Choosing the right running shoes for you is very important for getting the best results. Becoming an elite runner is as much about the reps you crank out in the gym as the miles you rack up on the track. The On Cloud X is designed to push you through a strength workout, but is a great standalone good running shoe in its own right. Billed as the lightest fully-cushioned running shoe in the world (229g for size 8.5), it is much firmer under foot than your average cross trainer, so you may not want to rely on it every day. However, it has the latest CloudTech midsole, accompanied by Zero-Gravity foam, to provide support for those quick changes of direction. The heel is engineered for comfort and support, while the upper is engineered from a highly breathable lightweight mesh. As always with On running shoes, the design and construction is flawless.
But there are certain shoes that I think have broad appeal and the Nike Zoom Streak XC is one of those shoes. I’ve been wearing the Streak XC for about three months and have run everything from a 5k race, duathlon, and track intervals ranging from 200m reps in 32 seconds to miles in 5:20. For any speed faster than a tempo effort, these racing shoes are perfect. With just the right blend of cushioning and responsiveness, I can run short intervals all the way to 10 mile races in comfort. Because of my over-pronation and tendency to get sore arches, I wouldn’t wear them for the half or marathon distance. Shorter races are a perfect candidate for this racer though.
The Brooks Launch 6 is not the fastest, lightest or most cushioned shoe out there. However, it is a brilliant Goldilocks shoe, offering a balance of speed, weight and cushioning that makes it a reliable pick for all kinds of training and racing. On top of that, it’s renowned for its durability, which should be extended even further in this sixth edition thanks to some extra foam under the forefoot. It also costs less than 100. A lot of runners will balk at the idea of spending 100+ apiece on two or three pairs of shoes for the perfect set-up for different training runs and races. The good news is you don’t have to; a pair of Brooks Launch gets the job done every time you pull them on.
Altra has been coming out with some really great models in recent years and the Altra Solstice is an excellent example of the direction they’ve been pushing their models. They use a top-level design that hits the sweet spot across all our measures and do it at a comparatively low price-point. For its price, it delivers the most value for performance out of our lineup, which is why we were happy to give them the Best Bang for the Buck Award. Aside from price, one of the most outstanding attributes of the Solstices is the weight. A pair of men’s 11 come in at just 17.2 ounces – that’s approaching track shoe weight. Perhaps the clincher here, is the comfort of the cushy high Abrasion EVA midsole. It’s a nice middle ground. It’s enough to let you put out some serious force (meaning tempo to sprint) without killing your feet, but not so much that it saps away momentum and gives you the mud-run feel.
Even after a lot of races and workouts, the Hyper Speeds are still kicking. Once in awhile I’ll even wear them casually (hey, I’m a running nerd). I credit the sole, which isn’t too stiff or too hard. If you’ve ever owned a pair of Saucony Kinvaras, you know that the soft sole deteriorates quickly. I only got about 250 miles on them before they were retired. For those looking for the most minimalist racing shoe on the market, look elsewhere. The Hyper Speed 4 has a substantially raised sole for a racing shoe and weighing in at 6.6 ounces it’s definitely not the lightest. Read extra details on https://info4runners.com/asics-gel-venture-6/.