The festive season is upon us while the time for marathons is just around the corner. If it is making you think about getting in shape, here are some running and walking shoes to get you going.

Reebok Floatride Run ULTK

I laced up this light pair and went mall-hopping the first day. Despite having wide feet, this pair fit me like a glove; the foam was soft, but the cage provided support and I didn’t have to tighten the shoelaces. But while there was enough room in the toe box, I did find the midfoot a tad snug. This pair has an 8 mm drop from the heel to the toe, but through turns, crowds and various levels across two malls, the shoes stayed put during my seven-hour-long adventure. While I was wearing a sweat-absorbent pair of socks, I needn’t have; the ventilation was ample to take care of it. The next day, I hit the outdoors. On asphalt, concrete, and linoleum, there was ample grip and support when I ran and exercised; but gravel and slush were no-go areas, as was turning sharply while running fast. While the sole could handle it, I felt the upper flexing a bit too much and controlled my propensity for sharp turns at high speeds. And I didn’t wear socks, yet felt comfortable. The pair works well as an all-round pair, with good support for running long distances on streets or tarmacs. Trail runner it is not.

Price: Rs 15,999

Skechers GoRun 6

This pair is amazingly light and I quite liked the looks of the review sample out of the box. This was the first time I was testing a sock-like upper from the company and the pair fitted my wide feet well. A couple of short walks and I was impressed with the comfort on concrete and asphalt; what’s more, even when I strayed into some gravel, it wasn’t bad, and I got no chips into my shoes. But I did feel that if I punished the pair on gravel, it wouldn’t last long. That said, the uppers offered a lot of ventilation and the two-hour jog session I went in for the next day proved it to be of being capable of giving me sweat-free feet, and good grip. The only thing was, I felt the midsole could have given greater spring-back. But it was super-comfortable and felt perfect for the gym as well.

Price: Rs 7,999

Puma Hybrid Runner
Puma Hybrid Runner

Puma Hybrid Runner

This pair is sure to turn heads whenever you wear it. Even if you aren’t a sneakerhead, the design will intrigue you--a combination of Puma’s Ignite and ‘NRGY beads’ technology. Thus the moniker. The mesh upper is comfortable and the pull tabs helped me get ready for a run in a jiffy. The moment I stepped on to the asphalt, I could literally feel the “spring” in my steps. During a 5km run, I realised how comfortable they are, even when I got drenched in the rain. But, you might find the traction on wet roads challenging, especially during turns at high speed. Also, avoid wearing them on trails as the feel doesn’t inspire confidence on gravel and uneven tracks. But back indoors, at a friend’s gym, I tried a bit of cross-training, and was impressed with the comfort. A road and street runner, this pair is also an excellent cross-trainer.

Price: Rs 7,999

Crocs LiteRide SlipOn

Crocs LiteRide SlipOn
Crocs LiteRide SlipOn

First a disclosure: For the past three years, when I used to work with a daily and had long, non-regular hours, I used to wear Crocs clogs to work—every day. I so much loved the comfort that I had taken to wear shoes only for jogs, walks and soccer. But this pair coaxed me back to wearing shoes again. The slip-ons were just perfect if you had to attend an event in business casuals—and I did attend one which we were hosting—and my feet were pretty comfortable, after a 14-hour day. There’s enough grip and cushioning to walk overall surfaces, and I could even run on asphalt and concrete on this pair—just don’t make high-speed sharp turns, as this isn’t built to handle it. Just remember to buy a size bigger than your current clog size, and you can even wear them with sweat-adsorbent socks.

Price: Rs 5,995

Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra
Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra

Skechers GoWalk Revolution Ultra

This pair looked different from any Skechers pair I’d seen before. This was mainly because of the sock-like upper. I put on this lightweight pair with trepidation, but thankfully it fit me well. The toe box seemed adequate and the cushioning was adequate for a walk over concrete, asphalt, and gravel. It started raining while I was out on a walk, but the pair didn’t flinch—despite wet surfaces, I didn’t slip. Also, thanks to the “pillars” on the outsole, there was quite nice feedback. I wore this pair to a mall and emerged none the worse after a four-hour ordeal. This pair is pretty comfortable as well, but you might need to get used to the feel of the upper. Once you do so, this pair will egg you on to go the distance—just make sure you don’t dirty it in your enthusiasm.

Price: Rs 6,499

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