Back in the days of corporate life, I loved wearing pretty shoes. I had a rainbow selection of stilettos. Now, I work from home, and when I put on shoes, it’s to hit the gym, grocery store, road, or school pick-up. Sure, there are occasions where I need pretty, impractical shoes, but I’ve found that my life today is about comfort. Inspired by Nicole Wilkins’s Confessions of a Sneaker Addict, here are my top sneaker picks that keep my feet happy and are still pretty cute.
|New Balance 890v3, Komen edition.|
For running, I need a lightweight-ish neutral shoe, and the New Balance 890v3 fits the bill. I picked the Komen edition because money gets donated to breast cancer research (and, let’s face it, the color is awesome, too). I’ve since added Dr. Scholl’s For Her athletic insoles for a bit of extra cushioning.
These took me through a half marathon and the requisite training, so I’d say they’re awesome if you have a high-ish arch, are a lightweight person, and want a lightweight shoe that provides a bit of guidance. Oh, and they’re made in the USA, in Massachusetts and Maine.
|New Balance 20v2.|
New Balance 20v2 cross-training shoes are my go-to for resistance training. They’re lightweight and provide a bit of support for sprints, but they really shine during leg work because they keep my heels in contact with the ground. I’m able to really stabilize myself when I wear these and do squats or lunges.
I also really like the breathable mesh. Definitely a good thing on a hot, humid day when no air conditioning can possibly tame the heat.
When I’m doing a metabolic workout full of jumps and sprints and such, I need more support than my New Balance 20v2 shoes can give me. That’s where these awesome Reebok RealFlex cross trainers come in – they’re cushy and supportive, and they have flames along the sides.
And then there are times that I just need a pair of shoes for walking around, usually on vacation when we’re flitting from attraction to attraction. Everyone else is wearing sneakers, so why shouldn’t I? These are easy to slip on and off, are supportive and soft, and took me through a great deal of walking through airports, museums, and attractions recently. I also wear them to and from resistance training and metabolic training to keep my workout shoes from getting road dirt on them. In a pinch on a trip, I can wear them to lift weights.
|Converse. Needs no introduction.|
If you at all like cute sneakers, then you have a pair of Converse in your closet. These are my city visit sneakers: comfortable enough to walk around the Lower East Side or Central Park, but cute enough so I don’t feel like a tourist clomping around in hiking shoes (shudder!). They go with jeans, casual skirts, and even cute printed pants. They’re like the LBD of sneakers. I wear them a lot during the week, too.
My top shoe picks for conferences? Ballet flats. I strongly advise getting a pair that are cushy and comfortable, because being on your feet all day is tough enough. I’ve stopped wearing the stilettos except to client meetings where walking is minimal (like, from my car to the office, around the office, and back to my car). My feet and knees have thanked me immensely.