The Return of Boston Marathon-Themed Shoes
As spring rolls in, brands are again releasing flashy, limited-edition Boston Marathon versions of their speedy models
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Not long ago, during the 2010s, the coming of spring and the approach of the Boston Marathon would herald the release of a flock of flashy, marathon-themed shoes emblazoned with everything from lobsters to subway maps. Then in 2020, both the marathon and the shoes stopped, like many other things in our lives. Even when the marathon returned last spring, lingering uncertainty and supply-chain issues kept everyone from creating marathon-themed models. But this is 2023, the world is slowly righting itself, and once again spring has brought back the shoes of Boston. There aren’t as many as in the past, but here are four fun models you can buy to celebrate your run on the iconic route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.
Topo Athletic Boston Marathon Specter
Topo Athletic, which is based in Framingham at mile seven on the Boston Marathon course, launched its first custom Boston shoe this year. The limited-edition version of the Specter features the city skyline, which, on race day, looms in the distance as runners approach the final miles, luring them on to the finish. The Specter is Topo’s most cushioned trainer/racer, which we praised for its “generous forefoot fit, balanced cushioning and stability, and natural, smooth-rolling ride.”
Saucony Boston Endorphin Speed 3
In 2108, Saucony created the most fun (and successful) Boston-themed shoe of all time, the Dunkin’ Donuts “Sprinkles” Kinvara 9. This year they took cues from a different Boston Marathon icon: the CITGO sign that marks one mile to go until the finish. This special-edition Endorphin Speed 3 glows with the bright orange, blue, and white CITGO colors that bring a smile to marathoners from the front to the back of the pack as they realize they are close to accomplishing their goal. The Endorphin Speed 3 is the benchmark model for semi-supershoes that combine supershoe foams and geometries with flexible and forgiving plates. We said the shoe “feels smooth and propulsive at any pace.”
Brooks x Des Run Boston Hyperion Tempo
Brooks teamed with Des Linden to create this special version of the Hyperion Tempo that commemorates her historic 2018 Boston Marathon victory. The heel tabs call out the famous last two streets of the course, Hereford and Boylson, the tongue has Des’s logo, and the whole shoe resembles a rainstorm, recalling Des’s grit in the downpour of that April Monday five years ago. The Hyperion Tempo is a light, bouncy, neutral trainer/racer that we said: “delivers a smooth, responsive, and comfortable ride.”
Newton Boston Blue Distance 12
Newton, which is based in Boulder, Colorado, but whose name makes us think of Boston’s hills, went simple with their tribute to the marathon, bathing their Distance speed trainer in vivid B.A.A. blue and gold. The lightweight Distance 12 marries modern, bouncy foam and a thermoplastic plate with the brand’s signature forefoot pods that compress into the midsole on landing and rebound on push-off.