Winter 2012 Shoe Guide
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13$110 1 of 13
This Runner's World editor's pick is a classic stability shoe. The GTS 13 sports a medial post that gets progressively firmer toward the inside edge and other features that help slow the inward roll of the foot. Bottom Line: A solid daily trainer for overpronators and bigger runners.
Saucony Guide 6$110 2 of 13
Saucony made minor tweaks to the Guide, after a significant overhaul of previous versions. The outsole now features triangle-shaped lugs in the forefoot. That tread configuration, with deep flex grooves that extend into the midsole, helped improve flexibility slightly. Bottom Line: Lightweight with a nice mix of stability and cushioning.
Nike Zoom Structure+ 16$110 3 of 13
The Structure boasts incredible stability features, yet remains lightweight and nimble. Instead of a firm post under the arch, the shoe uses a varus wedge (a foam ramp that your foot rolls into) to control pronation. Bottom Line: A smooth ride for distance runners and beginners.
Asics GT-1000$100 4 of 13
As our best buy pick, the GT-1000 offers excellent stability and cushioning at a budget-friendly price. A firm post under the heel and arch controls pronation, while a slimmer plastic shank provides plenty of midfoot stiffness. Bottom Line: Fans of the 1100 series will appreciate the well-balanced ride.
Saucony Triumph 10$130 5 of 13
Whether you're a heel-striker or you land on the balls of your feet, the Triumph 10 offers a soft landing. Bigger runners in particular applauded the extra padding underfoot. Bottom Line: Ideal for newbies who don't require added stability.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9$115 6 of 13
The Inspire provides abundant protection yet delivers the fast feeling of lighter, lower-profile shoes. A cushy heel provides a soft ride, while midsole plates bolster the inner edge of the shoe to keep an overpronating foot in check. Bottom Line: A solid mix of cushioning and stability for the price.
Mizuno Wave Rider 16$115 7 of 13
Like many middle-aged runners, the Wave Rider has battled weight issues over the years: The Rider 15 tipped the scales at 11.2 ounces. But in this update, the Rider 16 is more than an ounce lighter than its predecessor. Bottom Line: A zippy ride with excellent heel-to-toe transition.
New Balance1080 v3$135 8 of 13
The 1080 v3 looks heavy. But New Balance shaved nearly an ounce from its cushioned training shoe—some of that coming from a new outsole design on the forefoot. The shoe's cushioning remains intact to the delight of our testers. Bottom Line: A high-mileage shoe suitable for marathon training.
Asics GT-2000$120 9 of 13
Asics has made some serious modifications to this shoe. The most notable update from the GT-2170 is the addition of a second midsole layer. This full-length slab of foam closest to the foot is tuned differently based on gender. Bottom Line: Plenty of support and cushioning to suit most midpackers.
K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light Neutral$135 10 of 13
The only difference between this and Kwicky's predecessor is that K-Swiss swapped out the firmer medial post and inserted a plug of the same density as the rest of the midsole. Bottom Line: A versatile trainer for efficient runners, but best suited for race day for bigger bodies.
Brooks PureFlow 2$100 11 of 13
The PureFlow 2 saw big changes in the upper, but midsole and outsole remain untouched. Lightweight and low to the ground, the PureFlow 2 has thinner and lighter materials and asymmetrical lacing to relieve pressure on the top of the foot. Bottom Line: A bargain for a lightweight, high-mileage shoe.
Inov-8 Road-X 233$120 12 of 13
At first glance, the Road-X 233 appears unsuitable for most surfaces, because its outsole lacks serious tread. But it performs capably even on wet roads. Wear-testers confirmed findings that the Road-X is a very firm ride. Bottom Line: Best suited as a racing flat or for tempo runs.