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Best Lightweight Road Running Shoes (Spring 2017)

By: Donald Buraglio

Best Lightweight Road Running Shoes (Spring 2017)

To conduct our review of the best lightweight road running shoes for Spring 2017, test director Donald Buraglio ran in each of these shoes for 75-100 miles in Monterey County CA, predominantly on asphalt and all-weather track surfaces, through heavy winter rainfall as well as dry conditions. Approximately 10-20% of mileage was on dirt roads, and training runs ranged in distance from 6 to 26 miles. Buraglio compared each shoe side by side, rating them on our five main criteria—fit, comfort, responsiveness, ride quality, and speed. The Gear Institute Rating is the combined score across all categories, representing the highest overall level of performance.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3

91

2017

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 is a lightweight neutral low-profile trainer with moderate heel-toe drop and excellent midsole energy return.

Nike Free RN Distance 2

87

2017

Nike Free RN Distance 2

The Nike Free RN Distance 2 is a lightweight cushioned neutral trainer with a low profile, moderate heel-toe drop, and strong cushioning.

Brooks Launch 4

87

2017

Brooks Launch 4

Brooks’s Launch 4 features a lightweight upper mesh, redesigned midsole construction, and increased blown rubber coverage on the outsole. 

Saucony Kinvara 8

87

2017

Saucony Kinvara 8

The Saucony Kinvara 8 is a lightweight neutral trainer with moderate heel-toe offset and comfortable cushioning.

On Cloudflow

84

2017

On Cloudflow

The On Cloudflow is an ultralight shoe with plush cushioning and a smooth ride built for going fast. 

Hoka One One Arahi

82

2017

Hoka One One Arahi

The Hoka One One Arahi maintains Hoka’s traditional high platform and moderate heel-toe drop, and comes in as a relative heavyweight in the Hoka lineup, but it’s quite lightweight in comparison to traditional support models.

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

79

2017

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a durable and relatively lightweight shoe that can easily stand up to high mileage training.

Altra Instinct 4

78

2017

Altra Instinct 4

The Altra Instinct 4 high mileage trainer has moderately firm midsole responsiveness, a comfortable and breathable upper, and supportive padding in the forefoot.

Under Armour Speedform Velociti

74

2017

Under Armour Speedform Velociti

The Under Armour Speedform Velociti is a new lightweight neutral speed trainer with a low platform and 8mm drop. 

Skechers GOrun 5

72

2017

Skechers GOrun 5

The GOrun 5 is the fifth generation of Skechers’ GOrun series designed for lightweight speed, with low stack heights and a relatively flat platform to promote midfoot striking.

361 Onyx

70

2017

361 Onyx

The Onyx is a new lightweight neutral trainer from 361 Degrees featuring a thin lightweight bonded mesh upper and excellent underfoot cushioning and responsiveness. 

About the Author

Donald Buraglio

Donald Buraglio

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA. Follow him on Google+.

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