It’s strange how running shoes, which always have a greater functional benefit, have grown to become fashion statements. While leading shoemakers are covering miles in the style department, it is important to focus on the comfort and functional benefits that these kicks have to offer. Never mind whether you run for 20 minutes on a mill or scale mucky trails in the Sahyadri mountains, the kind of running shoes you pick can be the difference between efficiency and dastardly, career-ending injuries. We’ve handpicked five of the best running shoes that fulfill the needs of every kind of runner, be it from the perspective of style, comfort, or even technology
If you’re a runner who does the distance heel first, check out ASICS' Metaride. Positioned as energy-saving shoes, they have amped up levels of tech in their build that help you with the strides. Guidesole does the magic, with the curve making it easier for you to go from heel to toe, cutting the amount of energy you spend: almost 20 per cent less with each step. Its Flytefoam packs the heel with gel to absorb shocks, while the Metaclutch heel counter blends flexibility with the light weight. Towards the toe, the Flytefoam Propel aids in propulsion on toe-off. They aren't the lightest shoes out there, but definitely wear their unique design character. The knitted upper portion feels snug and adjusts to your feet after a few minutes of your first wear. Remember, it's not for speed. Its the best for saving energy.
Skechers Go Run Razor 3
Taking all the learnings from the previous two renditions of the Go Run Razor, Skechers has put in a lot of thought and technology into its Razor 3 line of shoes. Seriously lightweight, they pack a Hyper Burst midsole for maximum speed. The flexible midsole gives runners the freedom to express their stride, while the gentle toe spring aids acceleration speed dramatically. The Razor 3 are shoes for all kinds of runners, from marathoners to quick-burst sprinters. While the midsole may seem voluminous to seasoned runners, the lightweight and the Hyper Burst contribute to speed. These are the most durable shoes from the series, with a new rubber outsole. The upper is thin and breathable, which keeps your feet comfortable even on endurance runs. They are as good to look at as they are fast and that’s what makes the them one of the most recognisable on this list.
Reebok Floatride Run Fast
If speed is what you’re looking for, check out Reebok’s Floatride Run Fast sneakers. They are super-light and cushion each step effectively. The Pebax-based foam is similar to the one that pads the Nike Vaporfly 4 per cent. It’s incredibly lightweight and aids runners by delivering bounce that eventually saves energy.
Another fascinating aspect of Floatride’s design is the high heel, which creates a sense of propulsion when the foot goes from heel to toe. The sole employs generous amount of rubber, something it can afford, thanks to the light foam. It fits your foot snugly and the thin mesh helps in shaving off those crucial milligrams. Reebok has an uncanny knack for keeping their style quotient in check. The high heel on the Floatride gives the shoe a handsome rear rise.
Puma Hybrid Astro One8
The Astro one8 is just as heavy as it looks, but delivers on its promise of being one of the best on-track companions for sprinters. With Virat Kohli vouching for these shoes, you know that they have the agility to deliver bursts of speed with no damage caused. The hybrid aspect is justified by the combinations of two techs by Puma that can be vouched for — IGNITE foam and NRGY beads. The foam midsole and the heel cage manage to lock the heel in position. Taking advanced measures to provide comfort and performance is the NRGY cushion of beads present from heel to toe. The foam contributes a bit to the bouncy experience while running. The shoes are durable, wear a distinct look with the mesh taking up prime real estate and offer a high rebound EVA midsole that helps you keep your momentum going. A special plastic piece is present just above the heel portion to hold your heel in place.
Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0
Nike's Flyknit 3.0 kicks offer incredible freedom of movement. Unlike many on this list, these are non-bulky, built-for-speed shoes that do an incredible job with fashionable minimalism. The grooves on the sole are prevalent from heel to toe, providing judiciously placed cushioning to all. The modified midsole foam offers ample flexibility to those who train in these. The company emphasises that training in the Flyknit 3.0 feels like you’re doing it barefoot. The claim can be backed with the testimony that even the strap that goes across the midfoot stretches with every stride.
I would recommend them to anyone who is running under five miles and has some speed and agility parameters to live up to. They are available in white, black and Volt, with further options to customise them.