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Shoe Review - Nike Zoom Trainer, Essential Women's Running Shoe

In Portland, Oregon, where I used to live, it's almost a requirement to own Nike products. Nike headquarters are in the Portland metro area, and most everyone in Portland knows someone who works there. I'm no exception to this Rose City rule. Over the past few years I've acquired a fair number of Nike products, including my usual running shoes, the Nike Zoom Structure Triax series.

While shopping at a discount retailer I came across a pair of the Nike Zoom Trainer (for women) and promptly purchased them to speed train for my upcoming marathon. I was first attracted to these shoes because they are incredibly light and flexible, which is perfect for speed work and for transitioning into a more minimalist running shoe.

After taking them out for a week, I have a few observations: first, these are incredibly comfortable; second, it feels like I'm not wearing shoes; and third, I feel like I can run really fast.

The Nike Zoom Trainers are not cushioned like many of Nike's other shoes; instead, these lighter shoes allow for a more natural gait. Since they are intentionally light and minimalist, these shoes offer no arch support. The soles are so flexible that you can fold the shoes in half. Perfect for speed work on the street or on a treadmill, these shoes have quickly become a favorite.

If you are not used to racing flats, or to shoes that do not offer a lot of support or padding, then you should work these gradually into your runs, since wearing these shoes will work your muscles and gait differently than other shoes do. Furthermore, the Zoom Trainers are not particularly well suited for trail running, since they do not provide much traction.

If you're looking for a shoe to improve your speed training and your foot and calf strength, I highly recommend the Nike Zoom Trainer.