Asics GT-2080 £75

Weight 324g
Evaluation From the 2030 to the new 2080, the Asics 2000-series has been one of the top five – often the top – all-round running shoes on the market. In reviews, it almost becomes a victim of its own success, as we pounce on any shortcoming and become more excited by the fact that other companies have been shaken up to produce better products to try to match it.
Except for the rather bulky 2050, our only issue over the latest models has been with fit – a fraction loose in the midfoot, and too tapered in the forefoot for some. But if that doesn’t cause you problems, and you have no extreme weight or stability demands, you’re unlikely to find a shoe to better the soft, smooth, light and stable GT-2080.
Put the 2070 on one foot and the 2080 on the other and you’re unlikely to notice the difference. The forefoot fit is still a little narrower and shallower than in the 2060 and its predecessors (though the shoe is available in width fittings). The midfoot fits better, without bagginess, and there’s more open mesh for breathability.
You’d have to look closely to see the main technical change, but in theory it should make the 2080’s ride even smoother: the midsole now has a second section cradled in the middle, which is designed to flex better at the seams. Apart from that, the long second density and midfoot shank for stability are the same, as is the Impact Guidance System (IGS). Available from December 1.
In short We’re so used to the 2000 series that it’s lost its wow factor. But it’s still one of the very best shoes on the market, for everyone from neutral runners to moderate overpronators.
Try it on if you liked Asics GT-2070 (£75), Saucony GRID Omni, (£70), New Balance 854 (£70), Mizuno Wave Mercury (£64.99)