Spring 2009 Shoe Guide

New Balance 769
Price: $100
Widths: B—4E (M) 2A—2E (W)
Weight: 11.7 oz (M) 9.5 oz (W)
Contact: 800-253-7463

We Say: This update features an improved fit, thanks to a new last with a more sculpted forefoot. Nearly all of our testers liked how the shoe wrapped their feet, as well as its relatively light weight. This is due to a thicker piece of durable foam in the heel, which improves the impact protection. Our lab tests found the 769 to be the stiffest shoe in this category, which is why we recommend it for Clydesdales and Athenas with low to normal arches looking for a stable shoe.

Wear-Testers Say: "The fit was snug but just roomy enough so that my feet didn't feel cramped." —Kristen Hyde, 29, Allentown

"The shoe was snug and comfortable with a great lacing system." —Blane Winslow, 39, East Lansing

MEN'S ONLY: Nike Air Structure Triax+ 12

Price: $100
Widths: Standard—4E
Weight: 12 oz (M)
Contact: 800-595-6453

We Say: Not a lot has changed in this update, which is a good thing since it has consistently offered a comfortable ride and an excellent stability-to-weight ratio. Nike reduced the number of overlays to make the forefoot more accommodating, yet managed to keep the fit consistent. These new overlays are made out of more pliant material. Many of our testers commented on how much they liked the upper fit. Recommended for runners with normal arches looking for a firm yet comfortable ride and moderate stability.

Wear-Testers Say: "It fit my foot exceptionally well." —Andrew Monteleone, 21, Allentown
"Great support and cushioning." —John Bolton, 35, East Lansing

WOMEN'S ONLY: Nike Air Structure Triax+ 12

Price: $100
Widths: 2A—D
Weight: 9.2 oz
Contact: 800-595-6453

We Say: The latest women's Triax does a fantastic job of balancing stability, comfort, and flexibility. The support on the inside of the shoe is firmer because women tend to overpronate more than men. They're also lighter than men, so Nike made this version more flexible by using a segmented support post. It also reinforced the shoe's arch with more elastic upper overlays to better hold the foot over the sole. Recommended for women with normal to low arches looking for a supportive yet flexible shoe.

Wear-Testers Say: "It offers a lot of stability and fits snugly, but with enough room for my foot to breathe." —Deana Ferry, 43, Allentown
"If fit perfectly. Great arch." —Laura Oppenheimer, 22, East Lansing

Reebok Premier Road Plus KFS VI
Price: $100
Widths: Stan. and 2E (M) Stan. —D (W)
Weight: 12.2 oz (M) 9.7 oz (W)
Contact: 800-843-4444

We Say: The latest Road Plus is the minivan of stability shoes, offering mild support and average cushioning in a dependable package. New to this shoe are wider upper overlays that snugly wrap the arch; the one drawback of this new upper is that it's less breathable. Our Wear-Testers had a mixed reaction to this shoe — some liked its soft cushioning, while others thought the toebox was too roomy. Recommended for runners who need plenty of stability and impact protection.

Wear-Testers Say: "I liked this shoe a lot. It fit my foot well, but it needed more forefoot cushioning." —Kim Collins, 46, San Diego
"It's soft but gives good support." —Alecia Agner, 21, East Lansing

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