Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new picks for 2017. Picks from the previous two years can still be found on pages two and three.

In recent years, the running shoe trends that once categorized the most colorful wall at Foot Locker — minimalism, neutrality, stability — have quickly given way to more dynamic and freeform styles, guiding the sport in a number of new directions. Trail shoes are starting to look like road shoes; road shoes are starting to look like trail shoes. A number of manufacturers are adding ergonomic second-skin uppers to cushioned midsoles with dramatic heel-to-toe drops, while some minimalist runners are switching to racing flats full-time. On the other side of the spectrum, maximalism, thanks to brands like Hoka One One, is continuing its renaissance.

The result of all this change is a hard-to-navigate bazaar of promises and claims that your best run ever is just one purchase away. But chances are, it’s going to take a little trial and error before you find that dream pair. To help mitigate the stress of that process, we’ve collected 29 of the best running shoes, testing them out on roads, tracks and trails around New York City.

Additional contribution by AJ Powell, Andrew Connor, Sung Han, Chase Pellerin, Tucker Bowe, J. Travis Smith, Jack Seemer and Jeremy Berger.

This Year’s Testers

About the GP staffers putting in the miles.

Michael Finn, The Beginner: Finn hates running. Doesn’t enjoy it in the slightest. If you’re like Finn, take a look at his picks. A few of them definitely made running slightly more enjoyable.

Chris Wright, the Occasional Runner: Chris runs, sometimes. He’s in decent, but not great, shape; he can knock off 2–4 miles twice a week without too much problem, but anything more causes problems. He favors maximalist shoes, which help him with his bum ankle.

Tanner Bowden, the Intermediate Runner: When there’s no skiing to be had, Tanner shifts his fitness regimen over to running. He prefers to stick to park paths and forest trails but is no stranger to sidewalks and road shoulders.

Chase Pellerin, the Gym Runner: Chase’s running consists of back and forth from the gym and miles spent on the treadmill.

AJ Powell, the Dedicated Runner: AJ thoroughly enjoys running. The ideal morning includes a five-mile run followed promptly by a fruit smoothie. If he’s feeling particularly sprightly, his routine also includes a HIIT workout.

Road Shoes

Take on endless miles of pavement.

APL Prism

The Best Running Shoe for the Retro Minimalist
Fit: Snug, thanks to two-piece bootie construction. Go ultralight on the socks or size up.
Feel: The Prism is a lightweight, minimalist shoe. There’s no tongue and the outsole is constructed with less rubber than most shoes.
Overall: The Prism’s upper is snug and breathable, and with 8mm of drop, it’s a good middle ground for runners looking for a lightweight shoe that doesn’t have beefy rubberin the sole. I personally enjoy just a little bit more cushioning, but folks who believe less is more will get a lot out of this shoe. Plus, the quasi-retro colorways look awesome.
TB

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 9.9 ounces
Drop: 8mm

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

The Best Running Shoe for the Smooth Rider
Fit: True as can be. There’s plenty of room in the toe box and good heel hold.
Feel: Stepping into the Wave Riders from my extra-supportive, day-to-day shoe had me suspicious of this level of lightweight, soft comfort.
Overall: My suspicions were abandoned two miles in. The light mesh upper conformed to my foot, which felt supported and cushioned by the foam in the sole even on NYC sidewalks. The Wave Riders are built to provide a smooth ride and that’s just what they did.
TB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 12mm

Karhu Fast6 MRE

The Best Running Shoe for the Fat-Footed Comfort Lover
Fit: True to size, tight in the heel while providing space in the toe.
Feel: Immediately comfortable.
Overall: The Fast6 MRE is pumped up for comfort. The sole is extra cushiony and the laces stretch to provide a snug yet dynamic fit when you’re laced up and moving. I imagine these will accommodate lots of foot shapes, but the extra space in the toe was just a tad much for me personally, as I prefer a close-fitting shoe all round my foot.
TB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 11.6 ounces
Drop: 12mm

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2

The Best Running Shoe for the Natural Striker
Fit: Roomier in the toe than most, but not overdone.
Feel: The skeleton of material that encases the mesh does create a slight crease effect in the forefoot that I noticed out of the box, but it seemed to wane during the run. I imagine that after breaking the shoe in, it would soften even further.
Overall: These shoes are light, supportive, and comfortable. Topo Athletic builds extra room for the toes to expand into its shoes, which is great, but some runners looking for a tight fit should try these on first. The Fli Lyte 2 is also close to zero-drop (4mm) without going all the way and produces a natural stride (but heel-strikers should take note). Available May 15.
TB

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 8.4 ounces
Drop: 3mm

Saucony Freedom ISO

The Best Running Shoe for the Nimble Distance-Runner
Fit: True to size. Slightly loose in my heel, but snug overall.
Feel: The Freedom ISO provides plenty of cushion and spring without compromising road feel.
Overall: I’m normally pretty averse to shoes with this much cushion, but Saucony pulled it off well. They’re spry, which is rare in a cushioned shoe, and allowed me to go distances that I’d normally struggle with in a more minimalist shoe.
AP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 4mm
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Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2

The Best Running Shoe for Feeling Like Nothing’s There
Fit: Snug. Size up a half size if you like your shoes to fit looser.
Feel: The sock-like knit upper is supremely comfortable. At times, I did feel like my foot was sliding out the back of the shoe.
Overall: Once I got used to the feeling of the heel cup, or lack thereof, I enjoyed running in the Lunarepics. They provided ample cushioning without the fighting-through-mush feeling that you get with over-padded EVA shoes. The Flyknit upper hugged my foot and made the shoe feel like an extension of my body. One of my favorite shoes from the test.
AP

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Drop: 10mm

Adidas Pureboost Clima

The Best Running Shoe for the Runner by Day, Sneakerhead by Night
Fit: Slightly wider than what I’m used to.
Feel: The Boost foam is some of the springiest I’ve ever used. When you run, it feels as though the shoe is giving you back the effort that you’re putting in.
Overall: While these certainly lean more towards the lifestyle end of the spectrum, I enjoyed them more than I thought I would. They’re great for shorter runs and are hands down the best-looking shoes of the bunch.
AP

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Drop: 8mm

Inov-8 Roadtalon 240

The Best Running Shoe for the Spring-Heeled Sprinter
Fit: Slightly tight in the toe box, with good vertical cushion for those with taller feet.
Feel: The “Adapterweb” mesh upper is extremely comfortable. I use medical inserts (damn you, plantar fasciitis!), which in tighter shoes often tightens things up too much and increases chafing on the top of my foot, but the mesh’s softness and give adapted well.
Overall: I’m used to my maximalist Hoka One Ones, and I felt the decrease in cushioning right away in my ankles and knees. But for those who like a more minimalist shoe, there are plenty of upsides: the 4mm drop is a safe middle ground for a range of different strides, and its midsole is especially springy, giving plenty of bounce, especially during faster running. Bonus points for the obnoxious ’90s-kid shoelaces.
CW

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 8.4 ounces
Drop: 4mm

Altra Escalante

The Best Running Shoe for the Toe Splayer
Fit: True to size. Gotta love that wide toe box!
Feel: If you aren’t used to the fit of an Altra shoe, it can be a bit weird at first. The toe box is wide (it’s actually shaped like your foot) and allows for plenty of toe splay.
Overall: I was skeptical about Altra’s first shot at a knit upper, but they nailed it. It maintains everything that Altra fans know and love while adding supreme comfort and breathability to the upper. It’s about as close to the perfect shoe as I got in this year’s test. Keep in mind that I am a forefoot striker, so a zero-drop shoe fits my style. If you’re a heel striker, there are better shoes out there for you.
AP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 8.2 ounces
Drop: 0mm

Brooks Glycerin 14

The Best Running Shoe for Defying Gravity
Fit: True to size
Feel: The upper felt a bit stiff at first, but it broke in after a few runs.
Overall: The cushion in the Glycerin 14 is plentiful. For runners who love to feel like they’re running on a cloud, look no further. It’s not quite on the Hoka One One’s level, but it is supremely soft and soaks up any and all pounding from the road.
AP

Type: Maximalist
Weight: 10.6 ounces
Drop: 10mm
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Salomon Sonic Pro 2

The Best Running Shoe for a Concrete-Solid Fit
Fit: On the narrower side.
Feel: The midsole on the Sonic Pro 2 is firm, which I’m a fan of.
Overall: The Sonic Pro 2 is an 8mm-drop shoe, which means there’s plenty of heel cushioning for those of you heel strikers out there. The Sensifit system provides a snug, unyielding fit that kept my foot from sliding around in the shoe, a typical source of hotspots and blisters.
AP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 8.4 ounces
Drop: 8mm

Enda Iten

The Best Running Shoe for the All-Around Pavement Pounder
Fit: True to size and snug in a good way.
Feel: I’d describe it as “secure,” by which I mean it fits closely around the foot but in a comfortable way. For instance, the toe box is roomy, but it’s not loose and splashy, which is how some shoes with too much room up front can feel.
Overall: This is the Iten‘s second year on the list and for good reason. It’s a shoe that continues to impress. From last year’s test: “I love these shoes. They’ve got a 4mm drop and a decent amount of cushion in the sole, so they work well taking short strides or hammering away in a full sprint. When I think of an ideal, gimmick-free running shoe, this is it.
JB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 7.9 ounces
Drop: 4mm

Skechers GOmeb Razor

The Best Running Shoe for the Marathoner on a Budget
Fit: True to size.
Feel: The knit upper was a bit stiffer than others I’ve tested, but that’s a good thing. It provided all of the comfort I wanted while still offering plenty of support.
Overall: It’s easy to write off Skechers. Those of you who have already done so are missing out. The GOmeb Razor, made for pro marathoner Meb Keflezighi, is likely my second favorite shoe from this year’s test (second only to Altra’s Escalante). It’s comfortable and fast, and it works equally well when mid-foot striking or forefoot striking.
AP

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 7.7 ounces
Drop: 4mm

Altra Torin iQ

The Best Running Shoe for the “Smart” Runner
Fit: Typical Altra fit. Wider toe box.
Feel: Plush, comfortable and supportive. Everything you’d want in a running shoe.
Overall: Yes, this is the second shoe in our road section from Altra. Typically, we’d shy away from including two shoes by the same brand in the same section, but the Torin iQ is deserving of a spot on this list. The way I describe it, the Torin is the One 2.5 built on a maxi platform designed to help you run longer. Best of all, it has an actually usable app function that tells you a host of stats about your run. It’s a win all the way around.
AP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9.3 ounces
Drop: 0mm

Newton Fate III

The Best Running Shoe for the Forefoot-Striker
Fit: Incredibly well-balanced, with just the right amount of wriggle room and foot-hugging support.
Feel: After just three or four strides, I could feel Newton’s P.O.P. system in action, concentrating propulsion on the balls of my feet. This shoe literally changed how I moved my legs and touched my feet to the pavement. I felt like Legolas floating over hard-packed snow.
Overall: Of the four shoes I tested, the Fate III was the most balanced, and the best match for my running style: nimble, emphasizing forefoot-launching over heel-pounding.
MF

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 9.4 ounces
Drop: 4.5mm

Hoka One One Clifton 3

The Best Running Shoe for Long-Distance Cruise Control
Fit: Rigid, secure — almost like a boot without ankle support. Didn’t play so well with my bony feet and high arches.
Feel: The extra-thick platform — Hoka One One’s calling card — feels and looks a bit odd, but gives a nice bounce. Feels a bit wobbly on tight turns.
Overall: The raised platform affords a kind of cruise control, excellent for long, straight runs.
MF

Type: Maximalist
Weight: 8.6 ounces
Drop: 5mm

Puma Speed 600 Ignite 2

The Best Running Shoe for the Casual Runner
Fit: Roomy, yet supportive. The thickly padded tongue is very comfortable. Needs a bit more arch, though.
Feel: This is not a fast shoe. It feels more like a shoe you’d take on shorter jogs and casual runs.
Overall: I want to call this a “casual” running shoe. Maybe even a “lifestyle” running shoe. It doesn’t look the best, but it’s comfortable and more than suitable for my infrequent runs.
MF

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 10.2 ounces
Drop: 8mm

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v7

The Best Running Shoe for Airy Yet Supportive Cushioning
Fit: True to size with a roomy toe box. Heel feels secure with extra padding around the ankle.
Feel: A very airy shoe; feels much lighter than its 10.8-ounce build. The foam base provides not only obvious cushioning on the road, but also a surprising amount of traction.
Overall: With my daily average just under 5k, this shoe delivers more than I probably need. However, the amount of comfort and stability this shoes provides makes it easy to indulge in its excess.
CP

Type: Maximalist
Weight: 10.7 ounces
Drop: 8mm
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On Cloudflow

The Best Running Shoe for Straight Routes
Fit: A rigid, but not overly constrictive construction. Proper lacing provides a secure fit around the arch of the foot.
Feel: Light under foot, but I didn’t feel like the shoe had enough of a base at the heel. Their mesh-weave upper was extremely breathable, yet kept my feet dry during an early morning rainfall.
Overall: A comfortable and light shoe to walk in, the Cloudflow’s felt a little uneasy when the pace increased. I found myself consciously taking corners a little slower and avoiding a wide stride when heading downhill. For the short distances I need them for, I’m still willing to overlook their shortcomings.
CP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9 ounces
Drop: 6mm

Asics DynaFlyte

The Best Running Shoe for the Moon Bouncing
Fit: Fairly tight around the top of my foot. Not that they were uncomfortable; I just think they could be a bit roomier.
Feel: The whole sole, from my toes to my heel, felt like one of those squishy stress balls. Bouncy and soft, yet somehow firm.
Overall: Just like Hoka One One’s Clifton 3, the DynaFlyte has a nice bounce, which creates a cruise control sensation. These are great shoes for longer runs, but they likely won’t break any speed records.
MF

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9.5 ounces
Drop: 8mm

Trail Shoes

Roots, rocks and dirt are your best friends.

Topo Athletic Hydroventure

The Best Trail Running Shoe for the Hybrid Runner
Fit: True to size. Topo Athletic builds its shoes with a roomy toe and grabby heel.
Feel: A comfortable shoe that doesn’t feel as aggressive as most trail runners.
Overall: The Hydroventure is a lightweight for a trail shoe. The tread isn’t too aggressive, making it a great city-to-trail hybrid. Those looking for one pair to go everywhere should check these out.
TB

Type: Maximalist
Weight: 1 pound 3.4 ounces
Drop: 3mm

Vasque Constant Velocity

The Best Trail Running Shoe for the Average Dirt-Pounder
Fit: True to size.
Feel: Comfortable out of the box and through the run. They lace up without causing pressure points on the foot. 360 degrees of snugness.
Overall: Light for a trail runner (11 ounces) with grippy tread that doesn’t feel too aggressive for the stretch of pavement leading up to the trailhead. The Constant Velocity was my favorite trail shoe of the test — comfortable, solid and well rounded.
TB

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 11 ounces
Drop: 8mm

The North Face Endurus TR

The Best Trail Running Shoe for Sturdy Reliability
Fit: True to size with enough extra space for the toes to breath. I have a very regular foot but I imagine these would accommodate a variety of shapes.
Feel: The Endurus TR felt solid and stable right off the bat and I didn’t experience any movement within the shoe.
Overall: The Endurus is an incredibly well-rounded trail shoe. It has sturdy Vibram sole with tread that grips all types of ground, a breathable mesh upper to help keep feet dry and a toe cap for inevitable stubs. I can’t really explain why, but these shoes just felt reliable.
TB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 11.2 ounces
Drop: 6mm

La Sportiva Mutant

The Best Trail Running Shoe for the Aggressive Trail Runner
Fit: These fit true to size, but very snug because of the burrito-shaped tongue. Definitely worth trying on to make sure it suits your foot.
Feel: The Mutant is an aggressive trail runner, and it definitely feels like it.
Overall: The first thing I noticed was how sticky the rubber in the outsole was; it was audible as I walked around in my kitchen. Needless to say, it scrambled well over rocks and other surfaces. I quickly realized that every detail about the shoe is designed to take a beating. This might not be one for the casual trail runner, but I’d trust it on a summit run above treeline.
TB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 10.7 ounces
Drop: 10mm

Salewa Multi Track GTX

The Best Trail Running Shoe for Quick Lace-Ups
Fit: Perfect.
Feel: Rugged, burly, solid.
Overall: The Multi Tracks are surprisingly comfortable given how sturdy they feel and that’s partly thanks to the quick-lace system that creates even pressure across the top of the foot. They’re also lighter than you’d think.
TB

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 14 ounces
Drop: 10mm
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Scarpa Proton GTX

The Best Trail Running Shoe for Supreme Support
Fit: True to size.
Feel: Very supportive but still comfortable.
Overall: This shoe has the stiffest sole of any I encountered during the test. I could see this being a go-to for day hikes as well as mountain running — I think it could handle way more than I was able to throw at it.
TB

Type: Maximalist
Weight: 12.5 ounces
Drop: 10mm

Under Armour Horizon KTV

The Best Trail Running Shoe for Lovers of Road Shoes
Fit: Fairly wide in the toe box which allows for a good amount of toe splay.
Feel: This is about as close as you can get to the feeling of a road shoe in a trail shoe. Great minimalist feel while still offering plenty of support.
Overall: Great looks and equally great performance. The Michelin rubber compound on the sole provided traction on a plethora of surfaces, and the plush EVA midsole soaked up every bump and rut that came my way.
AP

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 11 ounces
Drop: 7mm

Altra King MT

The Best Trail Running Shoe for the Rock and Root Crushers
Fit: Standard Altra fit.
Feel: The power strap across the top of the shoe really helps to keep the foot from swimming around. The sole provides plenty of feel for the trail without subjecting your foot to the torment of poking rocks and roots.
Overall: Okay, yes, I have a bit of a love affair with Altra running shoes. They aren’t always the prettiest pair on the shelf, but they are always the best-performing — for me anyway — and these are a prime example. The King MTs are a bit funky-looking, but take them out on the trail and they are absolute animals — churning through gravel, mud and chunder like no one’s business.
AP

Type: Minimalist
Weight: 10.2 ounces
Drop: 0mm

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3

The Best Trail Running Shoe for the Bouncy Distance-Runner
Fit: Almost exactly like the Clifton, but with a noticeably thicker sole.
Feel: Bouncy, just like the Clifton. The heel, however, feels more solid and protective. (For rocks and roots and other assorted trail obstacles.)
Overall: Basically, it’s the exact same shoe as the Clifton, but with a more protective sole.
MF

Type: Nuetral
Weight: 9.5 ounces
Drop: 5mm

Road Shoes

Take on endless miles of pavement.

Newton Fate II

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-newton
Fit: I have a narrow-ish foot, and the Newtons accommodated it well while still leaving space for toe splay.
Feel: Newton’s P.O.P. 2 platform is fast, and great for runners that have a mid-foot or forefoot strike. There isn’t a lot of cushioning, so if you’re a heel striker, you might want to look elsewhere.
Overall: The Fate II is the best Newton that I’ve run in, and it was up there with my top picks in this year’s test. Its one weakness might be descending steep hills, but I was having so much fun that it didn’t matter.
AP

ON Cloudsurfer

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-on
Fit: The fit was perfect, and they run true to size.
Feel: They’re lightweight, comfortable and very breathable. I wore them sockless.
Overall: I was skeptical of the “clouds” because they scream “gimmick” — but I’m really enjoying running in these. They feel like minimalist shoes, but with a lot more cushion and spring in the stride. I’m curious how well they’ll continue to perform over time, but they’re in the weekly rotation right now.
JB

Under Armour Speedform Slingride

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-under-armour
Fit: A very minimal shoe, but the upper seems to mold to your foot.
Feel: Super comfy. The upper stretches a bit in full stride, and this may get loose over time, but out of the box the stretch is a great feeling.
Overall: It’s a good shoe for quick morning runs, plus it has a sleek look and great breathability.
AH

Asics Fuzex

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-asics
Fit: With light to moderate padding, the Fuzex is supportive but conforms to your foot.
Feel: I didn’t have any hotspots. They don’t provide the most cushion from road shock, but that’s the price of a lightweight shoe.
Overall: The Fuzex is a great shoe. It might be better suited to dirt runs than hard pavement due to the low drop and minimal cushioning, at least for me. As a bonus, it’s also a very good-looking shoe.
TS

Enda Iten

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-enda
Fit: True to size and snug in a good way.
Feel: I’d describe it as “secure,” by which I mean it fits closely around the foot but in a comfortable way. For instance, the toe box is roomy, but it’s not loose and splashy, which is how some shoes with too much room up front can feel.
Overall: I love these shoes. They’ve got a 4mm drop and a decent amount of cushion in the sole, so they work well taking short strides or hammering away in a full sprint. When I think of an ideal, gimmick-free running shoe, this is it.
JB

Skechers Go Run 4

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-sketchers
Fit: They fit great, even spacious enough to accommodate a runner with much wider feet then myself. When tightened, there were no complaints on my end.
Feel: The shoes feel unbelievably lightweight. Much less, in fact, than their actual 7.8 ounces. It’s their mesh upper that makes it feel much more like a minimalist runner. But they’re also extremely supportive. (They have a 4mm heel drop that encourages midfoot striking.)
Overall: In the past two years I’ve done a complete 360 with Skechers. I couldn’t stand them as a kid, but I’ve been wearing their 2015 GoMeb Speed 3 for the past year and love them. So far with these, it’s like falling in love (with running shoes) all over again.
TB

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Skora Tempo

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-skora
Fit: They fit just a half size small (with socks).
Feel: Lighter than anything I have run in before, the Skora Tempo took a little while to get use to. The thin upper and heel cushioning provided a light and comfortable ride, but I would be hesitant to push them past a couple miles with the lack of extra support. I’d recommend wearing them without socks and easing them slowly into your routine.
Overall: It’s not for beginners, but it’s a good gym option if that’s your speed.
CP

Saucony Kinvara 7

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-saucony
Fit: Like a glove.
Feel: This shoe is all cushion on the bottom and no cushion on the upper. So it gives less support for your ankle, but protects from road shock.
Overall: The Kinvara 7 is perfect for most cases in the city/road running, where you don’t need ankle support (fewer uneven surfaces). The upper truly fit like a glove because it was just a piece of fabric (very lightweight as well) while the sole had plenty of cushioning.
TS

Reebok ZPump Fusion 2.0

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-reebok
Fit: Snug in the front, somewhat loose in the back (until you pump them up).
Feel: Soft, light and airy. Super comfortable to have on your foot.
Overall: I’m not entirely sold on the pump. Yes, it gives the shoe a snug, comfortable fit, but no more so than most conventional shoe designs. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth awkwardly hitting the little pump on the side a dozen times before your jog. That said, the shoe itself is outstandingly comfortable and plenty supportive while running. It’s also quite a looker in this color combo.
AC

Karhu Flow 6 IRE

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-karhu
Fit: True to size. Snug and nicely cushioned, comfortable.
Feel: Looks like a lot of shoe to me but feels light and fast. The heel cup is a bit spacious for me and the back of the shoe comes up higher than I like — but that will be different for every runner.
Overall: IRE stands for “increased rolling effect,” which is the least aggressive iteration of Karhu’s Fulcrum technology, designed to propel the runner forward. It’s subtle but effective — less pronounced than what Newton is doing in the Fate II — and definitely feels like an advantage when you’re running fast.
JB

APL Techloom Pro

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-apl
Fit: The Techloom Pro runs pretty neutral, and adapts to a large variety of foot shapes thanks to its woven upper.
Feel: APL makes some crazy claims about their shoes (e.g., they’ll supposedly shave 9 seconds off your mile time). I’m not ready to verify that just yet, but the Techloom Pros are definitely comfortable and absorb tons of road shock thanks to the soft EVA sole.
Overall: The Techloom Pros are the perfect shoe for the casual runner who wants to head to the bar after their workout. The shoes are built for the athleisure lifestyle, but still perform at a high level when needed.
AP

Zoot Makai

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-zoot
Fit: True to size. I’m 10.5 and they fit well and comfortable.
Feel: They felt great and fit like a sock. I wore them barefoot and they were comfortable right out of the box. They didn’t have anything annoying on the internal lining and the soles provided great support — though they did feel too firm at times.
Overall: I’d give them 8 out of 10. They are particularly great for triathletes. The Z-Lock lace system offers a custom fit, and I found them to be great for people who run sockless.
SH

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Nike Free RN Distance

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-nike
Fit: They’re comfy, stretchy, and fit better without socks. The cables attached to the laces help hold your foot in place.
Feel: Good fit, well-balanced sole. They offer more foot flexibility than other running shoes I’ve tested.
Overall: It’s a solid, well rounded runner. The upper is thin; don’t run though puddles.
AH

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

running-shoes-16-gear-patrol-new-balance
Fit: The Fresh Foam 1080’s fit precisely how I want a running shoe to fit. They are snug in the heel, but then widen out at the front to accomodate plenty of toe splay.
Feel: There is no doubt that the 1080’s offer plenty of cushion and allow heel strikers to have a more comfortable ride. Even though I mid-foot strike and forefoot strike, I still enjoyed the ride that they offered. A nice rolling transition from mid-foot to forefoot keeps you rolling along for miles.
Overall: The 1080’s offer plenty of support and will work well for a wide variety of foot shapes and runners. As a bonus, they also come in wide versions if your foot shape calls for it.
AP

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Adidas Adizero Boston 6

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Fit: There’s not much to complain about in regards to fit. The Adizero Boston 6’s are more slender than they initially appear, but, for those with normal-width feet, they don’t at all feel constrictive.
Feel: Tight yet flexible (it’s the mesh), they’re comfortable for neutral runners. The Boost midsole is a nice reprieve for NYC’s concrete streets. And at 7.7 ounces, they’re pretty middle-of-the-pack in regards to running shoes. Plus they have an easily removable insole in case you need want to run with your own.
Overall: At $120, you’ll be hard pressed to find more durable and lightweight running shoe. It’s also a good lifestyle shoe (in the black colorway), so when worn outside running situations, they won’t look like a lion out of the zoo.
TB

Vibram V-Run

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Fit: Unfortunately, they don’t fit my feet well. I have two mutant toes on my left foot that are curved slightly inward, so it’s hard to get these on in a way that’s comfortable.
Feel: Aside from the toes, the shoes are great if you like minimalist running — which I do. I just wish they came in a model that didn’t separate the toes.
Overall: After exploding briefly a few years ago, the minimalist shoe market has basically disappeared. I’m thankful that Vibram didn’t abandon its customers like a lot of other brands, but my experience with the shoe wasn’t great because it doesn’t fit. If you’ve got normal toes and like to run in as little shoe as possible, these are for you.
JB

Altra Instinct 3.5

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Fit: True to size with a very roomy toe box — good for wide feet.
Feel: The upper material itself isn’t particularly comfortable against the foot, but it does let the shoe breath a lot, which is nice. The sole is also fairly stiff, but offers a lot of support.
Overall: A very light and breathable shoe that offers a ton of support during your run, especially if you strike with your forefoot (which I do) thanks to the toe box. They’re a bit stiff out of the box, but I suspect they’ll break in with age and increase in comfort.
AC

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Trail Shoes

Roots, rocks and dirt are your best friends.

Scarpa Neutron

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Fit: The Scarpas are a fairly narrow shoe. I like my shoes to fit snug so it wasn’t really an issue, but runners with more finicky feet will want to try them on in the store first.
Feel: Even on wet rock, roots and mud, the Neutrons offered plenty of grip and allowed to me send it with confidence in technical terrain. They also offer plenty of protection in the sole against sharp protrusions on the trail.
Overall: As a part of Scarpa’s new line of trail runners, the Neutron is a marked improvement over the Tru that we tested last year. The Neutrons can also double as a light hiking shoe.
AP

Brooks Pure Grit 5

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Fit: They fit about a half size small (with socks).
Feel: The Brooks Pure Grit 5 are an ideal trail running shoe. The wide footbed and hexagonal tread offer heavy traction and the extra padding in the heel and around the ankle were a welcomed surprise. They are rather clunky in appearance, but delivered a durable ride on every surface I tested.
Overall: The Pure Grit 5 is definitely a trails-only shoe, where it excels on all off-road surfaces.
CP

Salomon Sense Pro 2

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Fit: True to size and glove-like thanks to the Ortholite sock liner.
Feel: Light, fast and truly form-fitting. There’s no splashing around inside the shoe when you change directions on the trail.
Overall: An evolved trail runner for days when you’re on- and off-road. There’s no reason running-shoe companies shouldn’t be taking advantage of the features that Salomon uses — sock liner, quicklaces, lace garage — which elevate the running experience.
JB

Hoka One One Speedgoat

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Fit: It has a really firm fit in the mid-foot and heel, with a bit of breathing space up front.
Feel: It’s like driving monster truck, the mid-foot of the sole slightly raised, which provides nice shock absorption on the trail.
Overall: The Speedgoat, for its size, is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable, and it offers great grip. They’re a little flashy for me.
AH

La Sportiva Akasha

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Fit: The Akashas fit well, but I found them to be a little narrow for my feet.
Feel: They are comfortable and provide great traction, but you definitely need to wear socks with these.
Overall: I give them an 8/10. Great for running off-trail while still comfortable enough to take on a road run once in a while.
SH

Reebok ZPump Fusion

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral to Stability
Weight: 9.8 ounces
First Impressions: Seamless compression sleeve offers sock-like comfort out of the box; Pump airs up the sleeve to offer extra fit and comfort; 10mm midsole drop suited to midfoot and moderate heel-first strikers.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami 2

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral
Weight: 7.6 ounces
First Impressions: The shoe of choice for Spanish triathlete Javier Gomez; considerable cushion while also super light. An ideal low-profile long distance shoe.

Altra One 2.5

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Surface: Road
Type: Minimalist
Weight: 6.3 ounces
First Impressions: Wide toe box for increased comfort; heel and toe are level for low-impact running and training; an A-Bound midsole cushions feet with each step. Mesh upper is lightweight and breathable.

Brooks Launch 2

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral
Weight: 9.8 ounces
First Impressions: Highly breathable and lightweight air mesh upper; 10mm drop helps stabilize heel-first strikers.

Topo Athletic Runventure

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Surface: Road and Trail
Type: Minimalist to Neutral
Weight: 8.9 ounces
First Impressions: The lightweight mesh upper is also tear resistant. Its 4.5mm rubber outsole allows runners to better feel the terrain; small lugged sole means shoes are best for gravel and dirt trails.

Puma Ignite Pwrcool

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Surface: Road
Type: Neutral
Weight: 9.5 ounces
First Impressions: PU foam midsole caters to those looking for comfort and a higher-energy return; has an AirMesh breathable upper; cushioned ForEverFoam is more geared towards neutral runners than minimalist racers.

New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay

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Surface: Road
Class: Minimalist to Neutral
Weight: 9.1 ounces
First Impressions: One-piece outsole for generous cushioning; 4mm drop for midfoot and forefoot strikers; snug fit around toe box; bold and vibrant colorways for nighttime visibility.

Skechers GoMeb Speed 3

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Surface: Road
Type: Minimalist to Neutral
Weight: 7.1 ounces
First Impressions: Worn by 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, this third-generation shoe is great-looking, lightweight and well cushioned. It’s also a little wider than its predecessor, the GoMeb Speed 2, making it more comfortable over long distances.

Mizuno Wave Universe 5

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral
Weight: 2.8 ounces
First Impressions: These are among the lightest racing flats available, the perfect combination of minimalist cushion with feather-light performance.

Salomon S-Lab Sense 4 Ultra

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Surface: Trail
Class: Neutral
Weight: 8.5 ounces
First Impressions: One of the premier long-distance trail running shoes on the market, balancing light weight and a glove-like fit with rugged performance on technical surfaces.

The Socks

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Stance’s Fusion Run Collection is anatomically designed, with reinforcement on both heel and toe to provide the support you need, where you need it. Its moisture-wicking material and strategic padding make it ideal for warm-weather running.

Skora Tempo

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Surface: Road
Class: Minimalist
Weight: 6.0 ounces
First Impressions: Minimalist shoe with responsive cushioning, anatomical lacing ensures one-piece “second-skin” upper contours with shape of foot, zero drop for unrestricted form; reflective details ideal for night runners.

Hoka One One Clifton 2

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral, Cushioning
Weight: 8.7 ounces
First Impressions: For a maximalist brand known for getting broken runners back on the road, The Clifton 2 is light and fast for its size.

Pearl iZumi E:Motion Road M3 V2

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral to Stability
Weight: 11.3 ounces
First Impressions: Dynamic offset midsole best suited for over-pronated foot motion, soft heel cushioning.

Zoot Del Mar

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral Cushioning
Weight: 11 ounces
First Impressions: Great fit out of box, comfortable lining, stable bounciness, 8mm heel-to-toe drop suited for natural midfoot strikers.

adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost Shoes

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Surface: Road
Type: Minimalist
Weight: 7.6 ounces
First Impressions: Proprietary Boost midsole maximizes energy efficiency, mesh upper has 360 degrees of ventilation for breathability; available in both flashy and understated color combinations.

Karhu Fast5 Fulcrum

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Surface: Road
Type: Neutral
Weight: 10.4 ounces
First Impressions: Karhu’s first ever full-length fulcrum allows for more efficient strides; padded heel increases the comfort of each landing stride; available in two colors (craft green and grey).

APL Windchill

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral
Weight: 9.9 ounces
First Impressions: Proprietary FloZone upper allows for unrestricted airflow; available in both neutral and highly visible colorways. 8.8mm drop best suited for midfoot strikers.

Nike Flyknit Lunar 3

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Surface: Road
Class: Neutral
Weight: 7.9 ounces
First Impressions: Nike makes some of the best-looking shoes, and these are no exception. The Flyknit construction is ultra comfortable, combined with the right amount of plush sole for a well-balanced shoe.

Scarpa Tru

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Surface: Trail
Class: Neutral
Weight: 8.5 ounces
First Impressions: A light and breathable trail shoe with considerable cushion, but can feel a little unstable on more technical terrain.

Treksta Alter Ego Star

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Surface: Trail
Type: Neutral to Stability
Weight: 11.2 ounces
First Impressions: NestFIT design unites upper, insole, midsole and outsole for a more snug fit; a breathable upper is both tough and quick drying; cushioned sole is flat to give runners a better feel of terrain.

Altra Lone Peak 2.0

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Surface: Trail
Type: Neutral to Stability
Weight: 10.9 ounces
First Impressions: Wide FootShape toe box gives toes ample wiggle room; the TrailClaw outsole provides extreme grip for downhill and uphill trail runners; StoneGuard midsole for superior protection against sharp rocks.

Icebug Enlight RB9X

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Surface: Trail
Type: Stability
Weight: 8.3 ounces
First Impressions: Studded RB9X outsole rubber compound provides intense grip; upper is made of firm ripstop nylon; non-absorbing material primed for wet- and/or cold-weather trail running.

La Sportiva Bushido

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Surface: Trail
Class: Stability
Weight: 10.5 ounces
First Impressions: Runs one size small; firm dual-density sole, highly effective grip for technical terrain; rock guard protects toe box.

The North Face Ultra MT

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Surface: Trail
Class: Neutral
Weight: 9.7 ounces
First Impressions: Great grip and traction on multi-surface trails; comfortable on rough, rocky terrain.

Under Armour Low Top Fat Tire

under-armour-running-shoes-gear-patrol

Surface: Trail
Type: Stability
Weight: 13.4 ounces
First Impressions: A Michelin-and-UA collaborative WildGripper sole provides maximum protection and traction; comfortably cushioned Ortholite insole; proprietary Storm1 upper is abrasion resistant, cold-weather shoe is not waterproof.

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