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Inov-8 Parkclaw 240 Knit
Best for Low Weight and Flexibility
Inov-8 designed this shoe to help you push the tempo on a range of surfaces, and it shows: The Parkclaw feels light and flexible underfoot, making it easy to pick up the pace. The knit upper offers a snug fit, and it’s made from an antimicrobial fabric, so you won’t have to worry about smelling up your closet post-run.
[$110; inov-8.com]Get It
Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5
Best for Plush Cushioning
Hoka is known for making pillowy soft shoes, and the latest version of the Challenger ATR is a good example of the company’s approach to running. A thick EVA midsole swallows up shocks while the rocker-shaped sole helps you roll onto your toes and provides a very smooth ride. The redesigned upper and heel counter make for a good fit, too.
[$130; hokaoneone.com]Get It
Altra Olympus 3.5
Best for Stability
The first thing you’ll notice when you lace up the Olympus 3.5 is the super wide toe box (a hallmark of all Altra shoes), and that generous platform translates into a stable ride over all kinds of terrain. The Vibram outsole creates good traction, the cushioning is soft and forgiving, and despite the thick midsole, the shoe is also somewhat flexible, so it doesn’t feel clunky underfoot.
[$150; altrarunning.com]Get It
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5
Best for Responsive Cushioning
A layer of bouncy Fresh Foam cushioning makes up the midsole of this shoe, and it provides a soft step-in feel that still provides plenty of springiness to propel you forward. The wide footbed feels stable while running, and the Vibram outsole’s shallow tread worked well on pavement while providing excellent grip.
[$135; newbalance.com]Get It
Salomon Sense Ride 2
Best for a Snug Fit
Salomon is known for its excellent trail shoes, but the Sense Ride 2 holds up well on the street, too—especially if you prefer a firmer shoe. It’s also a standout for its secure, snug fit. That’s thanks to Salomon’s proprietary Quicklace system, which uses a drawstring to evenly wrap the upper around your foot. Whether you’re pushing for a PR on the road or negotiating obstacles on the trail, the close fit feels great.
[$120; salomon.com]Get It
Inov-8 Parkclaw 275 GTX
Best for Wet Weather
The Parcklaw 275 GTX is a great pick for powering through unpredictable winter weather. It’s flexible like the Parkclaw 240 above, and it also has a springy foot feel that helps you pick up the pace. On the upper, a Gore-Tex membrane bonded directly to the fabric blocks out water, so you can keep going even when the forecast looks nasty.
[$150; inov-8.com]Get It
Adidas Terex Agravic Flow
Best for Rocky Terrain
An Ultraboost midsole amps up the energy return on these kicks, which are designed for a smooth ride on all kinds of surfaces. But during our tests, the Continental rubber outsole was the real star: On a rocky trail run, the shoe provided a lockdown grip even when scrambling over boulders.
[$130; adidasoutdoor.com]Get It
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