Mar 28, 2016

Top 10

Most Expensive Running Shoes

Remember going to the mall with your parents and finding something you just had to have? You put on your puppy eyes and begged, “Please, please, please I promise I'll wear them every day! I love them so much!” So began our practice of justification. Brands lure us in with bright colors, sleek designs and the latest technologies. We listen closely and pine openly, and in the end we gladly open our wallets. We at ShoeKicker aren't trying to persuade you on the most expensive shoe, because we know there are tons of great (less expensive) shoes out there. To prove our unbiased opinion, here are the top 10 most expensive running shoes for 2016. You've been warned! And I'm sorry sweetheart, some purchases just can't be justified.

  1. New Balance 2040, MSRP: $350

    “Real genuine leather smells so good!”
    Make it rainnnn! That skrilla, that moolah, that chedda! Throw it in the pile! In all honesty, you could spend your money in a much more productive way as far as running shoes goes. There are so many things that are simply un-justifiable about these shoes, whether on the streets, trails or track. Horween leather is no doubt quality handmade leather, but to runners that translates into a shoe easily ruined by the elements. In typical New Balance fashion, these shoes do provide top of the line support and cushioning. So, if you have some Benjamins gathering dust and don't mind tip toeing around mud and puddles on your runs, New Balance would love your generous donation.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance 2040, MSRP: $350

  2. Mizuno Wave Tenjin, MSRP: $250

    “White matches everything.”
    The Mizuno Wave Tenjin has everything the Wave Prophecy has… but is designed by Automonili Lamborghini. The Tenjin shoe is supposed to look like the Lamborghini Huracan supercar, and apparently feels like the Lambo too. We hope that the technology, performance and feel you get underfoot doesn't need as much maintenance as the supercar for flat tires. At this price, we hope the shoes have a private garage and are taken out for a joy ride every once and a while. Avoid puddles, rocks, and pot-holes.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Tenjin, MSRP: $250

  3. Nike Flyknit Air Max, MSRP: $225.00

    “It's the perfect combination of the cool Flyknit on the top and sweet Air Max on the bottom! Ugh, yes!”
    You would think Nike would leverage their brand cache a bit more and top the list of pricy-ness – but hey, can't win em' all. So bravo Phil Knight, for not being #1! As your inner 14-year-old might have perceived, the Nike Flyknit Air Max is the melding of two successful styles into one – Flyknit technology and Air Max technology. The shoe has a light and flexible feel with a snug sock-like upper maintaining structure with the Flywire. You decide if that cash money is worth it.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Flyknit Air Max, MSRP: $225.00

  4. Mizuno Wave Prophecy, MSRP: $220

    “These are different… and I kinda like the holes!”
    You can spend $209 and then spend the next 209 hours picking rocks, mud and grass out of the underfoot holes! The upper is a soft pliable mesh that helps with comfort and breathability, while the wave plate on the bottom helps reduce shock every time you land. You'll look good while running with comfort in every step. The Mizuno Wave Prophesy takes away the shock under your foot and puts the shock in your next credit card statement!

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Prophecy, MSRP: $220

  5. Adidas Adizero Prime, MSRP: $200

    “Well the mesh is reflective, so I'll always be seen and safe when I'm running.”
    Swaggggg yo! Adidas blends their Originals line with their performance shoes and voila: the Adizero Prime. The upper mesh has a metallic reflective thread while keeping your foot comfy (and you visible). The boost foam runs throughout the midfoot and is layered with a tread to keep you running even through slippery terrain. Looks great, be safe. That'll be a sell!

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Adizero Prime, MSRP: $200

  6. Asics Gel-Kinsei, MSRP: $200

    “I want some bright shoes, but nothing too crazy. These are the perfect in-between!”
    Ding ding ding! We've hit the $200 mark! The Asics Gel-Kinsei brings a new seamless upper in their newest version. The heel box may seem chunky, but this shoe has a surprisingly lightweight and smooth ride, which is caused by the gel propulsion underfoot. You'll have to throw some dough at these, but the Asics Kinsei's promises serious durability and some serious fun runs.

    Find the best deal on the Asics Gel-Kinsei, MSRP: $200

  7. Adidas Ultra Boost, MSRP: $180

    “They're perfect because I can wear them running AND with day-to-day outfits!”
    As we move farther from the $100 mark and closer to the $200 milestone, you'll begin to feel the grasp of your wallet (or mom and dad's credit card) getting tighter. Fear not: Ultra Boosts bring more to the table than a trendy look. The Ultra Boost is designed for speed and lightness, while maintaining a midfoot spring and an excellent heel hug. It's a neutral shoe with a pleasing aesthetic design. Think of it like a Nike Free for those who want a little more cushion than a barefoot ride. You can un-clench your wallet now.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Ultra Boost, MSRP: $180

  8. Newton Motion, MSRP: $175

    “They're unique, light, and bright!”
    When it comes to justifying shoe purchases, one must question the number of times you will wear the shoe, how many outfits you can wear them with, and if the shoe will actually accomplish the purpose you're buying them for. In this case, if you're looking for shoe that doesn't compromise speed or stability the Newton Motion has got you covered. The lugs on the bottom of the shoe do have a purpose – they propel you onto your toes each stride. There are a limited number of color schemes, but it you have flat feet or a medial side pronation, slippin' some bills over to Newton might just be worth it.

    Find the best deal on the Newton Motion, MSRP: $175

  9. Brooks Transcend, MSRP: $170

    “These Brooks are FIRE!... Pun intended.”
    Brooks claims the Transcend takes into consideration how the entire body moves. Tall task if you ask me. With those who pronate in mind, this shoe offers dynamic support with each step. It is Brooks' “most technically advanced running shoe”. For those with footums who need some extra care, $170 might be worth it. #justified

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Transcend, MSRP: $170

  10. Saucony Hurricane ISO, MSRP: $160

    “Mom! They're pink and my favorite color is pink!”
    The Saucony Hurricane ISO was designed for long runs in mind. The blend of comfort, fit, and stability isn't something hard to find, although Saucony claims the shoe has unmatched durability. Coming in hot at $160, the color scheme and added durability pitch might just persuade you to lay down the cash.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Hurricane ISO, MSRP: $160

Mar 28, 2016

Top 10

Best Looking Running Shoes

As runners, we want shoes that function well. But there's also a part of us that want the coolest, sleekest, and most fashionable shoes on the roads. ShoeKicker realizes that the best shoe is a blend of fashion and function, and we want to help you look fly while you run fast. Here are the top ten most fashionable running shoes for men and women. And if you're looking for the ugliest running shoes, click here.

  1. Nike Free 4.0 FlyKnit, MSRP: $120

    Our number one shoe, Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit shoes has earned deserved praise for both aesthetics and performance. They are a light and comfortable natural-ride running shoe that transitions from the track to trails to pavement seamlessly. The Free 4.0 Flyknits are also commonly seen paired fashionably with day-to-day clothes. They are simply the running shoe for every occasion.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Free 4.0 FlyKnit, MSRP: $120

  2. Adidas Ultra Boost, MSRP: $180

    Here's the shoe that can take it from street style to athletic chic. The Adidas Ultra Boost is a neutral running shoe that has a comfortable and breathable Primekit upper mesh for a flexible and supportive fit. The Ultra Boost is the perfect cross between fashion and function as the patterned mesh reduces irritation and flexes with your foot as you run. Impress your friends as you achieve fashion and function in one purchase.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Ultra Boost, MSRP: $180

  3. Nike Zoom Pegasus, MSRP: $125

    Nike lives up to its flair for fashion with the Nike Zoom Pegasus. Now in its 32nd version, this shoe comes in a myriad of color combinations and patterns. The Nike air and internal fibers are used for cushioning that springs back with each step. The upper mesh provides a strong support while the Flywire cables stabilize the midfoot and arch. This shoe is perfect for neutral heel strikers: the Pegasus has a crash rail underfoot that is used to smooth out the heel strike in every stride.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Zoom Pegasus, MSRP: $125

  4. Mizuno Wave Rider, MSRP: $120

    The flagship neutral shoe from Mizuno is back and better than ever. A neutral ride with both cushioning and support… it's hard to beat. The newest Wave Rider 19 is a favorite on the road, and now with new aesthetic qualities it has hit the fashionable list. If you're looking for that versatile neutral shoe that is guaranteed to please, the Wave Rider is a perfect place to start.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Rider, MSRP: $120

  5. Nike Flyknit Racer, MSRP: $150

    These Flyknits Racers can often be seen paired with a trendy outfit, but they double as a lightweight, precision-fit shoe that feels like a sock slipped over your feet. The woven mesh gives an adaptive fit as your foot flexes with each stride. This lightweight and dynamic shoe is offered in all different color combinations, which are sure to compliment any outfit.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Flyknit Racer, MSRP: $150

  6. Adidas Energy Boost, MSRP: $160

    Adidas combines the sleek look of their Adidas Originals line with the function of their popular Boost road shoes to create the Adidas Energy Boost. This well-cushioned shoe is designed as a neutral shoe for all levels of runners. Similar to the below Ultra Boost, the Energy Boost has a seamless sock-like fit while offering heel stability and a neutral plane. This shoe is Adidas at its finest: we even named it our number one men's neutral shoe of 2016. Find your favorite color combo and hit the road.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Energy Boost, MSRP: $160

  7. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, MSRP: $100

    New Balance went for a classic, simplistic look in order to create a pretty fashionable shoe. The Fresh Foam Zante has a smooth heel-to-toe transition thanks to the soft cushion underfoot. The streamlined features of the shoe eliminate any discomfort to the runner's foot as they stride out. This neutral shoe has won many awards from Competitor Magazine's 2014 road shoe of the year, Triathlete Magazine's “Best in Class”, Running Network's “Best Performance Shoe”, and the Men's Journal “2015 Gear of the Year.” There's no doubt that this is a great shoe. But the fact that it looks great? All the better.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, MSRP: $100

  8. Nike LunarTempo, MSRP: $100

    The Nike Lunar Tempo achieves casual comfort effortlessly while allowing you to express your inner style. The shoe's ventilated mesh gives breathability, the Flywire provides support, and the ultralight Lunarlon cushioning offers a soft responsive ride. You can't go wrong with this shoe whether you rock them on the trails, the treadmill, or just around town.

    Find the best deal on the Nike LunarTempo, MSRP: $100

  9. Newton Aha, MSRP: $110

    Here are some funky kicks to spice up those long runs. Newton's Aha running shoes were made for the all-around runner. Their traditional natural and low-to-ground ride isn't sacrificed in this model, which uses Newton's signature lugs to put you on your toes. That Aha moment occurs every time you put them on as just looking at the shoe gives you a little more pep in your step.

    Find the best deal on the Newton Aha, MSRP: $110

  10. New Balance 890, MSRP: $115

    If you aren't the worlds biggest fashionista and crave durability, stability and reliability, New Balance has got your back. The 890 has both style and support for those seeking to look good while maintaining structure. The ABZORB crash pad in the 890v5 (the latest version) holds the heel both medially and laterally for stability. This shoe is offered in multiple colors so hopefully one will strike your fancy.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance 890, MSRP: $115

Mar 20, 2016

Top 10

Best Running Shoes for Heel Strikers

What's the best way to run? For many proponents of “good form running”, proper running—fast, injury free, and efficient running—means avoiding heel striking and landing on the middle of the foot. Landing on your mid-food or forefoot, good form advocates say, softens the strike's impact to your body, whereas heel striking generates a greater shock to your heels, Achilles, and ankles. Many other runners and exercise physiologists say that there's no conclusive evidence that heel striking is detrimental.

Most shoe brands understand that the vast majority of runners instinctively strike the ground with their heels. As a result, brands build in heel support, plenty of cushioning, and design great heel-to-toe response systems that soften a heel striker's impact. The following shoes are great for runners who are heel-strikers: they absorb shock, extend the life of the shoe, and ensure that even the most egregious heel strikers can run, mile after mile.

Neutral (arch only slightly collapses with each stride)

  1. Brooks Ghost, MSRP: $120

    Like the Adidas Energy Boost, the Ghost wasn't designed specifically for heel strikers. But that doesn't mean it's not a great shoe for those that strike with their heels. Brooks' DNA cushioning technology and Caterpillar Crash Pad allow for a responsive, heel-to-toe transition. Add in a soft inner and a very durable outsole, and you have a great shoe that feels great on every heel strike.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Ghost, MSRP: $120

  2. Mizuno Wave Rider, MSRP: $120

    The Wave Rider—like all Mizuno shoes with its wave plate technology—is built with the heel striker in mind. The wave plate, which sits underneath the body of the shoe, absorbs heavy landing (i.e heel striking) by distributing the shock across the body of the shoe. The result? A great shoe that even the most aggressive heel striker can run in. While heel strike often cuts down the useful life of a shoe, the Wave Rider is exceptionally durable: if you're a relatively lightweight heel striker runner, you can get at least 550 miles in them.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Rider, MSRP: $120

  3. Adidas Energy Boost, MSRP $180

    After devoting millions to researching and developing a springy midsole technology, Adidas launched their signature Boost technology in 2013 with the Adidas Energy Boost. The Boost, and its eponymous shoe, has been a hit ever since. The Energy Boost works great for heel strikers, even though it wasn't designed exclusively for such an audience. The shoe's for-motion decoupled heel system makes for an adaptable running style and a very easy heel-to-toe stride transition; the torsion system uses (and this is from the manufacturer) a “wishbone shaped thermoplastic unit,” which basically just allows some more independent mobility between the front of the shoe and back of the shoe, helping heel strikers land easier. More important than any technical feature, this shoe just feels great: we named it our number one running shoe for neutral runners in another post.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Energy Boost, MSRP $180

Moderate/Severe Over Pronators (arch collapses with each stride)

  1. Brooks Adrenaline, MSRP $120

    The bestselling running shoe for almost every running store in the country (and ShoeKicker's number one stability shoe), the Brooks Adrenaline works incredibly well for heel strikers. Made with Brooks' signature DNA cushioning technology and BioMoGo foam, the Adrenaline helps absorb nearly every heel strike blow. Like its neutral counterpart the Ghost, it also has a Caterpillar Crash pad that helps increase cushioning and stability to make for an easy heel-to-toe transition. The Adrenaline isn't just one of the best shoes for heel strikers, it's one of the best shoes ever made.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Adrenaline, MSRP $120

  2. Mizuno Wave Paradox, MSRP $135

    Yes, we have two Mizuno shoes in a row. The Wave Paradox is for the runner who needs a bit more stability than what the Wave Inspire offers. Like all Mizuno wave shoes, the Pardox's wave plate works exceptionally well for heel strikers. But this shoe also has an extremely comfortable mesh upper, plenty of cushion (at least for Mizuno's traditionally firm shoes), and a blown rubber that permits for even more high mileage than the average Mizuno sneaker. You can easily get 600 miles in the Wave Paradox.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Paradox, MSRP $135

  3. Asics Gel-Kayano, MSRP $160

    Thanks to its famous gel cushioning under the heel, the Asics Gel-Kayano works for even the most extreme heel strikers and especially for those needing plenty of stability. And the newest Kayano, now version 22, is the best yet. With a re-engineered heel counter to provide a more secure, adaptive fit, the average heel striker will barely know when they're hitting the ground. Coupled with a superbly plush feel, the Kayano is the perfect shoe for someone who wants plenty of cushioning and plenty stability.

    Find the best deal on the Asics Gel-Kayano, MSRP $160

  4. Mizuno Wave Inspire, MSRP $120

    The Inspire is not just ShoeKicker's CEO's favorite shoe (and the shoe that helped launch ShoeKicker) but it's also one of the bestselling stability shoes in the country. Like its sibling shoe the Wave Rider, the Wave Inspire's extended wave plate absorbs the shock from a heel strike, distributing it evenly throughout the shoe. This not only helps reduce the jolt to the body, but it helps preserve the life of the shoe.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Inspire, MSRP $120

Supinator (lands on outside of foot)

  1. Saucony Triumph ISO, MSRP $150

    The most cushioned shoe from Saucony, the Triumph ISO is an incredibly plush, smooth shoe that works great for the heavy heel striker. Featuring EVERUN, Saucony's cushioning compound that distributes force throughout the shoe, the Triumph prevents the heel from taking the brunt of the impact. The shoe has a great fit, Saucony's famous POWERGRID cushioning, and feels incredibly responsive for such a cushioned shoe. The Triumph is durable and, even for aggressive heel strikers, you can get 500 miles in this shoe. If you're a supinator who lands on their heel, this shoe is golden.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Triumph ISO, MSRP $150

  2. Asics Gel-Nimbus, MSRP $160

    The Asics Gel-Nimbus is the neutral and supinator version of the Gel-Kayano. With an almost laughable amount of cushioning—you will feel like you're wearing marshmallows on your feet—the Nimbus will almost certainly be the softest shoe you ever try on. Add in the rearfootGel that sits underneath the heel and there is plenty of cushioning to reduce the shock of heel striking. If you're a neutral runner or supinator runner seeking max cushioning and max softness, this is definitely your shoe.

    Find the best deal on the Asics Gel-Nimbus, MSRP $160

  3. Nike Air Zoom Vomero, MSRP $140

    The most cushioned neutral shoe from the sports giant, the Nike Air Zoom Vomero is incredibly soft and incredibly light. Made with Nike's signature Lunarlon midsole, the Vomero adds extra cushioning underneath the heel with its Zoom Air impact protection. Unlike many highly cushioned shoes, the Vomero is light (only 10 oz for the men's size 9) and feels springy, meaning it's great for both faster runs and slower days.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Air Zoom Vomero, MSRP $140

Mar 20, 2016

Top 10

Best Lightweight Trainers

Many runners see lightweight trainers as the best way to mimic the feel of racing. Whether for a fast workout or for a long run, lightweight shoes can be a great alternative to traditional daily trainers. Personally, I like to rotate between cushioned running shoes on my average run and lightweight running shoes for anything fast; that lengthens the lifespan of both shoes and works different muscles.

Below are the ten best lightweight running shoes, five for runners seeking a neutral shoe (those who pronate minimally) and five for those who looking for a stability shoe (those who pronate more significantly). These comprise shoes that are excellent to train in and even run a race in.

Note: all weights are for men's size 9 and the most recent model.

Neutral Runners

  1. Brooks Launch, MSRP: $100, Weight: 9.8 oz

    When Brooks cancelled the launch in 2012, there was an uproar. Two years later, they brought it back new, improved, and better than ever. Now in its third incarnation since its 2014 revival, the Launch has many of Brooks' best shoe features: the BioMoGo DNA midsole for adaptive cushioning, a great upper, and a caterpillar crash pad that allows for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. And at $100, it's a great value compared to many other Brooks offerings. Its only problem: weight. It's the heaviest neutral shoe on the list.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Launch, MSRP: $100, Weight: 9.8 oz

  2. Mizuno Wave Sayonara, MSRP: $110, Weight: 9.2 oz

    Fitting neatly between the Wave Rider daily trainer and the Wave Hitogami racing shoe, Mizuno's Wave Sayonara is a lightweight shoe that works. The shoe is well-cushioned (especially on the upper), but feels firm, which gives it a springy feel. Unlike other lightweight neutral trainers, it feels like it has some stability to it. Yet the best part about the shoe is that it'll last: thanks to Mizuno's Wave plate, this shoe can last about 50 miles more than any other shoe that we name on the list.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Sayonara, MSRP: $110, Weight: 9.2 oz

  3. Adidas Prime Boost, MSRP: $200, Weight 8.5 oz

    Ignore your momentary shock at the price for a second. The Prime Boost is durable, responsive, and feels fast. Much of the success of the shoe stems from Adidas' signature Boost technology, which is made from foam pellets called “energy capsules” and keeps the shoe springy. For its flagship lightweight shoe, Adidas also included its lightweight and breathable Primeknit upper, Adidas' version of Nike's Flyknit technology. If you can stomach the price, it's a great buy.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Prime Boost, MSRP: $200, Weight 8.5 oz

  4. New Balance Vazee Pace, MSRP: $110, Weight: 8.0oz

    A relative newcomer from New Balance (it replaces the 890), this shoe is light, secure, and feels fast. And unlike its other Vazee cousins like the Vazee Rush and Vazee Coast—both priced at $75—the Pace feels (and is priced) like a premium shoe. The Vazee Pace has a nicely cushioned insole and roomy toe box. A few more strides in, and you'll realize it's a surprisingly firm shoe that feels very fast. The biggest downside of the shoe? The upper isn't great and, when not laced properly, it can feel constricting.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance Vazee Pace, MSRP: $110, Weight: 8.0oz

Over Pronators (Stability Shoes)

  1. Brooks Racer ST, MSRP: $90, Weight: 8.6 oz

    No other lightweight stability shoes have the bounce of the Racer ST, which lets your feet to feel handle miles and miles of pounding. Made of Brooks' BioMoGo midsole, the Racer ST feels springy and responsive. It has a soft upper (although the shoe laces frequently come undone) and a durable outsole. Whether racing or just using it for workouts, the Race ST is an unbelievable shoe. And at only $90, it's also the cheapest shoe—for neutral or stability runners—on the list.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Racer ST, MSRP: $90, Weight: 8.6 oz

  2. Asics GEL DS Trainer, MSRP: $120, Weight: 9.0 oz

    For more than twenty years, Asics has been making its flagship stability trainer. Now on version 21, the Asics DS Trainer is better than ever. The shoe has Asics' rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning system for the heavy heel striker. Asics' dynamic duomax system provides the stability in the shoe (just like it does with the popular 2000 and Kayano).

    Find the best deal on the Asics GEL DS Trainer, MSRP: $120, Weight: 9.0 oz

  3. Adidas adizero Tempo, MSRP: $120, Weight: 9.2 oz

    The Tempo is a fast feeling, lightweight stability trainer. The shoe has an ultra-responsive midsole that's coupled with firmness across the heel. The result? A springy, bouncy run that feels stable. Pronation support is provided through an EVA stableframe. This is comfortable for the moderate pronator, but severe over pronators should steer clear. At only 9 oz, this is a great shoe for the runner looking to wear something that feels fast.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas adizero Tempo, MSRP: $120, Weight: 9.2 oz

  4. Saucony Mirage, MSRP: $110, Weight: 9.0 oz

    Like its neutral sibling the Kinvara, the Saucony Mirage feels more racing shoe than lightweight trainer: it's super springy out of the gate. Much of that is due to its shoe's 4mm heel-to-toe drop, its POWRGRID technology, and the midsole's sheer responsiveness. And yet, because of its heavier weight and because of the shoe's supportive arch, the Mirage just doesn't feel quite as fast as the Kinvara. A very good shoe, but not a great shoe.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Mirage, MSRP: $110, Weight: 9.0 oz

  5. New Balance Vazee Prism, MSRP: $100, Weight: 10.2 oz

    New to 2016, the Vazee Prism is much like the Vazee Pace—but for stability runners. Like the Pace, the Prism is cushioned, has a roomy toe box and, thanks to New Balance's signature REVlite midsole, the shoe has a snappy feel. Unlike the Pace, it has a medial post that helps prevent most over pronation. The shoe is a great buy for someone looking for a solid lightweight trainer.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance Vazee Prism, MSRP: $100, Weight: 10.2 oz

Mar 13, 2016

Top 10

Women's Neutral Running Shoes for 2016

For this post we polled many runners and called dozens of running specialty stores to get their opinion: what are the best women's neutral running shoes (or, shoes for those who land with their arch rolling ever so slightly inward). From the data collected, we present you with the best running shoes for female neutral runners.

* Looking for our men's list? It's here.

  1. Women's Adidas Energy Boost

    Want the best of the Saucony Kinvara and the Brooks Ghost? This is your shoe. The Energy Boost allows for an incredibly cushioned yet smooth ride that can take on crazy pounding. It's extremely well-made. The upper is made of a breathable knitted material, the midsole is made from Adidas' signature Boost technology, and the outsole has a grippy feel to help you on the track and the trails. Nothing we've tried has felt as glove-like as these shoes and the Energy Boost was the top recommendation for many running store owners across the country. And like the owners, we can't endorse this shoe enough. The heel-to-toe drop is 10 mm, the weight is around 9.3 oz (although it feels lighter), and you can get around 600 miles in the Adidas Energy Boost.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Adidas Energy Boost

  2. Women's Saucony Kinvara

    The least expensive shoe on this list yet among the best shoes on the market, the Saucony Kinvara—now on model number seven—is light, fast, and unbelievably comfortable. Utilizing Saucony's PowerGrid technology in the underfoot and FlexFilm for the external foot, this shoe is designed to feel secure, but with easy mobility. But what truly distinguishes this shoe is that it feels quick. Weighing only 6.8 oz and with a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm, you feel the responsiveness of this shoe the moment you try it on. The lone downside of the Kinvara is its durability: we wouldn't recommend getting more than 400 miles in these shoes.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Saucony Kinvara

  3. Women's Brooks Ghost

    The Ghost has it all: amazing cushioning, light feel, and solid traction. Brooks' BioMoGO DNA midsole adapts to your stride and the waffle sole means you can wear the Ghost through spring showers, summer dust, fall leaves, and winter snow. There's a reason that when we polled them running stores almost universally listed this shoe as their top selling neutral model. The Ghost is now on version eight and has an 10mm heel-to-toe drop and weighs (a bit heavy) 9.2 oz. A durable shoe, you can get through around 500 miles in the Ghost before needing to replace it.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Brooks Ghost

  4. Women's Mizuno Wave Rider

    Now in its 19th version, this neutral trainer is a top seller for a reason. For one, the Wave Rider has unbelievable durability: thanks to the signature wave plate that sits beneath the body of the shoe, the Wave Rider can withstand immense pounding before needing to be replaced. And although it has a reputation for feeling firm, newer versions are quite cushioned and, shockingly, quite light (8.3 oz). We'd probably have made this number one, but the shoe runs a bit narrow. The Wave Rider has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop and can handle about 600 miles.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Mizuno Wave Rider

  5. Women's Saucony Triumph ISO

    Well-fitting, responsive, and lightweight, the Triumph ISO is one of the best shoes Saucony has ever made. The shoe is light (9 oz), springy (it has Saucony's EVERUN midsole), and has a great fitting upper, thanks to the ISOFIT engineered technology. The Triumph ISO is durable for any neutral runner, and most runners can get 550 miles out of them. Highly recommended for almost all neutral runners looking for a cushioned ride.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Saucony Triumph ISO

  6. Women's Nike Pegasus

    The Nike Pegasus is the most searched for shoe on ShoeKicker. That shouldn't come as a surprise. The Nike Pegasus is now in its 32nd incarnation, making it not only the sports giant's longest continually produced running shoe, but Nike's longest continually produced shoe… period. There's a reason for that: for the neutral runner, this is a fantastic basic trainer. It has a solid amount of cushioning, an upper made out of Nike's Dynamic Flywire, and it feels hyper responsive. Around 8.5 oz in weight and with a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm, this classic can withstand around 450 miles of pounding before you need a replacement.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Nike Pegasus

  7. Women's Asics Gel-Nimbus

    We said the Glycerin was soft? Somehow the Asics Gel-Nimbus is softer. As the name suggests, the Nimbus gives the feeling of running on clouds. The midsole is as cushiony as a pillow and the interior sides feel like putting your feet inside a marshmallow. The real downside is that, like the Glycerin, it feels clunky for anything fast, almost like a two ton Cadillac trying to go from zero to sixty. Unsurprisingly, the latest version of the shoe, the 18th, is a tad heavy at 10 oz. The Gel-Nimbus has a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm and, thanks to Asics' gel padding, you can easily run 550 miles in these.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Asics Gel-Nimbus

  8. Women's Brooks Glycerin

    Another high cushioned shoe, the Brooks Glycerin is a top seller across the country and one of the most searched for shoes on ShoeKicker. Now in its 13th version, Brooks uses the best of its technology on the Glycerin: Brooks' Super DNA midsole makes every stride feel extra plush and a rounded heel makes the shoe feel softer than a normal sneaker (no more heel chafing!). The real downer for the Brooks Glycerin is its bulky feel, which means anything fast feels needlessly taxing. The shoe has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop and weighs 9.4 oz for women's size 8.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Brooks Glycerin

  9. Women's New Balance 1080

    The 1080 is New Balance's take on the high cushioned neutral shoe, which means it's plusher and more feature-rich than the standard running shoe. The latest version—v6—has New Balance's signature Fresh Foam, a responsive, lightweight midsole that New Balance has started to integrate across most of its shoe line. Thanks to the 1080's ventilated upper, the shoe has phenomenal breathability. And, even with the Fresh Foam midsole, the 1080 only weighs 9 oz. If you want to get in some long runs in a lighter cushioned shoe, the 1080 is a great option. The trainer has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop and the average runner can get around 500 miles in the 1080 before needing replacement.

    Find the best deal on the Women's New Balance 1080

  10. Women's Nike Free 5.0

    The Nike Free was the shoe that launched (with all respect to Five Fingers) the “minimalist” shoe trend. The Nike Free 5.0 is flexible, light, and looks great (plus it comes in seemingly endless colorways). As intended, the shoe fits like a sock: it has a seamless, flywire upper, a midfoot saddle to provide a close fit, and has plenty of flexibility thanks to a grooved outsole. The shoe weighs 6.6 oz for a women's size 8, has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop, and has a Phylon, full-length midsole that adds cushioning. We wouldn't recommend trying to get more than 350 miles out of these shoes—the Free 5.0 isn't particularly durable.

    Find the best deal on the Women's Nike Free 5.0

Mar 8, 2016

Top 10

Ugliest Running Shoes

To be fashion-forward you have to put yourself out there. However, there’s a point when you’ve gone just a little too far. Many running shoe brands have crossed the line and maybe thought a little… too outside the box. So why write a list of the top 10 ugliest running shoes out there? Because a little soft discouragement with some highly successful shoe companies will let them know: actually, you can’t make your shoe look that ridiculous. We all know there are some pretty “beat” shoes out there. Here are our top picks for the ugliest running shoes on the market.

  1. Brooks Addiction Walker

    The list wouldn’t be complete without the shoe that never gets old, just the people that wear them. The elderly deserve some shoes with energy and sparkle, but Brooks Addiction Walker Strap went for the simple standard shoe to go with any outfit. The cushion and stability are unmatched and their pairing with the simple V straps makes them an easy ugly choice.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Addiction Walker

  2. Asics Gel-Noosa Tri

    The Asics Gel Noosa fell short of number one on our overall list but would reign champion if we tallied the worst color schemes. Whether the colors were intentionally graffiti or not, the shoe does provide a light and neutral ride. If attention is what you’re looking for, the Gel Noosa Tri will guarantee a few #whatarethooooooooooose?!?!

    Find the best deal on the Asics Gel-Noosa Tri

  3. Under Armour Fat Tire

    We’ll get the elephant out of the room: no, you can’t walk on water in these shoes. The Under Armour Fat Tire shoe touts itself as having the best of both worlds (not land and sea): being both cushioned and having a responsive underfoot. The boat-like physique, along with the interesting color scheme, may cause the shoe trouble attracting buyers, but – there are plenty of fish in the sea.

    Find the best deal on the Under Armour Fat Tire

  4. Hoka One One Constant

    The Hoka One One Constant is the most stable and cushioned shoe made by Hoka. The wide platform with the thick under sole are hard functionalities to get around aesthetically (are you wearing moon shoes? Maybe.) But they do provide a cushioned ride while maintaining dynamic stability. The Hoka One One Constant may not be the hottest shoe on the market, but for the right person it could be the perfect fit.

    Find the best deal on the Hoka One One Constant

  5. Skechers GoMeb Speed

    The Skechers’ GoMeb Speed shoe, named after Meb Keflezighi, the record breaking U.S. marathoner, provides the necessities in function, but misses the beat with aesthetics. Possibly aiming for a 90s retro look, the GoMeb came out with some funky colors and patterns. Meb’s shoe of choice for the Boston Marathon in 2014 serves your underfoot well with independent circular GoImpulse sensors and a seamless interior for lightweight comfort. If you can get past the retro patterns, you should Go-ForIt.

    Find the best deal on the Skechers GoMeb Speed

  6. Altra Paradigm

    Despite the chunky appearance, the Altra Paradigm prides itself on being a super lightweight supportive ride. Altra probably could have picked some better color combinations and disguised the thick sole a bit more, but function took precedence over fashion in this case.

    Find the best deal on the Altra Paradigm

  7. New Balance 990

    The standard, the classic, the tragic looking… The New Balance 990 are steadfast in their bland appearance but they’ve made it 50 years so the looks can’t be holding them back too much. The 990 is the all around shoe that is guaranteed comfortable ride for all levels. If you’re looking for the plain Jane of running shoes, here she is.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance 990

  8. Adidas Springblade Drive

    Can’t win ‘em all, Adidas. The typically fashion-forward brand went a little too far with the design of the Springblade Drive. Adidas claims that you have to feel it to believe it, but based on aesthetics this was a strike out. The polymer blades were developed for explosive energy with every step, paired with sweat wicking, breathable mesh on the upper sole. They may not be the best looking, but – I’m sure they have a great personality.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Springblade Drive

  9. Mizuno Wave Tenjin

    The Mizuno Wave Tenjin has a fine upper; it’s the lower part of the shoe that makes its aesthetics questionable. The wave-like sole can be a little too much for traditionalists who like their feet firmly on the ground (and a wave plate similar to the Mizuno Wave Rider). That being said, the bottom does serve a purpose: the structure creates shock absorption, thus reducing the impact on every stride. If you are into being different, or just into the latest shock absorption technology, the Wave Tenjin is for you.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Tenjin

  10. Reebok ZPUMP Fusion

    The Reebok ZPUMP Fusion, structurally speaking, may not be the worst shoe; it is more of the additional aesthetics and functionalities that drag it down. The prints and colors don’t do the shoe justice and the pump adds extra bulk to the shoe with seemingly no real benefit. If you don’t mind some extra baggage (and an ugly shoe), this shoe could be for you.

    Find the best deal on the Reebok ZPUMP Fusion

Feb 29, 2016

Top 10

Men's Neutral Running Shoes for 2016

I'll admit I'm not a neutral runner. As I wrote about in the last post, I've over pronated during every stride of every run over the past 20 years. So for this post I polled many runners and called dozens of running stores to get their opinion: what are the best running shoes for neutral runners (meaning, for the uniformed, those who land with their arch rolling ever so slightly inward with every stride). From the data we collected, we present the best men's running shoes for neutral runners.

  1. Adidas Energy Boost

    Want the best of the Brooks Ghost and the Saucony Kinvara? This is your shoe. Ok, it's not cheap and the Ghost and Kinvara (it's basically their costs combined). But the Energy Boost allows for an unbelievably cushioned, bouncy, and smooth ride that can take immense pounding on the roads. The upper is made up a very breathable, stretchy material, the midsole is made from Adidas' signature Boost technology, and the outsole has a grippy feel to help you on both track and trails. Nothing we've tried has felt as glove-like as these shoes and this was the top choice for many running store owners across the country. We can't recommend these shoes enough. The heel-to-toe drop is 9 mm, the weight is around 10oz, and you can get around 600 miles in Energy Boost.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Energy Boost

  2. Saucony Kinvara

    The least expensive shoe on this list is also perhaps the best. The Saucony Kinvara—now on model number seven—is light, fast, and comfortable. Utilizing Saucony's PowerGrid technology in the underfoot (which evenly distributes pressure) and FlexFilm for the external foot (allowing for mobility), this shoe is designed to fit around your foot as comfortably as possible. Although you can certainly use the Kinvara for the daily run, the best thing about this shoe is that it seemingly propels you forward, making any speed session easier. Weighing only 7.8oz and with a heel-to-toe drop of 4mm, you feel the responsiveness of this shoe with every stride. The lone downside of the Kinvara is its durability: we wouldn't recommend getting more than 400 miles in these shoes.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Kinvara

  3. Brooks Ghost

    The Brooks Ghost is about as reliable as running shoes get. The bestselling neutral running shoe for most running stores across the country, the Brooks Ghost has it all: amazing cushioning, absurdly great fit, light feel, and solid traction. The BioMoGO DNA midsole helps adapt your foot to the run and the waffle rubber underneath means you can wear it in the winter snow, the summer dryness, or even during trail running. It has an 10mm heel-to-toe drop and you can get through around 500 miles in this shoe. There's just nothing bad about the Ghost… it's a wonderful trainer for nearly every run.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Ghost

  4. Mizuno Wave Rider

    Now in its 19th version, this neutral trainer is a best seller across the country for a reason. And, with the exception of a misguided 17th version, Mizuno has built a consistent winner. For one, it has insane durability: thanks to the wave plate that sits underneath the body of the shoe, the Rider can withstand an extreme amount of pounding before needing to be replaced. And even though it has a reputation of feeling firm, newer version are quite cushioned and, shockingly, quite light at 9.5oz. We'd probably have made this number one, but it does run a tad narrow. The Wave Rider has a 12 mm heel-to-toe drop and can handle about 600 miles of road running.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Rider

  5. Nike Pegasus

    LetsRun.com, the popular running news and message board site, recently polled their users and found that the Nike Pegasus was the most popular running shoe among respondents. That shouldn't come as a surprise. The commercially successful Nike Pegasus is in its 32nd incarnation. That makes it not only the sports behemoth's longest continually produced running shoe, but Nike's longest continually produced shoe, period. There's a reason for the shoe's ardent following: for the neutral runner, this is a fantastic daily trainer. It has a solid amount of cushioning, an upper made out of Nike's Dynamic Flywire, and it feels hyper responsive. Around 10oz in weight and with a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm, this classic can withstand around 450 miles of pounding before you need a replacement.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Pegasus

  6. Asics GEL-Nimbus

    We said the Glycerin was soft? Let's talk about the Asics Nimbus. As the name implies, this shoe gives the impression that you're stepping on a cloud with each stride. To continue the soft analogy, the midsole feels like a pillow; the sides like a marshmallow. There's just so much padding on this uber comfortable shoe that taking it off after a first try on is difficult. The real downside is that, like the Glycerin, it feels clunky for anything fast. Unsurprisingly, the shoe is a tad heavy at 11.4oz. It has a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm and, thanks to the gel padding, you can easily run 550 miles in these.

    Find the best deal on the Asics GEL-Nimbus

  7. Brooks Glycerin

    Another premium neutral shoe, the Brooks Glycerin is a top seller for many running stores across the country. Brook's Super DNA midsole makes every stride feel extra plush and the rounded heel allows the shoe to feel more like a soft sock than a traditional sneaker. The real downer for the Brooks Glycerin is that it feels heavy, making anything fast feel more difficult than it should. The shoe has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop and weighs 11.5 oz for men's size 9.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Glycerin

  8. New Balance 1080

    The 1080 is New Balance's premium neutral shoe, meaning it's plusher and has more technical feature than a standard neutral running shoe. The latest version - v6 - features New Balance's Fresh Foam, a responsive, durable, and lightweight midsole that New Balance has begun integrating across its shoe line. With a light mesh upper, the shoe has plenty of breathability and the latest version, even with the cushion, only weighs around 10oz. The shoe is great for long distances and for the runner who wants a shoe that doesn't weigh you down. The 1080 has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop and the average runner can run around 500 miles in the shoe.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance 1080

  9. Nike Free 5.0

    The original "minimalist" shoe from a major brand, the Nike Free 5.0 is flexible, light, and looks great. The shoe fits like a sock: it has a seamless, flywire upper, a midfoot saddle to provide a close fit, and has plenty of flexibility thanks to its grooved outsole. In the newest versions, the shoe weighs 7.6 oz, has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop, and has a Phylon, full-length midsole that ads cushioning. However, I wouldn't recommend trying to get more than 350 miles out of these shoes—the Free 5.0 just isn't durable.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Free 5.0

  10. Saucony Ride

    The everyday neutral trainer from Saucony has, like its stability counterpart the Guide, everything you need and nothing you don't. It has plenty of cushion for road runs, a great upper (the newest, 8th version, has Seamless FlexFilm overlays), and carbon rubber outsole to take the pounding. The Ride has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, weighs around 9.7 oz for men's size 9, and can get through around 500 miles on the road.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Ride

Feb 14, 2016

Top 10

Stability Running Shoes for 2016

I’ve been running nearly every day for 20 years. And for nearly stride of every mile, I’ve pronated and have needed a shoe to help correct my arch from rolling inward. During those 20 years, I’ve tried on hundreds of shoes. I’ve switched shoes, switched gaits, and gone back to old models. At ShoeKicker, I’ve found a team of folks equally obsessed with running and running shoes. Throughout this blog, we’ll be detailing our favorite shoes. As a disclaimer we should say this: not every shoe is perfect for everyone. That’s why you run in them to find the one right for you. However, we know certain models are more popular (and, we think, better) than others. Here are my favorite stability shoes of 2016, meant for those who pronate.

  1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS

    There’s a reason why this is the bestselling running shoe in nearly every running store across the country. Version after version of the Brooks Adrenaline (it’s now on number 16) just works. It fits like a glove. It’s incredibly springy, even though it weighs 11 oz. It’s BioMoGO DNA makes it feel like you’re running on clouds. And runners in the shoe buy it season after season, year after year, because nothing beats the shoe’s mix of support, feel, and reasonable price. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop, a cushion system where you can easily get 500 miles out of it, and is great for the moderate and severe over pronator alike. I’ve worn this shoe many times, and regardless of version, Brooks absolutely nails it with their flagship stability shoe.

    Find the best deal on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS

  2. Asics Gel Kayano

    This shoe is the Asics GT 2000 but with even more cushion and more stability. Now in its 22nd version, this top selling shoe has a well-fitting upper, a plush ComforTry underfoot, and some of the best plush cushioning of any shoe on the market, meaning you can probably get 550 miles out of these shoes. The shoe is great for the extreme overpronator of someone just wanting a very, very soft shoe. It weighs around 11.5 oz, has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, and can survive a beating, both on the roads and on the trails.

    Find the best deal on the Asics Gel Kayano

  3. Asics GT-2000

    The long running shoe by Asics has been a top seller in running stores around the country for the past 20 years. Why? The shoe beautifully combines a great, plush feel with the perfect amount of stability (Asics’ Dynamic Duomax) for the moderate over pronator. The shoe is a perfect fit for standard road running and can even survive the trails without causing sprained ankles, thanks to its heel clutching system. The shoe weighs around 11 oz, has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop and can survive 500 miles of pounding.

    Find the best deal on the Asics GT-2000

  4. Nike Air Zoom Structure

    Nike’s origins are in running, and this shoe—currently in its 19th version—highlights that. The Structure is a classic for the moderate over pronator, having a comfortable fit, a cushioned midsole, and a light upper (the 19th version has flywire). It’s a favorite for America’s top distance runner, Galen Rupp, and is perfect for the everyday training run, although I wouldn’t recommend trying to get more than 450 miles on the shoe. It weighs around 10 oz and has a 9 mm heel-to-toe drop.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Air Zoom Structure

  5. Adidas Adistar Boost ESM

    Yes, it is a little bit expensive. But wow does this shoe feel great. Meant for the mild over pronator, the shoe, made with the Adidas’s signature Boost technology, feels springy yet durable. The upper is constructed with the new ESM techfit, which feels like a soft sock hugging your feet. There’s an 11 mm heel-to-toe drop, the weight is 10.5 oz (although it feels lighter), and because of the Boost technology you can probably get close to 600 miles running in these shoes.

    Find the best deal on the Adidas Adistar Boost ESM

  6. Mizuno Wave Inspire

    This shoe has a devoted customer base. When the Wave Inspire 10 came out, there was such an outrage that Mizuno changed its Inspire 9 that Mizuno scrapped the 10th version shoe design and returned to the 9th version body for future models. Now in the 12th incarnation, the Wave Inspire is a great shoe—with the great design Mizuno fans are used to. In fact, it’s our CEO’s favorite shoe! The shoe’s iconic wave plate makes the shoe incredibly durable (you can probably run 600 miles in these shoes) while keeping the shoe relatively light at 10.5 oz. And even though it has a relatively high 12 mm heel-to-toe drop (standard for most Mizuno shoes), it feels close to the ground. If you want a great, durable, and relatively inexpensive shoe for over pronators, this should be your shoe.

    Find the best deal on the Mizuno Wave Inspire

  7. Saucony Guide

    The basic stability trainer from Saucony (the 9th version was released November, 2015), the Guide is everything you want and nothing you don’t for the moderate over pronator. Although the 7th and 8th versions are great shoes, the 9th has a better upper, a new Everun midsole, and a more cushioned feel. It’s well-built and feels solid after a 20 mile long run. The weight is around 10 oz and the heel-to-toe drop is around 8 mm. I’d recommend getting 500 miles out of these.

    Find the best deal on the Saucony Guide

  8. New Balance 1260

    A more cushioned version of the New Balance 870, the 1260 is a premium shoe for the runner looking for a soft ride. Now in its 5th version, the 1260 is meant for moderate to severe pronation control. The phantom (read: light) upper feels great, the midsole is incredibly plush, and shoe fits the average foot like a glove—and it does come in multiple widths. The shoe is a tad heavy—11.5 oz—and has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop. You can easily get 500 miles in these shoes.

    Find the best deal on the New Balance 1260

  9. Pearl Izumi EM Road M3

    Pearl Izumi’s flagship stability shoe, the Pearl Izumi EM Road M3 is a solid shoe for just about every run. The shoe has a flexible outsole and a relatively soft midsole with a seamless upper. The shoe is about 11 oz for size 9 men’s shoe and has a 8mm drop from heel to toe. You can get solid mileage in these, anywhere from 450 to 500.

    Find the best deal on the Pearl Izumi EM Road M3

  10. Nike Lunarglide

    Now in its 7th version, the Nike Lungarglide is a great shoe for the slight pronator (meaning your arch rolls in just a bit). Perhaps the most stylish shoe on the list, the Lunarglide is made with a dual density Lunarlon midsole that helps provide mild support for over pronation. The newest version includes Nike Flyknit, which makes for a light, seamless upper. It’s weighs 9oz for a men’s size 9 and has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. The average runner can get 400 miles before needing a replacement, so it’s not the most durable shoe on the list.

    Find the best deal on the Nike Lunarglide