I reviewed 19 pairs of running shoes in 2019:
The Strata 3 is the new mid-to-high mileage stability shoe by 361 Degrees. It has a new lacing system and is a nice plush ride. The Strata 3 is a good long, slow run training shoe for those looking for a bit more stability.
The Spire 3 is a neutral running shoe, but if you need a little bit of extra support, the Spire 3 will give it to you. It is a comfortable training shoe, but not a fast racing shoe.
Boost HD is a completely different experience than regular Boost. It’s much firmer, and you don’t sink into the midsole. The traction of this shoe is really good, and I liked that it kept my toes nice and warm in colder conditions.
The Solar Drive isn’t a spectacular shoe with some amazing new technology. But it’s a solid short to mid-distance neutral running shoe. It has a nice bit of bounce to it and enough traction for your average run.
The MetaRide is a neutral, maximalist, road running shoe, which weights 252 grams. So far, so good. But then comes the surprising part: it has a 0 mm drop. I do like this shoe. I do find it really comfortable. This is a good shoe for heel strikers because it will help you toe off by rolling you forward.
It’s a great everyday training shoe that can accommodate lots of different runners. The platform can accommodate a lot of different feet and the dual-density midsole makes for a quite versatile ride.
The Glycerin is a nicely cushioned shoe. It’s soft, it’s plush, and it was enough room in the toe box. And the flex grooves make for a pretty effortless heel to toe transition.
This shoe is good for those medium runs where you do want to pick up the pace a little bit, but also still want a bit of a plush feel. It’s a responsive shoe, but definitely not a racing shoe, since it’s simply too heavy for that. It has a bit of a plush feel to it, but it’s not plush enough for those long runs or recovery runs.
Hoka One One
The Hoka One One Elevon is a light and responsive ride. Although it is a pretty bulky shoe, the grooves provide flexibility, but those do collect small stones.
The Roav has a very minimal upper, which does help with the weight of the shoe, but it doesn’t provide a lot of support. It is a stylish shoe, with Fresh Foam and the heel isn’t uncomfortable, but the upper is hard to adjust to your foot and it’s therefore difficult to achieve the right lockdown for running.
I had my initial doubts about the 1080 v9, and it took me a while to break them in and to fully figure out the best way to run in this shoe. But it has grown on me, and I started to like the Fresh Foam midsole.
The New Balance Rubix is a stability shoe, but not quite in the way that you would expect. It gives you a smoother transition than a more traditional stability shoe.
If you are looking for a shoe you can use in wet weather conditions and you are a fan of the Epic React midsole material and aren’t looking for a lot of stability, this is the shoe for you.
The Nike Epic React 2 is a great half marathon racing shoe. It’s comfortable and springy and adapts easily to different kinds of workouts.
I really like the look of this shoe, and I also like the colorway. But the marketing of this shoe didn’t seem to match the experience I had in them. It was a much firmer ride than I had expected and didn’t protect as well against the hard landing on road surfaces as I had imagined.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Ride ISO 2. The shoe has that nice balance between being cushioned enough for longer runs but also giving you some decent energy return due to the dual-layer midsole.
The Saucony Freedom ISO 2 is something in between a racing shoe and a long distance shoe. It’s more suited for those short to medium distance training runs where you still want some ground feel, but also a little bit of cushioning.
The most impressive feature of the GoRun 7 Hyper is the new Hyper Burst midsole material. Hyper Burst is a lightweight foam that is supposed to be not only durable but also very responsive.
The MaxRoad 3 Ultra is a neutral and maximalist running shoe. It’s a light shoe, especially for a maximalist shoe, only weighing 224 grams.
Which ones are the best?
Out of these 19, which ones do I think are the best? In no particular order:
- 361 Degrees Spire 3: Nicely cushioned and still a little stability.
- Saucony Ride ISO 2: Nice balance between energy return and cushioning.
- Brooks Ghost 12: Versatile shoe suited for a variety of runners and distances.
- Nike Epic React Flyknit 2: Comfortable and springy shoe.
- New Balance 1080 v9: Nicely cushioned with a little bounce.
And a special shoutout to the Asics MetaRide. Way too expensive, but interesting technology that definitely has potential.
So I guess since it’s 2020, I need to review 20 pairs this year?