One of the worst things to happen in the life of a sneakerhead is the first major scuff on a new pair of shoes. Jason Markk Sneaker Quick Wipes ($11) help you avert the crisis of smudged shoes, preserving their freshness for another day. They have two sides, with two textures for versatile cleaning — one side has blue abrasive dots for removing difficult stains, while the softer side is better for everyday care. These durable wipes come in packs of twelve, and one or two can easily slip into a pocket for emergency shoe care.
If you're looking for the comfort and freedom of running barefoot, with the support of a running shoe, the Nike Free Flyknit ($160) is for you. It combines two comfortable running technologies — Flyknit and Free — into one shoe. The Nike Flyknit upper has a loosely-woven stretchy top that's as comfortable and flexible as a sock, and a more densely-woven base that hugs your feet securely. The Nike Free midsole provides just the right amount of cushioning, while bendable grooves in the arch help maintain a more natural stride.
No matter how nice of a pair of boots you buy, it only takes a few wet days trudging through the mud to make them look like crap. Get your boots ready for rainy weather, and keep them looking good for years with a can of Red Wing Boot Oil ($20). Made from an all-natural mix of pine pitch and mink oil, it prevents boots from cracking and drying, lengthens their life, and helps them repel water. It'll even restore good looks to that pair of boots you've abandoned in your closet for years.
There's no question that shoe technology keeps evolving — ever since some genius thought to add pumps to a pair of kicks, we haven't looked back. The Adidas Springblade ($180) may represent the next critical step in that evolution. Each pair features 16 downward-angled blades in the midsoles that react to your movement and the pavement, springing you off the ground with each step. Couple that with a better fit on the top of the foot and improved temperature resistance, and your old running shoes may be relegated to the back of your closet. Available in August.
Weather in the Summer is about as predictable as the stock market. But, thanks to the Puma Faas Lite Golf Shoes ($100) you can golf with confidence regardless of what the sky looks like. In fact, they're so confident about the waterproofing on these shoes that they've guaranteed it for a year. Lightweight, waterproof microfiber leather keeps your feet dry even after a nasty downpour, and won't weigh you down when it's dry out. SmartQuill traction technology gives you great footing regardless of the terrain, or its condition.
When you're running through the urban jungle, you want your feet to look and feel good. A camouflage-printed upper, green accents and grey swoosh separate the Nike Lunar 5 EXT Camo ($146) from your average running shoe. But, looks aren't always skin deep. Nike's flywire technology keeps the shoes light without sacrificing structure, while the Lunarlon sole helps to evenly distribute your weight. Laser-cut ventilation keeps your feet cool and dry, so you can keep on running.
Nike continues its quest to make its shoes even more like cushioned socks with the Nike Lunar Presto (£79; roughly $120). This incredibly lightweight shoe features a water-resistant mesh upper that works with a Flywire lace cage to provide an excellent fit while minimizing bulk and allowing for maximum ventilation. A Lunarlon sole rounds out the offering, which comes in a spring-friendly light grey/dark slate grey/orange colorway. [via]
A classic design gets a modern upgrade with the New Balance Revlite 574 Sneakers ($75). While they do feature a new Revlite midsole that provides added responsiveness and durability while weighing 30% less than comparable foams, the rest of the shoe is decidedly old-school, from the basic tri-tone design to the leather upper. Available in four colorways, including black/red, the patriotic navy, white, and red, the running-at-nighttime-friendly hi-viz yellow, black, and white, and the springtime special blue with silver.
Leave it to the sneaker wizards at Nike to come up with a new technological innovation by looking at something as simple as a cheap toy. Inspired by the Chinese finger trap, the woven upper of the Nike Free Trainer 5.0 ($TBD) provides a glove-like fit that moves with your foot during exercise to offer outstanding support. As with all Nike Free models, it also offers a natural motion outsole that delivers a barefoot-like feel, as well as outstanding cushioning, rubber nodes for traction on any surface, and eye-catching looks. Available March 28. [Scouted by Daniel]
Just think of them as an Ikea product for your feet. Like our favorite affordable Swedish furniture, Lasso Flat-Packed Slippers (£27; roughly $40) arrive in a slim box ready to be assembled. Made from a single piece of grey wool felt, they feature a hearty leather sole, and your choice of laces, which you use to build the shoe by sewing them through precut holes. We haven't seen the printed instructions yet, but we're guessing they're not quite as frustrating as the wordless booklets that come from the big blue store.
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.