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Updated on September 22, 2011
Many runners love the fall season. They welcome the crisp air and the recent reprieve from the sweltering summer heat. They no longer have to rely on shade and the position of the sun to safely traverse their favorite running paths.
Just in time for the much beloved time of year, Runner’s World has released its “Fall 2011 Running Shoe Guide”. Every runner has different requirements. No one shoe is appropriate for every single person. The guide is broken down into categories: stability, neutral-cushioned, performance training and minimal. Trusted wear testers tried out the styles to see how each shoe performed.
Flipping through the magazine, we were elated to find that eight of these shoes are available at our store, RunningShoes.com. We’ve highlighted the key features of each below and separated them by category for you. Happy trails!
“Stability shoes provide moderate support and good midsole cushioning for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators.”
Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 ($115) provides lightweight support for the overpronator. Easily protecting feet from rough terrain, the plastic midsole plate helps absorb impact. The style has soft cushioning in the heel, while the forefoot is more firm. One tester shared it’s a good shoe for wide feet.
Saucony Progrid Hurricane 13 ($120) has moderate soft cushioning in both the heel and the forefoot. More traditional in construction, the shoe has a supportive arch and a reinforced post underneath the medial side. A wear tester complained that the upper didn’t breathe as much as she would have liked, but thought it had good support.
“Neutral-cushioned shoes have maximum midsole cushioning and minimal support for runners and minimum pronation.”
Asics Gel-Cumulus 13 ($95) offers heavy-heel strikers a pillow-soft landing. These shoes would be ideal for a rough, tough workout. The uppers are lined with memory foam and keeps feet in place with eyestays. Testers stated the shoes had plush, yet firm cushioning and was well ventilated and lightweight.
Brooks Ghost 4 ($100) is the Editor’s Choice in this guide. Wearers said that the shoe fit like a second-skin and provides just a bit of stability. Tested in the lab, it showed that it was lightweight and well-balanced in the areas of bounce and flexibility. The heel is segmented, so it isolates shock.
Brooks Glycerin 9 ($130) has a softer and thicker midsole than older versions. It is perfect as an everyday trainer and can easily support the strides of runners of all sizes. Equally represented in this shoe are comfort and bounce. Testers loved the “incredibly fluid ride.” One wearer said he didn’t experience any pain after a long distance run.
Mizuno Wave Precision 12 ($105) goes beyond lightweight and is best described as featherweight. The men’s style only weighs 9.5 ounces and the women’s comes in at 7.5 ounces. It is recommended for marathon-training. Wear testers stated that the shoe was snug, light and well-suited to the super-efficient runner.
Mizuno Wave Prophecy ($200) is that shoe you’ve been hearing about, well, pretty much everywhere. There is a distinct absence of midsole here. It may be the heaviest, most rigid and tallest shoe on the guide, but wear testers stated they couldn’t even feel the ground in it. It’s recommended for heavy plodders, especially on long runs.
Saucony Progrid Ride 4 ($90) may not have any cool aesthetical points, but just happens to boast a well-balanced design that is springy, yet supportive. Receiving the Best Update designation, it is lighter, softer and more flexible than the previous version. With a little bit of foam cushioning under the heel, it has a fiercer slope from heel to toe that is perfect for heavy heel-strikers.
To see what other shoes made the list, check out the September issue of Runner’s World.
What’s your favorite pick from the Runner’s World Shoe Guide?