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

Get Moving: Family Outdoor Adventures Start Here

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The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter – it’s official, summer is almost here. From trips to the beach to moonlight walks, it’s a simpler time we look forward to all year long. Maybe your family can’t wait to go on a hike, plant a garden, head off to camp, or play a round of golf. Whatever your activity of choice, get ready to enjoy the great weather with these picks that will get everyone outside and moving!

No matter what your day may bring, the right pair of shoes will set you up for a great outdoor adventure. Simply watering the plants in the morning? Don’t get your slippers wet! Slip on a pair of aquatic shoes or rubber sole sandals instead. They’re just as easy to throw on as flip-flops but you’ll be better able to navigate slick surfaces, like a pool deck. For a day of splashing fun – whether that’s taking the kiddos to the water park or fishing down by the river – a pair of quick draw elastic cord sandals will keep your feet cool and ready to run around. Playing a round of golf at the club on Saturday? Tie on some golf shoes that are totally up to par.

And to catch that magnificent summer sunset, you’ll need the right hiking shoes to get you to the best view. Depending on your favorite trail, it’s important to keep features like weatherproofing in mind. If your typical hike may take you through damp or cool patches (think: multi-day excursion and/or nighttime wear), snow or mud, you’ll likely benefit from a durable, waterproof boot. Daytime hikes though, especially in hot and dry climates, are sure to work up a sweat. Bottom line: if you typically only go out for a few hours at a time during the summer, there’s really no need for a fully waterproof boot; but, if you’re dashing through streams or puddles, a quick-drying shoe is the way to go.

While protecting your and your family’s skin is important year-round, it’s vital to be extra careful during the summer months when the sun is at its hottest. And we’re not just talking sunscreen here – many active clothing brands now include SPF protection in the material itself. Of course, a hat and sunglasses are always must-haves for any outdoor adventure to keep the rays off your face and out of your eyes.

For the more serious hiker, choosing a backpack is like finding the perfect climbing partner. If you’re headed on a longer trek this summer, look for something that will hold all the essentials but won’t weigh you down. With some brands now offering gender-specific designs, it’s important to find the style that fits you best and is also the most comfortable.

The same rules apply to the littlest explorers too: having the right gear will set them up for the best summer of outdoor adventure. Whether they’re off to summer camp or grandma and grandpa’s house for the week, prepare for the range of weather that summer is sure to bring. A lightweight and breathable rain jacket will keep them dry during those sudden downpours, while a brim hat will keep their cheeks from getting pink after hours spent building sand castles. And for their feet, a pair of active sandals with Velcro straps that they can easily fasten themselves will take them on all of the summer’s greatest adventures.

Take us with you on all your family’s outdoor adventures! Share your story on Instagram by tagging us @shoebuydotcom with #myshoebuy.

Top Shoe Styles for Spring and Summer 2016 (and beyond!)

Blog-Header-SpringDMYou want to look great and stylish, but you also want to be able to walk freely and stride in confidence. We get it. In fact, we can completely relate – especially when it comes to shoes. So we’ve rounded up our stylists’ top picks for the season that hit on all of the hot trends and that you’ll love to wear all day long. Get ready to browse some of our favorite shoes for Spring & Summer 2016!

Whether you’re looking for a new pair of comfortable sandals that you can dress up or down, a pair of always-on-trend flats, wedge sandals or block heels that you can really strut your stuff in, we’ve got you covered. Not sure what color to go with? Try metallics or neutrals to keep you right in style, no matter which silhouette you choose. And of course, when it comes to sneakers, we’ve got a great lineup of fresh kicks to up your workout game, and if you don’t already have a pair of casual sneakers, now is the perfect time to outfit your feet for the carefree days of summer. Take a look – if you’re anything like us, you might have a hard time choosing just one pair to add to your shoe closet.

Share your spring style with us @shoebuydotcom on Instagram with #myshoebuy.

Spring Running Guide

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Spring is a time of rejuvenation. We can shed heavy winter layers and really start moving again, and the promise of warmer weather can help kick start your workout. Read on for our spring running guide for our top picks to get you geared up, wherever you train!

 

For the Treadmill Runner

You live at the gym, and just because you have the warmth of your indoor running space all year round, doesn’t mean you can’t refresh your gear for spring!

For Her: The Asics FuzeX Lyte Running Shoe is lightweight and has amazing cushioning. The full ground contact outsole provides a smooth transition from heel to toe. It’s simply a great option for endless miles on a flat surface.

For Him: The New Balance 775v2 Running Shoe uses CUSH+ material to cradle your feet in comfort as you smoke your neighbors in that treadmill race.  

For the Trail Runner

Dense forests? No problem. Rocks? Easy. There’s no terrain or obstacle that can get in the way of your run. You need shoes that can keep up.

For Her: The Saucony Nomad TR Running Shoe is part of the brand’s Run Anywhere line. The outsole is engineered to adapt to all kinds of terrain and provides 3X more traction than standard rubber. This sneaker is durable and meant to last. With a sock-like fit and extra cushioning, we have a feeling you’ll be able to tackle even more out there.

For Him: Meet our newest athletic brand, Hoka One One! The Speedgoat Trail Running Shoe doesn’t mess around. The shoe’s inspiration was Karl Meltzer and the tough conditions of the Speedgoat 50k. Notable feature: Groundrubber toecap for increased toe protection, so along with cushioning everywhere else, you won’t have to worry about stubbing your toe on uneven ground.

 

For the Road Runner

You prefer fresh air to the gym any day. Now that it’s getting warmer out, you welcome your newly green neighborhood with open arms (and awesome kicks).

For Her: The Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Running Shoe is known for its extreme cushioning, perfect for a daily run on the streets. It provides a springy feel with lots of breathability and support.

For Him: New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers are always a fan favorite. The Fresh Foam 1080v6 Running Shoe is equipped with an Ortholite footbed and generous vamp, so that your entire foot is comfortable and can relax — no strain and no scrunched toes as you glide along.  

For the Race Runner

You’re in training mode. You’ve set your goals and aim to beat them. You need shoes that will go the distance.

For Her: The New Balance 1500v2 Running Shoe is built to run with you all the way to the finish line. This is a high-intensity shoe with a streamlined design that promises to deliver ultimate performance.

For Him: The Saucony Type A Running Shoe is constructed for long distance running (5K-half marathon recommended).  With its vibrant red, orange, and yellow, you can’t get a sneaker that looks more like a racing shoe, and acts like one too. The Type A is lightweight and strong to maximize speed and comfort.

 

Apparel

It’s warming up out there, but the mornings and evenings still have a bit of a chill. We recommend thinking in layers so you’re comfortable from the moment you head out the door to your final laps or speed work.

For Her: Start with a pair of good running socks; this is a must but is often overlooked, so choose a pair with strategic padding to prevent blisters and slipping. Ankle or calf-length leggings are a great option for spring’s tricky temperatures. Try a fun printed pair to get you excited about your run (hello palm trees!) or go for a trusty black pair to match any top (workout or otherwise). A good sports bra is important for every run; we like this CW-X option (as seen in The Wall Street Journal) – it’s breathable, adjustable, and ultra-supportive. When it comes to tops, a t-shirt with moisture wicking fabric is perfect for unpredictable weather. Layer a light windbreaker on top in a bright color to help ensure you stand out to cars and other runners. Bonus: This one folds up into the front pocket.

For Him: Socks are key for your run too, so don’t forget to invest in a few good pairs. A pair of warmer running pants will take you through the season’s chillier runs and longer, loose-fitting shorts will transition well into summer. This t-shirt from New Balance has sweat-activated cooling technology to keep you comfortable and dry. Top it off with a bright zip-up, which is sure to come in handy when running through spring showers.

 

Wherever you’re running this season, we can help you gear up for your goals!

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!

The ShoeBuy Ultimate Running Guide for Winter

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Though it was certainly a little delayed this year, there’s no denying that winter is here. While a blanket of snow can be pretty, if you enjoy running outside for exercise, this can be an unwelcome reality (especially at 6 AM). Once the sidewalks are cleared, though, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the crisp air, just as long as you’re prepared from head to toe.

Running Shoes

For running shoes, look for breathable, moisture-wicking linings to keep feet cool and dry and a blown rubber sole to keep you steady on slippery surfaces. A running shoe that uses foam cushioning rather than mechanical will give you that extra pep in your step, which is especially important during the winter months when the ground is cold and hard.

Warm Running Clothing & Accessories

Before heading out the door, make sure you’ve layered on the proper protection. On top, choose a base layer of Merino wool that will keep you warm while still providing great breathability. Pair it with a zip-up – water-resistant for wet days and fleece-lined for the biting cold – to insulate and block out wind. On bottom, full-length pants (whether we’re talking compression tights or sweatpants – or better yet, both!) are the way to go. Remember: exposed skin is cold skin. Pile on those accessories – socks, hats, scarves – and don’t forget a pair of e-tip gloves so you can change the song on your playlist without missing a beat.

A winter jog can be refreshing, and especially after days on end cooped up indoors, sometimes a blast of cold air is just what the doctor ordered. However, if you are going to venture out, the proper gear is essential to your health and safety. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: layer! You want to be able to move freely but also shield your body from the harsh conditions, so look for materials that promote ventilation and will keep you warm, but aren’t too bulky.

Looking for more running shoe recommendations and workout apparel inspiration? Be sure to check out these Fitness Must-Haves for ’16!

Inside Our Closet: Sean

Here at ShoeBuy, our office is brimming with unique styles, outfits and personalities! If you are looking for a little inspiration, especially when it comes to athletic apparel, look no further than this peek inside Sean’s closet. Sean is our Senior Vice President of Merchandising, who has agreed to share his go-to sneakers, sock obsession secrets, and even the top song on his running mix!

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Shop Sean’s Closet: Saucony Hurricane Running Shoes| Running Socks | Compression Socks | Wool Socks | Golf Shoes | Patagonia Swimsuit | Vans Canvas Sneaker | Mountain Hardwear | The North Face Thermal Vest