The Best Women’s Running Shoes of 2015
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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
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
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
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
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
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