Spring Shoe Guide
From the November 2012 issue of Runner’s World
5 award-winning running shoes
By Jeff Dengate & Martyn Shorten, Ph.D.
Finding the right pair of shoes is a highly subjective exercise, but we’ve simplified the task by reviewing the top new models. Here are the five that won Runner’s World awards.
|EDITOR’S CHOICE: Brooks Ghost 5|
The Ghost is spooky good. For the third straight Spring Guide, it has garnered our top honour. We like that little has changed from the fourth version of this shoe. The Ghost remains fairly lightweight with a soft heel and relatively firm forefoot, which gives wearers a fast feel. “I didn’t have that ‘squishy’ feeling I sometimes experience with cushioned shoes,” says Chris Garges, 37, who has a 2:47 marathon PB. To adapt to more footstrike patterns, the segmented heel has been extended forward along the outer edge of the foot. It also helps smooth the heel-to-toe transition.
Bottom Line: A versatile shoe that can handle whatever workouts you throw at it.
|BEST BUY: Saucony Ride 5|
The Ride 5 is a full 56 grams lighter than its predecessor. That weight saving is largely a product of using less foam in the midsole and a reduction in rubber on the outsole, which also makes this update lower to the ground and more flexible. The changes resonated with testers, who rated it the highest of any shoe in this guide for comfort, cushioning and ride.
Bottom Line: Offers cushioning for long runs but is light enough for fast efforts.
AUS & NZ saucony.com.au
|BEST UPDATE: Nike LunarGlide+ 4|
For such a lightweight shoe, the LunarGlide features excellent cushioning and stability, yet remains very flexible. That’s a tough combination to execute well. The previous version of the LunarGlide struggled with this combination, garnering some of the lowest wear-test scores we’ve ever recorded for fit, comfort and ride. This update was greatly improved. “The perfect balance of springy yet pillowy cushioning, while still having ample stability and support,” says Joe Kennedy, 32, who has run in the LunarGlide+ 3. In RW Shoe Lab testing, all measures are better – the LunarGlide+ 4 is lighter by 20 grams, lower to the ground, more flexible, and offers better cushioning and stability. The upper hugs the midfoot, thanks to a Flywire saddle, which provides a direct connection between the laces and the midsole to securely lock the foot in place.
Bottom Line: Excellent protection from a surprisingly light and flexible shoe.
AUS nikestore.com.au; NZ contact 0508 478 478
|EDITOR’S CHOICE: Mizuno Wave Precision 13|
A$200; NZ N/A
The Precision 13 feels downright zippy, thanks to the highest heel-to-toe drop in this guide – 14.4mm; the average running shoe is 12mm – combined with a soft heel and a firmer-than-average forefoot. But some testers accustomed to more minimal footwear or racing flats found it to sit too high, especially at the heel. Although the chassis underfoot is the same as the Precision 12, Mizuno tinkered with the upper slightly, lowering the collar to allow a better opening for the foot. A fabric band runs under the open mesh upper at the midfoot, connecting the laces to the midsole to securely lock the foot in place.
Bottom Line: A versatile shoe, capable of handling faster workouts and races.
AUS mizuno.com.au; NZ N/A
|BEST DEBUT: Puma Faas 350 S|
Low-slung and responsive, the Faas 350 S is a no-frills training shoe capable of pulling double duty for faster-paced workouts and long runs. The foam-rubber midsole is exposed, while only a minimum amount of outsole is used to keep the shoe lightweight and super-flexible. One drawback: limited traction. Wear-testers said the 350 S slips on wet surfaces. Faster runners appreciated how the shoe performed. “The Faas 350 would be among my choices if I were to buy only one shoe for everyday training,” says Ulrich Fluhme, 37, who has a 2:33 marathon pb and primarily trains in racing flats.
Bottom Line: A good first step for those curious about trying minimal footwear.
AUS & NZ puma.com
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