Runner's World

THE 25 BEST SHOES YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW

Under Armour Hovr Infinite

PRICE: $120

WEIGHT: 10.8 oz (M), 8.6 oz (W)

DROP: 10.1 mm (M), 8.7 mm (W)

UNDER ARMOUR LOOKED to dial up the underfoot cush of this plush neutral trainer. Targeting pillowy soft trainers like the Asics Gel-Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin, the shoe uses UA’s latest midsole foam, Hovr, a compound the company claims is more cushioned and returns more energy than previous versions. The extremely soft material is surrounded by an “energy web,” a net-like container that helps boost the foam’s responsiveness. The shoe doesn’t necessarily feel plush underfoot—tests at the RW Shoe Lab show it to be fairly firm—but we liked how it felt comfortably protective on longer road runs and recovery days. Where this shoe diverges from the Cadillac-type trainers mentioned above is in the upper. The Nimbus and Glycerin utilize insanely soft memory-foam collars and satiny linings. This shoe has a more basic, work-horse-like build. The ankle lining is a little scratchy, the heel counter a bit hard. Then again, the Infinite costs $30 to $40 less than those premium shoes, so it’s a small compromise.—Jeff Dengate

361 Degrees 361-Meraki 2

PRICE: $130

WEIGHT:

9.3 oz (M)

8.0 oz (W)

DROP:

9.4 mm (M)

8.9 mm (W)

THE MERAKI 2 is a versatile everyday shoe that’s sturdy enough for marathon training, but light enough for a tempo run. Our test staff piled on the road miles at the end of marathon training season, sharpening up for race day. A very soft forefoot feels great on easy days, but it also masks the shoe’s stiffness. Credit the brand’s Qu!kfoam midsole, which does an excellent job damping impact for long runs and is extremely durable. The result is a shoe that delivers the same cushioning power after a few hundred miles as when you first cracked open the box. Testers also raved about the shoe’s overall comfort, especially from the wide tongue. It’s exceptionally thin, mostly, but a microfiber lining and soft padding near the top boost comfort and relieve lace pressure for runners with high insteps.—J.D.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 15

PRICE: $130

WEIGHT: 10.3 oz (M), 8.3 oz (W)

DROP: 12.6 mm (M), 10.3 mm (W)

15 debuts a new upper, although the midsole and outsole remain unchanged from version 14. Underfoot, Mizuno still uses a combination of highly responsive U4ic foam and its softer U4icX midsole compound, which it places below the heel’s Wave plate to soften up the back half of the shoe. Indeed, the shoe’s heel registered extremely soft scores in tests at the Shoe Lab, and testers lauded its plush feel. The outsole is grippy on roads, and we enjoyed its durability over months of pavement pounding. The shoe’s new engineered mesh is designed for

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