The best shoes for your running needs
As the cooler weather rolls in, many people start jogging and running regularly. Though you can’t do that in just any shoe, you have a variety of options to choose from. Depending on whether you like a sock-like design or a more conventional look. We pick the best new shoes you can splurge on, across a variety of price points, depending on your preference for aspects like cushioning and feedback from the running surface.
Loaded with tech
Adidas Ultraboost All Terrain
The Ultraboost All Terrain’s smart features are unique. The Primeknit upper adapts to the foot’s contours and allows a good amount of ventilation. It also has a coating designed to let water flow off it instantly. The high-collar design of the shoe provides additional support around the Achilles area, though it takes some getting used to.
We would recommend wearing socks initially to avoid skin irritation. Slip your foot in, and you will feel an additional layer of padding around the lower sidewalls—this helps maintain foot temperature when the weather gets colder. The outsole rubber is made by well-known vehicle tyre manufacturer Continental, and the tread pattern is designed for better grip. The Ultraboost All Terrain has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop.
The Fila Patregia has a conventional design that will appeal to many. Its mesh upper offers good ventilation. Unfortunately, however, the design isn’t the cleanest, with a mishmash of patterns, inserts, lacing eyelets, and sewing lines.There is generous cushioning underfoot while the midsole has memory foam, retaining its shape according to the contours of your feet. The outsole has differing tread patterns, and the thicker rubber capsules at the front compress and expand for running assistance.
Nike Zoom Fly
The Zoom Fly is designed for maximum cushioning. The classy-looking upper has a smooth texture, and Flywire cables are integrated with the lacing mechanism to provide a stable fit. The midsole cushioning does well to absorb feedback from uneven surfaces, but, critically, doesn’t completely muffle the sensation of knowing how your foot is landing and gripping. A carbon-infused nylon plate embedded inside the midsole runs from the forefoot to the back, generating a springboard effect which should provide extra fillip for runners during the heel-to-toe transition movement. The Nike Zoom Fly has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. And it has a 33mm stack under the heel to reduce strain in the Achilles area when running on hard surfaces.
Power Kinetic Voltage
Ask your friends to guess the price of Power Athletics’ new Kinetic Voltage shoes, and they are bound to quote something significantly higher than the actual price. The eye-catching colours are just the beginning (eight colour combinations are available). The materials feel at par with running shoes that cost three times as much. The fabric upper has a mesh around it (like the Puma Ignite Netfit). The lacing is “full-width”, and can be adjusted to ensure as snug a fit as you want. Slip the foot in, and the more profound contours of the midsole are apparent—these are designed to provide support for the underfoot arch. Anyone with flat feet, however, will find these uncomfortable. The outsole is flexible (you can twist this shoe into some extremely contoured shapes), and there are additional inserts under the heel and toe areas.
Out of the box
Reebok Floatride Run
The Reebok Floatride Run doesn’t conform to the standard design rule book, and that is why it will polarize opinion. The Ultraknit upper construction is what most high-end running shoes offer. However, Reebok has taken a risk with a 3D design heel cradle and a plastic cage which extends up to the midfoot. The lacing mechanism runs through it. While this makes the shoe more robust, it does take away from the sort of flexibility you may otherwise be used to. However, the Ultraknit upper does not merge seamlessly with the plastic cage, and you will feel it on the foot, as if you are wearing a sock pulled halfway up. Under your foot is a mix of the Floatride foam and EVA foam, which provides good cushioning. There is an 8mm heel-to-toe drop.
Wildcraft Trail Run 001
The Trail Run 001 is no ordinary running shoe—it’s designed for terrain more unpredictable than your neighbourhood jogging track, such as slippery trails. The crisscross tread pattern on the outsole, including 3mm inserts, is designed for grip on slippery surfaces.
Expectedly, these are slightly heavier (they tip the scales at 575g, while similarly priced running shoes weigh around 300g). The upper has a poly synthetic (also known as PU) layer, and there is no chance of dust settling into any groove. The foot sits comfortably, though there is no way of altering the fit.
Best of both worlds
Skechers GoRun 5
Skechers has managed to blend a very agreeable design with soft yet robust materials that don’t muffle the feedback from the running surface. The GoRun 5 uses what is known as the 5GEN cushioning under the foot, which flexes slightly and provides a little forward push while running. This may not, perhaps, be as apparent as it is in some adidas shoes, but you will notice the difference compared to other running shoes. The upper fabric mesh, called the GOknit, offers a good amount of ventilation too. This is a seamless design, though the colour combinations don’t immediately let you realize this. It has a 4mm heel-to-toe offset.