Offwhat?

by John Schrup

For those of you who consider such things, may we present to you an incomplete list of some of the footwear available on the Rogue Wall and their offsets.  The offset, or differential, or drop, or ramp or whateverthe**** you want to call it, is the difference in millimeters between the height of the foam under the heel and under the forefoot.  Each company measures a bit differently, and offset is not to be confused with stack height, which is the total height of all the stuff under your foot—outsole, midsole, insert.  So stack height can be upwards of 10mm higher, if you’re looking at a really high end luxury shoe.

Just because a shoe has a lower offset doesn’t mean the shoe is going to be smoother, though that help a bit.  We have several models in our quiver with higher offsets, and they are as smooth or smoother than shoes with lower offsets.  For example, the Adios is 9mm, and it is way smoother that the Pure Flow, which is a full 5mm lower.  Similarly, not all shoes with the same offset are going to feel the same.  The Launch, the men’s Nimbus and the Dyad all come in at 10mm, yet feel way, way different.  There are so many other variables to consider—weight, durometer (the firmness of the shoe), whether there is any proprietary drop in (superfluous) cushioning or midfoot truss, the fit of the shoe—that it won’t do you any good to buy a shoe just because it has a lower or higher offset.  In the same way that we once chose shoes based on arch height and stuff like that.

Generally, we prefer lighter and lower.  But you might not.  You could be running in an Ariel with a rigid plastic orthotic and that might be the least amount of shoe you are comfortable with.  So go with that.  As a rule:  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

All of this—these numbers that really don’t mean much in the end—is considerably less important if your body is strong and resilient.  If you aren’t, ain’t no shoe in the world gonna do you a lick of good.  Note, too, that these numbers are as determined not by the maker of the shoe, but by independent testing, so the numbers might vary from what you’ve seen.

0mm
NB Trail00
NB Road00
K-Swiss Blade Foot
Mizuno EVO Cursoris (2013)
Brooks Pure Drift (2013)

3mm
INOV-8  195
Newton Distance

4mm
NB Trail110
Saucony Kinvara
Saucony Kinvara TR
Brooks Pure Flow
adidas adipure Adapt

5mm
adidas Hagio
NB Road10
Brooks Pure Connect
Brooks Pure Cadence
Saucony Mirage
Newton Gravity

6mm
INOV-8 230
ASICS Gel Lyte33
adidas adipure Gazelle
NB1600

8mm
Saucony Ride
Saucony Triumph
adidas adipure Motion
NB 890
NB 870

9mm
adidas Adios
Mizuno Wave Musha
Brooks Ravenna

10mm
adidas Feather
ASICS Tarther
ASICS DS Trainer
ASICS M Nimbus
ASICS GT2000
ASICS Excel33
Brooks Dyad
Brooks Launch
Brooks Cascadia

11mm
Brooks Ghost
NB 1400

12mm
Mizuno Wave Rider
Mizuno Wave Elixir
Brooks Racer ST
Brooks Adrenaline
Nike Pegasus

13mm
Mizuno Wave Precision

Check it:  For those of you who fancy yourself a dedicated runner, a dedicated marathoner, who wants to find out what you’re made of, John coaches Team Rogue on T, Th mornings at 5:30.

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