Runners try to decide between less and more

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    The $150 Huaka by Hoka One One is a direct response to the minimalist running shoe movement's shortcomings. (Image courtesy of Brian Metzler)

    The $150 Huaka by Hoka One One is a direct response to the minimalist running shoe movement's shortcomings. (Image courtesy of Brian Metzler)

    Are barefoot-inspired, minimalist running shoes about to get trampled by a new wave of “maximalist gear?” Pulse Host Maiken sits down with a shoe guru to find out how to pick the perfect pair.

    The philosophy of running shoes can get deep. Some say less is more. Others say more is more.

    Barefoot-inspired minimalist shoes flooded the market in recent years, but now the pendulum swings the opposite way. Shoes with oversized cushioning are popping up in more and more storefronts.

    Host Maiken Scott sits down with Brain Metzler, Editor-in-Chief of Competitor magazine and Competitor.com, to explore various shoe philosophies and how they can affect a run.

    One kind does not fit all

    So what should you keep in mind when looking for your next pair of kicks?

    Metzler swears by keeping a “quiver” of shoes, a pair for every occasion.

    “If you’re going on an up-tempo run, if you’re training for a marathon,” he says,” you should have a shoe, in my belief that’s lower to the ground, more flexible, less to get in the way of your foot and the ground.”

    Going on a longer, rougher trek? That’s where maximalist shoes may come in handy.

    And when you’re at the store adding a pair to your shoe quiver, try to find a shoe-fitting specialist to help, but remember to listen to your body.

    “I’m a firm believer that the shoe you pick is based on how your foot feels in it and how your brain reacts to the proprioceptive interaction.”

    Metzler explains. “If you put a hiking boot on and were asked to sprint 100 meters, obviously your brain would react awkwardly and say ‘this just isn’t right.’ And I think on a more micro-level, the same thing will happen with running shoes.”

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