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

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!

Fitness Must-Haves for ‘16

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No matter if 2016 is a year of continued fitness devotion or renewed commitment for you, the right gear is essential. Looking good is always a bonus, but more importantly, when choosing new workout footwear or apparel, the focus should always first be on safety and support for your body. Here, we’ve gathered the latest and greatest in running shoes and other exercise accessories to help get you one step closer to reaching those fitness goals.

Running Shoes

Brands like Asics, New Balance, and Saucony are debuting new and improved versions of their already excellent products, and are positioned to really stand out from the pack this year with bold colors and patterns. Check out the special features on these running shoes to find the pair that suits your sweat style best.

Athletic Apparel & Accessories

For Her:

Whether we’re talking sports bras or yoga mats, quality is key. Supportive and stylish exercise clothes always make a tough workout a little more fun, and can be the motivation you need to get to the gym.

 

For Him:

Whether you’re jogging outside or dashing between work and the gym, the key to exercising during the winter is to layer. Pair your favorite shorts and tee with a sweatshirt and compression tights to stay warm without overheating. A great, anti-microbial gym bag with special pockets for your sneakers, water bottle, and yoga mat will help to keep things organized (and from getting moldy!) – pack it the night before to make the next day’s workout a no-brainer.

 

’16 is your year – we can feel it! What are your fitness goals? Let us know in the comments below!

And remember…

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GIFT GUIDE: Stylish Comfort (How to do Athleisure Right)

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Everyone loves to be comfortable. But (thankfully) gone are the days of jogging suits and baggy sweats and hoodies that made you feel like you could only ever wear your comfortable clothes within the confines of your home – or on a college campus. Thanks to a magnificent trend known as “athleisure” there are options out there for you to wear whether you’re on your way to the gym, or whether you’re headed out to meet up with friends for brunch.

So, we’ve pulled together a few of our favorite looks so you can help those you love look great while being comfortable. In fact, we’re pretty sure, these picks will make even the choosiest happy and cozy.

For Her:

Keep in mind that you don’t have to work out to rock a great pair of yoga pants or leggings; these are great wardrobe staples that can just as easily pair well with a wrap or tunic when she’s heading to run errands or to class, as they can with a workout tank for her next hot yoga session. So whether the woman on your gift list is an athlete or just likes to look great, don’t shy away from these styles.

Featured Products: lucy Everyday Pant | Icebreaker Bliss Wrap | lucy Crossback Tank | Skechers GOwalk 3 Strike Walking Shoe | Sherpani Force Yoga Gym Duffel 

Featured Products: Prana Prism Capri | Be Up Freestyle Jacket | THE SAK Pack Gym Duffel | Manduka PROlite 71

For Him

Keeping things simple is a great way to go, but a few tailored accents can elevate the t-shirt and sweatpants look to something he can wear out and about, even after he hits the gym (or just aspires to!).  A well-made t-shirt will stand the test of time and many wash cycles, so look for great quality shirts that also bring a little personality to the table. As for tailoring, we’re not suggesting you need to pair with a suit jacket – but rather, look for jersey and materials with style details like great pockets or a zip-up sweater that is just as comfortable as his old favorite hoodie. He’ll look great when he’s lounging – or on the go, and any of these items will be a welcome gift under the tree – after all, he likely has all the ties he’ll ever need.

Featured Products: Prana Sutra Pant | New Balance MT53081 Short Sleeve Heather Tech Tee | Patagonia Better Sweater 1/4 Zip | OGIO Flex Form F3 | Saucony Jazz Original Sneaker  

So whether you’re out taking a stroll this winter, or just relaxing in your home, remember that comfort is always a must!