Put your best foot forward with a light, responsive and flexible shoe. We tested six road race shoes to see which was best for picking up the pace…
1. HOKA HUAKA £100
For runners who like to be a little bit different allow us to introduce you to the Hoka Huaka. It offers a rocker geometry that promotes a quick toe-off, a low 2mm heel to toe drop which helps create a better running action and that all-important cushioning – 50 per cent more than other shoes. In terms of performance the shoe is lightweight and perhaps a little stiffer than some but that’s no bad thing in terms of more pacy runs.
2. NIKE FLYKNIT LUNAR 3 £140
This is light, cushioned, supportive and ready for anything you wish to throw at it. We liked the soft feel of the Lunarlon foam and the dynamic fit technology that wraps the midfoot and arch, but we also loved its responsiveness. Nike fans will be glad to know it’s pretty much the same (only lighter) as the Lunar 2 and for non- Nike converts, it’s a simple shoe that provides exactly what it promises – comfort at pace.
3. ASICS GEL DS TRAINER 20 £107
Buying into the DS trainer brand is something runners have been doing for 20 years now, so that probably tells you everything you need to know. The firm but responsive ride this shoe provides is something runners get on with famously thanks to the impact guidance system, plus the rearfoot and forefoot gel. It all adds up to create a stiffer, supportive shoe that’s ready for action. It’s the lightest DS trainer to date but not at the expense of cushioning. Good news for PB seekers.
4. SAUCONY RIDE 7 £105
Few shoes offer such everyday comfort as the Ride 7. Thanks to the blown rubber outsole, Powergrid cushioning to use Saucony-speak, it’s not too whimsical to say these shoes put a spring in your stride. We love the responsive cushioning and the way it combines long run comfort with speedier performance. There’s plenty of technology to enjoy, notably in the breathable, seamless fabric department. These shoes are considerably lighter than previous versions as well as being nicely supportive.
5. ADIDAS ADIZERO ADIOS BOOST £110
Thanks to the shoe’s outstanding response and flexibility these are definitely the friend of serious athlete types. Like any shoe in this category, it’s rammed with technology – a boost midsole, the Coolever mesh upper and adidas’ Torsion system, which does a great job of translating your stride into forward motion. Weight? None to speak of, these are stripped down ready to race shoes. Serious runners step forward. If you live in a world of PBs and negative splits, you’ll love these.
6. NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM ZANTE £95
A really cushioned and springy ride is on offer here. The upper is lightweight, snug and supple giving a comfortable fit with a secure feel to the heel and midfoot. There’s a more supple feel around the forefoot, too. The Fresh Foam works well and gives cushioning that has a spring to it. This is a neutral shoe but when you combine the lightness and forefoot flexibility, you feel you can push the pace on for some fast running as well as clocking up the miles.
WORDS: Paul LArkins
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