The latest trail-running shoe from the North Face, in stores in early March, is designed to withstand all but the rockiest of roads, and is lightweight enough to perform well on asphalt. Good for triathlons or short cuts in the park.
Not aesthetically to every runner’s taste, but the Blade-Max shoes take support for those who want it to new, “superfoam” levels with lightweight cushioning suited to runners with joints to preserve over long distances.
Sandal supremo Teva dips a toe into trainer territory with a lightweight range, out in March, that strips back bulk but not support. A rounded heel is supposed to reduce the wrong kind of leverage, while pods at the arch increase stability.
A favourite at London custom sports-shoe fitters Profeet, the PureDrift combines barely-there uppers and almost-as-light soles to bring minimal support to those who favour barefoot running. Seek advice before embracing the barefoot boom.
Blaze trails, however uneven, in the latest off-road pair from Saucony. A tough grip that goes in all directions gives good traction on all surfaces yet thin but sturdy soles keep things responsive, and a minimal upper keeps things lightweight.
Barefoot pioneers and hexagon fans Vivo offers added insulation and water-resistant uppers in its second striking Evo shoe, making it suitable for varied surfaces when used all year-round. Minimalism was never so warm.
A proper running shoe free of bells, whistles or garish designs but which wins respect among runners for its balance of support, cushioning and rigidity. Similar in construction to the renowned Adrenaline but lighter still.
Nike’s newest premium runners bring its Olympic tech to your pavement. Uppers are a single piece of material knitted by computer paired with light but cushioned soles. Nike will even steam-fit them to your foot at its flagship London store.
Asics’ flagship cushioned trainer has lost a few grams but none of its comfort, making it ideal for longer runs. The cushioned sole is softer in the middle in the women’s model, to account for a lighter average-runner weight.
Their looks divide runners as well as they do toes but FiveFingers fans swear by their unusual shoes. The Seeya strips materials to a new minimum, bringing your feet in closer contact to the road. Be sure to learn how to use them first.