Welcome to our third Low Tide Boyz swimrun gear review show! This review is co-hosted by our friends at Swimrun Labs and we’re super stoked to have them back for another episode. This show is all about swimrun shoes! Instead of doing a specific review of a product this week, we thought it would be helpful to take a big picture look at Swimrun shoes and all the considerations that should go into selecting the right pair for everyone.
Welcome to our third Low Tide Boyz swimrun gear review show! This review is co-hosted by our friends at Swimrun Labs and we’re super stoked to have them back for another episode.
This show is all about swimrun shoes! Instead of doing a specific review of a product this week, we thought it would be helpful to take a big picture look at Swimrun shoes and all the considerations that should go into selecting the right pair for everyone.
Let’s get right to it!
Global Considerations in Selecting a Swimrun Shoe (or a pair of shoes to use for Swimrun training or events.)
In general, you shouldn’t do anything different for swimrun than you wouldn’t do for trail running. If you’ve never run in Hokas or minimal shoes, then you shouldn’t go all in because there is a risk of injury. From a medical perspective (courtesy of Annie and Brooke from Swimrun Labs) is to make sure that you take a graded progression to make sure that you don’t go down an injury rabbit hole. Another consideration is that studies have shown that runners that train in various models of shoes have seen a reduced occurrence of injury by 39%.
With all that, let’s talk about specific considerations for Swimrun.
Overall, shoe performance in the water should be a net neutral. Swimming with shoes is an unnatural experience and they create a lot of drag. Some of this is mitigated by using a large swimrun pull buoy but at the end of the day you are swimming with shoes and the best that you can hope for is that they are a non-factor.
The features of the shoes should be considered based on the general considerations above. For example, Asher Clark of Vivobarefoot mentioned in Episode 23 of our podcast that they used bright orange on the soles of their swimrun shoes so that partners could easily spot their partner swimming in front of them.
Rule of thumb: you shouldn’t feel annoyed while swimming.
Obviously, shoes are pretty important on the run.
A great place to start is looking at what shoes you already have and preferably a trail shoe since most if not all Swimrun events are on trails. Not all shoes are created equal so you should make sure to try a couple of shoes because a sloshy shoe will get annoying quickly and not all shoes will feel this way. Does the shoe drain well? Do they retain a lot of water and feel waterlogged?
It is important to test the shoes on various terrains (after swimming in them) to make sure they will work. You can also get technical and soak the shoes in a bucket and then weigh the shoes, wait 2 minutes and then weigh them again to see if they shed a lot of water.
Getting into the water is also loaded with considerations. Speaking of loaded…do your shoes load up with rocks and sand? This can get annoying quickly but it doesn’t happen with every shoe. This is where particle size permeability can come into play and help you have a better race experience. Basically, you want particle impermeability and water permeability.
Another consideration is having an integrated insole in the shoe that you settle on. Removable insoles are basically sponges for water that can lead to sloshiness on the run. Depending on the course, a shoe with a rock plate or a tough sole to prevent sharp rocks from causing discomfort.
Roundtable Discussion, A.K.A. “Shoedown”
This is probably the best part of the show but it’s too much good intel to write it all down. So just listen to the show for all the golden nuggets of wisdom shared.
If you haven’t figured it out already, shoes are an individual decision and there are a lot of options to chose from. It’s best to start with what you currently have and experiment in training to make sure that they meet all or most of the general considerations mentioned at the outset. If you have a couple of shoes that work well all the better for injury prevention and for having options depending on the terrain of your next swimrun event.
Feel free to hit us up if you have any questions about this special episode and/or reach out the Annie and Brooke from the Swimrun Labs on their website or on their Swimrun Labs Facebook Group.
Handy List of Shoes Mentioned on the Show
Altra Vanish XC
Hoka One One Evo Jawz
Hoka One One Speedgoat
Hoka One One Speedgoat Evo
Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Inov-8 X-Talon 220
Merrell All Out Crush
Salomon S-Lab Amphib
Vivobarefoot ECS Tempest
VJ Shoes IROCK 3
That’s it for this week’s special edition show. If you are enjoying the Löw Tide Böyz, please be sure to subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player. You can find us on Apple Podcast, Spotify and Google Podcast. You can also follow our meme page on Instagram and on Twitter. Email us at email@example.com with any feedback, suggestions and/or meme suggestions. Finally, you can also support us on Patreon…if you feel so inclined.