Nike Zoom X Invincible Run
Weight: 314g , 253g
Heel/toe drop: 9mm
If you had to describe the Zoom X Invincible Run in one word, it would be fun. Our runners were keen to tell us how much they enjoyed running in this new model the enormous amount of cushioning meant their feet felt wrapped securely in a gentle bear hug. It meant they didnt have to worry about how to land, where to place their feet or, indeed, think about anything they could just run. Postrun feedback was positive, too, with several testers reporting less muscle pain than normal. Nike will be pleased to hear this because that is precisely what it was trying to achieve with this shoe. Theres more of Nikes premium Zoom X foam than you can shake a stick at, the last of the shoe is generous, with a flared, squarish heel section that heel strikers loved, and theres a rocker shape to the midsole to help roll your foot through to toe-off a bit quicker. Breathability is only average and lighter testers found it a tad cumbersome, but this wont be an issue for mid-pack runners.
Best Running Shoes For Men: Hoka Clifton 8
The Hoka Clifton 8 Running Shoe is our top recommendation for men. This model features an extended running shoe crash-padessentially shock absorbers designed to cushion your heel when it strikes the running surface. The crash-pad helps transition your weight across the lightweight midsole all the way to toe-off. As your stride propels forward and your heel lifts up, the Clifton 8s plush mesh tongue protects the top of your foot. The shoe also streamlines the curves found in comparable running shoes to create a roomier fit.
Won: Best In Test 2021
Weight: 224g , 198g
Heel/toe drop: 8mm
Our Best In Test award is reserved for shoes that stand out from the crowd and this is one of them. Judged only by its name and weight, and youd be forgiven for thinking it is best suited to speedwork or racing, but that would seriously underplay this impressively versatile option, which proved as adept on long runs as it did on shorter, faster workouts. Sandwiched inside Sauconys PWRRUN PB cushioning in the midsole is a full-length nylon plate, which offers a propulsive feeling, but is flexible and subtle, with less of the obvious rocker motion typical of carbon-plated shoes.
Compared with many carbon shoes, the Endorphin Speed 2 offers a more stable, unobtrusive and sure-footed ride you feel like you can plant your foot down with confidence. The shoe is finely tuned between cushioning and responsiveness: its bouncy but you can still feel the road and get plenty of pop from it as you run. In the words of RW editor-in-chief Andy Dixon, Overall, its a superb all- rounder, a great option for those who only want one pair of running shoes to cover all their bases.
Weight: 280g , 240g
Heel/toe drop: 10mm
Heel strikers will enjoy extra shock absorption from the heels gel unit, while the Flytefoam midsole material hits a sweet spot on the cushioning continuum: soft enough to excel on slower miles, but enough spring to accelerate through tempo sessions.
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How We Picked The Best
We chose the best-cushioned running shoes by poring over the details of each model. Through wear testing, interviews with shoe designers and professional athletes, and our own fit idÂ® data, we chose the shoes we think will work best for most runners in most situations.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you donât like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
What Shoe Is Best For Running Long Distances
There’s no single shoe that’s best for running long distances, but there are some features you should look for. The best long-distance running shoes are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. They have added stability features that protect your feet and your ankles and are made of durable materials that can handle regular wear and tear.
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Best For Soft Landings: Asics Dynablast
- Type of exercise: This shoe is suitable for road running.
- Pro: Some reviewers state that this shoe provides a good level of cushioning.
- Con: The shoe has a high heel drop, which may increase the risk of injury.
- Weight: The shoe weighs 8.8 oz.
- Heel-toe drop: The shoe has a 12-mm heel-toe drop.
ASICS claims the DYNABLAST shoe is suitable for runners looking for a responsive underfoot experience during their run.
The company also states the running shoe is comfortable and features a lightweight and breathable upper to keep the feet cool and provide support. ASICS emphasizes the cushioning of its FLYTEFOAM material, which helps generate soft landings.
The shoe contains recycled materials, and the company made it using manufacturing processes that reduce carbon emissions and water usage.
How We Choose The Best Running Shoes For 2022
The sweat test: We receive multiple pairs of each shoe from the manufacturers. These go to more than 200 runners of varying abilities and preferences. Each spends a month running in their shoes over multiple sessions, before filling in a detailed questionnaire.
Cushioning: Each tester will measure how soft or firm each shoe feels underfoot.
Flexibility: Flexibility indicates how smoothly a shoe will move with the foot from heelstrike to toe-off.
Height and weight: We weigh mens and womens models. We also measure stack height: the outsole foam rubber, midsole foam and insole. We also determine the shoes heel drop the difference in height from heel to forefoot.
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Hoka One One Clifton Edge
Weight: 253g , 206g
Heel/toe drop: 5mm
This is a shoe with a specific consumer in mind midfoot and forefoot strikers found the large heel section either hindered their run or, at best, was irrelevant. The midsole cushioning foam is Hokas lightest to date, but lacks the pop to make the shoe suitable for nippier sessions, which doesnt make them especially cost-effective. A lovely innovation for wider-footed heel strikers looking for a steady-run shoe.
Hoka One One Rincon 3
The best affordable running shoe
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
It goes without saying, you dont have to own multiple pairs of running shoes to be a runner. While some people might invest in multiple pairs for different sessions, if youre new to running or are on a budget, youll still be able to build fitness and train for races with only one pair in your closet. Plus, if youre looking for that one pair, the Hoka One One Rincon 3 is a brilliant shoe to invest in.
A seriously versatile shoe, the Rincon 3 is lightweight enough to wear on faster sessions, but the EVA midsole is cushioned enough to run for miles, should you want to. The third iteration of the Rincon is lighter and more breathable than previous versions, while still having the rocker-geometry that rolls the foot forward for a faster, springier toe-off. At $115, its also much more affordable than other running shoes on this list.
The only downsides we could find here were that the EVA midsole isnt the plushest, and if youre looking for that classic Hoka cushion, you might find it a little on the harder side. That said, if youre looking for an everyday running shoe thats snappier than say, the Nike Pegasus or Ghost 14, this is a brilliant choice.
Reasons to avoid
Read our full Glycerin 19 review here.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Read our full Adidas Ultraboost 22 review here.
Reasons to avoid
Reasons to avoid
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New Balance Fuelcell Md
How much lighter than 4.4 oz. can you get? | Carbon-plated FuelCell midsole | A mid-distance dream
Here it is, the final category in our favorite road running shoes of 2021. Well admit, this isnt even a road running shoe, but it fits better here than with the trail options. Hopefully, youre not sick of hearing about New Balances FuelCell yet, cause it kicks ass on the track, too. The MD-X is optimized for everything from the 800m to the 500m with a carbon plate to keep you popping. Both Jordynn and Mercer agreed that it was their pick of the year by far.
They praised the control that the MD-X provides, as well as the overall bounce the midsole provides. Its not as soft as Nikes top spikes, but the upper is just structured enough to feel great around turns. Jordynn even blasted out her season-best mile time by five seconds in this spike.
HONORABLE MENTION: Nike Air Zoom Victory and Nike ZoomX Dragonfly
Questions? Thoughts? A favorite shoe that we didnt pick? Let us know about it in the comments, and heres to another great year of running in 2022.
How To Buy The Right Running Shoes
With so many different types of running shoes available to buy, it’s no wonder one can feel completely overwhelmed just by thinking about getting a new running trainer. To make a decision at least a little bit easier, we collected a few pointers that might help you when buying a new pair of shoes.
Have your gait analysed: you can do this in a brick and mortar running shoe shop or work it out yourself by performing the classic ‘stepping on a piece of paper with wet feet’ test. There is also the NURVV running insole that can tell you exactly how much you pronate.
Be mindful of sizing: not all running shoe sizes are created equal. Some brands are infamous for their sizing methods for example, New Balance shoes tend to be half a size under, so if you wear a size 10 normally, you might want to get a size 10.5 New Balance. Also, racing shoes are usually tighter than trainers. The best women’s running shoes may also be narrower and lighter than unisex or men’s options.
Take the running surface into account: obviously, you need different shoes for the tarmac and the trail. That said, some shoes will perform well on all sorts of terrain, such as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail, while others will excel on one more than on the other.
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La Sportiva Bushido Ii
Best for technical terrain: When 2018 Madison Marathon runner Kyle Pronko hits the trails near his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he switches to his La Sportiva Bushidos. They have a hard, plastic bottom that keeps rocks from jabbing into the bottoms of your feet. Even the bumpiest runs are no match for La Sportiva Bushido IIs toothy outsole, which digs into steep ascents and protects toes on downhill slopes with its thick rubber cap. Wear and tear is inevitable when youre navigating unpredictable terrain, but the Bushido has you covered there as well: Its reinforced thermoplastic polyurethane web material is lightweight, strong, and resistant to abrasion, lengthening the shoes lifespan.
Reebok Floatride Energy 3
If not for the Puma Velocity Nitro, youd find the Floatride Energy 3 featured above as the best budget running shoe. It still has a claim on that title if RRPs were taken into account, because its £25 cheaper than the Velocity Nitro. However, the Puma shoe is often available for under £50 and offers a better ride, being both faster and more comfortable than the Reebok. The Floatride Energy 3 is still a great budget shoe, though: its a robust, comfortable daily trainer that is the match of many options that cost twice as much.
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Skechers Gorun Speed Elite Hyper
The Skechers Go Run Speed Elite Hyper is an impressively lightweight race shoe that incorporates a number of welcome features for race day.
The Hyper Burst midsole foam manages to be both cushioned and responsive, despite the shoes minimal weight, producing an experience that makes the shoe an excellent choice for race day. In addition, there’s a carbon-infused winglet plate in the front of the shoe to promote an even springier toe-off although the effect is far more subtle than you’ll find in some of the full-length super shoes.
The outsole is covered with a surprisingly thick helping of Goodyear performance rubber to protect the midsole and increase durability, while the lightweight upper is both comfortable and breathable for fast-paced efforts.
The level of cushioning is less than what you’ll find in shoes like the Vaporfly or Alphafly, which makes the Speed Elite Hyper better suited to races up to half marathon distance.
New Balance Fuelcell Tc
As with any carbon plated shoe, comparisons with the Vaporfly range are inevitable. However, setting up any using carbon plate technology as a competitor to Nike’s race shoe means that you’re not seeing the bigger picture.
The FuelCell TC, unlike the Vaporfly, is a shoe that’s designed for training and racing. Yes, it has a carbon plate, but that’s largely where any similarity ends. At 281 grams it’s noticeably heavier than a focussed race shoe and the build offers significantly more durability than what you find in the Next%.
The combination of the plate, the FuelCell foam and the comfy, durable build won us over instantly as an impressive all-round shoe, offering an impressively bouncy ride that still allows you to pick up the pace on race day or in faster training runs.
There really isn’t anything the FuelCell TC can’t do well, which makes it a great option if you want one pair of shoes that gives you a responsive, energetic feel with each step that’ll cover you from enjoyable long training runs to hitting it hard on race day. We’ve covered over 100km in the FuelCell TC so far and find ourselves looking forward to wearing it for each run not too shabby when it comes to the looks department as well.
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Get The Best Running Shoes For You
It’s very important to get the right level of support and flexibility when running on road. We always recommend you come into one of our stores for gait analysis and a proper fitting, so we can make sure you end up with suitable shoes for your foot strike and foot shape. It also gives you a chance to try out different brands and types of cushioning.
Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
Weight: 241g , 227g
Heel/toe drop: 8mm
Behemoth sports brand Under Armour is a relatively recent arrival into the running-shoe space, but intends to establish itself in a big way. The Flow Velociti Wind is a first offering toward that aim and its an impressive effort a neutral everyday shoe that also aspires to be suitable for faster running. Our testers loved the upper, which is light but robust, and cradled the foot nicely while stretching and moving well in key areas. The cushioning was also praised: it features a one-piece midsole and outsole that, along with a 4mm-thick sock liner, give the shoe a super-plush feel on the run. So they’re cushioned enough for easy and long runs, but the weight is impressively low and they’re also responsive, meaning they were perfect for tempo runs and faster sessions. Overall, this is an excellent option for runners who want one shoe to cover all their training bases, combining cushioning, comfort and speed in one lightweight package.
Weight: 340g , 297g
Heel/toe drop: 10mm
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Minimal Vs Maximal Running Shoes
In a nutshell minimal vs maximal refers to the amount of cushioning that the shoe gives to the runners.
Starting in 2009, more and more runners have been promoting a barefoot running idea: shoes are bad for you, you should run barefoot or, if that is not possible, with as little shoe as possible. Milions of runners made the switch to minimalism and quite a few got injured. As a result, companies came out with running shoes that are lightweight but with very high, soft soles that really cushion the foot.
There is not a right or wrong type of shoe here it entirely depends on the runner, their style and preferences.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12
The 860v12 delivers the same subtle level of stability we found when testing the On Cloudflyer. It’s an experience that feels more like a traditional cushioned road shoe than something specifically built for pronation, making it a good option for those that don’t want to go for a heavy-duty stability shoe.
The addition of a medial post along with an overly generous covering of outsole rubber does technically make the shoe a heavy choice, however, when testing over daily training miles and longer runs we found it runs noticeably lighter than the weight would suggest. The Fresh Foam X midsole also has a smooth turnover for a stability shoe, although the firmer ride may not be to everyone’s tastes.
There’s an impressive level of upper comfort, with plenty of padding around the ankle collar for instant step-in comfort, and the front section of the shoe offers a thinner, breathable mesh to keep the feet cool on warmer runs.
That thick rubber outsole, despite adding additional weight, does add a good level of durability to the shoe, meaning it’s likely to last for many miles before needing to be replaced.
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