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.
Nike FlyKnit Lunar2
Best for Comfort and Speed
If you're getting serious about running and looking for a lighter shoe, start by trying this on. Our test-runners were wowed by the way this shoe's one-piece, lattice-knit upper provides a glove-like fit (and reduces the shoe's weight). They also loved how its foam sole provides an ideal balance between cushioning and support. (8.5 oz; 10mm drop) [$150; nike.com]
Credit: Photograph by Svend Lindbaek