As we wave goodbye to summer, now is the time to invest in your most important piece of gear: new running shoes. Our Autumn/Winter 2011 Shoe Guide includes a bumper crop of 24 new shoes, as well as reviews and technical information on each.
The RW Shoe Lab has once again been fired up and we thrashed these shoes to within an inch of their lives to see how they respond to the pounding you lot are likely to give them out on the road. Runner's World is the only publication in the world that tests shoes this way.
Every shoe in this guide has also been put through its paces by RW staffers, as well as our national pool of wear testers and members of West 4 Harriers and Dulwich Runners.
If you're not sure what type of shoe you're looking for, be sure to try the RW Shoe Finder. Our flagship gear tool has been overhauled for 2011 and as well as its shiny new look, it features the full spectrum of shoes featured in the Spring/Summer Shoe Guide.
Once you've found the shoe for you, visit our new online store at runnersworldstore.co.uk. You'll find all the latest shoes as well as running apparel, accessories, gadgets and more.
To access full reviews for all the shoes listed (as well as hundreds of archived featured training and health articles), subscribe online now.
Recommended for runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial support. These shoes are best for biomechanically efficient runners (with minimum pronation) and midfoot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.
- Open mesh for breathability on regular long training runs
- Thicker midsole to absorb impact at footstrike
- Overlays to keep the shoe locked around the arch without sagging
adidas Response Cushion 20
ASICS Gel Cumulus 13
ASICS Gel Landreth 7
ASICS Gel Nimbus 13
Brooks Ghost 4
Brooks Glycerin 9
Inov-8 Road-X 225/238
Mizuno Wave Enigma
New Balance 880
Saucony Powergrid Cortana
Saucony Kinvara 2
Recommended for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators and who generally have low to normal arches. The people who fit these categories tend to need a design that offers a combination of support and midsole cushioning.
- Torsion control device in the midfoot stops the shoe twisting too much during landing
- Thicker crashpad on the heel to disperse impact forces
- Harder 'post' on the inside of the midsole controls overpronation
Recommended either for racing or, if you're biomechanically efficient, for training. Performance shoes have varying degrees of support and cushioning but they're generally lighter (most weigh around 250-300g) and narrower. Some shoes in this category were classed by their brands as minimalist. We've highlighted these with an icon.
- Elevated toe spring to help with speedy toe-off
- Stripped down midsole so foot is closer to the floor for a responsive ride
- Snug across the toe box for a glove-like fit