I Went Indoor Skydiving to Test Out These Sneakers–but They're Actually the Perfect Lightweight Summer Shoe
The New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz proved to be equally good for errands and extreme sports.
Last week, I learned how to fly.
Along with a group of other lucky writers and editors, I was treated to an outing at iFly Westchester, an indoor skydiving facility not far from New York City. We were there to celebrate the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz–and get quite the adrenaline rush.
Far too afraid of the potential for things to go dangerously, dangerously wrong, I'd never be able to jump out of an actual, moving plane–but indoor skydiving felt like almost all the thrill without the obvious risk. The cushion of air that supports indoor flyers functions not unlike that classic science experiment you probably remember from elementary school: switch on a hair dryer, watch ping pong balls float miraculously. Except in this case, there's a giant "hair dryer" in a skydiving tunnel and even the tallest of guys became as light as ping pong balls. With the guidance of ultra-compassionate instructors, several groups of disbelieving journalists took turns floating low to the ground and spinning high.
Speaking of floating: The Fresh Foam Cruz sneakers we were gifted felt nearly as freeing. The plush sole is supportive yet cushiony, making it a truly multipurpose shoe that can work for your workouts (whether they're extreme or of a more moderate intensity) and tackling errands. The athleisure vibe means these kicks go with just about anything, and the bootie construction makes them super-easy to slip on and off. They're divinely lightweight, meaning you'll definitely want to pack them for a weekend away–because who really has room for more than one pair of sneakers?!
New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz Knit in Rain Cloud with White Munsell, $85, newbalance.com
Even the iFly instructors donned a pair–a fact I only realized halfway through the event. I was too spellbound watching the experienced instructors pull off all kinds of synchronized stunts and daring tricks.
Nico sure made it look easy. Considering I couldn't even successfully turn ever so slightly to my right, I think it's safe to say I'm going to need a lot more indoor skydiving practice. My new sneaks, on the other hand? Perfect on the first try.