Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Running Shoes & Gear Reviews

At the Gear Institute, we believe you deserve better running gear reviews. We believe in credible, thorough, expert gear testing designed to give you results you can trust. Our team is made up of serious, experienced runners who know running gear technology and trends inside and out. We test running shoes, apparel, accessories and technology against similar products using the same objective criteria so you compare how they will perform on the road or trail. And we never give any brands favorable treatment—not advertisers, not our personal favorites, not the brands with the flashiest marketing. New to our running gear tests? Start with our running shoe reviews

New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi

81

2017

New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi

The New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi is a smooth and comfortable lightweight trail runner that excels on groomed surfaces and dirt roads. 

Montrail Rogue FKT

77

2017

Montrail Rogue FKT

The Montrail Rogue FKT is a mid-weight trail shoe that provides solid all-around performance on a variety of surfaces. 

Inov8 Trail Talon 250

82

2017

Inov8 Trail Talon 250

The Inov8 Trail Talon 250 is a lightweight, low-profile trail runner that excels on technical terrain.

Brooks Pure Grit 5

85

2017

Brooks Pure Grit 5

The Brooks Pure Grit 5 is a mid-weight, low-profile, general purpose trail runner with a natural ride and outstanding comfort and flexibility. 

Brooks Mazama

79

2017

Brooks Mazama

The Brooks Mazama is a mid-weight, low-profile, racing machine with unparalleled responsiveness. 

Saucony Peregrine 7

88

2017

Saucony Peregrine 7

The Saucony Peregrine 7 is an outstanding general purpose trail running shoe that will appeal to a wide range of runners.

New Balance Vazee Summit 2

89

2017

New Balance Vazee Summit 2

The New Balance Vazee Summit 2 is a lightweight and responsive trail runner with excellent traction, speed, and versatility.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3

82

2017

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3

The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 is a highly cushioned trail shoe with a smooth ride and surprising responsiveness.

Altra Superior 3

80

2017

Altra Superior 3

The Altra Superior 3 is a lightweight zero-drop trail runner with excellent handling and comfort.

Scarpa Spin

74

2017

Scarpa Spin

The Scarpa Spin is a nimble but stiff general purpose shoe with great traction and handling.

Arc’teryx Norvan

64

2017

Arc’teryx Norvan

The Arc’teryx Norvan is a heavy-duty but cumbersome trail running shoe built for rugged terrain.

Nike Zoom Vomero 12

92

2017

Nike Zoom Vomero 12

The Nike Zoom Vomero 12 is a responsive everyday trainer offering a cushioned ride designed for the neutral runner.

Adidas Supernova

91

2017

Adidas Supernova

The Adidas Supernova is a highly responsive neutral trainer featuring Adidas’ famous energy returning Boost midsole.

Brooks Ravenna 8

88

2017

Brooks Ravenna 8

The Brooks Ravenna 8 is a daily trainer offering mild support for over pronators without sacrificing performance.

Saucony Triumph ISO 3

86

2017

Saucony Triumph ISO 3

The Saucony Triumph ISO3 is a premium neutral trainer that provides an incredibly soft and very cushioned ride.

Saucony Guide 10

82

2017

Saucony Guide 10

The Saucony Guide 10 is a lightweight stability trainer offering excellent performance without sacrificing support.

Hoka One One Bondi 5

81

2017

Hoka One One Bondi 5

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is a maximum cushioning neutral shoe providing more pavement pounding protection than any other shoe tested.

New Balance 860v7

80

2017

New Balance 860v7

The New Balance 860v7 is an everyday stability trainer designed for the runner who needs overpronation protection.

Mizuno Wave Horizon

79

2017

Mizuno Wave Horizon

The Mizuno Wave Horizon is a new addition to the Mizuno lineup featuring excellent support for over pronation while maintaining a cushioned ride.

Altra Paradigm 2.0

74

2017

Altra Paradigm 2.0

The Altra Paradigm 2.0 offers runners more room throughout the toe box than any other neutral running shoe on the market.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

Nike Pro Hyper Classic Padded Sports Bra

94

2016

Nike Pro Hyper Classic Padded Sports Bra

The Nike Pro Hyper Classic Padded Sports Bra is a highly functional and sporty running bra.

Oiselle Hi Line Bra

92

2016

Oiselle Hi Line Bra

The Oiselle Hi Line Bra has a feminine style and cut that still has plenty of support and compression for a running bra.   

Handful Y Back Handful Bra

90

2016

Handful Y Back Handful Bra

The Handful Y Back Handful Bra is a soft and comfortable light support bra best for low impact sports. 

Tasc Endurance Bra

88

2016

Tasc Endurance Bra

The Tasc Endurance bra is a low impact sports bra that is made from a proprietary blend of organic and renewable materials.

Lululemon Energy Bra

88

2016

Lululemon Energy Bra

The Lululemon Energy Bra is a medium compression running bra that is ideal for easy running and low impact sports. 

Scarpa Proton

83

2016

Scarpa Proton

The Scarpa Proton is a versatile, all-around trail runner that lacks distinctive features to set it apart in a crowded field. 

Salomon Speedcross 4

87

2016

Salomon Speedcross 4

Fans of the toothy, aggressive Salomon Speedcross will be relieved that the new Speedcross 4 receives only minor updates to the terrific previous version.

Pearl Izumi Trail N2v3

87

2016

Pearl Izumi Trail N2v3

The Pearl Izumi Trail N2v3 is a neutral, versatile trail shoe that fills in the gap in the E:Motion trail line between the maximalist N3 and the stripped down N1v2. 

On Running Cloudventure Midtop

90

2016

On Running Cloudventure Midtop

The new Cloudventure Midtop from Switzerland’s On Running is a high-quality trail runner that uses the company’s proprietary CloudTec sole pods for comfort and responsiveness.

Inov-8 X-Claw 275

90

2016

Inov-8 X-Claw 275

The Inov-8 X-Claw 275 combines substantial tread with protective uppers for an off-road shoe that’s responsive, flexible, and comfortable.

Pearl Izumi Trail N3

91

2016

Pearl Izumi Trail N3

The Pearl Izumi Trail N3 is a beefy new addition to the company’s off-road E:Motion line-up that runs smoothly and is lightweight for a maximalist trail shoe.

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid

87

2016

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid

The new Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Neoshell Mid shares a sole with the terrific new Lone Peak 3.0, but adds a layer of waterproofing and an ankle-wrapping, mid-height upper. It’s a shoe that does double-duty as a trail runner and lightweight hiker.

Altra Lone Peak 3.0

88

2016

Altra Lone Peak 3.0

The revamped Altra Lone Peak 3.0 retains what trail runners love about the model but adds positive structural and visual updates.

Adidas Terrex X-King

82

2016

Adidas Terrex X-King

The new Terrex X-King from Adidas is essentially a gnarly mountain bike tire strapped around a removable midsole. It’s an innovative, unique approach to trail running shoes.

Salewa Ultra Train

90

2016

Salewa Ultra Train

Salewa’s new Ultra Train is the company’s first foray into traditional trail running shoes.  It’s a versatile off-road model that draws on the European trekking giant’s long history of high-quality mountain gear. 

Patagonia Men’s Houdini Jacket

89

2016

Patagonia Men’s Houdini Jacket

The Men’s Houdini Jacket from Patagonia is a versatile and extremely light weight jacket offering light protection from the elements and unparalleled comfort in it’s category.

Salomon Fast-Wing Hoodie

88

2016

Salomon Fast-Wing Hoodie

The Salomon Fast-Wing Hoodie is the lightest and most breathable running jacket in our testing line-up, but could not keep the weather out.

Outdoor Research Tantrum Jacket

87

2016

Outdoor Research Tantrum Jacket

The Tantrum Jacket from Outdoor Research brings a breathable running shell and clever packing options together in one sleek package.

Lululemon Surge Jacket

87

2016

Lululemon Surge Jacket

Expert styling, functionality, and water repellency make Lululemon’s Surge Jacket a great choice for any wet weather yogi.

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