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    Buying Guides   Best Running Shoes of 2013: Spring Edition

Best Running Shoes of 2013: Spring Edition

 December 27, 2013 42
Best Running Shoes of 2013: Spring Edition

Looking for the best running shoes but overwhelmed by the choices?

Look no further: we spent the winter months testing, and now we will help you narrow your choice down.

It is still February but we already tested more than 25 running shoes that either have just hit the shelves or that will do soon.

The best running shoe is a personal choice: the same shoe might be perfect for a runner, but be uncomfortable for another one.

The shoes we recommend here all satisfy a few criteria:

  • They are indeed what they claim to be (ie a stability shoe being actually stable);
  • They don’t have any glaring issue (ie a hotspots causing blisters);
  • They perform similar to the rest of the shoes, but either with a lighter weight or a more premium choice of materials;
  • For their characteristics, are most likely to fit a wider array of individuals.

With no further ado, let us introduce our top choices per category.

Best Neutral Running Shoes of Spring 2013

Neutral running shoes place their emphasis on cushioning, or the ability to absorb part of the shock that the impact of the foot with the ground.

Adidas Energy Boost - Inside Mizuno Wave Rider 16 - Pair
Adidas Energy Boost Mizuno Wave Rider 16
The Adidas Energy Boost is a bouncy neutral shoe that feels fast and keeps legs fresh. We loved the snug fit of the upper, though it may be an issue for runners with wider feet. It’s also a versatile shoe that performs well on both roads and dirt, and is well-suited to different types of runs.
Full review here >
Mizuno put a lot of cushioning into a lightweight package with the updated Wave Rider. We recommend it for neutral runners looking for a well cushioned trainer with a firm responsive feel.
Full Review Here >

 

Best Stability Running Shoes of Spring 2013

Stability shoes are for runners who excessively pronate during their running gait. These two shoes are, for this season, the best in terms of stability and comfort.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 - Sole Asics GT 2000 - Heel
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 Asics GT-2000
Light, quick and stable shoe that retains enough cushioning and support for big miles and daily training.
Full Review Here >
A completely overhauled shoe that manages to retain the classic GT feel and incorporate some more modern design elements including a 10 mm heel to toe differential and a firmer, more responsive forefoot. Should again prove to be a very popular daily trainer in the stability category.
Full Review Here >

 

Best Trail Running Shoe

We believe there is one uncontested winner for the best trail shoe this spring. Truth is, many trail shoes will come out later during the season. But for the moment, you need to look no further than this shoe:

Brooks Pure Grit 2 - Toe
Brooks PureGrit 2
Our tester Mark has taken the Pure Grit 2 through some tough miles through the Alps, and says it’s the best trail shoe he’s ever run in.
Full Review Here >

 

Best Lightweight Cushioning – Spring 2013

Whatever you might think about “Born to Run”, minimalist running shoes and barefoot running – one thing is certain: running shoes have changed. Lighter weights and lower drops are now sported on shoes that are meant for daily training. We created a separate “lightweight cushioning” category because we believe the choice between a full-featured cushioning shoe and a lightweight one is not a matter of “good vs bad” but of individual preference.

New Balance 890V3 - Pair Brooks Pure Connect 2 - Top
New Balance 890v3 Brooks PureConnect 2
New Balance absolutely nailed it with the third version of this shoe which is sure to please a variety of runners from the fleet footed to the recreational jogger.
Full review here >
The PureConnect 2 is a lightweight road shoe with plenty of soft cushioning for everyday training and racing.
Full Review Here >

 

Best Lightweight Stability Shoes – Spring 2013

Cushioning running shoes are not the only ones receiving a “weight loss” treatment.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 - Pair Asics DS Trainer 18 - Toe
Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Asics Gel DS Trainer 18
Although the Wave Elixir 8 stumbles a bit with a forefoot overlay issue, the shoe is still the reigning king of go-fast stability.
Full review here >
Another complete overhaul from Asics that resulted in a better shoe than the original. Heavy overpronators should look here for their faster workout shoe or racer, mild overpronator could use this as a daily trainer.
Full Review Here >

 

Best Minimalist Running Shoes of 2013

While there’s not a universally accepted definition, minimalist running shoes usually present characteristics such as very low weight, thin midsoles, low difference between the height of the heel vs the toe. The idea is to provide a shoe that provides basic protection from impacts, but still promoting a more natural and efficient running form.

Skechers GObionic - Medial Side Newton Motion - Heel
Skechers GoBionic Newton Motion
Skechers is making tremendous strides in the minimalist market, offering a shoe at the perfect price point with compelling design features. We recommend them to minimalist runners looking for a zero-drop, flexible-soled trainer with toe room and a comfortable upper.
Full review here >
The shoe is responsive, lightweight, and stable. It is well suited for daily training, long runs, speed work or even racing. Recommended for runners looking for a more natural running motion.
Full Review Here >

Racing Shoes – Best of 2013

Ironically, we left racing running shoes for last.

New Balance MRC1600 - Pair Nike Flyknit Racer - Pair
New Balance RC1600 Nike Flyknit Racer
The New Balance RC1600 is NB’s first racing shoe to incorporate RevLite foam which allows this shoe to be feather lite and durable enough to race a marathon. Tom, who reviewed this shoe, said: ” is one simple fit change away from being the best marathon distance racing shoe I’ve ever worn.”
Full review here >
The Nike Fly-Knit Racer made its big stage debut at last year’s London Olympic Games in the Marathon with virtually all Nike-sponsored athletes sporting the flat. It is an excellent choice for someone wanting to purchase their first racing flat, or for those wanting to start incorporating weekly speed training into their routine.
Full Review Here >

One Last Word of Advice

Here they are, the best running shoes for this season. We thoroughly tested each one of them throughout the winter, but please always bare in mind that a shoe that works perfect for a runner might be completely wrong for another one. Always try shoes on before buying them – if ordering online, order more than one pair, test them on the treadmill and return the ones that you don’t like.

Don’t forget one of the most important things: the fit. A shoe could have the best technology and materials in the world, but if the heel is too wide, the toebox too narrow… you’ll end up in pain and hating the shoes.

Take everything with a grain of salt: we are experienced runners and collectively test more than 100 running shoes a year, but each runner is different and our advice does not replace the advice of a medical professional.

Comments are welcome! Have you already run in one of these shoes? What do you think? Any shoe you particularly loved and we didn’t mention? Share it in the comments, the more opinions, the more informed decisions you can make.

Take care and happy running!

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COMMENTS (42)

  • I don’t see the Kinvara on there..What is your thoughts on that shoe?

  • Hi you all running experts,
    After many years of absence I’ve taken up jogging again. For the time being I run about 10-15 kilometers a week and I don’t intend to run a lot more in the near future. I’m on the look for new shoes and I find it very hard to decide as I find an ocean of shoes before me every time I start looking. I’m a mild overpronator and I quite easily get tired feet. I also have a minor problem with my hips at times, If I get too tired. I could really need your expert advice here. What kind of shoes do think suit me best and which in particular? Today I’m running in a pair of Adidas microbounce, but I’ve had them for more than 4 years, and they also feel a little too clumsy for my liking. I have to say though that since I started running in them, I haven’t had any issues with my hip.
    I would be thankful if you could help me here.
    Best Regards,
    nena giannakidou

  • What is your opinion about salomon trail running shore?

  • Hello experts,

    i am a new runner and would like suggestions on running shoe’s as i dont have a clue?
    i been advised to go for Karrimor? What do you reckon to those and whats the best running which has a good arch support as i have issues with that too!

    • Hi Zak ! Very difficult to recommend a running shoe without see you in person!
      Please try our running shoes wizard – is not perfect, but it can give you a base to start with! Feel free to ask more after!

    • Karrimor, fro England, is famous for hiking boots and some trail running shoes – quite light in weight but I seldom see reviews for their running shoes.
      There are numerous very good marathon , cross , trail running shoes reviews here in running guru site.
      But anyway, slide in to a pair and give it a trial run. If you feel comfortable, keep it and you have given yourself a good pair of running shoes.

  • I’d like to ask you guys (and gals) a question! I began running in New Balance’s zero drop minimus road shoes in the summer and did a few short races in them. I purchased NB 1400 for my half marathon and ran in those (however, bought them a half size too small… poor feet). I have tendinitis in my right Achilles (slowly but surely healing) after running that half in October – I’m looking for a new shoe. I have a fairly neutral run but need to take into account my injury. I wear Vibrams for weight lifting in the gym but know I need some cushion for running. If I’m sticking with NB I was looking at the 890 v3s – any other recommendations? I’m willing to look at ones other than New Balance! Thanks :)

    • What about the Brooks Pure Connect ?

      • I’ve never put a Brooks shoe on! I was just recommended to look at the Brooks Pure Flow and Pure Connect, as well as the Mizuno Precision. Do those seem like good options? Not sure if I mentioned it in my previous post, but I’m also interested in the NB 890 V3.

    • Love the 890 V3’s. The 7 mm drop should help with your Achilles problem. I previously ran in Saucony Cortana 2, Brooks Launch and Asics Gel Neo 33 (I do 30-35 miles per week). The NB’s are the most comfortable (roomy toe box, narrow heels, great mid-foot lock down) and I have no knee pain (after 3 scopes). As the review says…”they nailed it”.

  • I was just told to take a look at those! And the Brooks Pure Flow, as well as Mizuno Precision – what do you think about those? Also, NB 890 V3 and Kinvaras? Thanks a lot!

  • Hey there,

    I have had a few running injuries in the past and am looking to find a shoe that deals well with my overpronation.

    I took Mizuno’s precision fit test online and have been recommended the Alchemy or Wave Inspire, depending on a moderate adjustment in my test.

    I’m wondering why the Alchemy isn’t on your list for stability shoes. What makes the Wave Inspire the better alternative?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Alisha – the Alchemy is a great shoe, but comes out in Fall. The Alchemy that is out now was released in August 2012. This is a Spring 2013 list :)

  • Hello.
    Tahnkyou for the review.I was just wondering do you have an idea of a good running shoes that i can use for both races such as a half marathon and also training probably 12km 4 times a week?
    Kind regards… Joshua Newman

  • Hi guys, great round-up!
    I’m looking at moving to something a little lighter with a lower drop than my current Asics GT-2000, I’ve been running more and more miles (200 per month) over the past few months and want to try something faster.

    Would you recommend the NB 890V3 as a good shoe to try?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Dave – congrats on the mileage increase!

      Our stability master – Theo – loves the GT-2000 and for his faster runs he prefers Asics DS Trainer or Mizuno Elixir. The 890v3 is a great shoe but it is not a support one (as your GT-2000 instead is).
      So you can only tell by trying! Please let us know!

  • What is the best shoe for full marathon. I used ascis gel foundation 10 earlier, but it is no longer avialable. Do you a recommend a replacement but hopefully a lighter version ? I tried ascis oracle and forte and didn’t like them.

    Thanks

    • Hi Sagar,
      it’s impossible to answer such a question – there’s no ideal shoe for everybody. But if you liked the foundation 10, maybe you’ll like the new Asics GT-3000 ?

  • Hi there,
    Could you please give me advice on Adidas Pace Runner (G63713) shoe. I most of the time run on the treadmill and workout in gym.
    Thanks!

  • Hello,

    I currently have the Women’s Asics Cumulus 13. I bought these after having good luck with the 12’s. I was a little less impressed with the 13’s compared to the 12’s, but they still seemed to do pretty good. I am ready for a new pair or shoes and am wondering if I should stick with the Cumulus or try a different kind. Can you give me a few of the closest competition to the Cumulus? I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that people were disappointed in the Cumulus 14’s. Any insight would be great. I mostly walk a lot on tile and hard surfaces and I want to get back into a little bit of running on paved surfaces. Thank you!

  • I am running my first half marathon this Saturday and training has gone great! I am currently running in Asics GT 2170 which comfort wise feel great but I am occasionally having some pain in my ankles. Not sure if it’s something to do with the shoes or just my ankles being weak. I am planning on starting an 18 week training schedule in about a month for my first marathon in September if all goes well and will be in need of new shoes. I have a high, collapsing arch and a running store recommended the GT 2170. What might be a comparable or better option for shoes? Not opposed to getting the newer version of those but Asics are all I have ever known since I started running about 4 years ago.

  • Hello –
    I’m a moderate runner (3-5 miles daily), recovering from plantar fasciitis in my right heel. I’ve always had success and loyal to ASICS, but am open to trying a new shoe. I run both outside on road surface and on the treadmill.

    What do you recommend?

    Thanks

  • Very nice shoes “Nike Flyknit Racer”, I am very like its color very fantastic.. Hi Ruggero Loda, do you know when this shoes come to Indonesia?

  • I have the Mizuno Wave 16’s and love them! I usually run on the treadmill or when it’s not raining (I live in Seattle…) on the asphalt for 3-4 miles at a time.
    I got them here: Mizuno running shoes

  • Hey guys, had a question maybe you could help answer. I’ve been running for years, mostly for exercise and not nearly enough. But I recently ran a 10k in the New Balance RC1600, about mile 3 or so my feet started to go numb. It was a hilly race ( for those familiar, the Austin Cap 10k) and I expected calf pain but feet numbness really was no fun. I don’t have particularly wide feet and I’ve run long distance in the shoes many many times before. I’ve been running in both the 1600s and the NB MR00’s and after 3 or four years of minimalist shoes with very little pain I’m confused. Anybody have any advice?

    Thanks

  • Hi, what kind of running shoe would you recommend for someone with a high arch and prone to heel soreness/pain. I’m a light runner (less than 5km per week)

  • Hello,

    I’m alternating between the Brooks Pure Flow 2 and the Newton Gravity for my runs. I’ve fully transitioned to midfoot strike from being a heel striker all my life. Thanks to chirunning.

    Just this month, I ran a half marathon for the first time using the Pure Flow and I felt really good. I like the Gravity as well but I feel that my feet get hotter on my midfoot especially on long runs.

    I’m planning to buy a third pair as I’m preparing and aiming to run a full marathon next year. I’m choosing between the Brooks Pure Cadence 2 and the Asics Gel-Lyte33 2. I like the Pure Flow but I’m concerned that I may need more cushion because of the distance. I’m a short guy at 5’3″ weighing 135 lbs. Any recommendations?

  • Hi

    Can you help, i have only been running for about 2 years. I run about 3 times a week up to 8 miles. Im heavy on my feet when i run especially when i get tired. I usually run on my toes and balls of my feet, but after about 5 miles i get painful burning toes, which usually makes me end up running on my heels.

    Im looking to buy some new trainers, currently have new balance, can you recommend some which may help prevent the burning toes?

  • Hi..
    Can u help me to find a suitable running shoe.
    Is asics blur 33 2.0 is good for moderate flat foot?

  • Hi,
    I was wondering if you could help answer a question. I have recently been fitted for a new pair of running shoes but wanted to check out some comparisons. The show I was fitted for was a Saucony Triumph 10(the felt great) and also have to have Superfeet – Berry insoles. Are there any other shoes out there to compare to, I generally run 5k runs and am slowly increasing to 10k runs, am considering doing a triathalon in August. Any help will be appreciated.

  • Maybe my definition of minimal is different than most and yes it’s a very loose term anyway I guess. However, I wouldn’t consider Newton Motion a minimal shoe.

    No mention of SKORA, here? Some of the best minimal shoes on the market. All zero drop, comfortable, and extremely well built. They make some of the best minimal shoes I’ve run in.

    • Hey Wilk, unfortunately we did not have any new Skora shoes to test for spring 2013. In the summer we want to run a minimalist comparison and we’d love to test the new Skoras!

  • I suffer from a lot of heel pain, in both feet (plantar issues and from standing a lot). After a run, I feel it also. I’d adjusted to a more midfoot strike, in an effort to ease my pain, which helps. I currently run in nike lunarglides and saucony guides. do you have any other suggestions for running shoes? My average distances are about 2-3 miles per day, 4-5 days a week.

  • Guys ,ihave been running for 30 years and nothing compare a Asics Nimbus , i have all the series .

  • I’m a teen girl and I have severe overpronation. Do you know of any nike womans shoes that would help with this problem? Thiis may seem so petty, but I have to wear them to school so brand name and ease on the eyes is kind of important to me. thank you so much!

  • What do you think of the Nike Lunaracer racing shoe?
    And what about the new Puma Mobium?

  • Hey guys,
    So i am looking to buy a pair of running shoes for myself and i am also having a hard time looking for a pair. I’m an avid soccer player. Soccer shoes don’t have a heel to toe drop and i’m very used to forefoot striking. I’m leaning more towards a a minimalist shoe or racing flat. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

  • I need help!!

    I want to buy the most fantastic running shoes for my boyfriend’s birthday but I’m at a loss! He is wide footed and says the most comfortable shoes he’s worn are (i’m reading it from the trainers so i hope it’s right!) “Adidas – Adizero Tempo” It also says on the side: Full-Forefoot and AdiPrene.

    Taking that into consideration, could anyone tell me what I can look for? I know he likes Adidas but I heard Nike has the No. 1 running shoes of 2013 so not sure what to go for.

    I’d appreciate any help! Thank you!

  • hi, i m having minicus tear in knee…. pls recommend me best show for running

  • Hey… I run on asphalt both smooth (the road) and not so smooth (private road that’s paved but kind of bumpy with gravel). I run about 2 1/2 miles each day and seem to burn through running shoes because the road is eating up the bottom part of my shoes. What do you recommend for a running shoe that is long lasting but still gives me some cushion when I run? Thanks in advance. Jer

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