Puma Faas 900 Cushion
Puma put even more foam underfoot for a supremely cushioned ride. But that addition results in a bottom-heavy shoe, which some wear-testers felt was a little cumbersome; others said the shoe was "mushy". Even with so much midsole and rubber, the 900 remains flexible, thanks to grooves spanning the width of the shoe.
- Intended for high-mileage and heavy runners.
Height: 36.8 mm (heel); 24.7 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 10.3 oz (M); 8.9 oz (W)
More: Is Barefoot Running the Perfect Running Shoe?
Mizuno Wave Precision 13
The precision 13 feels downright zippy, thanks to the highest heel-to-toe drop in this guide—14.4 mm; the average running shoe is 12 mm—combined with a soft heel and a firmer-than-average forefoot. But some testers accustomed to more minimal footwear or racing flats found it to sit too high, especially at the heel.
Although the chassis underfoot is the same as the Precision 12, Mizuno tinkered with the upper slightly, lowering the collar to allow a better opening for the foot. A fabric band runs under the open mesh upper at the midfoot, connecting the laces to the midsole to securely lock the foot in place.
- A versatile shoe, capable of handling faster workouts and races.
Height: 35.3 mm (heel); 20.9 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 9.7 oz (M); 7.6 oz (W)
A fabric band helps lock the foot to the shoe.
A lower, more open heel collar offers a better fit at the ankle.
Open mesh and few overlays allow the foot to move and breathe.
More: 4 Exercises to Increase Your Running Speed
Asics Gel-Lyte 33
The lightest shoe in Asics's 33 collection, the Lyte features a thin mesh upper that moves well with the foot, but the sewn-on overlays rubbed some wear-testers. Shoefitr scans confirm a looser-than-average heel fit.
- A fast, flexible shoe for lightweight runners.
Height: 30.0 mm (heel); 22.4 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 7.7 oz (M); 6.4 oz (W)
More: The Pros and Cons of Minimalist Running