Just a few years ago, keen runners would line up at the start of races wearing stripped-back shoes that prioritised being lightweight above all else. You got just enough cushioning to make sure your legs didn’t fall off, but everything else was sacrificed.

These days, however, the preferred racing option for many is a shoe with an almost comically high stack of foam and a carbon plate in the midsole. New proprietary foams that are soft and springy but very light allow brands to cram a huge amount of them into a shoe without making it too heavy to race in, providing more comfort so your legs are fresher in the closing stages of a race, which makes more of a difference the longer the event is. At the elite level these shoes have led to records tumbling, and the same is true of PBs at amateur level.

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