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What Muscles Does Running Work? More than You Think…

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If you are starting a new exercise routine, then one of the best things that you can do to help you achieve your goals is to incorporate running. Running is easily one of the best activities you can do because it benefits your body in so many ways. 

For example, if you are trying to lose weight, then running can be one of the best ways to do it. You are able to target many different parts of your body all in one go. As with any exercise routine, it is important to have a bout of cardio and running can be a great way to incorporate it. In addition to that, running is a great way to build strength, endurance, and overall stamina. 

If you are looking to incorporate running into your routine, then it is only natural that you ask yourself what are the muscle groups that get targeted. Well, you are in luck, because today we are going to go over all that and more. When you have a better understanding of how your body works, then you will be able to compose goals that are more sp3ecific to you, and you will be more likely to achieve those goals as well. 

Let’s get started in understanding the different muscle groups that running allows you to hit!

What Muscles Does Running Work?

Running moves just about every part of your body from your head to your toes. But what muscles does running work? Specifically, running works the muscles in your legs, buttocks, and even your abs.

Now, running alone probably won’t give you a six pack, but it can still strengthen your abs. And of course, it can strengthen your legs and lower body.

There are multiple sets of muscles in your legs that you can strengthen just by running. So if you want toned legs, you might want to give running a try for your next workout.

From your head to your toes, running can be a full body workout.

At your core

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Since running mostly involves your legs, you wouldn’t think that it works your upper body. However, your abs can take a beating during a run. There are two types of abdominal muscles that running uses.

The first set of muscles is the rectus abdominis; it runs along the center of your abs. Then there are the oblique muscles which are on the sides of your abs. These muscles contract during running to help support you and keep you balanced.

Finally, there are the intercostals. Breathing during running can help build and tones these muscles.

Hips don’t lie

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Moving down the body, what muscles does running work? Next up, we have the hip flexors. You can feel these muscles as you move your thigh to your stomach.

The first type of hip flexor is the psoas major, and the second type is the psoas minor. Your psoas muscles sit in the back of your lower abdomen. These muscles can affect your posture, and keeping them in shape will benefit you in many ways.

The final part of the hip flexors is the iliacus. This muscle sits near the top of your pelvis, and it helps you rotate your femur.

As you move your legs during running, you work all of these muscles.

In the rear

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Of course, we can’t forget about the buttocks or gluteals. The gluteals include the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. Extending your hips and moving your legs back and forth work to strengthen your glutes.

Your gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in your body. It’s probably the muscle you most associate with your butt.

You’ll find your gluteus medius on the outside of your butt near the top. Both the gluteus medius and minimus stabilize your legs while you run. They also affect your thighs and knees when you aren’t running.

Whether you sit a lot or not, you need to take care of these muscles.

Thighs

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So, you know that your abs and butt get quite a workout during a run. But what muscles does running work in your legs? After all, you can’t run without your legs.

In your thighs, you’ll find your quadriceps and hamstrings. Your quadriceps include the vastus medialus, vastus intermedius, rector femorus, and vastus lateralis. You can find all of these muscles on the front of your thighs.

The three vastus muscles connect your femur to your knee cap. Your rector femorus connects the knee cap to the hip bone, and it partially covers the other three quadriceps muscles.

On the back of your legs, you’ll find your hamstrings. These muscles include the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. Your hamstrings flex your knee and bring your lower leg back.

As you move each leg forward during a run, your hamstrings will feel the burn.

Your foundation

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All of the previous muscles won’t have anything to do if they don’t have a foundation. So what muscles does running work in your lower legs?

On the back of your lower legs are your calves. Your calf muscles include the gastrocnemius and soleus. When you flex your foot or point your toes, your calf stretches out. All of your steps can give your calves quite the workout.

Your anterior tibialis muscles cover the front of your shins. When you point your toes up, you’re flexing these muscles. If you’ve ever had shin splints, you know these muscles can tense up easily. Strengthening them can help. As the muscles get stronger, you won’t have shin splints as often — or as severely.

The peroneal muscles include the peroneus longus and brevis. These muscles run down the sides of your lower legs, and they function similarly to your calves. However, these muscles also get more of a workout when you turn your toes out.

Run a Mile

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When you first start running, be sure to take it slow. As you’ve seen, running works a lot of your muscles. So if you overdo it, you’re bound to cause yourself undue pain or tension.

There are ways to start running that will make it safe and enjoyable.

Baby steps

You don’t have to run a marathon or even a 5K. Just start running for short sessions a few times a week.

In fact, you can see benefits from running for just 30 minutes. Unless you’re training for a crazy race, you should care more about the quality of your run rather than the distance.

If you need motivation, find a running partner or simply schedule runs into your week.

As you get more comfortable with running, you can slowly increase the time, speed, or distance of your runs. Just be sure you don’t get ahead of yourself.

Avoid overuse

If you feel any pain or discomfort, take a break. You can use an ice pack of more painful areas. And if your pain is severe, please consult your doctor.

Running can be a great way to get fit, but you have to do it the right way.

Always stretch before you start a run. Make sure your muscles are warmed up so they can perform their best.

And of course, keep water with you so you can stay hydrated before, during, and after a run.

Schedule in rest days. Alternate running with another form of exercise. Focus on your arms during off days. The last thing you want to do is cause an overuse injury. So be smart about how and when you run.

Body Benefits

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There’s more to running than “what muscles does running work?” When you start running, you’ll get stronger muscles. But you’ll see some other benefits, too.

Any form of exercise is going to change your body more than just physically. From mental health to physical health, running affects all sorts of things in your body.

Aside from the obvious, what muscles does running work? A lot happens in your body once you start running.

Happy heart

Like any form of exercise, running can improve your heart health. You can see benefits from running as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day. One study found that moderate running reduces your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a common killer.

However, running won’t eliminate your risk completely. Be sure to pair running with a healthy diet to see even better benefits.

Cardiovascular problems can lead to many other health conditions, so keeping your heart healthy can increase your life expectancy.

Happy mind

Aside from working your heart, running can give your brain a workout. Many runners claim that running makes them feel better and happier.

If you want an easy way to reduce stress and give yourself a break from the outside world, consider running. Running is different for everyone, and luckily, you can see results with just a few minutes of running per day.

But be sure you rest or alternate running with something else. Even low-intensity running is a great way to keep feeling good without overworking yourself.

Faster, Stronger, Fitter

Everyone has a different reason for running. However, no matter the why, you’ve probably wondered what muscles running works. Well, the short answer is just about every muscle.

Sure, there are some arm and chest muscles, but you can incorporate arm exercises into your routine for when you don’t go on a run.

However, running works almost every part of your body from your head to your toes. Running can make you feel better, and you’ll have stronger legs, too.

Whether your reason for running is purely for fun or to get fit, you’re in for quite the journey. As you run, your muscles will become stronger, and you’ll become faster and more fit.

Before you start running, though, you should have a basic understanding of what will happen to your body. That way, you can be smarter about how you run.

Do you have any advice, tips, or anecdotes about running? Let us know!

What Is A Tempo Run? Why They Should Be In Your Training Regimen

man running

So, you want to step up your running regimen, improve your race times, and follow a proper training plan. You know what intervals, paces, and rest days are, but what is a tempo run?

What Is A Tempo Run?


A tempo run is a run that incorporates longer distances with a steady pace. Of course, the appropriate distance and pace are relative to each individual runner. But most tempo runs have a few things in common.

In the words of Jack Daniels, tempo runs should be comfortably hard. For most runners, this means a pace that they can sustain for about an hour straight. However, most tempo runs should only last about 30 minutes.

Running experts often stress that tempo runs should never feel like a race. Instead, you should be coasting at the threshold between a comfortable jog and uncomfortable effort.

Tempo runs, as a concept, are pretty straightforward and simple to implement into any training plan. But what is a tempo run actually good for?

Why You Should Add Tempo Runs To Your Training


man running

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Any runner can incorporate tempo runs into their routine. Many might already be doing so without knowing they have a proper name.

But it's also crucial to understand the benefits of these runs to get the most out of them.

Here are a few of the biggest benefits to tempo runs, regardless of your athletic level and running experience:

To Improve Your Thresholds

In the world of running, thresholds are a big deal. But what exactly does this mean?

The human body has a natural effort threshold at which lactic acid will start collecting in the muscles. Lactic acid is broken down into two substances: lactate (used for muscle energy) and hydrogen ions (responsible for lowering the pH of your muscles).

During low-effort workouts, this acid is consumed by the muscles as quickly as it breaks down. But when your body reaches its natural threshold, hydrogen ions will begin building up and cause extreme muscle pain and fatigue.

Fortunately, you can increase your body's lactate threshold. For runners, one of the best methods of increasing this threshold is completing tempo runs.

To Run Faster

Despite the fact that tempo runs use a steady, moderate pace, they are actually one of the best ways to increase your running speed. That is true whether you're a sprinter or marathoner.

Moderate effort tempo runs help build both slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers in the legs and hips. These muscle fibers allow you to sustain a faster speed for longer distances as they develop and grow.

Also, tempo runs are an excellent way to develop your body's capillary beds. These are responsible for delivering oxygen to the muscles (which is essential to running fast and long).

To Burn Calories

Yes, any running will burn calories to some extent. But when it comes to the maximum burn-to-effort ratio, tempo runs almost always win.

Sprinting burns a high number of calories per minute, but few people can expend this level of energy for any notable amount of time. On the other hand, you could sustain a slow jog for hours, potentially. But they burn far fewer calories per minute.

Tempo runs fit right in the middle. Runners get an increased calorie burn from their comfortably hard effort with the ability to run for an extended period of time.

If weight loss is your main motivation for running, you should definitely consider adding tempo runs to your fitness regimen.

To Increase Mental Stamina

Any experienced runner knows that the real challenge of running long distances isn't physical. It's mental.

With tempo runs, you can build up your mental stamina and accustom yourself to long periods of running without outside stimulation.

Whether you run with or without headphones, running can be a mundane and boring task. But just like we can build physical stamina, we can also build mental stamina.

If you're just starting running or are used to short sprints, tempo runs are an excellent way to bridge the gap into longer runs.

Tempo Runs And The Different Zones


man running

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For those just starting out or who consider themselves casual runners, basic tempo runs are more than sufficient. But if you want to get the absolute most out of your training plan, understanding the different zones will help you do just that.

In cardiovascular exercise, there are three primary zones. You might remember some of these zones from your high school health class.

Tempo runs, with some practice, can effectively target all of them:

Aerobic Zone

The aerobic zone is the cardiovascular zone in which the body primarily uses oxygen and carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to fuel the muscles. For slow-but-steady, long distance running, this is the zone of choice.

When in the aerobic zone, a runner can keep going without allowing lactic acid to build up in their bloodstream. Plus, the aerobic threshold is the fastest pace at which a runner can burn fat as their primary fuel source.

If you want to run long distances at a competitive pace, burning fat is the only way to keep your energy up and avoid hitting the "wall."

Of course, the aerobic zone has its drawbacks. Primarily, staying within this zone requires running at a pretty slow pace. That's where tempo runs come in.

By training your tempo runs at a pace close to but not above your aerobic threshold, you can increase this threshold over time. This allows you to run faster paces while remaining in the aerobic zone.

Lactate Zone

As mentioned above, lactic acid and lactate are important components of long-distance running. In running, the lactate zone and lactate threshold refer to the point where lactic acid is just beginning to accumulate in the muscles.

When running within the lactate zone, your body uses lactic acid for energy. This zone is only slightly higher than the aerobic zone, which relies entirely on oxygen and macronutrients for energy.

Running tempo runs in the lactate zone and is one of the best and most trusted ways to increase your distance running pace over time.

The higher your lactate threshold, the faster you can run without muscle pain or fatigue. For competitive half- or full-marathoners, this is essential to a win.

Anaerobic Zone

Finally, the anaerobic zone refers to the point at which your body accumulates lactic acid faster than your body consumes it. At this point, your muscles are no longer relying on oxygen or macronutrients for energy.

An easy way to understand the anaerobic zone is to think of it as strength training rather than endurance training. While slower runs improve your cardiovascular endurance and efficiency, the anaerobic zone more so addresses your muscles and their physical strength under stress.

When it comes to tempo runs, the anaerobic zone is by far the most common pace. In fact, for many runners, "anaerobic training" and "tempo run" are synonymous.

"What Is A Tempo Run?" Q&A


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image source: unsplash.com via Jenny Hill

Here are some other questions related to what is a tempo run and how to incorporate them in your routine:

Are Tempo Runs Or Interval Runs Better For You?

When working to improve your training efficiency and increase your running capabilities, you might wonder whether tempo or interval runs are best. As you might suspect, the answer to this question isn't exactly cut-and-dry.

For most runners, the correct answer is to incorporate a mix of both tempo and interval runs into your training regimen. But if you're training for a specific distance, the answer might get a bit more specific.

Generally, no one will benefit from performing just tempo runs or just interval runs. However, you should tailor your training to match your goals.

Distance runners, typically anything over a 10k race, should include more tempo runs into the routine. This doesn't mean that they should ignore interval training and its benefits, though.

Short distance and speed runners, typically anything at or below a 5k race, should focus more on interval training. Again, this does not mean that sprinters should ignore tempo runs.

How Often Should You Do Tempo Runs?

Whether you're preparing for a major race or just enjoy running for fitness, anyone can benefit from following a training plan.

For professional-level runners, an experienced coach will almost always prescribe a training plan. For the rest of us, though, our training plans will largely be up to us.

So, how often should you include tempo runs in your training routine?

Generally speaking, completing one or two tempo runs per week will deliver the best results, especially when it comes to increasing your lactate threshold.

But what if you only run a couple of times per week?

If that's the case, consider occasionally switching out a "normal" run for a tempo run. While you won't see maximum results with this method, there's no reason to push yourself if you enjoy running just for fun!

How Do You Know Your Tempo Run Pace?

For casual runners who don't have a coach, knowing the best pace for tempo running can be difficult. Fortunately, there are plenty of convenient tools out there that can help.

One of the easiest ways to find your tempo run pace is to use an online calculator.

While these calculators aren't always foolproof, they do provide a starting point that you can adjust as needed. After all, what is a tempo run without an accurate pace?

Run Like You Mean It


man running

image source: unsplash.com via lucas Favre

So, what is a tempo run good for? In the world of running, pretty much everything. But, primarily, tempo runs are essential to long-distance athletes.

Whether you're running a company-sponsored marathon or are competing for a spot at one of the world's most elite races, understanding tempo runs and how to incorporate them in your training could make or break your race.

Even for casual runners, using tempo runs on occasion can help improve your athletic abilities and post-run recovery times. In fact, when learning the answer to what is a tempo run, you might realize you already use these runs in your training!

Do you follow a training plan with tempo runs as the main focus? Or have you successfully used tempo running to prepare for a major race? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s Review | Running Gear Compared

nike vomero women's

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s | Running Gear Compared

Nike has a long-standing reputation for creating shoes that focus on the comfort of the individual. Over the years, it has launched numerous lines of such shoes that cater to runners, be it neutral or overpronators, for both men and women.

Nike Vomero is a series known for shoes that offer superior cushioning and comfort along with being aesthetically appealing. Let’s check out the latest launch in the series for the women’s version, Nike Vomero 13 Women’s running shoe.

Product Overview

The latest in the Nike Vomero series, Nike Vomero 13 is popular among the runners for the comfortable experience it offers along with boasting an attractive design.

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s running shoe has a knit upper, soft foam midsole and a thick carbon rubber outsole offering great traction. It is most suitable for running on roads or for indoor running and light trails.

Product Specifications

Weight

For a running shoe meant for neutral runners, Nike Vomero 13 Women’s weighs moderately at 251g. The weight is increased due to the carbon rubber outsole and the multiple layers of cushioning as the midsole foam. However, it does not feel heavy due to the high comfort material and breathable upper, along with being highly responsive.

Traction

The upper features an engineered mesh with synthetic overlays on top made from a material that’s light and feels like cloth. It is softer and lighter than most of the other uppers and offers great breathability. The lacing system along with the overlays make for a secure placement of foot and avoid it from shifting.

It also features the popular Dynamic Fit system that ensures a comfortable and adjustable experience. The inside bootie of ¾ length also enhances the snug fit and makes sure that the runner does not any irritation while wearing the shoe.  The cushioned collar adds to the support and prevents any discomfort with the wear.

Midsole

The midsole is made to add to the flexibility of the foot by featuring a Lunar foam that is extremely soft and agile. The cushion core is wrapped in a carrier that makes it durable without taking away from responsiveness. The midsole works well in shock absorption due to the Zoom Air, compressed air pockets in the heel and forefoot areas. Extra cushioning is provided in the form of a molded sockliner on top the main cushioning core.

Outsole

A combination of BRS-1000 and Dura-DS rubber in the outsole make it highly resilient and durable. It provides great traction on hard surfaces and helps runners that tend to strike through their heels. The flex grooves add to the flexibility and enable the shoe to imitate the natural movement of the foot, lessening rigidity. A rubber crash rail has been added to avoid any injury from landing and ensure smooth running by improving the heel to toe transitions.

Heel Drop and Height

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s shoe features a heel to toe drop of 10mm with a heel height of 31mm and a forefoot height of 21mm. The drop makes for high responsiveness and more cushioning to avoid impact lendings. The compressed air pockets in the heel also add to the shock absorption.

Pricing and Availability

The maximum retail price of Nike Vomero 13 Women’s running shoe is $, marking its position is a highly competitive range of running shoes with similar features.

Currently, the runner can be bought on Nike’s website for the same MRP, $. It is also available on Amazon with a choice of over 10 different colors depending on the size of the shoe. The size 10 B (M) is available for $ in 4 different colors.

You can also buy it on RoadRunnerSports for $, again with multiple color options.

How It Compares

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s is known for its comfort cushioning and high responsiveness. Let’s see how it fares as compared to its closest alternatives in the similar price range.

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s B00DQZ7RJI

Nike Vomero Women

Price

At $, Nike Vomero 13 Women’s runners is slightly expensive but sets off the price due to the features and the level of comfort it offers.

Ease of Use

The runner offers excellent comfort due to high cushioning and use of Nike’s technology for a secure fit. The Dynamic Fit technology and the Flywire laces ensure that the foot does not shift. The midsole is highly responsive and the Lunar foam makes for a flexible ride. The additional sockline and the anatomical flex grooves in the outsole also adds to the support, traction and cushioning and thus, more comfort.

Build Quality

The shoe is built to offer optimum durability by using thick BRS-1000 carbon rubber in the outsole along with the Dura-DS rubber. The additional crash rail in the heel adds to avoid impact through heel strikes. The upper is made from light material and knit in a way that it’s breathable and soft. The toe box is a bit narrow and the weight is a bit heavier for a neutral running shoe.

Brooks Glycerin 15

Brooks Glycerin 15

Meant for light workouts and neutral to mid-level running, Brooks Glycerin 15 is a lightweight shoe that offers great cushioning and flexibility. The manufacturer uses its proprietary technologies like Super DNA midsole and 3D Print upper to ensure that the shoe offers a smooth ride.

Price

Brooks Glycerin 15 has an MRP of $, which is significantly over the price range that most other premium brands runners fall in, making it an expensive option.

Ease of Use

The shoe has been raved about by its users for the plush, comfortable ride it offers. Brooks Glycerine focuses on offering extreme comfort through its amazing cushioning. The Super DNA midsole ensures great flexibility and a responsive ride. The upper is wide enough to incorporate ample breathability, with a thickly padded tongue and a smooth collar.

Build Quality

The women’s version of Brooks Glycerin 15 weighs 261g, which is one of the lightest launched by the brand in this line. The outsole features ideal pressure zones to spread the impact of landing and a segmented crash pad for a better heel to toe transitions. The HPR Plus material also increases traction and resilience. There isn’t enough arch support, though, and some runners complained of instability.

Asics Gel Nimbus 19

Asics Gel Nimbus 19

Price

Priced at $, Asics Gel Nimbus 19 is a lot on the expensive side. Most of the runners in the premium shoe segment fall under $.

Ease of Use

The shoe features the FlyteFoam technology in the midsole for a responsive and comfortable ride. The anti-bacterial sockliner in the upper also ensures that the foot remains dry and irritation-free. The forefoot is also more flexible and the FluidRide midsole offers more cushioning and responsiveness.

Build Quality

Asics Gel Nimbus 19 is a lightweight running shoe with a durable DuraSponge carbon rubber outsole. The Gel cushioning system in the midsole offers greater shock absorption and better transitions. The seamless upper featuring a mesh makes for better breathability and also a snug and secure foot placement. The shoe also offers additional heel support through the Heel Clutching System technology. It does have a narrow toe box and does not measure well according to its sizes.

Product

Price

Ease of Use

Build Quality

Nike Vomero Women

Nike Vomero Women

Brooks Glycerin 15

Brooks Glycerin 15

Asics Gel Nimbus 19

Asics Gel Nimbus 19

Pros and Cons

Let’s see what makes and breaks Nike Vomero 13 Women’ running shoe.

Pros

  • Extra Cushioning: 

The extra layers of cushioning in the midsole along with Lunar foam and the additional crash rail in the heel make for a highly cushioned ride.

  • Durability: 

The BRS-1000 carbon rubber in the outsole with the Dura-DS rubber ensure high durability of the shoe and resilience from wearing down on asphalt surfaces. The Zoom Air bags and the crash rail also add to the sturdiness by providing extra support for shock absorption.

  • Responsiveness: 

The use of core Lunar foam in the midsole ensures a highly responsive ride. The Dynamic Fit technology and the interconnected lacing system make way for a snug fit and strong foot placement. The extra layer of cushioning by the molded sockliner and deep flex grooves in the outsole, all add to create an overall flexible and responsive ride.

  • Design: 

Nike is known for creating shoes that apart from being comfortable and technically sound are highly trendy in design and appeal to the fashion conscious. Runners looking for a shoe that is good to look at without compromising on its quality will be happy with the availability of multiple colors and an overall catchy design.

Cons

  • Heavy: 

For a neutral shoe, Nike Vomero 13 Women’s can be considered a bit on the heavier end weighing 251g. The extra cushioning levels add to the weight but it is set off due to the high traction and the mobility of the shoe.

  • Slightly Expensive: 

Priced at $, it is relatively expensive for a running shoe. But the Nike brand and the ample comfort features offered by the shoe more than compensate for the price.

  • Narrow and Rigid: 

The forefoot was reviewed as being a little cramped by some users as well as some runners experienced slight rigidity in the underfoot to the Zoom Air bags.

The Benefits of Good Running Shoes

There are many benefits to owning a good pair of running shoes. Below are some of the main reasons why you should own a good pair of running shoes:

Midsole Foot Cushioning

Midsole cushioning is one of the most important benefits associated with using running shoes. The foot cushioning provided by running shoes can reduce some of the stress placed on the ankles, toes, and the heel during a run. This makes the act of running much safer and a lot more comfortable. Appropriate midsole cushioning can also help to alleviate or prevent any back, hip, or knee pain as it improves body mechanics.

Arch Support

For people who have flat feet, arch support is essential. With this in mind, arch support is a major benefit for most avid exercisers. Although flat-footed runners may get the most benefit from arch support, even people with high natural arches can benefit from the right kind of support.

Injury Prevention

In a lot of cases, running shoes can help to prevent injury. It has been found that midsole cushioning and arch support as mentioned above can help to prevent overuse injuries such as stress fractures, tendonitis, and joint pain. Running shoes also protect the feet from cuts and scrapes.

Improved Athletic Performance

People who use the right kind of running shoes can usually experience greater athletic improvement over people who do not. This is due to several factors including improved running capacity and greater comfort. Therefore, competitive runners greatly benefit from a good running shoe.

The Verdict

Nike Vomero 13 Women’s shoe is a neutral running shoe built to offer maximum comfort to the runner. It is durable and provides high responsiveness for a smooth and flexible ride.

Using Nike’s technologies like the Dynamic Fit system that keeps the fit secure and the Zoom Air bags that used compressed air to enhance shock absorption, along with the Lunar foam and engineered mesh upper for more cushioning, the shoe has turned out of to be a great pair of comfort and support.

It is a bit heavy and is not suitable for runners looking for higher arch support due to 10mm heel drop.

Overall, Nike Vomero 13 Women’s shoe receives a solid rating of 4.5 on 5. If you are in the market looking for a shoe with ample cushioning and responsiveness while also being attractive in its design, give the pair a try.

Sources:

Nike

Amazon

RoadRunnerSports

Hoka Running Shoes Review: A Lightweight And Comfortable Option

A photo showing the shoes of a runners ( Hoka running shoes review )

Put on a pair of running shoes from Hoka One One, they say, and it’s “time to fly.” That may seem hard to believe, given that virtually every Hoka running shoes review refers to the brand’s signature feature: its extra high stack of cushioning.

But Hoka One One (pronounced O-nay O-nay), based in California, has created a formula that provides extreme stability in a lightweight package. As a result, the shoes will help you strive for your personal bests while covering the longest of distances.

In addition to the plush cushioning, Hoka One One shoes also come with wider soles. For some, this is initially off-putting, as Hokas look different than the traditional running shoes.

Yet the shoes provide a system of technologies and features that have helped millions of runners achieve or exceed their goals.

While they may not be for everyone: Hokas are a legitimate option for road and trail runners alike, especially those who put up high mileage numbers each week.

But how do you choose the right pair of shoes?

​Comparison Table

Straight, Left, or Right?

adult wearing Pink shoes

​Image Via: Pixabay

The challenge of choosing the right Hokas (or any shoes, for that matter) starts and ends with understanding some basic concepts about how your legs move.

Before we go any farther in our Hoka running shoes review, let's discuss a few basics on that subject, so that selection time becomes much more manageable.

Most runners fall into two basic categories: Stability or neutral. You might also hear the term “motion control” shoes -- that’s basically an offshoot of the stability category.

According to REI, whether you are a runner who needs stability shoes or a neutral runner is determined by how your foot strikes the ground.

Neutral running shoes belong on the feet of runners with straight-ahead gaits -- moving north to south along a plane, with little or no variability.

Neutral shoes essentially help your feet do what they are intended to do, with no interference.

Meanwhile, stability shoes, according to REI, go on the feet of runners who overpronate.

What this means is that your food tends to roll slightly inward each time it strikes the ground. Because of the uneven weight distribution, overpronators are susceptible to foot, leg and knee pain, or injuries.

Some runners face the opposite challenge -- their feet connect in a way where the foot rolls outward, called under-pronation. This is a small fraction of the running population.

The best way to understand your running style, and ultimately choose the right shoes, is to visit a local specialty run store to be evaluated. With this knowledge in mind, you'll be able to select your Hoka shoes knowledgeably.

All About the Hoka Brand

A little history to go with our Hoka running shoes review: Hoka is a young company that originated in France around 2009. Partners Nicolas Mermaud and Jean-Luc Diard were runners who liked to tackle tough terrains such as the French Alps.

The pair wanted to design a shoe that stood up to the punishment that these environments hand out. In doing so, they helped re-shape the cut-throat competition for running shoes at a time when participation rates were soaring.

Within 4 years, Hokas were available in more than 350 locations across the world.

As Outside Magazine describes it, the shoes “looked bizarre, like moon boots, and were wider, thicker, and softer than typical running shoes—two and a half times beefier and 30 percent cushier.”

The principal characteristic of Hoka One One shoes is the “high stack.” The expansive cushioning under the foot provides the shoes with their “moon boot” appearance.

Yet the shoes retain a lightweight profile. The other significant distinction is the shape of the sole. The bottom of the shoes are designed almost in a “u shape,” creating a “rocker” effect that helps drive you forward with each stride.

Hoka Running Shoes Review

man wearing red shoe

​Image Via: Pixabay

Now you have the core idea of this Hoka running shoes review: Pile on extra cushioning, avoid adding too much weight and shape the sole to encourage teeter-totter like movement that rolls you forward.

Then you’ve got yourself a unique style of shoes that will keep you moving toward the finish line while limiting the wear and tear on your legs.

Let’s dig into two popular models -- one for men, one for women -- to give a taste of what you can find across the Hoka line.

Hoka bonding

Hoka running shoes review (Pink Hoka bondi shoe)

​Image Via: Amazon.com

The company describes the Hoka Bondi as the most cushioned shoes in its entire line. The shoes offer sizes for both men and women, but for our Hoka running shoes review, we’ll focus on the male version.

The shoes check in at just under 11 ounces with the maximum cushion that the company describes as providing a "pillow soft feel." While we appreciate the marketing language, and the Bondi probably comes as close as any shoes you can find, but when you’re at the tail-end of a long run, nothing feels like a pillow.

The Bondi includes an open mesh upper, allowing your feet to breathe. The heel is also beveled to allow for a more natural heel to foot transition.

Runners who bought the shoes via Amazon give it a score of 4.4 stars out of 5.0. One reviewer raves about the way the shoes helped reduce pain in his metatarsal bone and recommended ordering a half-size larger than you would wear normally. A less-enthused reviewer found the shoes to be too stiff.

Hoka Bondi is now available online for men and women for between $95 and $150. You might save a few dollars by purchasing an older model, but those are usually limited in size availability.

Cliff climbing

hoka clifton shoe

Amazon.com

The Hoka Clifton are also shoes available in sizes for men and women. For our Hoka running shoes review, though, we’re going deep on the female version.

The Clifton is incredibly lightweight, checking in at less than half a pound. This will lower the wear-and-tear on your feet in the later stages of a race. The cushioning is less aggressive than the Bondi, achieving a nice balanced approach.

As is tradition, the Clifton is built with a mesh upper, to allow the heat to clear from your feet on the most intense days.

Women runners give the Clifton the ultimate thumbs up -- 4.5 stars out of 5.0. One top reviewer on Amazon credited the Clifton for helping her get clear of the effects of a broken metatarsal bone. She writes of her plans to wear them on a hiking trip to Central America.

An unhappy runner relates that she found that the Clifton wore down very quickly, after only a few runs.

Hoka Clifton shoes for women are available online for between $85 and $135, depending on which model most interests you. Consider an earlier model if you need to save a few dollars.

Our Review Process

Group of athlete compete in running

​Image Via: Pexels

Choosing running shoes is a very personal decision. Feet come in all shapes and sizes. Shoes do too.

The best way to figure the right pair for you: Try them on. Most specialty running stores will let you take them for a spin. Vendors occasionally will sponsor try-on nights at these stores, combined with free group runs. Keep watch on what’s happening locally.

Completing out our Hoka running shoes review, then, required lots of reading. We started at the Hoka One One site, which provides the most current look at current models, including descriptions, specifications, and styles.

To provide fodder for comparison, we consulted specialty run sites and outdoor magazines such as Outdoor magazine, Runner’s World magazine, RunningShoesGuru.com, Running Warehouse, and others.

We looked for shoe alternatives in the “maximalist” category that offer the same or similar features and attributes: A high-stack of cushion, a substantial sole, and a rock-and-roll design in the sole.

Running shoes today are well-made, highly engineered products with lots of science to them. If you can’t find a Hoka to your liking, then one of these other choices might suit your style.

Altra Torin

altra torrin shoe

​Via: Amazon.com

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The Altra Torin has a profile that will very quickly remind you of the Hoka One One line.

The Torin also offers a high stack in the heel area, if perhaps just a little bit more modest in the cushioning category.

One big difference: Altra is a leader in providing “zero drop” shoes, or shoes that have the same height from heel to toe. So whatever rocking you’re able to do in the Altra may well be something that’s your doing alone – not provided by the shoes.

The Torin checks in at about half a pound, slightly lighter than the Hoka Bondi.

The Altra Torin gets excellent reviews on Amazon. Reviewers give it an enthusiastic 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. One very positive reviewer writes that he loves the roomy toe box and the zero drop -- “A slice of heaven for my battered feet,” he writes.

Less-thrilled was a customer who found that the shoes got worn down very quickly, even just while he was going on long walks.

Depending on what model you buy, the Torins could provide a bit of extra value. 

GORun Ultra

gorun ultra shoe

​Via: Amazon

The Skechers brand gets noticed in the maximalist category for the GORun Ultra shoes. These shoes has a slightly less aggressive stack in comparison to the Hoka line.

But you’ll still get the benefits of the rocker as the shoes transition from heel to toe. And the weight profile is also very favorable — the Skechers men’s model checks in just about half a pound.

The shoes score are very high with reviewers on Amazon. We should note that these shoes have fewer opinions than other models mentioned in our Hoka running shoes review.

One pleased customer raved about his GORun Ultra shoes. He described it as amazing while also advising wearers to consider one size less than they would typically wear. An unhappy runner felt that the height of the cushion caused some ankle discomfort for him

Available for men and women, the Skechers GoRun Ultra also might save you a few dollars over the Hoka.

Your triumph

Saucony Triumph ISO

​Via: Amazon.com

We close our Hoka running shoes review with an alternative for the rare under-pronator. We're talking about the Saucony Triumph ISO shoes, available for both men and women.

The Triumph offers an identical stack high to many of the Hokas. The company boasts that there is more cushion in the Triumph than almost any other prior shoes in their line.

It’s a little heavier than its brethren: The women’s model checks in at about 10 ounces. But you will get the same positive benefits from the “rock and roll” effect as the foot transitions from heel to toe.

The Saucony Triumph ISO gets high ratings from those who have worn the shoes. Reviewers give the Triumph a rank ranked on Amazon at 4.4 stars out of 5.0, based on several hundred reviews.

One runner describes the shoes as perfect for her running style as an under-pronator. She says the shoes provide the relief she needs given the flat feet combined and high arch.

The shoes disappointed another wearer. She writes that she felt knee pain from her first workout in the shoes.

Like Hoka, Skechers and Altra, the Saucony Triumph shoes are available for both men and women. Be aware that depending on the model, it could be a challenge to find your size online.

Maximize Your Ride

Adult running on snow

​Image Via: Pexels

Serious runners tend to demand a lot from their shoes but ultimately are willing to accept some basic minimums.

We just want the shoes not to cause us any problems. If the shoes lead to aches and pains in our legs or ankles, then it’s off our lists forever.

Recommending one as the best of all of those on the market, then, seems almost foolhardy. Runners have different thresholds, different sensations, and various pressure points.

Based on our experiences, though, we lean towards the Hoka line. The hardiest runners in the nation traversing some of the most challenging terrains wear Hokas. We can't think of a better reference point. Go with the Hokas.

​Featured Image Source: Pexels

The 10 Best Running Belt Options To Store Your Essentials On The Go

people running

Do you enjoy running or even jogging, but hate having to hold things in your hands? Do you get thirsty on your run but have to leave your water bottle in the car because you have nowhere to put it? Well, look no further, we have found the 10 best running belt options for storage of your essentials on the go.

Have you ever gone on a run and dropped things because you had nothing to carry them in? Well, you are not the only one; many people have purchased running belts because of that reason.

Now, you can carry your items with you, and you will be able you enjoy your run without worry if you need something.

But what exactly is a running belt?

Comparison Table

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What Is A Running Belt?

A running belt is similar to a fanny pack but suggested for active people. The belt can carry many things such as your phone, a water bottle, keys, and other small stuff you may require while you are running or walking.

What does a running belt do for you?

What does a running belt have?

Where can you buy a running belt?

How much does the best running belt cost?

How We Reviewed The Best Running Belt

people running

Image Via pexels

We know that you take your running seriously and don't have time to waste researching the best running belt, so we took to the internet and found them for you.

We read and compared the reviews to other running belts, and came up with a list for you. Check it out.

Our Top 10 Running Belts

After we finished with comparing reviews, we had to narrow it down to 10 of the best running belts. We did not put the 10 best running belt options in a particular order.

1. Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt

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The Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt is a simple design. It has only one pocket but can fit many objects such as keys, credit cards, cash, and your phone. Runtopia also has a spot for your earbud cord, so you can listen to your music while you run.

The belt is waterproof and has an adjusting elastic strap. It is made from a polyester fiber so it will not scratch your phone. The Runtopia Super Slim Running Belt does not tell you if you can machine wash or have to hand wash.

Amazon customers rated this running belt a 5.0 out of 5.0 stars. There was only one review, however, so that may change. The customer says the belt is lightweight and great for holding keys and credit cards. The price range for this belt is $ to $$. We found this belt only comes in black or grey.

2. Sport2People Running Pouch Belt

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The Sport2People Running Pouch Belt has two pockets and is waterproof. One pocket is smaller than the other so that you don't scratch your phone or drop things out when trying to get your phone.

Sport2People says their belt is the best running belt or your money back guarantee. It has a hole made for your earphones. This product does not explain whether to hand wash or to machine wash.

Amazon customers gave this product a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. There are hundreds of reviews for this running belt and the majority of customers say the product is the perfect size for extra small body types and up to extra large body types.

They are also happy you can hide the belt under your clothes, and it doesn't move while running. There are many complaints about the zipper breaking very easy and even receiving the belt with an already broken zipper. The price of this product ranges from $ to $$. The belt comes in seven different colors.

3. Runtasty Winners' Running Fuel Belt

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Runtasty Running Fuel Belt makes a belt for those who want to carry more with them while running. The company includes two BPA bottles and has a touchscreen compatible cover. You will be able to change your music, answer a call, and text without having to remove your phone from the belt.

The belt has two extra large pockets to hold everything you need. It is made with neoprene and has a separate waterproof pocket to keep your things dry.

Runtasty has a 90-day money back guarantee and includes a bonus E-Book called "Runtasty's 10 Tips for Running Faster, Better, and Longer." The product does not tell us if you can machine wash it or only hand wash it.

Amazon ratings for this product are 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Customers are pleased with this belt and say they can do long distance runs without the belt moving and love being able to use their touchscreen.

As others say they also enjoy having the belt, they are upset the water bottles are so hard to get out of the belt and very hard to open. It costs between $$ and $$$. We have only found this belt in black.

4. 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt

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The 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt has one pocket in the front that can hold most phones except the larger ones and can hold cash, keys, and credit cards. This belt holds four 8 ounce bottles that are included in the purchase and the containers will not bounce around while running.

This company also has a money back guarantee if you do not like the product. The belt can be worn in a front facing or back facing position and suggested for long distance runners.

The 247 Viz Hydration Running Belt does not say if you must hand wash or if you can machine wash the belt.

The Amazon rating for this product is 4.3 out of 5.0 stars. There are only a little over 20 reviews, but for the most part, everyone is happy with this product.

There are complaints about the water bottles having a bad chemical smell that couldn't be washed out. This belt comes in four different colors and sells for a price range of $$ to $$$.

5. PYFK Running Belt Hydration Waist Pack

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This running belt is made mainly for women and has an adjustable strap you can cut off if it is too long for you. The belt has one pocket to hold your phone or other small belonging and holds one water bottle that is not included with purchase.

The pouch has an antitheft buckle on the zipper and has an inner pocket for your keys to prevent scratches on your phone. It also has an earphone built-in design and night reflection to enhance visibility in the dark.

The product does not state if you can machine wash or must hand wash it.

PYFK Running Belt comes in three colors and has a price range of $16 to $20. Amazon customers rated the product with a 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The customers are happy the belt did not move while running and can hold full water of bottle without bouncing. As a few customers complained, it was too bulky.

6. LotFancy Running Fuel Belt

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LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is one of the larger belts and has a large pocket. The running belt holds two water bottles that come with the purchase. The LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is waterproof, has a headphone cable hole, and includes two inner pockets to help prevent scratches on your phone.

This company makes the belts with reflective tape, so you are visible in the night. The belt comes in four colors and is adjustable. According to the Amazon review, you can only hand wash the belt.

The price range for LotFancy Running Fuel Belt is between $ to $$. Amazon customers give this belt a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars.

Reviews for this belt are great, and one person even made an update post two years later to state the belt was still in great shape and has held up to long-distance running.

On the other hand, one person was upset the zipper broke on the first day, and the other customer couldn't adjust the product.

7. FreedomVentures Running Belt

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The FreedomVentures Running Belt is durable and water resistant. It has one pocket and a headphone hole so you can listen to your music while you run. The belt has a reflective strip across the front of it for nighttime visibly and safety.

Inside, the belt has a divider so that your keys do not scratch your phone. It has a clip on the front of the belt in case you would like to carry things such as pepper spray. The product is machine washable and comes in two colors.

The price range for this product is between $ and $$. Amazon customers give it a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars. There are a little over a hundred reviews for this product.

Amazon customers say the belt is comfortable and an excellent fit for any run. Some customers say the belt is too bulky and the zipper is fragile and broke after just two days.

8. Gritin Running Belt

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The Gritin Running Belt is a straightforward product and only has one pocket with a headphone cord opening. It has a reflective design on the front by the zipper and is waterproof. The belt is machine washable and is quick drying. The Gritin Running Belt has an adjustable elastic waist belt.

It only comes in black. The belt has a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The customers on Amazon say the product is lightweight and excellent for many purposes, like traveling and shopping.

Some customers are upset the zipper broke so quickly, and others say it is too big. The price range for this belt is between $ to $$.

9. URPOWER Running Belt

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URPOWER Running Belts comes in a lightweight neoprene material. The belt is waterproof and tear-resistant. It has an adjustable band, reflectors, large pocket, and two water bottle holders. The water bottles come with your purchase, and you have a lifetime guarantee.

The URPOWER Running Belt comes in black and soft blue. The running belt does not state whether or not you can machine wash or if you must hand wash after use.

Amazon customers have given this belt a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars. The price range for the running belt is $ and $$. Customers are happy the belt is lightweight, and the bottles are dishwasher safe. Unfortunately, some customers are upset the belt doesn't fit for smaller body shapes.

10. EAZYMATE Fashion Running Belt

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The EASYMATE Fashion Running Belt comes in thin spandex material. The belt has two pockets and zippers for security. It is also a travel money belt. This running belt comes in three different colors. The belt is not waterproof, and it does not say if you can machine wash it or if you have to hand wash it.

Amazon customers are happy that the product can be hidden under clothes and it is very lightweight. Some of the customers are not pleased with this running belt, saying the belt is a horrible design and doesn't fit larger people well.

It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. The price range for this belt is $ to $$.

Our Final Decision On The Best Running Belt

Our final decision on finding the best running belt was a difficult one. There are so many great belt options available for purchase. It all depends on whether or not you want to carry water or want something simple to carry your keys and phone.

The list we made of the 10 best running belt options has a wide range of prices, reviews, and sizes. So, please read the information we provided to see which running belt would better fit your needs and buy that brand.

Take a moment and let us know which running belt is your favorite in the comment section below.