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Despite any rain we might be experiencing… the weather is warm. It’s June. And you’re quite possibly beginning your summer running. Maybe you’re training for a 10K or a half-marathon or even a marathon. Or maybe you’re like me, and you enjoy running leisurely. Regardless of why or when you run… we all need the perfect shoes for when we decide, “I’m going to burn some fat today.”

Believe it or not, men and women read this blog… so we’re going to refrain from focusing on one gender, and we’re going to talk about some of the many footwear options for you when you run. With my knowledge of shoes being completely confined to my personal wardrobe, we’ll look at some of the best running shoes in the opinion of some of the biggest shoe experts.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980

Most recently making headlines in the running space is New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology. An innovative approach in the super-plush category, the midsole is comprised of a single piece of lightweight foam that provides both cushioning and stability. A more maximal approach, New Balance utilized cutting-edge 3D printing technology to create a cushioning system that supports the natural geometries of the foot, all while providing soft and stable crash pads in the places you need them most. With a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and a simple breathable wrap mesh with no-sew overlays, your foot will be one with the shoe. These feel great the second you get them laced up, but more importantly, they remain soft and responsive over many miles. —Mackenzie Lobby

Zoot TT Trainer

Touted as an essential for the everyday runner, Zoot’s TT Trainer boasts unparalleled cushioning featuring CarbonSpan+ for high-performance support. Durable enough for workouts of any distance—even those long marathon training runs that reach 20+ miles—the TT trainer makes for a perfect day-to-day sneaker that works well for all types of training. —Katie Rosenbrock

SKORA Fit

Also relying on a 3-D printed design, the FIT highlights Skora’s signature minimalist attributes, including a zero-drop platform and lightweight construction. Considered a lightweight performance trainer, it features 16mm of EVA midsole cushioning and high abrasion rubber in the outsole, making it versatile enough to go from road to gym with ease. Marked by a stretchy, seamless upper, a supportive arch band, and asymmetrical lacing, this shoe promises a natural ride while still protecting your feet and insuring some support. For those looking to adopt a more minimalist approach to running, these are one of the more economical options on the market. —Mackenzie Lobby

Mizuno Wave Paradox

A control shoe designed for over-pronators, the Wave Paradox features a U4ic midsole to provide a springy cushion, an articulated forefoot Wave Plate for guidance and shock absorption, and a Dynamotion Fit upper that offers a compliant and cozy fit. With its 3D print pattern, which appears to have curves but actually features only straight lines, the paradox is not only unique in style but also delivers stable support without weighing you down. —Katie Rosenbrock

Under Armour Speedform Apollo

As part of Under Armour’s burgeoning line, the Speedform Apollo is perhaps the brand’s greatest push to rise to the top of the running shoe market. Weighing in at just 6.5 ounces, this model’s light, meshy upper makes it both breathable and form fitting. Along with the medial TPU stability bar, a molded seamless heel cup that wraps around the back of the foot creates a supportive ride without adding excess weight. An ultra-light, well-cushioned Micro G midsole with flex grooves built into the outsole makes the Speedform Apollo responsive enough for speed demons, but versatile enough for runners of all paces and experience levels. —Mackenzie Lobby

Asics GEL-Electro33

As the newest addition to Asics’ Natural33 line the GelElectro33 is flexible and lightweight but still provides enough support for mild to moderate over-pronators with its FluidAxis™ outsole. The shoe’s Rearfoot GEL® Cushioning System offers extra protection against shock during impact and the brand’s signature Seamless Construction design promises for reduced irritation and a “slipper-like” feel. —Katie Rosenbrock

Saucony Kinvara 5

Already an extremely popular model, the Kinvara 5 is a longer-lasting iteration of previous models. Making the switch from mono-filament mesh to an equally lightweight, but more durable mesh, the upper on the latest generation will stand up to plenty of wear and tear. The updated midsole is comprised of an enhanced EVA foam, making it more abrasion resistant than ever, but still retaining its feather light 7.7 ounces. Additionally, triangular rubber pods were strategically placed on the outsole in the heaviest wear zones to avoid premature breakdown and provide better traction. The last major upgrade is the addition of a RunDry sockliner, replacing HydraMax technology, which helps better protect the feet from blisters and hot spots. —Mackenzie Lobby

The North Face Ultra Smooth

Designed for runners with a neutral stride, this new sneaker from The North Face is a versatile trainer that boasts the ability to handle multiple terrains. Proper foot positioning and a smooth stride are encouraged by the shoe’s CRADLE™ technology and as part of the Ultra Protection series the Ultra Smooth implements plenty of protection against impact and the elements while remaining supple and lightweight. —Katie Rosenbrock

Scott T2 Palani

A high-performance, lightweight neutral model appropriate for both road running and triathlon, the T2 Palani utilizes a specially designed outsole to guide the foot through each stride. Paired with Scott’s eRide technology, which is characterized by a rocker shape of the midsole/outsole, these shoes are built for efficiency. Instead of the EVA foam used in most running shoes, the T2 Palani touts Aero Foam, which is lighter and more durable. Of interest to triathletes, this model’s drainage system includes three continuous channels through six ports to insure the shoe drains and keeps you light on your feet. —Mackenzie Lobby

Saucony Guide 7

Lighter than any other shoe in its class, the Guide 7 complements a wide range of distance runners with its durable and stable (but not stiff) design. Built for both neutral runners and mild over-pronators, the shoe’s full length PowerGrid cushion covers the entire surface area of the foot providing all around protection and quick spring back. —Katie Rosenbrock

Ecco Biom Ultra Trail

Providing superior ground feedback, the Biom Ultra is marked by its low-to-the-ground construction. Along with great flexibility, an anatomical fit, and dedicated performance zones, this shoe will work with the natural motion of your feet to insure a responsive ride. Built to take off-road, durable toe caps and mud guards provide added protection and stability in navigating the ruts and rocks of the trail. With an impressive selection of options, the Biom Ultra comes in three upper styles. The Quest is marked by an open mesh for the utmost in versatility, the Quest GTX has a technical 100 percent waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, and the Quest Plus uses a pliable yak leather. —Mackenzie Lobby

Newton Motion III Mileage Trainer

Newton’s next-level +ONE forefoot technology, included in the Motion III, now features five lugs instead of four in order to provide a broader, more stable platform that serves all five metatarsals and allows for a more natural flexion of the foot. An extended bridge under the midfoot offers support and stability without interfering with the foot’s natural movements and the newly designed breathable upper works to reinforce the midfoot with a snug-fitting, perforated microsuede overlay. —Katie Rosenbrock

Brooks Transcend

Perhaps the most talked about “maximal” shoe of the year, the Brooks Transcend is being hailed for its pillowy soft ride. In addition to the cushioning story, the beefed up midsole supplies a good amount of stability despite having no medial post. Instead, the support comes from a special heel design where midsole meets upper, helping to guide your foot on its natural path forward. Furthermore, the uniquely shaped outsole works to disperse weight via strategically placed pressure zones. Offering a tailored fit, the no-sew tunnels integrate the laces into the upper for a sock-like fit. Despite being a highly cushioned model, you’ll hardly know you have these on as you float across the pavement. —Mackenzie Lobby

In Good Health,

Molly

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