Self magazine readers have answered the age-old question– what sneaker should one wear when working out?
The women’s magazine sent 421 pairs of sneakers to 200 readers who ranked the shoes after a month of running, kickboxing, Zumba and workout DVDs. Twenty-four sneakers were standouts following 5,845 miles of running, 400 fitness classes and 648 hours of strength training as part of the first Self Sneaker Awards.
For walking, readers looked for a supportive heel and pliable sole. Ryka’s “Devotion” style, which retails for $80, was the winner with its softer platform. Readers credited the runner-up, “Biom Walk” by Ecco (SRP: $200), for its broken-in feel. The magazine’s creative director, Cynthia Hall Searight, chose the Teva’s “Fuse-Ion” as her go-to walking shoe because of its easy slip-on function.
In the running category, wear testers preferred a light-weight construction and good fit. The Nike “LunarEclipse+ 2,” $135, won for its foam cradling comfort and airiness. Readers also praised the runner-up shoe, “Single-Track Hayasa,” made by The North Face for $110, for its lightness and ground-gripping sole.
Self put long-distance running in its own category. The editors favored a sneaker that took the pound out of pounding the pavement. Readers agreed and chose the shock-absorbing “Wave Creation 13” by Mizuno as the best shoe for runners who like to log a lot of mileage. The durability and stability of the runner-up “Trance 11” by Brooks gave the readers the support they sought. Lucy Danziger, editor in chief, chose Asics’ GEL-Kavano 18 as her long-distance go-to shoe. These styles range in price from $140 to $150.
As for the hot new minimalist running category, Self readers found Merrell Barefoot’s “Lithe Glove” shoe the best at flexibility and grip, which made it the perfect shoe to wear for Zumba. The “IsoTransition” by Pearl Izumi was the runner-up, praised for easy slip-on construction and sweat-resistant lining.
Grip is also essential when navigating sweaty gym surfaces, which brings us to the winners of the Best for Strengthening category. Readers put the “Blade-Max Endure,” a K*Swiss sneaker, in first place for both its style and traction abilities. The “NB Minimus 20v2” by New Balance came in a close second for its low heel design for CrossFit workouts.
Last but not least– what to wear to your workout class. Readers enthused about category winner the “Pumagility” by Puma to keep feet steady. The sneaker’s grooved bottoms also helped readers complete those tough workout moves. Self readers chose Under Armour’s “Strut” slip-on as the runner-up, emphasizing its customizing heel strap for support.
To see the complete list of winners pick up Self’s April issue at newsstands now.