The 2019 TCS New York City Marathon is quickly approaching and as it is with all marathon majors, shoe companies are battling for the best special edition shoe design to capture the spirit of the event.
Some are cool, some are head-scratching, while others look like they were passed off to the intern who forgot to take his Adderall and/or Art Design 101.
Here are our picks for best/worst 2019 NYC Marathon Shoes.
Altra Escalante Racer NYC
I’m gonna be real, I like this shoe about as much as I like the idea of getting back to Brooklyn from Queens at 4 in the morning. I didn’t think I could dislike a shoe design more than the Altra Torin 3.5, but here we are. It looks like when your printer gets jammed and keeps printing, except somebody took that paper and made it into a shoe upper.
Of course, if you’re a zero-drop cult member, then you have no other options for an NYC shoe. If you really need one, I suggest taking an old pair of Escalante Racer blue bois, take a field trip to your local Dick Blick to pick up some art supplies, then hand-paint a New York Mets logo onto the shoe. Trust me, it’ll turn out better than this.Shop Altra Escalante Racer
Brooks Ghost 12
Now this is a shoe that I like as much as getting Kennedy Fried Chicken at 4 in the morning, with a size of mozzarella sticks just because. Hands down, this is my favorite of the bunch– the “Gatsby Ghost” as I like to call it.
With an Art Deco-style hearkening back to the fast days of prohibition, flappers, and the Empire State of mind, the shoe pops. The design features elements of all five boroughs, with nice touches like the “NYC” text at the top of the collar on the heel. You can’t go wrong with black and gold, but I do wish the sole was blacked out as well. Buy it at Running Warehouse using the shop link below.Shop Brooks Ghost 12
View this post on Instagram
Nike Zoom Fly 3
Maybe this was supposed to go out for Chicago last month, cause it’s a dope Chicago Bulls colorway. Other than that, it’s unclear how exactly this is a NYC shoe. However, if you’re feeling like Jordan in the ’97 finals, well… you should go to the doctor, because you’re not going to run a PR with the flu.
Saucony Kinvara 10
Saucony is certainly no stranger to the race-themed shoe. This year they made a splash with their Boston Marathon shoe by releasing a Dunkin’ Donuts-themed Kinvara 10 in a pink, white, and orange “calorie-way.”
For the New York City Marathon, they recently unveiled a taxi-cab themed shoe, complete with checkered tongue and a Lady Liberty logo on the back of the heel. It’s definitely a lot less busy than the Dunkin’ shoe, and tbh, it’s pretty nice. So nice, that it’s more Uber than taxi cab.
Maybe you can spray it down with Drakkar Noir and drop a couple lit cigs onto it for that true late-80’s NYC grit.
If you want to pick it up, hurry— almost all sizes are already sold out on Saucony’s website.Shop Saucony Kinvara 10
Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
I’m not sure how Skechers gets off calling this an NYC shoe, but it’s not the worst on this list. Taking the subway line colors and putting them on your shoe without changing any element of the design isn’t exactly groundbreaking. That said, I think this is one of the best colorways of the Razor 3 Hyper in general, and it’s a hella good shoe, so I say go for it.
I do like the silver touch on the outsole, which I think is supposed to represent those human robots in Times Square who paint themselves Tobias Funke-style. Like they got lost in Warhol’s Factory for 40 years and now have to find a way to make money.Shop Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
New Balance 1500v6
If you don’t want to take a risk on an all-out design like Saucony or Brooks, then this is the way to do it. While I’m not sure how this is New York-specific, I do like the graffiti-style paint splashes that really make the 1500v6 pop. It works well with the tailed/jagged-edge New Balance logo.
The blip of the Brooklyn Bridge on the heel is a nice touch as well.Shop New Balance 1500v6
I guess you’re just too cool for “themed shoes.”