Looking for a pair of fashion trainers that will take you from workout to work to post-work drinks. Healthista reveals our best sports shoe picks for fashion AND function
You know the drill, you’ve finished a sweaty sesh at the gym, had a shower and thrown on a change of clothes (or maybe you haven’t, no judgement here) then it’s time to swap those ugly gym trainers for a pair that you can party in. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you had a functional pair of workout shoes that could double up as disco boots?
It’s safe to say we’re pretty obsessed with trainers here at Healthista (what fitness fanatics aren’t?) and if the past year’s sale of women’s trainers says anything (they’ve eclipsed the sale of heels, with only 12 percent of women now choosing to opt for the latter), we feel confident in saying that you probably are too. Even uber glam Victoria Beckham has started to do away with her famous heels in place of pairs of athleisure-heavy flats. Healthista has lined up our favourite trainers of the season that are both fashionable AND functional – hello, Autumn/Winter wishlist.
Best for a lightweight feel: Nike Free RN Flyknit
The workout: short-distance running and sprints
The outfit: Show off these gorgeous grey trainers in a pair of black cropped straight leg trousers and an oversized chunky grey knit
You knew a pair of trendy Nike’s were going to top this list. Not only is this grey marl knit B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L (in the words of Bruce Almighty) to look at but this lightweight trainer is hailed as super functional to work out in. Why? It’s the most barefoot-like and lightest of the Nike Free family. The Nike Free shoes were invented when the brand received feedback that runners wanted a shoe with the snug fit of a sock – the dream, eh. This running shoe is supposed to be ideal for short runs (sprinting home from a night out anyone?). The sole is super bendy which the sports super brand says lets your foot flex and expand naturally and is designed to mimic the movement of your own foot by expanding and contracting with every landing and push off. We also love how little room these shoes take up – they can easily fold into your bag on the off chance you want to switch from trainers to heels later on in your evening. And environmentalists tune in – because of the way the trainer is manufactured the shoe reduces material waste by an average of 60 percent compared to a traditional cut and sew which Nike says saves millions of kilograms of material from reaching landfills.
Best for a comfy mid-distance run: HOKA BONDI LTR
The workout: mid to long distance running
The outfit: Embrace gothic chic with a coloured sheer top (we love this metallic green from Urban Outfitters) and black skirt or release your inner 90s chick and pair with a slinky cami dress.
Where to buy: HOKA BONDI LTR are available to buy for £150 from HOKA here.
The chunky trainer is having its moment right now. With the SS18 shows featuring it all over the place, it’s clear that this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Anyone that loves 90s fashion and running (two niche areas that we both happen to love at Healthista) listen up – this is the shoe for you. Although the shoe looks stiff and uncomfortable, HOKA explains it’s far from it. The brand describes it as an approachable athletic shoe in work-appropriate colours. And if your work involves running around town all day, you’ll be sorted – HOKA says the shoes offer extra cushioning and stability thanks to their ultra-size midsole. This midsole also provides extra shock absorbance, helping you to prevent injury during those longer runs (and on the dancefloor).
Best for easy wear: New Balance FuelCore Coast v3
The workout: perfect for a 5k run
The outfit: keep it simple and understated and let this elegant design do the talking – pair these shoes with frayed hem jeans and a white shirt for an elegant look post-workout
This shoe might look too pretty to work out in but New Balance says it was designed with running in mind. The shoe has an 8mm drop (the bigger the drop, the more cushioning) which means your feet are more protected and there’s less impact when you land. The outsole of the shoe is specifically designed to provide support when running (and dancing in a bar?) and according to the brand, their ‘bootie construction’ means the shoe is a tight fit that moulds itself to your foot. If that doesn’t sound incredibly comfy, we don’t know what does. The shoe is made from a mesh and synthetic knit which New Balance say only adds to the comfort and we say makes for a beautiful design. Plus, the shoe is slip-on making it super easy to wear because the last thing you want to do after a knackering workout is sit down and spend an age trying to squeeze your foot back into your sweaty trainer.
Best for a luxe look: APL Cashmere Techloom
The workout: gym work
The outfit: be bold and pair these super soft trainers with some white denim (we love these White Stuff cropped leg jeans or these Frame flares for the more adventurous), match up with a peach cami and add some colour with a khaki jacket, jumper or cardigan.
We had to include these trainers, why? It’s not every day you last come across a pair of cashmere beauties like this in your gym. APL has designed a shoe made from a unique cashmere blend. The material is super luxe and the design stays true to the brands promise to provide functional footwear. Not only is the outside of the shoe super soft and cushioned but the inside is too, making it bouncy and comfortable to walk about your day in. For a bulkier-looking shoe, these trainers are super flexible allowing for good movement during your gym workout. Healthista writer Parisa Hashempour wore a pair along to the famously hardcore F45 workout in Paddington, London and got support both from the shoe and from everyone else in the class (she matched them with Lulu Lemon Back in Action Jogger). The trainers are lightweight and breathable – APL says they’re inspired by the shape of a feather. Plus the outsole incorporates something called natural motion flex grooves – they basically help the shoe to adapt and react to your movements while training.
Best for a technical shoe: Nike Metcon
The workout: heavy lifting, rope climbing, wall workouts and short distance runs
The outfit: If you’re a lady that lives for black and sparkles, this is your moment. Run with the glittery metallic theme and pair with a seasonal knit like this one from H&M.
Where to buy: Nike Metcon is available for £114.95 from Nike here.
If you’re a woman with a love of hardcore gym workouts (and glitter), these are the trainers for you. Launching THIS week from Nike, these trainers are getting us super excited for a sparkly transition to Christmas-time. Nike says this shoe is up for assisting you through the most gruelling and demanding of workouts, from wall exercises and rope climbs to sprinting and lifting. A drop-in midsole is firm in the heel and softer and more flexible at the forefoot of this shoe which Nike says will give you the stability you need for training as well as the cushioning you need for short tuns. According to the brand, the design is especially good for explosive lifting. Why? The flat platform bottom and firm rubber heel give you powerful stability while lifting those heavy weights. Flywire cables lock your feet down securely while mesh on the heel and ankle helps to keep you cool. Heel clips help reduce drag during wall exercises and sticky rubber in the forefoot which helps you grip onto surfaces. On top of that, the textured rubber wraps around the midfoot are made to keep the shoes durable and intact during rope exercises. Phew! Is there anything this oh-so-gorgeous and yet oh-so-technical shoe can’t do?
Best for multi-purpose: Puma Pulse IGNITE XT Velvet Rope Women’s Training Shoes
The workout: cross-training
The outfit: Bring out the colour in this shoe and pair with on-trend baby pink. We love this luxe jumper from Allude for casual post-work drinks
This trainer really is all-purpose. Not only can you take it from workout to social occasion but the shoe also doubles up as both a runner and gym shoe. Puma boasts that this shoe is super lightweight and combines a full-length flexible groove on the base of the shoe with Puma’s special Ignite Foam technology. The foamy base is supposed to enhance energy return and add flexibility so that you can bounce into those plyometric exercises with ease. This low profile shoe has alternative lacing wraps that run all the way down the midfoot which Puma say ensures a supportive fit. Plus the sole of this shoe is made from mixed rubber outsole pods which provide full ground contact and traction without weighing you down. According to Puma the shoes also have a pivot point which allows for 360-degree movement – hello, ballerina spins in the nightclub (you know you want to).
Best for city running: Adidas Ultraboost X
The workout: mid-distance running or plyometrics on the gym floor
The outfit: swap smart flats for a pair of Ultraboost X to dress down any evening outfit or pair them with black jeans (like these from Weekday) and a statement tee for an effortlessly casual look.
The famous Adidas Ultraboost have been kicking about for a while now and this year they’re back. Only this time, they’re aimed sole-ly (pardon the pun) at women with a silhouette and shape that is designed specifically with women in mind. Not only will these trainers look great out and about but they are super functional too. We love Adidas for the technology of their products and this shoe is no exception – the midsole is made from the brand’s signature ultra-responsive boost technology. This basically means it absorbs the power from your footstrike to release your foot at push-off for a light, high energy run. The top part of the shoe is made from Adidas Primeknit – aka wool yarn and hugs your foot as your legs power you through that run (something has to feel comfortable, right?). According to the brand, this shoe is perfect for running in wet conditions as well as dry thanks to a grippy sole – and, ideal for city running.
Best for a comfortable workout: New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz
The workout: head to the gym or for a mid-distance run
The outfit: style with light denim and an oversized grey coat (we love this work-smart grey coat from & Other Stories) for an easy chic Autumnal look.
Another New Balance shoe that is easy to slip on and off (our inner lazy girl is whooping with joy) thanks to its stretchy heel, we are huge fans of the brand new Fresh Foam Cruz shoes from New Balance. Created with runners in mind this shoe is ideal for mid-distance runs but also for those intensive cardio gym sessions. The shoe is made with the brand’s bootie construction (meaning it’s supposed to provide a super cosy fit), it has a super supportive midfoot saddle and New Balance say the specially engineered cushioning will help you move freely, without having to sacrifice a soft landing. This autumnal purple is a great way to dress up your look both during your workout and outside of it.
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