Central Park is the ultimate runner’s dream. With 15+ miles of dedicated running trails (and many more unmarked), it’s a safe haven for city dwellers looking to escape the surrounding madness for a while and burn off the day’s stress.
The park has something for every type of runner. It offers up a variety of terrain—from the soft cinder pathway of the reservoir, to the paved lanes of the outer loop, and beyond. It ranges in a wide range of difficulty—from avid to elite, all running in harmony as a community of sorts.
Hundreds of runners (perhaps even thousands) burn rubber on the Central Park loops each and everyday. No matter what time you show up, you’re likely to see runners out there doing their thing. Not surprisingly, each runner has his or her own running style, particularly when it comes to type of running shoe.
So to investigate the sneaker choices of Central Park runners, we set out on a long, seemingly impossible quest to catalog the mixed bag of running shoes park runners lace up in—and more importantly, why. Because if there’s one thing we learned during this investigation, it’s that Central Park runners know their shit.
Being as it’s prime running season, over the course of three weeks, the Sneaker Report team posted up at popular running spots throughout the park during peak hours (10am-3pm, and 7pm-10pm) to collect sneaker data. Some runners willingly stopped and flashed us a pose, while others had to be chased and stalked in the name of research.
In addition, we walked into running specialty stores around the greater Central Park area to get professional insight as to what park runners wear on their feet, and why. As a general consensus, the two most popular brands are Asics and Brooks Running, though, the single most popular model (based on numbers alone) may take you by surprise. These are The Most Popular Running Shoes in New York’s Central Park.