Best Running Shoes for Summer

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In recent years, as many new fitness trends have emerged and gained popularity, running remains the exercise of choice for many men and women – from road races and mud runs to 3-mile jogs. And so, the selection for all things exercise-related, from apparel to equipment and of course, shoes, has also expanded significantly. Running shoes, walking shoes, trail running shoes; the list goes on, with many variations existing within those categories themselves. While more choice and stylish options are both pluses, it can make it difficult to choose the “best” pair for your running needs, so if you’re struggling to find the perfect fit, read on!

One of the most exciting advances in running shoes is the recent transition from mechanical cushioning to foam. As the experts at Runner’s World explain, high energy-return foams help deflect more energy by allowing parts of your foot to sink in, then molding around them to distribute forces across your sole. As the energy of that compression is stored, the foam simultaneously returns to its original shape, providing a responsive feel during push off. This is good news for the competitive sprinter hoping to shave a couple seconds off his or her personal best, and for the more casual runner looking for stability and speed on a morning jog, and is a feature to consider as you weigh your options.

In this “Best of the Best” series, we’re sharing our top 4 picks for training shoes that offer superior cushioning and support. We’re hoping to provide some key points to keep in mind before making your next purchase, which will be unique to your needs, of course.

The team behind HOKA ONE ONE has engineered a shoe that balances super-cushioning with a responsive ride, sure to make you want to tack on an extra mile or two. The Vanquish 2 Road Running Shoe is a dedicated runner’s dream with maximum cushioning material, meta-rocker shaping, superior stability, and stellar rebounding. With up to 1.5x the volume of midsole foam (compared to standard running shoes made with a performance-specific lightweight cushioning material) that provides shock reduction and superior comfort, plus a durable RMAT® suspension outsole that offers phenomenal grip and rebound, many runners hail HOKA ONE ONE as completely transforming their running style and ability. They may look a little different, but if you’re looking for extra cushioning, you may never go back to your old standard pair.

The Fresh Foam Zante v2 Running Shoe by New Balance is for the runner looking for speed without sacrificing comfort. With the unique, data-inspired geometries engineered in the New Balance Sports Research Lab, a refined midsole and revolutionary Fresh Foam technology delivers supportive cushioning. A speed-inspired upper provides a snug, sock-like fit with engineered mesh, and the blown rubber outsole promotes a smooth, efficient stride. The Zante is yet another example of New Balance’s style evolution, while the iconic “N” assures timeless quality.    

If premium stability and cushioning is your main priority, look no further than the ASICS FuseX Running Shoe. Designed for outdoor runners, it features ASICS’ fuzeGEL™ technology that includes excellent shock-absorbent properties. The AHAR® technology, or ASICS High Abrasion Rubber, is a tough rubber compound used at the heavy-contact, which helps reduce excessive wear. And with ComforDry™ technology, a fresh and healthy inner foot environment is guaranteed even on warm days.

 

Saucony’s brand focus is on running specifically, and the Triumph ISO 2 Running Shoe is a testament to this commitment. Its signature ISOFIT lacing system provides stabilizing support while adapting to the foot, and EVERUN foam technology positioned closer to the foot provides continues midsole cushioning. Recommended for runners with neutral pronation, the XT-900 carbon rubber outsole features TRI-FLEX grooves for enhanced flexibility and is 33% lighter than standard blown rubber, making this running shoe a comfortable choice for those looking to go an extra mile or two.

THE VERDICT

Just as there are vast differences between the types of runners out there, the “best” running shoe is the one that is right for you/your needs/your running needs. And while style is an added bonus, it shouldn’t be the driving factor. When choosing your next pair, make sure you’re getting ample support for your foot needs, an appropriate degree of comfort matched to your running style, and the right features to propel you towards achieving your individual fitness goals.

Running to the Max

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When it comes to running, a great experience starts at your feet, and understanding the difference in the types of running shoes out there is key to unlocking that potential. After several years where minimalist shoes that mimicked barefoot or natural running were all the rage, there has recently been a major shift towards more underfoot cushioning along with the emergence of a category called maximalism.

So, should you go for the max?

Maximalists feature a big, thick mid-sole with lots of cushioning like the original, Hoka One One. These shoes include design features that stem from the minimalist trend; a lower heel to toe drop and often a natural foot shape as well, which really just means they have a wider, more accommodating forefoot that mimics the shape of the foot. Maximalists descended from ultra-running (longer than marathon distance, often over variable terrain) where foot protection is particularly important. Maximalist running shoes are for those looking for more cushioning and protection: likely, high-mileage runners.

For many runners today who are pounding the pavement, minimalist shoes are best for those who are biomechanically efficient and/or running shorter distances. Designed to mimic barefoot running, minimalist shoes are light and flexible, however, they may not be sturdy enough for many runners, as they lack the cushioning and support found in more mainstream shoes.

While extra cushioning may sound dreamy, maximalist shoes may not end up being a fit for every runner. What is right for you will ultimately depend on a range of factors, from what type and distance running you’ll be doing to your gait. For those runners opting for all of this great cushioning technology from our favorite brands, we’ve rounded up some of our top picks below.

Our Trainer’s Maximalist Picks

Cool Running

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When it comes to looking good while working out, there has never been a better time to be a runner. Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration to help you go that extra mile, or your workout gear is how you like to show off your personality at the gym, we love how exercise has become an opportunity to make a fashion statement. And it turns out – among all the options – your kicks are how to really show off some style.

Check out some of our favorites for all of your running and post-run (aka “athleisure”) looks. Have a favorite pair you’re loving these days? Show off your kicks with us on Instagram @shoebuydotcom with #myshoebuy and we’ll pick a few to share.

Getting Technical

These running shoes are designed to help you get through your run, and they’ll also ensure you look great while doing it.

 

Run-Inspired for Real Life

Beyond your run, your preference may be your running shoes, but you know that you should give them (and your feet) a break. Try lacing on or sliding into one of these for a change that will still show off your runner’s style.

The 7 Most Coveted Sandals For Summer

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Sandals are pretty much the greatest thing to happen to your feet. Don’t get us wrong, we love our boots, heels, flats, sneakers…and well, pretty much all of our shoes, but when you debut your first pair of sandals for the season, you’re committing to more carefree weekend adventuring, more dining al fresco, more time outside just because, and of course, all the great warm weather looks you can finally show off. Essentially, you’re kicking off summer!

So get excited and then clear a little room in your shoe closet – we’ve got all of the must-have styles for summer.

 

You Know the Espadrille

Espadrilles have made a come-back and for good reason. From flats to lace-ups, leather and suede to canvas, and pops of color to metallic, we’re not talking about your mother’s go-to slip-ons anymore.

 

Block Party

If you want to look fabulously stylish, but also want to be able to strut your stuff from 9 to 5 (and then some!), city sandals are for you. With block heels to keep you supported, these shoes are the perfect summer staple to take you from work to rooftop drinks.

 

Slide into Summer

It’s time to upgrade your casual sandal pick from flip flops to a grown-up pool slide. This versatile style is great for everyday and is easy to toss in your bag to go from poolside to lunch or just for a quick stroll to check out the local scene.

 

 Feel-Good Footbeds

Sandals should feel good and you should love how they look too. While “footbed sandals” may not sound sexy and they’re designed to make your feet feel fabulous, you’ll see them in almost every fashion magazine and on every celebrity out there – plus, you won’t be at a loss for great styles to choose from. And when these become your favorites, you can thank us later.

 

Wow-worthy Wedges

Whether you grab a casual pair for a backyard barbecue or a more refined style for a day at the office, a wedge is always a good choice. They pair well with pretty much any summer outfit, elongate the leg, and are a great choice for those of us that don’t love pumps but still want a heel.  

 

All Tied Up

Adding a little sass to your summer looks, we are loving lace-ups this season. Pair with cropped pants or a pencil skirt for work, or with a shorter hemline or cutoffs for the weekends, these gladiator-inspired looks are perfect for summer outfits.

 

Get Strappy

Neutral, strappy sandals have been a wardrobe must-have for some time now, but we’re loving some of the new styles that touch on hot trends for the season – like suede, metallic and block heels.

 

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Photo credit left to right: Isola Shoes, Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole, Franco Sarto 

Are you ready for the season? Share your sandal style with us @shoebuydotcom on Instagram with #myshoebuy.

Love the featured look? Get it here.

New Shoes At ShoeBuy: HOKA ONE ONE

Blog-Featured-HokaOne-Vanquish-030716-v2Are you looking for superior comfort and enhanced performance in your next pair of new running shoes? The committed team behind HOKA ONE ONE has engineered a shoe that balances super-cushioning with a responsive ride, sure to make you want to tack on an extra mile or two. With maximum cushioning material, meta-rocker shaping, superior stability, and stellar rebounding, HOKA ONE ONE inspires runners to go the distance, and then some.

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While this running shoe may look a little different than what you’ve worn in the past, many runners hail HOKA ONE ONE as completely transforming their running style and ability. Give them a try!

How to: Make Comfort Cute

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Here at ShoeBuy, we are firm believers that comfort and style can exist in the same shoe. Our friends at Teen Vogue seem to agree. In the March 2016 issue, the story “The New Normal” explores the endless styling possibilities with normcore pieces (specifically shoes) or as they call them, “Refined versions of the everyday staples.” Read on to view the shoot, and click the images to shop your favorites at ShoeBuy!

 

 

As we all know, Birkenstocks are no longer just hippie shoes – with celebrities and fashionistas rocking the look, every shoe wardrobe needs a pair. The comfortable footbed is perfect for any activity, even if it’s just meeting up with some friends for the afternoon or for walking around town. The Boston (left) is a great transitional clog that will be perfect for spring. The Arizona (right center) is the classic sandal to replace your old flip-flops. Upgrade! They look great with everything from distressed jeans to an airy maxi dress.

 

 

Clarks is known for their craftsmanship and their comfortable shoes, but this season, their trendy options are really catching our eye. The Wallabee (left) originated as a men’s shoe, but is now also made for women and kids. Menswear-inspired shoes are huge this spring, so why not buy some that you can actually wear all day? Rock them with long funky socks if you’re daring!

 

 

Crocs are seriously comfortable shoes – you’ll never want to take them off! They are also waterproof, ideal for all sorts of outdoor adventures. Plus, the Classic Clogs come in just about every color you can think of, so you can show off your personal style with a bright pop of color. Take a cue from Teen Vogue and pair them with a cool skirt. The brand carries other styles with the same classic look, so be sure to check out the whole collection!

We think comfy shoes have more staying power than most footwear trends because, well – your feet will thank you. How do you wear normcore?

 

All images courtesy of TeenVogue.com

Après Ski Essentials

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Whether you’ve just retired from a long day of racing your friends down the slopes or choose to hang out on the mountain sans skis and snowboard, ShoeBuy has all the Après Ski must-haves for looking chic and staying warm.

For Her

Outerwear: You really can’t get by without having a good, warm coat. Choose one that has fun details, a flattering cut, and great color. A warm puffy vest is also an option for the days above freezing. Layer it over a thick sweatshirt or sweater to show off some cool sleeves! Cozy Sweaters: A great winter sweater is also a ski staple. A crew neck with a quirky animal is lighthearted and serves as a great talking point. A knit poncho looks stellar with skinny jeans or leggings, and is easy to throw on over any top.

 

Black leggings are always a smart choice, but why not switch it up and sport a pair that has a little more pizazz? Stark White snow pants are perfect to transition from skiing to lounging while multicolored leggings in muted tones provide an elevated look without being too distracting. Layer a skirt over your leggings for a fun look that gives extra warmth and style.

 

Beanies are the perfect snow bunny accessory. Typically at lower price points, you can grab a different hat for all your go-to winter outfits. And remember, it may be cold out but the sun is still glaring throughout the winter, so grab a pair of sunnies to protect your eyes and make any look more fashion-forward. Gloves and arm warmers are great additions that can keep your outfit neutral, or add some pop! More winter accessories here.  

 

Snow boots come in such a variety of styles now, with varying heights, materials, and colors. Mix and match your favorite winter socks with your boots for endless possibilities!

 

For Him

Outerwear: A vintage inspired vest is a perfect, easy layer that screams Après ski a la 1970s. You can’t go wrong with a classic black puffer coat either. Sweaters: Rich textures and soft neutrals make these sweaters ideal for relaxing with friends by the fire.  

Two Toned snow pants are unexpected and modern. Dodge snowballs in style.

Boots: Waterproof duck boots will carry you through all sorts of slush you may encounter. A pair of sturdy snow boots with a heavy duty outsole prepare you for the iciest terrain.

A rugged hat and tartan scarf are classic investment pieces to wear every season. They are both masculine, and practical. Sporty beanies and cold-weather socks come in fun colors and patterns, so grab a bunch for a more youthful look.

 

A waterproof bag will take you far. Choose a bright color so it stands out in the snow! Roll up a blanket and bring it to the lodge to snuggle by the fire. Bringing the baby to the mountain? Try an adorable puffer onesie! A sophisticated print ensures maximum cuteness.

 

 

And for those of you looking for the toughest performance gear for the slopes, we’ve got you covered there too. A pair of compression tights or leggings increase circulation and reduces muscle damage and fatigue. Padded socks provide extra protection, and this pair has high density cushioning, for comfort around the entire foot and lower leg. A warm beanie built for winter sports is perfect for underneath your helmet. A form fitting base layer is essential to retain body heat, but isn’t going to be too stuffy.

Photos from whowhatwear.com (left) and Vogue.co.uk (center & right).

Photos from whowhatwear.com (left) and Vogue.co.uk (center & right).

Just because you have to bundle up doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! What’s your favorite Après ski piece?

 

Looking Forward: Shoe Trends for 2016

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As much fun as it was looking back on all the great shoe styles from 2015, it’s even more exciting to take a peak at upcoming trends for the New Year! 2016 promises to take things up a notch when it comes to footwear, with interesting new designs and materials, bold colors and patterns, and edgier silhouettes coming our way. Here, our style experts weigh in on the hottest trends to keep an eye out for this year, and their top picks for each that are ready for the taking now on shoebuy.com!

Sneakers

We already saw an increase in the popularity of sneakers over the past few months, and this year, expect them to be all the rage. What’s new about the latest styles, however, are their innovative designs and use of materials like leather, suede, and canvas. Some retro, others almost futuristic, these aren’t your standard kicks. White sneakers in particular are positioned to thrive in 2016, so be sure to get your hands on a crisp pair.

Futuristic

And speaking of the future, another new trend to watch out for are ultramodern features and original shapes and colors adorning everything from slip-ons to stilettos. From studs and cutouts to stripes and sliver detailing, the shoe styles for 2016 may reach beyond this galaxy.

Pastels & Floral

If you’re feeling intimidated by these eclectic looks, rest assured, there are softer upcoming trends as well. Pastels are coming in hot and floral patterns are just as sweet, adding the perfect amount of pretty to your spring wardrobe.

Suede

Lush materials like suede always look good in clean, well-structured silhouettes. For boots, slightly understated styles that evoke a western vibe with a bit more simplicity than the classic cowboy boot steal the show, and fringe proves it’s here to stay. For flats, the pointer the toe the better, adding finesse especially when paired with a wooden or cork sole/heel – another hot trend for 2016.

Slides & Mules

Also carryovers from last year, slides and mules aren’t going anywhere soon. Up the ante with a bold print or killer heel, and look for distinguishing features such as studs, zippers, and buckles to really stand out.

Flatforms

While not a fit for every fashion fancy, there’s no denying this new trend is one to behold. Whether in low flatform or tall, a pair will add high fashion glamour to your spring/summer wardrobe – or better yet, try them out first on a winter getaway someplace warm.

Open-Toe Bootie

2016 confirms the bootie as a must-have for every season with the debut of an open toe. Easily dressed up or down, get ready to show off your pedicure all year long.

Which trends are you most excited to wear in 2016? Any from past years you wish would come back or hope to never see again? Share your favorite look or best shoe faux pas story with us in the comments below!

Looking Back: Top 10 Shoe Styles of 2015 for Him & Her

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2015 was a good year for footwear. While new styles gained fashion ground, older looks reemerged as cool comeback kids. So what better way to ring out the old and usher in the new than to take a walk down shoe memory lane? Here, we’ve compiled the top 10 styles of 2015 for both him and her, as chosen by you, our trendy ShoeBuyers!

Him:

Shoes for guys in 2015 meant business. Oxfords and loafers boasting clean lines and sharp details were all the rage, and easily transitioned from day to night, board to bar room. More men also began to embrace updated boot styles like chukka and Chelsea, while certain tried-and-trues, like Timberland’s PRO series, maintained their rightful top-ranking positions. Athletic shoes, from running sneakers to hiking shoes and hiking boots, were also popular, with brands such as Brooks and Merrell leading the pack.

Her:

The real star of 2015 shoe trends for women was the bootie. With its shorter, versatile design, gals of all ages embraced this fashion phenomenon. Sneakers, athletic and those of the slip-on and canvas varieties, were also popular, as athleisure became increasingly prevalent as a look in and of itself. Boots, including duck boots, classic UGG® and Sorel® favorites and riding boots remained cool weather staples, while oldie-but-goodie brands like Birkenstock and Dr. Martens reminded us that quality never goes out of style.

So there you have it: 2015 in shoes. Be sure to check back in the next few days as we take a look at upcoming trends for 2016!

We’d love to hear from you – which trend do you love best? Any from past years you wish would come back or hope to never see again? Share your favorite look or most embarrassing shoe faux pas story in the comments below!

GIFT GUIDE: For Him

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Are you finalizing your gift list and noticing a few guys for whom you have no idea what to get? Don’t fret; up next in our series of gift guides is a roundup of the top presents for him! From fathers to husbands to boyfriends to brothers and more, our experts are weighing in on what they really want this year.

Go-Getter Gifts

Whether your guy is a golfer, hiker, gym rat, or snow adventurer, accessories tailored to his favorite hobby are always a welcomed addition under the tree – and will keep him moving into the New Year!

Boot Bounty

No matter if they’re for work or play, a great pair of boots will come in handy all year long. Replace his tried-and-trues or add new style to his closet with a trendy pair that he’s sure to rock.

Knit Novelties

Even the toughest guys get a little chilly in the wintertime; help keep him warm and stylish with a new sweater, vest, or jacket to replace last year’s tattered hoody.

Parcels of Leisure

After a long day of work or entertaining friends and family (or for hours spent parked in front of the television watching football), he’s going to want to get comfortable. A new pair of slippers is an easy gift for those guys that are hard to buy for, and a robe is one of those things he may not realize he wants, until he puts it on for the first time – we’re speaking from experience, here.

Leather Luxuries

Bring his style up a notch with a great belt (HINT: also makes for an easy stocking stuffer!). Not sure of his size? Play it safe with a wallet or money clip instead.

So now that he’s covered, let us help you find the perfect gift for all the special ladies in your life!