Finding the right pair of shoes for your workout can be a tricky enterprise — not only should they feel comfortable, but they should look good enough that you’ll actually want to wear them (although there is something to be said for comfortable ugly shoes). To find out what you should be putting on your feet, we talked to ten different guys, each with a different workout routine (distance runners, CrossFitters, Barry’s fanatics) about the best sports shoes they’ve found for getting fit. (If you’re looking for a post-workout foam roller, we found the best ones, too.)
“These were sold to me by my colleagues as ‘the most comfortable shoe you’ll ever wear,’ and that ‘any other shoe you put on will feel like garbage after these.’ I’m mostly happy to say they were right. I’ve had an intermittent foot issue for years, and since I’ve worn these, intermittent has turned into nonexistent. It may sound gross, and maybe this popped into my head because I have the white/white version, but working out in these feels like I have two blocks of cream cheese strapped to my feet. Every squat, lunge, and step feels like a present.” — Arik Nagel, 35, chief people officer, climbing and strength training at gym
“I have always been a runner, but about a year ago, I got heel spurs and plantar fasciitis — basically my left heel always kinda hurts. So I bought these fucking huge and ugly shoes by Brooks called Beasts. They are super sturdy with stiff soles to support my feet, and treads like a car tire. They ain’t pretty, but they’ve helped me run again.” — Tim Adams, 35, VP of creative at a TV network, runs outdoors and on treadmills
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“I’ve loved this shoe since the first time they released them in the ’90s. The simplicity has always enabled me to feel and understand exactly what my feet and legs were doing to make sure my movements were correct. I spent a lot of years training in a multitude of regimens — i.e., CrossFit, calisthenics, etc. — and these have always been my go-tos for educating my body what not to do. Plus, they’re so comfy, I could sleep in ’em.” — David Alexander Flinn, 29, artist, martial arts and strength training
“I go to a CrossFit gym and people wear Nike Metcons and these Reeboks. They are good for CrossFit because the soles under your heel are hard, unlike soft running shoes (trying to squat a lot of weight in soft running shoes feels like you are standing on pillows — not very stable). And, they are rubberized around the edges, since all parts of your feet are touching the floor and wall, and they take a lot of abuse.” — Jeff Weiner, 37, business development at PSFK, CrossFit
“They are super versatile. They allow me to lift weights with awesome support. I can do most HIIT in them, and even sprint. They are my favorite for functionality — which is what matters during a good workout.” — Michael Chernow, 36, owner Seamore’s, co-founder Meatball Shop, strength training, martial arts, running
“During the summer, it’s super easy to hit Barry’s or the gym and end up out and about for another few hours, so for me, it’s all about shoes that you can train in and still dress the way you wanna look at Soho House or some other spot to link with friends. These are the perfect weight and branded, but unbranded, if you catch me.” — John Targon, co-founder Baja East, Barry’s Bootcamp
“These shoes are great for me because they’re so lightweight. It’s a benefit that I enjoy both in the gym working out, and in my gym bag on my way to and from.” — Seth Howard, 35, director of marketing, brands, and trends at Randa Accessories, cross-training and strength training at gym
“I love to work out in the Nike Air VaporMax, which is the ideal shoe for heavy impact. Style-wise they look like nothing else, and it’s nice to get away from the heavy Adidas trend right now.” — Devin Saint-Albin, 35, DJ/Music producer, running and strength training
“Get you a shoe that can do both? Yeah, I found that. The traditional CrossFit footwear is too flat and the worst for running in. These give me just enough stability in the heel for a bar-slamming sesh (yeah, I said it) and aren’t breaking my ankles on sprints or runs. To top it off, the price is extremely fair, and gosh darn it, it looks good.” — Kevin Polizzotto, 32, social marketing, NBC, CrossFit and high-intensity interval training
“They have a wide toe box and huge rocker soles that are really good for your feet when running a lot of miles. I sometimes go back to running in other shoes, and it feels like I’m pounding asphalt in moccasins. They’re a game changer.” — Jeff Church, 38, artist agent, running on treadmills and outdoors
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