When your foot hits the ground, it gets a jolt of high-impact shock that can wear away at your joints. That's why it's important to have shoes with adequate shock-absorbing capabilities. However, after approximately 350 to 550 miles of use, most shoes will lose their shock absorption, warns the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. If you're in the market for a new pair of shock-absorbing footwear, sports and outdoor experts have identified several specific shoe models that excel at cushioning your feet and joints.
Adidas adiZero Adios
Adidas' shoe comes recommended by Running Times magazine, noting that its predecessors have helped athletes set world records. The magazine specifically praises the shoe's "ample amount of cushioning" thanks to a dual-layer sole piece, plus a more flexible forefoot region and enhanced rubber for additional shock-absorption and traction. The magazine concludes that it's one of the best and most versatile shoe models on the market, being perfect for everything from walking, running, marathons and simple gym workouts.
This Asics model might have an unwieldy name, but don't let that dissuade you. The Running Network's 2010 spring shoe review highlights this "best-selling technical running shoe" as one of the best products available, noting that it has a "stable ride" and "great cushioning" that gives you a "well-protected ... run." Additional features include a proprietary impact guidance system that helps to enhance your gait while further reducing shocks, plus a trusstic system and a firmer midsole.
Scott Makani II
Outside magazine gave the Scott Makani II its coveted Gear of the Year award in its 2010 summer buyer's shopping guide. In the magazine's tests, it reports that this shoe was "simply the most speed-inspiring and enjoyable" of the dozens of shoes tested. The magazine especially praised the Makani's carbon plate-enhanced midsole that helps to improve stability and absorb shocks for less fatigue, saying it can help to protect against the "repetitive pounding of road running."
Asics Gel DS Trainer 15
The Competitor network, which specializes in outdoor sports like running and triathlons, recommends the Asics gel-cushioned trainer shoe. The magazine ranks shoes on several characteristics, and the Asics model received some of the highest scores when it came to shock-dampening, improved bounce and a very cushioned feel.
Mizuno Wave Creation 11
The Mizuno shoe was named one of the best cushioned shoes by Fitness magazine's 2010 sneaker guide. While some shoes might focus the shock-absorption technology in just the midsole or the heel, the magazine loved how this model "takes cushioning up a notch" with shock-absorbing technology that reduces impact on the entire foot.