GearRunning

The Best Women's Running Shoes of 2015

For pavement pounding or trail ultras, we've got you covered.
Justin Nyberg

(Photo: Michael Karsh)
For pavement pounding or trail ultras, we've got you covered.—Justin Nyberg

For pavement pounding or trail ultras, we've got you covered.
Justin Nyberg

For pavement pounding or trail ultras, we've got you covered.—Justin Nyberg
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


Altra Superior 2.0

If you have wide feet, take heart: the Superior ($110) was the broadest shoe in our test. The roomy fit and spongy, zero-drop ride felt best on mellow trails with predictable footfalls. On technical routes, it was too loose to offer precision or much protection. It’s a boon to runners who prefer a low-to-the-ground, minimal feel and loads of toe splay. 7.5 oz; zero drop; altrarunning.com

If you have wide feet, take heart: the Superior ($110) was the broadest shoe in our test. The roomy fit and spongy, zero-drop ride felt best on mellow trails with predictable footfalls. On technical routes, it was too loose to offer precision or much protection. It’s a boon to runners who prefer a low-to-the-ground, minimal feel and loads of toe splay. 7.5 oz; zero drop; altrarunning.com
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


Inov-8 Race Ultra 270

The Race Ultra ($120) is the ultimate mountain-runner’s shoe. The firm, low-riding midsole and subdued, stable lug pattern are made for high-efficiency agility efforts. We liked the women-specific fit, although it’s a bit wide, so narrow feet may slosh on downhills. 9.5 oz; 4 mm drop; inov-8.com

 

The Race Ultra ($120) is the ultimate mountain-runner’s shoe. The firm, low-riding midsole and subdued, stable lug pattern are made for high-efficiency agility efforts. We liked the women-specific fit, although it’s a bit wide, so narrow feet may slosh on downhills. 9.5 oz; 4 mm drop; inov-8.com 
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


Nike Wildhorse 2

The Wildhorse ($110) felt like a hardtail bike: firm but highly efficient. Among the stiffest of the trail shoes we tested, it stood out for its protective midsole and low-cinching fit. “Super precise on grass and rocky turf,” raved one tester. It wasn’t the smoothest strider, but it was among the more versatile at an impressively low weight. 7.8 oz; 4 mm drop; nikerunning.com

 

The Wildhorse ($110) felt like a hardtail bike: firm but highly efficient. Among the stiffest of the trail shoes we tested, it stood out for its protective midsole and low-cinching fit. “Super precise on grass and rocky turf,” raved one tester. It wasn’t the smoothest strider, but it was among the more versatile at an impressively low weight. 7.8 oz; 4 mm drop; nikerunning.com 
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


Zoot Sports Solana

The Solana ($100) is equal parts cruiser and tempo-day shoe. The soft, moderately thick foam has a cushiony feel but with nice quick turn-over—a popular mix for faster women on their mellower runs. “It gives you float without the bloat,” one tester said, though there’s not much spring to the foam. The interior comfort is so great, some of our testers went sockless. 8 oz; 8 mm drop; zootsports.com

 

The Solana ($100) is equal parts cruiser and tempo-day shoe. The soft, moderately thick foam has a cushiony feel but with nice quick turn-over—a popular mix for faster women on their mellower runs. “It gives you float without the bloat,” one tester said, though there’s not much spring to the foam. The interior comfort is so great, some of our testers went sockless. 8 oz; 8 mm drop; zootsports.com 
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


Adidas Supernova Glide 7

The Supernova ($130) delivers an excellent blend of cushion and pep for silky-smooth transition. The midsole isn’t overly heel oriented, but it was just thick and stable enough (with good torsional stability) to earn nods from our higher-mileage crew. Thumbs up to the soft, com-fortably padded upper. 9.2 oz; 10 mm drop; adidas.com

 

The Supernova ($130) delivers an excellent blend of cushion and pep for silky-smooth transition. The midsole isn’t overly heel oriented, but it was just thick and stable enough (with good torsional stability) to earn nods from our higher-mileage crew. Thumbs up to the soft, com-fortably padded upper. 9.2 oz; 10 mm drop; adidas.com 
(Photo: Michael Karsh)


361 Degrees Chromoso

This light, low-flying shoe is the first U.S. offering from Chinese brand 361 Degrees, and our team found the formula sufficiently dialed in. The Chromoso ($90) had a smooth stride, with thin but sprightly foam and a single overlay that delivers a close fit. We love the speed-ready vibe: the shoe turns over quickly, which should make it a hit with soft landers. 8.3 oz; 10 mm drop; 361usadirect.com

This light, low-flying shoe is the first U.S. offering from Chinese brand 361 Degrees, and our team found the formula sufficiently dialed in. The Chromoso ($90) had a smooth stride, with thin but sprightly foam and a single overlay that delivers a close fit. We love the speed-ready vibe: the shoe turns over quickly, which should make it a hit with soft landers. 8.3 oz; 10 mm drop; 361usadirect.com
(Photo: Michael Karsh)

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Filed To: Running ShoesWomen’sSummer Buyer's Guide
Lead Photo: Michael Karsh
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