I tried the softest, bounciest running shoes, and I wear them everywhere now

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It’s simple: I like running. Some days I even love it. So when I hurt my ankle at the beginning of the summer in a HIIT class, I was disappointed to miss out on my morning jogs in the park. Even a long walk would have me reaching for an ice pack and some Advil.

But after three months of resting, my endurance and aerobic fitness had decreased, as well as my desire to even go for a run — that is, until I got a new pair of shoes.

Credit: Brooks Running

I recently was gifted a pair of Brooks Running’s limited-edition Aurora-BL shoes, and they’re the bounciest, softest, most lightweight yet supportive shoes I’ve ever put my feet into.

Immediately after taking them out of the box, I felt motivated to get back out there and give them a try. While my ankle still isn’t 100% back to normal, these shoes provided me with a painless run. I’ve even started wearing the shoes for going on errands in the city, walks to the park and any chance I can get, really.

Brooks Running Aurora-BL, $200

Credit: Brooks Running

The Aurora-BL shoes feature nitrogen-injected cushioning in the sole that provides softer landings when running. Running puts a lot of pressure and impact on your joints, but a softer landing can help. Plus, the shoe is incredibly lightweight. So while it provides extra support with a sculpted heel and midsole, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing. The midsole is what the makers call “decoupled,” which essentially allows you to bend your foot like you do when you’re walking barefoot.

Some other things I like about the shoe are the way it looks (kind of futuristic, like if Yeezy were a runner) and its knit-elastic upper. There isn’t a typical tongue, but rather it’s all elastic that stretches enough for you to easily slip your foot into, while still holding the foot snugly when you’re wearing them. And there are still shoelaces, so you can tighten the shoe as needed.

Credit: Brooks Running

The only downside I’ve found while wearing them is kind of laughable. Indoors on tiled or hardwood floors, the heel makes a sort of suction noise. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like the sound of a suction cup releasing. It’s very faint though, and not as loud as high heels on a tiled floor. And I definitely don’t hear it while I’m walking or running outdoors or on a treadmill.

The Aurora-BL is a product of Brooks’ BlueLine Lab. The lab uses biomechanics and design to create small batches of running shoes. It launched in 2020, and so far, it’s released four pairs of shoes. “Our biomechanics scientists work alongside runners, listening to their wants, needs and feedback,” the website says. “Through extensive insights and data, the lab has engineered the most advanced shoe technology on earth — scratch that — galaxy.”

You can get the Aurora-BL shoes for yourself — and I highly recommend that you do — on Brook’s website and at stores like Zappos and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The shoes come in men’s and women’s sizes. However, they’re a little pricey at $200. But in my opinion, they’re worth it.

If a shoe can help my running feel almost effortless while supporting my joints (and ankle) so I don’t suffer from short or long-term pain, I say sign me up! And I’m not alone. Reviewers on Brooks’ website love the shoe, too.

“I absolutely love this shoe, and I’m heartbroken that it is not a permanent model!” wrote one customer in the reviews. “The shoe is extremely lightweight, soft as a pillow, but doesn’t squish or lose its spring back as some other high-cushion shoes. I bought a second pair after wearing these for two weeks, and I am about to buy a third to stock up and wear them in rotation.”

“I LOVE this shoe,” wrote another reviewer. “I’ve had issues with plantar fasciitis for about a year now. The pain is almost non-existent when I have these on. The bottom is so cushiony, almost like a pillow.”

I’ve been a Brooks Running fan for years and even ran my first marathon in the Brooks Ghost 12 sneakers. I’ve tried several of their other styles over the years and have compared them to other brands like Nike and Hoka One One at running stores. But I’ll say it with confidence: The Aurora-BL is the best running shoe I have ever worn.

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