The best women's running shoes of 2016.
The best women's running shoes of 2016. (Inga Hendrickson)

The Best Women’s Running Shoes of 2016

On turf or tarmac, these are our favorite women's trainers of the season


The verdict is in: We don't care about the minimalist craze. Or the maximalist craze. Companies are wising up and the result is more good shoes, with just the right amount of cushioning, to pick from than ever before. Here are six of our favorites.


Saucony Nomad TR 


The standout feature of this flexible road-trail hybrid is the array of low, coffin-shaped lugs on the outsole, which roll smoothly on pavement or packed earth. Supple and smooth, the Nomad felt most at home on drier surfaces but was secure in most conditions despite the roomy last. 8.1 oz; 4 mm drop

Price $110

Icebug Zeal OLX 


Sixteen steel studs in the sticky, mud-shucking rubber outsole of the nimble Zeal OLX made easy work of packed winter roads and sketchy trails, and the water-resistant upper kept things nice and dry in slush. The stiffer fit felt best with a thick winter sock, and the low, fast ride kept us moving even in the muck. 8.5 oz; 6 mm drop

Price $185

Salomon Speedcross Pro 


If you like to move fast in technical terrain, the Speedcross Pro is your shoe. Its aggressive six-millimeter lugs are made for slick trails and packed snow. And with a narrow last, locked-in fit, and substantial but responsive midsole, it drew high marks for precision over hazardous ground. 9.7 oz; 10 mm drop

Price $150
(Pearl Izumi)

Pearl Izumi EMotion Road N3


Think fatty light. The N3 is a thick, wide, max-cushioned trainer that doesn’t feel as awkward or energy sapping as some chubby shoes. The rockered ride is buttery, forgiving, and plush, but also a touch firmer and more responsive than you’d expect. Best For recovery runs and mellow cruises. 10.2 oz; 4 mm drop

Price $130

ASICS Gel-Quantum 360 


The midsole of the new Gel-Quantum 360 is encircled entirely in ASICS’s gel cushioning, giving these high-mileage shoes a deep, gummy feel without the typical pile of foam. We loved the responsiveness, though we could certainly feel the extra weight and sluggishness. 9.9 oz; 10 mm drop

Price $170
(Under Armour)

Under Armour Charged Bandit 


The new Charged Bandit is exhibit A that Under Armour’s running shoes are coming into their own. Light and energetic, it’s comfortable without sacrificing speed. We liked the secure fit, although the heel is a bit roomy, and appreciated the mild slant of the midsole and subdued medial post on longer runs. Bonus: 360-degree reflectivity for maximum visibility after sundown. 8.6 oz; 10 mm drop

Price $100
From Winter 2016 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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