How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up after almost a week? Still good, hopefully! Every year, we vow to turn our life around and embark on a healthier journey, whether it’s thoughtfully considering our food intake or motivating our Netflix-chilling selves to get off the couch and exercise — and these are good things, things that should being us joy and fulfilment. Until you’ve caved in to McDonald’s, that is.
Now, this is a safe, no-judgment zone; so all we’re saying is don’t give up, and find that motivation to stay on track for the rest of the year! It’s pretty apt then, that the NYLON team recently put 5 of the latest running shoes to the test, so listen up if you’ve got a fitness goal you’d like to stick to. Your motivation’s right here!
When you’re in search of a good pair of running shoes, we all want to go for what’s best. I enjoy exercising on a weekly basis so choosing the right pair that’s comfortable to workout in is really important to me.
Besides comfort, there are also a lot of other factors that I usually consider before purchasing one. For one, it has to look stylish. And no, I don’t really ask for much when it comes to my gym outfit, but I’d much prefer a versatile piece that I could pair with any outfit I’m sporting. Secondly, it has to be light and ergonomically-designed to fit nicely on my feet so I can have a fuss-free experience while working out.
I used to have this perception that running shoes from Asics would usually come in bright colourways that didn’t really suit my taste but after seeing this pair, my views have changed. With a fashion casual athletic upper, I really liked how the soles of the shoe had an oreo-like colourway that gives an edgy look to its overall design. And of course, the shoes were black, which totally fits my pick when it comes to versatility.
The Asics HyperGEL-SAI also comes with performance-driven features, offering premium cushioning and exceptional durability, with its unique sock-like fit that is very much different than the traditional tongue. The shoes also have an asymmetrical lacing design which makes it less of a hassle to deal with if you’re one who always finds yourself having to tie your laces every now and then while you’re on-the-go. I also found that the soles of the shoes gave really good support for the arches of my feet and I could exercise comfortably with it.
However, after trying on the pair, I realised that it was a bit too snug for me to fit despite it being my shoe size. My feet may be a little too wide so the shoes may have been more suited for those who have narrow feet. Otherwise, I’d suggest sizing up if you so that it fits better.
So here’s my final take: I was a bit disappointed with the fit but I guess my experience would have been better if it was a size bigger. Nonetheless, this pair is definitely worth copping if you like something that’s versatile and comfortable for your weekly gym sessions.
— Shazrina Shasmudin, Writer
ASICS HyperGEL–SAI, $159. Available at ASICS stores.
NIKE ZOOM PEGASUS 35 TURBO
The first thing that came to mind when I first picked them up was that the shoes were really, really light. Made for running, the latest Nike Zoom uses their Vaporfly 4% and ZoomX foam, designed for marathon and long distance runners.
And run like the wind, you will. With the new lightweight foam, the ZoomX is much lighter than the adidas Ultraboost and any other running shoes I’ve ever had. Much of my exercise routine involves running, which is why I’m always on the lookout for a good pair of running shoes. Lightweight foam can be quite slow to recover their shape, but the ZoomX is both highly compressible and rebounds quickly for that extra cushioning.
This cushioning means that your feet will be protected from the repeated contact from the ground, and your feet might not feel as sore after a long run. According to Nike, the new ZoomX delivers the greatest energy return yet with an 85%. This is very useful during long runs when you want to conserve energy and go for even longer distances.
As for the design, the shoe fits pretty snugly with a wide forefoot, although the heel is tapered. Plus points for the tall heel collar which is slightly curved away from the Achilles tendon to reduce any blisters that are usually courtesy of a new pair of shoes.
The shoes also have pretty good grip with a pentagon-shaped nubs design on the outsole for those rocky terrains if you’re thinking of running outdoors or wearing it on treks (I wore it to climb Mount Batur just to test it out). And the Nike ZoomX is pretty good for running downhill due to the cushioning — your knees won’t feel it as much.
— MICHELLE NG, CONTRIBUTING WRITEr
Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo, $259. Available at Nike stores and online.
REEBOK FLOATRIDE RUN FLEXWEAVE
Now, this is a running shoe — and I mean both the good and bad of it. Since I’m the kind of person who likes to hear the bad news first, no matter how cringe-worthy, I’ll start with that. With its bright neon green colourway that seems to radiate its own light even in the box, I can’t say I’m a fan.
First, a caveat: I’m not the most sporty person, and I’m aware how marathon runners and fitspo junkies tend to go for eye-catching kicks to stand out, but as your casual, everyday person, I’d ideally like to pair my sports shoes with my weekend attire. You know, athleisure and all that. I can’t see myself working ‘radioactive chic’ with any of my outfits — basically, anything other than tights / gym shorts. So, only for running then, and no points for versatility. Compared to the other shoes, it made me feel like the brand’s designs were a little outdated (until I saw the black version that is).
That aside, once I had it on, things got better. It definitely looked better worn. And most importantly, for a running shoe, I can vouch for its superior function. I’ve always opted for all-purpose designs, so wearing an actual shoe that fits snugly around my feet, AND feels this lightweight, is almost heavenly. The whole floating on clouds stuff.
Whether it’s walking, jogging, or running, it probably takes 0.01% effort to lift my feet (not a real statistic), thanks to Reebok’s Floatride Foam technology, the brand’s lightest and most responsive cushioning yet (this one’s real). I really enjoyed how comfortable the shoes are — the light weight is one thing; there’s also how the cushioning feels soft, yet delivers on that responsiveness, meaning that it “bounces back” quickly so my energy isn’t wasted. Basically, it pushed me to run more — quite the motivation eh!
There’s also an EVA foam rim that stabilises and balances your foot when it hits the ground, making sure you land properly so there won’t be aches over time, which is especially great for long distance runners. Coupled with the breathable flexweave fabric, I’d say the shoes are making a convert out of me… if I can only get past the neon.
TL;DR — don’t love the look, but the feel of the shoes will change your mind.
— Amelia Tan, Deputy Editor
Reebok Floatride Run Flexweave, $199. Available at Royal Sporting House and online.
NEW BALANCE FUELCELL IMPULSE NYC MARATHON
Earlier in November, I had to throw my favourite pair of New Balances away – due to wear and tear. Though I am a person who prefers to wear lifestyle sneakers instead of sports shoes, the FuelCell Impulse NYC Marathon Edition looked too pretty to resist.
Its sleek design, together with a bootie construction, makes it a trendy shoe for everyday wear. The shoe even has hints of copper, (or to make it sound more atas, rose gold) which makes it the perfect millennial shoe to flaunt on IG. And it is in my favourite colour, black! I’ve tried on the shoes with many different outfits, from dresses to pants, and it pairs well with everything.
Design aside, let’s talk about its practicality and comfortability. The FuelCell Impulse NYC Marathon Edition is designed for speed, making it great for road racing and marathons. I can vouch for that as I went for a run to break in my new shoes. With mesh uppers and nitrogen-injected foam, this model is lightweight and breathable. Every step forward feels like a bounce, meaning I can exert less energy. Now I know why the shoe is named after the largest marathon in the world, it certainly makes you feel like you are running one!
More special features about the shoe include: An external heel cup that acts as support and structure without adding extra weight, New Balance’s “Launch Angle” outsole that gives optimal forefoot roll when you place your weight there. New Balance technology helps you to figure out which pair of shoes are best for you – and this one includes REVlite, an innovative foam compound that absorbs impact and returns energy to the wearer.
I’m no shoe expert, but I know a good pair of shoes when I wear one. I even wore it to trek and the non-slip outsoles really delivered, I could hike through rough terrains without having to worry about slipping.
I honestly expected myself to develop blisters after my run, but my feet were perfectly fine! The shoes wrap nicely around my feet, making them a great fit. Regarding the ‘bootie construction’ that I mentioned earlier on, the opening of the shoe provides a snug and comfortable fit. It fits like a sock and is as comfortable as one! Watch me wear this for every occasion – and not just marathons.
— Lim Yen Shuen, Editorial Assistant
New Balance FuelCell Impulse NYC Marathon, $229 – $259. Available at New Balance stores.
UNDER ARMOUR HOVR SONIC
I didn’t run as fast as Sonic the Hedgehog or at supersonic speed, but it did certainly feel like I was running swiftly. Or, in Under Armour terms, runners will experience a ‘zero gravity feel’ with their latest HOVR Sonic technology for a light midsole.
The HOVR Sonic was made for speed, with more cushioning and flexibility to keep you moving. There is extra padding around the heel to support your feet and keep it from moving too much in the shoe. While the shoes are perfect for rocky runs or across pavements and concrete, they don’t do very well in wet weather, especially if you’re going downhill.
Due to knitted uppers, the HOVR Sonic’s also pretty compact when flattened which makes it a handy second pair of shoes when traveling. And while the shoes aren’t exactly waterproof, the compression mesh uppers are made from micro threads which dry pretty quickly. However, we don’t advise bringing this shoe to cold environments as the uppers are pretty open and ventilated, with little protection against winter conditions.
Still, the sole lining is removable, which makes it handy to air out if you’ve got sweaty feet or prefer to have your own insoles. If you hate pesky rocks getting into your shoes as you run, you might want to consider getting the HOVR Phantom instead as it has a knitted ankle collar for a bootie-like fit.
— MICHELLE NG, CONTRIBUTING WRITEr
Under Armour HOVR Sonic, $179. Available at Under Armour stores and online.