Read our full review of the FootJoy Flex XP here.
Best Lifestyle Shoe: Hush Puppies The Good Low Top
Made from recycled water bottles, these stretchy, mesh tennis-style sneakers from Hush Puppies are your new everyday staple. They’re comfortable, breathable, and neutral enough to dress up or down. Our tester wore them on all sorts of terrain—from pavement to public transportation to grass and even smooth marble floors—and confirmed they held up dutifully well. City walkers, ready your wallets—from the office to happy hour, these are for you.
Best Updated Classic: K-Swiss Classic VN
K-Swiss has entered the chat. Actually, they haven’t really gone anywhere—you probably recognize this sneaker from 1975—but their beloved classic tennis style is back with a slight refresh (a new midsole, upper leather style, and metal lace rings) for 2022. Our tester logged dozens of miles of commuting, running errands, and busying herself around New York in these, and she reported no blisters or hot spots. (Anyone who’s previously tried a leather tennis shoe knows this is a rare feat.) “I have probably worn them about a billion times because they are so incredibly comfortable,” she said. “The shoes don’t necessarily feel cushioned but they are somehow so supportive. I wear them several times a week now.”
Best Fashion Sneaker: Superga 4089 Training 9TS Slim White Multi
What do you get when you put Emily Ratajkowski together with casual-sneaker darling Superga? These trainers from the model’s debut collection with the iconic sneaker brand. They’re sporty, normcore, and classic all at once. Here’s the scoop from one tester: “They’re stylishly chunky but not heavy, and I love the combination of whites and off-whites along with the speckles on the sole. They really feel like they can go with anything.” Pair it with bike shorts and a sweatshirt for a Princess Diana–esque look.
Best Trend Shoe: Veja V-15
Want to level up your fashion game? Trade your Air Force 1s for this modern take on the court sneaker from Veja. Though they don’t come cheap, they’re a high-quality sneaker that you’re sure to get a lot of wear from. While high-tops can sometimes feel obtrusive, these feel supportive—and our tester reported no discomfort whatsoever, even on the first wear.
Best for Standing on Your Feet All Day: Zella Lifestyle Sneaker
If you’re looking for athleisure that actually feels as effective as it looks, you’ve come to the right place. While anyone who spends all day on their feet will find sweet respite in these, busy parents, dog walkers, and outdoor enthusiasts are sure to love them too. Plus Zella is a Nordstrom-exclusive brand, which makes these sneakers easy to shop and return.
The Best HIIT and Cross-Training Sneakers
Best Cross-Training Shoe: APL TechLoom Zipline
For cross-training, you’ll want an unobtrusive shoe that moves with you in every direction. While these APL sneakers are running-friendly, they’re also lightweight, supportive, and bouncy enough for an excellent cross-training session before your run, afterward, or on days when you just want to hit the gym. We’re big fans of practical sneakers that work hard—and whether you’re wearing these for a warm-up jog or a 14-inch box jump, we know that you’ll feel good.
Best Adaptive Shoe: Reebok Fit to Fit Adaptive Collection: Nanoflex Parafit TR
Reebok announced the release of their first-ever adaptive collection in May. The Parafit TRs, which are the high-performance offering from the line, are made with a subtle zipper and heel tab for a more accessible on-and-off experience. Our testers loved these features—and said the shoe was lightweight and springy with a structured heel for added support.
Best HIIT Shoe: Ryka Daze XT Training Shoe
“I loved, loved, loved these sneakers,” one tester, who’s an avid kickboxer and Zumba dancer, wrote. And while she says they might not be the sexiest pair on the market, they’re a top-notch workout shoe that you won’t regret buying. “They provided soft support and a bouncy feel. I’m glad these are now on my radar. Now that I’ve tried Ryka, my standards for sneakers have exponentially risen.”
Best Versatile Gym Shoe: York Athletics the Frank Trainer
The Frank Trainer has long been loved by SELF editors, so we’re thrilled to be able to give it a proper shout-out in our Sneaker Awards this year. You can wear them for a wide array of workouts—dance fitness, boot camp, kickboxing, boxing, HIIT…the list goes on—and they hold up in comfort and support time and time again. Here’s one tester’s take: “I stan the Frank. I would and do wear them for style reasons all the time. They’re cool, unique (every time I wear them in public people ask me what brand they are), and come in neutral colors, which helps make them look more like an everyday fashion sneaker than a training shoe. Fine, yes, I feel like an influencer when I wear them.”
Best Cycling Shoe: Tiem Athletic Slipstream Cycling Shoe
Meet the cycling shoe that doesn’t look like a cycling shoe—one you can even wear out of the studio too. The Tiem Slipstreams are SPD compatible (though the SPD clips are sold separately) and resemble an everyday athleisure sneaker more than they do your standard cycling shoe. The strap closure system makes it easy to adjust how snug the shoe fits, which makes it suitable for both wide and narrow feet. “When I clip in, my legs feel like they’re part of the bike in the most normal way possible,” one tester, a cycling instructor who teaches up to seven classes a week, said. “The tread on the bottom of these shoes is pretty grippy too, so if I want to lift after class, I feel pretty solid doing so. I’ve been wearing the same pair of these for five years and I’ve never had any blisters, hot spots, bruised toes, or any kind of pain associated with the shoe. Some cycling shoes really crunch the toes and feel rigid in the heel. These do not!”