I am no runner but I am definitely a certified sneakerhead. To say I like sneakers is an understatement and my collection seems to grow weekly. As you will see with this list, I didn't just go to the top sites and pick 5 sneaks.
Here is how I am ranking the kicks in this list.
- Technology - these sneakers need to have some sort of advanced technology to make a 10 mile run feel like a warmup. I expect to buy these and then run a half marathon the next day. The “technology” will come from the sole where they will talk about bounce. The term “bounce” is all about the energy response from hitting the ground on each stride. That guy with the funky white hair (Einstein) said that every action has an equal or opposite reaction. The more bounce the easier it is to run.
- The Reputation - I wouldn't tell someone to go to Wendy’s to try their new salad. You go there to try what they are experts in, juicy square burgers. So someone like Acics will get an extra point because they are a runners sneaker company.
- The Look - I mean they gotta look dope duhhh
- The Price - I am sure there is a shoe out there for over a G but that doesn’t make it the perfect or best running shoe...I don’t care how good your reputation is or how much bounce you have.
NIKE Running Shoes
Nike Epic React
This was Nike’s response to the success of the Adidas Ultraboost and they did not mess around. They consider this shoe the most comfortable sole on the market. There is so much bounce in this shoe, you will feel like you are walking on a pillow. The shoe also has a design that pushes you forward with each step making it easier to complete your runs. That sounds good to me!
This shoe is expensive at $150 but does come in many colorways. This is the BE TRUE Pride colorway:
Nike Runner Up (pun definitely intended)
Nike Zoom Fly
This shoe design comes from the super limited 4% shoe they made for their marathon runners. After winning the Marathon with their sneakers, Nike tried to make an “economy” version of this shoe. The Zoom Fly has a ton of firm padding on the sole and is the lightest running shoe they are selling.
These are easily the most iconic shoe in the game right now. It's the 3 stripes with the styrofoam looking bottom. This shoe changed the industry since it looks fresh as hell while being a phenomenal running shoe. Once you try a pair on, you will understand. They do come at a price being $180 but some say it's worth it since it can be a gym shoe and a casual shoe. By my math, that means its on $90 per style. Also, speaking of style the shoe comes in 11 colorways.
Adidas Runner AlphaBounce (Beyond)
This is the poor (wo)mans version of the Ultraboost and still look pretty dope. They serve the exact same purpose looks and performance wise without the $180 price tag and the super foamy bottoms. These shoes will run you $100 bucks and you will be pretty happy.
I am not gonna sit here and pretend to act like I know anything about this brand or this shoe but I did buy a pair 2 years ago so that is all I am going off of. According to the site, this is their best shoe so basically I made a phenomenal choice. This shoe uses 4 different technologies to create comfort and performance on long distance runs. In my experience, Asics have the most support above the sole but that comes at the price of adding more weight. A fun fact is that Asics use their logo that covers the whole shoe to create support around the foot. This does run into the looks issue - Asics are not the best looking shoes so if you want just performance, then this shoe is for you!
At $160, I will be putting this towards the bottom of the list even though the technology is clearly there.
Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL)
Huh? Apple makes sneakers? I did not know that. Sorry to burst your bubble but nope, this isn’t Apple but they are a sneaker brand that is growing rapidly. Recently, I found out about them since they got banned by the NBA. Apparently their technology is too good that it is unfair to have them on your feet. Well for us normal joes that want super bouncy soles, I am in! These shoes use a minimalistic style so they are perfect for the gym and for any outfit making you look fresh either way.
They are a little pricey at $140 but they do hold weight in the fact that you will prolly be the only person rocking these in the gym.
Okay, back in the day when UA released their revolutionary seamless SpeedForm Apollo sole, I was in awe. It was perfection for a running shoe. I bought it and immediately fell in love, both in the performance and the look. The SpeedForm technology still exists and they are still improving it but the look is the real problem. Ever since that first release, I have not been able to get another pair since I can not find one I like.
Here is the most current version of the SpeedForm. If you do not care about look, this performs as one of the best shoes on the market. You get tremendous support because your foot doesn’t move and the bounce return is top notch.
Under Armour Runner Up
UA HOVR Sonic
The site says these are a best seller so I am gonna trust them. People are clearly buying them on performance because they look like a shoe you walk on Mars with. They have the seamless technology with a bottom that looks very cushiony. I actually think at $100, these are a great deal. Under Armour is known for their technology and they do not come out with a new product unless that technology is sound.
- Adidas Ultra Boost
- APL TechLoom Pro
- Nike React
- ASICS Nimbus
- Adidas AlphaBounce
I choose the Ultra Boost because of its multipurpose functionality, its historical importance to the kick game, technology, and its look. This is the only shoe that can fundamentally win in these categories.