New Balance 1260v3

    Photo: Inga Hendrickson

It’s been years since we picked a thickly padded road runner as our top shoe. But the 1260v3 demanded the recognition. Yes, it goes overboard on the comfort, with a pillowy tongue and heel collar and spongy mesh in the upper. Yet it’s still efficient, so it was a welcome partner on long hauls, and moderate pronation control was a godsend when form started to break down. “I fell in love with this shoe eight miles in,” said one tester. The 1260v3’s eight-millimeter drop is a bit less heel oriented than most shoes this thick, so it accommodates heel striking without getting in the way of your stride. If you think the sun has set on cushy trainers, you might be missing out. 10.7 oz; 8 mm drop.

EFFICIENCY: 4

COMFORT: 5

Brand: New Balance $145

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