This week’s list features five sneakers that share a common theme: extreme cushioning matched with lightweight comfort. Nike, the innovators of sock-like footwear, returns to the list with a modernized take on one of their originals. Adidas is back with a pair of collaborations, sharing the spotlight with two up-and-coming designers. New Balance delivers peak craftsmanship with an updated take on their classic 990s, while Under Armor make their debut with a very impressive shoe that exemplifies all-purpose footwear. And once your shoe closet is stocked with some kickass summer kicks, go a step further, and check out The 30 Coolest Pairs of Slip-Ons for Summer.
Nike Air Sock Racer Ultra Flyknit
$140; buy now at nike.com
In 1986, the Nike Air Sock Racer made an unprecedented debut: it was the first shoe to hit the market with just a stretch mesh upper and two buckle strap system. Now, more than 30 years later, the iconic shoe is back, and packs more punch than ever before. Using fly-knit construction to renovate the upper—another company staple—Nike has designed one of the most polished sneakers in sock-like footwear. This updated classic is finished off with full-length air sole cushioning, for lightweight comfort, and is available in a very sleek pale grey (pictured) or a traditional black.
Adidas Wing + Horns NMD Primeknit Shoes
$190; buy now at adidas.com
Last week’s list featured the Adidas Wing + Horns Campus Shoes (the company teamed up with Canada-based menswear label to inject a refined sense of detail to their shoes). Wing + Horns is back with another collaboration, this time with the highly acclaimed NMD Primeknit shoes. A soft leather upper and hand-stitched seams stand out on these very dapper shoes. Plus, they feature NMD’s signature boost cushioning. If you’re looking for a perfect mix of style and comfort, you can stop here.
New Balance 990v4
$165; buy now at newbalance.com
New Balance always delivers supreme craftsmanship; that’s no different with the new 990v4. This classic men’s running shoe is designed around stability, but a pigskin leather mesh upper lends it an unmatched look and a lightweight feel. It’s the fourth generation of the 990, and this iteration is more breathable and supportive than any of its predecessors. With a 30-year history, the 990s have quite a legacy. These kicks only add to their—and, if you so choose, your—stellar reputation.
Under Armour Threadborne Reveal
$120; buy now at underarmour.com
Under Armour makes a debut here with their Threadborne Reveal sneakers. These kicks have a very polished look, featuring a Threadborne upper and a midsole that uses compression-molded foam, giving the shoes a high energy return. A rubber outsole provides quality support and comfort, sure, but it’s the sleek design that really turns heads. And, coming in with a very reasonable price of $130, this impressive shoe is proof that Under Armour will only rise among sneaker giants in the coming years.
Adidas Busenitz Pureboost Shoes
$150; buy now at adidas.com
The Busenitz Pureboost Shoes continue the long ongoing partnership with Adidas and German born skateboarder Dennis Busenitz. These kicks are extremely comfortable, combining two of Adidas’s most well known innovations: Boost and Primeknit. Though they’re classified for skaters, these versatile shoes are built for much more than popping off kickflips. A simple but effective design gives it the look of a more casual shoe, so you can pair it with everything from denim to suits. When it comes down to it, everything works well here; you can wear these babies any day.
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