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Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 Review: This Can Run Circles Around More Expensive Shoes

By: Vishal Mathur

Last Updated: March 27, 2019, 12:17 IST

Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 Review: This Can Run Circles Around More Expensive Shoes

In terms of how all this melding of tech feels in the real world, there is one way to describe it—excellent.

When you think of running or training shoes, you probably think of Nike. Or Asics. Or Puma. Or New Balance. Or even Skechers. Chances are, you may not think of Xiaomi. But you should. The Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 are the company’s first foray into fitness footwear in India. Xiaomi in India is best known for great affordable Android smartphones under the Redmi, Mi and Poco families as well as a complete ecosystem of devices and accessories including smart TVs, fitness bands, air purifiers, smart cameras, backpacks, luggage and even a rollerball pen, to name a few. The footwear then fits perfectly in the entire scheme of things. The name, Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2, is a mouthful—perhaps Xiaomi needs to take the naming scheme a bit more seriously. But what it already has spot on is the price. The Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 are priced at Rs 2,999 and that means they are significantly less expensive than anything from the aforementioned brands better known for running and training shoes. But does the Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 also make compromises in terms of the experience, considering the price tag? Absolutely not.

For starters, the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 are extremely good to look at. In India, Xiaomi has brought three colourways—a gorgeous all-black, a very sophisticated grey and a rather exciting blue option. I personally picked the all-black option, because it does have that rather interesting look of a stealth fighter, knuckled down for a battle. Not many footwear brands make all-black shoes, and this could help make it stand out in a crowd. There is no doubt that the Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 have a chunky build, which has the advantage of extra cushioning to keep your feet isolated from the big bad world outside. When you look at these shoes from side-on, the thickness of the midsole and the outsole can be appreciated best. These aren’t the “low” design, something like a DC Meridian or a Nike Cortez for instance and retain a more conventional height around the sides—perhaps the Nike Pegasus Turbo is the best comparison.

Slip your foot in, and the suppleness of the very breathable knit upper is immediately noticeable. The mesh isn’t as wide that you may be able to see through and identify the colour of the socks you may be wearing at the time and yet offers great breathability. This is at par with what Nike has managed with the Flyknit and Reebok has done with the Ultraknit. In the warm summer months, the ventilation on offer would be very helpful. On the inside, there are no sewing lines that may scrape against your foot if you are wearing these without socks—this is not something that can be said for quite a few running and training shoes. This means you can wear this with and without socks, and yet get the same supple comfort all through.

There is a lot of padding on the sides and the back, which means your foot sits snugly in the cockpit. At no point does this become stuffy, but you know very well that your foot sits safely with the sides absorbing any impacts. The toe box is wide, something I prefer, and that just adds to the comfort aspect. One of the reasons why you can alter this fit to your preference is because of the fishbone structure that defines the lacing—this is a slight alteration which doesn’t really thread the laces through the mesh, but these are external structures integrated into the upper of the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2.

In most fitness focused shoes, what sits under your foot perhaps defines the entire experience. That is why we see the likes of Nike (React, Zoom and Zoom X foam), Reebok (FloatRide foam), Asics (Gel midsole), Puma (Ignite 2.0 midsole) and New Balance (Fresh Foam), to name a few, are locked in an intense battle to find the best balance between comfort, responsiveness and weight. One would imagine that it would be tough for anyone to match up to these well-established brands, who would have and continue to spend a lot of resources and time in constantly finetuning the mid-sole technology? You’d probably be right with pretty much every other brand now making running shoes, but that absolutely doesn’t hold true for Xiaomi. The Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 are quite tech savvy, come to think of it. These shoes deploy what Xiaomi calls the 5-in-1 uni-moulding technology for the midsole. There is a mix of five different materials making up the mid-sole construction. Your foot directly interacts with a PU support layer, which is made of the polyurethane foam. Beneath it is an EVA layer, which is essentially Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate high density foam to give the midsole a sort of robustness. Beneath this is a TPU layer, which is thermoplastic polyurethane which adds a level of elasticity. Then there is the second layer of the EVA midsole, which is designed for stability, responsiveness and distributes the weight according to the runner’s foot movement.

In terms of how all this melding of tech feels in the real world, there is one way to describe it—excellent. This rather flexible shoe is great for running, jogging and simply walking. And that applies on a variety of surfaces—treadmill, concrete floor, grass and loose gravel included. A lot also has to do with the thick rubber outsole that has a deep ridge under the midfoot and the heel, and that helps in absorbing and dissipating impacts from the running surface very neatly. Even on slippery and dodgy surfaces, this grips rather well and you can move around quite sure-footed. Add to that the cushioning that the midsole offers, and you really don’t feel the feet tiring out after a long run. I did notice that it took a handful of kilometres of run-in for the midsole to start offering feedback from the surface you were gliding over, but once it started, the entire experience became more immersive. Sudden starts, and a heavy impact on a hard running surface don’t send a jarring impact up your leg.

Xiaomi really have ticked off most boxes on the checklist with the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2. It is good to look at, irrespective of the colourway you pick. It is well built, despite the extremely attractive price tag. The materials under your foot may not have any boosted arrogance of entitlement, and humbly do the job they are supposed to. Safe to say, I have fallen in love with the Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2. And everyone who has seen me wearing these now want one too. Pity then that it might be a bit of a wait till Xiaomi puts these up for sale again in India. But believe me, it will be totally worth the wait. Hold on to your money for the moment and don’t waste it on an overrated ‘boost’ shoe, and splurge on the Xiaomi Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2.