Our Top 6 Running shoes of 2016
Choosing a running shoe can be a daunting task for beginners and seasoned vets alike. We have make a list of our 6 favorite running shoes which are suited to city running and basic trail running. This means flat land, mostly straight running. Let us know if you have any suggestions or favorites of your own in the comments below and we will be sure to add them. Also let us know if you have tried any of these running shoes on our list and how they worked out for you!
To make it on to our list, the runners need to be durable, reasonably priced, have something unique about them, be suited to the Greater Toronto Area landscape and must provide all around good value, safety and usability. Only after meeting these criteria do we look at aesthetics. Remember the job of a running shoe is to support and carry you while running. Luckily we also found great looking shoes also!
Also note that we are picking running shoes that are as bare as possible. This means that the runners need to offer just enough cushioning and support so you do not injure yourself but otherwise they will give you as close to the “bare foot” natural running experience as possible.
Your body is designed to run and adding a lot of bells and whistles is typically just a way to get you to pay more for the shoes. The first week using barefoot natural runners will be painful since you will be excising muscles that you do not normally exercise but after that your posture will start to improve, your performance will get better and overall you will feel more connected with the road or path.
** These runners on our list are great for 1km-7km runs. If you are training for longer distance or marathon running check out one of our articles which tailor more to your needs**
6. Nike Free 5.0
The Nike Free 5.0’s are one of the cheapest, longest lasting and best looking running shoe. They are breathable, light, provide great impact absorbtion while at the same time giving you an almost “barefoot” feel. Running in these is a dream come true and these are great for beginners and those who are just transitioning into barefoot natural running. A plus of these is that they come in a variety of colors and they look good! These shoes can be worn on a run and then into any casual restaurant, business or other setting. The 5.0 represents the heel height and once you try them on you will realize that this is a beautifully balanced shoe with enough heel to feel barefoot and supported at the same time. Great transitional runner. Check them out in the link above or go to your nearest store and try them on.
5. Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 Running Shoes
Under Armour has never been known for their running shoes and this year they decided to throw their hat into the game with the Speedform Gemini. These runners blew the competition out of the water! A great barefoot runner, which we would still consider a transitional shoe because of the amount of impact absorption of the sole and the arch support in the mid-area. They also provide the abilitiy to track and store all the data and metrics of your runs! If you want to know the stats of your runs and record as much information as you can this shoe is for you. They also come in a variety of colors and happen to look fantastic! This shoe would of taken 2nd place if it wasn’t for their premium price tag but hey, it is Under Armour and its hard to find anything at a bargain with this brand these days. Click the photo above to enlarge them and check out all the details of this great running shoe.
4. Asics Craze TR Running Shoe
Asics has fast become a gold/silver standard in running. Their shoes are light weight, built to last and offer one of the best experiences around. The Asics Craze is by far one of their best models and also one of the lowest cost, best value shoes on our list. My pair of Asics Craze runners costed me about $75 Canadian dollars! That’s right, Canadian dollars! At a time when the exchange rate is just so bad and even a pair of Walmart runners will cost you $50-60 it is hard to find a deal like these. If you are a pro looking for something lighter and more natural these are greats and if you are a beginner these are especially great. We all know the person who bought a $2,000 treadmill only to realize a month later they would never use it. If you are just getting started or trying out running these will only cost you $70-80 bucks so you won’t feel so bad if you don’t end up sticking with running. Check out the link above to take a look at these runners.
3. Puma Ignite Running Shoes
Puma? Puma basically dropped off the map for runners in the past couple years but now they are coming back with a vengeance to take our number 3 spot. They created the Puma Ignites which are almost the best running shoe around. They come in great colors, embrace the road and connect you in a way that most others can’t and are extremely breathable and washable. The price tag is about $80 and we consider that very fair for a shoe this durable and versatile. The only downside is the 11mm heel. It is a bit higher for the seasoned barefoot runner but great as a transitional shoe or if you need or like heel support. Check out the photo to see what we mean.
2. Adidas Ultra Boost
Our number 2 spot goes to Adidas once again. They knocked it out of the park with the Adidas Ultra Boost’s. These shoes almost had 1st place but they just did not offer the connection with the road that the number 1 spot had. They are perfect for the Toronto climate and offer a little grip on the bottom for the snowier days, can be waterproofed very easily, come in a variety of colors are extremely breathable, offer great visability, offer little support but great impact resistance and are just an all around great running shoe for city and basic trails. The biggest reason the Adidas Ultra Boost’s didn’t take 1st place though is their price. Coming in at almost $200 these are a premium shoe at a premium price which a lot of us can’t afford.
1.Vibram FiveFingers KSO Evo Running Shoes
As we said in the beginning, functionality comes before style and these runners are by far the best running shoe on the market hands down. They weigh next to nothing, they grip whatever ground they come into contact with and since they feel identical to a bare foot, you will connect with the road on your run like never before. The most unique thing about these shoes is that the toes are spread apart as opposed to traditional runners where they are squished together in your shoe. This makes the Vibram Five Fingers the most comparable shoe to your bare foot. They offer great protection from any debris on the road but absorb minimal shock so if you are new to running you are going to want to ease into these ones slowly. They will make you work out muscles you never knew were there! The price is very reasonable on these shoes and I can say the only downside to these shoes is the looks you will get. One way or another they are great running shoes and an even better ice breaker.
If you have any questions, comments or tips on your favorite runners let us know in the comments below.
0. Number Zero – The Self Balancing Scooter 😛
What’s better than that zen like meditative state you get when hitting your third mile during a one of a kind sunrise that reminds you how insignificant we as humans really are? Not running or even walking for that matter again for the rest of the day! This is why number zero goes to The Self Balancing Scooter. They come charged out of the box, take 1-2 hours to charge, have all the lights and signals to keep you safe at night, support me at 195 lbs with energy to spare and they are just awesome!
This is more of a joke post than anything and I have only had mine for about a week but the first 3 days I received mine I literally did not get off! There are sites online selling them from $200-$1000 dollars but anything under $300 is going to be unsafe, low quality and break easy while anything over $600 is just too expensive for what they are. You are probably paying for an advertising campaign or something.
My advice get is to get these on Amazon or Ebay where you actually have options for refunds in case anything goes wrong with it or go for this brand which has not failed me in the week I have owned it! When there isn’t too much snow I take mine to work and I have a special backpack for it so I run back home after work which is about 2 miles from my house with battery to spare! This way I don’t come into work sweaty and I can just put the backpack on and head home after without worrying about my car. Click the pic if you want to know more and read reviews.