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Shoe ReviewS: Motion Stabilizing—iii • Performance—iv • Neutral—v look across the landscape of running shoes for Fall 2012 reveals more product diversity than in any season of the past decade. The potential for confusion points to the need for education, and we cannot stress this message enough: Runners need to know what their feet are like and get the shoes that meet those needs. This knowledge is not static. Rather, it’s a constantly changing equation where factors such as fitness, injuries, aging, and weight gain/loss, among other things, affect where you are on the running continuum. And you must monitor the role your shoes play in that equation.


Two trends continue, both related to shoe weight. First, 20% of the shoes in this Review are new shoes—all of them in the Performance category—so we know that lightweight shoes are readily available. Second, more than 85% of the updated shoes are both lighter and a bit more expensive than the shoes they replaced. The maxim of the lightweight trend is apparently true: Less is more. That is, less weight costs more. The up-side is that the efforts to lighten these shoes have not compromised performance. Some of the new shoes follow the path of lower-profile geometry, allowing even more running footwear choices. It has never been more important to know the characteristics of your feet and what footwear choices will work for your current fitness level and your biomechanics. It’s our hope that this Review will help you make great choices! —Cregg Weinmann, Running Network Footwear Reviewer


welcome to the Running Network’s 2012 Fall Shoe Review

RuNNiNg NetwoRk LLC PaRtNeRS

While History Never Repeats was a hit song for the New Zealand band Split Enz in 1981, that’s not exactly true in the saga of performance footwear. In fact, as Cregg Weinmann has shown in his reviews for you over the past 17 years, running footwear theories rise and fall in cycles of popularity. In 2005, I visited the University of Cologne in Germany to see some of the research on the Nike Free. It was fascinating to learn about the science and research that were going into shoes designed to mimic running barefoot. And though this barefoot or minimalist running focus has become increasingly prominent over the last decade, this thinking has been around before. In fact, I remember my coach, Steve Pensinger, having us do 300-meter repeats, circa 1975, in bare feet on the grass oval at DeAnza Community College, specifically to build and strengthen our feet. And Cregg recently reminded me of Herb Elliott’s training with coach Percy Cerutty, who espoused natural form and running barefoot. In fact, Elliott was pictured running barefoot on the cover of Sports Illustrated in late 1958 and again in May 1960. Lightweight or minimalist running shoes are here to stay. The innovations made in materials have enabled manufacturers to lighten shoes, even as their support and performance have been improved. It’s worth repeating that you must always factor your own fitness level and biomechanics into the process of choosing shoes. The lightest weight shoes aren’t necessarily the best for you. Consider your needs as you read the reviews put together by Cregg Weinmann and the weartesters who diligently put new shoes through their paces. Our reviews are the starting point of your search for your perfect shoe. Enjoy your running!

Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC






Motion Stabilizing



F A LL 2 012

F A LL 2 012

F A LL 2 012

F A LL 2 012

Brooks glycerin 10

adidas Supernova Sequence 5

k-Swiss kwicky Blade Light N

Saucony Progrid kinvara 3




FALL 2012

FALL 2012

FALL 2012

aSiCS gel-Lyte 33

Puma Faas 350

Nike Lunarglide+ 4

American Track & Field Athletes Only Athletics (Canada) Austin Fit California Track & Running News Club Running Coaching Athletics Quarterly Colorado Runner Get Active! Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes Latinos Corriendo Marathon Guide Michigan Runner Missouri Runner & Triathlete Running Journal & Racing South RunMinnesota RUNOHIO Track & Field News USATF’s Fast Forward USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone The Winged Foot The Winged M Youth Runner

Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 608.239.3785, Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2012 Fall Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2012 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.

Running Network 2012 Fall Shoe Review—ii


motion stabilizing adidas Supernova Sequence 5—$115 BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing F A LL 2 012

Round 5 of the Supernova Sequence features a few changes to a franchise shoe. The upper is breathable with soft, welded microsuede overlays, and synthetic leather at heel and toe. The lacing features a saddle-like design integrated with the logo stripes, but it’s decoupled near the bottom of the lace throat for better forefoot flexion. Adjustments to the last afford a better fit for a wider range of foot shapes. The midsole is the familiar, though reconfigured, adiPrene+, which provides a responsive feel to the forefoot. A slightly larger ForMotion unit in the heel provides a smoother ride, thanks to the heel bevel’s new sculpting. The ProModerator+ component has been dialed in to effectively support the sidewall. The outersole retains the proven Continental® rubber with blown rubber in the forefoot. Its combination of stability, cushioning, and size range earned the Supernova Sequence 5 honors as our Best Shoe in the Motion Stabilizing category. “The fit was surprising. The foam molds comfortably around the ankle and the heel. The under-foot bounce also cushioned the impact well. I felt very pleased with the shoe’s performance.” Updates the Supernova Sequence 4 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–15,16,17,18,19,20; Women 5–14 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Mizuno wave alchemy 12—$115

New Balance 1260 v2—$145

The Alchemy 12 continues to trade on Mizuno’s implied philosophy: Keep what works and make only incremental changes. One change that runners can celebrate here is a weight reduction of nearly 5%, a small move in the right direction. Round 12 continues with the same midsole and outersole, one of the most effective platforms from any company for runners looking for a stable, well-cushioned ride with good durability. The upper features a similar mesh that’s wide open, and the familiar saddle-like midfoot support has been pared back. The hinged top eyelet has been eliminated in favor of the mid-lace articulation seen in other Mizuno shoes, which flexes better with the foot and firmly holds the midfoot over the midsole. The roomy forefoot fit, gender specificity, and effective motion stabilizing performance will continue to please Alchemy wearers, both old and new.

The 1260 v2 updates the 1260 by visually blending the older design with the new and sprinking in some new technologies. The upper is a similar open mesh with repositioned overlays, but now features a welded saddle. The substantial heel counter secures the rearfoot, and the plush interior is lined with effective, moisture-wicking polyester and a soft layer of memory foam in the ankle collar. The midsole features the rubbery Stabilicore configuration, here reshaped for more effective stability, extending from the middle of the heel along the medial sidewall. A new crashpad layer of Abzorb foam and the N2 cushioning element introduced in the 1080 v2 are now used here to good effect, while substantially lightening the shoe. The durable outersole is blown rubber in the forefoot and Ndurance carbon compound in the heel, with effective forefoot flexibility. The overall ride, plush textures, and outstanding stability make the 1260 v2 worthy of your consideration.

“Good, solid shoe. Excellent fit, but a bit firm in the heel. Very stable, no concerns about the balance or support.” Updates the Wave Alchemy 11 • Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16; Women 6–12 • Weight: Men 13.0 oz. (size 11); Women 10.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

New Balance 870 v2—$110 The completely redesigned 870 v2 is a great improvement. The upper is a breathable, closed mesh with both welded and traditional overlays for a secure fit. The lacing has been separated at each of the lower eyelets, improving flexibility. The textured polyester interior handles moisture, and the foam ankle collar provides a comfortable fit. The redesigned RevLite midsole and an EVA Strobel board give the shoe a springy lightness thanks, in part, to a crashpad layer sandwiched between the midsole proper and the foam layer on the lateral heel. Medial side support via the “fanned” medial post provides stability without feeling like a wall, noticeably improving heel-to-toe transition. The outersole adopts the blown rubber forefoot and Ndurance carbon heel of the 890, here expertly accomplished. The result is a stable, lightweight shoe with good cushioning to handle training miles and up-tempo running. “Good cushion around the entire foot. Traction was good, and the wear was typical for a New Balance shoe. Light shoes, these felt good as far as weight is concerned.” Updates the 870 • Recommended for: low- to mediumarched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E); Women 5–12,13 (B,D) • Weight: Men 11.2 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Saucony Progrid omni 11—$120 The Omni 11 features its most significant changes ever. The upper has a similar open mesh, and a nicely padded tongue and ankle collar. The overlays have been reduced, but the full rand supports well and the medial side is shored up by the ArchLock anchor strapping device, which connects the lacing to the midfoot. The outersole continues with the carbon rubber heel/blown rubber forefoot, but the shank has been eliminated in favor of a more stable, full-contact bottom. It retains many characteristics the Omni is known for, but the reshaping of the midsole geometry pushes things in a different direction and is responsible for the improved ride and stability. The full-contact bottom design also reduces the heel-to-toe drop from 12mm to 8. The Omni 11 may require a period of adjustment, though the improvement in transition and the shoe’s stability are worth it. “The fit was perfect and they were good to go out of the box. They felt lighter than last year’s, but just as stable.” Updates the ProGrid Omni 10 • Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (M,W); Women 5–12 (N,M,W) • Weight: Men 11.5 oz. (size 11); Women 9.3 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Running Network 2012 Fall Shoe Review—iii

“Great fit, like a gentle hug. Version 2 seems just as cushioned and even more stable than last year. My runs were great in the shoe!” Updates the 1260 • Recommended for: low- to mediumarched feet with moderate to maximum overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–12,13,14,15,16 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 6–12,13 (B,D) • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, PU Strobel board


performance adidas adiPure Motion—$110 Part of the new adiPure series of minimal shoes, the lightweight adiPure Motion has near-traditional geometry that serves its purpose: transitioning to even less shoe. The upper is a stretchy booty with a rubbery grid printed on for a bit of support and a minimal midfoot saddle. The lightweight saddle of stiffer materials (synthetic suede overlays and mesh) covers the sides of the booty and welded logo stripes secure it to the midsole. There’s not much protective material under the laces, so don’t overtighten them. The low-profile midsole has a stack height of 24mm and a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm which, with the reduced structure of the shoe, strengthen the foot while protecting it from the shock of impact. The multi-piece carbon rubber outersole is fairly low to the ground, flexes well with the foot, and keeps the weight down. In a nutshell, the adiPure Motion is a shoe for improving running efficiency and moving fast while doing it. “Snug fit, though the thin upper makes it a little tricky to tighten the laces just right. The weight, flexibility, [and] low profile [let you] go fast without trying! They are great for speedwork and faster runs.” New Shoe • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for faster-paced running and transitioning to minimal shoes • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–14 • Weight: Men 7.5 oz. (size 11); Women 6.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

adidas adiZero tempo 5—$110 This time out, the adiZero Tempo sports changes to its geometry that have made it lighter and a bit faster than before. The upper is a thin layer of mesh with welded film overlays. Minimal synthetic suede and synthetic leather supports give it both a flexible and breathable character. The midsole is low-profile adiPrene, with adiPrene+ in the forefoot. In the heel, the former ForMotion cassette has been replaced with a wedge of LightStrike EVA, which serves the same purpose: smooth the touchdown and curb overpronation. Medially, Round 5 now uses the ProModerator support to add stability to the foot in lining up over the midsole. The outersole has open areas and thin rubber pads just in the highest-wear areas to save weight. The condensed version of the story: a trim-the-fat, go-fast shoe with enough protection to keep you on the roads. “A great, lightweight shoe for shorter, faster runs, especially in hot weather. Breathes well, feels good, nicely cushioned for a light shoe. Pretty good in support and stability. I love them.” Updates the adiZero Tempo 4 • Recommended for: mediumto high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E); Women 5–11,12 (B,D) • Weight: Men 7.4 oz. (size 11); Women 7.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semicurved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

k-Swiss kwicky Blade Light N—$135 BEST NEW SHOE FALL 2012

aSiCS gel-Lyte 33—$100 The Gel-Lyte 33 harkens back, if only philosophically, to one of the most popular models in ASICS’ history, the Gel-Lyte. The thin, synthetic mesh upper is supported by welded overlays that provide just enough structure to keep the foot positioned properly. While spare, it doesn’t feel skimpy under the tongue or in the ankle collar. The resilient, single density Solyte midsole flexes well and cushions without hindering motion. The new sidewall sculpting aids in the flexibility. The narrow waist (where the midfoot narrows into the arch) provides lateral support to the fifth metatarsal bone, noticeable but not uncomfortable. The outersole is carbon rubber, but only where needed for durability (nearly half the sole goes without). Its light weight, sleek design, and excellent cushioning were responsible for the Gel-Lyte 33 receiving our award for Best New Shoe. “They fit very well. I’m happy they have reduced pressure points with a smooth interior that feels great on my feet. They have better cushioning than expected. The best thing is they are really light and really fast!” New Shoe • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics for faster-paced running • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D); Women 5–11,12 (B) • Weight: Men 9.8 oz. (size 11); Women 7.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Mizuno wave Precision 13—$110 It will come as good news to fans of the Precision that Round 13 is their lucky number. The midsole is the same AP+ blend that Mizuno has so effectively dialed in, and last season’s Wave plate remains. The effective outersole is unchanged—X-10 rubber in the heel and blown rubber up front—and the well-thought-out element of concentric rings positioned under the cuboid bone continues to accommodate the midfoot strikers. Most of the changes are in the upper where the welded support strapping has been replaced by synthetic leather and the hinged first eyelet has been eliminated. Instead, repositioned lace eyelets allow for some customization, and the lace throat separates in the middle for better articulation with the foot. Runners unfamiliar with the Precision are missing out on great cushioning and a light feel, as well as good durability from a real performer. “Overall, a good balance of the different aspects of shoes. They are lightweight, but durable enough for day-in and day-out training. I like them. Good protection, good durability, and good ventilation.” Updates the Wave Precision 12 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 10.6 oz. (size 11); Women 7.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Running Network 2012 Fall Shoe Review—iv

The new Kwicky Blade Light N is the neutral version of the Kwicky Blade Light. They’re equals in every way but one: Here the midsole is a single density. The ride is a good blend of cushioning and responsiveness, thanks to the EVA Strobel board, GuideGlide, and midsole foam. The upper is an open stretch mesh for a flexible, seamless feel. A full-welded saddle secures the foot and there’s extra support from the thermoplastic device on the medial half of the saddle. The interior is cushy at the ankle collar, and the Ion Mask treatment keeps the shoe from absorbing extra moisture in all conditions. The outersole is carbon and blown rubber placed effectively only in the high-wear areas, providing durability without compromising flexibility. The mix of lightness, responsiveness, and performance earned the Kwicky Blade Light N a tie as our Best Performance Shoe. “This is an extremely well-balanced shoe. My feet feel well-cushioned and even pampered, the shoe seemed to actually adjust to my foot while running. The fit and performance have been about as good as I have tried—and I have been running for quite a few years.” New Shoe • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for faster-paced running or daily training • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 10.1 oz. (size 11); Women 7.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

BEST SHOE Performance F A LL 2 012


performance Nike Lunarglide+ 4—$110 BEST RENOVATION FALL 2012

The LunarGlide series has been a welcome blend of straightforward stability and innovative solutions. Version 4 overhauls both the upper and the chassis, lightening up the shoe in the process. The upper is an engineered mesh—smooth on the interior and designed to maximize evaporation—while providing support where needed. The new lacing system extends the promise of Flywire more effectively, with new Dynamic Flywire strands that wrap the midfoot securely and gather in groups of three at the eyestay, providing continuous adjustment based on foot movement. In the midsole, the carrier foam has been pared down on the lateral sidewall to allow the Lunarlon to absorb shock more effectively, and the bottom of the carrier has been opened for better flexion. The cushioning, light weight, and variable fit earned the LunarGlide+ 4 our Best Renovation award. “The shoe fits snugly and feels comfortable, and the interior is very smooth. The laces adjusted well to my foot. The cushioning was the best, a bit surprising because the shoe is very light.” Updates the LunarGlide+ 3 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 10.5 oz. (size 11); Women 8.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel sliplasted, EVA Strobel board

Puma Faas 350—$85

Saucony Progrid kinvara 3—$100

The Faas 350 is the latest of the Faas shoes, and one of the most versatile. The upper is a closed, though breathable, mesh, and soft sueded overlays help the upper hold its shape but provide little more structure than that. The molding in the sole allows the foot to flex efficiently. Described as a racing shoe, it actually has more oomph to it. We say, with its light and highly flexible feel, it’s suitable for tempo runs or some shorter training runs. The midsole is Faas Foam, a very resilient and flexible EVA formulation. The ride is responsive with a good deal of proprioceptive feedback, and it features Puma’s lowest heel-to-toe drop: 6mm. The low-profile design makes it stable. The outersole is carbon rubber in the high-wear areas, and toughened and textured foam over the rest of the sole. The combination of lightness, fit, and especially the economical price earned the Faas 350 honors as our Best Value Shoe.

For such a low-profile shoe, the ProGrid Kinvara emerges in Round 3 with a highprofile reputation. The upper is a semi-open mesh supported with Flex-Film welded overlays and a synthetic leather toecap. The textured polyester interior and the foam lobes beneath the ankle have been retained as they effectively reduce weight and improve fit. The midsole features the same heel-to-toe drop (4mm) that’s been responsible for its success. Resculpting has improved the lateral release—the ability of the shoe’s heel to flex to the outside so the foot is discouraged from overpronating—and softened the ride a touch. The outersole is still carbon rubber on the heel and selected forefoot lugs, but it’s been redesigned to feel lightweight while providing a better touchdown. The outstanding ride, fit, and innovative use of new materials earned the ProGrid Kinvara 3 a tie as our Best Performance Shoe.

“Wrap the foot well and have a great low-profile feeling. They are light and tougher than they first appear. Great for faster running and even racing.” New Shoe • Recommended for: medium-to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for fasterpaced, mid-distance running • Sizes: Men 6.5–12,13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 8.7 oz. (size 11); Women 6.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

“The Kinvara has been great for me. The new upper is better because it is so thin and light. The cushion is improved and it feels even lighter!”


Updates the ProGrid Kinvara 2 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 8.4 oz. (size 11); Women 7.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

BEST SHOE Performance F A LL 2 012

neutral aSiCS gel-Cumulus 14—$110 The Cumulus has been upgraded in a number of areas. The upper features an open stretch mesh that conforms to and moves with the foot. The Discrete Eyelets from Round 13 are now two series of two pairs, with the top pair separate so the lacing both secures the foot and flexes well as the foot moves. The midsole is Solyte, here with wavy, articulated pods to absorb the shock and allow good flexibility. The outersole has been upgraded to AHAR+ rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefoot. The Guidance Line has been extended the full length of the outersole for better flexibility. Version 13 was a good shoe, adequate in some areas, good in others, and very good in some. Version 14 steps up to good in all areas, very good in comfort, and excellent in protection, making the shoe a better value despite its price increase. “Felt light and fit very well. Impressed by the cushion, but more by the responsive feel. These should last well, even with my long runs.” Updates the Gel-Cumulus 13 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15 (D), 7–13,14,15 (2E,4E); Women 5–13 (2A,B), 6–13 (D) • Weight: Men 11.7 oz. (size 11); Women 9.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board (heel)

aSiCS gel-Nimbus 14—$140 The Nimbus has consistently showcased ASICS’ best cushioning technologies in their best executions, and Round 14 epitomizes that trend. In fact, the upper alone features so much technology that it almost deserves its own review. The interior is a luxurious blend of mesh and foam that cradles the foot. Though it looks a bit busy, the upper’s combination of stretch mesh and synthetic overlays both support and flex with the foot as each component has been dialed-in over the past several seasons. The Nimbus now employs the ASICS’ 33 Series’ Heel Clutching System to reduce unneeded material, making for a lightweight framework that improves support. The midsole is a firm formulation of Solyte that we found to be protective and resilient. The usual minor adjustments extend to the Guidance Line and reshaped Trusstic midfoot support, while maintaining the plush, but responsive ride expected of the Nimbus series. The outersole continues with the same effective rubber compound. “Was surprised by the weight of the shoe. They feel much lighter than they look. The ride is very smooth, great cushion, flexes well. This is a very good shoe.” Updates the Gel-Nimbus 13 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–14,15,16 (D), 7–14,15,16 (2E,4E); Women 5–13 (B), 6–13 (2A,D) • Weight: Men 11.8 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board (heel) Running Network 2012 Fall Shoe Review—v


neutral Brooks Dyad 7—$110 The Dyad 7 is the latest round of a shoe for neutral-gaited runners who need a substantial foundation. It’s a bit heavy because it supplies both a stable base and ample cushioning. This time out, the upper is a new design, not merely cosmetic changes. The lacing is better articulated to fit well and move with the foot. The open mesh, though a bit different, still offers cooling ventilation, and a new, full rand offers better support. The midsole has been re-sculpted for better flexion, and now features the DNA cushioning element instead of the HydroFlow cassette of the last six incarnations. DNA’s adaptable and rubbery feel offers a smoother ride than did the HydroFlow. The outersole sports new flex grooves but maintains the midfoot pods that give the shoe its full-contact stability. The Caterpillar Crashpad that has been used in many of Brooks’ models finally debuts in the Dyad. “The combination of fit, cushioning, and support is great. My runs are usually up to 45 minutes, but in these I feel that I’m just getting started by the end.” Updates the Dyad 6 • Recommended for: medium- to low-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D), 8–13,14,15 (2E,4E); Women 6–11,12 (B), 7–11,12 (D,2E) • Weight: Men 13.9 oz. (size 11); Women 11.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-straight • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Brooks ghost 5—$110 The Ghost is the workhorse of Brooks’ neutral shoes. The midsole has been resculpted, extending the crashpad and eliminating the lateral TPU shank. The ride is resilient and ample, if not plush, and designed for comfortable high mileage. The outersole lugs are now linked together laterally from the heel to toe, for better grip and flex. The heel articulates well, with the extended Caterpillar Crashpad allowing the lateral side to accommodate a variety of footstrikes. The thickness of the sole makes the ride a little firmer with a bit more stability and support. The upper features a similar two-layer, breathable, open mesh. The interior has a healthy layer of foam at the ankle collar and tongue, and a corduroy-like texture in the heel and under the tongue wicks moisture away and keeps the foot from shifting. A new, elasticized lace loop at the instep provides better security yet still flexes well. The Ghost is even better at providing neutral, long-lasting cushioning. “Loved the fit. It had cushion when I ran on the street. Overall, they felt balanced and secure. The weight of this shoe is awesome. I don’t feel like my feet are dragging or working extra hard!” Updates the Ghost 4 • Recommended for: medium- to higharched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D), 8–13,14,15 (B,2E); Women 5–12 (B), 6–12 (2A,D) • Weight: Men 12.3 oz. (size 11); Women 9.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel sliplasted, EVA Strobel board

Mizuno wave enigma 2—$135 BEST SHOE Neutral F A LL 2 012

Brooks glycerin 10—$140 The Glycerin is Brooks’ premium neutral shoe, and the 10 focuses on “premium-izing” a few areas. The upper adopts a full rand for support, but in a scaled-back approach that relies on suede straps to provide a softer, but surprisingly tough structure. The midfoot TPU cage allows the lacing to flex where needed while effectively supporting the foot. The mesh is a new design with a more weather-repellent microfiber element. Inside, a foot-conforming layer of foam with a textured surface keeps the foot in place. The midsole cushioning is now a plush blend of responsive performance and cushy protection. The sidewall grooves essentially turn the entire lateral side into an extended crashpad. The outersole has good longitudinal flexibility. The heel clefts are gone, but the keyhole-shaped openings in the pods allow articulation. Its combination of protection, plush comfort, and great cushioning earned the Glycerin our Best Neutral Shoe honors. “Really enjoyed this shoe, and would recommend it. Good comfort, good fit, held up very well. The look was nice; the feel was better.” Updates the Glycerin 9 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D), 8–13,14,15 (B,2E); Women 5–12 (B), 6–12 (2A,D) • Weight: Men 13.9 oz. (size 11); Women 10.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board

Nike air Pegasus+ 29—$100 The Pegasus has a legacy that stretches back three decades—easily the longest run in the industry. The new upper is an engineered mesh, alternating open areas for breathability and closed areas for support. Welded supports—both internally and as an external saddle—provide security to the fit, and the eyestay is segmented into three pairs of eyelets, allowing them to flex separately as the foot moves. The midsole is Cushlon, and the crashpad has been removed in favor of a new geometry with sidewall grooving that allows a smooth lateral release and streamlines the transition. The outersole features a well-segmented layer of “environmentally preferred” rubber with waffles medially and a texture of tiny fins on the lateral side that add traction and a tactile feel to the ride. The net effect is a versatile neutral shoe for high-mileage training. “Very comfortable right away. Perfect width, nice rounded toe box, soft upper with no seams, excellent ankle room. I noticed the cushion more towards the front of the foot vs. the heel, but was pleased by how cushiony it felt on my foot.” Updates the Pegasus+ 28 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.2 oz. (size 11); Women 9.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Combination Strobel lasted, EVA Strobel board (forefoot)

Running Network 2012 Fall Shoe Review—vi

The Enigma reaches Round 2 with the usual soft-touch updating that Mizuno is known for. The upper is a new, open stretch mesh, a bit different in weave, but with the flexible and adaptable fit of the original. The saddle overlays are completely redesigned; however, they still provide the supportive fit of Round 1. The DynaMotion articulated top eyelet is now attached to the saddle overlay, but the thin, suede material on the eyestay gives it almost as much mobility as before and allows a snug fit at the ankle. The sueded overlays at the toe and midfoot are soft against the foot and supportive. The well-loved AP+ midsole and its cushy feel are present and accounted for, and the minor alterations in the full-length parallel Wave plate continue to provide the responsive ride that impressed many testers when it debuted. The X-10 outersole is still tough carbon rubber in the heel and a blown rubber forefoot. The Enigma 2 adds up to responsive cushioning for significant training mileage. “Good durability, and the shoe provided good support. Just a little heavier than others. The biggest plus of the shoe was its cushioning, and that is the one very big up-side.” Updates the Wave Enigma • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 12.8 oz. (size 11); Women 10.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted

Fall shoe review 2012-4  
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