While we might be reaching peak fashion sneaker, sometimes you need a bit more — technology, support, strength — in a shoe you’re going to work out in. Whether you need something for double-dips at Barry’s or traversing 18 miles of asphalt, we spoke to 12 fitness-minded women.
Hoka One One Women’s Cavu
“When I was training for an Ironman (after coming back from knee surgery), a friend who had done the race a year before recommended I check out Hokas. The sort of clown-looking shoes? I thought. But after going to the gym and doing a five-mile run in them, I was hooked. They look big and bulky to put on, but feel amazingly light when running. The toe box is just a touch wider than a standard running shoe, which gives a noticeably more comfortable and relaxed fit without feeling like your foot is sliding or shifting around. And thanks to the ample amount of cushioning packed into the outsole, I have far less aches and pains in my knee compared to other sneakers when running long distances.”
“When the Adidas UltraBoost first came out, I was skeptical of the brand’s big claims about how revolutionary they were … and had yet to find a pair of shoes to make me want to alternate with my Asics Gel Nimbus (which I still wear and love as well). They weren’t exaggerating, though: The UltraBoost actually do feel like clouds on your feet, and I’ve never felt faster. I’ve now run three marathons in different versions of the UltraBoost (Boston, Berlin, New York City), and trained for others in them. I also think they’re one of the most stylish workout-shoe options out there. I try to keep one pair just for running and another for the gym and for walking around.
“I came across these incredibly lightweight trainers when I was on a fashion-PR salary, which meant they became my one pair of sneakers that had to work everywhere: at the gym, in cycling classes, and on hikes. I now wear them on my frantic trips between my office and the yoga studio. They’re hardly in style, but they still have enough sturdiness and shock absorption to support my busy city life (and tired arches).
“I went to the New York Running Company store to get fitted for new shoes, after injuring my knee wearing the wrong shoes to train for a half-marathon, and found these Brooks. They are the BEST. They might feel big and bulky at first if you’re used to Nikes, especially around the ankles, but these felt great to run with, and my knee was painless. I ran the Brooklyn Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in them and have never felt better.”
“I owned the last make of these sneakers, and I wore them until the knitting fell apart. Safe to say, they are the most comfortable sneakers. I am on my flat feet for about 14 hours per day, so comfort is a must, and I noticed it helps my foot create a comfortable arch. Along with that, the sole is supportive, so it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing socks all day, and in between clients, I can squeeze in a quick workout. I mostly love them for their versatility — I’m able to lift in them and switch to a cross-training workout, then even meet my friends for dinner without changing into another pair of shoes, since they’re stylish.”