Here is a round-up of the season's best sneakers for all occasions.
The wide base on these colorful trainers keeps your foot stable, especially during the side-to-side exercises like speed-skater hops or lateral lunges. The EverTrack sole enhances grip for quick stop-and-go movements, such as during cone drills, and the spacious toe box gives tootsies ample room. The polygonal foam midsole squeezes and elongates during impact, boosting shock absorption.
Best for Low-Impact Cardio: Reebok RealFlex Transition: $100
These fun-to-wear sneaks are our top pick for low-impact cardio sessions, such as Zumba, dance DVDs, even an easy walk to and from yoga class. Instead of a solid sole, 76 individual foam nodes support you, allowing your feet to move naturally and making arches feel massaged with each step. The removable foam sock liner lets you slip in orthotics.
Best for Overweight Walkers: Nike LunarGlide+ 3: $110
These sneaks give overweight feet and joints the TLC they're after: Ultrasoft Lunarion foam cushions soles heel to toe, supports arches, and reduces impact to knees. The extra foam layer under the heel softens even the hardest landing. A midfoot strap boosts the tightening power of traditional laces by pulling the upper around your foot from the shoe's bottom, not just the sides. The result: a made-just-for-you fit.
Best for Feeling Like You're Barefoot: Brooks PureConnect: $90
These nearly weightless runners get you close to the road without entirely sacrificing cushion and support. The flexible sole allows your foot to bend naturally while protecting it on rough terrain. One caveat: They run small. Don't be surprised if you need a half size bigger than usual. The mesh upper increases airflow, keeping sweaty feet cool.
Best For Running Errands: Keen Sienna MJ Canvas: $75
The soft textile upper of these cute Mary Janes makes them perfect for Saturday shopping trips or Sunday brunch. The wide elastic strap prevents slip-offs. Recycled cork lends give and shock absorption to the rubber soles.
Best For Day Hikes: Ahnu Sequoia: $110
These lightweight hikers work as well on city streets (they do look great with jeans) as on wooded paths. The grip on the Vibram sole keeps you stable on tricky terrain. A forefoot protection plate prevents stubbing toes on rocks.
Best For Interval Training: Adidas Adizero Adios 2: $115
The padded forefoot on this lightweight shoe cushions the ball of your foot during sprints, making it easier to pick up the pace during run/walk intervals. And the flexible midsole gives added bounce on the road, putting a motivating spring in your step. The tirelike rubber outsole offers extra traction on wet roads.
Best For Rainy Days: Teva Fuse-ion: $90
These kicks hold up to a full day of walking, even in wet weather- a waterproof nylon upper sheds water droplets. And forget slipping: The outsole is made from rubber originally designed to prevent chefs from falling on greasy kitchen floors. It turns into a slip-on! Step onto the padded, collapsible heel for a second stylish look.
Best For High-Mileage Walking: Asics Gel-Kayano 18: $150
This shoe is just right for logging mega miles. The shock-absorbing gel platform, covered with a soft-top foam designed for a woman's foot, provides the perfect amount of padding. Another bonus: The bouncy give inspires longer workouts! An external heel grip holds your foot in place, reducing friction.
Best For Elliptical Workouts: New Balance 813: $80
These trainers minimize irritation and prevent discomfort during a hard-core sweat session, thanks to a pressure-relieving foam insert and strategically placed pads on the outsole that reduce impact. Result: You can last longer on cardio equipment. A stretchy upper allows your foot to expand during workouts, eliminating rubbing that can lead to blisters.
Steps To Finding the Perfect Sneaker Match
1. Partner with a pro. Specialized running/walking shoe stores (like Road Runner Sports) normally do an in-depth gait analysis- often going so far as to videotape your feet while you run or walk on a treadmill- to identify a shoe that will offer you the perfect amount of support and cushion.
2. Bring Your Old Pair. "The wear patterns on the soles of your old workout shoes offer many clues as to how your foot strikes the ground, which can help us determine the type of shoe that will fit you best," says Margaret Buehler, senior sales associate and expert shoe fitter at Fleet Feet Sports Chicago.
3. Don't Be Vain About Sizing. Running shoes often run about a size smaller than flats or heels, says Buehler. So if you're normally a size 8, don't be afraid to try on a 9.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
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