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Excel-lence in
a Shoe

Asics Gel Excel


Asics has chosen not to follow the
currently popular minimalist trend. Instead producing a barefoot-like shoe with
no height difference between the heel and forefoot, Asics has introduced the Excel
33, which is recommended for runners
with n
eutral feet looking for a lightweight, flexible shoe that’s
protective enough for high-mileage training and races.


The midsole is thinner than usual on
Asics shoes, but there is still a slight drop from heel to forefoot, which
Asics believes is the best biomechanical position for your foot to reduce the
load on the Achilles, calf and hamstring. The midsole cushioning is supplied by
two different foam materials and visible Gel cushioning units in the heel and
forefoot, while another key feature is the Propulsion Trusstic plastic bridge that
extends from the arch into the forefoot.


On the road, the first impression
was of a soft, smooth ride, but even better, the shoes feel like they want you
to get up on your toes and go faster, which is what minimalist shoes claim to
do. This is largely due to the bridge – you can clearly feel its bouncy snap-back
strength when you flex the shoe – so you’re getting the overall forefoot
workout (and benefits) of the minimalist approach, but with a bit more
cushioning and support. Which means you can run further in the Excels than you
would in a minimalist shoe, if your feet are used to a bit more cushioning and


Weight: 283 grams RRP: R1299 Available from: Sportsmans Warehouse, Totalsports, Runner Group,
Sweat Shop and other independent stores.


From Footie to

adizero F50.2


The F50 is a popular football boot worn by big names like three-time World
Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi of Argentina, so when adidas brought out a
running shoe with the same name, it naturally led to some confusion. The reason
for the same name is that the new running shoe is developed from the footie


One of the key design features is
the Sprint Frame, where the midsole rubber has been moulded to wrap up around
the heel and increase stability and power transfer from toe to heel. But it’s
the superb cushioning and smooth ride of the shoe that you notice when you run
in them, and the roomy feel of the shoe. They just feel so right when you’re
going at a fast pace, and even at a slower pace, they offer a comfortable and
responsive ride. Also, while the upper may look solid and ‘hot’, it is
ultra-breathable – a quick peak inside will show you how ventilated it really


During wear-testing, the shoe’s snap-back
propulsion in the midfoot was really impressive, thus really giving you a
spring in your stride. Lets just say these babies were built to go fast! So we
recommend the F50 for faster-paced normal to mild pronators looking for fast
training shoes or racing shoes. It’s a lightweight racing shoe, so don’t buy it
for long distance training and running ultras.


Weight: 238 grams RRP: R1199 Available from: adidas Concept Stores, Sweat Shop and select other