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Updated on May 4, 2012
Gearing up in proper footwear is essential for someone who goes running quite often.
It seems like every year now I’m going to the store to get myself a new pair of high performance running shoes, and every time I have selected a different style or brand. Because I run so much on hard terrain, I wear down the cushioning. I don’t want to suffer from dodgy knees when I get older, so it’s imperative to get the right support from my footwear.
Recently I bought a pair of Karrimor Pace running shoes with gel cushioning. At just £30 ($50), they are on the lower end of the market. However, the price works for those on a tight budget. I have had positive experiences with shoes in this price range and have found that they’ve held up well.
The only reason I was forced to abandon my previous shoes, a pair of New Balance 738, was because of worn cushioning. The material also had stretched—so much so that I had to wear two pairs of socks to feel secure in them.
While running my usual route with my new Karrimors, I was struck by how secure my feet were inside them. The mesh upper keeps my feet from moving around too much and therefore prevents friction blisters.
The shoes feature a special shape in the ankle and heel region that keeps feet secure. The lining around the ankles and heels are synthetic and soft with just enough support to hold your foot into one place. This made it easier for turns where on occasions before I have found that my heel shifts when turning quickly.
One of the most important aspects of the shoe is its cushioning. As I mentioned earlier, I run on hard terrain, so I was hoping that the gel cushion would provide ample support. I was slightly disappointed. The ride feels a bit too hard. While it is not uncomfortable, the level of comfort did not compare to my last pair of shoes. When I ran in my New Balance shoes, they made me feel as if I was running on air.
You definitely feel as if you are running on the hard ground in the Karrimor shoes. My suggestion would be to add more gel inside the heel to reap the benefits from it. Sadly, I feel that the amount of gel included in the shoe is reflected in the price. In other respects they are very adequate. The aforementioned security features and ‘snugness’ are a major benefit.
The high arch and quality of the material will hopefully mean that these shoes will last me for a good while yet. However I may have to leave them as summer running shoes and invest in more cushion for the winter.
Overall if you are on a tight budget and run on soft terrain, these shoes are a very good investment. Hard terrain runners, you will be better off spending a bit more cash to get the cushioned running shoes you need.
Guest author Christian Radnedge is a sports journalist in London, England for AroundTheRings.com. Having worked in a sports store as a teenager, Radnedge still maintains an interest in sports good technologies especially footwear. Follow him on Twitter at @ChristianRad.