Newton Distance S
Credit: Photograph by Travis Rathbone

BEST FOR: Hard-training mid- and forefoot strikers

Weight: 8.4 oz  Drop: 3mm

Newton says that the red actuator lugs located underneath the metatarsals absorb energy on footstrike and return it. After our runners hit the pavement in them, most became believers. "It takes time to get used to, but it offers minimal drop with the protection and cushioning of a hardier shoe," reported one. Said another: "It's the lightest and most responsive of the group. If you've done the training and want a sick shoe, this is it." [$155; newtonrunning.com]