Adidas Adizero Tempo II
Weight: 9.4 oz (M) 8 oz (W)
We Say: Adidas improved the upper of its premium performance shoe by using a new last and larger forefoot mesh panels to provide a more forgiving fit to a greater number of feet. The women's version replaces the Tempaya, Adidas's lightweight trainer for female runners, and it offers more cushioning and excellent flexibility, according to our Shoe Lab. Recommended as a racing shoe for runners with low to normal arches or as a daily trainer for lighter runners who need added pronation control.
Wear-Testers Say: "I liked the soft forefoot and lightweight feel." —Debbie Fischer, 55, San Diego
"It was lightweight but firm in the heel; I had trouble keeping the laces tied." —Katie P. Desiderio, 29, Allentown
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 14
Weight: 10.1 oz (M) 8.6 oz (W)
We Say: Asics decided to forget that the previous few versions ever happened and built this update on the same specifications — last, midsole height, and sole firmness — as the DS Trainer 7. The result: a fantastic fit and feel, as many of our testers will attest. One disappointment, however, is the $10 price increase. An interesting environmentally friendly feature: the rice husk bits found in the outsole material, which offer better traction on wet surfaces. Recommended for efficient runners looking for a comfortable training shoe.
Wear-Testers Say: "A great lightweight shoe. I was in the 13, and this one fit more true to size." —Andrew Wyman, 24, East Lansing
"Width and comfort were outstanding." —Pat Brogan, 41, Allentown
Mizuno Wave Elixir 4
Weight: 11.9 oz (M) 9.8 oz (W)
We Say: Mizuno tweaked the fit of its lightest training shoe, but that's about all. It added overlays to the midfoot to help snug the upper around the arch for a better fit. Our experience with the Elixir revealed that it's best not to mess with a good thing, since it continues to do well with our testers. It offers the softest heel cushioning of any performance trainer in this guide. Recommended as a training shoe for efficient runners or as a racing shoe for heavier runners with low arches.
Wear-Testers Say: "A minimalist shoe. I'd definitely use them to race middle and longer distances." —Tish Hamilton, 47, Allentown
"This shoe felt incredibly lightweight, yet it had plenty of support." —Peter Butler, 47, San Diego
Puma Complete Concinnity III
Weight: 10.5 oz (M) 8.5 oz (W)
We Say: The firm, low-to-the-ground Concinnity now has a wider forefoot fit and a softer midsole. The heel is a bit more rounded, which helps the foot land more smoothly, and the midsole foam extends back under the arch so the sole remains in contact with the ground through the gait cycle. Many of our testers commented on the shoe's narrow fit in both the arch and the forefoot. Recommended for runners with normal to high arches looking for a snug distance-racing shoe with a bit of added stability.
Wear-Testers Say "It felt as if I were wearing a pair of marathon flats." —Eileen Connolly, 62, San Diego
"The upper didn't fit my foot well." —Cary Einberger, 37, East Lansing