Sylphlike sneakers often mean less cushioning (and more knee pain), but the Swiss engineers of the On Cloud running shoe ($110; on-running.com) made an airy model (6.98 ounces) that can and should be worn on longer treks. Cofounder David Allemann explains:
"On most sneakers, there's more foam between your foot and the ground. It's like running on the beach: Pushing off from sand uses a lot of speed and energy. Each hollow nodule of our sole collapses and becomes firm, so you take off from a hard surface."
"There are two ways to lace these shoes: traditional and speed. With the speed lacing, you can just lift up the tongue and step in—it makes running easier and lighter; a lot of athletes are using it."
"Many of the design features of a running shoe are not functional. All those speed lines and stripes—they don't make you faster, they add weight. The aesthetic should support the great performance of the shoe, so we stripped away everything unnecessary."