The trend in the running shoe market seems to be very one sighted. Comfort is key, and it seems to have been that way for a long time. This is though merely my observation and thoughts based on working in a running store for a year.
The most comfortable shoe this year is not the best running shoe. My view is that comfort often can be over-celebrated. Firmer shoes are often overlooked just because they don’t feel as comfortable to run with, but once you get used to a firmer more responsive ride, the need for extra comfort can disappear.
But for the sake of people wanting a soft and cushioned ride, I have gone over the shoes I have tried this year and decided on a winner.
Shoes I've tried this season
- Saucony Guide 10
- Saucony Hurricane ISO3
- New Balance 1080 v7
- New Balance Vazee Summit 2
- Mizuno Paradox
- Mizuno Horizon
- Mizuno Rider 20
- Mizuno Inspire 13
- Diadora Mythos BlueShield
- Diadora Mythos Racer Evo
- Topo Fli-Lyte 2
Winner – Saucony Hurricane ISO 3
Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 is a shoe that hides behind very impressive energy return numbers, despite being very soft. It feels like running on a cloud, but it sure doesn’t feel fast. This is because of Saucony's Everun foam, a very similar compound to Adidas Boost, used for its high energy return and soft feel.
The ISO-fit upper is soft and comfortable but lacks a bit of pressure compared to the new Guide ISO upper. The upper combined with the very soft padding around the heel cap results in a looser fit that feels very comfortable as long as your foot and heel is wide enough.
If the fit is correct though this shoe really feels light as a feather on your foot, despite its heavy weight.
An added benefit of the big weight is the amount of cushioning available. Running is this shoe is surely a very soft experience that can be compared to running on a cloud.
After about 10 kilometers I have noticed the softness of the shoe makes keeping a good pace very hard, as my legs have to work harder pushing off the ground. This has been my go-to shoe for long runs where I don't need to be fast. But it's not a shoe I would recommend for people aiming for a shoe that can do more than one thing.
Anyhow, the price for the most comfortable shoe goes to the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3, I can't wait to try the new Saucony Triumph ISO 4!!
New Balance 1080 v7 is the second most comfortable shoe I have run with this year. The combination of fit, responsiveness, and comfort has made it my go-to shoe, not only for running but also for walking.
When we traveled to San Francisco in June, the 1080 v7 was the only running shoe I brought with me. It’s big, it’s heavy, but it also feels responsive when running. It’s in my mind a better shoe than the Saucony Hurricane ISO 3, but it’s just not as much like running on a cloud.
Do you have any question about any of the shoes I've tried? Write to me on Instagram or comment below.