Adidas has done it. Dubbed the “greatest running shoe ever made” by the brand, the Ultra Boost challenges the general perception of runners and what a quality running shoe means to them. On the heels of the newly released, high-tech shoe that preaches blazing fast speed, exceptional cushioning, and high energy return, we caught up with three tastemakers with a deep-rooted affinity for cardio to get their thoughts on what they look for in the ideal running shoe, as well as the importance of using running as a vehicle to lead an overall healthy lifestyle. First up was nutritionist and author Keri Glassman. Now, we shift our focus to Michael Chernow, co-owner of the popular New York City establishment The Meatball Shop.

How big of a role do staying active and being health-conscious play in your life, both personally and in terms of career?
Staying active and making healthy choices is my life. I made a decision just over 10 years ago to treat myself better, to eat better, and to challenge myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. I believe this decision has brought me to where I am today. There is no task too big or challenge too intense that I won’t stare in the eyes. Without training, my personal and business life suffer; it is when I get my best thinking done, blow off any steam, and feel that I have accomplished something every day.

How do you manage to take time out of your busy schedule to get a workout in or go for a run?
Exercise is a top priority for me. I schedule it in just like a business meeting 5-6 days a week.

How long have you been running? How’d you get into it?
I have been running for 11 years. I started Muay Thai kickboxing at around the same time. All the guys I trained with would run to strengthen their lungs for those extra rounds. Once I began running, I fell in love with it. I look at running as my moving meditation.

What’s your favorite place to run? Why?
I have a house upstate in New York. It doesn’t get better than running the country roads for me. Before I had my weekend home I would run the bridges in NYC, which I also love very much.

What are your criteria for a quality running shoe?
Light in weight, breathable, and a durable sole. As I am a forefoot striker, the heel of the shoe is not nearly as important to me as the durability of the front of the sole. If I am training for a race and putting in 50 miles a week on NYC concrete, I can go through a pair of shoes in 4-6 weeks.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term “energy return?”
I think of lightning—you asked for the first thing that came to mind…  

Describe the feeling you get when you unwrap a fresh pair of running shoes right out of the box?
STOKED!

The versatility of a running shoe, in terms of transitioning seamlessly from your favorite running route to daily wear, cannot be overstated these days. What are your thoughts on that?
Typically, my running shoes are not as aesthetically pleasing to me as my lifestyle sneakers. It would be great to have a pair of awesome running sneakers (that were actually made with running in mind) that I could wear on the regular.