The shoe fetish exists for both, men and women. While some people rely on their impulse to pick up a pir, others may prefer to do a complete R&D to purchase a functional pair that fits really well.
Today, it doesn’t end at the colour and style. Shoe experts are giving attention to every detail, to make shoes that provide great comfort and performance.
Shoe engineers are creating designs that are not just appealing to the eye, but those that enhance every step, add an extra bounce or help tone your muscles when you walk. Here are some of the shoes that make a great buy for people who love to walk or run. Which one of them will be your exercise buddy?
Adidas Springblade (Rs 14,999)
An out-of-the-box design replaces the mid-sole with 16 forward slanted blades of high-tech polymer that enhance propulsion. The ‘blades’ are ergonomically angled to absorb shocks and propel one up giving a feeling of ‘floating on air’. The blades compress and release energy, which, in turn, pushes the runner forward. The Upper is composed of seamless, foot-hugging fabric called Techfit. This gives a snug, sock-like fit. The mesh upper and tongue makes the shoe comfortable and adds breathability to it. On one hand where the blades give an airy feel, they add extra weight to the shoes, making them heavier than other running shoes available in the market. So your initial experience will always be of the extra weight on your foot, but once you start running, that extra bounce makes up for it.
Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 (Rs 12,995 - 13,995)
Just like cell phones, shoes are on their way to becoming lighter. Nike calls its shoe, Flyknit Lunar: ‘Impossibly light, incredibly strong’. Flyknit Lunar gets its name from its Flyknit Upper and Lunarlon Cushioning in its sole. The Flyknit Upper is made from a single light-weight polyester yarn, which is more open in areas that need greater flexibility, and tighter in areas needing more support. The use of a single material ensures that there are lesser cuts on the upper and hence lesser stitches and seams, reducing the areas of friction. Sturdy Flywire cables wrap is integrated with shoe laces around the mid foot for extra support. The Lunarlon foam cushioning is encased between the shoe and sole, giving the runner a springy response. Nike also has a Foam that distributes the force of impact more evenly, reducing the chances of pain in any specific pressure point. The tread patterns on the sole have been designed using a pressure map data reflecting a runner’s natural stride. This pattern helps you land better and also manage a better grip while running. Try them on with sports socks.
ZQuick by Reebok (Rs 8,999)
Imagine a sports car for your feet. Reebok says ZQuick line is inspired by the Z Rated Tires [designed to be driven at speeds higher than 149 miles per hour]. The outsole geometry of the shoe has been designed for control, traction and speed. The foam sole, combined with high abrasion rubber, is designed like expansion joints that mimic the sliced tread pattern of a high performance car tyre giving it an ultimate ground contact for a higher level of agility, which helps you halt faster while running at a high speed. The Metasplit Flex Grooves allow the foot to splay naturally, while its vertical and horizontal flex grooves allow an all-around flexibility. The ZQuick also has a mesh on its upper to make your feet breathe easily while the internal lining called Bio Sleeve lets you wear these shoes without socks. The Upper is also supported by ‘Nanoweb’ system on the outside, which changes in thickness to allow certain areas of the foot to have more flexibility. The lack of extra cushioning might make them uncomfortable for longer runs.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980: (US$ 109.99)
The main aim of Fresh Foam 980 is ‘cushy comfort’. The Fresh Foam midsole is made of a single piece of foam, giving a natural feel to the foot. Based on a ground reaction forces report, the foam at the heel has a convex hexagonal pattern as opposed to the concave shapes near the mid foot. The areas that need added support, such as the medial (inner) edge of the heel, take on a concave shape so that there’s more material there to give light stability under the foot. A convex design is placed in areas where the shoe should compress more, like the outer edge of the heel or inner edge alongside your big toe. Similarly, the bottom side of the shoe has hexagonal structures with varying sizes and shapes. Areas that experience higher impact has bigger hexagons. The Upper, like most of the other shoes mentioned, has a no sew overlay, making the mesh very breathable and frictionless. The undivided sole base makes them a little stiff but the extra cushy foam makes up for the stiffness once the shoes are broken into.
Faas by Puma (Rs 5,499 onwards)
The Faas family of shoes are built keeping in mind that everybody has a different stamina and not everybody is into long-distance marathons. The cushioning scale varies from 100 to 1000, the lower level for shorter run, going on to the maximum for a plusher, cushioned long run. The FaasFoam+ BioRide Midsole provides cushioning, stability and flexibility. The bottom of the sole unit is blocked with lateral release grooves and decoupled heel crash pads. The blow rubber construction makes the sole flexible and adds durability and traction. The upper consists of a wider mesh on the bottom, with a thinner mesh overlay, making for a breathable and comfortable shoe. The Upper is then topped with the EverFit System, which gives extra support to the mid-foot, locks the foot onto the platform and keeps the tongue in place. The blocked grooves make Faas great all-terrain shoes and the wider Upper has enough room for people with wider feet but the tight weave makes it difficult for feet to breathe and you might end up with sweaty feet.