We Found the Sneakers to Invest in If You’re a HIIT Devotee

Photo: Stocksy/Bonnin Studios
To borrow a line from Seinfeld: “What is the deal with split sole sneakers?” While the design looks a lot like it's there just to make your kicks look more fashion forward or sculptural, split-soled sneakers actually borrow their structure from dance shoes and are meant to take your HIIT workouts up a notch.

Case in point: When I tried a pair myself, I could quickly tell that I was more in control of my own foot during a HIIT class. I had a wider range of motion (good for all those high-knees and burpees), but I also didn't have to sacrifice any stability to the ground. Even when I was moving side-to-side, I was very aware that the gap between the front and back soles enhanced my agility while doing lateral motions. In other words: I quite liked them.

And I'm not alone. Since I laced up my first pair, I've seen them all over the place, including at Rumble, where my instructor Jeremiah Maestre was working out in a pair of Reebok Sole Furys ($90). When I asked him why he was a split-sole convert, he had a lot to relay about why they're a good pair for your next workout. Here's what to know.

How to use split-sole sneakers to up your workout

They are multifaceted: When looking for a versatile shoe, Maestre wanted his sneakers to help with his movement, while also providing stability, and that wasn't something he was able to find before split-soles. “Shoes were either flat but not flexible and comfortable. Or flexible with a little bit of arch and no true stability,” he tells me. The split-sole sneaker is able to provide flexibility due to the absence of foam in the arch of the foot, while the blocky heel absorbs shock and provides stability for those who still want it.

They are beyond versatile: When I asked him what types of athletes these shoes would work for, I assumed he’d only say boxing (you know, since he works at Rumble). But he surprised me. “These work for boxing, lifting, short runs, HIIT Training, and bouncing around New York City,” he says. If you are someone who isn’t married to one sort of fitness routine and likes to bop around to different classes, this is for sure a style you should try. Being one of those people, I would agree with him. Especially on the bouncing around the city part because…

They are so light: I mean it. They made me want to prance and leap across the street. It was probably the closest I was ever going to feel like a ballerina in spandex and sneakers. Besides having less of a base, the soles themselves are airy so that you can light on your feet.

They go beyond the gym: Something we all admit is important these days. It has to look good in real life, not just gym life. Maestre notes that wears his Sole Furys from Rumble to the airport and everywhere in between. “They seamlessly unite a fashion-forward aesthetic with street-level clout. They pair easily with performance wear or loungewear, but they'll also allow you to train hard, work hard and play hard.”

FYI: These sneakers are straight up made from corn and these are Madewell's new sneakers to keep an eye on.

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