Among the pieces of equipment essential to swimrun, the shoes are fundamental. It’s our contact with the ground, it is what we spend most time in, and it suffers the most shocks. It is therefore important to choose the ideal shoe for your training and your next race. The answer is actually quite simple: there is no ideal shoe. If you are seeking peremptory guru-style advice telling you what THE best shoe of the moment is, you can save time: stop reading this article, and go to magazines paid by brand x or y to brag about their product.
If you’re still reading, then let’s try to define a method to navigate the jungle of the running shoe market and the use of shoes in swimrun.
The first criterion: your stride
Your shoes have to suit your stride, your running technique. This is by far the most important point. For example if you land on the heel, then you should not believe that a minimalist shoe without cushioning will suit you. On the contrary: you will risk getting injured. It doesn’t help to look at what some champion or friend (the two are not mutually exclusive!) uses if your running technique is completely different from that of your hero. We can of course change our technique, but this is another debate and a longer-term approach issue we’ll address another time. So analyse your current technique (not the one you dream of) and eliminate the shoes that are incompatible with your stride. Another point which can sometimes be important: your weight. Not everybody weighs 40 kg… Take this into account when choosing your shoe. It should be noted that manufacturers are making progress on cushioning and stability, with for example the introduction of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) foam. In summary, comfort, movement efficiency and injury prevention are far more important than fashion. Use the type of shoes you need for classic running before moving on to the other criteria.
We launched World of Swimrun (WoS) as a response to the need expressed by our fellow swimrunners we met at races around the world. We kept hearing about how hard it was to find good information on races, to meet other swimrunners or to read about the development of swimrun and its gear. And since we race frequently, with more than 20 race entries for 2016, we decided to put our heads together and find a way to share our knowledge with all of you. Consequently, WoS was born.
Since the start, WoS has published over 120 articles covering topics such as; race reports, race calendar, race world map, guides and reviews, in-depth editorials, science, health and medicine. Our mission is to provide all of you out there with the best and most accurate info available, and all-in-all we’ve had a massive response with over half a million visits during 2016. We are humbled by the feedback we get from you, when giving us a heads-up of a coming race, or just asking a basic question on swimrun gear. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an ÖtillÖ champion, there are no stupid questions or ideas! Keep them coming, our door is always open. We do this for the swimrun community, as enthusiasts, why we truly appreciate your support.
It’s been a fantastic year in terms of races and swimrun teams. Several teams are now established on the many circuits and are well-known around the world, where the top-tier racers seem to be familiar to most new people taking up swimrunning. One of them is Annica Ericson, who yet again won the wc ÖtillÖ, this year with the phenomenal Kristine Larsson.
A BIG thank you to all of you who took the time to vote! We are humbled by the interest shown.
As you all can see in the table below, the top priority for the industry next year is to develop the wetsuit, shoes and buoy. This should come as no surprise, but it’s interesting to see that there was a complete draw between the wetsuit and the shoes, with 19 % each of the total votes.
The last couple of years we’ve seen the wetsuit take several big development leaps, but this has not been the case with the shoes. Perhaps this is the year when we will see the swimrun shoe undergoe a complete paradigm shift? Who will do it, and who will be the 1st? Only time will tell, because our lips are sealed ;D
Another interesting point is the pull-belt that came in at 4th place. This item is not something you hear much talk about, but a lot of people use it, and you mostly see home-made examples out there, even though there exists are a few factory-made ones. Perhaps now we’ll see more of them hit the market next year. We believe so, and we are exited!
As researchers, the WoS Team every now and then stumble upon articles that could be of interest to the swimrun-community. Even though swimrun is a sport by itself, it’s too young for research to have picked up on it. In the mean time we’ll have to do with science coming from the running or the swimming domains. Below is some interesting research for you sci-nerds out there, on the topic of running and what shoes to use.Which shoes should you use and how will they affect you?
Are you looking to buy swimrun equipment but don’t know what to buy?
Have a look at our test and evaluations corner. Here we test and evaluate lots of swimrun gear and also discuss how some can be developed further.
Are you missing an evaluation then drop us an email and we’ll sort it out!
/The WoS Team – Who frequently swimrun race, all around the world testing new race tracks and new race gear. We also work with Ultraswimrun who try out gear long term during their Stockholm Archipelago Ultra Challenge, stretching over a week of swimrunning.