Best running pants mens

OK I might be biased with this article but my best running pants of all times are the Nike ones. I have 2 pairs of DRY-fit and man aren’t they the best!

But wait there is more to it! We also have some serious contenders, like adidas, Under Armour and ASICS. Ready for a wild ride? Let’s go!

Firstly I apologize to everyone for talking for the next half hour about Nike but they really have great running pants and is not hard to get excited. Kidding, I won’t talk for that long about Nike. In fact, the other running pants I like: the Under Armour, the ASICS and the Adidas ones are as great looking as the Nike ones.

First of all let’s define what a great pair of running pants is, not necessarily in order:

  1. can be used all year round with exceptions of very low or very high temperatures
  2. are not shrinking if you put them in the dryer
  3. are breathable keeping sweat away
  4. look great and can be used outside not just for running but other outdoors activities
  5. don’t need to be ironed
  6. don’t get stained easily, black color preferred
  7. they dry up quick so if you wash them in a rush, they will dry up fast so you can go for a run in short notice
  8. they are elastic enough so they won’t keep you from widening your stride when jumping over a puddle and such
  9. they feel smooth on skin and around waist
  10. non-prominent stitching for great comfort

I’m not sure what exact model I have from Nike for my running pants but this is how they look:

my dry fit nike running pants

They are the most comfortable running pants I do have at the current moment so you can get there is a huge rush to always wash them after my runs so I can use them for the next one. A couple of things to notice here.

They have zipper pockets on both sides and one zipped pocket in the back, plus zippers at the bottom back of both legs. While I found the zipped pockets very useful so I can put my key, some paper towel or what not in my pockets, zip them up and run with peace of mind I won’t lose them, the zip at the bottom of the pants I rarely used. However I saw that because of that, the back of my pants show a little pocket because of continuously pulling my heels up the pants. So ideally you should always bring the zipper up, pull the pants then move the zip back down. But life is too short to do that so if you plan to buy running pants with zippers down there just make a note of this.

Just be aware, the zipped back pocket is very small. Don’t even think you can squeeze your phone in unless you have a very small phone like an iPhone 5. Considering the trend of every growing phone sizes, there is a small chance you will ever be able to keep the phone there. I use it for the entrance key.

Another thing if you see looking at the picture is that they feature some reflective elements, those squares at the top end of the zippers and there is also the Nike logo which I hadn’t caught in the picture.

One pro tip before I forget, because the sweat pants are usually made of synthetic materials, they don’t shrink. So whatever you buy they will stay the same even if you put them in the dryer machine. Make a note so you buy the size the fits you the best and not a larger one…

And one more thing before moving on with our article is that, my pants have some internal padding, it feels less synthetic and will help absorbing the sweat and heat and dissipating it outside. It’s a nifty little thing but it works wonders for me at least.

Nike Mens Flex Essential Running Pants look very similar with the Nike DRY-FIT with a couple of differences:
– the waistline is a bit tall and thick. More support if you do gym weights but less helpful for running. I would say it might bother creating some chaffing if you sweat a lot, see picture:

my Nike Mens Flex Essential Running Pants

– the bottom follow the same design, higher and thicker
– as you can see in the below picture, there are 2 reflective vertical lines on the front of the pants compared to 2 squares on the back on the DRY-FIT

my Nike Mens Flex Essential Running Pants

The only identical part is that both have zippers for the top pockets, there is a similar back/side small pocket with a zipper as well and of course we have zippers at the bottom of the legs. Also as with all Nike’s pants there is a reflective swoosh on the front of the pants.

What I like:

  • despite my comment above, I kind of enjoy the low-profile elastic waistband
  • very elastic, following my legs, no resistance felt
  • nice black color, stain free
  • nice touch feel fabric

What I don’t like:

  • you might be able to see through if they are very fit
  • careful with the sizing. I found it tricky especially when switching from one brand to another as one brand could be medium and another could be large and so on

Under Armour Men Challenger ii Training Pants are as great as Nike’s with a noticeable difference –
they don’t have a back zipper pocket. Not a biggie since the Nike’s one is very small and you can barely fit anything in except maybe the entrance key. Still great to have but the side pockets should be enough never the less.

my Armour Men Challenger ii Training Pants

Something I forgot to mention for both Nike’s and the UA pants is that they go very well with a tracking suit jacket. But this apply to all the running pants we are talking about today. Just a thing to consider when buying, you might want to pair the pants with a jacket.

What I like:

  • comes in multiple colors like: black, graphite and overcast grey
  • similar to Nike’s they are build from one piece of fabric – I don’t like stitched together parts, they might bother me when I run
  • zippers at the bottom of the pants

What I don’t like:

  • no back zipped packet
  • they might run short in size

If you like more a bit larger pants (not everyone is that confident to wear very fit pants), ASICS Men’s Aptitude 2 Running Pants could be a great option for you especially if you have bulkier legs.

Simple pants to put on a go for a run. The material is stretchable but I found Nike’s one better for that reason. The bottom zipps up as well. I found the fabric to be very breathable so they will keep u cool and dry.

Thin elastic waistline feels great when worn for prolong periods of time. No other prints except the Asics logo on the front right side.

What I like:

  • simple construction
  • durable
  • very breathable

What I don’t like:

  • one color, black only
  • I could use more pockets with zips
  • a bit to sporty for daily life

Another pair again a bit baggier if that’s what you’re after is Nike Men’s Therma Tapered Running Pants.

They look really good, I hope the pictures below made them justice:

my Nike Men's Therma Tapered Running Pants

This is a nice pair if Nike’s men’s jogging sweatpants with a couple of drawbacks. Firstly the pockets and the bottom of the legs have no zipps. Secondarily, the pants are stitched together out of a couple of parts. Personally not a fan of this as I mentioned already before but it could be something you might pick without problems.

my Nike Men's Therma Tapered Running Pants

Comparing to the other pants I checked for you today, this ones are built for winter – the Therma fabric will keep you legs warm during cold runs.

What I like:

  • simple construction
  • stretchable
  • nice pure black color

What I don’t like:

  • no zipper for side pockets and lower legs
  • could be to warm for treadmill

And finally, we are talking about adidas Men’s Response Astro Pants. Not to be confused with Lululemon Astro. Here is a picture from front and back (they look pretty):

my adidas Men's Response Astro Pants

So what’s different about these running pants? First thing you will notice is that they again, like Nike Men’s Therma Tapered Running Pants, stitched together from different pieces of fabric. Secondarily you will see the 3 stripes specific to the adidas brand. They also have zippers down the legs as you can see in the pictures:

my adidas Men's Response Astro Pants

Comes in black in a regular fit size.

I’m not gonna go into too much detail here since they are simple plants, great for running but with not much bells and whistles.

What I like:

  • simple pants, easy to use
  • feel great fabric
  • lots of sizes
  • great for indoors and outdoors running

What I don’t like:

  • no zipper for side pockets

Conclusion

When shopping for running pants for men, ask yourself this: Do I need something for outside or inside? If you need for both, Nike does a very good job, followed by Under Armour.

My UA pants have the waistline a bit to too tight for my taste (or maybe I gained some extra pounds and I didn’t know) but my Nike’s one are amazing.

Second question will be, do you run outside all year round and if you do, does it get very hot and very cold? If the temperatures varies a lot, my reco is to pick the Nike Therma pants. They don’t just look great but they also help you against cold.

For summer I would recommend either Nike DRY-FIT or shorts – but that’s for another review.

Under Armour along with Asics and Adidas are just as great as Nike so going with the brand is not needed necessarily. The most important factor is the fit when it comes to running pants – you need something that are stretchable, feel great on skin, keep the moisture away while keeping your muscle warm over running to prevent cramps and feeling cold.

That was all for today, let me know in your comments what you end up buying. I hope my reviews shed some light on the running pants for men on the market as we speak and that you found something that fits you well and encourage you to run more. Cheers!

Best running hats

Since is winter, at least here, why not talking about running hats? Bennies come in different forms, shapes and colors so it could be overwhelming to find something you would like. But I’m here to help you. Ready for it? Let’s go!

First of all, how much heat do you generate or in other words how much do you sweat? I’m somewhat in the middle of the pack, I know some friends I have they are all red faced when they run while others are cool as a cucumber. I’m sweating but not that much. I also noticed, I’m quite hot at the beginning of the run but after 10 km or so, my body cools that means I need a running hat that is warm but keeps the sweat away because the sweat is what gets me cold when my body stop generating that much heat.

Secondarily, where do you run, how cold it is out there? I’m in the northern hemisphere in a four seasons climate. The winters are harsh but is far from being North Pole which makes choosing a proper running hat a bit challenging. I really have to check the temperature twice and pay attention to the what is feels like with windchill before I chose the hat to wear.

Ideally, like with other running clothing, the running hats you will use will be breathable to keep the excessive body heat and sweat away. So let’s look at a couple of hats brands that I believe are great. I personally use Under Armour. I do it for years but they get quite sweaty so recently I started shopping to hats. Here are my findings, hopefully there is something for you as well.

One of the running hats that I like is this one from DDDW. I like that is simple and it comes in multiple colors. My all time favorite color for running gear is black but it’s great to have options just in case you want to match your non-black running clothes.
If you run in a windy area, this running beanie will help because it has an elastic closure. It’s simple but fashionable, it might make you look like a geek – a running geek that is. Made out of soft fabric will feel great and will leave your head dry when running. DDDW Beanie is neither thick or thin, just the perfect amount of fabric.

DDDW Beanie Hat Wool Skull Cap

Stuff I like:

  • simple yet modern could be worn by anyone, active or not
  • multiple selection of colors
  • great price
  • feels great, breathable

Things I don’t like:

  • depending on what you are used to wear it could feel cheap
  • non brand so if you are into brands it might not be something appealing

Another skull cap for running I noticed is this. Like the one I just talked, EPorter Skull Cap is a simple running cap that will also be great for all outdoors activities. If you complement your running with hiking, skying, cycling or whatever cool kids do these days, this running hat could be for you.

EPorter Skull Cap

The comparison between EPorter Skull Cap and DDDW Beanie end here though. EPorter Skull Cap has more to put on the table, or well, to put on your head if I’m allowed a little pun. Let’s see why I think this hat is great.

First of all, is better insulated against low temperatures, wind and rain.It’s made of a waterproof polyester, comes with fleece lining inside to keep you warm in the winter and cool when is warmer. It also covers well your ears. I use a pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds when I run and I like when I can cover my ears to keep them from falling. This hat will help with that.

Another thing worth mentioning is how well done the flat stitching sewing is. You know when you are sweating that not-so-comfortable feeling you have with your hats that makes you keep adjusting them? Well, with this one all that goes away. Great!

If you read my article about finding a winter running jacket, one of the factors to count when looking for one was having reflective elements to make you easier to spot at night. EPorter Skull Cap has a 2 reflective logos. It’s seen obviously only from front but it’s still better than nothing.

What I like:

  • simple construction same as DDDW Beanie but with additional padding and weather protection
  • reflective logos in front and in the back
  • covering the ears
  • thick, resistant fabric

What I don’t like:

  • not as fashionable, it looks more like a sports hat than one to wear with your winter parka
  • only one color, black

With XGEAR Skull Cap we get into more technical thermal hats. This is a different level. First of all it’s designed for both men and women runners. The hat has a cut at the back for a pony tail. In my honest opinion looks great and I bet it could be very practical.

XGEAR Skull Cap

This one features reflective panels as well, one big X on the left side and 5 stripes on the right. Also like EPorter Skull Cap, this beanie covers your ears as well.

It’s snug but stretchable featuring a moisture wicking fabric that keeps you warm and dry. Could be worn under a bike helmet because it follows the helmet shape and it’s fit.

Things that I like:

  • made for sports people, it has everything someone would ask for
  • 2 reflective elements for night running similar to EPorter but sideways
  • keeps your ears warm for that long cold run
  • stretchable
  • winter proof against cold and rain

What I don’t like:

  • modern but not so fashionable, clearly designed with active people in mind
  • comes in one color, black
  • stitching a bit prominent might make it not-so-comfortable over long periods of time

Conclusion.
If you run in really cold temperature I would say get the XGEAR Skull Cap. It really insulates you against the cold weather elements. Also the reflective panels are really a nice touch. If you want something in between fashionable and active gear go for EPorter Skull Cap. Though I must say EPorter Skull Cap could be as warm as XGEAR Skull Cap but is less sporty which makes it more adequate for other activities or just daily life in general. Does it work with office clothes? Probably not but the DDDW Beanie will. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of preferences.

With these many options these days it’s really hard to not find something on your taste. Good luck with your shopping and let me know in your comments what running hat you end up getting. Cheers!

Best winter running jackets

The top 3 characteristics for great winter running jackets are:

  1. warm without getting you too sweaty
  2. lightweight
  3. optionally they need some reflective elements so you are easy to spot by drivers when you run at night

Again the last one is totally optional but believe me, as a runner who runs at night, ideally you want the jacket to be seen easily to keep you away from trouble.

Curently, I have two winter running jackets, one is Sugoi Rs 180 Jacket (mine is neon green, see picture below) and another from Saucony. I love both but for different reasons. Saucony is warm and has more pockets than Sugoi. It also has some padding so I can run usually in a thin long sleeve underneath when of course is not too cold, I think the coldest I could run like that was around -7C. But Sugoi is neon green and has a more sporty feeling to it, also great for biking providing a good low cover of your back.

my Sugoi Rs 180 running jacket

This is my Saucony winter running jacket:

my Saucony winter running jacket

There is a lot of personal taste when choosing running gear but no matter what are you going for after reading this article, I’m here to save you some time and present you with a couple of options. Ready? Let’s go!

Personally I’m not a big fan of hoodie jackets for running as the hoodie can get in the way but this jacket from Marmot is a steal, let me explain why. It’s light, easily packable when going for running trips other the ones in your neighborhood. It’s warm but breathable keeping the body warm and cozy without overheating. There is no jacket put there, not even the ones at a thousand dollars and up that won’t get you sweaty, I promise you that but Marmot Men’s Neothermo Hoody does a decent job and I was able to run at -20C with it and one of my long sleeves thin shirts and it felt great. It comes in multiple colors but I recommend darker colors, preferably black like the one in the picture below, as there is some sweating along the way and I don’t like showing it through my clothes. I’m guessing neither do you.

Marmot Men's Neothermo Hoody running jacket

Here in grey color which I don’t like that much as I prefer darker colors for my running gear…

my Marmot Men's Neothermo Hoody running jacket

Sporting a modern look is comfortable being lightweight and versatile meaning that you can grab some milk from your convenience store on your way back from running. Is made of Polartec fleece and offers a small but functional zip chest pocket, great for a key and maybe that Starbucks card. As you could see in the pictures it has elastic bound cuffs with integrated thumb holes. I don’t think I took advantage of the thumb holes more than a couple of times with all my jackets as I wear gloves but there have been a couple of times when I went meeting my running friends and I had forgotten my gloves home and those thumb holes kept my hand warm, at least partially.

Thing I like:

  • simple but stylish running jacket that can be worn for neighborhood little shopping at the end of the runs
  • warn and breathable, the Polartec will retain body heat but not much of the moisture
  • thumb holes but this is with a few exceptions the standard these days with winter running jackets
  • big sports brand committed to continuous improvements and innovation
  • pocket with zip helps not losing things like mittens, keys, phone, cards, etc
  • fit construction, looks great if you have a great body

Thing I don’t like:

  • only one pocket
  • no reflective elements for night run
  • not water repellent or waterproof
  • runs in a smaller size, something to consider if you buy online

Mizuno hits spot on with their running gear, at least with me. For example, one of the jackets I love from them is this Mizuno Running Men’s Static Breath Thermo Softshell Jacket. Don’t ask me what “static breath” means and why is it part of the jacket name but I’m telling you once you put it on you don’t want to take it off. Actually, I just looked into it and apparently there is some proprietary technology they use called Breath Thermo which makes the jacket feel warm in cold temperatures having an extremely lightweight outer shell bonded with Breath Thermo. This combination is supposed to keep the sweat away during running. It’s wind and water resistant.

My Mizuno Running Men's Static Breath Thermo Softshell Jacket

Thing I like:

  • Silver Grey reflective Mizuno Runbird logo with a 360 degree high candle safety reflectivity
  • light made out of a nice fabric inside out
  • 3 zip pockets
  • Thumb holes

Thing I don’t like:

  • depending where are you finding it to buy it, the price may be a bit steep
  • the end part of the sleeves where the thumb holes are, is not waterproof so if it rains or if you sweat a lot these areas will be dripping wet
  • not as breathable as other winter jackets I tried

And because I love Nike, I couldn’t have not mentioned this winter running jacket, a simple one with no bells and whistles but sometimes this is all we need. Think about coming back from a running, all sweating, hands and face cold, trying to find the entrance key. Would you want to have tons of pockets and an overly complicated jacket with layers and such or something simple? My running philosophy is: put it on, zip it up and go for a run.

So let’s talk about Nike Men’s Element Shield for a bit. I would really love to talk about this instead, but hey there is still -10C outside so I will leave that for later :/

But I digress, so back at our Nike Men’s Element Shield. Something that I truly enjoy about Nike is their Dri-FIT technology they use in a lot of their products.

I have 2 pairs of running pants from Nike, both with Dri-FIT and I gotta say they stay warm on me even on the most intense running (the sub 5 min per kilometer). So it comes to me that Dri-FIT is a great thing to have. This jacket is made of Dri-FIT 89% polyester with 11% spandex. Features a clean look and lightweight sporty fit with a soft feel fabric. Another thing I enjoy with Nike running gear is that they all have some sort of reflective elements that enhance visibility at night. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, reflective running gear is great to have.

I don’t know where you live but down here there is 4-5 months of winter in a year which means a lot of darkness, low visibility and bad weather so if you can go for something reflective.

Thing I like:

  • Dri-FIT to keep you warm and dry
  • simple construction, easy to put on and take off
  • reflective
  • very breathable

Thing I don’t like:

  • no pockets
  • the price might be higher than your usual
  • no protection for wind and rain

Conclusion

As with everything in life, a lot of our purchases are based on personal preferences and winter running jackets make no exception. However if I had to recommend something is going with a big brand like Marmot, Saucony, Sugoi or Nike. The continually improve their products and even if their price might appear steep at first, it pays off in long run. Pun intended.
My favorites remain Saucony, Sugoi and Marmot. Not a big fan of Saucony running shoes just because they always have some rubber / plastic going around the toes box (I prefer knit fabric) but I must say they know how to make great running jackets.

As always let me know in your comments what did you like and end up buying. Cheers, your running mate.

Top 3 best running shoes for wide feet

I don’t have wide feet but wide shoes always make me feel comfortable especially when I run. Hence when I’m shopping for running shoes I try to buy wide when possible. Unfortunately not all brands carry wide but that’s why I’m here, to help you find a nice pair of wide running shoes that will help you go the extra distance. Literally. On board? Let’s do it!

The trick when choosing wide shoes is not only the width but also the material they are made of. People with wide feet have also sensible toes, especially the little one. It’s happening over the years because of bad shoes. So when buying wide shoes it’s important that the upper mesh to be comfortable. Personally I love sock like shoes so if we can find a couple of pairs for you to chose from that wrap your feet like a sock that would be perfect.

Another trick when choosing running shoes is to pick one size bigger because when you run there is increased blood flow in your body especially in your legs and feet and the swelling during the run and post run will make your feet expand.

So this is what we’re looking:
– size E, 2E or 4E for men
– size E or 2E for women
– sock-like knitted top mesh
– pick up one size bigger

4E is considered extra wide for men and 2E is considered extra wide for women. Some brands like Nike use X-Wide instead of 4E as in the table below:

nike wide and extra wide sizes

First thing we will do is identifying what brands out there make wide shoes. Like I said not all of them do that or at least not all models are coming in wide sizes.

One pair of shoes I truly like are Axelion from Puma. Puma might not be the most popular brand among runners these days but man aren’t they comfy!

Mens Axelion Wide Running Shoe

Made of a breathable knit fabric with good cushion inside, great heel and mid foot support and durable carbon rubber to last long on pavement running these shoes are not only great for running but could be used anytime as day shoes as well because they look great.

My pair of Mens Axelion Wide Running Shoe

They come in various colors, mostly available on Amazon, like Asphalt Black, Black & White, Puma Black Quiet Shade, Quarry-quiet Shade-red Dahlia, Sodalite Blue-puma Black, Sodalite Blue-puma Black and my favorite color Puma White-gray Violet.

Things I like:

  • the upper breathable mesh offering a nice snug
  • wide selection of colors
  • could be use as daily shoes as well – meet for a run with your friends then change clothes and go enjoy a nice cold after run tea
  • no plastic / rubber around toes gives a true sock feeling
  • soles with memory gel for comfy walk / run

Things I don’t like:

  • the back heel part is a bit too high and might bother with ultra low no-show socks. When buying this you may need to also look for socks that go with it.
  • the hard inner / outer material while locking down the feet might feel rough on long runs
  • much heavier than my Under Armour Bandit 3. Puma weight: 13 oz vs 9.14 oz
  • rubber sole with not a pronounced thread might be slippery on wet pavement. Definitely not a trails shoe

Another wide running shoe that I like is Nike Men’s Revolution 3. This shoe has a great upper mesh too. You can see a pattern of what I like I guess already, don’t you? But the truth is, once you try knit-fabric type of shoes it’s hard to go for anything else. It feels that good.
Nike Mens Revolution 3 Running Shoe

Made out of a breathable upper mesh, phylon foam for added cushioning and comfort and a responsive but long lasting rubber outsoles these shoes are great for running being very light (even lighter than my Bandit 3 under Armour at only 8.8 ounces), very breathable, responsive with a good pavement grip and stylish as well.
Nike Mens Revolution 3 Running Shoe

Things I like:

  • wide size and a great selection of colors to chose from
  • great fit, easy to put on and take off
  • very light, like I mentioned above they are even lighter than my Under Armour, at only 8.8 ounces
  • sock feeling
  • good grip on the sidewalk

Things I don’t like:

  • like with all Nike shoes and products in general, the price could be an issue. The best part is there are plenty of Nike clearance stores to hunt around for a price that fits your budget
  • the laces and insoles may appear thin and less durable though I found them sturdy enough for at least a full year of running
  • depending on how heavy you use them, they construction might not be as sturdy this being in part because of the knit shoe style there is not much reinforcement. They feel great and comfortable at the price of not being that sturdy.

Next is Brooks Mens Ravenna 10 Running Shoe.

This shoes are light, good looking and easy on the feet yet sturdy and will last long. I found them great for both long distance (I run up to 30 km sometimes up to 35 km at once in my training) but for speed work and hill work as well.

Breathable, good heel lock, looking stylish with thick foam outsoles, I like, Ravenna 10 are ones of my favorite. Just a note before buying, because of the high arch these shoes won’t work that great for neutral runners.

Brooks Mens Ravenna 10 Running Shoe

With a 9.4oz just short of the 9.14oz compared with Under Armour Bandit 3 (and just .4oz heavier than Brooks Mens Launch 6), these shoes hit all the marks – good looking, light, comfortable and durable.

Talking about Brooks launch 6 I really like this color: Blue/Teal/Nightlife:

Or this (Oh, hey America!). But more about Brooks brand and why I believe they make great running shoes in a future post.

Things I like about Brooks Mens Ravenna 10 Running Shoes:

  • looking very good, great for both running and that stroll in the park
  • added support to help non-neutral runners
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole provides responsiveness but great cushioning as well
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM to help reduce the strain on the knees therefore less knee pain and issues
  • great for all type of running from long distance to speed and track work, inside on the treadmill as well as on the road

Things I don’t like:

  • the upper mesh like with any other highly breathable knit type of fabric might wear off easily
  • not a big fan of the back of the shoe, I believe is prone to chafing with lowe profile socks so you might need taller socks
  • if you are coming from Ravenna 9 these shoes might feel not as comfortable as 9

Conclusion:
All 3 wide running shoes I talked about today are great but for different reasons. Out of all 3 Brooks Mens Ravenna 10 seem to be the one covering the largest type of running (track, road, treadmill, speed work or long slow runs). Nike Men’s Revolution 3 are stylish and more with the modern trends in fashion and could be word easily as street sneakers as well for running. Versatility is not their strongest point though, what I think they really thrive for is the fact that they are very light, feel very good and provide great breathability so depending on the amount of effort you put in during your runs as well as the climate you run in, Nike Men’s Revolution 3 could be the best wide running shoes to run in heat.

I left Brooks Mens Ravenna 10 to be the last not because they are last but quite the opposite, because they are my favorite. Probably I like them so much because they are stylish but practical as well. I could definitively imagine myself wearing them with jeans at work then changing to running shorts and running the neighborhoods. Because the shoes these days have to be versatile, it’s a pace world the one we are living in and being able to switch easily from one type of activity to another is great.

No matter what shoes you decided to buy out of these 3 ones, you cannot go wrong. Let me know in your comments what you like and what you don’t if you decided to go with one or another.

What shoes I’m running with

I used to run with a pair of Merrell Bare Access 4 running shoes, then I changed to New Balance 680v3 Tech Ride. At some point afterwards I also bought a pair of Skechers Skech-Knit. They are all great for different reasons.

But my all times favourites and the ones I am currently running with are Under Armour Bandit 3 which now while visiting the website I’m just seeing are actually for women. Well, I feel great in them so who cares really. I like them so much that I got 2 pairs, one in the grey color below and another blue ones. I alternate running with them and still my soles are pretty much done after running for only one year or so.

Under Armour bandit 3 running shoes

Now that I think about, I realize I have 2 pair of shoes, 2 pair of gloves, 3 running caps, 2 pair of pants and one running beanie, all from under Armour. I guess I just like the brand. Great prices and great quality that’s for sure.

The Merrell shoes I have which I use mostly for gym / running on treadmill, are minimalist running shoes, great shape with a low profile, zero drop heel-to-toe and not much cushioning. They feature EVA/Vibram rubber outsole with the perfect anatomic toe box for me – they are roomy so I can spread my toes easily. They just feel great. Thinking of them, I better buy now 1-2 more pairs just in case they discontinue soon. Wait, never mind, I cannot find them on the Merrell website anymore but I can still see stores selling them. If you like minimalist running shoes go grab a pair, you won’t regret it.

Merrell Bare Access 4 running shoes

There is one catch though with minimal shoes. While I definitely love the barefoot format, the fact that I have plantar fasciitis, restricts me from wearing anything that doesn’t have enough cushion. To compensate that I use additional insoles that protect me. They felt a bit weird at the beginning but I eventually got used to them.

The New Balance running shoes I barely use anymore. But they are the ones I used for pretty much all my runs in the past when I started running. They have a lot of cushion and good road grip as well. They are great for running on both hard pavement and trails.

More snug on my feet than any other shoe, the hard material rubbing against my toes bothers me when I run. Thank god, no blisters or hot spots but I wish the upper fabric is more shear and easy on my feet. They bothered me from day one but I didn’t return them thinking they will break-in eventually. They never did. They are not that roomy as Merrells and far away from being as comfy as Under Armour. Despite the fact that they offer more impact protection through the over-sized midsole and beside being more responsive, they are not my favorites, unfortunately.

New Balance 680v3 Tech Ride

Another pair I bought which I only used occasionally for running and mostly for daily activities, are Skechers. Due to the toe splay and the snug mid foot area they wrap around my feet like a sock and I cannot get enough of that hug. They are the most comfortable shoes I ever had and absolutely a pleasure to wear them on a daily basis, all day long. But they aren’t that great for running. They lack grip (the sole is not firm at all) and they are bouncy. Truth to be told, I have had more knees pain from them than with the less cushioned Merrell ones.

Reebok Skech-Knit

If you are looking for a pair of shoes for running, you might ask, what are the best running shoes out there? And more important, what’s that one thing that matters? Is it the form factor, the sole, the material, the amount of cushion, the weight or what is it that makes a pair of running shoes great? Or, are they all important factors?

For me personally, a perfect running shoe is the one with no hard parts around toes, laces or back where there Achilles tendon is. It has to be light with a soft yet sturdy upper mesh that will snug my feet like a sock, tight enough to give me good stability but comfortable and with a great toes space. I want something that provides good heel support and great grip on slippery wet sidewalks. Lastly but not last I want it to be breathable, with just enough cushion to be flexible and finally to not buckle.

Here’s a wrap up for you:

  • soft but sturdy fabric
  • great pavement grip
  • solid locked heel support
  • breathable textile

What shoes are you running with and what do you look for when buying?