Cole Haan's office-to-gym sneakers have the Zerogrand technology that made its dress shoes famous - here's how they stack up
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- Cole Haan recently released the Women's All-Day Trainer ($150), an office-to-gym sneaker with the company's famous ZERØGRAND technology and flexible Stitchlite knit.
- I put it to the test over the course of a week - at work and in nightly workouts.
- All in all, they're a great option for either activity. They're stylish enough for casual wear, but the characteristics that make them great in the gym (lightweight, breathable, supportive) also make them ideal for all-day shoes.
- My main advice is to size a half-size down if you buy a pair.
Back in 2014, Cole Haan announced ZERØGRAND - a technology that, once paired with its proprietary Stitchlite knit, would then usher in success after success after success for the brand. In common parlance, ZERØGRAND makes your shoes feel impossibly cushiony and lightweight, with all the perks of a souped-up shoe and the feel of a low-maintenance woven runner. To date, we call the brand's dress shoes with the technology the most comfortable pair we've ever worn.
Recently, the company put the signature combination to use in a gym-to-office sneaker: The Women's ZERØGRAND All-Day Trainer with Stitchlite, retailing for $150. It's a natural fit - the ZERØGRAND technology provides the sort of bounce and weightlessness that makes for a good exercise shoe, with breathable, flexible knit upper. Currently, the sneakers come in five colors: white (pictured above), blue, gray, pink, and black.
For the last week, I've been wearing the All-Day Trainer to the gym and office - and I've been impressed.
In person, the All-Day Trainer looks like your average cool minimalist sneaker with some bonus points for an inventive but not over-the-top outsole. The real added perk, though, is that the cushioning makes them feel like a pair of guilty-pleasure orthopedic shoes.
The ZERØGRAND technology makes them feel like trick shoes - they're lightweight enough to mislead your brain when you first pull them on. EVA foam is cushiony without being bulky, and third-generation ZERØGRAND motion technology provides a wider forefoot base for noticeably better stability and balance. Inside, there's heel padding and a TPU chassis for extra support, stability, and comfort. The Stitchlite knit is, in all, breathable and responsive.
In the office all day or at the gym, the All-Day Trainers ($150) are among my most comfortable performance shoes. The wider forefoot translates to feeling more stable and confident, and the lightweight, bouncy tech and knit upper meant I never felt overheated or dragged down. While some would be wary to use trainers on a run, I took the All-Days on a few six-mile runs and was happy with the support, weightlessness, and bounce. It's worth noting, though, that the sneakers have bungee laces - meaning you'll have to work a little harder to tighten them.
Bad exercise shoes make your workout worse. Okay ones don't get in the way. Good ones - and I count the All-Day Trainer among them - improve your experience.
In terms of price, $150 is comparatively pretty standard for a good go-anywhere performance shoe.
For the best fit, you should order a half size down. I ordered my typical 9 and, as a few other reviewers noted, an 8.5 would have been a better choice. It'll vary with the socks you wear, and even in thin gym socks I never slipped out, but there's more wiggle room than there should be.
I also needed to pair the All-Day Trainers with taller socks than the sneakers themselves to avoid a blister near my Achilles tendon during runs. This was likely exasperated by not having the correct size, and it's a common complaint for knit sneakers that I'm fine to compromise on for greater breathability.
While great at the gym, the All-Day Trainers are also, true to their claims, great for everyday life. The emphasis on versatility is another distinctly Cole Haan power move; The company is one of few who have successfully fused polish and comfort, and made it look effortless. Exhibit A: Cole Haan 3.ZERØGRAND (without sale, styles start at $270 for the Fuse Oxfords). The All-Days are a sharp, comfortable shoe that can handle your day, no matter what it entails.
Overall, Cole Haan has created another easy success using the proprietary Superlite knit and ZERØGRAND tech. The All-Day Trainers are bouncy, breathable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear all day. And they're stylish enough to get away with it.
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