What to expect from the best Ryka training shoes
The philosophy of the Ryka Brand revolves around creating athletic footwear specifically for women’s feet. The company has maintained this Made-for-Women mentality for over 30 years since it was established in 1987. Its founder, a woman named Sheri Poe, was disturbed by the lack of quality female sports shoes at that time. She was also disgruntled by the fact that women’s shoes were merely smaller versions of men’s models. It laid the foundation for the brand’s core principle of producing footwear with a female foot shape, build, and movement in mind.
Based on her research, Poe concluded that a woman’s foot has a greater tendency to shift weight to the outside edge than a man’s foot. Thus, it requires more support to prevent unsteadiness in the heel. Overall, the elements of the company’s “perfect shoe potion” include:
- a snug-fitting heel for stability;
- a roomy forefoot for a comfortable toe-splay;
- a secure insole to keep the foot safely inside;
- a higher instep volume to accommodate the higher arch of a female foot.
The brand’s credo, as well as its charity enterprises, even inspired Princess Diana to make an appearance in Ryka training shoes in the early years of the company. Along with crafting women-specific sportswear, Ryka also promotes athletic engagement among women through its Ryka FIT program and partnerships with Curves, R.I.P.P.E.D, and Jazzercise.
Ryka now belongs to Caleres, an American footwear company that also possesses and manages a few other shoe brands, including Famous Footwear, Dr. Scholl’s, Fergie Footwear, and many others.
Types of Ryka training shoes
Training shoes (workout shoes)
This category includes footwear that is designed to accommodate a wide array of fitness regimens, including studio workouts, dance classes, high-impact and cardio exercises, etc.
- Upper. Ryka workout shoes utilize lightweight and breathable synthetic and mesh materials to keep up with the agility of the above-mentioned activities. The round toe box allows for the toes to splay comfortably inside the shoe.
- Midsole. The brand’s proprietary foam materials are employed for responsive cushioning and shock attenuation. An Ortholite insole (or similar) is usually added for extra comfort and cushioning as well. The sole unit has a low-to-the-ground disposition to help the wearer feel in control of the platform and the surface. It was also made pliable to easily bend with the foot as it performs quick, multi-directional movements.
- Outsole. The rubber outsole of these Ryka training shoes has an ergonomic construction. It also includes a Pivot Point at the ball of the foot to deliver a fine balance of traction and gliding on studio and gym floors.
As the name implies, these trainers are meant for extended periods of walking. They also cater to those who prioritize comfort when it comes to doing their job or running errands.
- Upper. Ryka walking shoes use streamlined synthetic overlays to support the forward motion of a walking foot. The toe box is rounded to give the ball and toes some extra room for comfort.
- Midsole. A lightweight molded EVA foam is most common for the brand’s walking shoes. It delivers cushioning and guides the foot from heel to toe. Some models include a TPU midfoot shank to stabilize the foot and prevent it from excessive inward rolling (or overpronation). Extra underfoot padding is provided by a Memory Foam insole or an Anatomically-Precise footbed.
- Outsole. Even though outsole patterns differ from shoe to shoe, they all employ rubber pods for durability and traction on outdoor surfaces. Flex grooves are also present on each trainer to ensure unhindered flexibility of the foot.
Choosing the right pair or Ryka training shoes
Knowing the type of athletic activity that you’ll be putting your footwear through will greatly help you narrow down the choices. If you are up for an aerobics class, a Jazzercise or Zumba session, a cardio workout, or any other studio exercise, then Ryka training shoes for working out are the right option for you. Here are some of the top-rated models according to Runrepeat.com:
- Ryka Dynamic 2.5. The shoe received the highest marks and was extensively appreciated for its utility and comfort. Its high-rebound N-Gage EVA midsole is meant to provide ample cushioning during high-impact workouts, while the durable Exo-Shell outsole protects it from the wear and tear. The upper is designed to be flexible and breathable yet supportive for lateral movements.
- Ryka Tenacity. It is a high-top studio trainer which was lauded for its efficiency and supportive fit. It employs a dual-density foam midsole to offer added cushioning in the forefoot. Its nearly flat outsole with a Pivot Point is made for fast, multi-directional movements on studio floors. A variety of fused synthetic overlays give structure and support in the upper unit. This pair of Ryka training shoes also adds a Velcro strap for a lockdown fit.
- Ryka Vida RZX. This trainer was appreciated for its comfort, support, and style. A significant number of reviewers were satisfied with its performance during high-impact training sessions. It features the brand’s proprietary RE-ZORB compound for extra heel cushioning. The shoe is also made lightweight and flexible yet supportive during side-to-side movements.
If you are into water aerobics, water sports, water park adventures or any other activity that involves getting wet, check out the following Ryka training shoes:
- Ryka Hydro Sport is a hybrid water trainer that received wide acclaim from many fitness enthusiasts. According to reviews, it worked well on wet surfaces and even underwater, delivering excellent traction. The shoe is equipped with drainage ports in the sole to remove water from the interiors. A Nitracel insole is added to keep debris from getting inside through the drainage ports. The upper unit is designed to be quick-drying and withstand chlorinated water. The overlays on the sides work together with the lacing system for a secure fit.
- Ryka Hydrosphere is the latest water fitness shoe created by Ryka. It inherits the molded EVA midsole with the multi-port drainage system from the Hydro Sport trainer. However, it presents a total revamp of the upper unit. The Hydrosphere is a slip-on shoe, made of a knit material which serves to give a more secure and comfortable sock-like fit.
If you enjoy taking regular strolls, or strive to hit those 10,000 steps per day, or simply need a comfortable pair of shoes for daily wear, then take a look at Ryka training shoes crafted specifically for walking. These trainers accommodate the low-impact heel-to-toe transition of the walking gait cycle. One of the top-rated models is:
- Ryka Devotion. A vast majority of buyers were happy with the comfort, cushioning, and support of this footwear. It uses the brand’s most recent RE-ZORB technology for responsive cushioning. Combined with the Precise-Return insole, it molds to the contours of the wearer’s foot for extra comfort.
Compared to other leading athletic footwear brands, Ryka training shoes are offered in a rather budget-friendly price range. All the company’s trainers that are available on the market right now can be roughly divided into two categories:
- Shoes between $60 - $70
In spite of the cheaper price tag, both training and walking shoes in this group are made to be efficient and durable. They still utilize quality materials and technologies to provide comfortable fitness footwear. They use injection-molded EVA foam for their midsole unit, wear-resistant rubber pods on the outsole, and breathable materials in the upper. These shoes are also created to be lightweight and flexible.
- Shoes between $75 - $85
This category includes trainers with mid-cut and high-top profiles, as they require more materials for the production. Most of the newest Ryka training shoes also fall into this price range because of the more advanced technologies used in their construction. For example, shoes with the RE-ZORB foam instead of the conventional EVA tend to cost more as the RE-ZORB is claimed to deliver better shock attenuation and cushioning.
It should also be noted that during sales you can get a pair of brand new Ryka training shoes for as low as $20 - $30. You can also keep track of the discount with the help of Runrepeat.com. Scroll up to the shoe list and sort the items by “Discount.”
If you are interested in a particular pair of Ryka training shoes, you might as well use our price alert option. Go to the product page of the trainer you want and click on the “Add price alert” under the discounts listing. A new window will pop up where you will be asked to submit your email. We will inform you once the price in any of the retailer shops drops down.
Fit and sizing
Ryka training shoes come in a wide range of women’s full and half sizes. Depending on a model, the sizes may vary from US 4 to 12.5. The conversion table for the UK and European sizing schemes is available on the brand’s website.
For online buyers who would like to be sure of their size before purchasing the footwear, Ryka offers a free Fit Assistant chart on its official website. Following the instructions, you will be able to find out the accurate size and width of the right trainer for you.
Widthwise, Ryka training shoes come in both B - Medium and D - Wide profiles. Based on the brand’s core concept of creating women’s footwear, Ryka trainers are designed close-fitting in the heel and spacious in the toe area. The instep volume is also made bigger to accommodate high arches. Ladies can also choose from shoes with a traditional lace-up closure as well as slip-on trainers.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use Ryka training shoes for running?
Using Ryka training shoes for regular or long-distance running is not recommended. These shoes are designed with less cushioning than running footgear and do not cater to intensive pounding on outdoor surfaces. It is still possible to use them for short sprints or jogging sessions but, given that it is not their main purpose, this could result in aches in the lower extremities and back as well as in the need to replace the trainer sooner.
Which Ryka training shoes are best for Zumba and Jazzercise?
Any pair of Ryka workout shoes will be suitable for these dance-based exercises. They are made with a low-profile midsole to afford better proprioception during the fast-paced multi-directional footwork. The rubber outsole on them features an ergonomic design with the Pivot Point on the ball of the foot to accommodate the twists and turns.
When should I replace my Ryka training shoes?
The average lifespan of both walking and workout shoes is about 4 to 6 months, depending on the intensity and frequency of use. For walking shoes specifically, the general rule is that they need to be replaced every 500 miles. However, there are a few signs that can tell you if it’s about time to go shopping for a new pair:
- the outsole pattern is wearing out;
- the midsole unit has wrinkles or is crimped on either side;
- the material on the upper is frayed and lacks support during side-to-side movements;
- discomfort or pain in feet, legs, or lower back can also be side effects of the worn-out shoe.
Finally, you could also “listen” to what your feet are telling you. If you have a feeling that your pair of Ryka training shoes has lost its initial rebound, support, or comfort, there is a big chance that it’s time to replace it.
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...