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.

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!

Spring Preview

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Spring is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to trade in those snow boots for something airier. Whether your style is laid-back or glitzy, we’ve got everything to make those cold, dark winter days seem long gone. We’ve already shared our favorite shoe trends for 2016, many of which you can get a head start wearing as the days start to get warmer, but now we want to share some of our buyers’ favorites for the season.

Love your flat espadrilles and wish you could wear them with more than jeans and a t-shirt? Well you’re in luck. This casual silhouette has increased not only in popularity over the past few seasons, but also in height and style, becoming this spring’s obvious choice whether you’re meeting girlfriends for brunch or going on a date.

Add a little sass to your springtime wardrobe with a pair of cage or lace-up sandals that are sure to stand out. Go full out with a laced-up look that goes to mid-calf or subtly embrace the trend with a pair that ends at the ankle; either way, there are lots of fun options to try this season.

It’s true: we adore slides. They’re fashionably practical and transition from day to night faster than post-work cocktails. What’s not to love? Plus, this season’s favorites play with texture and color, so you may find yourself grabbing a few pairs.

The Switzerland of booties, these neutral numbers are exactly what our closets have been missing all this time. The range of warm suedes will keep you right on trend, and be sure to look for cutouts and open toes for styles so you’ll be able to transition right through the milder weather.  

City sandals are perfect for the girl on the go. Featuring a lower, block heel, you’ll have support and style no matter where you’re headed. With suede, metallic, and lace-up options to choose from, you can even play with a few of this season’s trends at once.

 

“P” is the letter of the season, and by that we mean printed pumps. So pick your poison: stripes and floral and snakeskin are all hot for spring and will really up your style game.

Clogs, platforms, flatforms… the 70s are back, baby. Can you dig it? This time, these styles feature rich leathers and lots of great details – not to mention, more comfortable soles!

Maybe you were always an athlete or maybe you were always the last kid picked for dodge ball. Doesn’t matter – now, everyone can channel their inner all-star with these cool athletic inspired kicks.

Good news for your feet! Now more than ever, fashion and comfort are like peaches and cream. A pair of footbed sandals is bound to become your weekend go-to whether you’re running errands or spending a day at the park.

April showers bring May flowers, so prepare for those dreary days with a colorful pair of rain boots to brighten things up.

Of course, nothing says “fresh” like a new bag to update your entire look. Opt for a hobo bag or backpack as your everyday tote and pick a smaller crossbody bag to complete your night/weekend ensemble.

Small changes to your wardrobe can make a big difference, so do some spring-cleaning and get rid of those scratched up sunglasses – then replace them with one of these fabulous frames to benefit both your eye and fashion health.

March 20th can’t come soon enough, and we’re ready to usher in the new season in style. Are you?

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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The ShoeBuy Ultimate Running Guide for Fall

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Shop this featured look here.

It’s time, ladies and gentlemen; to recommit, to focus, to take it up a notch. Because no matter if you’re a fitness guru or just starting out, finding the perfect workout apparel can mean the difference between sticking to it and falling off the treadmill.

Cooler weather doesn’t mean your sneakers have to hibernate until spring. In fact, with the right gear, chilly temperatures are no match against your determination, and not to mention, style. Check out a few of our running expert’s top picks for comfort and performance.

WOMEN

Running Shoes
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For the beginner: The ASICS Gel-Exalt 2 offers good stability at a great price, so you’re not making a huge investment while you get started as a runner, without sacrificing performance.

For the neutral runner: If you haven’t had past knee or shin injuries and don’t overpronate, the Saucony Ride 7 is the perfect lightweight running shoe for those needing mild to moderate support.

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For the overpronator: The New Balance W1260V5 Performance Shoe is just the right bright pick to get you out the door and going the distance with their luxe conditioning and enhanced stability.

 

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Support never looked so sweet until you met this candy-colored number: CW-X Xtra Support Bra III. It looks good, offers maximum support with its patented 5-Point Support Web™, and comes in sizes ranging from 34B/C to 38DD.

Tops

From short morning runs to your long weekend training runs, the Icebreaker Comet Long Sleeve Crewe TeeBlog-Running-Thm-W-Icebreaker-Comet-Longsleeve-Crew-Tee is a must-have staple for every exercise regimen. Breathable, temperature-regulating merino is essential for cooler weather workouts. Bonuses: Reflective taping for visibility and thumbholes for added wind protection.

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As it gets cooler, choose a smart layer top that will keep you warm without slowing you down, like the CW-X Insulator Web Top, which features targeted support, flat seam construction for comfort, and a zip collar with wind flap and locking zip.

 

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These Dashing Stripe Pants from lucy are so cute, you might just forget your workout plan. Made with super soft, moisture-wicking fabric, they are the perfect addition to any closet, keeping you warm on the run or comfy on the couch.

 

Socks

Don’t forgeBlog-Running-Thm-W-Darn-Tough-Vermont-Farmers-Market-Show-Lightt about your toes, the cold sure won’t. These Darn Tough no-show socks are made of a wool-nylon-Lycra® blend, meaning they’ll stay put while keeping your feet comfortable and dry.

 

JacketBlog-Running-Thm-W-Patagonia-Houdini-Pullover

Depending on the weather outside, you may need a little extra protection from your top layer, so be sure to have something water-resistant in your arsenal. The Patagonia Houdini Pullover can be worn with a base or midlayer, will shed light rain and snow, and the lightweight design ensures comfort and mobility.

Gym/Yoga Bag

This time, oneBlog-Running-Thm-W-Sherpani-Split-Horizontal-Yoga-Gym-Bag size really does fit all. For days when you’re off to the gym, stuff this Sherpani Spirit Horizontal Yoga Gym Bag with all the essentials or zip up an entire yoga mat inside (yes, we said entire) and you’ll never have to suffer the pain of an odd-sized gym bag again!

 

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MEN

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For the beginner: If you’re just starting out, be sure to choose a sneaker like this ASICS GT-1000 3 Running Shoe that provides excellent foot protection and cushioning so you’ll be ready to bring your training to the next level

Blog-Running-Thm-M-New-Balance-Vazee-Pace-Running-ShoeFor the neutral runner (i.e., you haven’t had past knee or shin injuries and don’t overpronate): Already an award-winner (“Best Debut” in September 2015 Runner’s World Fall Shoe Guide), the New Balance Vazee Pace running shoe will support you with spring in your step as you set your new PRs.

For the overpronator: The 12th edition of this favorite, the Brooks Addiction 12 Running Shoe, brings trusted stability and enhanced, updBlog-Running-Thm-M-Brooks-Addiction-12ated features that those who overpronate on a moderate to severe level will love – from adaptive cushioning to a heel segmented crash pad for smooth landings.

TopsBlog-Running-Thm-M-Terramar-Helix-Tshirt-1.0

Start with the essentials like this short sleeve top, the Terramar Helix T-Shirt,a shirt that is specially engineeredBlog-Running-Thm-M-Patagonia-Thermal-Speedwork-Zip-Neck to create air pockets for improved insulation and moisture transport.

From the chilliest of mornings to the crispest of evenings, add an extra layer with the Patagonia Thermal Speedwork Zip-Neck, a cozy zip-up with a specially designed fabric for warmth, spandex for moving freely, zippered pockets for your small essentials, and thumb holes to keep your fingers and thumbs warm.

Pants

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Don’t let running tights scare you:  The CW-X Stabilyx Tights are compression tights that provide optimum targeted support to both the lower back/core area and the knee joint and surrounding muscles for greater overall stability and power. Still feeling a little shy? Wear them under your favorite gym shorts and you’ll be good to go.

Socks

Blog-Running-Thm-M-Smartwool-PHD-Run-Ultra-Light-MicroPerformance matters from top to bottom, so choose your socks wisely. The Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Micro uses two elastics for greater stretch and recovery to keep the sock in place, and additional cushioning in high impact areas provides smart comfort. Once you try a wool sock, you’ll never go back to cotton!

Jacket

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On those days when choosing between getting out and exercising or staying toasty indoors is the hardest decision you’ll have to make, this wind resistant, water repellent, and breathable jacket is the perfect running companion. The Marmot Ether DriClime, with its attached roll-up hood, elastic cuffs, mesh underarm vents, reflective logos, and an elastic draw cord hem, provides the protection you need, and gives you no excuse to skip a run.

Blog-Running-Thm-M-Puma-Teamsport-Fomration-DuffelGym Bag

For the modern professional dashing between home, work, and the gym, keep it all together with a classic, durable gym bag, like this Puma Teamsport Formation Duffel.

 

So there you have it – The Shoebuy Ultimate Running Guide for Fall. We want to keep you running through the seasons, and with the right gear, you’ll be equipped to reach your fitness goals while looking cool and staying warm.