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Discussion: Orienteering shoes max cushioning

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Mar 29, 2018 3:40 PM # 
I am starting in the sport of orienteering and I am looking for shoes with good grip (without spikes).
Currently I am using for normal running Asics Kayano with very good results (I have chondromalacia and cartilage problems with other shoes not so well cushioned).
Now I am looking for a similar shoe for orienteering. I have tried VJ Irock 2 which has great grip but still too stiff for me.
Do you know any other more cushioned shoe I could try?
Thanks in advance!
Mar 29, 2018 4:33 PM # 
Orienteering shoes, in my experience, don't have great cushioning. innov8 shoes are usually not stiff but do lack cushioning.
Perhaps you should look into trail running shoes? Most of the major brands have them.
Mar 29, 2018 5:32 PM # 
You might also want to investigate whether how you are using your feet, ankles, knees, hip joints etc. is affecting your feet and knees. Cushioning only does so much.
Mar 29, 2018 6:03 PM # 
get some new inserts and heel gel pads
Mar 29, 2018 8:49 PM # 
My wife and I both have had good luck with salomon speedcrosses. (Trail running shoes)
Mar 29, 2018 10:32 PM # 
Thanks for your help, yes I think I will have to try insoles or then trial running shoes. Somebody has also recommended me “La Sportiva Akasha”, anyone has tried them?
Mar 29, 2018 11:19 PM # 
Inov8 XTalon 212. Extremely comfortable and light.
Mar 30, 2018 4:47 AM # 
... but not cushiony
Mar 30, 2018 5:04 AM # 
The Inov8 X-Claw 275 is more cushioned than the X-talons and I've found them good in terrain.
Mar 30, 2018 6:57 AM # 
X-Claw should be ok. The previous model (Mudclaw) had pretty good cushioning, not so much within the last, but through the soft (but still hard-wearing) rubber studs.
Mar 30, 2018 11:52 AM # 
Hoka One One has a few new trail running shoes, and their shoes tend to have cushioning to the max. (I haven't tried them.) The problem with cushioning in off-trail settings is it makes things less stable underfoot and more prone to ankle sprains.
Mar 30, 2018 3:54 PM # 
...and a sprained ankle, when repeated several times, becomes chronic, and is one of the real risks of orienteering.

So very hard-soled, low-profile O shoes are that way for a good reason: more stability, less twisting moment. We even have some folks on a/p who regularly run barefooted, believing that develops the most healthy stride:

....there’s less impact and joint torque than in a shoe, [barefoot running] reawakens muscles that have atrophied in our shoes, reawakens nerve endings and our balance system, stimulates reflexology points on the bottom of our feet, and even has anti-inflammatory benefits through grounding. This all means a stronger body, less joint pain, better posture, more mobility, greater health, and greater freedom.
Mar 30, 2018 4:44 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Highest number Inov8 Roclite I can find at any given time has been reasonably kind to me, with my high weight and terrible gait, while still being grippy for hills unlike many normal trail runners. I normally jog around the neighborhood in neutral cushion shoes.
Mar 30, 2018 4:50 PM # 
I'll second Salomon shoes. I know several O'ers who run in them regularly, not me, but I have used them in long (26K) O races. They are light, have good grip and more cushioning than a typical O shoe.
Mar 30, 2018 6:19 PM # 
Another Salomon user here, along with Active Ankles, as without them, I am one of those chronic sprained ankle types to whom Clark refers, regardless of shoe. You can even get them with spikes: I wear the Spikecross in terrain for which I need extra grip, and the Speedcross otherwise.

And from a practical point of view, for the purpose of getting the sizing right, I like the idea of wearing a shoe which is stocked at regular sporting goods stores. I bought my Speedcross 3 shoes at REI, during a 50% off clearance sale right before the introduction of the Speedcross 4.
Mar 30, 2018 6:26 PM # 
Hokas come to mind if you are looking for max cushion

I’m a La Sportiva fun (Ultra Raptor and Akyra) but I have not tried the Akasha. Check out the specs such as drop, stack, etc.

You need a shoe that first works for your foot, then Orienteering. If you find Orienteering shoes don’t work for your foot then look to trail running shoes.
Mar 30, 2018 7:17 PM # 
Bear in mind that orienteering doesn't require as much cushioning as road running because most natural surfaces are more compliant than pavement.
Mar 30, 2018 7:39 PM # 
orienteering shoes with cushioning... oxymoron
Mar 30, 2018 10:49 PM # 
I have the same knee issues as you it seems. I wear highly cushioned shoes for trail running - Hokas or Saucony Triumphs. Don't run on roads at all anymore. For a while I orienteered in my La Sportivas, and it was okay ... but I've gone back to orienteering specific shoes (VJs) in spite of their lack of cushioning. The stability of the low profile makes a huge difference when running on rough ground, and the fact that I'm rarely on hard surfaces when orienteering means that my knees can deal with the lack of cushioning. I definitely run more on my forefoot (like in the Hokas). When I know an orienteering race will have more hard packed trails or any pavement, then I switch back to the La Sportivas (parks, sprints, etc.).

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