New Road Shoes for Every Kind of Runner
These models will help you push your speed limits
Altra Rivera ($130)
Best Zero-Drop Ride
The Rivera is a minimalist gateway shoe. The forefoot is roomy (for natural toe splay) without feeling sloppy, and the 26-millimeter-thick foam from heel to toe is both soft and responsive, resulting in a notably enjoyable ride. It has “good bounce” and “inspired speed,” testers reported. Bonus: the largely seamless, breathable upper is über-comfy. 9.1 oz (men’s) / 6.9 oz (women’s); zero drop.
Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS ($150)
Take a cushy, plush, neutral Brooks Glycerin and add stability rails—dense foam bumpers at the heel and along the instep that keep your foot from pronating—and you have the new Glycerin 19 GTS. Testers praised the sublime heel strike, saying their gaits felt “smooth, controlled, and stable” in this workhorse. 10.7 oz (men’s)/9.5 oz (women’s); 10 mm drop.
Hoka One One Rocket X ($180)
Best Carbon Crusher
“The best Hoka I’ve ever put on my foot,” said one of our testers. Designed for the pros, the Rocket X features a one-millimeter, full-length carbon-fiber plate tucked inside the EVA midsole. But it’s not just for elites. Another tester called it “a home run on every surface and at any speed,” praising its “energetic and responsive” ride. 7.4 oz; 5 mm drop.
Skechers GOrun Razor Excess ($140)
Best Distance Racer
Hiding in the shadows among carbon-fiber-plated kicks is this no-nonsense shoe. A sibling of the brand’s popular racer, the Excess packs an additional three millimeters of snappy midsole foam, which ensures a soft landing and a crisp takeoff—sans carbon fiber. “Effortless and fun,” said one tester. But take note: fit runs a bit narrow and shallow. 7.5 oz (men’s)/5.9 oz (women’s); 4 mm drop.
Under Armour Hovr Machina 2 ($150)
Best High-Tech Trainer
Sporting enough technology to make Elon Musk jealous, the Hovr Machina 2 features an embedded chip that connects to the MapMyRun app to collect pace, distance, and stride data. We loved how structurally sound yet consistently peppy the midsole performed. Paired with a lighter, airier upper, it makes for an incredibly comfortable trainer. 10 oz (men’s)/8 oz (women’s); 8 mm drop.
ASICS Noosa Tri 13 ($130)
Best Energy Saver
An enduring triathlon favorite gets an overhaul with a new rockered outsole. It performed so well that our roadie testers are now part of the Noosa Tri cult. “It seemed to propel me forward,” raved one, while another gushed, “If I had only one shoe, this would be it.” We also adore the highly breathable upper and wild designs. 7.9 oz (men’s)/6.5 oz (women’s); 5 mm drop.