Tracksmith sneakers are perfect for travel

As a regular runner and traveler, one of my biggest pet peeves is making room for a pair of sneakers and a pair of casual sneakers. (Because let’s be honest, most running shoes don’t pair well with jeans or overalls.)

It causes an internal battle every time—especially on short trips when packing space is limited: Do I wear cute sneakers that look great with all my outfits but aren’t built for exercise; or am I trying to rock some kind of New Balance Dad I wear my shoes with casual clothes? I will analyze my route to determine if the running shoes are really worth the real estate. Fortunately, a Boston-based running apparel brand has finally combined the best of both worlds with its footwear debut: The Tracksmith Eliot Runner combines street style sensibilities with serious runner performance, providing a Goldilocks sneaker solution for active travelers. And they are even endorsed by athletes.

A route operator

To buy:, $198

This hugely popular brand has been developing these sneakers for years, and the time spent shines through. An engineered mesh upper with Tracksmith’s signature band woven into the midfoot is paired with a microsuede collar and durable rubber outsole for an all-over rich look. I was able to easily pair my elegant and sophisticated ivory clothes with tailored denim and sweater dresses. (You can also get them in navy and black, and in women’s sizes 5.5 to 11. There are also men’s sizes.)

And then there are the aesthetics. There’s just no other way to put it: they’re legitimately stylish. I don’t claim to be “cool” but they make me feel cool in a toned down way without trying too hard. So much so that they’re the only sneakers I’ll be packing right now for weekend getaways.

But to focus only on looks would be a huge mistake, because these are deceptively good sneakers. The Eliot Runner’s midsole uses “supercritical Pebax” foam—arguably one of the most effective materials in the industry (you’ll find it in bestsellers like Nike’s Vaporfly and Saucony’s Endorphin Pro). And they don’t skimp on it either.

Most of the lifestyle sneakers in my closet have a low profile, while most of my running shoes have a fairly significant amount of cushioning that adds bulk (and visual clunk) to their profiles. The Eliot Runner meets the middle with 33.5 millimeters of cushioning in the heel and 24.5 millimeters in the forefoot – not as much as you’d find in popular max-cushioned running shoes (which are usually 40mm or more), but much more than you I would find in a pair of Stan Smiths. The result? An extremely comfortable, smooth and energetic casual sneaker that can last solid kilometers at a variety of paces.

A route operator

To buy:, $198

But I’m not the only one decked out in these shoes — I spoke to a few athletes about why they can’t get enough, either. “I love Elliott as a daily coach,” said New York-based runner Erica Stanley-Dotin, who, at 48, became the 25th black American to break three hours in the marathon since 1973. “It’s a lightweight shoe that has sole support to withstand my daily runs. I also love Eliot’s style; it’s sleek and elegant and I can pair it with most of my favorite lifestyle items.”

Runners on the popular Reddit channel “Running Shoe Geeks” were also quick to spread the love. “[These shoes] they check all the boxes for me in a number of runs,” said one sub-2:50 marathoner who runs roughly 50 miles per week. “[They] they have a super unique and comfortable feel that only gets better the more I run in them. Really light and lively on the feet and feels smooth for short 4 miles to 15 miles with steps ranging from low [7-minute miles] to high [8-minute miles].” They said, “They’re definitely becoming a rotation staple.”

While these sneakers won’t need the same break-in period as a pair of leather loafers or heels, you’ll likely find they get better over time. “They are stylish in a subtle way and very well made. A little firm and stiff at first, then softens as the miles go by,” noted one reviewer of their black Eliot Runners. Personally, I thought they started to feel better (springy and soft) after about 20 miles – and the more I wear them, the more I like them.

A route operator

To buy:, $198

I didn’t find many complaints about these shoes (other than the high price) unless you count those who said they might just be too good looking. “I think I’ll have a hard time not wearing these outside as casual shoes. They’re cool!” one Redditor posted.

But when you’re traveling, it’s a pretty big deal, isn’t it? You want to be able to wear them to different parts of your trip and have them stand out – in a good way. Rest assured, they will: “[These] are the first sneakers I’ve ever owned and my wife compliments the look!” said one reviewer; another shared that “I run a lot to work and have been rocking these, and my non-running co-workers are always surprised to hear they’re running shoes!”

These sneakers may seem like an investment, but trust me: knowing you can wear the Tracksmith Eliot Runner from the airport lounge to the treadmill at the gym to an all-day commute without compromising on comfort or style makes them well worth the price. entry for each active passenger. Trust me, today you’ll want to pick up a pair of sneakers that all the athletes are talking about on Tracksmith.

At the time of publication, pricing starts at $198.

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