Best Running Shoes for Summer

Blog-Featured-BestSpringRunning-0602

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

Blog-Featured-RunningtotheMax-0602

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

Blog-Featured-OutdoorStory-0509-V2

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.

3 Sandals Every Guy Needs

Blog-Featured-MensSandals-0503-V1

Summer is right around the corner and we can’t help but get excited for the longer days, warmer nights, and sunny adventures that make every weekend feel like a mini vacation. And since nothing says, “it’s time to relax” quite like slipping on a pair of sandals, we’ve rounded up the three pairs every guy needs this season. Whether he’s out grabbing the morning paper, off on an afternoon adventure in the great outdoors, or sipping cocktails as the sun goes down, these great styles will make him forget the office even exists.

Easy Like Sunday Morning

A casual slide is the most comfortable (yet appropriate!) alternative to staying in his slippers all day. Our pick: The Superstar 4G from Adidas – it’s a modern update to a classic favorite.

 

Dog Days

We know, when it’s summertime, the thought of wearing actual shoes isn’t one you want to entertain, but you still want to look like you put in a little effort. Up your flip flop game with the perfect pair of sandals that can go from an afternoon with friends at the beach to a casual dinner out in linen pants – just be sure to brush off the sand. Our pick: the classic Ohana Flip Flop.

Gone Fishing

An adventure shoe for getting out and about is a must-have for the summer. You need something that can support your every move – whether that’s on a shaded mountain pathway or trekking around the city streets. Our pick: The Keen UNEEK – designed to keep feet cool and dry. Plus, its signature two cord, one sole construction allows for a totally custom fit and provides the right balance of flexibility and support.

Be sure to check out our huge collection of designer, active, comfort sandals and more to find the summer shoes that fit your style.

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.

How to Style Booties for Warmer Weather

BLOG_mood_nocopy

Booties have become a go-to style for fall and winter, but you can really rock your favorites all year long. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites and have a few ideas on how to wear booties for spring and summer.

The classic bootie style is a great addition to any wardrobe, and is one you’ll find yourself wearing from the time the first flowers are shooting up until the leaves are crunching beneath your fabulously dressed feet. These styles look great with leggings or tights in the cooler weather, but also bring a little edge to your fashion game in the warmer months when paired with an airy dress, white jeans or denim cutoffs. So if you’ve already got a pair in your closet – don’t pack them away for the summer!

This season, we’re seeing a lot of open toes, texture and fantastic block heels, which means you can personalize your look with the right pair. From softer floral cutouts to perforated details, there’s no shortage of options. Pair with cropped pants or a tailored skirt for the office, or throw on your favorite skinny jeans (cuffed to show a little ankle for the season, of course) and a t-shirt for a go-anywhere weekend look. We also love pairing a crisp denim skirt with this style for a sleek work option.

Take your booties out with you at night – these looks are perfect for a girls’ night out, a date night, or for whenever you want to feel extra fabulous. From rich suedes and lace-up details to stacked wooden heels, you can style these boots just like you would your favorite pair of pumps!

Already rocking your booties this season? Share your spring style with us @shoebuydotcom on Instagram with #myshoebuy.

sidebysidePhoto credit left to right: The Boston Fashionista, Naturalizer, The Box Queen 

10 Gifts for Mom

Blog-Featured-MothersDay-0419-V1

Here at ShoeBuy, we love moms. We love the moms that shop with us everyday, we love the moms we work alongside and of course, we love OUR own moms!

As close as you may be with your mom (or grandma, sister, aunt, or another exceptional lady in your life), it can be tricky to find a Mother’s Day gift that shows you care and that she’ll actually like and use. Whether she’s the active type, fashion-forward, or maybe a new mommy, somehow that person who we think we know so well suddenly becomes puzzling when it comes to gift buying.

Never fear! We asked several ShoeMoms what’s on their Mother’s Day wish list and put together the ultimate Mother’s Day gift guide to take the guessing out of shopping.

For the Mom with a Little Prep in Her Step…

Go for a classic look with a bit of a modern flair. These slip-ons from Clarks are the perfect transition shoe for the warmer months and would look chic paired with an easy-to-wear skirt like this seersucker number from Toad&Co. Plus, we know mom will appreciate it’s made from 100% organic cotton!

 

For the New Mama, a Little Stylish Comfort!

If she’s celebrating her first Mother’s Day this year, nothing beats a gift that makes her day a little easier – and more comfortable! The ultimate in organization, this Ju-Ju-Be diaper bag holds everything for both mom and baby in a backpack design that’s practical without sacrificing style. And for her feet? These Birkenstocks offer serious support for every stride, and the studded detailing shows mama’s still “got it.”

For the Easy Breezy Mom Who Goes with the Flow

Help her relax with laid-back pieces that are bound to become her weekend go-to’s this summer. A casual top made with breathable materials like this Prana shirt with flutter sleeves is the perfect alternative to a basic tee for running errands around town. And instead of just throwing on shabby sneakers, she’ll actually be excited to wear these fun leather sandals from Vionic, scientifically proven to alleviate heel pain.

 

For the On-the-Move Mama

Whether headed to the market or grabbing a coffee with some friends after yoga class, every woman needs a lightweight jacket that’s easy to wear and looks great on the fly. The “Do Everything” woven jacket from lucy lives up to its name, and works as a stand-alone coat or as part of a layered look. And for those days when it seems like she can’t find a minute to sit down, she’ll be singing your praises for adding these Dansko dreams to her closet.

For the Always-in-Style Mom

Feed her fashion addiction with leather lovelies that she’ll rock both for work and play. A hobo bag like this relaxed yet structured silhouette from Lodis stays on-trend and offers ample room for all the necessities without becoming bulky. And when paired with an equally luxurious pair of strappy sandals like these Cole Haan beauties, this duo goes from boardroom to PTA meeting to date night without missing a step.

Public Service Announcement: Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Moms deserve a day of pampering, so save yourself the stress of running around the night before – or forking over a TON of cash for an overpriced bouquet of flowers the day-of – by putting a little thought into what your mom would really appreciate.

Need more inspiration? These picks are sure to become some of mom’s new favorites.

From Gold to Silver, Flat to High, White to Black & More: Prom Shoes for Every Style

promlettersheader

These days, proms have morphed into milestone events – the Oscars, if you will, of high school. Fashion risks are taken and memories are made. And while every prom and every girl are different, for many, getting ready for the big night is half of the fun.

Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorite prom-stopping styles, with picks that range from classically pretty to the fantastically edgy. After all, the dress is really part of the look!

For a sleek silhouette, choose a pair of shoes that will up the ante without becoming distracting. Timeless doesn’t have to mean boring, so embrace a hot trend like lace-up or get glitzy without fear of risking future style regret. Plus, these styles so chic, they’re sure to be worn again!

If prom is your night to shine, burn baby, burn! Make a fashion statement with your shoes with bold colors, textures, and interesting designs that complement your outfit.

For a subtler look, a small heel or flats can add just as much pizzazz as their stiletto counterparts, and are particularly pretty when paired with an airy, Grecian inspired dress – not to mention, likely more comfortable.

Heels not your thing? We feel you. Kick it all night in a pair of high tops or sparkle in glitter sneakers that show you’re fashionable and fun. Did someone say after party?

Ladies, frost yourselves. A great clutch will hold your ticket, lip balm, and cell phone while you’re tearing up the dance floor, and the right jewelry can take a look from basic to prom queen without blowing your budget.

Whether you’re still shopping for the perfect gown or stressing over finding a date, rest assured your feet will win best dressed. Just don’t forget to thank us in your acceptance speech.

Stay safe and have fun!

15 Best Shoes to Wear to a Music Festival

crowd1 header

Headed to a music festival this spring or summer? Whether you’ll be chilling at Coachella in April, bopping at Bonnaroo in June, or Lollapalooza-ing in August, the music is just part of the festival experience. As any girl who has attended one in the past can tell you, music festivals are also a fun opportunity to show off your fashion prowess and personality. Who cares if you don’t know all the words to the song as long as your outfit lineup is in tune? From headdresses to feathers, flowers to fringe, anything goes. When it comes to what you’ll put on your feet, however, think fashion AND comfort. You want something that will bring your whole outfit together but you’ll also feel good wearing all day, because nothing says “party’s over” like a killer blister. What’s more, these styles will be hot all summer long, so even if you’re not off to a show, there’s a look for everyone!

Sandals are the go-to footwear at music festivals for good reason: they’ll keep you cool and comfortable even when things heat up, and with such a range of styles available, you can find the perfect pair to complete any look. Embrace the gladiator sandal trend with a lace-up duo to add some interest to a classic cutoff jeans getup, or bring a little height with a low block heel that’s still easy to trek around in all day. It’s not a bad idea to plan on changing your shoes at some point over the course of the day or weekend either – a pair of metallic Birkenstocks will feel like heaven after an afternoon of dancing and are a much safer alternative to bare feet.

Booties aren’t just for country music concertgoers; though if one is on your festival docket, look no further! Also a great choice for potentially inclement weather or dusty mosh pits, these tried-and-trues will keep your toes protected without sacrificing style. Look for a pair with fringe, perforation, or buckles to really stand out.

Though our fingers are crossed for sunshine, prepare for a washout of a weekend with an amazing pair of rain boots you’d be excited to wear – you may just find yourself doing the rain dance and jumping in puddles with 100,000 new friends!

If you’re in it for the long haul, sneakers are the way to go. A pair from Converse is so versatile – the white, All Star high tops add sass while floral print Chuck Taylors is a playful pick. But feel free to mix patterns and colors – when it comes to festival fashion, personal expression is the name of the game!

We want to keep you jumping, bumping, and grooving all night long, so once you’ve got your tickets, be sure to grab one (or two) of these festival-friendly styles and get ready for an experience you’ll never forget.