Active Gear Scout: 2014 Spring Running Shoe Guide
Newton: Gravity III
$175 1 of 14
The Gravity III is ideal for runners looking for a shoe to train in daily, log miles in, and wear on race day. It offers great support and structure. "I've been a big fan of the previous Gravity trainers and notice the difference five lugs makes under the forefoot. I feel stable and more energy return with each step." - Vanessa T.
Newton: Distance III
$155 2 of 14
Runners will enjoy this as a training and racing shoe. It's great for short or mid-distance racing and mid-week workouts. "For me, the Distance III strikes the ideal balance between light weight, cushioning and comfort." - Amanda S.
Saucony: Virrata 2
$90 3 of 14
This smooth ride and barely-there shoe provides cushion and breathability. The Virrata 2 offers a nice sock-like fit and flexibility. Just know it takes a few runs to break them in and feel comfortable.
Saucony: Peregrine 4
$110 4 of 14
The Peregrine, named one of the fastest birds on earth, is a favorite among trail runners for its versatility and low-profile design. Some wearers have said it runs on the larger side, about half a size bigger, but they still enjoy the protection the shoe offers on the rocks, dirt and uneven terrain.
Altra: The Olympus
$130 5 of 14
Altra's new max-cushioned endurance trail shoe, The Olympus, is designed to conquer any terrain (trail, pavement and everything in between). The shoe is ideal for ultra marathoners, but is also good for trail and road runners. The shoe is designed to reduce injury: ankle sprains, overstriding, knee pain, forefoot pain and more.
Mizuno: The Wave Paradox
$135 6 of 14
This is a maximum support shoe, so it's ideal for the excessive overpronator. It's extremely light, which is rare for this type of shoe. The Wave Paradox offers a roomy toe box and resilient cushioning. And we can't forget the cool design. It takes about 3 to 4 runs to break in the shoe.
7 of 14
The GEL-Electro33? debuts as the newest introduction of the Natural33? by ASICS. It's ideal for the mild to moderate overpronator and for short- to mid-distance runs. Besides the bright color options, this shoe offers a lightweight ride and mesh for breathability. "These fit well and loved the sharp color. They're felt snug but not overly so, which is a nice zone to be in. My only complaint is they don't have too much "spring." I ran about 5 miles. Not sure how well they would hold up for a very long run." - Ryan W.
ASICS: Gel-FujiTrainer 3
$100 8 of 14
Hug every turn on the trail with this low-profile trainer. The Gel-FujiTrainer 3 is a neutral trail shoe that features aggressive lugs on the outsole. The shoe absorbs shock well, delivers good forefoot cushioning, and offers a roomy toe box. Make sure to order the correct size. You'll notice a heel slippage if the shoes are even a half size too big or if you have narrow heels. Heel slippage can invite small rocks or debris into the shoe. "Even novice trail runners will find it hard to lose their balance on rugged terrain in these shoes. You can feel the trail in these shoes, but there's enough cushioning and stability for those who want to cover long distances." - Sabrina G.
$135 9 of 14
Create your very own one-of-a-kind running shoes, from style and color to heel drop and support. You can add inspirational quotes that motivate you through the toughest runs. Before you start customizing your shoe, you need to understand what type of running stride you have and what support you need. Speak with a running shoe expert before creating your shoe. You could run into a running injury if you create the wrong fit.
Under Armor: Speedform? Apollo
$100 10 of 14
Under Armor doesn't disappoint with the precision feel, fit and comfort. Each shoe is crafted in a clothing factory to deliver the best performance footwear. It's easy to run in, durable, and delivers strong mobility. It's more on the narrow side, but offers great protection and anti-slip fit. After 1 to 2 runs these shoes will be broken in.
Karhu: Fluid3 Fulcrum
$125 11 of 14
If you're looking for an everyday training shoe, then this one is for you. It's good for the neutral runner who seeks cushion, lightness and a firm midsole. There's decent room in the toe box and ventilation, both of which help prevent blisters. Fluid3 Fulcrum is designed for a neutral gait.
$160 12 of 14
Slip these on and head out for a run. The Transcend feels as if they've been molded just for you; there's no need to break them in. The style, fit and comfort are nice. However, they are on the wider side. So if you have a narrow foot you do need to tighten up the laces a bit more (Brooks doesn't offer a narrow option). "Felt light on my feet the whole time. Great support." - Sarah J.
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