Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Road Running Shoes

361 Degrees Chaser

82

2016

361 Degrees Chaser

The 361 Degrees Chaser is a low-profile, neutral lightweight trainer or race shoe from a new company on the US running scene with extensive industry pedigree. 

Altra Torin 2.5

83

2016

Altra Torin 2.5

The Altra Torin 2.5 is a minor update to Altra’s lightweight, zero-drop, cushioned high mileage neutral trainer, with a modified mesh upper and a slightly more flexible midsole construction. 

Adidas Adizero Boston 6

90

2016

Adidas Adizero Boston 6

The Adizero Boston 6 is the next generation of Adidas’s popular lightweight trainer, featuring a more minimal and breathable upper, with a full Boost foam midsole for improved responsiveness and resilience.

Brooks Hyperion

89

2016

Brooks Hyperion

The Brooks Hyperion is the fastest and lightest road running shoe in the Brooks lineup, with ride technologies in the midsole and outsole designed to maximize speed. 

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4

81

2016

Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4

The Wave Sayonara 4 is an update to Mizuno’s lightweight neutral high mileage trainer, with a modified forefoot fit, softer heel collar, and improved rearfoot ventilation than its predecessor. 

New Balance Vazee Pace 2

89

2016

New Balance Vazee Pace 2

The New Balance Vazee Pace 2 is the second generation of New Balance’s lightweight speed trainer, with an updated outsole and flex groove structure, and a new lighter mesh upper. 

Nike Lunarepic Flyknit

87

2016

Nike Lunarepic Flyknit

The Nike Lunarepic Flyknit is a new lightweight, max cushioned shoe that is chock full of innovation that provides an impressively sharp ride. 

Nike Free RN Flyknit

86

2016

Nike Free RN Flyknit

The Nike Free RN Flyknit is the latest iteration of Nike’s Free line that replaces the 4.0 Flyknit. It is a lightweight neutral trainer with a stretchy minimalist upper, and a highly flexible 8mm drop platform, and Nike’s new dynamic midsole foam technology for soft cushioning.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2

86

2016

Saucony Zealot ISO 2

The Zealot ISO 2 is an update to Saucony’s lightweight cushioned 4mm-drop neutral trainer, with an updated sleeve and the addition of a full-length layer under the sockliner for improved comfort and response.

Topo Athletic Ultrafly

77

2016

Topo Athletic Ultrafly

The Topo Athletic Ultrafly is a cushioned, lightly supportive road trainer with a highly breathable upper, a triple-density EVA midsole designed for mild pronation control, and an aggressive outsole to handle off-road excursions.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 23

86

2016

ASICS GEL-Kayano 23

The Asics GEL-Kayano 23 is the premium stability trainer on the market.

ASICS GEL-Quantum 360 CM

69

2016

ASICS GEL-Quantum 360 CM

The ASICS GEL-Quantum 360 CM is a neutral cushioned trainer that boasts more Gel Cushioning than any other Asics shoes.

Brooks Ghost 9

92

2016

Brooks Ghost 9

The Brooks Ghost 9 is a classic neutral comfort trainer built to withstand serious mileage.

Brooks Glycerin 14

88

2016

Brooks Glycerin 14

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is a silky-smooth and cushioned everyday neutral trainer.

Adidas Supernova Sequence 9

86

2016

Adidas Supernova Sequence 9

The Adidas Supernova Sequence 9 features the famous energy returning boost foam in a responsive stability trainer.

Hoka One One Clifton 3

84

2016

Hoka One One Clifton 3

The Hoka One One Clifton 3 is an ultra-plush maximum cushioned trainer.

New Balance 1260v6

73

2016

New Balance 1260v6

The New Balance 1260v6 is a durable, class-leading stability shoe built with exceptional overpronation control.

Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2

76

2016

Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2

The Nike Air Zoom Odyssey 2 is an everyday stability trainer offering excellent motion control.

Nike LunarGlide 8

85

2016

Nike LunarGlide 8

The Nike LunarGlide 8 is a silky-smooth cushioned stability shoe.

Saucony Ride 9

90

2016

Saucony Ride 9

The Saucony Ride 9 offers maximum cushioning and class leading lightweight construction in a neutral trainer.

Under Armor Bandit 2

80

2016

Under Armor Bandit 2

Getting a complete makeover,the Under Armor Charged Bandit 2 is an everyday shoe offering mild overpronation support.

Zoot Laguna

73

2016

Zoot Laguna

The Zoot Laguna is a lightweight trainer that allows easy toe off and quicker turnover.

Skechers GOrun Forza

83

2016

Skechers GOrun Forza

The Skechers GOrun Forza is a maximum cushioning stability shoe with lasting comfort. 

Saucony Hurricane ISO2

88

2016

Saucony Hurricane ISO2

The Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 is a leading shoe in comfort, support and responsiveness.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

83

2016

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

The New Balance 1080 is a premium neutral shoe for the runner that needs the highest amount of cushioning for their training needs.

Mizuno Wave Rider 19

87

2016

Mizuno Wave Rider 19

The Mizuno Wave Rider 19 is a perfect shoe for those that enjoy a stiff shoe and demand performance from their everyday trainer.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

76

2016

Mizuno Wave Inspire 12

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 12 is a stable, supportive shoe that provides excellent motion control in a lasting package.

Brooks Transcend 3

76

2016

Brooks Transcend 3

The Brooks Transcend 3 is a solid stability everyday trainer favoring a beginner runner that needs support and firm foam underfoot.

Hoka One One Vanquish 2

89

2016

Hoka One One Vanquish 2

The Hoka One One Vanquish 2 is the perfect blend of ultra cushioning and high performance. 

Adidas Ultra Boost ST

86

2016

Adidas Ultra Boost ST

The Adidas Ultra Boost st is a stable shoe designed to be an everyday trainer with cloud-like cushioning in a durable, responsive package.

Topo Athletic Tribute

82

2016

Topo Athletic Tribute

The Topo Athletic Tribute is the most lightweight and breathable neutral road trainer from Topo Athletic, a company that makes its mark with natural fit and biomechanics. It features an anatomic last, flat platform, and 16mm stack heights.

Saucony Kinvara 7

86

2016

Saucony Kinvara 7

The Saucony Kinvara 7 is a top-to-bottom revamping of Saucony’s popular natural running shoe. Changes are both cosmetic and material, from the revamped upper to the redesigned outsole.

Salomon Sonic Pro

80

2016

Salomon Sonic Pro

The Salomon Sonic Pro is a lightweight road trainer or race shoe for neutral runners. The shoe combines a new outsole design and midsole technology with the classic upper style found in the company’s trail running models. 

Nike LunarTempo 2

86

2016

Nike LunarTempo 2

The Nike LunarTempo 2 is a follow up to Nike’s lightweight, moderately cushioned LunarTempo neutral road trainer. Flywire uppers and the company’s trademark Lunarlon cushioning in the midsole provide outstanding comfort above and underfoot.

Newton Gravity V

80

2016

Newton Gravity V

The Newton Gravity V is the fifth edition of Newton’s famed Gravity series that re-set many standards for running shoes upon its debut in the late 2000s. The main upgrades to this version are on the upper, which has a more breathable forefoot region as well as more airy mesh through the midfoot and rearfoot.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2

85

2016

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2 is a follow-up to 2015’s successful Zante lightweight neutral road running shoe built on a performance last and featuring the company’s Fresh Foam midsole material.

Hoka One One Tracer

75

2016

Hoka One One Tracer

The Hoka One One Tracer is a super lightweight road trainer or race shoe for neutral runners. Key features include a highly breathable upper, lightweight dual-density midsole with a 4mm heel to toe drop, and strategic placement of outsole rubber for grip and durability.

Brooks PureFlow 5

80

2016

Brooks PureFlow 5

The Brooks PureFlow 5 is a significant makeover of the Brooks PureFlow 4. With a 4mm drop in the PureFlow 5, this road trainer is the softest of the company’s PureProject series.

New Balance 1500 v2

87

2016

New Balance 1500 v2

The New Balance 1500v2 is an update to the new model introduced by New Balance in 2015 as an ultralight race day shoe with minor stability elements.

Altra Instinct 3.5

80

2016

Altra Instinct 3.5

The Altra Instinct 3.5 is the latest iteration of Altra’s flagship zero-drop road trainer, with the company’s trademark anatomic last and lightweight flexible construction. The 3.5 features a new foam compound in the midsole, a more flexible upper than the previous model, and a slightly offset lacing system to move with the foot. 

Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3

86

2016

Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3

The Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3 is a lightweight, low profile, neutral running shoe with a 9mm drop that is designed for racing or fast training. Changes to this version are minimal compared to the Adios Boost 2, and primarily limited to cosmetics on the uppers.

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte

85

2015

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte

The Fli-Lyte is a lightweight, low profile neutral road shoe from Topo Athletic that has the best natural foot mechanics of any lightweight trainer we’ve tested this spring.

 Nike Free 5.0 Flash

80

2015

Nike Free 5.0 Flash

The Nike Free 5.0 Flash adds some key winterization features to an otherwise solid shoe without compromising weight or performance. 

Altra Paradigm

76

2014

Altra Paradigm

The Altra Paradigm is a cushioned trainer competing with the Hoka One One line and other maximalist cushioned shoes. This shoe is best for the long distance runner who wants a lightweight neutral shoe with ample

Topo Athletic Runduro

77

2014

Topo Athletic Runduro

The Topo Athletic Runduro is a dependable and durable trainer for cranking out high mileage training days, and is particularly suited for alternating from road to trail. 

Merrell Bare Access Ultra

92

2014

Merrell Bare Access Ultra

The Merrell Bare Access Ultra presents a well-constructed combination of barefoot mechanics and durable, high-performance comfort. 

Saucony Cortana 4

83

2014

Saucony Cortana 4

The Saucony Cortana 4 is a low-ramp lightweight shoe with a heaping helping of cushion from heel to toe. The Cortana 4 could be a great marathon training shoe.

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 16

80

2014

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 16

The Gel-Nimbus is a luxurious cushioning shoe that delivered superb impact protection but also performed fairly well in speed and responsiveness considering all that energy sapping foam. It’s best suited for high mileage training for those who value soft landings over efficiency, but don’t want to get stuck with a heavy, clunky shoe. The rebound had more pop than both the Brooks Ghost or Brooks Glycerin, and a softer road feel than any Mizuno shoe.

Asics Gel Pursue

80

2014

Asics Gel Pursue

The SpEVA55 midsole in the Asics Gel Pursue provided excellent cushioning and a firm ride. The impact absorption was not as cloud like as the Ghost 7, it’s turn over felt more rapid.

Asics Gel Cumulus 16

74

2014

Asics Gel Cumulus 16

The Asics Gel Cumulus 16 delivered plenty of impact protection for heel striking with extreme durability as with the entire Asics line.  This shoe is best as an average high mileage trainer for the budget conscious runner who is happy with moderate pacing. 

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