Asics Gel Nimbus 22
Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Equip yourself for the perfect run

Lounge reviews three new top-of-the-line running shoes. Here’s how they hold up

Anyone who has been training with any degree of consistency knows that shoes are a vital consideration—whether you train on hills, or do sprints, or enjoy long slow jogs.

As I found out, running after a gap of half a year can be quite a shock. And I wanted to ensure that the shoes I chose for my “return to running" would help me ease into the activity. Thankfully, I got to choose from three of the best shoes of the past year.

Reebok’s Forever Floatride Energy 22
Reebok’s Forever Floatride Energy 22

THE EASY RUNS

The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy was the first shoe I tried. With an engineered mesh on the top with flat laces (the kind that don’t make you stop every few kilometres as they come undone), the look is simple. The outsole has plenty of rubber, nicely spread out. This helped because the park I was running in had patches of mud—but I did not feel unstable. The same outsole makes the shoes durable.

I was a bit unsure of the 10mm heel-to-toe drop (the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the toe). I had to get used to walking in them but running was comfortable enough, especially if I tilted my body a little forward—taking the weight off my knees. I did not sprint in these but they did work well for easy-paced, short and medium-distance runs. And for the price ( 9,999), they are just right for daily or easy-paced runs.

Adidas Ultraboost 20
Adidas Ultraboost 20

SPRINTS AND TRACK RUNS

I became a fan the first time I tried the Adidas Ultraboost 20. The shoe is inspired by a partnership with the International Space Station (US) National Lab, and the symbol is displayed prominently on the tongue. It has all the features that has made the Ultraboost range a runners’ favourite.

The upper is a single knitted piece using Primeknit technology, and the Tailored Fibre Placement technology lays the fabric fibres very close to each other, enabling a great fit for your feet—even if it is a bit on the narrow side.

The Ultraboost 20 ( 17,999) has a full-length boost midsole and torsion spring. It is incredibly responsive, gives a lot of cushioning and you can feel the bounce—especially if you are doing laps inside a stadium. There is one problem though. The shoe is slightly on the heavier side, and might not work for a long run. But the stability and the fit do win it some extra points. And with the colours on the midsole, it’s certainly stylish.

THE LONG RUN

The weekend long run is my favourite. And given that I usually run on the road (and not on a nice cushioned stadium track) for at least an hour or more, the shoe needs to feel comfortable. Asics Gel Nimbus 22 is the pick for this one.

The Nimbus 22 wins on design. The one I used is a special edition for the Tata Mumbai Marathon, so it has the geographical coordinates of the city on the side, and is well cushioned. Runners with wide feet would do well to try out half a size larger for a better fit in the toe-box. I felt it was a bit too snug, with almost minimal wiggle room in the front when I tried my usual size.

The shoe has Asics’ silicone-based GEL cushioning, including gel protection around the heel. This is great news for those who have the (unfortunate) habit of landing on their heels while running. The shoe isn’t really meant for fast races but is quite a good choice for someone who wants to increase mileage, do medium-paced races or long distances. The cost ( 13,999) is mid-range and with the longer mileage it offers, it’s quite a good investment.

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