Best Road Running Shoes and Trainers
Author: Paul Larkins
In the past few years, running shoes have come on in leaps and bounds. Fit, comfort, support and weight are like never before. When you’re thinking about what shoes work for you, always opt for comfort. There are endless scientific papers out there which conclude just that! Yes, some of us will need some kind of support as we tend to pronate (knees collapse slightly inwards) but by and large the shoes that feel just right are indeed just that.
The best way to go about things is to think about where you’re going to use them most. Road shoes are great for pavement but can also cope with most of the condition runners will encounter; a bit of mud, some rain, the odd snow storm. On average most of us pronate a little so some support is required, after that it’s very personal. The heel drop is often quoted with lower numbers – around 4mm – touted as the best for performance and avoiding injury. Again, it’s personal. Some of us will be able to cope but given our love of shoes generally – for work and school – our bodies have evolved to 8mm-12mm comfort. Today’s shoes offer great fitting uppers. The Adidas Ultraboost 19 for instance, has a one piece knit upper, and secure heel make for a great fit but that’s not the whole story with this shoe: the Boost midsole pretty much lives up to its name and you’ll definitely feel like you’re moving easier and more efficiently. We love the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 for its cushioning, wider fit these shoes provide. It’s not a lightweight but that’s not a negative in any way. The engineering and technology (hence the slightly extra weight) makes it a lovely, soft responsive shoe. Comfortable? You bet.
New Balance Zante Pursuit
New Balance’s hexagon outsole makes for a mean, fast shoe that almost insists you get up on your toes and run a bit quicker. That sounds a bit marketing hype, but trust us, this really is a shoe all about fit, breathability and performance. The knitted upper is a particularly nice touch.
Brooks Launch 6
A great value shoe that offers all you expect: great cushioning, great fit and a nice competitive weight. It’ll treat you right on your everyday outing, and cope with a bit of pace for your weekend burn. The midsole is nice and springy, and the toe box is comfortably wide. A great combo that will get out on the road safe in the knowledge this is a shoe that goes about its work reliably.
Hoka Clifton 5
This is an interesting shoe for sure. You sit atop an amazingly cushioned midsole that truthfully feels a bit like a waterbed. But once running in these shoes, the performance is fantastic and quite possibly you’ll be a life-long convert. For many, low number heel to toe drops (4mm) are difficult to handle but thanks to that elevated cushioning system you’ll get from the double size midsole these offer the ultimate package – a competitive feel thanks to those 4mm and great comfort.