m until about 2 years ago. Then, I finally warmed up to wearing lightweight trainers for 5k's, and eventually worked up the courage to run a half in them. Recently, I've been trying to train more in my lightweight trainers in the hopes that I can eventually wear a traditional racing flat.
So, all that was to say that I've recently been doing more research on racing flats when I came across the article linked above. And, to go back to the original question... does everyone need to wear racing flats? There are obvious advantages: improved efficiency (1-2% improvement in VO2max with every 3-4oz you shave off your shoes), shorter ground contact time (which leads to faster turnover), and a psychological effect. But, these do not come without some costs: increased injury risk (there is virtually no cushioning to absorb and distribute impact forces) and increased recovery time (for basically the same reason). So, if you've weighed all of these in your head and you're still interested, here are some general guidelines:
- Make sure your "healthy" and have trained some in your new racing flats before, well, racing in them
- One size does NOT fit all: 5k's - 10k's (5-6oz); 10k's - half marathons (7-9oz); half marathons - full marathons (7-10oz) [note: I think the weights are for men's shoes]