For our annual shoe test, we put together a team of 20 runners – including college athletes and active retirees with a range of body weights and builds – to test more than 30 pairs of shoes over three months. They logged hundreds of miles in each sneaker and selected their favorites based on overall comfort, fit, traction, stability, and cushioning. Here are the 14 standout pairs from the group, from lightweight kicks for the race to sturdy workhorses for training miles.
Asics Gel-Kayano 20
Best for Larger Runners
Our testers universally liked the comfort of this sturdy road shoe. Asics has improved this classic by designing a multidirectional-stretch-mesh upper meant to fit nearly any foot. A dual layer of foam in the midsole combines just enough bounce-back and cushioning with each stride. If you're OK without a featherweight kick, this plush shoe is for you. (11.3 oz; 10mm drop) [$160; asics.com]