In running, it’s all about the shoes. There’s no other piece of equipment you need. Some shoes are best for shorter distances, while others can handle the long haul of a marathon.
Most racing flats are lighter, which means they’re not as supportive as your daily mileage shoes. Still, studies show that the flexibility and lighter weight of competitive shoes mean faster times.
Lightweight trainers are also great for the track or for your high-intensity speed workouts. Here’s a look at 10 of the fastest racing flats that will help you cross that finish line in record time.
Altra One2Weight: 5.9 oz.; $100 1 of 11
The Altra One2 is a good all-around racing shoe that can handle distances up to a marathon. It's a zero-drop shoe—meaning there's no difference in height between the forefoot and the heel—that boasts a wide toe box and cushioned, springy ride.
Asics Gel-Hyper Speed 6Weight: 5.7 oz.; $85 2 of 11
The Asics Gel-Hyper Speed 6 is a flexible racing flat best suited for distances longer than 5K. It's a more affordable option that still has the spring of other higher-priced racing shoes.
Pearl Izumi E: Motion Tri N1 V2Weight: 9.1 oz.; $125 3 of 11
If you're want a speedy shoe for shorter distances, the Pearl Izumi E: Motion Tri N1 V2 is a smart choice. It's an all-around firm, but comfortable, performance shoe that can also handle a marathon.
Brooks Launch 2Weight: 9.8 oz.; $100 4 of 11
This is a road-racing shoe that can easily become an everyday trainer because of its breathable feel. The ride is cushiony and comfortable, and the toe box is wide.
Newton Distance EliteWeight: 7.2 oz.; $155 5 of 11
This shoe is built for distances longer than 5K. The shoe boasts a wide toe box, lightweight feel and is a good choice for race day or tough speed workouts.
Mizuno Wave Ekiden 9Weight: 4.6 oz.; $115 6 of 11
One of the lightest shoes on our list, the Mizuno Wave Ekiden 9 boasts a firm ride. It's best built for shorter distance road races (shorter than a half marathon). It's a durable and flexible shoe for quick leg turnover.
Skechers GO Speed RunnerWeight: 7.1 oz.; $120 7 of 11
Meb Keflezighi won the 2014 Boston Marathon wearing the Skechers GO Speed Burner. For a distance racing shoe, it's a lightweight shoe with a natural and firm feel.
New Balance XC900v2 SpikelessWeight: 5.1 oz.; $80 8 of 11
Another light option, the New Balance XC900v2 Spikeless is a cross-country runner's best option. The traction on the bottom of the shoe keeps you stable over rock and dirt, while responsive cushioning keeps you comfortable.
Saucony Type A6Weight: 5.2 oz.; $100 9 of 11
If you want to set a PR, the Saucony Type A6 might be a good choice. The shoe has minimum cushioning to make it a road-racing winner.
Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0Weight: 8 oz.; $140 10 of 11
These shoes from Adidas can handle a long-distance haul with its springy cushioning and comfortable feel. It's a responsive shoe that makes it feel like a fast ride.