reebok: crossfit nano 9
Reebok’s Nano 9 wowed us with its control and comfort. The latest design in the CrossFit-centric Nano collection includes new features such as additional forefoot cushioning and soft rubber midsole wraps to provide improved cushioning and protection as you tackle your WODs. The outsoles’ MetaSplit grooves and wide toe box also provide security with better traction and comfort, making this design a great option for footwork-heavy workouts even outside of CrossFit.
Available at Royal Sporting House for $169.
Skechers: Gorun Pulse — Specter
Skechers may not share the same athletic pedigree as other performance brands, but its GoRun Pulse – Specter is still a thoughtfully designed, well-made shoe. The standout feature is its ultra-light design that, when paired with the brand’s responsive Air Cooled Goga Mat insoles, feels like clouds under the feet. The Ultra Flight cushioning also contributes to this by effectively absorbing impact. All in all, this is a simple design with sole technologies that do their job well.
Available at Skechers for $109.
Puma: LQD Cell Hydra
Puma’s Lqd Cell Hydra was designed to support activities with dynamic movements. The Lqd Cell midsole uses sole technologies like EVA and rubber wraps to provide stability, while the grooved rubber outsole provides traction during training. We can vouch for the design’s sturdiness and ample grip, since we never once slipped or lost balance while engaged in various activities – even in wet weather. Our sore toes and feet, however, point to the need for the shoes to be softer and more flexible.
Available at Puma for $159.
Like the Metaride and Glideride, Asics’ latest Evoride is constructed with the Flytefoam-infused Guidesole technology. It lived up to its claims with shock absorption that felt more effective than many of the other shoes here. The durable Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) outsoles also provided a comfortable toe-off as we ran across uneven surfaces. These design details, together with its flexibility and lightness, allowed us to go further with less fatigue, making this a great option for regular runners.
Available at Asics for $179.
Under Armour: Machina
Despite its chunky silhouette, Under Armour’s Machina is both light and comfortable. The shoes are well-cushioned thanks to its Pebax speed plate that absorbs impact, making sudden push-offs like sprints during circuit training a lot more comfortable. They are also constructed with Hovr technology, which has proven to have the same light, airy feel as other models sporting this innovation. If you can look past its gaudy colourways, this is a decent all-rounded pair of performance shoes with thoughtful sole technologies to consider.
Available at Under Armour for $229.
Adidas: Ultraboost 20
Boost is Adidas’ proprietary midsole cushioning material, and the Ultraboost 20 is the sixth iteration of the brand’s signature Ultraboost running shoe. The Ultraboost 20 provides an extremely comfortable ride, with both ample cushioning and good control. The thick Boost midsole, however, encourages heel strike and a wider stride length, so mid-foot strike runners will need to make adjustments. The Primeknit upper fits like a sock, with minimal additions to secure the heel and forefoot. It’s extremely comfortable, but takes a fairly long time to wear in before fitting well.
Available at Adidas for $260.
Nike: Infinity React
Nike increased the React midsole’s volume here by 24 per cent compared to the Epic React’s design, resulting in a shoe that is both sturdier and more stable. Efficient shock absorption reduced the impact on our ankles decently, making our calves less fatigued as a result. However, while security is guaranteed, this design was a tad heavy and made for clumsy footwork, which isn’t great for any form of training that involves sprints and sudden movements.
Available at Nike for $239.
New Balance: Fresh Foam 1080V10
New Balance introduced an updated Fresh Foam technology to the 1080v10 design, giving the shoes superior comfort and support. Whether it was jumping or running, this design took any challenging footwork in stride better than previous iterations of the technology. The rubber outsoles further enhanced the ride by providing traction and cushioning without excess weight, making this design one of the most comfortable performance shoes we’ve encountered.
Available at New Balance for $239.