If you’re looking to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle, there’s no dearth in the sheer variety of options out there. Yoga sessions, zumba classes, weight training, pilates—there is something for everyone. The intention to take care of your health, and the motivation to stick to your workouts are all you need. You also need a comfortable and versatile pair of workout shoes. That’s your primary gear and the best thing you can invest in. Be it for a run or for strength training, for HIIT or for CrossFit, without a good pair of shoes, your quest for a healthy and active life is a non-starter. To make things easier for you, we go through the specs of three new workout shoes, and also tell you the kind of workouts that they’re suitable for. Each of these shoes are perfect for specific tasks, and they also pop very nicely in a post-workout Instagram selfie!
CrossFit and HIIT
One thing you should keep in mind is that you cannot use the same shoes for your long runs and for weight lifting. Running shoes have heavy cushioning, making sure that you reduce your chances of a knee injury. But that same cushioning can make a shoe unstable if you are trying to lift weights. The Reebok Nano series was designed for CrossFit. But the new Nano X takes the CrossFit suitability one step further. To begin with, it is extremely stable with just a 4mm heel to toe drop. The firm base of the heel and the ankle collar keeps your foot in place for power movements like weighted squats. However, the grip is softer towards the toe or the forefoot, making it quite comfortable for short sprints and jumps like burpees and box jumps. The shoe’s top uses the flexweave material which is stretchier than the Nano 9s. This means you can bend your toe more while doing some of these movements. Unfortunately though, like some of the previous editions of the Nanos, the Nano X too does heat up if you are doing a really intense and long workout. Some increased breathability would have been great. But so far, that is the only drawback I have experienced with the shoe, and with the weather becoming cooler and drier, I don’t think this would be as much of a problem.
Reebok Nano X, ₹9,999, www.shop4reebok.com
Parkour and Zumba
Lets’ get one thing straight. Puma makes no-non sense shoes. And the Hybrid NX Ozone is certainly non-flashy and suitable even for casual wear. The fit of the shoe is comfortable, despite having a wider sole. The shoe fits snugly even if you are jumping or running, making it perfect for a basic parkour-style workout. It is flexible enough on turns and yet remains stable even if you are, say, churning out burpees and sweating profusely. This aspect also comes handy if you plan to wear these shoes for a zumba session. It is surprisingly lighter than a lot of shoes in the market, and that’s thanks to Puma’s trademark high-rebound EVA foam. The sole has hundreds of tiny beads called Nrgy beads. Because of these you get an impressive energy return and that helps you move faster. The beads also cushion the heel of the shoe, making you less injury-prone during a workout. The Ozone is a great workout shoe for activities which involve generating short bursts of speed and for jumps, like HIIT, short runs, Zumba and parkour.
Puma Hybrid NX Ozone, ₹ 7,999, www.in.puma.com
Strength training and gym workouts
The first thing one should look out for in strength training shoes is stability. And stability is the Tribase Reign 2’s forte. The trademark TriBase outsole creates a steady base with three balance points—at the centre of the heel, the base of the big toe and the base of the little toe. This makes the shoes extremely firm and perfect for heavy lifts. At the same time, the forefoot is well spread out, giving you more flexibility for more active workouts like a squat snatch or a split jerk. The shoes actually fared pretty well even for a short run between workouts, which makes it pretty versatile. It looks and feels a little unorthodox, with what some call a “bootie design” (instead of the traditional tongue). I love the design because this gives the shoe a firmer feel. I tried out a few workouts while wearing the shoes without socks and it was very comfortable. Under Armour’s MicroG foam in the midsole makes it reactive, so you can actually use it for more than just lifting.
Under Armour Tribase Reign 2, ₹11,999, www.underarmour.com