Fila Racer £65

Weight 243g
Evaluation Sometimes it seems that half of Fila’s design effort must go into the Racer. The work invariably pays off: it’s a beautifully-fitting, smooth-riding, responsive racer. This year’s update seems yet more wearable than before, with a nice toe bumper that makes the forefoot roomy but well-shaped, and a nicely sculpted midfoot fit. Fila has also greatly expanded the carbon-fibre plate that gives the forefoot of some of its shoes such a springy, positive feel, and that’s how it manages to be more softly cushioned even than a great marathon racer such as the Mizuno Wave Phantom, and yet more responsive. It’s hard to find down sides, but here they are: it could still do with losing an ounce, because its weight keeps it out of the 5K-10K bracket for the fastest runners; and because the midsole is relatively thick for a racer, it’s not quite as stable in the rearfoot as, say, the Wave Phantom.