LEFT SOLE: NEW BALANCE MINIMUS HI-REZ; RIGHT SOLE: ADIDAS CLIMACOOL AERATE 2.0; TOP RIGHT: SAUCONY VIRRATA (SHOWN IN FLEX); BOTTOM RIGHT: NIKE FREE 5.0 (SHOWN IN FLEX)
The word in running and training shoes this summer is FLEX, with soles that are cut, sliced and grooved to allow the foot to move the way nature intended. Inspired by the minimalist and barefoot running movement, these shoes take those principles but add the cushioning that has proven to be more of a necessity since the trend started.
Besides the comfort and ride, what we love are all the bright and poppy colors in which to go for a run or to the gym this summer. After all, fun shoes are half the reason to train! Above and below are a few of our season’s best picks. No need to change shoes when the workout is done.
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NEW BALANCE MINIMUS HI-REZ. New Balance has been one of the industry leaders in the minimal running movement, and the newest addition to the Minimus collection is the Hi-Rez. It is the most minimal of their running and training shoes with an 00mm drop from heel to toe. Somewhat amphibian like, 42 independent cushioned pods move naturally with the foot to deliver unparalleled flexibility and underfoot sensation.
ADIDAS CLIMACOOL AERATE 2.0. Very flexible and extra cool for summer is the Climacool Aerate with its anatomically shaped perforated footbed and articulated midsole for increased airflow and movement. The OrthoLite sockliner provides long-lasting cushioning, excellent moisture management and breathable comfort. Socks are optional.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: NEW BALANCE MINIMUS 10V2; MEN’S ADIDAS ADIPURE CRAZYQUICK SHOES $100; GEL-BLUR33 TR; PUMA AXEL
SAUCONY VIRRATA. The Virrata is the lightest and most flexible of Saucony’s running shoes. Designed with an 00mm offset, the shoe allows for more natural foot movement but with the extra cushioning many runners require. The breathable mesh upper makes these shoes extremely lightweight and quick-drying, very useful should you get caught in a pesky summer squall.
NIKE FREE. Pick your desired degree of flex with three Nike Free options. The spectrum ranges from the 3.0, designed for runners looking for the most flexible and barefoot-like ride, to the 5.0, still flexible but offering the cushioning of a more traditional running shoe.
NEW BALANCE MINIMUS 10V2. Midway on the spectrum between barefoot running and the traditional cushioned running shoe is the rugged 10V2, providing extra comfort in a minimal package. The 4mm heel-toe drop keeps the runner in touch with the ground, while waterproof Vibram soles offer solid protection underfoot. The Minimus 10V2 is available in great summer colors for both men and women.
MENS ADIDAS ADIPURE CRAZYQUICK SHOES. These minimal running shoes feature a PureMotion™ midsole that mimics the stability, efficiency and rapid reaction time of the bare foot. The molded midsole gives the shoe extra cushioning and the air mesh lining provides maximum breathability.
ASICS GEL-BLUR33 TR. Inspired by the 33 joints of the foot, the new 33 by ASICS™ is a collection of lightweight, minimalist training shoes that allow for more natural foot movement. The GEL-Blur 33™ is the first to debut out of the collection and offers the cushioning technology for which Asics is recognized, in a more stripped-down and flexible training shoe.
PUMA AXEL. Inspired by the “Puma by Hussein Chalayan” collection is the Puma Axel, a very fashionable training shoe. With its metallic stripes and detailing, the Axel is pure style. It is probably better suited as a versatile travel sneaker than your only training shoe, great for running around town and working out in the hotel gym, but the Axel still offers reliable sport performance.