When a shoe has been around long enough to boast a double digit number at the end of its name, any updates are usually minor tweaks. Naturally, you don't want to turn away the faithful. But Saucony boldly overhauled the Hurricane. The 14 is 1.2 ounces light than its predecessor, is more flexible, offers more cushioning, and is more stable. And Saucony lowered the heel-to-toe drop to 9.2 mm, down from 11.4 mm. Such dramatic changes could have gone horribly wrong, but Saucony came out with a winner, and wear-testers loved the update. The Sauc-Fit feature in the upper helps lock the foot into the shoe.
Bottom Line: A go-to shoe for injury-prone or heavier runners needing solid footing.
Brooks Vapor 10 $90
Never heard of the Vapor? The shoe was known as the Switch in the past three years, but that didn't resonate with runners, so Brooks has returned to the name that launched the shoe a decade ago. By any name, it has a budget-friendly price tag and packs in a lot of stability features- a plastic shank and firm medial post that extends to the midfoot lend support for low-mileage runners who have flat arches or are injury-prone. Even though the Vapor was the stiffest shoe we tested for this guide, testers raved about its lightweight ride.
Bottom Line: Delivers a lighter-than-expected feel- on your foot and wallet.
Asics GT 2170
Testers loved the 2170's protective features and comfort. "The cushioning was intense throughout the entire foot," says Mindi Tiraboschi, a 25 mile a week runner from East Lansing. This should come as no surprise: The previous version of this shoe was awarded the International Editor's Choice by the editors of the 15 versions of Runner's World around the globe. The 2170 has the same foot-hugging, plush fit that fans of the GT 2000 series have come to love.
Bottom Line: Affordable support for high-mileage runners.
Nike Zoom Vomero+ 7 $130
Where has all the plushness gone? That's what some long-time Vomero wears were asking. "They could use more cushioning and support if used for daily training," Kara King, a 98 pound runner from East Lansing. Lab tests show the Vomero is lower to the ground, dropping 1.5mm at the heel, likely contributing to the firmer ride.
Bottom Line: Still a well-cushioned everyday trainer for light- or medium-weight runners.
Brooks Ravenna 3 $100
The Ravenna sits higher than the previous version; Shoe Lab results show the heel and forefoot heights rose by 3mm. This led some testers to feel it was "bulky", but even those runners appreciated its lightweight and fast feel. Deep flex grooves in the forefoot help the Ravenna remain flexible enough for everyday training.
Bottom Line: Can pull double-duty as an everyday trainer and marathon-racing shoe.
Best Buy: Mizuno Wave Nexus 6 $95
The Nexus is focused on what exactly it's supposed to be: a lightweight, stable, everyday trainer. A roomy but firm forefoot and a fairly steep ramp angle- the shoe drops 14.8mm from heel to toe- give the Nexus a "fast" feeling that wear-testers liked. "The shoe felt quite snug," said Mike Mooney, 55, of Jackson, NJ, who has been running for 42 years. "Along with the roominess in the toebox, it made for a perfect match. It is my shoe of choice for long runs of 8 to 12 miles." To slow down the roll of an overpronating foot, the Nexus includes stability features such as a beveled crash pad in the heel and firm posting that runs through the arch on the medial side. A shorter heel tab minimizes rubbing on the Achilles. Another nice feature: Its price tag puts it within the budget of most runners.
Bottom Line: Supportive high-mileage option for women or lighter and faster men.
For more of this article, visit Runner's World.
If you are an athlete who has a sports injury, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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