Running shoes: Minimalist VS Normal

Do you feel overwhelmed by choices when choosing running shoes? Should you go for cushioned shoes? Or light-weight shoes? How do you choose what type of shoes are right for you? Do you have various types of shoes in your closet, yet unsure about which shoes should you wear for this weekend’s big race?

Based on my general observation, there are 2 types of running shoes in the market: Minimalist shoes or regular, cushioned shoes. Regular shoes are equipped with the padding and support required to cushion the impact of running. Their soles are thick. While minimalist running shoes are the exact opposite – they are very light, thin, and flexible. Minimalist shoes mimic the feeling of running barefoot with almost no cushioning.

Traditionally, people have been running barefoot for years. From that ideology, running professionals and designers came up with the idea for minimalist shoes. For every research and data that supports minimalist shoes, there are equal papers and numbers that shows otherwise. Some say that cushioned shoes prevent injury, allows you to run longer, and it is ‘safer’. However, I have also observed fellow runners that still complain from ITB, knee pains, and twisted ankles from wearing highly cushioned shoes. Therefore, I conclude that there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on various factors, such as the condition of your feet, experiences in running, running condition, distance, etc.

I have both types of shoes in my collection. So, how do I decide which shoes should I wear for this weekend’s big race? Personally, this how I decide what type of shoes should I wear for Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018 (SCKLM), or any other run. Please feel free to follow this guideline when purchasing new shoes too:

5 things I wish I told myself when I started running.

I consider running as a new, serious hobby for me, since I’ve been doing it for only 2 years. However, through out my journey, there were some things that I wished I told myself 2 years ago, such as:

1. Read, research, don’t be afraid to ask questions

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This book should be in every runner’s library!

Running – a simple act of putting one feet in front of the next, yet it has been heavily researched with many school of thoughts about training, form, style of running, and culture. In short, there is no clear, definitive line dividing between what’s wrong or right in the world of running. So read up and do some researches to verify what you read, because there is always something new to learn everyday.

2. Invest in the right gear

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What you wear is equally important as what you put on your feet 

A good pair of shoes is the most important gear for every runner. I wish that 2 years ago, I took my time to search for the right shoe to save myself from the infamous runner’s black toenail and provide the right support for my foot arch. Arguably, the 2nd most important thing for me is my hijab. Thankfully, I discovered Nashata’s range of sportswear early in my running career. Thanks to Nashata, my hijab is never an excuse or a disadvantage to my performance in any sports.

3. Take your time to train, but be committed


It’s your own race, so run at your own pace

I took up running as a serious hobby with one goal in mind: Complete the full marathon distance of 42km. So for the first 2 years of my running career, I was relentlessly chasing the mileage until my knees were starting to hurt and it took me longer to recover from a common cold. I was going too fast until I burnt out. However, if I did not set a deadline for myself, I might end up losing focus or get demotivated easily. Looking back, I realised that I should have balanced my trainings better so I am consistently training with smaller increments in mileage.

4. Cross-train, cross-train, cross-train


 Stronger muscles = less injury

As stated in No. 3, I was caught up in a relentless pursuit to clock in enough mileage until I was too exhausted to cross-train. My muscles became weak, my upper body and core were not toned. If I could turn back time, I would have told myself that it’s ok to lift weights once in a while, or do some yoga to stretch out those sore muscles. Click here to read on why runners should cross-train.

5. There is more to running besides just running


Some wonderful people I met through out my running journey

The running community in Malaysia is filled with people with many backgrounds. I’ve expanded my social circle, and this has helped me open new, unexpected doors. I appreciate whom I’ve connected with right now, but I wished I took the time to connect to even more people and treat races just like another conference or networking event. You may never know who you can meet along the way, or how you might end up supporting or helping each other.

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

The Weekend Runner: Effective Cost Management in Running

Running might sound like a cheap hobby, because you don’t need much equipment at all. But as your hobby develops, you realise that you need to upgrade to perform better. Plus, even little expenses like socks can add up because you have to change them frequently due to wear and tear. Not to mention the cost of registering for races, which somehow seem to increase year after year. Here are some tips to help you manage your running expenditures:

1)    Do your research

IMG_2753I learnt the hard way to do proper research about shoes. Imagine all the money I could save if I could narrow down to just 3 shoes: minimalist for short distance, trail run, and extra support for long distances.


There are some big-ticket items that require investment in the world of running, such as a good pair of shoes. The last thing you want to face on race day is a pair of shoes that are unsuitable for your feet type. Therefore, do not buy shoes on a whim. Try out as many shoes as you need, identify your gait and pronation, style of running, etc.


2) Enter Nashata’s giveaway for the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run at Penang.

#AIAVitalityMY #NashataChallenge #RunningBuddy

You are already saving RM176 because the registration fee is on us! Stand a chance to win 2 passes for you and your running buddy for the biggest night run series in Malaysia. For more details, click here.


3) Buy used products


Not everything can be bought as 2nd-hand items, such as shoes and apparel. However, thanks to the rapid rate of technology development, GPS watches are regularly releasing new models with new designs and features. Sometimes, older or previous model might work just as fine for you. So, identify you gadget-geek friend, and offer to buy his/her watch when he wants to upgrade. Accessories such as hydration packs, belts, and pouches are also items that can be re-used again, if properly maintained.


4) Shop at warehouse sales and factory outlet


The items can sometimes be outdated, but in cost-management situations it is fine to compromise your style once in a while. Sometimes, previous collections gives you just the same performance as the latest designs.


5) Use free resources


Having a gym membership might be convenient and cool, but the park, road, and some tracks are free for everyone to use. Thanks to technology as well, there are many apps to help you train, google on some youtube tutorial, or join your local running club.


I hope that helps!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.