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SHOE REVIEW by Cregg Weinmann

Summer Shoes 2016 adidas Pure Boost X $120

The success of adidas’ Boost foam has rested on the protective ride and performance feel it provides. The new Pure Boost X is designed to address a common fit issue women experience, so it’s available only in women’s sizes. The stretchy knit upper is supported by no-sew overlays. The innovation is in detaching the midfoot from the midsole and wrapping the arch so the shoe fits snugly. The rationale? A well-designed fit and support can reduce plantar fascia issues, but they also provide a smooth ride, thanks to the foot-hugging fit. The midsole is single-density Boost foam with its expected resilience, cushioning, and durability. The outersole is a thin, lightweight, grippy layer of Continental rubber—and it’s durable, too. Testers applauded the innovation of the Pure Boost X and it isn’t surprising that it earned our award for Best Summer Shoe 2016. “The fit is better than any shoe I’ve tried—[it] hugs the foot amazingly well. Fit well. Great cushion. I love this shoe!” NEW Sizes Women 5–12 Weight 8.1 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Hoka One One Clayton $150

Hoka has released running shoes that have drilled down to provide protective cushioning or light weight or increased durability. The new Clayton combines all three and features new rocker geometry to give it some snap. The upper is quite spare (minimesh with no-sew, fused overlays) and it’s nestled into the midsole sidewall which provides some structure. The midsole sports a tall stack height, as is Hoka’s standard, but with a new cupping design that allows the feet to nestle into it, stabilizing them. The midsole is more flexible than past models and has more toe spring to provide a more traditional-feeling ride. The R-Mat foam outer sole is latticed for support and wear resistance, but also adds cushioning. The sticker shock is lessened when you realize that the Clayton offers more versatility than other Hoka models, making it worth a look—particularly for devotées of high mileage.   “The upper fits pretty well, but thin as a racer. A little wide, though not bad. Cushion and ride are the strengths.” NEW Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11; Weight: 8.8 oz. (men’s 11); 7.3 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, perforated EVA Strobel board; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild pronation

Karhu Flow 6 IRE $120

Karhu is one of the older brands in running, stretching back to 1916 and the beginning of the golden era of distance running in its home country of Finland. The Flow 6 IRE is an update to its Flow series (but more of a design reset) in the brand’s centennial year. The upper is a closed mesh with rebranded graphics of no-sew, fused overlays and a bit of traditional stitched support at the heel. The midsole is new and comprises three densities: softest in the heel, a very firm Fulcrum in the middle to roll the foot forward, and finally, a livelier density in the forefoot. Though the feel of the Ride will be familiar, the ride itself is improved, thanks to the reshaping of the Fulcrum element, a broader full-contact bottom, and the new foam densities in the heel and forefoot. The outersole features full-length compressed rubber, eliminated where possible to reduce weight. The resulting amalgam is a step up in quality and performance. ”Nice improvement on the shoe overall. Fits well, handles the miles, good ride, and looks cool.” Updates the Flow 4 Trainer; Sizes: Men 6–13; Women 6–11; Weight: 9.6 oz. (men’s 11); 7.6 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, perforated EVA Strobel board; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild pronation

MBT Speed 16 $120

MBT has a new footwear line, extending its unique approach to running. Where the GT 16 emphasized a max-cushion approach, the Speed 16 is about efficiency and faster paced running. The upper is minimesh with just a few traditional overlays at heel and toe and a small saddle to anchor the lace throat. The ankle collar is fairly plush, in contrast to the spare feel of the rest of the upper. The midsole is a two-part, co-molded construction that lends structure to the curve of the sole. That curvature makes the midfoot the lowest point of the sole, accommodating midfoot strikers. The outersole features very little carbon rubber only at the heel, toe, and midfoot; most of the surface is toughened foam. The performance, quality, and price make the Speed 16’s approach to running widely accessible. “Pretty light with a decent fit. Very interesting rolling feeling to the shoe with good cushion and flex to it.” NEW Sizes: Men 6–13; Women 6–11; Weight: 10.3 oz. (men’s 11); 8.2 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

BEST SHOE Summer 2016


New Balance 1260 v 6 $150

In recent seasons New Balance has revamped its running line, rejuvenating the effectiveness of the brand. The 1260 has anchored its motion-stabilizing category, and version 6 solidifies its effectiveness. Similar to the fifth round, here the upper features two meshes: an open mesh over the toes, with a stiffer mesh over the saddle and rearfoot. Traditional overlays in the saddle and heel keep the foot lined up, and welded forefoot overlays replace the stitched overlays. The midsole retains the same basic shape, but the sidewall molding has been reoriented to flex and support the foot more effectively. The N2 cushioning element continues— it’s light and effective—and keeps the shoe lighter. The outersole is carbon in the heel, blown rubber in the forefoot. No news there, but then why try to fix what already works? The ride, stability, and durability are the 1260’s best features, making it ideally suited for high-mileage training. “Plush feel that lasted for lots of miles. Supportive, but without overpowering my feet.” Updates the 1260 v 5; Sizes: Men 6–13; Women 6–11; Weight: 12.9 oz. (men’s 11); 10.3 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board; Recommended for: medium-arched feet with moderate to excessive pronation

Nike Zoom Vomero 11 $140

The Zoom Vomero has been Nike’s plush Neutral training shoe for more than a decade. Round 11 retains much from Round 10, but employs a few subtle twists of its own. The upper continues with the engineered Flymesh, though different from Round 10, particularly in the Flywire strands that wrap the sides of the saddle portion from each eyelet, snugging the midfoot. The midsole is the same effective Lunarlon foam, with rear and forefoot Zoom airbags to provide protective cushioning. The outersole continues with Duralon rubber in the forefoot, and BRS 1000 guiderails effectively cover the rearfoot with the least rubber necessary. The cushy ride and durable design make the Vomero 11 a high-mileage trainer with a protective feel. Updates the Zoom Vomero 10; Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 B,D,EE,4E; Women 5–12 A,B,D; Weight: 11.4 oz. (men’s 11); 9.2 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

Saucony Ride 9 $120

Saucony brings its Everun technology to its venerable neutral trainer, the Ride. The upper replaces more of the traditional overlays with fused overlays everywhere but the heel. Closed mesh gives the shoe a bit more shape, while still allowing good breathability. The midsole has a new crashpad design, seen in the other models that have been upgraded to Everun. This has significantly improved the Ride’s—uh—ride. The outersole has a new chevron design that reduces the rubber on the sole while improving traction. The shoe’s distance range, traction, and weight make the Ride a mileage monster. “Not the Ride I was expecting; it was actually better at each feature. Fit was familiar, ride was so much improved.” Updates the Ride 8; Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16; Women 5–12; Weight: 10.3 oz. (men’s 11); 8.3 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, TPU Strobel board; Recommended for: low- to medium-high–arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Salomon Sonic Pro $140

Salomon Trail running shoes have earned an excellent reputation. The new Sonic Pro now extends that to road running. The upper is a Salomon strength, as those familiar with its trail shoes already know, and it excels at fitting curvy feet. The no-sew overlays and Quick-lace system snug the foot in and accomodate its flexion while running, and the minimesh vents well. The midsole is a responsive layer of quality EVA that’s lively, with a quick feel. The outersole is a combination of high-abrasion compounds and textured patterns for grip. The responsive ride, midsole geometry, and sleek fit gear the Sonic Pro toward faster running—you determine how fast.  “Fit [is] moccasin-close, snug but comfortable. Fast-feeling shoe that worked well for mileage or tempo runs.” NEW Sizes: Men 8–13,14; Women 6–11; Weight: 9.8 oz. (men’s 11); 7.9 oz. (women’s 8); Shape: semicurved; Construction: Strobel slip-lasted; Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Cregg Weinmann is footwear and running products reviewer for FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. He can be reached via email at shuz2run@lightspeed.net Copyright © 2016 by FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of FORTIUS Media Group, LLC. Reprinted here with permission.

Summer Shoes 2016  
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