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.
Pearl Izumi EM Road N0
Low-drop-loving minimalists will be at home in this lightning-fast shoe meant for serious road racing. It's built for speed, and like most pure racing flats, trades out the heft needed to support and cushion high-mileage efforts. (6 oz; 1mm drop) [$100; pearlizumi.com]