Running is an extremely personal pursuit. Some people like to do it competitively or to set a new PB (personal best). Some do it to relax and maybe think through issues. But for both kinds of runners, one thing is common: Running at least 2-3 times a week, and at least one of them in an easy, conversational pace.
To make that run enjoyable, all you need is a good pair of running shoes—one that lets you go the miles without burning a hole in the pocket. Here are a couple of excellent new running shoes that fit the bill.
Adidas Ultra Boost 22: The king of daily running shoes is back in a new version. I have used them for long runs nearly everyday for the past two weeks. The shoes continue the use the brand’s extremely successful boost midsole, which runners have now come to trust. The uppers are made from PrimeKnit (another Adidas trademarked feature) a material that contains about 50% Parley Ocean Plastic and 50% recycled polyester. As with the UB21, the uppers are extremely flexible and don’t feel restrictive at all. The shoes are also breathable, so if you live in humid conditions, this would still make for a great pair.
What sets UB22 apart, though, is that a completely female team designed and built them. The brand is pegging it as running shoes made for women, by women. The shoes have been designed specifically keeping in mind women’s biomechanics, on the back of information from 1.2 million foot scans. (There is a men’s version available, but the tweaks are more in the women’s pair).
This version is narrower, compared to UB21, and also has narrower heel cups which make them a great fit. The one-piece uppers make them really smooth and comfortable to wear. The brand has designed the shoes for durability, which can be seen from the tiniest detail (for example, a metal eyelet right at the end to reduce the friction on the laces). According to Nora Wilimzig, Senior Product Manager at Adidas, women overpronate more than men. Keeping this in mind, UB22 has flexible holes on the rear foot area. “This lets the Boost material to absorb the impact by expanding as you land,” Wilimzig says. Price ₹17,999, adidas.co.in
Asics Dynablast 2: If you want an affordable daily trainer with lots of cushioning, the Dynablast 2 is worth a look. This isn’t a max-cushioned pair of shoes though, but that is great because such shoes can also be more challenging on your joints. There is very mild flexibility on the forefoot while the midfoot feels more stiff. This stiffness, combined with the cushioning, works in the shoes’ favour if you are spending several hours on your feet. The FF blast cushioning feels great as well, absorbing most of the impact of running on concrete roads. The heel-toe offset has been reduced to 8mm from the previous version, where it was 12mm.
The only negative aspect I felt was that the upper knit was a little warm. This feels great during my morning runs right now in cold weather, but I don’t know if I would say the same thing if I was doing long runs in these shoes in, say, May. But otherwise everything else feels good. The size is true-to-fit, and the tongues don’t have any slippage. It’s a no-frills pair of shoes that you can take for your runs or for a walk to the market as well.
When it comes to bounce, the shoes actually take a little while to get used to. The first couple of runs felt a bit stiff, but soon, the shoes became more responsive. That said, the maximum distance I chose to do in these shoes has been 12km. For longer runs (anything over a half marathon distance), this might be a bit too stiff. But within that distance, these work well enough. The pricing too make them an attractive proposition. ₹10,999, asics.com/in/en-in