In years to come, there are many things we will tell our grandchildren about the great lockdown of 2020. The realisation, for example, that while the humans of the 21st century may have mastered nuclear fission, they couldn’t guesstimate two meters if their lives depended on it (ah, the irony).
They will talk about caring communities, about the mighty NHS, and they will talk about fitness. Because let’s be honest, we’ve all gone a little fitness bonkers. Our homes hum in the morning to the steady encouragement of Joe Wicks, our lunchtimes are filled with healthy snacks and the evenings, well the evenings are for running (if you’re going out once a day, make it count).
For the majority of us, the notion of running is new. We tried it at school, use it occasionally to catch a bus, that’s about it. Which makes buying that first pair even more baffling. There are thousands of running shoes out there, covering everything from flat feet to ultra-marathons. So we thought we would make this lockdown as simple as possible and do some of the hard work for you. Here are our top five choices for next week’s pavement pounding
ASICS GT-2000 8 Retro Tokyo Running Shoes
An excellent option for first time runners, mainly because they look so good you can also wear them to the pub when this lockdown finishes and abandon running forever. The rear foot cushioning system keeps impact to a minimum (if this is your first run in a while it’s something to think about as your legs are going to hurt), while the mesh material keeps your feet both ventilated and, more importantly, stable.
Best for: Looks
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
The back of these trainers looks like a 1950s Rockabilly ‘Ducktail’ haircut ,and that’s not a bad thing. The Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 is your perfect long distance option, essentially because it’s light as a (ducks) feather and the foam sole is designed to make each footstep as efficient as possible. The heel is also designed to make your Achilles tendon as comfortable as possible, which in layman speak means you’ll run back home rather than hobble.
Best for: Endurance
Hoka One One Carbon X
This is one of those trainers that will make professional runners give you a knowing nod as they jog past. Not that they will go past, because once you slip on the Hoka, you’re going to move quicker than you ever thought imaginable (this sentence only applies to people with limited imaginations). The super cushioning sucks in your feet on the down press, and then fires you down the road with every step.
Best for: Speed
Salomon Sonic 3 Balance
The Saloman is designed for an ultra-smooth ride, especially when you’re covering varied surfaces such as pavement and gravel. There’s slightly less mesh than you might be expecting across the top, but the flip side to this is that your foot has more than ample support, something amplified by the foam tongue that compresses down and holds everything in pace. Finally, the Wet Traction Contagrip (grippy soles) keeps you upright on slippery roads.
Best for: Wet, off road days.
Adidas UltraBoost 19
This is essentially foam wars without any of the fun of Ibiza. There is an UltraBoost 20 but we went with the runners of the office who insist the 19 is still superior. Fits like a glove (or sock) and has 20% more foam than its predecessor making it bouncy, comfortable and perfect for the slightly larger runner looking to jog to lose a little lockdown timber.
Best for: The bigger build runner