I remember when APL started to gain traction in the sneaker space. While the brand launched in 2009, it was around 2016 that APL started showing up left and right in celebrity and influencer feeds, not to mention in real, everyday life. Naturally, being a women’s lifestyle writer, I had to get a pair, so I finally went to Lululemon and bought the iconic TechLoom Breeze silhouette in size 10. I was immediately intrigued by the slim lace-up design (but eventually slipped on it). . -in) sneakers. And that sense of wonder has remained a mainstay for every APL launch since, including the newest APL McLaren HySpeed All-Purpose Performance Running Trainer, a collaboration between the brand and the luxury sports car.
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the APL McLaren HySpeed shoes, and it’s worth noting that they’re priced well over $400 ($450 to be exact). The question is: are they it’s worth it, though? I put them to the test to find out.
YesThe APL McLaren HySpeed All-Purpose Performance Running Shoes are ridiculously expensive shoes. That said, they’re also incredibly innovative and undeniably stylish, so if money isn’t a constraint, these uniquely designed sneakers are worth looking at (especially if you’re into cars, considering the collaboration).
Higher: Breathable (semi) non-stretch Techloom
Midsole: APL FutureFoam capsules connected by a carbon fiber plate
Sole: Engraved rubber tread pattern inspired by McLaren performance tires
Weight: ~11.5 ounces
Size/Fit: Size up
Highly breathable upper
The inner heel has three cushions for a perfect fit without friction
FutureFoam midsoles encourage a lightweight bounce with every step
The inside seam of the tongue causes friction (must break)
The initial lacing system makes it difficult to adapt to your foot
they are expensive AF
Sit back and get ready for a top-down review of the APL McLaren HySpeed All Purpose Trainer. To put them to the test, I wore them for four days straight on my first trip to New Orleans. They racked up over seven miles of walking distance, an hour of spinning (during THE JOURNEY on Les Mills Live) and an hour of BODYSTEP (also on Les Mills Live). Since I’ve been back, I’ve worn them on mile-long dog walks and at Orangetheory (a HIIT class). Here is my honest review.
McLaren HySpeed Trainers are made with a new iteration of APL’s fan-favorite TechLoom fabric. While the original TechLoom has great stretch, the fabric featured on the McLaren is said to be non-stretch. Although not as stretchy as traditional TechLoom, it does have some stretch, which makes these shoes move with your feet, not against them. Like the traditional TechLoom, the new version features endless perforations for an overall well-ventilated running shoe.
What’s unique about the upper is that it’s reinforced with super yarn in high-stress areas on the top of the foot to ensure your foot stays secure at rest and in flexion.
Focusing more on the design, let’s talk about the laces. APLs always come with reverse lacing, in the sense that the laces are woven through the top of the upper before crisscrossing each other. I find that this type of lacing makes tightening and loosening the shoes a hassle, if at all. Wanting to provide a genuine review, I tried the shoes on as they came and was annoyed at how difficult they were to get on (even with the heel pull tab, which after an unfortunate experience with a pair of cowboy boots at Urban Outfitters earlier this year, I was nervous to even throw away). Knowing that the APLs couldn’t be as stiff as they felt, I took them off, untied and put them back on normally, and found the fit to be excellent – I can loosen and tighten them with no problem, and they feel snug against my foot as result.
Considering the price of these shoes, I would have liked to see removable washable insoles to help extend their life. That said, APL and McLaren aren’t exactly known for thinking about such mundane matters; after all, they are luxury brands. Anyway, since the insoles aren’t removable, it’s hard to share their exact specs, but I’m guessing they’re about a quarter inch thick and made with thin foam. Don’t get me wrong, they are comfortable. They could be more thoughtful given the overall design aesthetic.
While we discuss the interior, let’s talk about the three fluffy cushions that protrude from the back of the shoe. Inspired by McLaren Senna seats, these cushions are designed to give users a comfortable and safe ride (er, stride). As such, they keep the foot completely stable, to prevent any friction along the heel (which is an issue I ran into with other APL SKUs when ordering my normal size, more on that later). As someone who gets blisters easily, it’s remarkable that these highly cushioned shoes actually kept my sensitive ankles and heels comfortable step after step, mile after mile. That said, the tongue is sewn to the side of the shoe on the inside, and after many miles, the smooth sides of my feet (even though they were dressed in socks) were starting to feel the friction from those textured lines of yarn. So, if you have sensitive feet like mine, be prepared to break them a bit.
The APL McLaren HySpeed silhouette is particularly unique, thanks to its 3-piece midsole, which is made up of two APL FutureFoam pods connected by a carbon fiber plate. The look is reminiscent of Nike’s AirZoom SuperRep 2 shoe, albeit sleeker and more refined. In short, thanks to the beautifully designed midsoles, these shoes simply Look expensive. They are so elegant.
Styling aside, the carbon fiber plate is said to feature a “nitrogen-infused midsole compound,” which, if I’m honest, sounds like a lot of marketing jargon. But since it’s APL, you know it’s been thought of for years. In layman’s terms, this innovative midsole is designed for optimal responsiveness, and after wearing the silhouette on NOLA in both slow-paced and fast-moving situations, I can attest to how well they absorb impact and increase propulsion. I can also admit that the highly cushioned heel and forefoot pads take some getting used to, as it’s similar to wearing platforms, but I totally agree.
APL McLaren Hyspeed Multi-Purpose Trainers are embossed with a tread pattern inspired by automotive performance tires. In addition to the main tread, the entire sole of the shoe is embossed with a fingerprint-like micro tread to provide ample traction in various scenarios, whether you’re logging miles on asphalt, jogging on a treadmill, or running to your gym. door across slippery surfaces. airport floors. Still, I wouldn’t wear them in rainy or inclement weather, as the tread is definitely designed with indoor exercise in mind. (That said, I don’t think they’re very well suited to indoor classes like OTF, as the bulky heel makes it difficult to strap them securely to a rower.)
Size APL McLaren HySpeed
APL is tricky because depending on who you ask, they are true to size or you need to scale up or down. Personally, I’ve always worn size 10 in all types of shoes except pointed boots and heels, until I discovered APL, of course. After the first few pairs of APLs I tried, including the TechLoom Breeze and Bliss, I learned that the only way I could experience the same adoring reaction to modern (and comfortable to wear) shoes was if I was a half size. —otherwise I would get blisters on my heels after a few hours of wear. So when securing the HySpeeds, I made sure to go up half a size, and they fit perfectly. (The only APL SKU I found that doesn’t apply is TechLoom Tracer, in which case I found 10.5 to be a bit too big.)
They’re worth it?
To say that the APL McLaren HySpeed All-Purpose Trainer is worth it would be to imply that spending nearly half the grand on shoes (which podiatrists say should be replaced every 12 months, no matter the brand) is a worthwhile investment. worth it, and for many (read: most) people, they are not. If you don’t have a budget, or are a fan of sneakers and/or cars, by all means, add them to your collection. They are absolutely comfortable, well thought out and beautifully designed. But if you can’t break the cost, there’s no need to stress. Do they look absolutely amazing in your closet? Definitely.
Want to be the first to hear about the latest (and greatest) SHOP product drops, custom collections, discounts and more? Sign up to receive information directly to your inbox.
These products are independently selected by our editors. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.