Maximum Cushioning? Wait, isn't that those funny looking shoes?
Okay, I have to admit, I thought they were a bit funny looking when I first saw what we call maximum cushioning shoes. I had some aches and pains that weren't going away though so I thought I would at least give them a try. Wow! Am I glad I did. I have made the switch and now run pain free once again. I got over any thoughts of funny looking pretty quickly as my new shoes have me feeling like I am floating on a cloud.
Someone once told me, “Invest your money in the things that separate you from the ground- a good bed, a good car, and a good pair of shoes.” Getting a pair of shoes with the right support and cushion for your lifestyle is important to everyone and especially runners. The rising trend in the world of running is “maximalism,” or shoes with maximum levels of cushion.
Some of the maximum cushion running shoes include Hoka and Altra, both of which Running Center carries in all locations. Other brands have now added maximum cushioning shoes to their line up so do check them all out.
The biggest feature of these shoes is the amount of cushion offered. More cushion means more impact absorption and protection from hard surfaces. Since concrete and asphalt are the two hardest surfaces for running and the two most common surfaces, maximum cushion shoes help protect the legs from the pounding of these hard surfaces.
Maximal running shoes usually feature a lower heel to toe offset than traditional running shoes. This promotes more of a midfoot strike, which is a more natural motion than heel striking. All the Hoka shoes have an offset of 2-6 mm. Altra uses a Zero Drop (0 mm) design.
Even though most maximal running shoes do not come in wide widths (yet), they run wider than your average shoe. Altra uses a foot shaped toe box design to let the foot splay out naturally, creating a wider toe box than any other shoe currently on the market. Hoka shoes have a very wide platform, allowing the widest foots to fit inside. The Hoka Bondi is their widest design, and we have even seen men with 4E width feet fit into it with no problems.
Shoes with maximalism design are growing in popularity and are not going away anytime soon. Give a pair a try today- they have been working wonders for aches and pains!