The existence of shoelaces and the open nature of the tongue-and-collar construction weave a sense of customizability. Yet the inception of doll shoes in ancient China has caused people to revel at the thought of wearing footwear that only needs a quick pull of the hand. The wonderment of slipping the foot into the interior chamber of the apparel is quite a lucrative prospect, one that has always been thought as a quicker and hassle-free manner of dressing up.
Shoe companies have taken such consumer desire to heart, moving the innovation teams and tasking them with creating footwear for the person who doesn’t want to continually fiddle with shoelaces. Slip-on shoes are as old as time, but the current-age iterations of such products embody some components and accents that either heighten the visual aspect of the façade or improve the foot’s perception of comfort.
Elements that encompass slip-on running shoes for men and women
While many slip-on shoes involve underfoot platforms that are made of gum rubber or thin layers of lasting boards stuck together by a bit of adhesive and supported directly by the outsole units, there are others that are made to provide supportive cushioning and underfoot comfort, even after extended periods.
Foam midsoles are the constant in today’s footwear, even in ones that are merely inspired by their performance counterparts. The compounds that make up these full-length units are meant to dutifully mitigate the landing impact and encourage an energized forefoot lift. The betterment of the biomechanical aspect of the foot can drive a foundation that oozes greatness.
The intricacies of underfoot support may have changed over the years, but slip-on shoes are still the one-piece openings that we have always come to know.
The outsole unit of the running shoe is one of the most essential parts, seeing as it is responsible for surface control and the precision of the runner’s movements. Slip-on shoes aren’t excluded from such expectations. Even though the silhouettes of such products are mostly minimalist in design, such distinctions don’t mean that the mechanical aspects are also bogged down. The external pad should always be as efficient as possible because a grippy performance on the ground is also part of what makes the running session as safe as possible.
Seamless upper construction
Running shoes started with uppers that are filled with frills and extra elements. Traditionally stitched overlays have adorned performance shoe-façades for a long time, and they’re thought to be visually appealing but unceremoniously stiff or bulky-looking. The changes to upper construction came at a timely fashion because people nowadays desire speedy experiences without drastically shaving off weight from the midsole or outsole.
Upper units are now made of materials that closely resemble cloth. While most of them are still classified as a mesh (a netlike structure of synthetic textiles), a helping of these fabrics is actually made of either knitted or woven cloth. The tactile feel of these features evokes the feeling of merely wearing socks. Some people have even dared to test the smoothness of these uppers by not wearing actual socks while running.
The arrival of seamless and cloth-like fabrics to the realm of running shoes has opened up possibilities such as uncluttered shoe-façades and lighter shoe-profiles. Breathability and freedom from irritation are also welcome results.
The best slip-on running shoes are traditionally made to embody outlines that are smooth and isolated from the traditional accoutrements that grace the uppers of running shoes. In fact, almost nothing save for the aesthetics are seen on the faces of these products. But running is still an activity that involves a lot of movement, so a bit of support and lockdown would be helpful to the performance of the wearer.
Overlays and lacing systems are added to some slip-on footwear. These fit-adjustment components help in bettering the in-shoe fit, particularly for those who like to wear their shoes all day. No one wants a wobbly in-shoe experience, so these assistive mechanisms are fundamentally godsends.
A vibrant color scheme is always welcome, and people who like a visually explosive shoe can enjoy a generous helping of hues. Also, sparingly-used overlays and integrated heel counters help to heighten the overall running experience, so they’re not detrimental to the design.
It won’t be a slip-on running shoe if it’s embellished with a bevy of unnecessary trappings.
The best slip-on running shoe series
Adidas Ultra Boost
One of the most well-known running shoe families in the world is the Ultra Boost from Adidas. This set of footwear is popular because of the highly versatile constructions and efficient performances of the products within its charge. The boost™ midsole technology that adorns all of the models has taken its place as a revolutionary cushioning feature because of its springy disposition, shock-attenuating build, and relatively eye-catching aesthetic.
While the precursor model was welcomed by runners and shoe enthusiasts, there was a call for a smoother upper unit that didn’t have the cage-like saddle. The user feedback brought life to the Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged, a slip-on version that became one of the first running shoes to embody the ‘sock-like’ silhouette.
New Balance Cypher Run
The Cypher Run series is fresh out of the innovation centers of New Balance. It is comprised of running shoes that follow the brand’s leap towards trendy designs and fashion-forward performance products. Iterations like the 2nd version of the Cypher Run encompasses a sneaker-type construction, with a curved mid-cut collar and an asymmetrical lacing system to heighten its aesthetics. The shock-attenuating ABZORB generously graces its platform.
Nike Epic React Flyknit
The Epic React Flyknit line marks the debut of the React cushioning technology, a full-length foam that boasts all the positive things that are supposed to be in midsoles: a responsive underfoot experience, well-mitigated foot-landings, a long lifespan, and a lightweight composition. While the overall quality of a shoe-component is determined solely by each person, Nike is still proud of this achievement.
The OG Epic React Flyknit model and its sequel, the Epic React Flyknit 2, are some of the products that are graced with the React foam, becoming precursor models to a would-be legendary line of products featuring one of the most lucrative technologies in the running shoe industry.
Puma Ignite EvoKNIT
Since the company wants to churn out shoes that are as visually unusual as they are functionally precise, it is best to know that the current-day models are feeling the effects of such a jump. The Ignite EvoKNIT is one example of a series that enjoys Puma’s exploratory design structure. It is comprised of running shoes that border between looking like socks (because of uppers that are similar to the fabrics of socks) and looking like they’re meant for strutting on the catwalk.
The modern sophistication of the Ignite EvoKNIT products, including the use of form-securing straps on the upper and high-cut collars, blurs the lines of fashion and functionality. The shoes still employ quality technologies like the reactive IGNITE foam and the traction-ready outsole, so comfort and performance are still in the bag. Examples of footwear within this family: the original Puma Ignite EvoKNIT and its immediate descendant, the Ignite EvoKNIT 2.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the one-piece openings of slip-on shoes quickly lose structural integrity?
The upper units of many of today’s road running shoes make use of fabrics that are securely woven. Multiple layers or sophisticated interweaving of strands ensure that they would last. Moreover, many elements like overlays or inner sleeves help to bolster the form of the façades, thereby heightening the capacity of the uppers to resist the debilitating effects of continued use.
If you’re worried about garter-like collars of slip-on shoes, then you should remember that the same materials that make the rest of the upper as durable as possible are also used for the shoe openings. Most likely, these circular maws are composed of double-weave (or even triple-weave) constructions, thus improving the overall design.
But if you think that your shoe is tearing apart or getting loose at a quick pace, then you should check if you have a warranty period or a quality-assurance voucher from the shoe store. You’d be surprised at the ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ policies that are being offered by shoe sellers and brands.
Otherwise, you should check out online durability and quality tests, as well as consumer feedback, before picking a shoe. The quality of the fabrics may not be the only detail you can pick up from such responses.
It is better to wear slip-on running shoes than the usual collar-and-tongue ones?
There are benefits to wearing the best slip-on running shoes in the market. But they’re mostly not that different from the traditional options that have been released. Firstly, slip-on options offer quick and effortless wearing experiences since they hardly ever need to involve lace-adjustments. Secondly, the one-piece structure of slip-on shoes gains the distinction of being natural deterrents of environmental debris. Thirdly, this type of footwear usually entails a minimalist design, a configuration that people appreciate for being lightweight, non-irritating to the skin, and more flexible than the obvious counterparts.
But collar-and-tongue running shoes also have their benefits. One such remuneration is extra support to the sides, the back and the bridge of the foot (via the padded walls of the inner chamber). Another positive thing about the conventional shoe design is the fact that loosening the laces and widening the opening for entry is much easier than slipping the foot in a hole that only stretches up to a certain point.
The best thing about these options is that you are ultimately given a choice to appreciate either or both. Try some shoes and get a comfort level that is yours alone.
15 best slip-on running shoes
Adidas AlphaBounce Instinct
Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged
Adidas Ultraboost S&L
Adidas Ultraboost 19
Skechers GOrun Ride 7
Merrell Trail Glove 4
Adidas Pure Boost
Adidas Ultraboost Parley
Adidas AlphaBounce Beyond
Nike Free RN 5.0
New Balance FuelCell Impulse
Adidas Adizero Prime LTD
Brooks Cascadia 13
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.
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