With fall weather upon us, we’re finally able to get out for cooler runs, longer distances, and the big races we trained for all summer long. With these perks of the season in mind, shoe companies have put forth their best designs and most innovative installments of fan-favorite shoes.
Our rundown of the best Fall 2013 shoes features plenty of newcomers alongside faithful models that have withstood time and miles of long running.
Below are our picks for the crop of the season — a variety of minimalist, stability, and cushioned models that will help runners of all stripes make the most of their running this autumn.
Adidas Adistar Boost
Weight: Men’s 11.8 oz. | Women’s 9.6 oz.
The adiStar Boost is a cushioned trainer for roads, dirt and gravel that provides a new approach to the conventional EVA-based foam. Ideal for heel strikers, this stability-minded shoe provides a lightweight experience for a shoe category often relegated to heavier models. Our testers found the Boost to be responsive on long and short runs, providing a bold new option in its category.
Asics GEL Nimbus 15
Weight: Men’s 11.5 oz. | Women’s 9.4 oz.
This year’s update to the perennial favorite Nimbus model pairs innovation with predictability, featuring a flexible forefoot, ample cushioning, and memory foam to create a comfortable and supportive ride. The latest version of the Nimbus builds upon the strengths of the brand, providing subtle modifications while staying true to the design runners have come to know and love.
Brooks Glycerin 11
Weight: Men’s 11.8 oz. | Women’s 9.6 oz.
The newest incarnation of Brooks’ popular Glycerin model builds upon the strengths of its forbearers, featuring a 3D printed overlay and soft mesh fabric upper, ample cushioning throughout the heel and forefoot, and the subtle support that has brought the shoe to its eleventh iteration. Major alterations include the removal of the midfoot shank, optimizing ground contact and foot transition.
ECCO Biom EVO Racer Lite
Weight: Men’s 8.5 oz. | Women’s 6.4 oz.
The ECCO Biom Evo Racer is the second generation of the brand’s Biom line, which presents runners with a novel, anatomical design that’s shaped to the human foot.
The Evo Racer employs a durable polyurethane outsole rather than typical EVA foam, providing responsiveness and cushioning upon ground-strike. The Evo Racer’s weight aligns with that of most lightweight trainers or long-distance racers, and our wearers found its neutral profile to be accommodating for a wide number of runners.
Mizuno Wave Sayonara
Weight: Men’s 7.9 oz. | Women’s 6.7 oz.
Mizuno revamps their performance trainer line with the Wave Sayonara. The Sayonara has a generous toebox and a snug, secure fit throughout. A flexible forefoot combined with a slightly lower heel-to-toe offset creates a smooth ride. Full ground contact provides just enough stability.
Our reviewers found the Sayonara to be a capable everyday trainer or a racer, providing a responsive and lightweight running experience.
New Balance 870v3
Weight: Men’s 9 oz. | Women’s 7.8 oz.
New Balance modifies the outsole design of their mild-stability trainer during this year’s reboot to the 870v2. The newest model is flexible enough to fit the neutral runner, but is reinforced in the right places to support the moderate overpronator.
A very versatile shoe, the 870v3 can do everything from everyday training to racing.
Newton Energy NR
Weight: Men’s 9 oz. | Women’s 7 oz.
A brand-new model from Newton, the Energy NR is a lightweight trainer geared toward the lightweight sect. Featuring a new take on the company’s signature lug design, the Energy NR seeks to bring the “Newton experience” to the broader running market.
The Energy NR aims to promote a seamless transition for newcomers to the brand’s design, providing just enough of its signature design elements found in other models to introduce runners to the Newton experience
Nike Lunarglide 5
Weight: Men’s 10.1 oz. | Women’s 8.1 oz.
The Nike LunarGlide 5 is the fifth incarnation of the LunarGlide shoe line, providing ample cushioning, a slight amount of stability, and the feel and weight of a neutral trainer.
Featuring Nike’s Lunarlon midsole material, the shoe offers a reliable and durable trainer for stability seekers.
Reviewers found the new LunarGlide 5 to offer improvements in the comfort and ride departments, providing a smooth and reliable experience in all conditions.
Puma Faas 100r
Weight: Men’s 6 oz. | Women’s 4 oz.
The Faas 100r is a racer for runners not looking for a strictly minimalist experience, but who still appreciate responsiveness in a racing shoe. The model is thin, breathable and flexible — a refreshing combination of characteristics on race day.
Our testers found the sole to have enough give and cushion to absorb the explosive pressure of push-off during the heat of a race, but reported it doesn’t feel like a platform. An excellent racing flat for the 5K-10K range, the shoe also shows potential for half marathons and weekly training.
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail
Weight: Men’s 11.3 oz. | Women’s 9.5 oz.
Salomon’s second version of the XR Crossmax provides a customized and responsive fit that goes the distance on trails and technical courses.
With the women’s model offering anatomically adjusted construction, the shoe also features a durable medial midsole for extra structure and support.
Providing ample protection against the elements and a smooth, comfortable ride, the shoe is a trail favorite for the upcoming season.
Saucony Fastwitch 6
Weight: 7.5 oz (men’s size 9) 6.6 oz(women’s size 8)
The Fastwitch 6 is a lightweight racing shoe designed to give overpronators the support they need.
The Fastwitch 6 updates the somewhat dated upper construction of the Fastwitch 5 by adding welded on overlays and lightening up the shoe 0.3 ounces. Our testers found the shoes very lightweight and agile and weresurprised at how roomy the toe box was.
Skechers GORun Speed
Weight: Men’s 7.5 oz. | Women’s 5.8 oz.
Built to U.S. marathoner Meb Keflezighi’s specifications, the GOrun Speed is Skechers’ new racing flat that puts speed and weight at the forefront of its design. A new staple within the brand’s performance division, the GOrun Speed provides a 4mm-drop platform with just enough cushioning to keep minimalist enthusiasts happy, while allowing newbies to make a foray into the world of minimalist running and racing.
Designed as a marathon racing shoe, our reviewers say the model has more cushioning than a 5K maven might be accustomed to in a flat. But that said, it performs excellently as a minimal trainer and a middle- to long-distance racing shoe.
Weight: Men’s 7.2 oz. | Women’s 5.8 oz.
The Phase is one of Skora’s newest models for 2013, building upon the success of the Base and Form from their debut in early 2012.
The Phase provides a more conservative design aesthetic than the Base and Form, but captures the brand’s dedication to intelligently minimal design. Priced competitively and designed to perform, the Phase offers another minimalist option within the upstart company’s stable.