The best running shoes 2021 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

Top men's road running shoes stress-tested for comfort and speed
The best men's road running shoes 2021

If you ask 10 different runners what the best running shoe is, you’ll probably get 10 different answers.

One might be nipping out speedy 5Ks and relying on lightweight shoes, while the next person could be consistently logging 80-100 miles weekly and needing shoes for marathon or ultramarathon distances

In short, finding the right shoe for you starts with considering what you want to use it for.

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:

You also have to consider price, because part of running’s appeal has always been that it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. Today’s flagship shoes cost north of $200, but you can still find excellent picks under $150.

Below you’ll find a selection of shoes to fulfil the desires of all kinds of road runners, which we’ve 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 best all rounder running shoe

New Balance FuelCell TC

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

The rise of carbon plated running shoes has seen the majority of the leading brands launching their own versions over the past few months. New Balance's first entry is the Fuel Cell 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 – not too shabby when it comes to the looks department as well.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2

The best running shoes 2020: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

Nike’s 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.

In the midsole you’ll find a combination of two of Nike’s proprietary foams – ZoomX and React. ZoomX is the lightweight, bouncy foam used in the Vaporfly and it’s pretty much perfect aside from the fact it’s 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 – 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’s 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.

Hoka One One Rincon

The best running shoes 2019: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

The Rincon has a lot of standout features on paper – it’s very light at 218g (men’s) while still having ample cushioning, and Hoka’s early stage Meta-Rocker is always impressive in delivering a smooth heel-to-transition.

What's more, you get all of that for $115, which is a bargain in a running shoe market that’s now stretching well beyond $200.

However, what really stands out about the Rincon when you actually run in it is how fun it is. It’s not bouncy like an Adidas Boost shoe or the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2, but that smooth transition, lack of heft and chunky cushioning all combine to create a ride that’s a joy to experience, whether you’re heading out for a tough tempo session, an easy recovery effort, or even a race.

Take the Rincon out for a long progression run in particular and you can experience how the shoe just feels better and better as you increase the pace and distance covered.

It doesn’t have the carbon plate you’ll find in the pricier Hoka One One Carbon X shoe, but the Rincon is just as good a racer at any distance shorter than perhaps a full marathon, and a whole lot cheaper and lighter than Hoka’s flagship road shoe to boot.

Saucony Ride 13

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 new 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 13 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.

On Cloudflow

The best running shoes 2019: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

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’s Helion foam to the midsole, which makes the shoe softer and more accommodating for easy runs as well.

There’s still enough snap in the Cloudflow to race in, and it’s light at 235g (men’s) or 198g (women’s). 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’s a great pick.

The best running shoes for racing

Nike Zoom Vaporfly Next%

The best running shoes 2020: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

How do you follow up the greatest long-distance racing shoe of all time? That’s the question Nike had to answer with the Next%, the successor to the Vaporfly 4% – the shoe that runners of all levels have been using to set personal bests and world records over the past couple of years.

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 in place in the midsole, helping to propel you to those PBs, but the offset of the shoe has been changed, with more foam in the forefoot to reduce the drop of the shoe from 11mm to 8mm, which provides a more stable feel to the ride, especially when running in wet weather.

The upper and outsole are also better able to handle rainy days. The former is now made of Vaporweave, which is more breathable and absorbs less water than the Flyknit used for the 4%’s upper, and the outsole has more traction. Sometimes the 4% could feel a little dicey when rounding sharp corners at speed, but that’s not the case with the Next%.

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%

The best running shoes 2021 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 – including ZoomX foam and the carbon plate – 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 Rebel

The best running shoes to buy in 2019

There’s an awful lot to like about the FuelCell Rebel and that starts with the price. While $129.99 isn’t cheap by any stretch, it’s significantly cheaper than the other shoes we’d rate in its class as a racing and faster training shoe, such as the Pegasus Turbo 2 and the Hoka One One Carbon X. It’s very lightweight at 208g (men’s), but still has enough cushioning for longer runs – and it’s also a great deal of fun to run in.

The Rebel’s midsole is made of New Balance’s FuelCell foam, which is lightweight and bouncy, exactly what you want when you’re aiming to log long distances at speed. Most runners will find that it’s not quite soft enough for easy training, but any time you want to up the pace the Rebel is a terrific shoe to have on your foot, and it has enough cushioning for a full marathon.

Although the bootie-like upper is comfortable and provides a secure fit, we’ve found that the Rebel in general runs a little small, so it’s worth moving up half a size.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 2

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 – instead of the DNA Zero foam used in the previous iteration – 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 11

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 – and the most recent addition to the range doesn't disappoint.

The Kinvara 11, by far one of the most impressive looking designs we've seen over the past year, has all the benefits we've come to expect from the shoe. The biggest upgrade, aside from the smart new aesthetics, is the addition of Saucony's PWRRUN foam in the midsole (the Kinvara 10 used a EVA+ midsole with an EVERUN topsole).

At 220 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 11 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 11 is great value for money and well worth a look if you're training for a PB.

Adidas SL20

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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 – 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 – 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 – 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

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 – 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 – 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

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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 – an addition that does a formidable job in tackling varied road surfaces and ensuring extra durability on the forefoot and heel.

Asics Metaracer Tokyo

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

Although the Metaracer is 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 – 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.

On Cloudboom

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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.

The best running shoes for fast training

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%

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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

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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 – although maybe not enough for most marathon runners – and has a firm, locked-down fit that makes it great for running at speed.

The best cushioned running shoe

Adidas Ultraboost 20

The best running shoes 2019: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

The original Ultraboost was a game-changer in terms of offering a quality running shoe that was also fashionable enough to stroll around town in, and it was much-imitated as a result. After the Ultraboost 19 – that saw adidas make its first major update to the shoe since it launched with upgrades to comfort, durability and boost cushioning – comes the newest addition to the range, the Ultraboost 20.

Aside from a purely aesthetic design makeover launched in partnership with the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory, updates include Tailored Fibre Placement technology in the Primeknit upper for added support and additional design tweaks to the Boost midsole.

That Boost foam is the key to the shoe’s appeal. It lasts forever, offering a springy ride that especially good for helping you to hold your pace over long runs. The Ultraboost might not be a light shoe, but we’ve always found that we could clock up decent speeds over long runs in it because of the bounce in the foam.

ASICS Novablast

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

The Novablast is one of the bounciest, softest and most noticeably cushioned shoes you're likely to find – 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 18

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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’s purpose-built for comfort rather than speed, it’s not surprising that the Glycerin is quite heavy and the heel-to-toe transition of the shoe is sedate, rather than snappy. If you’re all about logging a faster parkrun then it might not be your best bet, but if you’re new to running and want to cruise around in the utmost comfort, it’s 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

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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 – 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.

Mizuno Wave Skyrise

The best running shoes 2020: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

Although, in our opinion, the Wave Skyrise isn't one of the most attractive looking shoes on the market. What it lacks in looks it makes up for in comfort over any distance.

Everything about this shoe is made to make those slow training miles as enjoyable as possible. The sturdy upper incorporates a Dynomotion fit fabric that's both supportive and relaxed. The mesh design is stretchy and offers a nice level of breathability, and the tongue is enjoyably padded offering a snug cushioned fit.

When it comes to the midsole, Mizuno has added something called XPOP PU Foam, a material that contains thousands of small beads for cushioning on impact as well as responsiveness. There's also a ventilation system to keep air moving through the foot during a run.

Covering that soft, cushioned midsole is a fairly thick layer of X-10 carbon rubber which not only offers a good level of grip on wet or slippy terrain but also protects the less durable material underneath.

We've been running in the Wave Skyrise for over 80km and at no point have we regretted it on training runs. It's definitely not a speed trainer, but for those long miles, it's an excellent companion that'll last for a long time.

Brooks Ghost 13

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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.

The best stability running shoes

On Cloudflyer

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 reviews

361 Degrees Strata 4

The best running shoes 2020 | Nike, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Hoka One One

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 – 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.

The best long distance running shoes

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 7

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Given the substantial stack of cushioning on the bottom of the Clifton 7, you’d be pretty gutted if you stepped into it and it didn’t feel gloriously soft, so it’s fortunate that it absolutely does deliver on that front, offering as comfortable a ride as you’ll 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’s 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 7 – and its predecessor the Clifton 6 – Hoka has managed to tweak the ride of the shoe to make it smoother and a little more responsive. It’s still not going to outgun a pure racer, but you can use the Clifton 6 and 7 for faster running more comfortably than with past versions of the shoe. The shoe is also pretty light at 247g, despite being amply-cushioned, thanks to the foam Hoka uses.

The upper of the Clifton 7 has also been updated, with a more stretchy mesh material being used. It’s breathable and holds the foot in place, however, we have found it is quite narrow in the toe box.

And the rest

We test a lot of running shoes at Get Sweat Go and not all of them make the cut to be classed as 'the best' in our view. That doesn't mean they're not worth a look though and there are plenty of options out there that offer a great alternative to some of the more pricey running shoes on the list.

Asics GlideRide

The best running shoes 2020: Go faster and longer with our top picks for all distances

The GlideRide received a lot of attention when it launched in 2019, largely due to its unconventional design and claims that it lets you run longer while expending less energy.

To some degree, it's a successor to the previous MetaRide shoe, incorporating a number of the design features but coming in significantly lighter and at a much lower price point. From an aesthetic point of view it's a much sleeker alternative to the MetaRide, still with a similar level of cushioning and support but less clunky and with a more subtle design.

The main feature of the GlideRide is the noticeable curved design from the heel to forefoot. Asics calls it Guidesole and it's an extremely rigid structure that's made to reduce ankle flexion and provide a shock-absorbent landing.

As a result, the feel of running in the GlideRide is very distinctive and the rocker motion has the effect of propelling you forwards with every step. It's a strange experience and one that takes a while to get used to. For some, especially those who've used and enjoyed running in the MetaRide, the GlideRide is an improved version that won't disappoint.

For us, the combination of the thick upper and Guidesole makes for a restrictive motion that's almost forcing the body into moving a certain way. Because of that, it's well worth nipping into a shop and testing them out before investing. They're also not designed to be a race shoe, so if you're planning on doing events as well as training runs then you'll need to look at getting a separate pair.

361 Degrees Spire 4

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Although 361 Degrees is a lesser-known brand in the US and the UK, they're one of the largest retailers in China with a massive range of shoes to choose from. The Spire 4 is the latest neutral cushioned shoe added to that line-up featuring a number of upgrades from its predecessor.

When used in training runs, we found the Spire 4 to be a fairly average running shoe. It's neither excels or disappoints across any distance and delivers a competent all-round experience. It wasn't until we picked up the pace, however, that it started to offer something more.

At higher speeds in training runs the combination of the heel to toe offset and a noticeably hard and responsive midsole meant the Spire 4 came into its own. Since then we've used it largely for training runs when we wanted to up the pace more. It even works relatively well when used in races.

For us, the Spire 4 isn't the fastest shoe out there and for long slow runs the hard midsole may cause issue for runners who like more cushioning. However, if you do like a more rigid base to your running shoes and you're looking for one all-rounder that sits between faster training and a modest race pace. It may well be a nice option.

It's also important to note that the shoe is quite thin on the foot. 361 Degrees has released an extra wide version to account for that.

Under Armour HOVR Machina

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There are two ways to review the HOVR Machina. One is to talk about it in terms of how it compares with other running shoes available and the other is to look at the built-in sensor technology designed to offer real-time feedback on your running.

First we'll cover the tech side of things. The chip and sensors that sit within the HOVR Machina give the wearer insight – via MapMyRun – on speed, distance, stride length and cadence as well as limited information on foot strike. That feedback utilizes Under Armour's vast database of runner information to help deliver insightful feedback on how you can perform better.

It's not the first time Under Armour has released a connected shoe and it's a concept that's a long way ahead of most other brands available at the moment. The technology is also useful if you're the kind of runner that likes to trawl through data. It's still early days for smart shoes though, and the actual usefulness of the data delivered depends largely on your level of understanding. Trying to modify your cadence if you've just started running is not necessarily a good thing and the insights delivered via the app are still fairly minimal – although that will change as Under Armour gains more data.

As a running shoe, the HOVR Machina is a competent and durable option for daily training miles, but it doesn't particularly excel in any area. For us it feels quite chunky on the foot and, although it has a good level of cushioning, there are far better options out there for comfortable training miles. One of the major downsides to the HOVR Machina is the fact that the chip isn't transferable. If you want to track your miles in other shoes, maybe for racing, you'll need to buy other pairs of US's connected shoes.

If you'd rather watch than read, you can see a rundown of some of the best running shoes in this detailed video from our friends over at The Run Testers (don't forget to subscribe for more awesome guides for runners).

Tags:    Running
Tagged    Running