Picking up a new pair of trainers from a list of the best running shoes is no easy task, so we've broken those options down to make the decision easier for all types of runner.
Whether you're looking for the most comfortable option for ticking off your daily mileage or you want to find out about the latest carbon plate race shoes to crush your next PB, we run through the best options available at the moment.
We've tried to unpack years of learnings, mistakes and lessons below and rounded up the best shoes we've taken onto the roads. If you're looking for trail running shoes, we have a specialist guide for that.
Jump to the running shoes you want:
- The best all-round running shoe
- The best running shoes for racing
- The best running shoes for fast training
- The best cushioned running shoes
- The best stability running shoes
You also have to consider price, because part of running‚Äôs appeal has always been that it doesn‚Äôt require a lot of expensive equipment. Today‚Äôs flagship shoes cost north of $200, but you can still find excellent picks under $150.
Below you‚Äôll find a selection of shoes to fulfil the desires of all kinds of road runners, which we‚Äôve tested by putting them through at least 50 to 60 miles of running at different speeds, including long, tempo and easy runs, speed sessions and races when possible.
- The right fit: Check out our best running shoes for women
The Endorphin Speed 2, like its predecessor, has got something for everyone. The combination of a full-length nylon plate with the impressive PWRRUN PB midsole foam makes for a shoe that can take runners from comfortable training runs all the way up to race day.
At 229g, it sits at the lower end of the weight spectrum, making it an ideal option when it comes to picking up the pace. However, that stack off Saucony's lightweight foam makes it feel like a shoe with a lot more support and cushioning underfoot than you would expect from something so nimble.
Unlike carbon plate super shoes designed specifically for racing, the nylon plate in the Speed 2 offers a more subtle experience, with the Speedroll technology helping to promote an efficient movement instead of feeling like it's propelling you forward.
In comparison to the original Speed ‚Äď and something that will be music to the ears of anyone who enjoyed it ‚Äď very little has changed in the Speed 2, with any modifications taking place in the upper section to add additional comfort and breathability.
Whether you're a beginner looking for a versatile shoe for all of your training or a seasoned athlete that wants something for faster training sessions, the Endorphin Speed 2 is one of the best options out there.
New Balance FuelCell TC
As with any carbon plated shoe, comparisons with the Vaporfly range are inevitable. However, setting up any using carbon plate technology as a competitor to Nike's race shoe means that you're not seeing the bigger picture.
The FuelCell TC, unlike the Vaporfly, is a shoe that's designed for training and racing. Yes, it has a carbon plate, but that's largely where any similarity ends. At 281 grams it's noticeably heavier than a focussed race shoe and the build offers significantly more durability than what you find in the Next%.
The combination of the plate, the FuelCell foam and the comfy, durable build won us over instantly as an impressive all-round shoe, offering an impressively bouncy ride that still allows you to pick up the pace on race day or in faster training runs.
There really isn't anything the FuelCell TC can't do well, which makes it a great option if you want one pair of shoes that gives you a responsive, energetic feel with each step that'll cover you from enjoyable long training runs to hitting it hard on race day. We've covered over 100km in the FuelCell TC so far and find ourselves looking forward to wearing it for each run ‚Äď not too shabby when it comes to the looks department as well.
Saucony Ride 14
Saucony's Ride line of shoes has long been its most popular for those runners looking for a bit of everything. The latest version takes the best elements of the series and updates them with some welcome modifications.
The PWRRUN foam is largely where the magic happens, delivering just enough cushioning for a soft ride without sacrificing the ability to pick up the pace if the mood takes you. Whether you're heading out for some long slow miles or you're planning to push yourself for some fast training sessions, it ticks all of the boxes.
The upper, made from a mesh material, is as comfortable and plush as it gets. The soft fabric feels loose around your foot whilst still maintaining an impressive level of support, and the thick collar offers an exceptionally pleasing experience from the first time you step inside.
About the only thing the Ride 14 doesn't do is flat out racing. So if you're looking for a lightweight option for race day you may want to investigate some of the faster shoes on the list. For balance, value and all-round training, you really can't go wrong.
The Cloudflow line of shoes has always been a reliable option for anyone seeking a lightweight, responsive shoe to train and race in, but the redesigned shoe has even more appeal as an all-rounder thanks to the addition of On‚Äôs Helion foam to the midsole, which makes the shoe softer and more accommodating for easy runs as well.
There‚Äôs still enough snap in the Cloudflow to race in, and it‚Äôs light at 235g (men‚Äôs) or 198g (women‚Äôs). Of the all-rounders on this list the Cloudflow is probably the firmest option, so if you prefer a more responsive ride for all your running it‚Äôs a great pick.
Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
Nike‚Äôs Pegasus line has always been a go-to option for runners seeking a solid all-round running shoe to train and race in, but the introduction of the souped-up Pegasus Turbo has taken that to another level. The Turbo was launched in 2018 and immediately blew both the Pegasus 35 and every other all-rounder shoe out of the water in offering the ideal combination of comfort and speed, and the Turbo 2 is just as impressive as its predecessor.
Unfortunately, the Pegasus Turbo line has been discontinued, but if you can still pick a pair up it's still one of the best options out there today ‚Äď especially considering you may be able to find it at a discount.
In the midsole, you‚Äôll find a combination of two of Nike‚Äôs proprietary foams ‚Äď ZoomX and React. ZoomX is the lightweight, bouncy foam used in the Vaporfly and it‚Äôs pretty much perfect aside from the fact it‚Äôs not all that durable, which is fine in a pure racing shoe like the Vaporfly, but not the Pegasus Turbo, which has many training miles to cover as well. Thus the hardy React foam has been added to the midsole to increase the durability of the Turbo, with great results ‚Äď we found our set of the first edition of the shoe lasted well beyond 500 miles.
The second edition of the Pegasus Turbo leaves the brilliant midsole unchanged but has an updated upper, which is lighter and more breathable than on the original shoe. It‚Äôs not a huge change, but the good news is that Nike also did away with the racing stripe that ran down the centre of the first Pegasus Turbo, so the new shoe is easier on the eye as well.
Nike Zoom Vaporfly Next% 2
How do you follow up the greatest long-distance racing shoe of all time? That‚Äôs the question Nike had to answer with the Next%, the successor to the Vaporfly 4% ‚Äď the shoe that runners of all levels have been using to set personal bests and world records over the past couple of years. The Next% 2 retains that technology and updates it with a modified upper to increase fit and comfort.
Nike started by adding in 15% more ZoomX foam into the midsole of the Next% compared to the 4%, to provide more comfort and bounce. The carbon plate is still one of the best options out there today, helping to propel you to those PBs with an incredible responsiveness that promotes a noticeable efficiency when tackling any distance.
The upper and outsole are also able to handle rainy days. The former is now an engineered mesh, which is more breathable than the previous Vaporweave upper, and the outsole manages to tackle corners at speed ‚Äď exactly what you need on race day.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%
The Alphafly NEXT% received a lot of attention when it was originally announced due to the large stack height and fact Kipchoge used a prototype model during his sub-two-hour attempt. Since then it has become one of the most popular carbon plate race options, as well as one of the most expensive shoes runners can buy.
For anyone unfamiliar with Nike's carbon plate shoes, the difference between the Alphafly NEXT% and the Vaporfly NEXT% can be unclear. Both offer similar technical features ‚Äď including ZoomX foam and the carbon plate ‚Äď but in practice, they deliver very different experiences.
As well as having a lower drop of 4mm, the shoe also includes two Air Zoom pods at the front, a new Atomknit upper, and more rubber on the outsole for grip. Like the Varporfly NEXT%, it's a shoe built for speed and delivers a high level of bounce and propulsion when running.
For many, the two shoes are difficult to choose between, but the Alphafly NEXT% delivers a higher level of support and cushioning than the Vaporfly, in contrast, it's slightly heavier and the lower offset is not for everyone.
New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite V2
It doesn't seem long ago that the first carbon plate shoes that weren't made by Nike hit the market. Now many brands are producing new iterations of their own carbon plate lines, often with vast improvements on previous versions.
The New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite V2 is a prime example of that, taking the competent RC Elite and flicking the volume dial up a few notches. The bulk of that advancement has come in the form of a more pronounced plate for propulsion and a healthy increase in the amount of midsole foam.
When you first get your hands on the Elite V2, you immediately notice how incredibly soft that midsole foam really is. To the touch, it's like pressing down on a marshmallow ‚Äď a sensation that produces a noticeable level of bounce when you take them out for a run.
Like the Nike Vaporfly, it's a sensation that seems to absorb the energy from every stride and returns it back in the form of a light, fluid motion that makes racing feel significantly more efficient. Is it as good as the Nike Vaporfly? It's definitely one of the most similar super shoes we've tried, however, the softness may not be to everyone's taste.
Asics Metaspeed Sky
When it comes to race day, the Metaspeed Sky is one of the most impressive carbon plate shoes we've tested. The combination of the propulsive plate with Asics' FF Turbo midsole foam ‚Äď like an upgraded version of the FF Blast foam found in the Novablast ‚Äď makes for an almost identical experience to that found in Nike's super shoes.
The upper is made from a light, breathable material that feels comfortable and relaxed as well as offering a good lockdown when picking up the pace, and there's plenty of cushioning around the heel collar to hold the foot in place with soft, luxurious padding.
The Metaspeed Sky isn't the only carbon plate shoe that Asics has released this year ‚Äď there's also the Metaspeed Edge. Both shoes are designed to help increase the efficiency of running styles, with the Metaspeed Sky focussude on those runners with a wide stride length, and the Metaspeed edge built for those runners who increase cadence when running at speed.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 2
After the launch of the disappointing Hyperion Elite earlier in the year, Brooks has come back for round two with a significantly more impressive carbon fibre contender.
Updated with a DNA Flash midsole ‚Äď instead of the DNA Zero foam used in the previous iteration ‚Äď the Elite 2 has become one of the standout competitors to Nike's Vaporfly NEXT% and Alphafly NEXT% options, featuring a soft, springy experience that's conducive to picking up the pace on race day.
Although it may not quite have the noticeable energy return that you'll find in Nike's leading carbon race shoes, the Elite is a great all-round option for racing whether you're aiming for a Parkrun PB or you going for a full marathon distance. At those longer distances, it delivers a consistently comfortable ride that keeps your legs feeling fresh for miles.
As well as a light, comfortable upper, the Elite 2 has additional support in the heel section, which makes for a nice secure fit. For us, it's also a noticeabley more stable shoe than some of the high stack carbon plate options out there.
Saucony Kinvara 12
Saucony's Kinvara series has long been a favorite with those looking for a fast, lightweight shoe that still offers a nice level of cushioning ‚Äď and the most recent addition to the range doesn't disappoint.
The Kinvara 12, by far one of the most eye-catching looking designs we've seen over the past year, has all the benefits we've come to expect from the shoe. The most important being Saucony's PWRRUN foam in the midsole which offers a good balance between responsiveness and cushioning when it comes to faster training.
At 213 grams, it's a great option for race day and that new cushioning manages to make it feel comfortable as well as offering a level of responsiveness that's surprising for a speed shoe of this level. In fact, to say the Kinvara 12 is a race shoe is a disservice as it delivers extremely well as a training shoe if you're looking for something that's a bit snappier.
With an increased level of durability due to the PWRRUN foam and an extremely supportive and comfortable mesh upper, the Kinvara 12 is great value for money and well worth a look if you're training for a PB.
Adidas may well be one of the big players in the running space but over the past few years, its range of race shoes has largely been overshadowed by Nike's output. Yes, there's the Ultraboost ‚Äď a formidable all-round shoes, but a long way off a fast racer.
The SL20 is probably the most exciting release from adidas in recent years ‚Äď until the release of its new carbon plate shoe, that is. At 230g it's clear where the shoe is focussed, thanks to a new foam adidas are calling Lightstrike. For fast running it's an absolute dream, offering an incredibly light and snappy ride that's perfect for anything from track training to 10k road racing. Anything longer and we've found it may be a bit too hard to offer enough cushioning for most runners.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the shoe is the price. If we were to have guessed we would have said it would be significantly more than the $120 price tag ‚Äď you can even find it considerably cheaper at a lot of retailers, something that makes the SL20 incredible value.
The shoe also incorporates an incredibly durable Continental rubber outsole, a secure upper mesh and comes in a range of colorways. As with most adidas Shoes, it can come up slightly tight on the forefoot, though.
361 Degrees Feisu 2
Chinese company 361 Degrees may not be one of the most well known running shoe brands in the UK and the US, but over the last couple of years, the range has been growing in popularity. The Feisu 2 is the second iteration of the brand's popular race shoe. At 204 grams, it's an impressively lightweight option that also manages to combine some of the best features of the 361 catalogue.
Perhaps the most noticeable of those features is the overall fit and stability of the shoe that comes from MORPHIT microfiber mid-foot, a design which makes the Feisu 2 go almost unnoticeable on your feet as you're picking up the pace ‚Äď something that is a big plus point in any fast race shoe. We're also a big fan of the ergonomically designed pressure-free tongue, which focusses the cushioning in the central section of the material.
There is, as you'd expect, minimal cushioning in the Feisu 2, but for something that weighs in at 204 grams, there's a lot more than we expected ‚Äď which makes it one of the more comfortable racers we've tried. Especially when you compare with a noticeably hard midsole like the Adidas SL20.
We've tested the Feisu 2 out from the track to longer distance training runs and a half marathon. In race conditions it feels great. The minimal weight and secure fit make it a great choice for a quick pace and you'll find that you forget that you're wearing them. For slower runs and training you'll inevitably need to look for a pair with more cushioning.
Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate
Salomon may well be one of the leading brands when it comes to hitting the trails but its range of road shoes is significantly lesser known amongst the running community. Whether the historical reasons for that are the shoes themselves or just a lack of marketing, we're not sure, but the Sonic 3 Accelerate is well worth a look if you're after a fast shoe for training and race day.
There are a number of design features that make the Sonic 3 Accelerate stand out. For us the most important is the addition of the Optivibe foam design: a dual-layer midsole that offers a high level of impact cushioning whilst still maintaining the feel of a harder race shoe. It's a feature that you don't notice in the first few kilometres but one that really comes into its own after you've been hitting the pavement for a while, making the shoe a great option for holding a fast pace over 10km and half marathon distances.
In addition to the impressive midsole, there's a mesh upper that combines perforations for breathability with a feature called Sensifit: an ergonomic set of pads that sit around the heel and midfoot to keep the foot held securely when you're picking up the pace. Overall it's a great feeling shoe that manages to balance stability with a level of comfort and cushioning that we found surprising for a speed shoe.
For us, it's a formidable option if you're looking for a fast, hard shoe that feels like a racer but you still need a level of cushioning to minimise impact. Salomon has also carried across its learnings from its trail range, incorporating a Contagrip outsole ‚Äď an addition that does a formidable job in tackling varied road surfaces and ensuring extra durability on the forefoot and heel.
Asics Metaracer Tokyo
Although the Metaracer was one of 2020's most eagerly anticipated carbon plated running shoes, similarities to the Nike Vaporfly Next% are limited. There's a noticeable lack of bounce and energy return to the Metaracer which makes it perform more like a more conventional lightweight race shoe than what you'll find in many of the latest carbon options.
That is in no way a negative point. Just because a shoe has a carbon plate doesn't mean it needs to offer exactly the same performance benefits ‚Äď and not all runners want to race in a Vaporfly. As a fast race shoe, the Metaracer delivers extremely well, offering a snappy ride that adds just a hint of energy return.
Unlike the New Balance FuelCell TC, the Metaracer is an all-out racer and not a shoe you'll see any benefit from over slower training runs. It does, however, offer an impressive amount of rubber on the outsole, especially in comparison to what you would expect from a carbon-plate race shoe. So we'd expect to hold out very well in terms of durability and it does a commendable job when it comes to gripping wet ground.
The main downside to the Metaracer is the price. At $200 it's cheaper than options like the Saucony Endorphin Pro or the Vaporfly Next%, but that's still a lot of money for a shoe that only slightly benefits from the addition of a carbon plate.
Like the Metaracer, the Cloudboom is a good example of a carbon (infused) plate shoe that isn't designed to be a direct competitor to Nike's Vaporfly Next%.
Although On states that the Cloudboom is designed for speed over marathon distance, that probably applies more for the type of runner that wants minimal cushioning. For us, the shoe is best suited for racing and speed training up to half marathon distance, largely due to a noticeable hardness in the midsole.
At 225g, it sits towards the lighter side of the race shoe market and offers a quick, snappy run that's noticeable when you're going all out. For training runs there's very little benefit and the Cloudboom does little to help cushion impact over longer slow runs.
At $199.99 it's one of the cheaper full length plate shoes designed for racing, but it is also one that has a very specific use case, unlike the Vaporfly Next% or Fuelcell TC which deliver across all distances.
Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%
The Tempo Next% takes learning from across Nike's performance range and pulls them together to produce a shoe that's designed specifically for tempo running.
That technology includes React foam in the heel for minimising impact, ZoomX foam in the midsole for a lightweight, propulsive feel and Air Zoom pods in the forefoot to deliver a responsive bounce when you push off with each step.
Although it shares numerous similarities with the Vaporfly and Alphafly race shoes, the Tempo Next% delivers a very different experience. It's heavier than those options with a level of hardness that is immediately noticeable when you start running. The reason for that is likely due to the fact it's built to be more durable, offering significantly more miles than you can expect from shoes specifically designed for race day.
As the name suggests, the shoe is designed for those runs where you want to train at a higher speed for longer, safe in the knowledge that you can wear them many times without fear that they'll wear down quickly.
Hoka One One Rocket X
The Hoka Rocket X is an important lesson that all shoes built with a carbon plate are not designed for the same purpose. Like the Carbon X, the Rocket X is a shoe delivering an experience that feels like a non-carbon shoe but still benefits from the addition of a plate.
By that we mean it doesn't have the bounce that you get from the Alphafy Next% or the Vaporfly NEXT%, but, it's still an incredibly fast shoe, feeling more like a traditional lightweight racer with a very subtle energy return benefit. That energy return becomes notice as you run and makes it a great option for tempo runs and races up to half marathon distance.
For the price, the Rocket X is by far one of the best value carbon plate shoes available at the moment. It offers a good level of cushioning ‚Äď although maybe not enough for most marathon runners ‚Äď and has a firm, locked-down fit that makes it great for running at speed.
The Novablast is one of the bounciest, softest and most noticeably cushioned shoes you're likely to find ‚Äď as a result, it's a fairly polarising shoe. In our testing we've found they're an extremely comfortable and enjoyable option to run in, offering a surprising level of bounce and responsiveness.
Although the Flytefoam Blast midsole can feel a bit like running on marshmallow, the energy return you get with each step is noticeably springy. We've ran in them from 5km jogs to about 15km at faster pace and it delivers extremely well for everything up to about 10km.
The downside of the Novablast is a lack of stability, and everything from the high cushioning to a slightly loose feeling upper does make them struggle as a great technical option, especially for longer distances and racing.
For a general runner who's putting in a couple of lighter runs a week, they're an incredibly enjoyable shoe to run in and we've found ourselves picking them off the shelf increasingly often when our main focus is fun mileage. The 10mm drop is an acquired taste and definitely not one to experiment with if you're used to a flatter shoe, but if you like a bit of bounce, they're well worth a look.
Brooks Glycerin 19
Like the Hoka Clifton, the Glycerin is built for comfort, with plenty of soft cushioning underfoot and a plushy-padded upper and tongue. Heck, even the laces are spongier than on most shoes. As a result heavier runners, or anyone who just wants a more comfortable run, should look closely at the Glycerin.
Given that it‚Äôs purpose-built for comfort rather than speed, it‚Äôs not surprising that the Glycerin is quite heavy and the heel-to-toe transition of the shoe is sedate, rather than snappy. If you‚Äôre all about logging a faster parkrun then it might not be your best bet, but if you‚Äôre new to running and want to cruise around in the utmost comfort, it‚Äôs definitely up there with the Clifton. In particular, anyone tackling their first marathon should check it out as a top pick for the long grind of training.
In addition to an updated mesh upper for a better fit, the latest iteration of the Glycerin ups the comfort level even more by increasing the DNA Loft cushioning in the midsole. And if looks are your focus, the new colorways are by far our favourite of the Glycerin range to date.
Hoka One One Clifton Edge
The Clifton Edge is one of the more outlandish designs we've seen in 2020 (although the TenNine probably takes the top spot for that award). Like the previous iterations of the Clifton range, it's a shoe designed primarily for comfort. The big difference in this latest addition is the inclusion of a noticeably extended heel section.
The function of that heel is to add an extra level of support and cushioning to the heel section, which then aids movement through a smooth transition to the midfoot. In practise that isn't particularly noticeable, however, the Clifton Edge maintains a comfortable ride that feels like you have a lot of support underfoot ‚Äď without the additional weight that often comes with that (despite the fact it looks considerably larger than most shoes).
When hitting the steeper downhills there's a noticeable benefit to that extra cushioning on the back. It's a nice feeling and one which may be a big bonus to those runners with a particularly heavy heel strike. Aside from that, the shoe offers little more than what you can expect from the standard Clifton design.
Also worth noting that the Clifton Edge tends to fit small, so aim for a half size up.
Brooks Ghost 13
When a shoe line reaches its 13th version you know it must be doing something right. In the case of the Ghost 13 that something is, for the most part, comfort.
Featuring a new full length DNA Loft midsole, the Ghost 13 is a great choice if you're looking for a reliable, cushioned ride that covers you whether you're doing a short recovery run or heading out for some long, slow miles.
The upper has a relaxed fit that feels instantly comfortable and the light midsole does a great job at taking the brunt of the impact when you're covering a lot of training miles. In addition, there's a thick layer of rubber on the outsole to ensure that not only can it grip varied terrain, but you can feel safe in the knowledge that the added durability will keep them in your shoe rotation for a good while.
The only issues we found with the Ghost 13 were that the loose fit doesn't feel as secure and locked down as many runners might want and the soft cushioning does lack responsiveness when it comes to picking up the pace.
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8
Given the substantial stack of cushioning on the bottom of the Clifton 8, you‚Äôd be pretty gutted if you stepped into it and it didn‚Äôt feel gloriously soft, so it‚Äôs fortunate that it absolutely does deliver on that front, offering as comfortable a ride as you‚Äôll find on any running shoe.
That soft ride makes the Clifton a great option for any runner who prioritises comfort in their shoe. Whether that‚Äôs just for long and easy runs, or for all your running, the Clifton is durable and protects your legs from the rigours of a busy training regime.
In past editions of the Clifton, however, the soft ride has made it a far from ideal shoe to use when you want to up the pace. With the Clifton 8 ‚Äď and its predecessors the Clifton 6 and 7 ‚Äď Hoka has managed to tweak the ride of the shoe to make it smoother and a little more responsive. It‚Äôs still not going to outgun a pure racer, but you can use it for running at speed more comfortably than with past versions of the shoe. It's also pretty light at 250g, despite being amply-cushioned, thanks to the foam Hoka uses.
The third iteration of On's popular support shoe has become one of our favourite options when it comes to daily training miles. Like its predecessors, the Cloudflyer is designed to deliver stability and cushioning without adding unnecessary weight to the ride.
The result is a shoe that offers a wonderfully balanced all round experience across any distance; the kind of shoe you pick wear when you want to enjoy your run for as long as possible.
The updated design incorporates On's Helion Superfoam, a material that feels significantly softer than the midsole in the earlier version, whilst still retaining a nice level of energy return as you're running.
As stability shoes go, the Cloudflyer offers a subtler level of support than you might find in some of the heavier options available. So much so that it feels more like a cushioned daily trainer than a shoe specifically for those who pronate. Whether you do or not, it's an excellent choice if you're looking for a sturdy, comfortable and lightweight ride that can be used for everything from short distances to marathon events.
- Shoe review: Mizuno Wave Skyrise
- We test Hoka's lightweight Rincon
- Review: Hoka One One Carbon X
- We test UA's HOVR Rise shoe
- Review: New Balance FuelCell Rebel
- We test the Saucony Guide 13
- Review: Asics GlideRide
- Review: Brooks Ghost 13
- Review: Saucony Ride 13
- Review: 361 Degrees Strata 4
- Review: Hoka One One Clifton 7
- Review: On Cloudflyer
- We test the Asics Metaracer Tokyo
- Review: Hoka Clifton Edge
- We test the 361 Degrees Feisu 2
- Review: Brooks Glycerin 19
- Review: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11
- Review: Hoka One One Carbon X 2
- Review: Saucony Endorphin Shift
- Review: 361 Degrees Fierce
- Review: Brooks Hyperion Elite 2
361 Degrees Strata 4
If your main focus in a running shoe is comfort and support, the fourth iteration of 361 Degrees' flagship stability lineup has a lot to offer. As well of one of the most satisfyingly cushioned uppers we've tried, the shoe incorporates a host of features that deliver a tough and sturdy ride, without feeling too bulky.
The upper section is made of a thick plush material that offers an experience akin to putting your feet inside a pair of cosy slippers. That includes an interconnected cushioned tongue that stays firmly in place to create a seamless step in comfort.
Support comes from a combination of a reinforced heel structure, a medial post and 361's Morphit lace design that ties the foot in place without feeling obtrusive of restrictive.
The midsole combines 361's EVA rubber QU!KFOAM material with the addition of a QU!K Spring+ layer ‚Äď an EVA foam that's meant to deliver more rebound and less compression. Unsurprisingly for a stability shoe, it isn't noticeably responsive, but we did find it to be a comfortable shoe across multiple distances.
At 344g for men, it's far from being a light shoe and it's unlikely to be a preferred option on race day if you're chasing a PB. However, for those that pronate or heavier runners that want a shoe that feels secure, it's a reliable option that has one of the most comfortable uppers we've experienced.