Brooks Glycerin 7
Weight: 12 oz (M) 9.7 oz (W)
We Say: The Glycerin features dense cushioning that stands up to the heel impact of larger runners. With this update, Brooks sought to soften the impact a bit more by using more resilient outsole rubber and a redesigned lug pattern that compresses easily. Testers liked the cushioning on the whole, but some felt the forefoot was still firm. While the Glycerin is a neutral shoe, the flex grooves are filled in on the arch side to give it a touch of stability. Recommended for high- to normal-arched runners looking for a soft trainer.
Wear-Testers Say: "The shoe had a comfortable fit but was a little heavy." —Catherine Akridge, 57, Allentown
"This came close to being my ideal neutral shoe with a bit of added stability." —Brian Boos, 30, East Lansing
Karhu Fluid Fulcrum Ride
Weight: 12.1 oz (M) 9.7 oz (W)
We Say: The Fluid is an excellent no-frills yet fast-feeling shoe. It has the same fit, roomy toebox, and welcoming interior as the Strong Ride. This is a soft shoe for Karhu, even though our lab tests show it to offer midrange heel cushioning and a firm forefoot. When combined with the shoe's slightly lower profile, this gives it a performance ride. Expect a comfortable but not a plush feel out of the box. Recommended for runners looking for a superb basic, neutral shoe.
Wear-Testers Say "Impressive shoe. My feet felt good after a 10-miler." —Chris Baroli, 23, East Lansing
"It was comfortable, but the traction needs to be improved." —Rachel Lidtenwalner, 21, Allentown
MEN'S ONLY: Mizuno Wave Creation 10
Weight: 14.5 oz
We Say: The Creation has always been a Clydesdale's best friend, offering durable cushioning and a smooth ride. The latest version uses rubber pillars to connect the upper and lower Wave plates, which RW Shoe Lab tests show improve the cushioning slightly. The upper mesh is still extremely breathable, but bands have been added that run from the laces to the midsole. This design helps lock the upper over the arch. Recommended for runners looking for a firm, durable everyday trainer.
Wear-Testers Say: "It had a great fit with plenty of room in the toebox without heel slippage." —Sean Hennessy, 50, San Diego
"Very comfortable shoe." —Rich Rael, 40, San Diego
WOMEN'S ONLY: Mizuno Wave Creation 10
Weight: 11 oz
We Say: The women's Creation is significantly more flexible and softer than the men's, according to our Lab tests. This is due to an updated Wave plate with thinner reinforcing strips and, as with the men's, rubber between the Wave plates. To provide women with a more resilient forefoot, Mizuno also extended the outsole flex grooves the entire width of the shoe. The result is a comfortable fit and feel that our testers raved about. Recommended for women looking for a durable training shoe.
Wear-Testers Say: "This was the most comfortable shoe I've ever run in." —Megan Kurtz, 25, Allentown
"They had outstanding support and were surprisingly lightweight." —Jillian Barber, 29, San Diego