As we launch into spring the snow goes away, the days get longer, you awaken to the sound of robins chirping, and when you look into your closet it hits you… “I need new running shoes!”
What better time to tell you what shoes I AM most excited about this spring than now with the first installment of TED’S TOP TEN.
#10 Brooks Launch 2 – After several years of indecision over whether Brooks was going to keep moving forward with this shoe, they FINALLY decided to give it an update. The second version of the cult-classic lightweight trainer has much of the technology you’d see on higher end shoes, but at only $100.
#9 Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 – This is another lightweight shoe that I have used for everything from kicking around the office in jeans that aren’t blue, to crossfit, to the five mile loop by my house. The upper is simply one of the best I’ve ever tried.
#8 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 – Not only is this our best selling shoe for the past seven years for its wonderful fit and stable platform, but now it comes in a bunch of fun “see me” colors.
#7 Saucony Triumph ISO – This is the first of two shoes from Saucony’s “ISO fit” series to make the list. The upper has a “booty” construction that is kept secure with a very light and flexible exoskeleton. The result is a super responsive, premium high mileage cushion shoe that feels like it wants to go fast.
#6 Mizuno Inspire 11 – If you hated version 10, just forget it ever existed… that’s what Mizuno did. The upper has been totally re-done to make it feel much more like the familiar Inspire that customers have trusted for years. Mizuno’s goal is to have you forget about your shoes on the run, and they delivered on this Inspire.
#5 Adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 – If you’re a runner and you haven’t yet tried on an Adidas “Boost” shoe, it’s time. I don’t tend to get too wrapped up in the midsole technologies, but Boost delivers in the most noticeable way of any shoe I’ve run in. It feels VERY bouncy, and the added durability alone helps justify the premium price tag.
#4 New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay 980 v2 - This shoe just hit shelves a couple weeks ago and is killing it. I was a little skeptical when my rep insisted it should go up against some of the big dogs in the cushioned category, but she was right.
#3 Hoka Clifton – Having TONS of cushion usually comes at a cost, typically in the form of weight. Not so here. “Hi. I’m the Clifton, and I’m both lighter and softer than 90 percent of the shoes in the store.”
#2 Asics GEL-Nimbus 17 – Asics rarely makes significant changes to their franchise models. And why would they when they’re constantly leading the industry? Well, the new Nimbus is very different and WAY better. The entire upper is made of this beautiful engineered mesh that sits on a lighter, softer, more responsive midsole. It’s as close to perfect as I’ve felt in a premium cushion shoe.
#1 Saucony Zealot ISO – Remember, this is my personal #1 choice. I’ve got a body that more closely resembles a linebacker than a distance runner, and I wear a size 14 shoe. Typically, I bottom out lighter weight shoes. And most trainers scaled to a size 14 feel a bit heavy and clunky. After 50 miles in the Zealot, I’m in love! It’s a lightweight cushioned shoe, but definitely has enough midsole to be a higher mileage, everyday trainer… even for me! All that AND it has the amazing new ISO fit upper that makes the shoe feel like its a part of your foot.
And there you have it, my Top Ten running shoes for the season. My challenge to everyone next time you stop in Gazelle Sports: try on something new. You might be surprised by what your feet fall in love with.