Spring Running Shoe Guide
By: Jenny Willden
Get ready for racing season and refresh your running kicks with these updated and all-new editions from your favorite brands. Whether you're running on the trail, road, or recovering from your last run, these five shoes offer lightweight stability, boosted speed, and plush cushioning.
For Trail Runners
Beloved by minimalist trail runners, the Trail Glove 5 edition features a foot-shaped and new wider mid foot design to provide space for foot splay. Merrell's Barefoot 2construction helps stabilize the foot during rapid motion to prevent twisted ankles. ATrailProtect™ rock plate underfoot guards your feet from sharp rocks and debris.
Choose the original variety for a traditional mesh upper, or opt for the more expensive3D edition with a seamless, sock-like knit top—both set on a zero-drop platform.
Altra's build a brand on wide, foot-shaped toe boxes and cushioned zero-drop platforms, and the new Superior is no different. Lightened up by more than 2 ounces from its predecessor, the fourth edition is a softer, glove-like shoe that used a burrito style tongue connected to the shoe's upper fabric for secure wrapping.
New midsole material provides flexible support while the MaxTrac™ sticky rubber outsole and TrailClaw™ lugs improve traction in slick conditions. A removable StoneGuard™ protects your foot from trail debris, but if you're opting not to use it, size down a half-size for improved fit. The Superior's a great shoe for trail runners who love a barefoot feel while maintaining protection from the elements.
For Road Runners
Get Hoka's signature plush support in a quick, responsive ride with the new Mach 2. Its PROFLY™ midsole uses rubberized foam for a lighter ride with a firmer forefoot for quick takeoffs. And Hoka shaved off weight by swapping its traditional rubber out sole with tough, durable foam.
The lightweight mesh upper promotes breathability with a bit of padding up top to prevent rubbing and irritation. Overall, Mach 2 lives up to its name as a fast shoe for neutral runners looking for maximum cushioning.
This all-new shoe pleases high-mileage, neutral runners by enhancing comfort and support when distance training. Soft HOVR foam provides cushioning so plush that it's encased in a tougher foam just to withstand your run. A women's variety features an adjusted instep, reduced toe box volume, and a different sock liner with more cushioning at the back of the foot.
But the best part of the Infinites is what's inside. A digital sensor built into the shoes tracks your pace, speed, and stride by pairing with MapMyRun via Bluetooth—without a smartphone or GPS watch. Once your run's done, the app uses your stride and cadence data to advise you on improving your pace.
Best-Selling Running Shoes
Oofos' foam sandals have long been a summertime staple for running recovery. But what's a runner to do for recovery when the temperatures dip? Oofos made this new closed-toe foam shoe to answer that questions, building it with a four-way stretch knit upper for ultimate comfort and full arch support. Like any Oofos, the Fibre absorbs 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear and offer such plush comfort-they might become your favorite everyday shoe.
No matter which par you pick, these 2019 running kicks will help you get motivated for an active year ahead.