We review these great mid-range running shoes.

Triathlon Reviews - Running ShoesNew Balance 905

£75
www.newbalance.co.uk
296g

Towards the heavier end of the racing shoes spectrum, this is a more stable model than most. It has New Balance’s TS2 ‘transitional support system’ – basically a medial post with different densities of foam so you don’t experience that ‘slap’ feeling in heavy support shoes. The N-lock lacing system anchors the laces to the midfoot, so even if you swap for elastics, you’ll get a snug fit. The tongue is completely sewn in on one side with a thick elastic attachment on the other, so it can’t move – this actually makes it easier to get your feet in. They’re firm but not harsh, and the stiff rear and midfoot and sturdy cushioning make them responsive, with good energy return.

VERDICT

Stable, firm and smooth racing shoe with a fast feel and snug fit.

Performance: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Triathlon Reviews - Running ShoesNike Lunar Elite+

£85

www.nike.com

264g

Not strictly a racer but a ‘lightweight tempo shoe’ – we’d certainly be happy to line these up in transition thanks to their skinny weight and supersoft feel. It’s an odd shape – kind of loose in the width, though we liked the Flywire strips on the midfoot upper giving a feeling of security. On stepping in it feels too pillowy to be much use, but we were surprised at how responsive and fast it felt, particularly if you’re a heavier runner used to firm, dense shoes. It is quite bouncy though and while the outsole helps control pronation, they’re better suited to neutral runners. Nike are masters of try-on comfort and the lovely soft inner is a treat for T2.

VERDICT

Highly cushioned but surprisingly racy shoe for neutral runners.

Performance: 4/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Triathlon Reviews - Running ShoesNike Lunaracer 2

£85

www.nike.com

196g

The first thing you notice about the Lunaracer 2 is how soft it feels underfoot – rare in a shoe so featherlight. While the heavier Elite+ works well as a trainer or racer, this ‘softly softly’ midsole approach is a drag in such a pure race shoe. During high intensity efforts it starts to feel like a set of brakes. The Lunar midsole provides great cushioning and low weight, but doesn’t feel responsive or stable enough, like a training rather than racing shoe. Bear in mind the fit is quite narrow too. The Nike Flywire ensures the upper doesn’t collapse, which makes it quick to pull on. Decent race shoe, but if you prefer something firm and positive, look elsewhere.

VERDICT

Incredibly light and soft racers, but not a shoe for the superfast runner

Performance: 3/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Triathlon Reviews - Running ShoesAdidas Adizero Kona

£85

www.adidas.com

228g (size 10)

This is a tri-specific idea from the guys who keep Ali Brownlee in shoes. This shoe is ultra-light with a super-breathable upper for cool feet. It’s designed with transition in mind, with a big heel loop, a Velcro strap instead of laces, and wide, open foot hole. This does affect fit though across the top of your foot. The one-piece upper has no seams to annoy your feet. We also like the grippy, low outsole to help you claw the ground. There’s a plastic ‘torsion system’ in the midsole and two densities of foam in the heel to control pronation, but with their low profile and lack of support features, they’re for fast, neutral runners.

VERDICT

Nice idea and worth a try if you want a racy shoe that’s quick to get on

Performance: 4/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Triathlon Reviews - Running ShoesSaucony Grid GetGo

£89.99

www.saucony.co.uk

310g

Just teetering over 300g – a weight we’d normally consider maximum for racers – the GetGo is a light training shoe that includes Saucony’s FlexionPlate, a platform under the midsole to aid your transition from heelstrike to forefoot. It was this FlexionPlate that split our tester’s opinions and some felt it made the shoes far too stiff. Some felt the GetGo encouraged their feet to slap down, whereas others, particularly heel-strikers, felt it was well-suited to their running style and the faster you run, the better it seems to work. It’s not the lightest shoe, but its firm and bouncy cushioning makes up for those extra grams.

VERDICT

Good, protective shoe, best for heel strikers – but not everybody’s cup of tea.

Performance: 3/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 3/5