1 Nike Doernbecher Zoom Fly /
We’ve tested Nike’s latest Zoom Flys, but the story behind this version grabbed me like no other. While a handful of popular designers have taken a crack at this silhouette – Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Undercover’s Jun Takahashi come to mind – these come from a more inspirational source: Cedar Park Middle School’s Payton Fentress. The sixth-grade learner receives monthly medication infusions at the Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to treat his Crohn’s disease. He’s one of six kids receiving treatment at the hospital who worked with Nike designers to create custom sneakers. The Fentress shoe is a colorful take on the springy Zoom Fly, with baseball graphics and references to the Chicago Cubs, his favorite team. – Dan Roe, test editor
2 Lululemon T.H.E. Sock /
As a test editor, I’ve seen every type of running sock, yet I save one pair for race day: Lululemon’s T.H.E. Sock. Its padding soaks up impact, and it breathes – everything you need for hard, pavement pounding efforts. – D.R.