First Look: New Running Shoes of 2014
Check out a few of the models you'll see on store shelves in the second half of 2014.
(Looking for a new pair of trainers? Our Shoe Finder Tool will help you find the perfect pair for you.)
Altra Paradigm$130 1 of 9
The Paradigm is a road version of Altra's Olympus trail shoe—both oversized, highly cushioned trainers akin to Hoka One One footwear.
Clearly, this shoe is all about cushioning, although Altra intends for it to deliver some stability for neutral runners and mild pronators via a wider heel (5 millimeters) and by wrapping the midsole foam up the inner edge of the heel. It's expected to weigh in at under 10 ounces.
Hoka One One Huaka$150 2 of 9
With the Huaka, the original "maximalist" shoes seems to be hedging closer to the mainstream. This all-new model is intended to be lighter and faster—its said to weigh less than 9 ounces for a men's size 9, however it has not been weighed at the Runner's World Shoe Lab.
The Huaka is also expected to have a 2-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.That means your heel will sit just 2 millimeters further from the road than the ball of your foot. Traditional footwear is closer to a 12-millimeter differential.
Skechers GOmeb Strada$90 3 of 9
Skechers already has a signature racing shoe worn by its top star Meb Keflezighi, but now it's releasing Meb's daily training shoe, the GOmeb Strada (the racer is GOmeb Speed).
Skechers says the shoe will deliver "neutral stability" and expects it to weigh less than 10 ounces. Much like the rest of its GOrun line, we'd expect this shoe to work best for efficient runners with a neutral stride and those who don't require a lot of stability from their shoes.
Saucony Kinvara 5$100 4 of 9
The Kinvara 5 gets new tooling—the molds that form the undercarriage of the shoe. This update features a midsole that's more cored out, plus a slightly wider platform and added midfoot pods. The uppers gets a new collar design and padding, plus an arch band that wraps up to securely hold the midfoot.
Mizuno Wave Kazan$110 5 of 9
The Wave Ascend is going the way of many other Mizuno models of late—to retirement. In its place is the Wave Kazan, a part of a new trail line the company will unveil soon. In the new products, the plastic wave plate is flipped to better cradle the heel. Grooves at the midfoot allow the foot to adapt to different surfaces, while X-shaped lugs provide traction in loose conditions.
The Wave Kazan is expected to weigh 9.5 ounces and have a conventional 12-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.
Brooks Glycerin 12$150 6 of 9
The Glycerin is Brooks' top-of-the-line cushioned shoe. The 12th iteration sheds the DNA drop-ins (the company's signature gel cushioning units) in favor of a "Super DNA" compound, found in the Transcend, for a softer ride.
Underfoot, the shoe has been divvied up into three "pressure zones"—the outsole of the heel, midfoot and forefoot have been segmented for a smooth transition through your stride. The upper receives more 3D printed overlays that will bring the shoe closer to your foot.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail$110 7 of 9
Built on a similar midsole to the road shoe by the same name, this trail model is intended to deliver a plush, soft ride over off-road terrain. New Balance used runners' pressure-sensor data to influence design and placement of outsole lugs.
The upper gets a little added protection, while not greatly affecting the shoe's weight or flexibility—rather than one wrap-around overlay at the edges of the upper, New Balance used a series of independent triangle-shaped protective patches.
Topo Athletic MT$100 8 of 9
When Topo Athletic launched its line of running shoes a year ago, they all featured a single split between the big toe and its neighbor. That design may have scared off many potential buyers, so Topo is releasing a handful of more traditional models. The MT is the company's "mountain trainer" or trail shoe. It's still low-slung and lightweight—featuring a 19-millimeter stack height at the heel, a 2-millimeter offset, and an anticipated weight of just 8.2 ounces. A triple-density midsole—the firmest foam is closest to the ground—should help deflect trail debris and deliver a moderately cushioned ride without hampering the shoe's flexibility.