NEW YORK – (July 23, 2012) – Runner’s World magazine, the worldwide authority on running information, highlights and reviews 23 of the best new running shoes on the market in the Fall Shoe Guide in the September 2012 issue of Runner’s World, on newsstands Tuesday, July 31. Five shoes were cited best in class: Editor’s Choice: Brooks Ghost 5 and Mizuno Wave Precision 13; Best Update: Nike LunarGlide+ 4; Best Buy: Saucony Ride 5 and Best Debut: Puma Faas 350 S.
Here are the criteria for each award, along with the Runner’s World review for each winner:
Editor’s Choice represents an outstanding shoe that successfully combines the highest-quality design and technology. Winners received the highest marks from the Runner’s World Shoe Lab, the “wear-testers” and the editors.
Brooks Ghost 5 ($110)
The Ghost is spooky good. For the third straight Fall Guide, it has garnered our top honor. We like that little has changed from the fourth version of this shoe. The Ghost remains fairly lightweight with a soft heel and relatively firm forefoot, which gives wearers a fast feel. “I didn’t have that ‘squishy’ feeling I sometimes experience with cushioned shoes,” says Chris Garges, 37, of Bethlehem, PA, who has a 2:47 marathon PR. To adapt to more footstrike patterns, the segmented heel has been extended forward along the outer edge of the foot. It also helps smooth the heel-to-toe transition. Bottom Line: A versatile shoe that can handle whatever workouts you throw at it. Watch the video review: http://bit.ly/BrooksGhost5
Mizuno Wave Precision 13 ($110)
The Precision 13 feels downright zippy, thanks to the highest heel-to-toe drop in this guide-14.4 mm; the average running shoe is 12 mm-combined with a soft heel and a firmer-than-average forefoot. But some testers accustomed to more minimal footwear or racing flats found it to sit too high, especially at the heel. Although the chassis underfoot is the same as the Precision 12, Mizuno tinkered with the upper slightly, lowering the collar to allow a better opening for the foot. A fabric band runs under the open mesh upper at the midfoot, connecting the laces to the midsole to securely lock the foot in place. Bottom Line: A versatile shoe, capable of handling faster workouts and races. Watch the video review: http://bit.ly/MizunoWavePrecision13
BEST UPDATE: Nike LunarGlide+ 4
Best Update recognizes a significant improvement made to an existing model.
Nike LunarGlide+ 4 ($110)
For such a lightweight shoe, the LunarGlide features excellent cushioning and stability, yet remains very flexible. That’s a tough combination to execute well. The previous version of the LunarGlide struggled with this combination, garnering some of the lowest wear-test scores we’ve ever recorded for fit, comfort, and ride. This update was greatly improved. “The perfect balance of springy yet pillowy cushioning, while still having ample stability and support,” says Joe Kennedy, 32, of New York City, who has run in the LunarGlide+ 3. In RW Shoe Lab testing, all measures are better-the LunarGlide+ 4 is lighter by .7 ounces, lower to the ground, more flexible, and offers better cushioning and stability. The upper hugs the midfoot, thanks to a Flywire saddle, which provides a direct connection between the laces and the midsole to securely lock the foot in place. Bottom Line: Excellent protection from a surprisingly light and flexible shoe. Watch the video review: http://bit.ly/NikeLunarGlideplus4
BEST BUY: Saucony Ride 5
Best Buy acknowledges a shoe that offers the best fit and function for its price.
Saucony Ride 5 ($110)
A Best Buy pick that tops $100? If you’re shopping for new shoes, you know they’re getting more expensive. But the Ride 5 is indicative of a trend we’re seeing. The shoe is $10 more expensive and is a full two ounces lighter than its predecessor. That weight savings is largely a product of using less foam in the midsole and a reduction in rubber on the outsole, which also makes this update lower to the ground and more flexible. The changes resonated with testers, who rated it the highest of any shoe in this guide for comfort, cushioning, and ride. So, despite the price hike, it’s worth the splurge. Bottom Line: Offers cushioning for long runs but is light enough for fast efforts. Watch the video review: http://bit.ly/SauconyRide5
BEST DEBUT: Puma Faas 350 S
Best Debut points to a new release that received high marks from the Runner’s World Shoe Lab, from wear-testers and from Runner’s World editors.
Puma Faas 350 S ($85)
Low-slung and responsive, the Faas 350 S is a no-frills training shoe capable of pulling double duty for faster-paced workouts and long runs. The foamrubber midsole is exposed, while only a minimum amount of outsole is used to keep the shoe lightweight and superflexible. One drawback: limited traction. Wear-testers said the 350 S slips on wet surfaces. Faster runners appreciated how the shoe performed. “The Faas 350 would be among my choices if I were to buy only one shoe for everyday training,” says Ulrich Fluhme, 37, of New York City, who has a 2:33 marathon PR and primarily trains in racing flats. Bottom Line: A good first step for those curious about trying minimal footwear. Watch the video review: http://bit.ly/PumaFaas350S
The Runner’s World Shoe Guide features the Shoe Finder, a decision tree that poses a series of questions to readers whose answers will create a selection of three-to-five shoes best suited to help readers run better, faster and injury-free.
To see more information on each of the shoes reviewed in the June 2012 issue, information on the Shoe Finder, video shoe reviews or a tour of the Runner’s World Shoe Lab, check out www.runnersworld.com/shoefinder.
About the Runner’s World Shoe Lab and Wear Test
Every shoe reviewed by Runner’s World is first bench-tested at the Runner’s World Shoe Lab-an independent testing facility in Portland, Oregon. All shoes are flexed, pounded and prodded to see how well they perform. Shoes are then matched to one of 350 “wear-testers” in one of our three wear-test centers across the country based on their individual biomechanical needs and the shoe’s performance characteristics.
Testers, who must log a minimum of 25 miles per week, run in the shoes for about a month before submitting their evaluations, noting their total mileage run in each shoe and rating it for qualities including weight, traction, cushioning, support, lacing system and upper material comfort, among other categories.
Runner’s World is the only magazine in the world to independently test running shoes in this way, in order to give its editors the most objective means necessary to determine which shoes are most deserving of award status. Because Runner’s World only tests and reviews the best products available, shoes that have been tested may use the “Tested by the Runner’s World Shoe Lab” label.
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