Fall is back, and with the new season comes big days of long marathon training sessions. As the transformation of seasons fully takes shape and your mileage begins that dramatic increase, it’s time to slip into a new pair of road shoes. For the past several months we’ve gathered and tested some of the best new road running shoes available. Rather than overwhelm you with an endless list of options, we’ve paired it down to our four favorite options for this season.
Altra Torin 2.5
Few shoes have undergone a greater positive evolution through the years than these speedy road kicks. Providing a buttery smooth ride, more flex and form-improving benefits, the Torin has become Altra’s top selling shoe. This season it’s back, and better than ever with a fresh new look and updated upper for greater flexibility.
This fan favorite keeps its integral core of Footshape, ZeroDrop and amazing slip in feel as well as keeping the “Goldilocks-just-right” cushioning level. Altra’s Abound compound midsole is responsive and motivating, and is perfectly balanced from front to back to encourage proper running form and a quicker turnover. So whether you’re working through your endurance run of the week or trucking through strength intervals, the Torin 2.5 steps up to the challenge with flawless ease.
Altrarunning.com; MSRP $125
Saucony Ride 9
The Saucony Ride 9 offers near mythical-like performance and comfort. If there’s a shoe that can provide you the inspiration to run more miles; this just might be it. Now featuring EVERUN, the Ride 9 delivers Saucony’s signature neutral running experience with more energy return than ever before. By providing a livelier, more responsive run, these road kicks truly makes every mile feel as effortless as your first.
A new outsole and less-structured upper improve the flexibility from previous iterations of the shoe. FlexFilm technology in the upper eliminates the need for excessive stitching and seaming, creating a comfortable and accommodating feel on the foot. Combined with a new outsole and a soft yet snappy cushioning, the Ride 9s feel completely broken-in even from the first run.
Saucony.com; MSRP $120
Hoka One One CLIFTON 3
The Clifton 3 from Hoka One One restores the popular shoe to its original glory. Listening to feedback from their customers this year’s improvements include a wider toe box giving your feet a more room to splay and a no sew SpeedFrame upper constructed with a new mesh material increases breathability and comfort.
Active Foot Frame midsole geometry allows the foot to sink into the shoe to provide integrated stability that adapts to a wide range of feet and running styles. Oversized midsole features 2.5 times the volume of a standard running shoe, promoting exceptional shock absorption and an inherently stable ride. And for those that like to mix things up, the Clifton 3 outsole easily accommodates light days along the fire trail. This is one shoe that’s read to go the distance.
hokaoneone.com; MSRP: $130
Topo Athletic Ultrafly
Sometimes all of the technical features in the world are little more than excess weight when all you really want is a lightweight shoe for speed training and tempo runs. Enter the Topo Athletic Ultrafly Road Shoe. A 5mm drop platform offers optimal foot flexibility and ground feel to encourage natural running and movement patterns. The Ultrafly features a 3-piece EVA midsole which provides light guidance and feedback through the gait cycle.
When you’re out racking up the miles, your foot needs to react naturally, keeping it confined like a caged animal does you no favors when you’re aiming to eat big mileage. So for those seeking a more naturally designed shoe, the Ultrafly rewards you with a wider toe-box while remaining surprisingly snug on the back-end of the shoe. As a side note, for the best fit we recommend sizing up half a size.
Topoathletic.com ; MSRP $90