Shoes can be one of the hardest things to buy. Especially because they must not only look good but also fit a budget, multi-task and go well with multiple outfits from jeans to casual chic.
The problem is compounded if you are a runner who also hits the gym from time to time. You would need shoes that not only take you out on your training or warm-up runs but also be useful in the gym and look good on your strolls while on a holiday.
This is the ultimate shoe guide for this particular multitasking kind of shoes from the top brands that are available in India.
Rs 12,999 onwards
Going by its looks alone, the Novablast 3 stands out, thanks to the colours and its thick and textured cushioning. It is a good upgrade on the previous version with a much more breathable upper, marginally more cushioning and yet lower weight at roughly 250 grams. This is a great shoe for serious runners, whether you are using it for a long, short, slow or fast runs thanks to the Flytefoam Blast+ used in the midsole and it readily doubles up as a workout shoe as long as Olympic lifting is not your chosen form of exercise.
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The Dynablast 2 were already rather good multi-tasking shoes, versatile enough to run a half marathon in and also hit the gym. The upgrade retains those qualities while improving the upper with an engineered knit. They are also excellent shoes to walk long hours in while travelling. The stack height and cushioning is less than that in the Novablast 3, but the Flytefoam Blast used in this pair makes it one of the best in this price range.
The popular shoe is in its eleventh avatar and this time the shoe uses Flytefoam Blast midsole, which improves the bounce and energy in the stride while running. The shoe also uses Asics’ Gel tech with a layer under the heel. This is a great overall shoe and provides stability in the heel with its Litretruss tech.
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Hyper Speed 2
Rs 6,399 onwards
The second edition of Hyper Speed has a higher stack height and Flytefoam in the midsole. The greater stack height makes it suitable for longer runs while it is also suitable for weight training in the gym. At this price point, this is an excellent shoe for an active life which doubles up as casual wear.
React Infinity Run 3
Rs 13,995 onwards
Nike’s answer to Adidas’ Boost bead technology for the foam was React. The React range is priced competitively and functions well, especially for new runners and those into an active lifestyle involving a bit of everything from sports to gym and walking. It’s stable, comfortable and has a good grip. It is smart for casualwear as well.
Rs 10,495 onwards
A running shoe with a legacy, the Nike Pegasus is now in its 39th version. The Pegasus changed the running-shoe segment and has, through its various iterations, kept up with the changing demands of road running. If you don’t want to think too much before buying a pair of shoes for an active lifestyle, this one is your safest bet.
Air Zoom Rival Fly 3
Rs 8,195 onwards
Let’s admit it, one reason people buy Nikes is because they like the brand’s swoosh logo. And this one has two and despite that looks good and comes in great colours. It also performs well. Whether it is running, walking or workouts, this pair works well thanks to ample cushioning and a grippy outsole. Above all, it is priced attractively.
Rs 17,999 onwards
After the initial fumble with the high pricing, the Ultraboost became so successful that it is coveted not only by serious long-distance runners but also by the fashion-conscious bunch because of its looks. Good for long runs and good-looking, the shoe is still priced high and weighs north of 300 grams.
Adizero Adios 7
Adizero is the company’s performance range of shoes and as such is popular among the serious runners. The hero in Adidas’ latest Adizero range is its new Lightstrike foam. In this particular pair, you get the Lightstrike Pro, which is great for running, no matter the distance. It is a racing flat so the cushioning is not the highest you’d find in a running shoe, but it is adequate and a lot more than the previous generation of Adizero shoes. It is light at 229 grams and has a very well-ventilated mesh. If you like speed, this is it. And since it has a lower stack height, it is great for weight training too.
The Supernova 2 is a good-looking shoe and when the deals are on, you can get a pair for just under Rs 5,000. The midsole has a mix of Bounce and Boost foams which combine to reduce weight while increasing bounce and cushioning. Comes with a padded tongue and heel chamber, so the fit is snug.
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Velocity Nitro 2
Rs 10,999 onwards
Puma has had to play catch up when it comes to running shoes, but it has finally cracked it with its shoes featuring the Nitro foam range. The added advantage of Puma catching up is that it is priced lower than its competitors, so all the better for us. Velocity Nitro 2 comes with an engineered mesh upper, PumaGrip outsole for better grip. This pair is mainly for running and if it is good for running, it has to be good for walking around.
Rs 9,999 onwards
Another one from the Nitro range, the Liberate Nitro features lower cushioning and a mono mesh upper. It is best for running short distances for neutral runners. And yes, it is a decent option for gyms, other workouts as well as walks.
Transport running shoes
Rs 4,999 onwards
The price is at the lower end of the running shoe spectrum, hence you don’t get the company’s top line Nitro foam here. But you do get Puma’s semi-decent Softfoam+ that provides cushioning but not as much energy return as the more expensive Nitro foam. If you are a new runner doing short distances or are looking for walking and gym shoes, these are good value for money.
GoRun Razor Excess
Meb Keflezighi won the New York City Marathon (2:09:13) running in a pair of Skechers. Since then the brand, which is popular for making mid-range shoes that are jack of all trades, has paid a lot more attention to performance shoes and its Razor range is a result of that. The Razor Excess's HyperBurst midsole and Goodyear outsole combine to give cushioning, bounce and grip and the mesh upper makes it suitable for Indian weather. It’s a great multitasking pair.
Hoka One One
Hoka One One has been the favourite of older men and women, ultra-runners and those on the heavier side for many years, thanks to its excellent and excess cushioning. The Bondi 8 stays true to that tradition and provides excellent cushioning and support with a thick sole measuring 39mm, which is 6mm taller than the Bondi 7. The upper is very soft and breathable. They are not the best in the gym though, and definitely on the heavier side at 311 grams.
Rs 8,499 onwards
Decathlon has so many shoes in so many price brackets that one would need a whole piece dedicated to its offerings, but if you want a decent pair of multi-tasking shoes that work well for running, walking, workouts and also look good, then pick one from its Kiprun range.