The Best Women’s Running Shoes Available This Year

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If you’re training for a marathon with serious running goals this year, you’ll want to make sure you lace up a pair of awesome carbon fiber reinforced shoes. While there are plenty of light and fast traditional shoes at more moderate prices, these high-end and notably more expensive modern marvels are tried and tested products when it comes to chasing new personal bests. Yes, they are priced high compared to your typical sneakers, but it’s an investment that will maximize your efforts.

Here’s a look at the top 10 models available in early 2022 with a look at what makes each unique. Several new models and updated versions of the shoes featured here will be available later this year, so check back for reviews of the latest and greatest running shoes.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 | $220

6.5oz, 8.5mm heel-to-toe drop

Unlike most super shoes, the Adizero Pro 2 does not have a full-length carbon fiber plate built into its midsole, but instead features a smaller carbon fiber layer at the bottom. rear of the shoe and integrated fitted carbon fiber shank. in the forefoot of the midsole foam that mimics your metatarsals (toe bones).

It is one of the firmest and most stable models of all the super shoes available, but also one of the fastest. The thick, featherweight Lightstrike Pro Foam midsole platform provides contoured support under the heel and arch before your foot rolls into the dramatic shape of the spring rocker under the forefoot when the foam finally gives way and compresses slightly . The result is a lively, balanced and propulsive feel just before the kick and a stride that promotes a high cadence gait.

RELATED: New and Revised: Adidas Ultraboost 22

Asics Metaspeed Sky | $250


5.9oz, 5mm heel-to-toe drop

Asics developed the Metaspeed Sky to increase a runner’s speed and efficiency at running pace by extending stride length without increasing cadence. In other words, if your gait evolves into a long, bouncy stride at faster gaits, this would be a good shoe to consider.

With a full-length carbon fiber plate embedded in a thick, durable Flytefoam midsole and a long, progressive rocker last, the Metaspeed Sky is an extremely lightweight, moderately soft, and exceptionally responsive shoe that delivers a bouncy yet well-balanced ride. balanced. . It’s a high shoe off the ground, but you’ll feel lower off the ground than most other super shoes with similar stack heights. Asics also developed the similar but slightly lighter ($250) Metaspeed Edge with a slightly higher heel-toe offset (8mm) for runners who tend to pace. increase their cadence without increasing their stride length at the pace of the race.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 | $250


6.2oz, 8mm heel-to-toe drop

The Hyperion Elite 2 is unlike most other shoes in this roundup. It’s a great shoe built on a wide, well-balanced foam platform that provides an energy-returning ride without feeling bouncy. With an ideal balance of softness and rebound, the nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole and full-length carbon fiber plate provide support, liveliness and responsiveness without the hyper-elastic feel of many other modern marathon runners. . The rocker profile is one of the most subtle of any super shoe design and results in a consistent, direct ride throughout the gait cycle. For this reason, the Hyperion Elite 2 is ideal for racing, but also exceptional for daily training, long runs and accelerated workouts.

Hoka Rocket X | $200


6.2oz, 5mm heel-to-toe drop

With a narrow, low-volume interior, the Rocket X feels more like an old-school racing flat from an earlier era than most modern super shoes with a carbon fiber plate and a bouncy ride. It has slightly lower stack heights than most other super shoes and feels light, snappy and low to the ground. the Compression molded EVA the midsole foam is semi-firm and somewhat springy, but not bouncy like many of its high-pile cousins. The carbon fiber plate seems to guide your feet from toe strike to midfoot, with a distinct hint of energy just before kicking off into a new stride.

Hoka Carbon X 2 | $180


7.8oz, 5mm heel-toe drop

The Carbon X 2 offers a more democratic approach to marathon running shoes, as its fit, feel and ride accommodate a wide range of paces from moderate to very fast. Just about any level of runner can benefit from this shoe, but the key is to run at the pace dictated by the rocker’s firm shape. The two-tiered midsole consists of a resilient compression molded EVA foam above the carbon fiber plate and a rubberized EVA material injected below the plate that creates a balance of stability and responsiveness. The sturdy rocker geometry and wide footprint of this shoe deliver a decidedly rolling (and unyielding) ride, enabling fast, smooth, and extremely stable transitions between strides. The Carbon X 2 isn’t as light as most other modern marathon runners, but it certainly doesn’t feel heavy at faster speeds due to the rolling feel and propulsive thrust with each stride.

RELATED: Best running shoes for women with flat feet

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite V2 | $230


6.5oz, 8mm heel-toe drop

The FuelCell RC Elite looks like a comfortable cruiser when you put it on and start running at slower paces, but it quickly transforms into a high-end racer when you’re rolling into race pace. New Balance revamped this shoe a bit after the initial release, making it a bit lighter and a lot livelier. Although there is more high-rebound FuelCell foam in this version, it still has a slightly lower stack height than some of the super shoes available in 2022. However, it is one of the smoother models and the softest and it is both exceptionally absorbent and very resistant. . While it feels a little too squishy and sluggish at slower to moderate speeds, it excels at faster gaits and maximizes a considerable amount of energy return while extending each stride.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%2 | $250


5.8oz, 8mm heel-toe drop

The Nike Next% 2 is extremely bouncy and very fast. It is one of the lightest shoes in this category, but also one of the most elastic. It is also one of the most popular super shoe designs among recreational runners and elite runners during big city marathons. The secret sauce to this model’s success is the responsive combination of the ZoomX midsole’s thick foam and curved carbon fiber propulsion plate. The ride is peppy and very bouncy, contributing to a consistently brisk cadence and a very snappy top-end feel. It takes some getting used to the bounce and unique sound that foam compression produces before you can run consistently at a specific pace, but once you find a rhythm you’ll find it very durable.

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Flyknit | $275


6.5oz, 4mm heel-to-toe drop

The Air Zoom Alphafly Next% has a significantly different design, feel, and ride than its Vaporfly Next%2 cousin, but it’s also very responsive and fast. The 40mm stack height in the heel is the same as the Next%2, but since it has a lower offset (4mm) and higher height in the forefoot, the Alphafly Next% feels much larger and more robust overall. But it is also less bouncy, much wider and therefore much more stable too. Unlike the dramatic rocker feel of the Next%2, it’s hard to feel the curvy geometry of the Alphafly Next%. That’s because this shoe has a more flexible carbon fiber plate and two forefoot Zoom Air units that store and return energy while contributing to a longer stride with a slower cadence than most. great shoes.

On Cloudboom Echo | $270


6.7oz, 8mm heel-to-toe drop

Swiss brand On was a late bloomer in the super shoe category and its twice-revised Cloudboom Echo features one of the most unique designs among this fast-moving group. Built on a new version of On’s proprietary Cloudtech midsole system, it generates propulsive energy by compressing layers of Helion Super Foam sandwiched around a carbon-infused Speedboard. With lower stack heights than most of its contemporaries, it feels more compact like a traditional race flat with a definitely firm and quick ride, but it’s also more flexible in the forefoot than most other supers. shoes.

Saucony Endorphine Pro 2 | $200


6.3oz, 8mm heel-to-toe drop

As soon as you put on the Endorphin Pro 2, you feel like you’re wearing a specialized speed machine for race days. With a narrow, low-volume profile, it is extremely efficient, fast and accurate. Constructed with a stiff carbon fiber nylon plate amidst a hyper-responsive PWRRUN PB midsole, the Endorphin Pro 2 delivers a fast, stride-lengthening ride. The rocker shape is moderate and engages under the arch of the foot, creating a smooth, brief floating sensation between soft touch feelings and sturdy toe box.

RELATED: What you need to know about buying running shoes in 2022

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