New Balance 1021 £74.99

This model may still be available on clearance. But we've reviewed a newer version since we published this.

Weight 355g
Evaluation The 1020 was a nice, softly cushioned high-mileage shoe. Its update has just got better in the forefoot – and more squarely aimed at neutral, efficient runners.
Following the trend that Adidas set with its excellent Gazelle a couple of years ago, other companies are now spreading huge layers of high-absorbency rubberised cushioning foam across the entire forefoot of some of their shoes, and that’s what New Balance has done with the 1021. Half of the depth of the midsole is now made from its Abzorb material (the purple layer). Coupled with the shoe’s deep flex grooves, this gives the 1021 a lot of appeal for forefoot-oriented runners, and for everyone else, it simply gives the shoe a lighter ride than its weight suggests.
The other main change over the 1020 is that the 1021 has lost its small medial post, so it’s not an option for runners with stability problems.
In short The 1021 is priced to hit the plush, day-in, day-out cushioning market, and increasingly, it delivers. If you liked the 1020, you’ll love the improved forefoot cushioning. The 1021 is basically a slightly cheaper version of the new, top-end 1040, without the high-tech rearfoot cushioning cartridge.
Try it if you liked New Balance 1020 (£70); Asics Gel Cumulus (£65); Adidas Gazelle Chartbreaker (£80)