New Year, New Gear.

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Following the turn of the New Year, most of us will be left with the feeling of seasonal over indulgence.  If you are like me, you will make a valiant attempt to channel this feeling into motivation for getting into even better shape for 2013.  However, you can make the transition from the sofa to the streets much easier by investing in a new pair of running shoes.

When people decide pick up a new pair of running shoes, the myriad of styles and categories available can be bewildering.  However, once you understand the different categories of running shoes, it will make your decision much easier.

Running shoes can be separated into three broad categories: general-purpose running shoes, racing flats, and off-road running shoes.  As a general rule, I tend to prefer racing flats.  This is because they have a much lower heel, which makes them much lighter than other running shoes and more importantly, it makes you quicker in the process.  The design of racing flats features a raised front, which encourages you to run on your toes and therefore faster.

Traditionally, racing flats tended not to provide as much support and cushioning as general purpose running shoes, which rendered them unsuitable for general training.  However, there are a range of racing flats available on the market now that still allow you to run like the wind, but they also have some of the features more commonly associated with general purpose running shoes.  This includes additional rear-foot cushioning and ample support.

One of my personal favourites for the upcoming year will be the Asics Gel-DS Racer 9 Running Shoe.  When you first pick them up, you can instantly tell that these are a racing flat as they weigh only 215 grams.  However, they are the only running shoes that manage to maintain the lightweight nature of a racing flat, whilst also providing ample support.  This makes them much more suitable for your regular training runs as well as the main event.

After doing some further research on the Asics website, I discovered that these running shoes feature something called a DuoMax system.  The DuoMax system consists of two or more midsole materials of varying densities, which is done in order to help correct the dreaded over-pronation.

When you pull on a pair of these running shoes, you will immediately notice that they fit like a glove.  The only way I would describe them is like a slipper with laces!  They also come in a dazzling yellow and orange colour way, which will come in handy over the dark and wet winter nights.

Unfortunately, Asics do not sell their running shoes on their own website.  So if you would like to try out a pair of the Asics Gel-DS Racer 9 Running Shoes for yourself, I would recommend getting them from Millet Sports, as they have an exceptional range of running shoes and clothing for your New Year running exploits.