Finding your running shoe soulmate (solemate?) is the key to elevating your runs from daily chore to feel-good highlight of your day (because shin splints are total day-ruiners).
To help you find the footwear that has the perfect balance of cool-girl style and foot-loving support, we asked three women runners to give us their reviews on the shoes they use in their IRL workouts.
Scroll down to see the shoes in action—and read the reviews of how they fared under different running conditions.
Katie Wang, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor
A typical week of workouts for Wang includes four or five Barry’s classes, one Pilates class, and one outdoor run (on top of teaching a dozen of her own Barry’s classes per week)—AKA she’s on her feet a lot.
Her main criteria in a pair of sneakers is support, support, support. “I used to have plantar fasciitis and suffered from a few ankle injuries from volleyball, so I am always on the hunt for the best support,” she says. “Flimsy just won’t cut it for me.”
“Flimsy just won’t cut it for me.”
Wang first took the Kayano 25s for a test run during a Barry’s class. “I was very impressed with the support and structure of the sneakers,” she says. “I had always heard good things about those shoes, but had yet to try them myself. What I particularly enjoyed about them was they felt sturdy but somehow still are incredibly light.”
And that went for both on machine and off. “In the past I’ve had running shoes that I like on the treadmill, but when I get to the floor work I don’t feel enough stability. The shoes were supportive both on the treadmill and the floor.”
Gali Dotan, personal trainer
As a former professional dancer, movement has been a part of Dotan’s life for as long as she can remember. “I was dancing before I could walk,” she says. “[For me] fitness is a lifestyle, it’s not just my job.”
Since she traded her dancing shoes for sneakers (and after sustaining multiple foot injuries from dance), she’s especially conscious of taking care of her feet—which includes rest days and wearing proper footwear.
“Each time your foot strikes the floor when you are running, that force is three times your body weight,” Dotan explains. “A good running shoe will help absorb that impact. If I’m wearing running shoes that don’t have enough support, I will feel it immediately in my joints. I cannot stress it enough! I say it to all my clients, if you want to run you’ve got to have the right shoes.”
“I say it to all my clients, if you want to run you’ve got to have the right shoes.”
She tested the Cumulus 20s across her five-day running routine, including treadmill sessions, outdoor runs, and classes at Mile High Run Club. Her review?
“I look for support at the ankle and underneath the foot,” she says. “They were incredibly comfortable, light, and have great support! They just held up great on a long run.”
Kellilyn Fierras, personal trainer and EverybodyFights instructor
Fierras ran Division I track and field in college and now trains for half marathons, so she knows the value of lacing up shoes that can take her the distance.
For her, that means footwear that can withstand a six-day training schedule, including six runs of varying lengths plus cross-training workouts like boxing, bodyweight exercises, and weight lifting.
“It was the perfect fit and comfort for both shorter and longer runs.”
“I truly enjoyed the Kayano 25s because it they’re very comfortable and stable,” Fierras says. “I have a wider foot and usually have a hard time finding a comfortable shoe that is light enough to run in. However, it was the perfect fit and comfort for both shorter and longer runs.”
SHOP THE SHOES
Top photo: Katie Wang
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