2010 Summer Shoe Guide
BEST UPDATE: ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 12
Weight: 12 oz (M) 10.2 oz (W)
WE SAY: There's cushioning and then there's swaddling your feet in soft foam and Gel, which is what the Nimbus does. The cushioning provides excellent impact protection, and the foam-lined interior is soft and squeezy in all the ways our testers wanted. They praised the shoe's fit and feel, and many also had good things to say about the shoe's offset lacing pattern. Recommended for runners with normal to high arches looking for a neutral-cushioned shoe with a bit of added stability.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "It had great cushioning without being too cushy."—Don Kuntzman, 52, Allentown
"The lacing system was comfortable, and I loved the support it gave me."—Connie Cantrell, 38, East Lansing
ASICS GEL-PULSE 2
Weight: 12.3 oz (M) 9.9 oz (W)
WE SAY: Unlike the Gel-Nimbus 12, this shoe doesn't feature a lot of fancy padding and exotic materials. What it does have, however, is balance. For the most part, our wear-testers found that the cushioning was firm enough to protect their legs on long runs and soft enough for a comfortable ride. The forefoot is designed to feel a little stiffer than average in order to speed up the foot's transition from midstance to toe-off. Some testers didn't like the resulting ride. Recommended for runners with normal to high arches as a dependable everyday trainer.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "Breathable and well-cushioned; loved the ride."—Frank Davis, 41, Allentown
"This was my go-to training shoe."—Cindy Roark, 39, East Lansing
NEW BALANCE 1906 SC
Widths: Stand.-2E (M) Stand.-D (W)
Weight: 12.9 oz (M) 11 oz (W)
WE SAY: This concept shoe is built on a series of durable elastomer columns designed to cushion the foot by acting as independent shock absorbers. Unfortunately, the resulting cushioning is a bit heavy and hard, particularly in the forefoot, according to our lab tests and wear-tester comments. Most testers liked the fit of the shoe and noted its foot-hugging arch wrap. Recommended for efficient runners looking for a performance-trainer ride with high-mileage protection.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "I liked the shoe for short runs, but the cushioning was not protective enough."—Brittany Sonke, 21, East Lansing
"The shoe offered good support and a great fit, but it felt stiff."—Dan Covolesky, 38, Allentown
NIKE ZOOM VOMERO+ 5
Weight: 11.2 oz (M) 9.5 oz (W)
WE SAY: Not a lot has changed in this update—a good thing, since the Vomero has consistently offered a pillowy ride and excellent bounce. Nike has filled in the outsole underneath the arch to smooth out this update's midfoot transition. Testers loved the soft cushioning and snug heel lock, but our female testers were most enthusiastic about how well the snug upper kept their feet firmly anchored to the base of the shoe. Recommended as a soft, springy everyday trainer for light-or medium-weight runners with normal to high arches.
WEAR-TESTERS SAY: "The shoe was like a sock, and the ride was cushy."—Jose Brown, 53, East Lansing
"The best cushioning I've ever felt."—Mike Cantrell, 38, East Lansing