As race day approaches, you should be evaluating what works for you and what does not. This includes fueling, hydration, clothing, and arguably the most important factor, shoes. As we saw this past weekend with the Sunday storms in Chicago, there are many variables you will not be able to control on race day. Conversely, however, there are also many variables you can, and should control. And now is the time to test those variables out.
Whether you are gearing up for our beloved Chicago Marathon on October 8th, or another fall marathon, of which there are so many great ones to choose from, now is the time to explore shoe options for race day. You should be trying out different fits and feels during your training cycle runs. If you find a shoe that you like, that’s when you test it out on a long run. And make sure you are testing that shoe out in all types of elements – high heat, strong winds, and pounding rain. Race day could bring any number of weather challenges and you want to make sure you have a shoe that literally sets a good foundation for you.
Aside from a comfort factor, you should also be looking for a shoe that delivers performance value, specifically aligned with your race day goals. I am looking for a shoe that supports and encourages high speed, yet also one that absorbs the constant pounding that occurs over 26.2. I’ve always been drawn to shoes with a higher stack height that encourage a propulsion forward with each engaged step.
This training cycle I decided to look outside of my normal brand of running shoe to see if there may be a better fit for my fall marathons. I am so excited to say that I found one. On Running has made a huge splash into the Chicago running market and it is easy to see why. The brand produces a reliable line of clothing and running shoes designed for trail, road, hiking, and lifestyle. The shoes are striking and easily recognizable with their signature bubbled bottom and clean lines.
What I didn’t realize is that On also makes performance-focused shoes that have the capacity to outperform all of their competitors in the fast shoe market. The Cloudboom Echo 3 is On’s supreme race day show. It is designed with a fusion of leveled-up elements approved by elite athletes like the ultra-soft Helion™ HF made from Pebax®, combined their well-known CloudTec®. The shoe delivers the bouncy push back after each projected step, while absorbing the pounding impact of the pavement.
Designed for road racing, the shoe is incredibly lightweight, coming in between 188-215g, depending on size. Plush cushioning lines the entire bottom of the foot and it touts a heel to toe drop of 9.5mm. The shoe features silicone inserts on the laces and insole to guarantee comfort and zero chafing, even in the most heated of race mornings.
I had the opportunity to try this shoe in the rain this past weekend and was shocked by its durability and stability. Even as a lightweight, race shoe, it still provided tracking to keep me grounded and resistant to the slippery spots on the road. I felt strong and secure in the Cloudboom Echo 3 pair as I pounded down into the double digits. As I mentioned earlier, a performance value for me in shoes is the ability to bring the projection, while absorbing the pound. These shoes did just that.
Maybe your performance values on race day are not the same as mine. Not to worry. On has 17 different road running shoe options, all featuring their patented CloudTec® cushioning. For interval training, check out the Cloudstratus 3.
The Cloudstratus 3 features a new nylon Speedboard® which makes for powerful forward rolls and shaved-off seconds, and a Helion™ superfoam midsole to soften landings and spring you forward.
The Cloudflyer 4 and Cloudmonster are both ideal for long runs. They both have max amounts of cushioning to support the higher mileage days. They also are both weather resistant and durable enough to last throughout your training cycle.
Now is the time to finalize your race day shoes to set the foundation for a great race. I am so excited to try out the Cloudboom Echo 3 on race in day in Chicago to see how it performs through our 29 neighborhoods. On to October 8th!