ADIDAS RESPONSE CUSHION 19
Weight: 11.3 oz(M) 10.3 oz(W)
WE SAY: In this update, Adidas addressed the awkward ride of the previous version by softening up the midsole foam surrounding the two heel plates that slide slightly on top of each other to isolate impact forces and to slow side-to-side movement. The result is a springy heel that transitions smoothly to a soft forefoot. Testers loved the new plush ride as well as the snug upper, which uses a split eyestay design to provide a customized forefoot fit. Recommended as a durable long-run shoe for average to heavy runners.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "The soft midsole made for a comfortable ride."—Emily Hill, 29, East Lansing
"I loved the open mesh and cushioning."—Mathew Saffarian, 25, East Lansing
ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 12
Widths: Stand.-4E(M) 2A-D(W)
Weight: 12.3 oz(M) 9.9 oz(W)
WE SAY: Testers had a hard time coming up with new ways to say soft and cozy when describing the Cumulus. This is partly due to the shoe's interior, which is lined with memory foam that molds around the foot like a broken-in pillow. It's also due to the plushed-out midsole, which still manages to supply enough support for mild overpronators. The only complaint was about the weight and higher-than-average profile, making it less than ideal for interval workouts. Recommended for runners as a comfortable long-distance shoe.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "The shoe wrapped my foot in all the right ways."—Tony Thomas, 31, East Lansing
"A perfect long-run shoe, but it was too much for speed days."—Emily Furia, 31, Allentown
ASICS GEL-KINETIC 3
Weight: 13 oz(M) 10.9 oz(W)
WE SAY: This odd crossbreed of neutral-cushioned and stability shoe is built on a similar sole as the Kinsei, with exposed Gel units in the heel attached to a plastic support cradle. And the upper design is taken from the Kayano 15, with an off-center lacing pattern that follows the foot's topline for a naturally snug wrap. According to testers, however, the result is less than the sum of its parts. They weren't happy with the shoe's heavy weight and firm, bulky heel. Recommended for runners as a durable off-day trainer.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "They offered more support than I anticipated."—Dillon McCormick, 49, East Lansing
"The shoe provided excellent traction and stability without extra bulk."—Jared Roberts, 29, Allentown
BROOKS DYAD 6
Widths: D-4E(M) 2A-D(W)
Weight: 12.2 oz(M) 10.2 oz(W)
WE SAY: This big guys' cushioning shoe is built to take a pounding. Brooks loaded up its thick heel with sturdy foam cushioning and widened its base to accommodate orthotics. The wide heel supplies a little extra support, but not as much as a stability shoe offers. Testers appreciated the underfoot feel, but several complained about the loose fit of the forefoot. Recommended for bigger runners who need a shoe that will stand up to the higher-impact force associated with greater body weight.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "The cushioning was the best feature, especially because of my weight (200+ lbs)."—Michael Richardson, 63, Allentown
"I liked the suspension; it felt like a Cadillac, not a sports car."—Stephen Zakos, 40, Allentown