With the New Year behind us and resolutions to get more exercise waiting to be fulfilled, January is that time of year when many gets amongst us make the decision to take up running, or at least to reinvigorate their participation in the activity. But with the disagreeable weather, party season recuperation, and all the other obstacles that Ginuary, sorry, January throws at us, taking those first steps outdoors can be a challenge to say the least.
It almost goes without saying that the most major obstacle when it comes to getting back into the post-New Year workout routine is mental. Maintaining a positive mindset, staying dedicated and finding motivation are all key in terms of keeping active, but with each of us being so different both physically and mentally, it’s up to each of us as individuals to find that extra drive. Or as Forest Gump said – “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.”
Top: Roger Bannister, runner of the first sub-four minute mile. Above, Left: Mo Farah, four-time Olympic gold medallist. Above, Right: Michael Johnson, 400m World Record holder 1999-2016.
But with motivation restored, goals set and playlists organised, it’s also vital to ensure you’ve got the right gear. When it comes to running, as many by now will have undoubtedly already discovered, your everyday pair of casual trainers won’t cut it if you’re serious. For this reason, you won’t find any style-oriented athleisure hybrids or streetwear sport blends in our guide below, just pure, fitness-focused, slightly geeky (in a good way), built-for-purpose running shoes.
Saucony Liberty ISO
Saucony’s new Liberty ISO (£150) utilises the brand’s EVERUN technology along the full length of the midsole, being only the second Saucony shoe to use this material across the entire length of the sole. It allows for moderate pronation, and provides impressive energy return and continuous cushioning across the whole foot for the length of the run, and although the frame is minimal, it is enough to provide an incredibly supportive feel. The ISOFIT system used within the shoe adapts to the shape and motion of the wearer’s foot to create a dynamic fit.
The ASICS Metarun (£200) is pretty pricey, but this hike in price is owed to the fact that the shoe debuts several new technologies from ASICS. Among these is the FlyteFoam material used in the midsole, which is 55% lighter than the standard EVA foam used in many other running shoes, as well as X-Gel, a technology used to form more precise shapes and positioning to give better cushioning in the memory foam of the shoe, allowing the wearer to develop a personalised fit over time and use. Organic fibres built into the shoe return the the midsole to its original shape in-between each stride, providing the same amount of cushioning throughout the whole run, and the carbon fibre used in the mid foot helps overpronators by preventing excessive inward rolling of the foot, while also allowing neutral runners to move naturally.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8
The eighth instalment in New Balance’s 1080 series (£125) is a neutral cushioned running shoe that builds upon its predecessors with newly designed groove configurations on the rubber outsole, with a breathable mesh upper and folded foam collar giving a snug, comfortable fit. Made using New Balance’s signature fresh foam technology, the sole delivers soft cushioning for a smooth running experience, and the Ortholite insole provides additional cushioning for arch support and durable comfort.
Iffley Road Marlow Running Jacket in Night Sky, £195 | Iffley Road Dartmoor Running Base Layer in Pebble Gray, £95 | Iffley Road Brighton 8″ Running Shorts in Gravel Black, £75 | Beats by Dre Powerbeats3 Wireless, £129.99
You may also need some accessories to assist with your footwear – in the form of clothing and tech. The former, from Iffley Road, is probably the most modern, clean and ‘basic’ running wear available today. Opt for something warm yet breathable for this time of year, couple it with some sporty wireless headphones and you’re ready to go.