Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Some Zoot Shoe Tips

Not only have I been fortunate to run in a ton of Zoot Shoes, but I also get to talk to the two guys that design every Zoot shoe.  From them I have learned a ton about running shoes in general and also picked up a bunch of useful tips.  Here are a few I figured others would be interested in:

Speed Laces Too Long - all of the Zoot tri shoes have speed laces that are connected at the bottom with a plastic piece.  Just pop it off, trim the laces, and then put them back in.  If they don't want to stay in, a few drops of super glue takes care of it.

Narrow feet - My feet are really narrow.  When Zoot started using the plastic clips mentioned above, I just took it off and tied a knot instead.  This allows me to pull the two bottom eyelets close together and also shortens the laces at the same time.

Rubbing or Blisters on the arch - With most Zoot shoes I have no issue but with the Kiawe or the Race 4 I crank the laces tight and then I sometimes get blister in the arch of my foot.  This is because the arch support on the insole is pushed up higher and rubs due to the very tight fit.  The simple solution, just take some scissors and trim about 5mm off.  Since then I have never had a problem.

(The bottom and the right insole are cut)

Heel tab rubbing the back of your Achilles tendon - fold the back over/down when you are not wearing the shoes.  After a few days like this it wont rub anymore.  If it is really stubborn, use a binder clip to hold the shoe like this when you are not wearing them.

Can't get the Kiawe on fast enough - The Kiawe is a tight fitting shoe, which I love because they stay put.  They can however be harder to put on in T2 because of this.  I guess this isn't a tip, but try the Speed 3 for sport races as it is the same mid/outsole as the Kiawe ... or wait until August when the Kiawe 2 comes out and the upper has been changed to make them MUCH easier to get on fast.  BTW, I thought the Kiawe was great and the only Zoot shoe I needed...until I ran in the Kiawe 2.

Cold/Wet feet - Most of the Zoot shoes are designed to breath and drain water.  Great features for summer races, not so great for fall, winter, and spring in cold and wet climates.  Check out the TT Trail, TT Trainer, Tempo Trainer or coming this fall the TT Trainer WR (water resistant).  All of those will feel exactly like the TT/Tempo but without the drains, breath-ability and speed laces.

Which Zoot shoe should I try - If you are new to Zoot shoes, pick up a pair the TTs (Neutral) or Tempos (Stability).  These are what I would consider the staple Zoot shoe.  They are light enough to race in, have all the tri features, but also have enough cushioning (and support for the Tempo) that most people can run in them daily.  Assuming the TT or Tempo work for you then you can go lighter (Race, Owva, Kiawe, Speed) or heavier (Kalani, Kane) to fine tune what you want in a shoe.

Running Sockless - This isn't really Zoot specific but it is the number one question I get asked is how do you switch to running sockless.  For me it was simple: 1) get the right shoes, 2) commit to it, 3) use body glide or something similar while you are adjusting.  It took me about 3 weeks to make the transition and since than (4 years later) I run sockless 95% of the time with no issues.  As far as finding the right shoes, I specifically mean something that is designed to be run in sockless like any of the Zoot shoes with Barefit (almost all of them) and similar shoes from other companies.  Additionally, you have to make sure you are in the right size.  I personally sized down a half size when I switched to sockless.  Start slowly by running just the last mile of a training run sockless, then make it two miles and so on.  As I mentioned it was about a 3 week period for me to go from 100% socks, to 0% socks.  I did get quite a few hotspots at first and a few blisters but I just loaded them up with body glide and pushed through.

Do you have other questions?  Ask in the comments below or send me a message.

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