On Running Shoe Jargon

Knowing that it was getting close to the point where I would soon need to be replacing the latest faithful pair of running shoes, I anticipated I would do my usual trick of browsing the interweb for various brands and models to see what was out there. …before buying the same pair of shoe’s as last time.

I always do this. In part this is because I’m a stick in the mud and I don’t even like changing what I eat for lunch everyday let alone something as sizemic as changing my running shoes. However, I feel it is also due to the quite nonesensical descriptions provided by shoe manufactures about their products.

During my new shoe flirtations, it was clear that while browsing the usual websites I had absolutely no idea what half the reviews were on about and it became nigh on impossible to glean any sort of knowledge as to what each shoe has to offer or how it may differ from my current wheels.

Has anybody else had this problem?

All the major brands seemed to be the same, whichever shoe I looked at, the review seemed to be laced with the same flowerily fanciful language that the only thing it was possible to decipher was the heel drop in millimeters! I’m sure this is only because no-one in marketing has yet been able to come up with a way of embelishing “Heel Drop: 4mm”, but it’ll happen.

EVERUN treatment, TRUSSTIC systems, CLUTCH COUNTER…it was all getting too much. My despair was heightened even further when I discovered that Asics’s LIGHT AHAR SPONGE was not an Alan Partridge inspired new healthy cake range but was in fact an ahem: “rubber outsole material with high abrasion-resistant qualities….”

I think I’d prefer the cake.

So, for your (and mine) delectation, I have listed some of my favourite entries below. A sort of Hall of Fame for running shoe linguistical diarrhoea (with accompanying translations). Enjoy.


Impact Guidance System®: Apparently this is a “design philosophy that employs linked componentry….” Er…come again?

What they really mean: The front of the shoe is connected to the back of the shoe (which is nice).

Clutch Counter: “Exoskeletaleel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment”. Counting clutches? Exoskeletal?

What they really mean: They should fit.

Guidance Line® and Guidance Trusstic System Technology®: “integrates Guidance construction for enhanced gait efficiency while providing midfoot structural integrity”. Guidance lines? Trusstics? It’s all a bit much…

What they really mean: They have decent support.

Light AHAR Sponge: “A blown AHAR rubber outsole material with high abrasion-resistant qualities for added durability”. Blown? Is that a good thing!?

What they really mean: They’ll last longer than most.

SpEva & SuperSpEva: “…balloon-like polymers quickly recover their shape to be ready to absorb the impact”

What they really mean: They are bouncy.


Keen amateur runner & qualified coaching assistant who likes keeping fit & devising training plans that help you get faster. The plans on this site have helped me knock minutes off all my times. I also love cats and popcorn.

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