News & Tips•Nov. 30, 2021, 1:22 a.m. • 89
The TCT's Guide To The Best Running Shoes & Gear!
TCT Favorite Gear Blog
My favorite piece of gear goes back to high school with me to when I first really started getting into running. These shoes made me feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. They are the Nike Zoom Fly; I’ve run in probably every version of this shoe that Nike has made and each is better than the last one. I remember putting on my first pair of bright green zoom flys and going for a run and it felt like I was flying. I had never been in a shoe that felt this way before. The way my foot hurt bounced right back up when it hit the ground, it felt like I was running on superpower springs. I later found out that this is because it has a carbon fiber plate in the midsole. The cool thing about the zoom fly is it’s price accessibility. It’s not $ 250-300 like some of the other carbon fiber shoes out there. The zoom flys retail for $160 and you can find some older models for much less than that. This means that the shoe can be way more accessible to a wide variety of different runners and it’s not as exclusive like some of the others such as the Nike Alphaflys or the NEXT%. In addition to this, it also lasts a lot longer than all of its carbon fiber counterparts. It has nikes react cushioning which will be there for you mile after mile. In terms of shoes that can do it all, there’s no better option than the Nike Zoom Fly.
One of my favorite pieces of gear are my Nike Pro 3” training shorts. I am obsessed with them. I used to hate training in spandex until I wore a pair of these. Before wearing Nike Pros, I preferred loose running shorts, as they did not ride up, stick together, or restrict my legs like the other pairs of spandex I tried. Now with the Nikes, I’m able to feel support, comfort, and I’m able to move freely and run fast. The waistband fits snugly and doesn’t gap, and the shorts stay put, even through sprinting and long aerobic workouts. I love how many bright and fun colors are available, in addition to the typical grey and black. I highly recommend these shorts for any runner as they will change the way you feel about spandex!
Link to purchase: https://www.nike.com/t/pro-womens-3-shorts-4HBtrm
When it comes to what I value in a piece of running gear, my biggest emphasis is always reliability. This is why the Nike Zoom Pegasus takes the cake for me. Many times you’ll hear about people trying many different shoes to find the one that best fits them. For the Pegasus I tried them once, and have been loyal for seven years since that first lace up. Nike making a Florida State colorway for the Pegasus only makes them better (Go Noles). If you wanna find your own shoe soulmate like I did with the Pegasus, my biggest recommendation is using Trackster as your guide. Not only does the app have a function that recommends shoes to you, but it also contains an option to receive gait (aka form) analysis within Boost, which I believe is the best way to find your match made in shoe heaven.
Although typically overlooked, one of my favorite gear items as a distance runner is my socks. Over the years I have tried out many different styles of socks with varying technology, and my favorite is Swiftwicks flite xt zero tab. These socks are great not only for running, but they also work well for shoeless physical therapy exercises. Swiftwicks technology allows your arch, heel, and ankles to be supported which I find beneficial on longer effort days. Another advantage of this technology is that it allows my foot to be supported even when I am not wearing shoes. I do most of my mobility and rehab exercises without shoes on so having a sock that can structurally hold my foot is one important gear feature I look for as an injury prone runner. Although trying to find a pair of reliable socks can seem overwhelming because there are numerous options, I highly recommend Swiftwicks flite xt zero tab socks to runners of all levels.
My favorite piece of running gear would have to be the Nike Next % super shoe. This shoe is really no joke, and can make any workout a great workout. I got my first pair of these carbon plated shoes my freshman year of college and I only wear them for big workouts to save milea in ge on them so they can last long. If I have a big tempo a week or two before a big race or even just a workout to give me some confidence, I lace up the “cheater shoes”. One downside of the shoes is that they cost $250, which is a pretty penny but I think they are worth it and I’m glad I have mine. These shoes can make 5:00 flat pace during a workout feel much easier than just having regular training shoes on and I think this piece of gear can be a big part of helping a runner feel confident going into race day.