Runner's World wear-tests and reviews the latest shoes to help you find the perfect fit. Here, we present the top 10 shoes you should check out this summer. First, learn how to find the right running shoe for you with these 5 Shoe-Buying Tips. Then read on for the top 10 shoes you should check out this summer. For even more information, see our official Summer 2012 Running Shoe Guide for the full list and video reviews.
Best Runner's Update: Saucony PowerGrid Hurricane 14, $140
When a shoe has been around long enough to boast a double-digit version, any updates are usually minor tweaks. Naturally, you don't want to turn away the faithful. But Saucony boldly overhauled the Hurricane. The 14 is 1.2 ounces lighter than its predecessor, is more flexible, offers more cushioning, and is more stable. And Saucony lowered the heel-to-toe drop to 9.2 mm, down from 11.4 mm. Such dramatic changes could have gone horribly wrong, but Saucony came out with a winner, and wear-testers loved the update.
Solid footing for injury-prone or heavier runners.
Height: 36.1 mm (heel); 26.9 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 10.9 oz (M); 9.3 oz (W)
More: Foot Anatomy for Injury Prevention
Brooks Vapor 10, $90
Never heard of the Vapor? The shoe was known as the Switch the past three years, but that didn't resonate with runners, so Brooks has returned to the name that launched the shoe a decade ago. By any name, it has a budget-friendly price tag and packs in a lot of stability features--a plastic shank and firm medial post that extends to the midfoot lend support for low-mileage runners who have flat arches or are injury-prone. Even though the Vapor was the stiffest shoe we tested for this guide, testers raved about its lightweight ride.
Delivers a lighter-than-expected feel--on your foot and wallet.
Height: 35.1 mm (heel); 25.3 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 11.4 oz (M); 9.0 oz (W)
More: How to Find Your Mid-Foot
Nike Zoom Vomero+ 7, $130
Some longtime Vomero wearers thought this version wasn't as soft underfoot. "They could use more cushioning and support if used for daily training," says Kara King, a 98-pound runner from East Lansing, Michigan. Our lab tests show this update is lower to the ground, dropping 1.5 mm at the heel, likely contributing to the firmness.
An everyday trainer for light-or medium-weight runners.
Height: 35.4 mm (heel); 24.2 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 11.4 oz (M); 9.2 oz (W)
More: The Importance of a Proper Shoe Fit
Brooks Ravenna 3, $100
The Ravenna 3 sits higher than the previous version; Shoe Lab results show the heel and forefoot heights both rose by 3 mm. This led some testers to feel it was "bulky," but even those runners appreciated its lightweight and fast feel. Deep flex grooves in the forefoot help the Ravenna remain flexible enough for everyday training.
Can pull double-duty as an everyday trainer and marathon-racing shoe.
Height: 36.0 mm (heel); 26.7 mm (forefoot)
Weight: 10.6 oz (M); 9.1 oz (W)
More: How to Run With More Energy