If you’re searching for the best running shoe, you need to ensure that it’s comfortable, cushioned, lightweight, and supports your running style.
Make sure the shoes are comfortable. If your feet hurt after wearing them for even a couple of minutes, then they aren’t going to work for you. The best practice is to try them at the store and walk around for 5 minutes before making any decisions—and if they still feel good after that time frame, they might be worth buying!
Make sure they’re cushioned. If you don’t want to get tired by running on concrete all day long—or at least want to reduce the impact your feet take when hitting the ground—you’ll need a shoe with a cushioning system. There are a few different kinds of cushioning systems out there; make sure whatever kind works best for your feet!
Make sure they’re lightweight! If you have heavy feet when walking or running around all day long without any support from materials beneath them (like air), this can cause pain later on down the road or even during the run itself.
The study of Running Shoe Experience indicate that near 90% of the respondent choose comfort as the number one factor in buying running shoe.
If you look at the chart below, over 30% (B+D) of running injuries are caused by ill-fitting and overuse of running shoes. This data shows how important to select the best running shoe for your daily running.
Below you’ll find in-depth reviews of our best choices in each category, a look at the testing and selection process we use to determine which shoe is the best and expert advice from our avid runner on how to get the most out of your shoes.
Best Running Shoe
- Best General Running Shoe: Brooks Ghost 14
- Best Zero-Drop Running Shoe: Altra Paradigm 6
- Best for Stability Shoe: Asics Gel Kayano 28
- Best Cushioned Running Shoe: Hoka Mach 4
- Best Lightweight Running Shoe: Hoka Rincon 3
- Best Running Shoe for Women (General): Lululemon Blissfeel
- Best for Speed Running Shoe: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
- Best Running Shoe for Trail: Salomon Ultra Glide
How We Test and Select the Best Running Shoe
We want to ensure that you’re getting the right shoe for you and your body. That’s why we put almost every shoe on the market through rigorous testing before we can recommend which shoe is the best.
We are collecting feedback from real avid runners globally with different shoe sizes, running distances, weight and various aspects, and their detailed review of each shoe after running 50 to 100 miles in the shoe. We use this feedback to ensure that every pair of shoes is perfect for your needs.
Best General Running Shoe: Brooks Ghost 14
When new runners or people who aren’t sure what they need ask us for shoe suggestions, we usually start with general shoes like these. They have enough cushioning to help with the impact, but they’re not so cushioned that they’ll slow you down.
They have a good amount of stability, which is ideal for beginners just learning to balance themselves on their feet. And they have a little flexibility, so you can get a good toe-off when running and not feel like your shoes are holding you back from your full potential.
Here is a detailed review for Brooks Ghost 14 from our expert:
The Brooks Ghost 14 comes in at $130 and weighs 283 grams or 9.9 ounces for men in a size eight. The drop is 12 millimeters, and it fits true to size for me.
1.0 General Features of Ghost 14
The Ghost 14 is the latest version of Brooks’s popular daily shoe line-up, designed to offer comfort and cushioning over daily training. The comfort comes from a soft upper alongside a thick midsole now made from 100% DNA loft cushioning, Brooks’s popular foam. It is built to offer a balance between responsiveness, durability and comfort.
While the shoe’s outsole has a significant amount of rubber to aid increase durability and traction on the road in various situations, the soft top of the shoe has 3D printing to add structure.
2.0 Sizing for Ghost 14
Ghost 14 fit, true to size for me, and it’s the same size I’ve worn in all Brooks shoes ranging from like the Hyperion to things like the Glycerin. It’s a reasonably roomy type box around the front and a bit tighter around the sides, but not in an uncomfortable way.
It’s a nice stretchy fabric, and the fit for me is fine. I think it’s a very comfortable shoe. It fits true to size; for me, it feels like there’s a lot of space to keep your feet comfortable. It’s not the widest of shoes, but it’s also not particularly narrow. So, it’s just an excellent conventional fit that I’ve had no issues with.
3.0 Testing of Ghost 14
So, I’ve been using the Brooks Ghost 14 over the last few weeks of marathon training, and I took them away on holiday. So, I’ve been using them for lots of quite big mileage runs and doing a lot of easy and steady running in the kind of thing that they should eat up and, overall, I have enjoyed running in them.
All out comfortable, like some shoes, are while still being up, quite as versatile as the better kind of all-rounders on the market. I think I first run out straight of the box for running 10 miles and around an hour and some strides afterwards.
Near the end of the run, I could feel they were a bit ponderous and heavy on the legs compared to other options. There’s not a tremendous amount of kind of bounce or rebound or a very snappy transition. It’s all kind of solid cruise, I’d say, is how I would describe it.
Basically, to me, it feels like a slightly quicker version of the Brooks Glycerin 19, a shoe design for all-out comfort. I also did a long session in them where I ran four sets of 4k but not at an express pace, just a steady pace.
They were OK, and I had no problems with them, but I certainly don’t feel like they’re lively, energetic, or fascinating underfoot. I feel like at the end of those kinds of longer runs if you are trying to up the pace, like I do, a lot of progression runs from easy to study.
There’s no perfect shoe to pick up the pace at the end of that kind of run. And then when I do kind of pure easy efforts in them, I mean, they are comfortable. So I’ve got no real problems in the comfort front, and you don’t need to have a more comfortable shoe, but some shoes are more comfortable than these things like Brooks Glycerin and the Nike Invincible.
4.0 Guard Design for Brooks Ghost 14
Guard design kind of more out, and they are more all-out easy cruisers, and they do that a little bit better than the previous Ghost model. So, it’s not like a slow shoe, but it is pretty big and slightly hefty, so it’s not riding like a wild ride. It’s just an excellent shoe that I guess if you are a big fan of the Ghost line, you probably will already know what to expect from it.
5.0 Cushioning of Ghost 14
I’ve run about 60 K in the Ghost 14, which varies between 10 K training runs up to the half marathon, and I can tell you, Ghost 14 is a very acceptable shoe. I’ve not disliked wearing the shoe for those sorts of runs, but I’ve not really enjoyed it. It reminds me of shoes that I probably wore about 10 years ago. It’s a very conventional fit, and there is no significant performance sort of benefits that you can feel from the shoe, which isn’t bad.
It feels like a very stable, comfortable shoe when you’re running around in it, but then again, it doesn’t feel like it does other than that. I’m a big fan of the Glycerin 19 shoe, as that shoe has a bit more softness to it. Glycerin 19 feels a little bit softer when you’re running and a lot more enjoyable to run.
The Brooks Ghost 14 got a similar level of cushioning in it, but that cushioning feels a lot harder and doesn’t really equate to running faster. So it doesn’t feel particularly more responsive than the Glycerin 19 me. But I would say that I weigh only 70 kilograms, and sometimes when I try these sorts of harder shoes that have cushioning, I don’t get the benefits of that cushioning.
So, for a heavier person, you might feel a bit more cushioning and softness from this middle that I don’t get but overall, I have found it to be a completely acceptable shoe for running sort of training miles in and slower runs.
6.0 My Verdict on Brooks Ghost 14
For me, as a runner, the Ghost 14 falls between useful categories. It’s not an all-out comfortable shoe I’d want to take out for loads and easy runs. It’s not as comfortable as something like Nike Invincible or Brooks, Glycerine but Ghost 14 is a kind of easy shoe.
And then it’s not versatile enough for me to use as a daily trainer. I feel I’m doing my kind of easy-to-steady runs. My steady run even into a variety of long sessions where I’m going reasonably quick. It doesn’t pick up the kind of fast, responsive kind of turnover that I like in shoes.
So I think that’s a pretty comparable shoe for me; in terms of where it sits, it is more suitable for easy running rather than fast tempo or interval running. And what slightly supports me is that we tested the Brooks Aurora recently, which has a new version of Brooks’s DNA loft foam and the feel of that shoe is just a lot more exciting. The foam is lighter, and it’s more responsive. It’s still very comfortable, and I think it would work perfectly in the Ghost line. And I’m hoping that Brooks will bring that new version of DNA loft foam to the Ghost.
Overall, Ghost 14 is a pretty solid shoe. It’s a nice, robust, relatively comfortable, not entirely slow shoe that can do a decent job of a few different things, but there are certainly better options. So I’d expect slightly more from the Ghost line in the future.
So my verdict on the Ghost 14 is that it’s an old classic and reliable shoe. If you’ve tried a Ghost shoe before, you will not be particularly surprised by the shoe. You’ll be happy that it’s still got the same sort of feel and the same benefits: reliability and a superior level of upper comfort.
You won’t be disappointed in it, but there are a lot of good shoes out there at the moment. A lot of shoes with a lot more performance and features in their technically advanced uses when it comes to the mid-soft foam that you can get.
So, if it’s reliability you want, and you want a shoe that’s tried and tested over many years of daily running and sort of all-rounder training miles for people, then I think it’s going to be a good bet for you.
For more reviews for Brooks Ghost 14 you can visit the link below:
Best Zero-Drop Running Shoe: Altra Paradigm 6
A zero-drop running shoe is a running shoe that has no difference in height between the heel and forefoot. It means that your heel and forefoot are at the same level when standing in them.
The main reason to use a zero-drop running shoe is if you have flat feet or fallen arches, as they help keep your foot in its natural position. In addition, this can reduce stress on the joints of your legs and back, leading to pain when walking or running.
Here is a detailed review for Altra Paradigm 6 from our expert:
Altra Paradigm 6 Review
I typically don’t buy the same running shoe model twice in a row because I like to try different things. And also, I just haven’t found a shoe that enamored me enough. So I wanted to buy it a second time.
However, there have been two exceptions to that. One is a Saucony Peregrine, a trail running shoe, and the other is the Altra Paradigm.
1.0 What is Zero-Drop Shoe?
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Altra Running company in their shoes, but they make zero-drop shoes. Let’s do a little primer on what we mean by zero-drop, heel-drop or heel-to-toe drop is the amount that the toes drop from the heel when sitting in the shoe.
I like to think of how high the sitting above the toe is. So, if you have a 10-millimeter drop shoe, for example, it means that your heel sits 10 millimeters more elevated than your toes in that shoe. So offsets or heel drops can range from zero-drop like the Altra Paradigm here all the way up to 14 to 16 millimiters.
The most common is 10 to 12 millimeters, and the amount of drop it’s really more of a personal preference. There’s very little data or studies to say that the amount of offset or drop affects injury rates. However, there is little data to suggest that injuries are impacted by offset or drop.
For example, if you have a higher drop shoe, you may be more likely the injury yourself in the upper part of your leg. Conversely, if you have a lower drop shoe or lower offset shoe, you may be more likely to injure yourself in the lower part of your leg. So, the most significant impact offset is more on your gait.
If you have a very high heel stack or very high offset, you may be more likely to heel strike and land a little farther out from your body, whereas a lower offset shoe or lower drop shoe may be more prone to striking midfoot and forefoot. So it depends on your gate, so you would try different offsets and see what works best for you.
I have, over the years, found that I like a lower drop shoe, and by low, I mean something under eight millimeters. So I typically get zero-drop, like the Altra Paradigm or a Saucony Peregrine four millimeters.
2.0 Altra Paradigm 6 Features
If I were to give one word to describe the Altra Paradigm 6 probably, I would call it a “maximalist” shoe. In other words, they are cushioned shoes and a little bit on the heavy side but very supportive.
Typical Altra shoes have a foot shape with a wider toe box to help give you plenty of toe room. They call this their foot pod outsole, and it’s meant to better conform to the shape of the foot.
If you go to the Altra website and all running shoe websites, they classify their shoes in different categories. The Paradigm is a little unique. They put this shoe in what they call the Road Dynamic Support shoe. Well, what the heck does that mean? If you search around the Altra website, you can find nothing to describe what Road Dynamic Support mean. So I contacted their customer support and got a definition of Road Dynamic Support.
Altra defines its dynamic support shoe as a shoe that helps guide feet and improve form only when a runner shows signs of fatigue. They also are ideal for those who have collapsed arches or excessive pronation. So, what does that mean?
2.1 Guiderail Technology
The Altra Paradigm is specifically designed to support your foot, especially if you overpronate or supinate as I do. One of the first things they talk about is their Guiderail technology.
You can see on the Paradigm how the rubber or the plastic on the shoe comes up a little higher than you might see on a typical shoe. So they have this boast on the medial side and also on the outside of the lateral side of the shoe.
So, it comes up a little farther to provide a pocket for your foot to ride. If you tend to overpronate or supinate, as I do, it’s meant to help keep you centered in the shoe to help minimize the pronation.
2.2 Innovarch Technology
The next thing they do, regarding support, is they have a feature they call Innovarch. On the side of the shoe where the lacing is, they have a little tab there that actually moves.
If you pull on that, it actually moves. Then, when you lace it up, some straps go inside the shoe under some mesh and help pull the bottom mesh of the shoe up against your arch.
That’s meant to provide some arch support. So, if you overpronate, your foot starts rolling, and your arch tends to collapse. So this Innovarch technology is meant to help with that collapsed arch or give general arch support.
2.3 Altra Ego Max
The midsole of this is the cushion inside is what they call the Altra Ego Max that’s only used on a few of their premium shoes. It’s meant to be a plush and cushiony ride. It’s not too bouncy or firm and gives you a nice cushion ride, but it has some response.
You can typically feel what’s going on underneath your foot, but it’s not as responsive as a firmer foam that you might get. So, for example, my Saucony Kinvara is a little firmer, and they’re a little more responsive and bouncier to feel underfoot.
2.4 Innerflex Outsole
The other thing they do on the outsole is called Interflex, and you notice the tread pattern, like semis spherical threads that go across the width of the shoe.
The technology is to provide some flexibility to the shoe as you run. So that pattern is meant to aid in your running and flexibility.
2.5 Engineered Mesh Upper
Altra did say they reworked it to make it a little more breathable, but I’ve read some reviewers complaining about the Paradigm’s breathability.
I never really had a problem with hot feet or breathability with my feet using Paradigm 5 and Paradigm 6. So if they’ve improved this, I think that’ll probably be fine.
2.6 Stack Height and Weight
So, as I said earlier, Paradigm is a little bit of a heavier shoe. The stack height is 30 millimeters, and that’s a little bit on the plush side, but then it is meant to be a cushion ride shoe.
My Saucony Exodus, which is a trail running shoe, is 31.5 millimiters. So that’s probably the highest stack height I have in any of my shoes. My Saucony Freedoms are 27.5 millimeters, and the Saucony Kinvara are 28.5 millimiters. So Altra Paradigm is a little bit to the high side, as far as stack height or thick of the cushion, but that’s what I wanted.
So, the shoe is a little bit on the high side; mine are a size 11 and weigh 11.7 ounces. So if I compare that to my Saucony Kinvara, it weighs 3.3 ounces less than the Altra Paradigm. So that makes the Saucony Kinvara just under 8.5 ounces.
So do you care about that? If you want a fast shoe and care about time, you might want a lighter one. But, on the other hand, if you want a cushioned ride, you might want that little heavier shoe for the extra support. So that’s kind of why I got with the Altra Paradigm.
3.0 My Verdict on Altra Paradigm 6
Overall, the Altra Paradigm 6 is a cushioned ride and, in my opinion, the best zero-drop running shoe in the market at this time. If you want something to reduce the impact on your joints, you also want something to support your foot; if you tend to get tired and pronate more, this shoe is what you want in addition to a zero-drop design.
However, this is not your shoe if you are interested in speed, time setting, and personal records on pace. Altra Paradigm is a heavy shoe, and you need something lighter and more responsive.
So one last word on zero-drop shoes. If you decide you want to try a zero drop or zero offset shoe or a low offset shoe, please be sure to ease yourself into it. When you put on a pair of zero drop shoes from maybe using your 10 to 12-millimeter offset shoes, you’ll notice a stretch or strain in your calves.
So you might want to take your zero-drop shoes, run a few miles this week, add a few miles next week and build up to wearing those shoes over a few weeks. The purpose is to let the stretch and strain of your calves be your guide and gradually build up to wearing zero-drop shoes full-time.
For more reviews for Altra Paradigm 6 you can visit the link below:
Best for Stability Shoe: Asics Gel Kayano 28
Stability running shoes are made for runners requiring more support from their footwear.
Stability running shoes help prevent pronation or the foot’s inward roll after impact during walking or running. Pronation is more common in persons with flat feet than those with high arches. Stability shoes provide extra cushioning and arch support to help reduce the amount of pronation during activity.
Stability running shoes are best for people who overpronate (roll inward) when walking or running and need extra support in their footwear. You’ll likely benefit from wearing these shoes if you have flat feet or low arches.
Here is a detailed review for Asics Gel Kayano 28 from our expert:
1.0 Introduction to Asics Gel-Kayano
This shoe started in 1993 and built an extremely loyal fan base for people looking for quality stability running shoes. Asics made some substantial updates to the Gel-Kayano 28 that firmly bring it into the modern running age while still keeping that classic stability experience that people have been coming to this shoe for a long time.
You’re probably wondering if the Gel-Kayano Light is supposed to be the modern version of the Gel-Kayano. So what’s the difference between the Gel-Kayano and the Gel-Kayano Lite?
Well, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of a difference. You get a little more stability in the Gel-Kayano, the original version. There’s more technology built into the shoe to give a better staple experience. Gel-Kayano is only about 5 to 6 percent heavier compared to Gel-Kayano Lite.
So, you get a little more premium stability features in the original version versus the Gel-Kayano Lite, one block of foam with some fantastic shapes designed into it.
2.0 Features of Asics Gel-Kayano 28
So, if you want to maximize your stability, I would go with the Gel-Kayano, or if you wish for lighter shoes, a little bit nimbler, or more towards a neutral shoe with some stability. Then, the Gel-Kayano Lite might be for you.
The 28th version of the Gel-Kayano will cost you $119, the same as the Gel-Kayano Lite. Still, for a men’s size nine, this is going to weigh 10.9 ounces, and for a women’s size seven, this weighs 9.1; comparing this to the Gel-Kayano 27, the previous version, this shoe loses about 2% in weight.
This shoe is headed in the right direction with regards to weight; they did take a little bit of weight off. However, I would still consider this a heavy shoe. This definitely isn’t light by any structure of the imagination, especially compared to some of the newer daily trainers that are coming out.
However, I guess this falls in more of the premium stability trainer shoe. So this shoe will last you probably longer than most trainers out there, and you get some quality materials contributing to the weight. So it’s kind of a trade-off for the quality shoe that’ll last a while.
2.2 Stack Height and Drops
Just like the Gel-Kayano Lite, the men’s and women’s shoes have different stack heights and drops in the men’s shoes. So you’re going to get 23 millimeters in the heel with 13 millimeters in the four foot for a total drop of 10 millimeters. And in the women’s shoe, you’re going to get 25 millimeters in the heel with 13 millimeters in the four foot for a total drop of 13 millimeters.
According to Asics, they did this by studying runners’ different performances with various drop settings. They found that women have a little more stress on the Achilles. So lifting the heel slightly higher than the forefoot relaxes your Achilles a little bit more and helps prevent injuries. So, it’s something to note that there are different stack Heights and drops compared to the women’s and men’s shoes.
Asics did a lot of updates on Gel-Kayano 28 midsole. They included a FlyteFoam Blast, which initially debuted on the NovaBlast 1. People seemed to appreciate the shoe’s cushioning and energy return. So you get a massive chunk of it in the forefoot and a tiny sliver as it goes towards the heel area.
But what does that mean for you? Well, it will be more energetic and softer as you go through your stride compared to FlyteFoam Propel, which is on the previous version. So, you can get a little bit more bounce and softer cushioning in that forefoot region.
For Gel-Kayano 28, you get quite a bit of gel in the heel area, primarily on the outside, for protection. Asics loves their gel technology, and they’ve included it in almost every version of the Gel-Kayano. I mean, it’s in the name. You have to have it, but it might not be so apparent that you get some gel in the forefoot.
2.4 Asics TRUSSTIC System
They add a little circle right underneath your forefoot, which FlyteFoam Blast surrounds, so you won’t be able to see it, but you get a little bit of gel in the forefoot area. There is a TRUSSTIC system in the midfoot of the shoe. A plastic plate that acts as a shank in the shoe, preventing it from twisting. So as you run, it gives you just a little more stability.
You can see it if you flip the shoe over and see the giant plastic piece in the middle of your shoe. But, again, the trusted system did a great job of keeping your foot from twisting and gave you that excellent stability, even though it featured less plastic in this updated version, which does help cut down on weight.
2.5 Dynamic DuoMax Support System
So, a big plus both ways. Another big thing to note is that there’s no posting on the medial side of the shoe; instead, dual density foams stabilize the runner, and Asics calls this Dynamic DuoMax Support System.
This technology has been a feature on the Gel-Kayano for a long time. Now, it is just integrated slightly differently from how they were set up in the previous model.
2.6 3D Space Construction
3D space construction comprises geometric shapes programmed to collapse in a calculated way inside the midsole. This technology helps to keep your foot stable. The same technology Asics featured on the Gel-Kayano Light and incorporated on the original Gel-Kayano 28.
In addition, the TRUSSTIC plate and dual-density cushioning is another feature to help guide the runner in a more natural way that doesn’t keep them locked or snapped into place. It’s also important to note that the 3d space construction setup between the men’s and women’s models is slightly different.
2.7 Basic Design and Features
The tongue on the shoe is almost precisely like the Gel-Kayano Lite. You get the branding at the top, and it’s well-padded, so it’s not attached to the upper in any way. You also get a small piece of material that runs directly down the tongue.
Where the lasing system can interact with it and help keep the tongue from moving around as you go on your runs. Asics also updated the upper design on this shoe to make it more breathable. You still get that dual-layered engineered mesh with some small plastic overlays as you get near the laces area for added durability, and it’s pretty breathable.
Many people say it’s pretty comfortable, so it shouldn’t create any issues on your buns. It should just be there, and it’s nothing too exciting or crazy. It just works. The heel design on the shoe has been completely updated; you would get a large piece of plastic directly on the back of the heel area.
Now it’s a low-profile plastic heel counter, so just a tiny piece of plastic that runs along the bottom of the heel area. The heel counter itself is still very stiff and rigid. So, there shouldn’t be any issues with that. On the inside, there is a lot of padding, especially around the Achilles, which should protect and keep you confident for a long time.
Directly on the back of the heel counter, you have some cool markings and no pull tab, which I know may be a bummer for some people. The outsole on the shoe is quite substantially. This is because you get comprehensive rubber coverage and because Asics loves to brand everything on their shoe.
They’re calling this technology AAHR Plus, which stands for Asics High Abrasion Rubber Plus, which supposedly lasts 50% longer than the non-plus version, for whatever that’s worth.
You still get the flex grooves in the forefoot for that added flexibility where you need it. As an important side note, Gel-Kayano 28 is a thinner shoe than the previous Gel-Kayano 27 and thinner than the Gel-Kayano Lite.
My best guess is that they have enough stability features between the dual density foam, that TRUSSTIC system and the 3D space construction, where they could narrow the shoe up a little bit to save on weight.
3.0 What’s Works
So those are the basic design and features of the shoe. Next, let’s talk about what worked for the Gel-Kayano and what didn’t work. The first thing that worked for the shoe was a lockdown and secure fit. People said the heel counter lacing system and upper all worked together to give you a comfortable, safe run and didn’t feel like their foot was moving around.
You didn’t have any heel slip issues, and the laces did an excellent job keeping your forefoot secure. The following positive about the shoe was that it’s just super durable. You get a ton of rubber; the heel counter is well made, the tongue is super plush, and you get a robust lacing system.
The shoe will last longer than most other shoes on the market. And if you’re someone who wants to buy one shoe and use it day in and day out, Gel-Kayano 28 definitely checks all the boxes. The last thing that people really liked about this shoe was just the overall updates to the stability control.
Previous Gel-Kayano had the issue where you had a lot of overbuilt heel counters, a lot of plastic, a lot of like rigid foams and things like that, that kind of slaps your foot into place. So the previous design just jolted the whole process where this is a little smoother and more fluid and still gives you the stability you’re looking for.
The new 3D space construction, the dual density foams and the different midsole design gave you that stable ride without jolting your foot into the correct position. Instead, it was a little more natural and fluid, and many people seemed to like that.
4.0 What Didn’t Works
The shoe wasn’t perfect, and there were a couple of areas that people thought could be improved. The first thing people had an issue with was the FlyteFoam Blast in the forefoot. Now people said it was fun. Springy, and it was soft, but if you’re someone who wants an actual max stability experience, it might be a little soft and mushy for you.
Now that’s a personal preference, and some people might thoroughly enjoy it, and there were a lot of people said the FlyteFoam Blast was an excellent edition. Still, some people also said it might be a little soft or squishy, especially for the Gel-Kayano, known as a max stability shoe.
Another thing to note is that this shoe is relatively heavy and is one the most voted max stability running shoes. I am not too worried about weight. You get a lot of rubber on the shoe, and they add a lot of premium plastic. If you’re someone who wants a light and fast shoe that still gives you stability, there are some other options out there.
You might even look at the Gel-Kayano Lite too, which isn’t even that light, but it’s lighter than Gel-Kayano 28. They’re moving in the right direction as they made this about 2 percent lighter versus the Gel-Kayano 27. However, the shoe is a little bit clunky and heavy compared to some other options out there.
4.1 My Final Verdict on Gel-Kayano 28
I think the gel Gel-Kayano 28 is a great shoe. There’s no fatal flaw that keeps me from recommending this. However, I will say that this is a heavier shoe, and you get a little bit of a squishier forefoot, which may be off-putting for some people.
Gel-Kayano 28 gives you maximum stability with a little more rigidity because it has that TRUSSTIC system, dual density foams, and the 3D space construction, which kind of optimize it for that.
For more reviews for Gel-Kayano 28 you can visit the link below:
Best Cushioned Running Shoe: Hoka Mach 4
Highly cushioned running shoes are designed to provide maximum shock absorption. They are usually made of thick, soft cushioning material and feature an upper that wraps around the foot, providing a secure and comfortable fit.
It also help with pronation control, which means they keep your stride aligned so that your body weight rests evenly across both sides of your foot instead of leaning too far forward or back toward one side (which can cause discomfort). This is especially beneficial for runners who experience knee pain due to misalignment while running.
Here is a detailed review for Hoka Mach 4 from our expert:
Hoka Mach 4 Review
The Hoka Mach 4 previous model were sleeper shoes and great for picking up the pace and keeping it easy, but shoes overshadowed them like Clifton, Rincon or Carbon X series from Hoka. They were fun but never really exciting. Mach 4 attempts to change that with its new design and material combination. A stretchy mesh upper, a solid whiter platform, slightly extended heel reminiscent of the Clifton Edge.
Be soft yet punchy midsole with a rubberized outsole foam layer for lightweight ground contact. All seems perfect for long training days, or easy efforts or distance is the focus. The Hoka Mach version 4 is an interestingly bold edition to a relatively mediocre line of versions. However, with so many other road shoe offerings on the market from different brands and Hoka themselves, does the Mach 4 stand out?
1.0 What I like about Hoka Mach 4
I cover things that I like and something that I dislike, and I distil that down to an overall conclusion at the end of this review. So let’s start with things I like, and we will begin with the underfoot.
I really enjoy what’s underfoot in Mach 4. I feel like it is both soft and comfortable, great for long-distance runs, but it also has a bit of snappiness, just enough to separate it from a shoe like the Rincon, even the Clifton.
The Mach 4 is soft but not so soft that you lose all sorts of ability to pick up the pace and speed as far as how it feels underfoot with its cushioning. Just imagine a bit stiffer Rincon or a bit softer Clifton. It has the flexibility and the simplicity of a good running shoe.
1.2 Comfortability and Stability
It is a really comfortable shoe and fantastic for going long distances or as daily trainer stability. So, one thing I like about Mach 4 that separates it from the Mach 3 is its wider stance. When I say stability, I don’t mean that it will help with pronation issues or has a denser foam.
It’s just literally a broader platform that provides more stability on the road surface. And as you begin to wear the shoe, that does extend a little bit more and make it a stable shoe. It feels good when going long as it’s not collapsing laterally or immediately; it provides an excellent stable platform underfoot.
So, this shoe keeps you in line for those long efforts where your muscles and fatigue begin to take control of your step, and it does an outstanding job just providing you with that bit of additional confidence.
Durability is actually something I didn’t expect to say with the Mach 4, but now having run in this for several months, it’s holding up surprisingly; well, the mid soul’s not flattening out by any means, and the upper isn’t breaking down despite being a singular piece of mesh and the outsole also holding up really well.
Something that I can’t necessarily say for shoes like the Rincon. Durability isn’t necessarily a concern for me in this shoe. With about almost 200 miles, that being said, it’s not all unicorn dreams, and malt shakes. There are a couple of things that I dislike about Mach 4.
2.0 What I Don’t Like
Let’s cover those things that I particularly don’t like. First, the laces are freakishly long and stretchy, and unfortunately, you end up with a lot of lace overhanging. Of course, the shoe is a nit-picky dislike, but the laces are just crazy long.
That’s an easy fix, and I anticipate that’ll happen between versions. My biggest dislike is less shoe specific and more an overall branding decision. This is just a question I have, and that’s in regards to confusion.
So, with Mach 4, I see a daily trainer that is good at many things. It’s excellent for long distances, and it’s great for short distances. It’s pretty good for picking up the pace, but amongst the Hoka road line, you have so many other choices to choose from, and I think that can get confusing.
You’ve got shoes like the Carbon X 2, Carbon Rocket, Clifton, Clifton Edge, Bondi, and Arahi, and all of these road offerings have very slight variances with the Mach 4. I’m finding that this shoe is a bit heavier and underfoot than the Rincon, but not quite as much as the Clifton. Similar to if the Clifton Edge and Rincon had a baby.
So, if I’m going to a running shoe store, or if I’m looking for a new pair of road running. I see this whole lineage of road offerings. I might get confused and not necessarily know where to put my feet. So, while I hope this review sort of help distil down your ideas of what the Mach 4 is for or who it could be suitable for.
Anyone who comes to the platform to shoot for the brand might get confused. So that confusion will trickle down across all the shoes, not just the Mach 4.
3.0 Features of Hoka Mach 4
So, the Hoka Mach 4 is one of my new favorite daily trainers. So if you’re looking to log long miles and get some big mileage goals in your weekly training, Mach 4 will do a great job of getting you the distance. Without interfering with like the specificity of the running shoe, it’s beefier than the Rincon too.
3.1 Build Quality
So not quite as light or as flexible or as fast, but also not designed for those faster days where the Carbon X 2 or a plated shoe might come in handy. So let’s get a bit more specific talking about build quality. The shoe has surprised me with its ability to last longer miles.
After 200 miles, it is not breaking down, and the outsole is not wearing altogether. So there’s still a lot of mileage left in the shoe, and that’s a good thing.
It is pretty comfortable, and as I mentioned, the midsole is super soft, but it has a bit of resiliency too. So, you’re going to get some of that responsiveness.
These Mach 4 versions fit for me, true to size 11, and so far, it’s doing quite well there. I know that the upper is a bit more accommodating. So if you have wider feet, it could work for you.
Mach 4 is priced at $140 and is more expensive than the Clifton and Rincon but not quite as expensive as the Clifton Edge or the Carbon X 2.
So, I would like to see this cheaper than the Clifton, based on, you know, stack height, usability, all that sort of thing. But at $140, it’s a running shoe that will get you plenty of miles. So, it’ll be very worth your money.
You got the bright, bold colors and a bit more neutral color up top. I didn’t know what to think when I pulled it out of the box, but I’m finding myself liking it more and more. As far as looks are concerned, I think it’s the best-looking Mach yet.
4.0 My Verdict
It’s a solid buy for me because you’ll get many miles out of it. You get a soft cushion and comfort, and Mach 4 is built for long miles.
If you’re looking for a daily trainer shoe that you can log anywhere from 6 to 16 to 20 miles to marathon distance, this is a great shoe, especially if you’re not looking to go carbon or plated or you don’t need something as light as the Hoka Rincon.
For more reviews for Hoka Mach 4 you can visit the link below:
Best Lightweight Running Shoe: Hoka Rincon 3
Lightweight running shoes are designed to be as light and flexible as possible while offering enough support to handle the rigors of long-distance running. In addition, they don’t have any unnecessary bulk or padding so that they won’t get in the way of your stride.
They also feature a low heel drop—meaning that the difference in height between the heel and toe is slight—which helps make your gait more efficient and less taxing on your legs.
Lightweight running shoes are perfect for runners who need extra cushioning and support. Still, they want something light enough to run in for extended periods without getting tired or worn out faster than usual.
Here is a detailed review for Hoka Rincon 3 from our expert:
This is the shoe that takes a little bit of heat for not being quite as durable as some people would like. So we’ve put this shoe through a test over 200 miles to see how it held up for that durability.
1.0 Basic Features of Hoka Rincon 3
The Hoka Rincon 3, come in at 210 grams or 7.4 ounces in the men’s and 176 grams or 6.2 ounces in the women. These shoes offer a drop of five millimeters and the price is $115 in the United States. You can also buy these in wide sizes.
So, this third generation Rincon is supposed to be a fast, light cushioned and versatile trainer that can actually step up to a bit of racing too. So, let’s have a look at what’s different between the Rincon 3 and Rincon 2. You’ve still got a decent slab of molded EVA foam in the midsole that also comes with an early-stage meta rocker that’s been slightly tweaked from the second generation.
They’re lighter than the Hoka Carbon X3, and the Hoka Mach 4. They are actually around the same weight as the Rocket X. They’re a lightweight shoe, but they don’t have that more responsive Profly foam that you’ll get in those other shoes.
They feature a new vented, mesh upper and a flatter thinner foot wrapping tongue. That’s got much less padding than before, but you still get a healthy amount of heel collar padding for comfort and Hoka’s familiar bucket seat feel that helps with the comfort and ground feel overall.
There’s also a slightly accentuated heel tab at the back that’s to help you slip them on and off. There’s also some high abrasion kind of rubber zones to protect that EVA midsole foam, and to provide a little bit of grip and extra durability.
I ran in these true to size in a 11 and that’s my regular size. I found that they were fine and they gave a kind of hold around the heel. Also I got kind of a nice sort of lockdown across the top. If you have really wide feet, some people do report, this comes up a little bit narrow, but they do also come in wider sizes.
So it might be worth looking into if you struggle generally with that kind of problem. Sometimes people think that Hoka have a narrower fit, however I personally have found these per fine without going for the extra wide. They’ve fitted really well and I found this actually a reasonable amount of room in the toe box.
2.0 Run Test
onto the run test. I have put in 200 miles, at least in this shoe over a kind of mixed variety of sort of terrains. I’ve gone on some roads, stony paths. I’ve done some things that might kind of trouble the outsole in terms of that durability, I’ve used it over a mixture of paces, different runs, lots of long and slow stuff.
Just to test out also how that kind of midsole foam holds up. One of the big questions here that we’ve had post to us is about the first and second generation actually is about that durability. How well do these shoes last over a long time? And I have to say in my test, I’m still a big fan of this.
I was a fan of the Rincon 1 and Rincon 2 and I think they have held up pretty well now for my money. You are pretty much getting the same shoe as the second generation. If you like the second generation Hoka, you’re going to like the three for sure.
I think they run light and fairly agile. The uppers are nice and comfortable. They’ve got a really lovely sort of disappearing feel on the foot. They offer just that kind of balance actually of directness, but cushioning and protection that some shoes really struggle to hit the balance.
They do run a little bit firmer than some people might like, but for me, that’s something that I enjoy with my feet. I like that kind of ground contact and you get that with these shoes.
One of the things I think is there’s versatility here like there was with the Rincon 2. The lightweight kind of nature of these shoes due to the fairly high stack of foam means that they’ll cope with that sort of longer and slower runs, but they’re also agile enough to cope for shorter and faster running.
They’re not a kind of shoe for fast training by any stretch but I think, in certain cases when you’re doing those runs where maybe you’re progressing to get start a little slower and getting faster by the end. Or you’re going to go and do some long runs in your training where you’re going to be required to put in some faster marathon pace such as intervals, or maybe even slightly faster than that and then go back to doing sort of slower recovery running.
Rincon 3 shoes do that job really well and for the last 200 miles, I’m not running particularly fast. I am doing quite a lot of longer and slower stuff. They’ve coped remarkably well, although there is a firm issue, as I’ve said, and might need a little bit more protection.
3.0 What I Like
Another thing I really like about the Hoka Rincon 3 and after 200 miles, this is sort of really coming into play, particularly on those kinds of long runs is you get this kind of wide base. It’s a good-sized platform which give really good stability to run off, particularly for me.
3.1 Wide Base Design
I’m sort of a mid to forefoot kind of striker. That wide base makes for good and reliable stability over those longer runs, even when I’m sort of feeling a bit tired and my form maybe getting a little bit ragged.
3.2 Bucket Seat
The other thing is the trademark sort of bucket seat inside the shoe, although it feels like a high stack, your actual foot kind of sits a little bit lower and your foot is held in place inside the shoe. That’s something that I think adds to the overall comfort of this shoe and I enjoy that feeling. They have ample cushioning up and around, even though it’s a very lightweight shoe.
3.3 Comfortable Cushioning
They have managed to squeeze in some sort of decent and long run cruiser cushioning that you would normally find on shoes that are a little bit more kind of cruiser than these. The other thing to say about that after all those miles, there’s very little wear to these shoes.
Heel area is one of the places that tends to wear very early. In my experience, you sort of wear through those heel areas especially at the edge. No problems at the moment with that. You’ve got an early stage rocker in these shoes too and I think that creates a really nice kind of easy pleasant sort of roll through in the stride that helps to make these shoes a little faster.
They also help me with the transition when I’m wearing these as it makes me feel a little bit more nimble especially when you’re hitting some of those cruising paces. They perform really well helping keep the paces at a steady and consistent level.
4.0 Complains for Rincon 3
One of the criticisms that get leveled at these shoes is that not enough to change between the generations. So there’s not a great deal of difference between Rincon 2 and the Rincon 3.
4.1 Very Small Changes from Rincon 2 to Rincon 3
I don’t think it’s particularly that noticeable on the run and there’s a slight tweak to the meta rocker as well. But essentially I think Rincon 3 runs pretty similar to the Rincon 2. If you like the Rincon 2 that’s a great thing and you’re going to get pretty much the same ride with the Rincon 3 and vice versa.
The thing I’ll say, I think we put a lot of pressure on shoe companies to sort of do something new with generations of shoes, but for ain’t broke, don’t necessarily fix it. If you’re charging the same price, which Rincon 3 comes in at the same price as the Rincon 2 then that’s fair enough.
So if this was a shoe that you like and you don’t want to see too many changes and I’m happy with that. I don’t think they needed to push it on too much and I guess there’s always the argument that you could say that other shoe brands have moved things on.
They’ve got new technology and Hoka might be getting a little bit left behind if they don’t upgrade this shoe. But I think that the Rincon 3 does a very specific job which I think if you like direct ground contact feel and a shoe that still comes with a high stack of midsole foam as well as lightweight, Rincon 3 is a perfect fit.
You’re still getting a lightweight performance, but you’re not having that kind of squish and response that you might find with some other kind of cruises or daily trainers. I do think there’s a space for that for a specific type of runners who’s looking for that.
Next we are discussing the major criticism that people have leveled at the Hoka Rincon’s durability. After 200 miles, I think these shoes held up remarkably well. One of the things that I was asked is about the deadening of the midsole cushioning foam that people find quite frequent.
I’m not a really heavy runner, 83 kilogram or 182 pounds on a good day. I would call myself sort of like a midweight runner and I haven’t over those issue that the foam has lost any performance at all.
I think the other thing is on the bottom of the shoe, the durability of the rubber has done a good job. There’s almost sort of very little wear and even when you do get some kind of scratching up that you might get at stoney trails and stuff, it’s more kind of aesthetic rather than affecting the overall performance and function of the shoe.
So from a durability standpoint, actually, I feel like for the miles that I’ve done in this shoe, it has held up remarkably well and that’s not something that I would kind of call it out.
5.0 My Verdict on Rincon 3
After 200 plus miles, my Rincon 3 shoes are still going perfectly strong and EVA midsole foam hasn’t lost any of its performance. The uppers have held up well and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of wear and tear in and around the heel collar.
I think Hoka has done an excellent job and I’m still happy to run long miles in these shoes. Although not much has changed between the generations, I think for $115, these still kind of represent a really lightweight and solid daily trainer sort of budget friendly daily trainer option.
For sure. I think they’re comfortable and very light. If you like a firm or more direct shoe, then you’re probably gonna like Rincon 3, if you like a softer or squishier sort of swish and response shoe, then they might not be for you.
But the fact is if you like the Rincon 2, you’re gonna like the Rincon 3. If you’ve already got the Rincon 2 you don’t necessarily need to upgrade to the Rincon 3. I don’t think there’s too many differences between the two generations.
If you were thinking of adding another pair into your shoe rotation and you’re wondering whether or not you’d get the same ride then I think you’re not going to go wrong with the Rincon 3 if you’ve already found the Rincon 2 enjoyable.
I actually think because that durability has held up over those miles that I’ve put into them, I would kind of recommend the Rincon 3 for lightweight and versatile shoes at a very affordable price.
For more reviews for Hoka Rincon 3 you can visit the link below:
- Believe in The Run (YouTube)
- The Run Testers (YouTube)
- Running Shoes Guru (Article)
- Doctors of Running (Article)
Best Running Shoe for Women (General): Lululemon Blissfeel
The design and construction of women’s running shoes differ from men’s. This is because the shape of a woman’s foot is different from that of a man’s foot, and so are women’s physical demands on running shoes.
Women’s and men’s running shoes differ primarily in construction and design. For example, women’s running shoes are designed to be narrower and shorter than men’s running shoes. They also have a higher heel-to-toe drop than men’s running shoes.
Here is a detailed review for Lululemon Blissfeel from our expert:
I got a size nine, the typical size I get in all athletic sneakers. So like a Nike shoe, I always get size nine, and I find this shoe fits me very well.
Features of Lululemon Blissfeel Sneaker
First, I notice the tongue is very thin and flexible, and I’ve had running shoes before where the tongue digs into my heel and cuts me or leaves a little mark because it was rubbing against my skin. So, I’m pleased about the tongue. We have the Lululemon logo on the side, and I think this is an excellent logo placement.
Then we have the rest of the shoe made of breathable material. The only thing that I’m not a massive fan of is the giant logo on the back. I would actually make the argument that Lululemon’s photos online are not that good because I could tell that the logo was like this on the all-white pair, but based on the pictures I saw on their website, it was more of an off-white. So I don’t completely hate it, but I think the shoe would be even cuter without it, but it’s okay at the bottom of the shoe with some grip and the logo.
Indoor Running Test
I’m actually going to be doing a treadmill workout class at Equinox. I recently joined and thought it would be an excellent place to test out the shoe because I feel treadmills are much more forgiving than outdoor.
The class lasted around the 45-minute class, and we ran around 4 miles on the treadmill. But I really liked the Lululemon shoes, at least for a shorter run on the treadmill. It was a mix of walking and running with incline. The shoes were very comfortable. I do see a lot of comparisons to these shoes like Adidas Ultraboost. I have the Adidas Ultraboost, and I find that Lululeman shoes have less cushion. They’re still reasonably cushiony but not like as cushiony as Ultraboost. I think that Ultraboost is almost too cushiony.
I like to wear those to walk around casually, but I actually get joint pain from running with Ultraboost because they don’t offer enough support. So, I definitely like the amount of cushion these Lululemon shoes have, where they’re still very comfortable, but they’re not as squishy as the ultra.
I will say, I do think these shoes are less breathable than the Ultraboost. I found that my foot was getting a little bit hot. I am interested to see if it feels different when I’m outside because, like inside, it’s already a little bit stuffy. It’s nothing wrong, but I am comparing it directly to Ultraboost, and I think Ultraboost is more breathable.
And then finally, I think that the Ultraboost look a little sleeker on foot than the Lululemon shoes as they are a little bulkier, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, again, it is more about what design you want, but I’d say those are the three significant differences I saw.
Two weeks later, after 60 miles, I’ve been putting these shoes to the test. Mostly indoor treadmill runs, but I’ve also been walking around them. I feel like I can safely say these are fine to walk around in; at least for me, they’re comfortable enough.
I could walk all day, and they would be fine. I think that they’re very comfortable on the indoor tread. The longest I’ve gone is six and a half miles, and I would usually say around the six-mile mark is where I would start to see problems if the shoe was not going to be for me. And I haven’t seen any problem so far, I typically get joint pain in the knees if the shoes aren’t comfortable or aren’t supported enough for me, and I haven’t gotten any joint pain from them.
And I also sometimes get bruising on the inside of my foot, but I haven’t gotten that at all either, and that’s actually very common, at least for all the Adidas shoes I have; I have the Solarglide and Ultraboost. If I run too far in those, like anything over five or six miles, I get like bruising slash like blistering on the inside.
The cause is because the cage for Adidad shoes isn’t wide enough, and I haven’t gotten that with the Lululemon sneakers, which is fantastic.
Outdoor Running Test
I did around nine miles between the running and the walking. I don’t think I’m going to get blisters on the inside of my toes, but I could definitely feel the pinching there after 8 miles, and I think if I ran like 10 to 12 miles, I would get blisters.
So, I would say they’re a little better than Ultraboost, but they’re not a good, solid running shoe that I can go to for longer runs, which is okay. But, I didn’t think they would be able to replace my current running shoes.
If you want a cute pair of sneakers, you can do a casual run at the gym or outdoors for a couple of miles, or you just want a cute sneaker to walk around in, or maybe you’re like touring around a city. I think that these are great. If you think they’re cute and you like them. I have no complaints about them.
My Verdict on Lululemon Blissfeel Sneakers
I’ll still wear them to the gym when I like warm-up runs, and it’s only a couple of miles. So these definitely do the job. I want them slightly more than Ultraboost because I feel like they’re a little squishy, but honestly, they’re pretty similar to Ultraboost.
I’ll continue to wear them, and I’m glad I got them. You’ll have to try them out for yourself because everybody’s foot is different, so that they might be the perfect running shoe for you. Who knows?
So that is my review on the Lululemon Blissfeel sneakers. I go to the gym almost every day for a run, and having a bunch of shoes to match your outfit is fun. So, I recommend these Lululemon Blissfeel sneakers as your next running shoes.
For more reviews on Lululemon Blissfeel you can visit the link below:
- The Run Testers (YouTube)
- Lindsay Angioletti (YouTube)
- AbbyBReviewing (YouTube)
- Toms Guide (Article)
Best for Speed Running Shoe: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
A fast running shoe is an athletic shoe designed for runners interested in running at the quickest pace possible. The shoes help you run faster without sacrificing comfort or support.
Speed running shoes are typically lightweight, low-to-the-ground, and have an extra soft sole that allows them to flex more easily when moving quickly. They also usually have a lower heel-to-toe drop than other running shoes.
Speed running shoes are best suited for people who have been running regularly for several years and have built up their leg muscles enough to handle the rigorous activity on hard surfaces. If you haven’t been exercising regularly or if you don’t have much experience with exercise, then you might want to start with a different type of shoe before trying fast running shoes.
Here is a detailed review for Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 from our expert:
We will review what is maybe the most popular racing shoe out there, the Nike Next% VaporFly 2. We’re going to split this review up into various sections.
We’re going to start with some facts and figures. Then we’ll talk about the changes between the latest and the previous version of the shoe. And then we’ll talk about what we like and don’t like.
Then, a little conclusion at the end and talking about whether this shoe is going into my rotation.
1.0 Basic Features
There’s an 8-millimeter drop between the back of the shoe and the front of the shoe. So the stack height is around 40 millimeters, and the front is about 32 millimetres.
The shoe weighs in at 288 grams for me in a US size 11, is very much on the lighter side, and is the most lightweight racing shoe you can get out there. It is a neutral shoe as this shoe is very much for racing and doing your speed sessions on the road. There’s not a lot of traction in this and not a lot of flexibility.
I would not want to be taking this on trails, but I’ll be using it for anything from 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon, and even longer. I’ve seen people run 100 miles in these shoes, which are incredibly versatile. There is a full-length carbon plate running throughout the shoe.
On the bottom, we have a durable rubber with a super grippy element suitable in all weather conditions. As well as with all of Nike’s shoes at the moment, you’ve got the Zoom X midsole, providing that maximum cushioning to help keep the legs fresh and propel you forward in your running and racing. That’s enough with the facts and figures. Let’s look at what’s changed between this and the previous shoes.
2.0 Changes from Previous Version
The first thing you’ll see that has changed is the upper part’s material, which is far more breathable. This is because the previous version shoe wasn’t perfect in the wet. If you got a little bit damp inside, it wouldn’t breathe at all, and you could get overheated. So the material almost feels waterproof, but in the new updated model, the fabric is super breathable.
If you suffer from overheating, this material will help get some excellent airflow. Also, the laces are the updated laces and the laces lockdown your feet super well. These are the laces that you get in the AlphaFly model as well.
And finally, you’ve just got a little bit more space and a little bit more room in the front of the shoe. Again, I don’t notice it that much, but I’m sure if someone has slightly wider feet, you’ll see a little more room for that foot display out in the front of the shoe. So that’s all that’s changed in the latest VaporFly model.
3.0 What I Like
So, the first like, of course, is the speed. This shoe is so fast, but it’s not only fast; it’s very stable at high speed and gets you nicely up on that forefoot where you want to be. So, when you’re running your fast reps and racing, the shoe tilts you forward well with that drop.
Also, the way the carbon plate is shaped, it just gets your legs landing super friendly on that for foot and propels you forward. The Zoom X Foam is good at absorbing the impact and propelling you forward. The carbon plate is built across the shoe; it feels nice and sturdy. There’s no lean to the side, and it helps to land nicely in the middle of the foot.
It feels so stable and confident when I’m doing reps and things in these shoes. It also feels good when I’ve used it in races as it exceeded what I expected to achieve in that race.
3.2 Breathable Upper and Design
Next, moving on to the second positive is the new redesign upper; as I just said above, it’s super breathable. So if you suffer from overheating during your running, you get that nice air flow with the VaporFly 2. The air is excellent for those reps or races that are much needed and cool down your feet.
The tongue also has the new padding design underneath it, which helps distribute the pressure from the laces so that the lockdown feel is nice and robust.
My third like is the cushioning and the Zoom X foam; in my opinion, it is the best shoe cushioning foam out there on the market.
I tested it in races, and it’s outstanding shoes for races. When you want your legs to last that little bit longer, it helps absorb the impact, and we can push ourselves a bit further and a little harder in training. We can put some more extensive sessions out there without completely busting up our legs so we can get out the next day and carry on our training.
4.0 What I Don’t Like
It is a comfortable shoe when you’re running fast, doing your reps, or doing your racing. Don’t get me wrong, but if you plan on doing some easy pace runs or warm up for your sessions, running in is uncomfortable.
It’s stiff, and it’s just not a nice shoe to be around. I know this is not a shoe for walking, but walking in the shoe is uncomfortable. Whenever I’m going to races, I must put another pair of shoes on before going to the race.
I just put the VaporFly 2 on for the start line. I prefer to warm up for my sessions in another shoe and then put this on for when I’m going to be running fast.
As I say, we’re getting the shoe to run races and run reps in that’s. What’s necessary for anything outside is a little uncomfortable and too stiff to be doing at that leisurely or steady pace.
4.2 Midfoot Width
The second negative we need to discuss is the midfoot’s width. Again, this hasn’t been an issue, but it’s right on my limit.
I have reasonably narrow feet, so I think if you have slightly wider feet, you will struggle. It is nice and extra width in the forefoot, but if you feel your kind of person has a bit of a narrow, a bit of a wider midfoot there, it will be a struggle.
Finally, you can’t review a Nike shoe without talking about the price. They are a premium product; I bought the shoe for $254.99.
When I checked later on the website, they had gone up to $267.99. Nike needs to be a bit more competitive with the other shoe brands out there.
The other manufacturers are catching up, but I think the marathon season is around the corner; they’ve decided just to jack that price up a little bit more, and it’s just not great. So everybody is struggling a little bit, and $255 is a hell of a lot of money for a pair of shoes. So yeah, for me, that is a negative point.
5.0 My Verdict on Nike Next% VaporFly 2
So, in conclusion, is it going into rotation? Well, this is the fastest shoe for me, but I know you’re going to say, what about the AlphaFly? The AlphaFly is excellent, but I find it so big, clunky, noisy, and it’s just not very comfortable. I also had a few blisters when running in that shoe.
So VaporFly 2 is my favorite running shoe at the moment. Most people will benefit significantly from running in a shoe like this. It’s just such; that a broad spectrum of foot types will benefit from their shoe.
It will do well for you, but this comes with that ridiculously high price tag. If you can afford it and are in the market for the best of the best, we sometimes have to pay for that premium.
For more reviews on Nike Next% VaporFly 2 you can visit the link below:
- Believe in the Run (YouTube)
- Foot Doctor Zach (YouTube)
- The Run Testers (YouTube)
- Sole Review (Article)
- Believe in the Run (Article)
Best Running Shoe for Trail: Salomon Ultra Glide
A trail running shoe is designed specifically for off-road running. They’re made with thicker soles and better cushioning than your average running shoe, but they have less structure than a hiking boot.
They’re also more flexible than both options, allowing them to move with your foot as you run over uneven terrain or through mud or snow. These qualities make them ideal for long runs on trails or even just around town.
Here is a detailed review for Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 from our expert:
Solomon Ultra Glide Review
We’ve run the Ultra Glide, a good 50 miles plus on a big mix of terrains in changing weather conditions. So I think it’s about time we gave this trail running shoe from Salomon a comprehensive review.
1.0 Basic Facts and Features
We are taking a look at the Salomon Ultra Glide with a deeply cushioned midsole that has been designed for trail running. The shoe price in the United States for $119 and weighs in at 0.7 pounds in a men’s US 9.
1.1 Measurement and Weight
It runs off a 6-millimeter heel of offset, and we have 38.2 millimeters under your heel and 32.2 millimeters under your forefoot. The shoe is available in five colors for men and four colors for women. Regarding sizing, I’ve found it true to size with average width in the toe box.
We put some good miles into the shoe, including running the Salomon Serpent trail 50K in challenging weather and underfoot conditions, especially in the middle of summer.
1.2 Fabric and Construction
But before we go into how the shoe has performed, let’s give you a few more details about the fabrics used and the construction of this new deeply cushioned trail running shoe. Starting with the upper first, Solomon used a breathable, 3D mesh upper construction to enable optimum airflow and give you a comfortable wearing experience.
We have Salamon’s Sensifit technology worked into that upper, which cradles the midfoot with a banded tongue to give you that nice sort of secure, snug and personalized fit. The tongue is very padded in that upper, as is the heel cup and ankle collar. Also, you don’t get any conventional lay system in the shoe.
So, we’ve got Salomon speed lace, which is corded disc lace with a plastic locking mechanism on it. So it makes a solid lace system and is very easy to get in and out of your shoes.
Then, you get a nice pocket in the tongue so that you can tuck that lace away, so you’re not going to catch it on anything when you’re out hitting the trails.
Finishing off the upper, we’ve got some nice structural overlays working from the back end of the shoe around the toe box to offer good levels of durability. Then we’ve got a nice rubberized toe bumper to provide good protection from trail debris.
1.3 Foam Cushioning
The Salomon Ultra Glide features an oversized surge foam midsole, and this surge compound has been developed to be lightweight and responsive by using a blend of EVA and OBC-based foam. Still, it should also offer long-lasting cushioning and outstanding levels of bouncy energy return to help with muscle fatigue.
As you rack up the miles, work into that midsole is Solomon’s reverse camber. The midsole has a slightly rockered geometry to smooth that transition as you progress through the trails.
Last but not least working our way down to the Contagrip outsole on the Salomon Ultra Glide, which is a pretty aggressive lug depth and layout. The outsole is coated in Salomon’s Contagrip rubber to offer good traction on a big mix of trains and weather conditions. Some runners reported that the rubber outsoles on Salomon’s shoes have been a bit sketchy in wet conditions, especially on the damp rock.
You also get that Salomon’s Profeel Film integrated into the midsole. So that’s designed to filter out rocks or sharp surfaces to give you a more comfortable underfoot experience.
2.0 What I Like on Salomon Ultra Glide
After putting a lot more miles into the shoe, let’s go through the things I’ve enjoyed about running in the Ultra Glide and maybe highlight a few things we feel could be slightly tweaked.
But let’s start with the good bits. First, the new surge midsole is probably the part of the shoe I was most hyped about because I’ve been finding over the years that Solomon trail shoes have just been getting firmer and firmer to the point where they didn’t have enough cushioning.
For me, especially in the summer, on my longer runs, I am happy to report that’s not the case with the midsole. I’ve found it really well cushioned and quite soft, but not too soft that you lose all that connection to the trails under. Again, that rocker geometry, or as Salomon calls it, a reverse camber, worked well in that midsole.
I do have to say you also get that Profeel film worked into the midsole construction. Again, it’s there to offer you reliable underfoot protection. Still, there were a couple of times when I did feel sharp stones through the cushioning under my forefoot, but the outsole and the outsole rubber have performed really well.
We’ve tested it on a big mix of underfoot conditions, largely thanks to the Serpent Trail 50K. We tested the Salomon Ultra Glide on dry trails, rocky trails, sandy conditions, muddy trails, and even knee-deep boggy trails. I’ve been happy with the levels of grip the shoes provide on all those surfaces. But, I have to say that it has to be one of the most consistent Salomon outsoles I’ve ever run with when it comes down to grip.
2.2 Upper Design
With that Sensifit technology, it felt super dialled into the midfoot of that upper and snug really well. I’ve always found that Salomon’s shoe sizing works well for my foot shape. It almost feels like the shoes are tailored for me. Overall, it is just a comfortable upper in general with excellent levels of padding and cushioning around the ankle in the heel cup and the tongue.
For some people, it may be too much padding in that tongue, but it hasn’t caused me any issues so far. On the other hand, it is pretty thick, making the midfoot of the shoe relatively shallow. So, if you are pretty deep at the midfoot, I think getting in the shoe might be a bit of a squeeze.
Lastly, you get excellent protection from the substantial rubberized toe bumper, a feature I always look for in my trail running shoes. There’s nothing worse than kicking a stone or a hidden rock when you’re moving at speed out on the trail. So the toe bumper will give you some protection to soften the blow.
I’ve enjoyed my time in the Ultra Glides, and it’s so good to be back in a Salomon shoe that offers an excellent level of plushness underfoot paired with that great Sensifit technology in the upper.
3.0 What Could be Improved
There is one thing that hasn’t impressed me that much when it comes to the shoe’s design, and it has to be the placement of that lace pocket on the tongue.
I’ve always been a big fan of the speed lace system, and it’s always worked well for me, but surely Solomon could see there was going to be an issue with the placement of the pocket on the tongue. The laces come up high, so pulling the laces down and locking the shoe closes that pocket off and makes it very difficult to get the lace in there.
This concept is called a speed lace from Salomon. It’s supposed to speed things up, not make them fiddly and make them take longer. So, I think it is a little bit of a design flaw, and it needs some rethinking regarding the placement of the pocket. Hopefully, we’ll see an update on the Ultra Glide in the future, but that is the only real negative I could come up with.
4.0 Score Point for Salomon Ultra Glide
So, let’s start scoring the Salomon Ultra Glide and start with the price first. With the cost of running shoes going a little bit mad with all the brands sticking carbon and plates in their shoes, $119 seems pretty reasonable, but I still think it’s quite a lot of money for a trail running shoe.
I’d always like our running shoes to be a bit cheaper and a bit more affordable. But, I suppose, when you compare the price point to other shoes, it’s around about the exact cost. So, when it comes down to the Ultra Glides price, we will give it a 7 out of 10.
4.2 Comfort and Performance
The shoe has performed well in both aspects, and I enjoyed my Ultra Glide experience. However, when I used it at the Serpent Trail 50K, the big toe felt sore towards the end of that run on my slightly longer foot. I did have a bit of a blister at the end that can obviously happen while running that distance.
But I think a lot of it came down to the fact that this toe protector is very substantial, and it makes the toe box of the shoe very rigid. So, if I were running any longer than 50K in the shoe, like 50 miles or 100 miles, I would creep it up a bit in size. So, I’d probably go up half a size to give that extra room in the toe box.
This is just a personal thing, and the shoe is still running great. So we will score it for comfort and performance a very impressive 9 out of 10.
This has been an issue for some Solomon trail running shoes, with the uppers breaking down quickly. So far, so good with the Ultra Glide as there is no early sign of wear on the outsole. It is holding up well and has no sign of wear on the upper, even at the flex points of that shoe, which can be a weak part of a Salomon trail running shoe.
So looking good so far; however, I have heard a few people say that the midsole cushioning flattens off a bit after 100 miles, I’m not quite out a hundred miles yet, and it still feels soft and cushioned. Still, I suppose we’ll find out the further we go in the shoe, but we will give it a well-put-together 8 out of 10 for durability.
4.4 Final Score
So, tally all the points up at run for Salomon Ultra Glide from Solomon scores, a pretty solid 24 out of 30.
Regarding comparisons for the Ultra Glide, there are quite a few shoes out there to choose from that deep-cushioned midsole trail running shoes seem pretty popular at the moment.
So you’ve got Hoka Speedgoat 4, the new Endorphin Trail from Saucony and Inov8 TrailFly Ultra G300. They’ll all give you that sort of deep-cushioned midsole trail running experience. But Salomon Ultra Glide has undergone a significant overhaul and is a very different shoe now compared to the previous model.
5.0 My Verdict on Salomon Ultra Glide
So let’s wrap this review up with a conclusion. So, if you like a bit of plushness in your trail shoes with a deep-cushioned midsole, you want a trail shoe that will cross over to a big mix of terrains, even in various weather conditions Salomon Ultra Glide is one of the best options you can purchase.
Or I will say if you’ve tried deep midsole cushion trail shoes before, and you’ve not gone with them because of that loss of connection, you still feel connected in the Ultra Glide. So I definitely recommend this shoe if you are into trail running.
For more reviews on Salomon Ultra Glide you can visit the link below: