They might not look that different at first glance, but the Converse 1970s Chuck Taylor All Star Collection ($70-$85) really isn't the same as the Chucks you'll find at your local Journeys store. Re-crafted to the specifications of the All Star of the '70s, these now-iconic shoes feature slightly higher rubber foxing around the sole, added cushioning — definitely a welcome change — stitching on the sidewall, a vintage plate on the heel, a more substantial toe box, and a heavier canvas upper. The black and white versions are available now at select shops, with more original colors arriving later this year.
Most cushioning is designed to keep your feet comfortable when you step down. The cushioning in these new Adidas Energy Boost Running Shoes ($150) is all about what happens after that. Replacing traditional EVA foam in the midsole is the company's new energy-returning Boost material, which aims to make your runs easier by bouncing your foot back up after each step. Other features include a breathable techfit upper, Torsion technology for midfoot support, an external heel counter for a better fit, and compatibility with Adidas' miCoach system.
There might be a more comfortable running shoe out there, but if there is, we don't know about it. The Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ ($TBA) combines Nike's Flyknit technology — which provides a more precise fit, integrates support and structure, reduces seams, weight, and points of friction, and reduces waste by 80 percent — with the company's incredibly comfortable yet lightweight Lunarlon foam cushioning to provide an optimal running experience. It won't be tailored precisely to your foot — it'll just feel that way. Arriving next month.
If you've been thinking "all Vans really need are a perforated upper", than we have some good news for you.Vans OTW Perf Sneakers ($80-$90) are a collection of four classic silhouettes featuring the aforementioned perforated Nubuck uppers, mint-colored hangtags, and mint-colored alternative laces. Both black and gray colorways of the Alcon, Lasdun, Prelow and Stovepipe will be available starting next month.
Let one of nature's most elegant structures help you on your next run in the Puma BioWeb Elite Running Shoes ($100). Designed in collaboration with Spider-Man*, this lightweight running and training shoe features a PU WebCage for flexible support, a mesh upper, an anti-microbial sockliner to fight off the funk, a flexible WebTech heel wrap for impact protection, and an EVA/rubber outsole that carries the web design through to the bottom of the shoe. *Not really.
No, it's not a kit for helping you park cars. Instead, Tricker's Valet Kit (£350; roughly $570) will help you take care of your shoes. Arriving in a multi-tiered wooden box, this kit includes four cans of polish and five jars of leather cream in various colors, eight brushes, a metal shoe horn with a leather fob, and a buffing cloth for achieving a perfect finish.
Do more training than running? You can still enjoy all the natural movement benefits of the Nike Free system with the Nike Free Trainer 3.0 ($TBA). Built on the Free outsole, the Trainer 3.0 features a mesh upper with polyurethane support, a Dynamic Fit system to cradle the midfoot and provide a lock-down fit, and a Phylon midsole for added cushioning. All these materials also happen to be lightweight, allowing a size 9 to weigh in a just 9 ounces. Arriving in January.
Is it a basketball shoe? A futuristic sleeve/boot? Actually, the Air Jordan XX8 ($250) is a little bit of both. The exterior of the shoe is dominated by a Schoeller mesh stretch synthetic shroud that serves to hide the majority of the shoe when zipped, making the whole thing look more like an overgrown sock than a shoe. It still offers high-end b-ball features, however, including the new Jordan Flight Plate that lets the shoe's Zoom Air units react more responsively, internal straps to keep your foot in place, and a molded heel counter made from carbon fiber for added support. Landing at a store near you next February.
They might resemble running shoes from the side, but make no mistake — these Nike Kobe 8 System Basketball Shoes ($TBA) were meant to be worn on the court. Developed in collaboration with Bryant, they feature a graphic snakeskin print on the upper inspired by Kobe's Black Mamba nickname. Speaking of that upper, it's made from Nike Engineered Mesh — the first time it's been used in a basketball shoe — to offer maximum breathability and flexibility with minimal weight. Other features include a low cut, a full-length Lunarlon midsole, a 1mm web rubber outsole, and a 3D anatomical heel counter for a locked down fit. Available later this month.
We're not going to tell you that you'll be able to recognize it as the iconic sneaker right away, but this Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Made in Maine Boot ($350) is awfully cool nonetheless. Built entirely in the USA through a partnership with the Highland Shoe Company, the boot features oiled Chamois Horween leather, a rugged Vibram Jumbo Rippe outsole, leather board construction to allow for re-soling in the future, and white contrast stitching. Available tomorrow exclusively at select Converse and First String retailers, it's limited to just 80 pairs — so you'd best go line up now.
Anyone who's spent long hours out in the cold can tell you that while your hands, face, arms, and legs can get cold, nothing will send you reeling for the warmth of an indoor shelter faster than cold feet. ThermaCell Heated Insoles ($120-$200) are designed to prevent this by heating your boots/shoes from the inside out. Powered by rechargeable lithium polymer batteries embedded in the insoles, they're controlled via a remote that offers off, medium (100º), and high (110º) settings.
They're definitely not the best looking shoes around, but if your goal is to get as close as possible to a barefoot running experience, the Zemgear 360 Ninja Split-Toe Running Shoes ($50-$60) are a step in the right direction. Features include a split-toe design, phylon outsole, tech bands in the upper for greater stability, a round-toe pattern for increased flex, and Gecko-Grip rubber pods for traction. Overall, they weigh just 2.5 ounces, or just slightly more than some socks.