Running; it’s the simplest, and perhaps the most effective form of exercise. But, if you’re lacing up, warming up and stepping out into the world of cardio fitness this year, those tatty old trainers just won’t cut it. Instead, you should be investing in the very best running shoes you can get your hands on (or should that be feet?).
We’ve tried-and-tested our fair share of these ergonomic, engineered sneakers — and below we’ve identified the best brands and models for every different type of runner. So, from trail-runners to treadmill joggers, here’s how put your best foot forward and kick-start the year with the best, from Asics to Adidas…
For city runs, Asics Gel-Nimbus 23
Built to take to the streets, these slick runners from Asics feature ‘Flytefoam’ technology — created to actively propel you forward on the unforgiving, hard roads of inner-cities. The ‘Trusstic’ stability technology also pairs perfectly with a lightweight-but-capable grip, allowing you to change direction on any surface — from paths to parks to pavements.
What’s more, the engineered mesh upper adjusts to your foot throughout the gait cycle, meaning that, whether you’re dashing down a kerb, dodging pedestrians or pounding up a flight of riverside steps, these stretchy shoes will support every footstrike. But our favourite feature? The ‘Ortholite X-55’ sockliner; ergonomic, supportive and sporty.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 23
For off-road running, Saucony Men’s Peregrine 11
The award-winning ‘Peregrine’ from Saucony is a trail-running legend; its grippy reputation earned through innovative use of ‘PWRTRAC’ technology. These kicks were developed to provide exceptional traction and abrasion resistance, and have a 4mm heel-to-toe offset, which’ll give you a more natural, cushioned ride.
These colourful Peregrines’ construction also differently adapts to your feet depending on your running surface — which makes them perfect for trail-running. They’re blessed with uphill responsiveness, downhill forgiveness and a tread rugged enough to ensure you’re always ready to answer the call of the wild.
Saucony Men’s Peregrine 11
For a full marathon, New Balance ‘Fresh Foam’ 680v7
The seventh iteration of one of New Balance’s most carefully-engineered running shoes; and there are few better trainers for a marathon. That chiefly comes down to the weight of the 680 — they weigh in at a lighter-than-air 270 grams (that’s about the same as your average pet hamster, if you were looking for a frame of reference).
And, considering there’s virtually no excess bulk or bolstering on these shoes, they’re staggeringly comfortable. Dual-density ‘Fresh Foam’ midsoles provide support and ensure that every step is a breeze — from the start line to the final mile.
New Balance ‘Fresh Foam’ 680v7
For a half-marathon, Adidas Solarboost 4 Shoes
Similarly, Adidas has created a shoe designed specifically for long-distance running. The ‘SolarBoost’, however, is slightly more versatile than the New Balance option above, which makes it ideal for half-marathon runners. An upper hugs your foot in compressive support, and the flexible outsole adapts to your unique foot strike — while delivering incredible energy return. The more you give, the more you get.
But the most impressive part of Adidas’ ‘SolarBoost’ sneaker design is its eco-credentials. Made with a series of recycled materials, the upper alone features at least 50% recycled content — while still delivering unparalleled ventilation in the forefoot and lower midfoot. A smart shoe.
Adidas Solarboost 4 Shoes
For treadmill runs, Hoka Clifton 8
Hoka may be a relatively new force on the running shoe scene — but the brand is wasting no time catching up to the established front-runners. This design, the sharp-looking ‘Clifton 8’, is crammed with more technical materials and technological enhancements than you can shake a midsole at — making these the perfect pair for treadmill runs.
From the breathable mesh upper and flat-waisted geometry to the early stage Meta-Rocker and use of high-abrasion rubber, everything here is about balancing cushioning, propulsion and enhanced energy return. The pièce de résistance is that new midsole compound; the brand’s lightest, most energetic foam to date. These kicks are destined to become these are your new favourite gym companions.
Hoka Clifton 8
Want more of the best kit? This is the wearable tech that will actually improve your workout…
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