Should I Wear Racing Flats?

October 11, 2017

I’ve blogged about some of my favorite racing flats before here, but I’ve never talked about why I like to wear them for races. As with anything, they may or may not be right for you, so here’s a little insight on whether racing flats might be something you want to consider for your next race.

Racing flats are shoes I primarily wear for speed workouts and races. I always wear them for races and occasionally for speed or track workouts–it just depends upon what I’m feeling that day and if I need to get my feet used to them again. I wear racing flats when racing everything from the 5K to the marathon and have worn them consistently for the past two years. Prior to that I just wear my training shoes for races.

Each major running shoe brand has their own racing flat:

Adidas – Adios

Asics – Hyper Speed

Brooks – Hyperion

Hoka – Tracer

New Balance – 1400

Saucony – Type A

These are just a few examples and almost every running shoe brand has multiple racing flats. I personally have worn the Adidas Adios and Brooks Hyperion. You can read a detailed review of the Brooks Hyperion here and a quick overview of the Adidas Adios here.

Why should I wear racing flats?

Bottom line, the reason people wear racing flats is because they are lighter than regular road running shoes. For example, my Brooks Launch (my favorite pair of shoes to train in) weighs 7.5 ounces while my Brooks Hyperion racing flats weigh only 5.4 ounces. And my Adidas Ultra Boosts (training shoe) weight 9.4 ounces while my Adidas Adios (racing flat) come in at 7.3 ounces.

Now, when you really think about it, you are shaving off a mere couple of ounces, so on one hand that’s hardly anything! BUT over the course of 13.1 or 26.2 miles, it’s a considerable less weight to carry. Plus, if your feet are lighter and you mentally feel faster because of it, that may really help your mental state on race day!

Am I fast enough to wear racing flats?

You certainly are!

If you body/legs can tolerate wearing a lightweight shoe for the distance you are running, then why not?! Who cares if you are in the front, middle, or back of the pack, you deserve to feel fast and perform your best on race day!

There isn’t much to a racing flat, so if you need a more supportive shoe with extra arch support or cushion, racing flats probably aren’t right for you. Racing flats don’t provide a lot of cushion, so if you are a heavier runner, your legs are going to have to absorb the extra shock and impact, which adds up over the course of a half marathon or marathon. Racing flats usually have very little arch support, which you may not like. I am able to fit my arch inserts into my Adidas Adios shoes but not my Brooks Hyperion.


Pros to racing flats

  • Lightweight
  • Mentally you feel faster/more elite

Cons to racing flats

  • Very little support
  • Less cushion than your regular training shoes
  • They may not get a lot of use if you don’t race too often.


Comment below if you wear racing flats and why you like to wear them.

If you haven’t wore racing flats, what other questions do you have?

    1. How would compare the two flats you’ve worn – Adidas Adios vs Brooks Hyperion? I love racing in my Adios 3s, but after running in Brooks Glycerins I’m very curious about the Brooks Hyperion.

      1. For me the toe box of the Hyperions is bigger, which I like better. The heel cup on the Adios feels more snug (not that the Hyperion’s heel cup isn’t snug), and the Adios’ fit my Foot Balance inserts if I want to use them.

    1. I’m familiar with how the Boost in the Adios feels. Is the Hyperion a similar ride?

      1. I think so. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, but I think they’re pretty similar. I am thinking the Adios will last for more miles though.

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