Finding the right pair of shoes is a highly subjective exercise, but we’ve simplified the task by reviewing 22 top new models. Below are our top three award-winners. For the remaining models, check out our March 2014 edition of Runner’s World.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: Adidas Supernova Glide 6
“I love the cushioning in this shoe,” says wear-tester Nikki Perschy, summing up the feedback of many wear-testers. That’s thanks to Boost foam, which Adidas told us last year will be going into many of its performance-running shoes. If this shoe is any indication, that’s very good news. The Glide has always been a sturdy trainer, but it was never all that exciting. Boost has given it new life. The new midsole material offers better cushioning than traditional foams, is resistant to temperature changes – it doesn’t get hard in cold weather – and feels a little springy underfoot. The change to Boost also allowed Adidas to scrap the crash pad found on earlier versions; the new midsole compresses enough for a smooth heel-first landing.
BOTTOM LINE: Top-of-the-line cushioning built for the long run.
Weight: 301g (M); 250g (W)
Height: 31.7mm (heel); 23.0mm (forefoot)
BEST UPDATE: Brooks PureFlow 3
After two years on its initial platform, the Pure line gets an overhaul. Fans of earlier versions will be happy to know that, even with major changes, the shoe tested functionally the same as version 2 both in RW Shoe Lab tests and on real-world runners. The midsole foam is still a high-quality material that offers excellent cushioning, given how close to the ground it positions your foot, but the overall width of the sole has been reduced to make the landing even smoother. Pods of rubber on the outsole have been reshaped, giving the forefoot slightly more flexibility than in previous versions. The upper, too, received a number of modifications that contributed to improved fit, including a change to the direction the “burrito” tongue opens – it’s now fixed at the arch and wraps to the outside.
BOTTOM LINE: A bargain-priced shoe that handles a lot of kilometres.
Weight: 256g (M); 193g (W)
Height: 29.4mm (heel); 22.9mm (forefoot)
BEST BUY: Skechers GOrun Ride 3
When we distributed this round of shoes to our wear-testers, we nearly had to strong-arm a few into trying the Ride 3. Less than 48 hours later, messages started rolling in to the @RWGearGuy account on Twitter. One wrote, “I was totally wrong to scoff at the Skechers last night. Ran an hour in them and they felt great.” Said another, “I hate the look, material, name (GOrun? Don’t tell me what to do, shoes!), but damn, I like how they feel on the run!” And just how do they feel on the run? Surprisingly soft for such a thin midsole. They don’t have much rubber underfoot and will likely wear out faster than beefier models. Then again, these shoes cost 130 bucks.
BOTTOM LINE: A serious shoe that costs less than your electricity bill.
Weight: 236g (M); 179g (W)
Height: 31.3mm (heel); 21.9mm (forefoot)