10 hours ago
Which trainers actually do what they promise?
Whether you're looking for a new shoe to wear to the gym, walk to work or something more suited to running, we've tested through the latest launches and let you in on what we actually thought.
Click through the gallery for our honest reviews...
The promise: “The Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit Women's Training Shoe offers exceptional durability, stability and cushioning for intense cross-training activities from lifting to sprinting.”
We give it: 8.5/10
Review: “I’ve often opted for affordability over quality when it comes to trainers to exercise in but after giving these a go, I can really see what I have been missing. These trainers are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They are light and flexible, perfect for speedy exercises such as HIIT and are form fitting, making them perfect for a run. They feel like great quality and with firm rubber in the heel, they are incredibly durable. I can imagine they will last me a lot longer than my past training shoes. I tested the monochrome pair, and although it's not a style I’d usually go for, I can get past it for the quality and comfort. They do have a high price point, but if you can afford to spend the extra you really will notice the difference. I am a convert, quality always. ”
The promise: “A light, all-day wearable, next-generation trainer built for comfort and style”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “I have never felt compelled to buy Skechers. I never liked the advertising. They always seemed to be targeted towards kids and teenagers who were heavily into the American pop girl scene, but that just shows how materialistic I am - making purchase decisions based on brand above cost, comfort and whether or not it does the job I need.
"Look behind the Skechers label however, and there you will find an extremely dexterous and comfortable pair of trainers made from a light, synthetic fabric which has been knitted into a canvas to make the shoe cool and breathable, durable and - under scrupulous testing - surprisingly waterproof.
“It is at the base of the shoe where the Flex Appeal trainers are equally impressive, using a foam cushion to support the pressure points of the foot and ensure that the shoe lives up to its promise: I wore these shoes for general daywear (I wouldn't wear them in the gym - they bill themselves as an 'all-day' shoe) for many days in a row with no sweat, soreness or achy repercussions of any kind. These really are the lightest and most comfortable trainers I have had the fortune of owning and at £59 they are a fraction of the price of other brands with equal strengths in performance.
"As these Skechers have not come off my feet yet, I think I can safely say I have redeemed myself a little and realised that if you take a moment to look behind a brand, there can be so much more to offer.“
The promise: "A lightweight, versatile option for leisurely walks or simply as a fashion shoe."
We give it: 8/10
Review: “In terms of comfort, these trainers are pretty good; they’re very light, have a reasonably thick sole which I found really supportive under the arches of my feet, and there’s a soft, seamless lining (a little like the top of a thick training sock) which moulds to just below your ankle - though this is their only defining characteristic to make them stand out from other trainers. Be warned, the sizes come up a little small - the 8 would be better suited to someone who’s a 7.5, just for a little more wiggle room, but all in all they are a good budget option if you need some new kicks. The brand itself, though, points out that these are really only worthy of a leisurely walk or ‘as part of a casual outfit’, so comfort aside, it’s fair to say this is more of a fashion trainer than a fitness one. I didn’t feel right running in them - the support and bounce wasn’t quite as high as that of my own old Nikes - but for a short power walk or to head to a class, they’d be just right. The design is pretty stylish, too, considering the price, so you wouldn’t feel too conspicuous wearing them for day-to-day life - and since that’s what they’re intended for, they score well in my book.”
The promise: “Introducing a new form of grit. This ride doesn’t fear the off road, taking serious grip of every terrain with a PWRTRAC outsole. The TPU exoskeleton secures the foot with added protection from the elements, while EVERUN cushions every footstrike with resilience and energy.”
We give it: 7.5/10
Review: “There are lots of very technical sounding promises and fancy acronyms from this shoe for serious runners. When I trained for the Nike Women’s 10k in 2014, it was in a pair of Sauconys, so I was happy to take this updated version out for a spin. They offer excellent grip - the sole has a serrated finish - and perform well on grass and gravel as the sole is highly cushioned, giving you plenty of support and energy return. They seem to give a spring in your step and almost feel weightless.
“They say they are suitable for trail running and grass - for grip and support I agree, but they are not water resistant which could be a downside (the grass was frozen when I tried them out on an early morning PT session in the park). I found the styling a little fussy and, dare I say it - girly for my taste. But if I were training for a run, then function would certainly trump form and this is a brand I trust. Do they live up to their acronyms? I’d love to be able to tell you if I knew what they all meant exactly - please Saucony, put a glossary on your website.”
The promise: “Feminine and functional with sustainable credentials”
We give it: 7/10
Review: “I must confess that I have not updated my trainers for quite some time, which is a bit worrying given that I work at Get The Gloss. The truth is, that apart from cycling to work and walking, I mostly do indoor exercises that don’t require shoes (barre /spinning), so in actual fact, I’ve replaced trainers with grippy socks...cheap but not so good for long distance running!
“So, as you can imagine I was really quite excited to take these Ellesse x Lucy Mecklenburgh sneaks for a test run. I’ve never purchased anything from Ellesse and I had never heard of Lucy Mecklenburgh, so not the best start! First up – the sustainability credentials, which seem to be top of the list for Ellesse. According to them, these shoes include Polythelene Terephthalate (a fancy way of saying they use plastic bottles to make up the polyester mesh that wraps the shoe). In terms of comfort and springiness, they score well on both counts and were supportive, although I would question whether they are the right shoe for endurance or performance training. The general appearance of the shoe, however, is discrete and functional and the only drawback for me was that they felt a little bulkier than other trainers I’ve tried. On the whole, however, these seem to be a perfectly adequate trainer and at a very reasonable price.”
The promise: “Keeps the natural shape and stability that athletes covet and comes with a flexible bottom for mobility and traction.”
We give it: 3/10
Review: “I don’t do Crossfit but I have done a lot of training in the past that is Crossfit inspired (weights, HIIT, rowing, a tonne of burpees, running etc all in one session). Whilst I fully understand that these trainers are meant to be for Crossfitters and anyone that does ‘Cross-training’, I’m afraid I’m not their biggest fan. Call me vain but firstly I find these really quite ugly and not in keeping with a modern trainer aesthetic. I understand that they have mesh fronts to prevent scuffing when doing plyometrics (jumping), and that the weighted, tight feeling around the ankle is to help ground you, to make you sit back into your heels when doing weights with a bar, but I’m afraid I don’t think they do much for your gym cred and unfortunately these days that matters. Secondly I found them really uncomfortable, very stiff and after one session I felt they were rubbing. There was no way I felt that I could run in them or have ‘spring’ and whilst there may be an argument that you need stability to help you lift weights, I wonder if our feet shouldn’t be freer so that the stabiliser muscles in our feet and legs work harder and get stronger? I like to have spring in the gym (even when I am doing weights) and my trainers need to feel like they are giving me bounce and energy. These don’t do that - these feel a bit like clogs."
The promise: "Delivers lightweight stability with a sleek, secure fit. "
We give it: 9/10
Review: "First things first, these running shoes come up small. I went up half a size, and they were seriously cushy and comfy, but as light as you'd hope a shoe designed for pounding the pavements would be (positively cloud like). With a pleasing amount of bounce to propel you along your way, a very supportive fit and smooth, moulded inner heel to minimise the risk of blisters (none yet), I got into my groove immediately without having to break my shoes in. The upper is the most breathable I've tried- think air con around your toots, which could be a negative on a bitterly cold morning but for sweat sessions, it's warmly welcome, so to speak. The only concern I'd have would be running in the rain. Surprisingly for the UK it hasn't bucketed it down during the testing stage, but the mesh upper doesn't quite look storm worthy. I'll let you know next time I go puddle hopping..."
The promise: “APL’s unique sportswear is the intersection of technology, performance and fashion enabling athletes to maximize their potential in all aspects of their life.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “I like something that's an all-rounder when it comes to trainers. First and foremost they have to be comfortable, whilst also ticking the boxes for being durable for a long run or HIIT class and also need to look pretty good too. I'd never heard of APL before so I was completely in the dark about what to expect. The are inspired by the shape of a feather and the outer shell incorporates natural motion flex grooves which are supposed to react to every movement. I went for a run at the weekend and they gave brilliant support, and cushioned my foot while placing it in a natural position for running due to the heel height of the sole. They are also ridiculously light so you don't even really feel them on, which makes running super comfortable. However - warning please wear them in, my run got cut short because they rubbed against my heel, as the backs come up quite high! I went down around half a size from my usual and they were still quite roomy so I think they are quite giving!
“What I give top marks to is the aesthetic - I have the Heather Grey pair and they have been designed so that there are slightly different knit patterns and colour palettes to create a kind of mesh look. They go with any pair of leggings, and I've even been pairing them with a pair of jeans at the weekend because they look really modern (completely unheard of for me!). Overall, I would 100% recommend these trainers if you want to try something new, and be confident on the performance, quality and style.”
The promise: “Get a shoe that combines a very lightweight design with protection and cushioning. You can still take on your longer runs with fuzeGEL underfoot, so lightweight it can be spread from your forefoot to your rearfoot.”
We give it: 8/10
Review: “An ankle injury sustained last year really stressed to me how important it is to find a good running shoe - and how one size certainly doesn’t fit all. The dream combination? Ideally good support without compromising on movement. Robust and cushioned, these shoes ensured my ankles felt locked into place to provide ample peace of mind that a sprain wouldn’t happen again. Its sweat-wicking sockliner kept my feet cool and comfortable in equal measure and its high strength outsole felt durable enough to withstand both slow and fast-paced running. However, they did feel quite heavy and I therefore would say that if you’re looking for something that’s more lightweight and flexible, your perfect pair probably lies elsewhere. Design-wise though, I loved its understated and practical black and fuschia splashed colourway - a surefire way to get me stepping from train to treadmill with as little hand luggage as possible.”
The promise: “Lightweight all-terrain shoes designed for the contours of a woman’s foot.”
We give it: 9/10
Review: “I have to admit this is the first pair of Adidas training shoes I've ever owned (Superstars back in my heyday just don't count!), but it certainly won't be the last. These shoes do exactly what they say on the tin - boost your energy no end. The sock-like, contoured fit and lightweight structure mean they feel like an extension of your foot only with incredible grip and elevation on every step. Much of this spring-in-the-step feeling can be attributed to the shoe's unique free-floating arch under the mid-foot, which makes each pickup easier and lighter (and also looks insanely cool)! Cleverly, this doesn't detract from the support the shoe affords, as the body-con fit holds your foot tightly for a well balanced run. The Pure Boost is pretty easy on the eye too, I love the grey metallic finish and camel-coloured sole combo and am proud to rock these in the gym, the park or out for brunch. Have had many compliments already. The price tag, whilst not cheap, I think is well worth it. Love these and highly recommend.”
December 1st 2020