The London Marathon might have been and gone but for the thousands of participants, it marked the culmination of months of hard work leading up to the event. Everyone involved in the London Marathon would agree that preparation is critical, and although it is over, the hard yards have already begun again to make themselves ready to compete in next years Marathon, and for those looking to run, arguably the hardest decision is yet to be made…what shoes are you going to wear?

5 best running shoes around

26.2 miles of road running across London’s urban landscape is a gruelling feat to attempt at the best of times and so finding a pair of running shoes that delivers in comfort is a necessity. Lucky for you there are a plethora of choices that fit the brief, but I propose to you that although breathability and comfort are of course vital, with words like sponginess and bounce-ability popular buzzwords when making your purchase, there is actually another aspect to consider. Let’s not sugar coat it, when you eventually cross the finish line although you might be full of glee and an overwhelming sense of achievement I can bet you my house you won’t be looking your best. Tired, drenched in sweat, draped in a tinfoil blanket, you’re going to need a redeemer for the photos. What is better than completing the London Marathon? Doing so in style, or what little style you can cling onto, and with the right creps, you can achieve exactly that. The combination of style and comfort is attainable, and without a New Balance in sight, so without further ado, these are my five kicks to help you through the 26 miles in style.

Adidas Ultra Boost

Kicking off my lineup we’ve got probably one of the most comfortable trainers you’re ever likely to find, the Adidas Ultra Boost in all its many forms is a silhouette that has well and truly cemented itself into both the lifestyle and performance categories. A product that has become synonymous with Adidas’ Boost technology, simply explained as the use of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to help achieve a sole that compresses under pressure for better shock absorption and instantly bounces back to its original shape. The widespread success of this technology made possible by the accessibility and critical acclaim of the Ultra Boost has led to its adaptation by Kanye West in his vastly popular Yeezy catalogue, and if Ye is into it, you know its good. Not content with just ticking one box, the Ultra Boost silhouette also delivers in achieving breathability by deploying a Primeknit upper to help ventilate the wearer’s foot making it perfect for running. Where this shoe really stands out, is its versatility to be used as a crossover performance runner making it ideal for this list. The vast array of designs that have braced this model is astounding, ranging from a quite literal rainbow of colourways – all thanks to the creative ways Primeknit can be used with contrast stitching hues – as well as collaborations with designers like BAPE and UNDEFEATED. Not to mention the newly released Game of Thrones x Ultra Boost collection made in celebration of the new season. The Ultra Boost that first braced us in 2015 continues to reinvent itself in the trainer world while still maintaining its dual threat of comfort and style, and it will find its way into any list.

Nike Air Presto

Next up we’ve got a shoe that shares a number of the Ultra Boost’s traits, the Nike Air Presto has also been subject to a multitude of collaborations over the years. These range from a colourful ACRONYM x Air Presto Mid collection to an eyebrow-raising adaptation by Comme des Garçons appropriately named the Air Presto Foot Tent. Most notably with this classic early 2000’s silhouette being graced with an Off-White reimagining by Virgil Abloh that helped certify its status as a style icon in the Swoosh hall of fame. The Air Prestos credentials in style are matched in comfort with the now infamous “t-shirt for your feet” moniker, first being dubbed by the original Presto. The kick’s sock-like construction is made possible by its stretch mesh upper allowing your foot to slip effortlessly into it and then be held securely by the TPU cage that hugs either side of your foot. A foam air-cushioned midsole provides the bounce and spring you look for in every step, and the rubber outsole with flex grooves makes it perfect for road running.

Nike Air Vapormax

Moving from the classic to the contemporary we have the Nike Air VaporMax, one of the newer silhouettes on this list. First released in 2016 this model debuted Nikes revolutionary full-length Air VaporMax sole, and for that alone, it could definitely stake a claim for consideration, but the Air VaporMax, since its initial release has evolved into a modern favourite sitting rightfully in the middle of the ven diagram of style and fashion. What makes this sole so perfect for running is the separated air bubbles which allow for a lot of articulation in the wearer’s forefoot, with a bigger bubble in the heel allowing for excellent impact protection, acting as a shock absorber for your foot. This midsole is specifically designed to mimic a runners movement and has been so well received in the trainer world that Nike has since adapted it in use on some of their other silhouettes, most notably the Air Max Plus being granted a head-swapping iteration with an Air VaporMax sole. The careful thought and attention to detail continue into this silhouette’s upper with the deployment of a lightweight Flyknit upper fused with the use of Flywire to create a snug and comfortable fit. What Flywire is are little wires that run through the shoe with part of the cable exposed and looped around the laces meaning when you tighten your laces it brings the entirety of the shoes Flyknit closer to your foot almost like it is giving you a hug. The use of colour through this model whether it be vibrant hits of colour on the air unit or textured colour patterns in the Flyknit stitching this kicks customisability is definitely another major factor for its success.

Nike Flyknit Racer

The next shoe on this list shares similar DNA with the last, some would even argue they could be described as closer relatives. The Flyknit Racer that debuted in 2012 was the first to utilise the Flyknit technology that has filtered into so many of Nike’s performance products, ranging from football boots to a wide variety of their running collections and of course the aforementioned Air VaporMax. What makes Flyknit technology so groundbreaking has a clue in its name – it is a revolutionary method of manufacturing shoes that enables designers to precisely micro-engineer every stitch to create a featherweight, form-fitted and virtually seamless upper as if it was knitted on. The Flyknit Racer without a doubt is the lightest shoe on this list, and probably the lightest shoe on any list, as well as coming equipped with Flywire technology to complete this excellent all-around performance runner which due to its popularity is available in a vast assortment of colour blends.

Nike Zoom Fly SP

Last but by no means least we have the Nike Zoom Fly SP, and it is without a doubt everything Nike do best in regards to crossover runners. Touted as the future of running shoes and released in 2017 the design is a lot more flattering on the human foot than the Air VaporMax which released a year previously and at a time when ugly sneakers are everywhere, the Zoom Fly SP’s translucent nylon upper and moulded foam sole has a more sculptural quality. Insanely lightweight and, thanks to a study carbon fibre support system that runs through the sole, are legitimately good running shoes if you’re serious about wearing them for their intended purpose. Therefore making it perfect for our rundown as it has also quickly become an inspiring modernist canvas for a lot of designers with the likes of Virgil Abloh, Nathan Bell and Gyakusou and so you can quickly achieve that high fashion Marathon run I know you all crave…

London Marathon

Now although the desire to look good while running the marathon is something more tongue in cheek than something genuinely on your mind. I think it is important to remember that all shoes mentioned above could go toe to toe with any runner on the market, exhibiting excellently crafted designs with well-deployed technology, and so I ask you if they are as good performance-wise as those ugly New Balance, then why not choose something much much cooler. For the low down on loads more trainers for all occasions and the chance the buy and sell today, make sure to keep it Laced.