Sneakerhead Central: Invest in fitness-centric shoes that best fit the activity you choose
There are various types of fitness-centric shoes, so it might be prudent to invest in a pair that best fit the activity you choose.
Excellent grip and cushioning for shock impact are of paramount importance. And new-age “sock-like” shoes offer even better feedback from the running surface, if that is what you prefer.
The highlight is the Boost sole cushioning technology, which instantly releases the energy captured every time the foot lands, and helps you maintain the run’s momentum. The Stretchweb outsole offers excellent grip, regardless of whether the running surface is dry or wet. The textile and synthetic upper is water repellent. The 8mm toe-to-heel drop (also known as offset) poses no learning curve—and to top it all, this is a rather light pair, with each shoe weighing 297g.
Puma Ignite Netfit
The Ignite Netfit’s magic lies in the lacing technology—unlike regular shoe designs, it does not have predefined lacing eyelets; the entire upper mesh can be used to thread the laces. This enables you to customize the fit, be it for breathability or tighter support. Puma’s proprietary Ignite PU foam offers a certain level of bounce-back feel while running, an important ingredient in a running shoe. It looks really cool, though the 12mm offset takes a bit of getting used to.
Jogging and cross-training
There are versatile shoes that integrate the characteristics of specialized footwear. One of these would be ideal if you tend to mix up your activity routine with some gym time, outdoor runs and occasional aerobics, too, perhaps.
Nike Air zoom Pegasus 34
The durable Pegasus 34 doesn’t leave any room for debate as far as comfort levels are concerned. The generous padding, along with the conventional 10mm offset, makes it easy to get used to. The cushioning underneath keeps you comfortable while walking or running on uneven surfaces. The hexagonal grooves and the rubber crash rail pattern really help with traction.
Asics Dynamis flyte foam
This shoe features a dial-based adjustment mechanism called the Boa System. The dial, in conjunction with strong laces, can be tightened or loosened according to the dimensions of the foot. The additional stability, particularly mid-foot, helps during movement. The Flytefoam midsole is made of organic fibres, and is lighter than most midsole materials, providing great cushioning.
An ideal walking shoe should have more rigidity towards the toe area, so that you roll off (the transition from the heel to toe and vice versa) the toes while walking, rather than bend them for the lift-off movement. Under-foot cushioning adds to the comfort.
Skechers Gowalk sport
Skechers has optimized these rather attractive shoes for maximum comfort, with generous cushioning and soft materials. The upper mesh adapts to your feet, with good ventilation. The Goga Matrix outsole tread provides good grip.
Many running shoes with redesigned outsoles are labelled cricket shoes, which should be fine for casual use. But if you play the sport regularly, you will need something that is lightweight, robust, and offers extra grip with spikes.
Puma Evospeed 360.1
The inside of the EvoSpeed 360.1’s upper has a soft finish. On the outside, the thin layer of micro-fibre skin ensures a smooth finish around the vamp, a part of the upper and quarter areas of the shoe. There is an additional abrasion-resistant layer under the toe for extra durability. With as many as eight spikes under your feet, grip will not be a problem, even if the cricket ground’s outfield is a bit soggy.
Football shoes are cleated, studded or spiked. The design and formations of the spikes and studs on the outsole tend to vary. The cleats and spikes are generally detachable from the outsoles.
adidas Nemeziz 17.2
These closed-toe football boots will adapt to your feet, with what adidas calls the Agility Touch Skin upper materials. The foot will lock down securely, aided by the additional layer known as the 360 Torsion Tape, designed to provide lateral and medial support. The synthetic leather material used for the upper adds to the Nemeziz 17.2’s robustness.
Puma one 17.3
The One 17.3’s thick-layer leather upper feels plush, though it may alter your shoe size if you compare it to the usual fibre-based upper in other shoes—select wisely. Bladed studs are integrated into the outsole, which should help with rapid turns and changes of direction on a football field.
This is becoming a popular sport among the younger generation. What you need is a shoe with a thick and stiff sole that offers extra stability when you land after a jump. Some basketball shoes have a high-top design, designed to offer better support for the foot.
Nike Air Jordan XXXI low
For a shoe that has to protect your feet every time you land after a jump, the Zoom Air cushioning beneath your foot does exactly what it is supposed to—you get the necessary isolation when the feet land on the ground. The Flyweave mesh transitions to a synthetic leather upper around the heel, which adds to the feeling of stability. This is a narrower shoe than its predecessor, which means you should consider buying one size bigger if you have a wider toe.
Tennis shoes need to be able to support the foot during rapid side-to-side movements as well as quick weight shifts on either foot. Stability is the key element. The outsole needs to balance flexibility with robustness. The more tread there is, the better the grip you will get on hard court surfaces.
adidas Adizero Ubersonic 2
This is a part of the 2017 tennis collection inspired by singer and songwriter Pharrell Williams. One of the biggest advantages of the knit upper, apart from the cooling it allows, is the fact that it potentially wraps around the foot like a sock. The Ubersonic 2 has a lower-to-ground stable feeling, and the abrasion-resistant layer around the toe and medial forefoot should reduce foot drag during serves.
*Prices may vary
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