Nothing puts a spring in your step (yes, we went there) quite like the return of days filled with sunshine—and a new pair of kicks.
This season, top sneaker purveyors are catering to every workout, from added traction and drainage for mud-run enthusiasts to energy-boosting foam that rockets towards your 10K finish line and flexy-breathable sneaks for dance cardio. And they come in pretty pastels, bright neons, and eye-catching patterns to brighten up your fitness wardrobe and toughest workouts.
Here are five pairs of new kicks to try on for size—and sweat in—this spring. —Lisa Elaine Held
Puma Mobium XT, $90
Puma took its popular Mobium running shoe and turned it into a cross-trainer this season, made for functional workouts that require shuffling and jumping in all directions. It’s crafted to increase your agility with features like a pivot point, and to support side-to-side movement, via deep flex grooves in the outsoles.
Reebok All Terrain Sprint, $109.98
Whether you’re obsessed with Spartan Races or are trying Mudderella for the first time this year, Reebok’s new all-terrain sneaker is made to get you through the obstacles as quickly as possible, with teeth for traction, an underfoot rock guard to protect your foot against sharp objects, and, most importantly, strategically-placed drainage ports to prevent sloshing mud from slowing you down. The color combos are also super cute, but the opportunity to show that off won’t last long.
Mizuno Wave Rider 17, $114.99
The Wave Rider has been a runners’ favorite for years, so it’s perfect for those who need a dependable, comfortable shoe without lots of bells and whistles—just thoughtful performance-enhancing details. The newest version is the lightest one yet, but still with just enough support and cushioning for those who aren’t ready (or prefer not) to go the almost-barefoot route. And the new salmon-yellow color combo is bright and cheery for spring sidewalks.
Under Armour Speedform Apollo, $99.99
Under Armour crafted its newest shoe in a clothing factory, using the mechanisms of apparel fit to craft a shoe that hugs your foot like a sock. It’s a feeling that’s super welcome during dance cardio sequences, when bulky soles and extra fabric lead to tripping over your own feet (although at least you have an excuse, if you need one…). They’re also built to be super mobile for leaping and sashaying and come with a perforated toe for breathability—which you’ll be grateful for as the room heats up.
Adidas Energy Boost 2.0, $160
The Energy Boost was Adidas’ big reveal last year, and it’s been given an upgrade for 2014. Its biggest draw is the “increased energy return” it promises from its proprietary foam that’s said to propel you forward, towards the finish line, at a faster speed. And it’s a shoe that feels natural and flexible on your foot while still providing support. Plus, um, look how pretty it is!