Whether you’re a 12-time marathoner or just a fast-paced mall-walker, you’re probably in the market for a pair of sneakers that’ll make you want to get off the couch and go. Luckily, these pumped-up kicks are the latest in running-shoe technology and aren’t too tough on the eyes, either.
Foam soles, which aren't anything "new" per se (Adidas released its first pair in 2013), have been gaining traction in recent months. Breakthroughs in super-lightweight foam have replaced the less durable EVA foam—meaning running shoes are lighter and more flexible than ever before. Plus, the material is often credited with giving more "energy return," meaning you can go further with each stride—an actual "spring in your step," if you will. Here, six pairs of foam-soled sneakers to help you hit the road (or shopping mall...no judgements here).
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit Running Shoes
New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole is made of a single piece of lightweight foam that has laser-cut perforations to absorb impact and shock. One reviewer wrote, “I started running four years ago, and have been on the search for the right shoe for my feet ever since. This shoe is it! I just ran a marathon in these."
On Running Cloudswift Road Shoes
On, a Swiss brand, is relatively new to the athletic footwear scene, and this particular style should definitely be on your radar. Its proprietary Helion superfoam technology is made for running in urban environments (yes, including concrete and asphalt). The shoe itself is super lightweight and made from a certain type of mesh that’s breathable in high temperatures. This editor has been relying on this pair to run about 16 miles a week along the Hudson River without a single blister or sore calf.
Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) TechLoom Pro Sneakers
APL's innovative Propelium foam technology outlasts other typical EVA foams since it's incredibly durable and super lightweight. However, these are better for shorter-distance runs, since the sole of your foot sits lower to the ground and has less arch support than other long-distance running shoes. But as a favorite of Oprah’s and Kris Jenner’s, can you really go wrong?
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Running Shoe
Nike React’s springy foam sole debuted in running shoes in early 2018, and has been met with glowing praise ever since. Based on the Swoosh’s basketball shoes, which featured foam midsoles made for switching directions at a moment’s notice and quickly lifting off the ground, the Epic React’s core selling point is long-lasting comfort.
Adidas Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoes
Running shoes aren’t typically this fashion-forward, but Adidas has us questioning whether we should wear Cloudfoam to work and then the gym (or vice versa). The Triple Stripes boast technology that actually molds to your foot—sorta like a memory-foam mattress—so they still feel comfortable, even after a long day on your feet.
Asics MetaRide Running Shoes
If you can stomach the hefty price tag, you (and your average pace) won’t be disappointed. Asics, which has long been known for its superior performance running shoes, recently debuted their proprietary cushioning called FlyteFoam. The new MetaRide contains a special foam sole, plus a rocking-chair-like shape that’s designed to reduce stress on your ankles, making you able to run longer distances at a faster pace (or so they claim).