Adidas Ultra Boost
Adidas claims these are the 'greatest running shoes ever', which is quite the statement, so let's take a look and see how it's backed up. There's 20% more Boost cushioning than we've seen before and the midsole has been ditched, so your foot is closer to the floor. Primeknit tech is back again for the upper, improving support and comfort while a Stretch Web outsole moves as your foot strikes. Adidas has completely remade the heel, so it moves better with your Achilles and fitted this with a nifty sock lining.
£130 | Adidas
Saucony Triumph ISO
The Saucony Triumph is the firm's 'super-plush' neutral trainer, and claims to be the 'most cushioned running experience' they have ever created. Coming from a hardcore running brand it's no surprise that the Triumph deliver. Even cack-handed heel strikes are soaked up beautifully. At a lightweight 292g, the Triumph features Saucony's ISOFIT and PWRGRID, which add up to a snug fit that minimises chafing and 20% more cushioning than the previous version, respectively. The colour scheme is bold, but the ride is smooth as silk. Well worth considering for the spring season...
£125 | Saucony
Adidas Energy Boost 2
Designed for all types of weather, the Boost tech built into these shoes retain energy when you run and then returns it to the foot. The Techfit upper gives a natural, comfortable fit, that almost feels like a sock and the molded overlay increases foot support no end. It’s miCoach compatible, too.
£115 | Adidas
ASICS Gel-Kayano 21
Boasting a whole load of tech, this pair of running shoes is more akin to a computer than a fitness accessory. First off is the Impact Guidance System, which helps your toe strikes, while FluidRide cushions the foot and improves durability. A multitude of gel, both at the front and rear, keeps the foot comfortable too, even on a long run.
£145 | ASICS
Puma Mobium Elite Speed Night Cat
Made specifically for midfoot and forefoot strikers who run at speed, the second generation Mobium Elite boasts the Night Cat reflective print for improved visibility when sunlight is nowhere to be found. The fit has also been improved and a new elasticated band added to move in time with your tendons.
£100 | Puma
Reebok Ventilator Athletic
Built-in Hexalite technology on the heel of this shoe gives much improved shock absorption for a comfier and pain free run. Comfort is key all over this shoe, especially in the midsole where IMEVA foam is used as a cushion.
£70 | Reebok
Saucony Kinvara 5
The Saucony Kinvara 5 backs up its unique styling with a mono-filament mesh that keeps your feet from getting too hot. Enhancements to the EVA+ material helps minimise friction, while the RunDry inner lining combats pesky chafing. Pretty light, too, at 218g.
Saucony Virrata 2
The Saucony Virrata 2 has 18mm of EVA in the forefoot and heel, giving it more padding than the competition and a position that makes you run on the forefoot and midfoot. At 184g, they are some of the lightest in our list, but still durable thanks to a chunky outsole.
Under Armour Speedform 2014
Under Armour Speedform 2014 running shoes feature a moulded heel cup that helps with comfort and stability. Lots of holes throughout the top of the show add breathability. At 185g and mate of fabric, they are about as lightweight as you can get, which barefoot runners will appeciate.
£90 | Under Armour
Newton Gravity III
Rather than provide lots of cushion in the heel, the Newton Gravity IIIs also pack padding below your forefoot. A fifth lug for the Pop1 platform below the shoe helps with stability. Newton says to drop down half a size compared with the Newton II, in case you are looking to upgrade.
Asics Gel DS Racer 10
Long-distance and marathon running is what the Asics Gel DS Race trainers are designed for. A Propulsion Plate helps you get away quicker, while the lighter, more breathable design helps you go for longer. Stylish to boot (pun intended).
Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0
The Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0 is a 228g running shoe that has a 'Torsion System' for ensuring energy isn't lost while your shoes flex unnecessarily. The boost system, meanwhile, stores up energy when you foot hits the ground and uses it to add bounce each step.
For a more understated look, the Reebok ZQuick has you covered. In addition, they feature NanoWeb technology to keep your foot in an optimal position. CRTek rubber keeps them from wearing out, while Z-Rated rubber inspired by high-performance tyre provides traction aplenty so no slipping about.
Nike Air Pegasus Zoom 31
The Nike Air Pegasus Zoom 31 gets its name from being a 31st generation product. It is a lightweight running shoe with an Air Zoom unit to help give you a bit more forward inertia. More than 16,000 research and development hours have gone into its creation, which is probably why Mo Farah has been known to wear a pair when training.
£85 | Nike GB
Nike Free Flyknit iD
The heavily customisable Nike Free Flyknit iD cares more than just about aesthetics. It has Flywire technology that uses soft durable cables throughout the shoe to make them supportive, while Flyknit gives the runner the fit of a sock so you are less aware you are wearing them.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31
Updated every year, the Pegasus is designed to provide high-mileage runners with an affordable shoe that is well-cushioned but as light as possible. This new design introduces enhancements such as a decrease in the heel to toe drop to 10 mm for a more natural stance. A Nike Air Zoom Unit is positioned in the heel, which upon impact releases tension and then returns back to its original state, generating responsive propulsion.
Price: $100 | Nike
Saucony Kinvara 5 London Edition
Thanks to the new reduced heel to toe drop, these new running shoes from Saucony are a great choice if you have a forefoot and midfoot running style. A new Pro-Lock lacing system holds the foot in place in a comfortable manner, locking you into the Powergrid midsole unit, while the support around the ankle has also been given a more premium finish. There are mid foot pods to provide support for the foot arches and a flexfilm skeleton to keep the overall weight down. This limited edition version boasts a patriotic London themed design, just in time for the London marathon.
Price: £105 | Saucony
Asics Gel-Kayano 20
Asics' flagship running shoe continues to evolve, and the 20th iteration of the Gel-Kayano is a real thing of beauty. The Gel-Kayano 20 is all about complimenting your body to help you maintain a natural, efficient gait. The ‘Biomorphic’ upper adapts to your foot, whilst the ‘Impact Guidance System’ and dual-layer 'FluidRide' sole help you stay comfortable and retain energy for longer runs.
Mizuno Wave Rider 17
This marathon shoe line is still at the front of the pack after 17 years. Its U4iC – pronounced euphoric, of course – midsole provides ample cushioning but weighs in at just 250 grams. It also returns some of your energy for extra bounce, and combines with the rounded Smoothride sole to help you run for longer.
Saucony Kinvara 4
The improved FlexFilm upper tech improves fit, while also locking the foot into position in a way that reduces irritation. The midsole cushioning has been improved, now coming in 15% lighter and 30% more durable that the competitors and Memory Foam heel pods secure the ride even more. An upgraded PowerGrid heel system aids feel, along with the all important impact protection.
Price: £100 | Saucony|
Under Armour SpeedForm
The SpeedForm lives up to the brand's reputation as sports tech innovators. Why so special, you ask? For a start, it weighs a meagre 170 grams - 6 ounces in old money - making it about the lightest shoe we've ever set our feet in. The weightloss is mainly due to the upper, a single, seamless piece of fabric - inspired by bra-makers PlayTex - that moulds around your foot to fit like a sock.
Price: £110 | Under Armour
Nike Free Flyknit
Combining two of Nike's flagship running innovations the Nike Free and the Flyknit, the Nike Free Flyknit offer a sock-like fit and a minimalist ride. The one piece Flyknit uppers use clever weaving technology to put a higher density of fibres where you need the support and protection most around the heel and toes while other areas of the upper can flex and stretch for a second-skin fit. The articulate Nike Free sole is also extremely flexible and designed to move naturally with the foot. Diagonal hot-knifed flex grooves through the arch also keep your mid-foot movement natural as you transition during your stride.
Under Armour Toxic Six
Despite having a slightly more substantial upper than the UA SpeedForm, the Toxic Six is still light as a feather, and the upper fits like a glove. The off-centre laces do help to reduce pressure on the top of your foot, and make room for some fantastically garish design.
Nike Free Hyperfeel
The Hyperfeel is designed enhance performance by mimicking the intricate workings of your foot. Nike Lunarlon foam replicates the cushioned pads of your underfoot while the outsole delivers protection over bumpier ground. They also feature Nike's flagship dynamic Flywire which flexes and contracts with movement - inspired by ligaments. The Flyknit uppers - woven in a single sheet - offer a snug fit around the foot without adding weight, meaning these look and feel like you're striding down the road in a pair of very cool socks.
Price: TBA | Nike
Saucony Kinvara 4
The standout feature on the Kinvara is there comfort, with Saucony adding many improvements over the last model. First off, the re-designed upper cleverly utilises FlexFilm which helps give it a lightweight feel. The heel area has also seen some major reconstruction, with a new PowerGrid insert that will make for smooth landings, hopefully leading to an overall improved running experience.
The lighter, stripped down Saucony Virrata weighs in at just 184g. This means that only the most essential padding is provided, though the mesh upper is still very comfortable, if not protective. These runners have been designed with a 0mm heel-to-toe drop, which encourages a more “natural” running style.
Adidas Boost foam is a soft and responsive material that the German company believes will allow runners to run faster for longer distances. It is three times more temperature-resistant than standard EVA material, and provides an improved energy return for runners. The shoe upper is a stretchy, breathable mesh material, which is very comfortable and almost sock-like in its snugness.
Puma’s first real foray into the high-end running market is a very promising one. The design is based around the human foot, with mid and outsoles that expand and contract to match your foot mid-stride. At the same time the Puma Bioband runs through the outsole in a figure of eight, providing elastic energy to your run – the more pressure you exert on it, the more energy return you’ll get.
Nike FlyKnit Lunar 1+
FlyKnit tech works replacing the traditional panelled upper with a woven one, making the shoe lighter but more straight forward and cheaper to manufacture. The tightly woven polyester upper varies in density with heavier weave in areas that demand more support. The ultra-light upper is supported by Nike's Lunarlon cushioning system - lighter and supposedly more responsive than standard EVA soles.
Price: £140 | Buy now from Discipline of Three
Saucony Triumph 10
At just 295g in a men's size nine, the latest running shoes from American brand Saucony are lightweight but solid. The sole features a unique crashpad design with three independently responsive layers that respond independently when your foot strikes the ground, aiming to deliver a smooth landing and a more efficient transition as you push off. The breathable open mesh uppers come in three colours: white, black and lime, or citron, black and white. The illuminuous citrons have the added bonus of helping you to be spotted jogging the streets on those dark winter nights.
Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove
Members of the barefoot running movement, Merrell has worked with Vibram to deliver this superlight, durable running shoe that’s like a glove for your foot. Built to tackle all running terrains, if you are struggling to get to grips with the unique running technique, there's a Merrell Barefoot Training app available on the App Store to help get you started.
Price: £75 | Buy now from Cotswold Outdoor
The North Face Mens Single Track Hayasa Shoe
Perfect for lovers of running off the beaten track, this ultra-lightweight shoe features the delightfully named Snake Plate and Cradle technology which provides comfort and cushioning in the crucial forefoot and heel areas of your foot. A super-sticky grip outsole will help tackle tricky terrain while a protective toecap should help protect against running into stones or a loose branch. They’ve been tested by ultra runner Tsuyoshi Kaburaki which suggests that the Hayasa is capable of going the distance.
Price: £100 | Buy it now from Amazon
Reebok’s own take on minimal running shoes aims to help feet move and flex naturally. This not only benefit long runs in the park but aids performance in your gym workouts when you are jumping or stretching. The Realflex also sports a layer mesh upper which provides greater breathability and aims to promote greater stability making you feel a little lighter on your feet.
Price: £65 | Link: Reebok
Salomon Mens XR Crossmax Neutral Shoe
If you’re after a shoe that covers pavement pounding and hitting the trail, the XR combines technologies from both types of running shoe which means comfort and cushioning for harder surfaces and durability and stability for the more uncertain surfaces. Salomon’s Sensiflex and Sensfit systems reinforce the areas around the ball of the foot and instep to provide cushion for endurance runs while the Contragrip outsole should help your grip on more rugged surfaces.
Price: £100 | Buy now from Cotswold Outdoor
New Balance Minimus Trail
Carefully crafted to help you build up a mid-foot strike rather than slamming down on your heels and sending impact straight to your knees, the Vibram-powered Minimus come minus the sole insert. You can really feel the ground beneath your feet but not the stones. They do lack a bit of grip in the wet on concrete but handle the trails with aplomb.
Vibram Fivefingers Komodo Sport
The original foot glove is guaranteed to get you noticed on the streets. Before you slip a set of these one your plates, you’ll need to work on changing your running style to avoid injury. Protective enough for road-running but leaving your feet to land in a more natural arch. These latest pinky protectors come with a stitch-free. 2mm footbed that feels like a second skin.
After the Vibram’s these are the next craziest looking lightweight shoes. They look a little bit like Crocs with protective honeycomb outer. Inside there’s a super comfy slipper that keeps your twinkle toes warm and safe. The puncture resistant sole is a great confidence booster on those inner city streets.
We're surprised too, K-Swiss doing running trainers. But the exceptionally light and comfortable shoe weighs just 194g and by using a Guidglide dual-density midsole with a Superfoam crash, you'll get a real spring in your step. An Austa rubber outsole also increases durability for those extra long runs.
So light and flexible you call roll them up and tuck them easily into a tiny Camelback running bag, these Saucony’s give you the full barefoot experience. Perfect if you want to do you’re your gym run in a barefoots and half in your normal trainers but don’t want to lug loads of kit around. Unlike some barefoot newcomers they also look normal.
Asics Gel-Trabuco 13
Tackle woodland trails and other more rugged, mud-caked, gravel-surfaced terrains in the Gel-Trabuco 13s. Rear and forefoot Gel cushioning systems and a Rock Protection Plate ensure the uneven ground doesn't damage your feet while comfordry sock liner technology provides added comfort and cushioning. The incorporated Solyte midsole provides increased responsiveness, further improving your footing on challenging, off-road surfaces.
Price: £80 I Link: Asics
Reebok Zig Fuel
They may look like they're made from Play-Doh but the zig-zagged soles of Reebok's shoes help absorb your footfall impacts, propelling you towards your treadmill PB. The sole absorbs and recycles energy efficiently while your ankles and heels are protected by carefully positioned DMX Shear cushioning panels. We'll even forgive Reebok marketing these as an "energy drink for your feet".
Price: £80 IBuy it now from Amazon