Are Chunky Shoes The Future?

Are Chunky Shoes The Future?

If you are after limited edition Nike trainers, you may have many different elements in mind in terms of appearance, colours, insignias and associations with particular athletes. But if you are like most people, what you will be looking for will be quite chunky and padded.

In an article on fashionable running shoe styles, CNN noted that running shoes “designed to feel like running barefoot used to be the hottest phenomenon in exercise”. 

However, it notes, now the wheel has come full circle and it is the “ugliest, chunkiest sneaker brand” (Hoka, from France) that is proving to be most popular.

While there is no chance Hoka could match the strength of brand association Nike has – at least not for a few decades - it has evidently hit on something when it comes to style. Former boss of Saucony John Fisher, now a lecturer at Biston University’s Carroll School of Management, said: “This is the antithesis of minimalist sneakers. It’s the maximum amount of comfort.”

Perhaps the simple truth is that comfort is the way to go. The idea of having footwear that all but recreates the feeling of running barefoot - while sparing your feet the perils of running on pavements where broken glass and dog poo may lie - may draw on those athletes who actually like to train that way (ask your parents who Zola Budd was). But this is, it seems, a minority attraction.

Having tried the extra ‘feel’ of neo-barefoot running shoes, runners have recognised the benefits of chunky comfort and it seems the likes of the Nike Free Line range from 2005 have had their day.

Indeed, as Fan Nation reports, the latest Nike products - the Invincible 3 running shoe - is the most “cushioned” trainer it has produced yet, thanks to its ZoomX foam underfoot.

So, while limited edition Nike products may be much sought after, those who plan to use them much will be more likely to go for the chunky ones than anything like the Free Line range.

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