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Flexible Vs Stiff Running Shoes

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flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

Today our guide for Running shoe users, we are going to talk about flexible vs stiff running shoes. From this, you will get the unknown facts about flexible vs stiff running shoes. So, let’s get started…..!

Flexible Vs Stiff Running Shoes


Why do sturdy running shoes get light? Why do runners change and twist shoes in running stores? How is stamina related to your running performance?

20+ hours of research are summarized in this guide – which includes both scientific studies and accredited essays.

Choose flexible running shoes if you want luxury and long-running shoes.

Choose sturdy running shoes if you want to improve your running performance and do faster running or if you want more expensive stability features.

As always, the exclamation point: the individual approach is very important, especially when it comes to performance improvement. Even this research is uplifting when it comes to finding the right bending angle for an athlete.


There are many factors that contribute to the response and resilience is one of them. It has to play well with other pieces of the puzzle to deliver the promised performance improvements.

Sturdy shoes improve running performance

Which shoes are the strongest to respond to: you can increase shoe durability to improve speed and economy, but up to a point. After that, performance decreases. However, that point is not fully understood.

Even though the brands are working hard on it, it has not yet been fully disbanded because there is nobody for the same athlete: that is why the individual approach is important. This is also why premium carbon-plated shoes may work better for elite runners than leisure runners (slower, heavier).

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

NIKE Running Shoes

This is a typical example of what happens in running performance when increasing the durability of a shoe (as described in this study). Here, we are talking about sturdy shoes that focus on performance and not sturdy shoes because of their stability characteristics.

This study has shown that strength is beneficial if it does not interfere with joint natural flexion).

3 Steps to get stronger

If you look at the flexibility of the shoes: many of them will work for you. However, if you want to get into the strength game, follow these steps:

Start with flexible running shoes. Pay attention to your movements and all your movements.

Buy a slightly stronger shoe. Try and note if your move has changed. If there is, it is very difficult for you. If not, you are ready to go. Also, listen where you live: the quieter you are, the better your shoe. How noisy your downhill may depend on the flexibility of the shoe and whether it works for you.

You can walk strong as long as your legs bend and push away in the same way as in slightly shorter shoes. If you chase after it or keep running with sturdy shoes that change the way you walk, you may be injured.

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

NIKE Running Shoes

If you are unsure, use the video to analyze possible changes: record and run on both shoes (flexible and solid) and compare.

It is also important to note that the firmness of your forefoot dominates: total strength during running is governed by the firmness of your foreskin and not by the shoe. The stiffness of the front legs and the stiffness of the midsole work together during push-ups, but the stiffness of the shoe is usually much lower than the stiffness of the front foot (source).

2 Reasons why carbon plates may not work for you

High-carbon-plated shoes are designed for elite runners with the aim of improving their running and running economy.

Here are 2 reasons why this is important:

Although foam allows for high levels of tolerance, carbon plates and plate strength do not. For performance (major), Nike researchers focused on a group of athletes with similar characteristics (weight, contact time, speed, limb strength). That’s why Vaporfly 4% may not work for you if you are slower than specialized runners or, more easily, with more weight.

So-called spring or running shoes – a much-needed feature that promises better response and performance, is open to elite athletes with a certain movement. If you hit the country differently, have stronger or weaker, different moments of communication … you just won’t get the same impulse with top athletes.

Cutting a carbon-plated shoe in the centre of our lab:

2 Types of sturdy running shoes

Sturdy running shoes are usually divided into two groups based on the purpose of their durability:

Sturdy running shoes for stability and protection. They have no carbon plates. These shoes are sturdy because of their low or heavy extremity stability features (we have included detailed pronunciation in this guide).

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

NIKE Shoes

Sturdy running shoes use strong foam, foam blends, or (carbon/nylon) plates that make them strong.

above we can see the Hoka One One Gaviota 3 (top) with stabilization features installed for you to get a solid overhaul and the Asics MetaSpeed ​​Sky (below) tuned for race days.

  • The primary purpose of sturdy shoes: stability and protection
  • This is a list of features of sturdy running shoes because they provide stability and protection:
  • Stability factors help with overpayment (as shown here, here and there).
  • More expensive than neutral shoes (with no stability features), cheaper than carbon-plated shoes.
  • Slight reactions and are often made for daily races (not races).
  • It is usually designed for heel strikers.
  • They can have a dual-density midsole, guide rails, and central support to reduce overheating.

Goal 2 of sturdy shoes: performance

Here is a list of running shoes without solid carbon plates because they are open to operation:

It is more responsive than flexible shoes. It reacts less than flat shoes.

Give a solid ride.

  • Only a small number of models are solid and have no plates.
  • Here is a list of the running shoes that have strong carbon plates because they are open to work:
  • They develop a viable economy (shown here and there).
  • They reduce the amount of energy lost in the metatarsophalangeal joint (as described here).
  • Get used to it, especially walking.
  • Excellent results when the forefoot hits them.
  • Rocker geometry.
  • Very responsive, it feels like trampolines.
  • It is designed for elite athletes and usually has a premium value.

They cause very good work and a little bad work in the metatarsophalangeal joint and a little good work in the joint area of ​​the knee.

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes NIKE Running Shoes

NIKE Running Shoes

If you are looking for sturdy running shoes, keep in mind that on the RunRepeat website we distinguish:

  • very sturdy running shoes
  • sturdy running shoes, too
  • limited running shoes.
  • DIY testing for flexibility and durability

Manual shoe testing to determine its durability involves 2 steps:

Bending shoes (longitudinal stiffness) – place the heel of the shoe on one hand and the head of the front foot on the other hand. Try to put them together.

Twisting shoes (torsional stiffness). Hold the opposite ends of the shoe and twist the shoe.

This is how these 2 shoes compare to our lab (Nike ZoomX Invincible Run is easy to bend and twist – it has a 2/5 degree of strength, while the Puma Deviate Nitro is really hard to bend and twist – it has a very high 5/5 rating which means it is very strong ).

While some say that the flexibility of a shoe may not be properly tested by playing with it in your hands or reading lab numbers because it works differently when you are old and fit inside, for non-researchers, this is a really good way to determine the degree of flexibility.

Flexibility testing in our lab

Next to the independent manual test (twisting and bending) when we give 1-5 measurements, we do a flexibility test by pressing the front of the shoe and pushing the heel.

On the left, our most flexible shoe (Saucony Kinvara 12) and weighed 18.3N when bending. On the right, we can see our little flexible shoe being tested so far. Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 also requires 94.3N to be bent.

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

NIKE Shoes

The standard power required to change shoes in our lab is 36.7N. You can check out all of our lab-tested shoes here and read about all of our lab testings on our performance page.

Adaptability also changes with cold weather

In our lab, we check not only the flexibility in the room temperature but also after the shoe has spent 20 minutes in the fridge.

We started to do this when we saw that running shoe experts around the world report different experiences depending on the temperature. The most intriguing case was Bondi 7 where we read everything from “very strong” to “really flexible”.

Measure the flexibility difference in those 2 temperatures. The change rate is 41.3%.

3 Best shoes for cold weather

Top 3 shoes tested in our lab for cold weather (you probably won’t notice the difference in room temperature compared to cold weather):

  • Saucony Ride 14 (6.5% difference)
  • Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 (6.6% difference)
  • Asics Magic Speed ​​(7.9% difference).

3 Worst cold weather shoes

We use the same test: measuring the variability in room temperature and after the shoe has spent 20 minutes in the refrigerator, weighed the shoes based on the largest difference that occurs between the two conditions.

3 worst shoes to choose from when it comes to working in cold weather (they will be very strong):

  • Saucony Kinvara 12 (130% difference)
  • Brooks Presents 8 (102.5% difference)
  • Salomon Sense Ride 4 (96.6% difference).


Flexibility defines the purpose of the shoes: the results of the lab

We used our laboratory results of the required strength to transform the shoe and look at what the shoe was: comfort (daily trainers) or performance (tempo shoes and race shoes). Here are 5 examples above and below:

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes


The numbers have confirmed the belief that flexible shoes are generally comfortable and are used as everyday trainers, restorative shoes and long-distance walking shoes. Sturdy shoes raise an ante when it comes to performance so they are used for tempo and race days.

Strength vs. Difficulty & Flexibility vs. softness

To make the difference between flexibility and flexibility (often confusing), we will explain both:

Midsole stiffness or flexibility means how much you can bend and turn the shoe. Athletes often describe this in terms of expressions such as “strong riding”, “extremely flexible”, “extremely flexible”.

Midsole tightness or softness means how comfortable the shoes are in the cushion: do your feet sink, an experience like a pillow, etc. Runners describe bending using phrases such as “running on clouds”, “walking on pillows”, “soft”, “squishy”, “dense”.

This is why there are soft but sturdy shoes (the most popular example is running carbon-plated running shoes that contain soft foam reinforced using plates that help with maximum balance). Not many shoes are very flexible (only 6) or sturdy and sturdy shoes (only 1). Most are in the middle.

4 Features of flexible running shoes

End of flexible vs stiff running shoes, Flexible running shoes are designed for comfort. This feature was highlighted when the minimalist first appeared –

flexible vs stiff running shoes; flexible running shoes; stiff running shoes

NIKE Shoes


one of the main features of small and bare running shoes is their ability to flex and bend. Plus, to the point where you can completely wrap it up because no stability features are installed.

For comfort.

  • Lack of stable features. They are neutral and are recommended for moderate athletes.
  • Better grip than firm shoes because they fit the world better. This is very important for the operation of the route.
  • Being underweight.


In conclusion, flexible vs stiff running shoes, Until recently, flexibility meant luxury. However, new technologies make it easier for sturdy shoes to be comfortable, even for plush cushioning. This technology also allows for sturdy shoes that are lightweight, a feature that was often associated with extremely flexible running shoes. In our database, you can look for flexible running shoes, very flexible running shoes and limited running shoes.

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