The ACTIVE Spring 2019 Running Shoe Guide

Cushy

Float through your runs with maximum cushion.

running shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V9

The first thing one of our testers noticed when lacing up the Fresh Foam 1080 V9 was that they fit perfectly. Everywhere. They were comfortable and easy to run in the very first time he put them on. Even better? They have continued to be comfortable. The cushioning is great on more delicate joints yet that added material doesn’t make the shoe heavy or bulky, making it great for an everyday training shoe used to put in the miles in preparation for any sort of running goal you may have. Plus, the drop isn’t outrageous either, coming in at just 8 mm, giving you the comfort of a shoe with cushion and the feel of a neutral trainer.

“At first the 1080 V9 looks like any other cushy shoe, but it’s so much more.”

Nuts & Bolts

Neutral
Price: $150
Weight: 10.4 oz. (men); 9 oz. (women)
Drop: 8 mm

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running shoe

HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3

The HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 3 is an impressive shoe for long-distance training and recovery runs. While still taller and heavier than the average shoe, the Arahi 3 delivers a lighter experience than you might expect from a shoe with so much cushioning. However, for our tester with knee and back pain, the Arahi 3 provided an enjoyable, comfortable experience without holding him back.

However, note that some of our testers experienced a wider-than-normal toe-box fit, detracting just a bit from the overall experience. So size down if you have a narrower foot.

"The low-impact comfort provided by the Arahi 3 may just earn it a place in your closet."

Nuts & Bolts

Stability
Price: $130
Weight: 9.6 oz. (men); 8 oz. (women)
Drop: 5 mm

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running shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam More

The moment our testers slipped these shoes on, they felt the comfort the Fresh Foam cushioning was going to provide on future runs. The heel is secure, providing stability yet not leaving the door open for blisters. Plus, the upper was well-ventilated and breathable. Our tester’s favorite aspect? He felt like he could go from wearing them at work—they’re that comfortable!—to a long and slow recovery run all with the same pair of shoes.

“From day-to-day walking to recovery runs, these shoes can really do it all—and are comfortable while doing it.”

Nuts & Bolts

Neutral
Price: $160
Weight: 10.3 oz. (men); 8.1 oz. (women)
Drop: 4 mm

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running shoe

Brooks Transcend 6

Books hit a home run with the Transcend 6. This shoe will transform your running experience by providing an ultra-soft ride that feels great mile after mile. One tester noted a noticeable difference in the way his joints and body felt after a run in the shoes. They kept his body moving the way it wanted to from start to finish and allowed him to run longer distances in complete comfort. Another tester found she didn’t have to sacrifice support for cushion with the Transcend 6, noting no soreness or pain even after finishing her longest runs. The overall verdict? If this shoe was a gymnast, it would earn a perfect 10.

“The shoe feels as if Brooks was able to lasso a cloud, sew it into the shape of foot, then attach the softest rubber sole to the bottom of it all.”

Nuts & Bolts

Stability
Price: $160
Weight: 11.4 oz. (men); 10.2 oz. (women)
Drop: 10 mm

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running shoe

HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2

If you’re a runner looking for a more stable shoe without the traditional constrictions that comes with those models, the Gaviota line from HOKA is for you. The arch-lock wings provide mid foot stability while still having the overall design of a neutral trainer. The sockliner also offers a precise fit—so go up a size if you like a little more room in your fit—and the Meta-Rocker design facilitates a smooth-as-butter ride for every type of workout you can imagine. Despite looking like a traditional HOKA cushy shoe, the Gaviota really does it all, providing stability and support, as well as cushion and responsiveness.

“If there was ever a true Goldilocks shoe, it would be the Gaviota 2.”

Nuts & Bolts

Neutral
Price: $130
Weight: 10.6 oz. (men); 8.8 oz. (women)
Drop: 5 mm

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running shoe

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

This shoe has been evolving for 20 years, bringing new technology, comfort and style to the running community. The new GuideRail system acts as bumpers for foot movement and even relieved stress on our tester’s knees without disrupting her stride. In addition, the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning was springy and light. Our tester could feel the technology at work as she crushed hills and felt that stability all through her legs.

It’s great for travel, as our tester found it versatile for gym workouts and walking around a new city. This shoe does tend to soak up water and take a while to fully dry though. It is also pretty stiff, which is great if you are looking for stability but not so much if you prefer more flexibility with your running shoes.

“I think I have found my new shoe!”

Nuts & Bolts

Stability
Price: $130
Weight: 11 oz. (men); 9.6 oz. (women)
Drop: 12 mm

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running shoe

Mizuno Wave Horizon 3

The shoe is a good improvement on an already solid line, with useful support and an overall ideal fit. The heavier weight makes the Wave Horizon 3 perfect for longer, slower training runs where speed isn’t a priority. Our tester even took it for a spin on the trails a couple times and left satisfied despite it being marketed as a road product. Dubbed Mizuno’s most technically advanced support shoe, the Wave Horizon 3 is highly cushioned and provides stability without sacrificing responsiveness or fit.

“I’m a loyal Wave Horizon fan, and the third iteration did not disappoint.”

Nuts & Bolts

Stability
Price: $160
Weight: 12.5 oz. (men); 9.8 oz. (women)
Drop: 11.6 mm

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running shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam Lazr v2 Hypoknit

You’ll be surprised just how much cushion the Fresh Foam Lazr has when you slip it. However, its unassuming, posing as a neutral daily trainer. In fact, our tester not only took this shoe out on long recovery runs but also wore it for shorter-distance workouts as well as speed work—and it stood up to the test. The slip on nature didn’t slip at all, and the heel construction was supportive yet not blister-inducing. These shoes were comfortable from the first moment we (literally) slipped them on.

“From the moment you slip these on, all the way to the seventh-plus mile, these shoes are comfortable enough to go the distance.”

Nuts & Bolts

Neutral
Price: $100
Weight: 9.1 oz. (men); 7.1 oz. (women)
Drop: 6 mm

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