We’ve once again collaborated with top runners from across Canada to test and review the best road running shoes for this year, helping you make informed selections. Let’s face it, every great run starts with a perfect pair of shoes. Scroll through our 2024 reviews to discover upgraded classics and innovative new technologies, sure to inspire you to hit the road and train for your next race.

What’s the ‘Drop’?

This is the difference between the heel and the forefoot measurements, or in other words, how much your toes ‘drop’ below your heel. Why is this important? Because a higher drop can lead to more heel striking and also transfers some strain away from the lower leg and up towards the knee. A lower drop will shift the load further down to your calf. Check with an expert, choose what feels comfortable to you and take into account your running mechanics and history of injuries.


Adidas Supernova Rise Running Shoe

ADIDAS
Supernova Rise

4.5/5 Stars | Women | 8.6 oz | 9 mm Drop | $180
www.adidas.ca

From the moment you slide your foot into this shoe you’re met with a perfect balance of support and bounce. It fits true to size and after only a few runs breaking them in, I am hooked. What truly sets the Supernova Rise apart is its cushioning. Because of this, the shoe is slightly less nimble but I wouldn’t hold that against it. Without a doubt, this shoe is a fantastic option for neutral runners as it offers a stellar combination of comfort, responsiveness, and durability. The Supernova Rise is now my go-to shoe for daily training and longer runs.

LISSA ZIMMER, Vancouver, B.C. – An elite marathoner with a 2:42 PB set in 2016 and trail runner with a goal of racing a 50-kilometre one day.

ADIDAS
Supernova Rise

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 9.8 oz | 10 mm Drop | $180
www.adidas.ca

This shoe offers amazing support and stability that can handle multiple mid-week training runs and daily training with ease. The shoe is built with a well-constructed and stable upper that provides a secure and comfortable fit. The new Dreamstrike PEBA Foam cushions your feet from the road while providing an incredibly responsive feel. The outsole provides just the right amount of grip and road feel while keeping the shoe feeling light and responsive. An everyday shoe that can handle all your miles with ease.

PHIL HIOM, Kamloops, B.C. In 2023, Phil rebuilt his Achilles and returned to Ultra Trail Racing. He is now back in action and excited about training and racing in 2024 with the aim of attending Western States Ultra in 2025.

ALTRA Experience Flow Running Shoe

ALTRA
Experience Flow

5/5 Stars | Women | 7.2 oz | 4 mm Drop | $180
www.altrarunning.com

The Altra Experience Flow shoe is their first non-zero drop shoe at 4mm. The roomy toe box remains true to Altra’s spacious and comfortable design, but now offers a compression-molded midsole with rocker shape. The cushioning was light offering solid impact absorption without sacrificing responsiveness. The shoe’s lightweight construction and breathable upper kept my feet cool. Overall, Altra delivers an enjoyable experience at speedier paces and can help you ease into future zero drop shoe. 

KAREN HOLLAND, Kimberley, ON – Avid trail runner and ultrarunner who holds the Bruce Trail FKT with her next focus on racing the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run.

ALTRA Experience Flow Running Shoe

ALTRA
Experience Flow

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 8.4 oz | 4 mm Drop | $180
www.altrarunning.com

Previously known as the AltraFWD Experience this daily running shoe has a low, 4 mm drop. It has a spacious toe-box and the midsole features a compression-molded EVA foam that makes it feel firm and comfortable while running. The updated and improved upper design makes for a pleasant fit. I have not historically used Altra shoes, as I found the zero-drop design less well-suited for my running gait. However, the 4 mm drop is enough to make this shoe feel more familiar to me, and I have used it for numerous long runs, without issue. 

MYRON TETREAULT, Calgary, AB – is a former national champion in the sport of water polo and a national age group champion in the sports of swimming, running and triathlon.

ASICS Novablast 4

ASICS
Novablast 4

4/5 Stars | Women | 7.7 oz | 8 mm Drop | $180
www.asics.com/ca

It’s not the bounciest shoe I’ve tried, but it’s close. The oversized base provides a stable landing, which is a good thing considering its stack height. The 8 mm drop and aggressive rocker means you’ll roll onto your toes with every step and increase the efficiency of your run. Great for runners new to the pavement. The stretchy upper ensures a comfortable fit out of the box, but to be honest, this is too much shoe for me. 

NICKI REHN, Calgary, AB – ultra-marathon runner, orienteer, and adventurer who loves to travel the world doing crazy races, disappear deep into the mountains, and rip up the local single-track.

ASICS Gel Nimbus 26

ASICS
Gel Nimbus 26

3.5/5 Stars | men | 10.3 oz | 8 mm Drop | $210
www.asics.com/ca

The Gel Nimbus 26 soft cushioning properties is best suited for runners prone to injuries or the high-mileage runner looking to add a shoe into their weekly rotation with the goal of decreasing impact and wear and tear on their body. ASICS soft cushioning properties without a rocker-outsole, and prioritizing recycled materials, makes this shoe unique. The engineered knit upper provides excellent support and comfort but lacks ventilation which is noticeable on a longer run. Buy this shoe if you are looking for less impact on your body and on the environment.

NATHAN BODEWITZ, Calgary, AB – Founder and head strength coach at Peak Fitness YYC. He is a trail runner, OCR athlete, mountain biker, big mountain skier, and proud dad.

BROOKS Glycerin 21

BROOKS
Glycerin 21

5/5 Stars | Women | 8.8 oz | 10 mm Drop | $200
www.brooksrunning.com

This shoe is a go-to neutral high mileage runner. Up from the Glycerin 20, the 21 has a 2 mm higher stack going from a 26:16 to 28:18 midsole height. The 10 mm drop might be most suited to the heel striker, however it still feels smooth for a more frontwards runner. The nitrogen infused DNA loft v3 material in the midsole provides an incredibly soft landing that transitions easily to take off. The upper is a fine breathable mesh that conforms nicely to the foot without constraint. The heel collar and tongue are well padded adding to the plush feel. The 21’s exceptional cushioning has decent resiliency, feeling as delightful out of the box as 400 km up the road.

SYL CORBETT, Calgary, AB – World Cup and World Championship competitor in triathlon, duathlon, mountain running, snowshoeing and marathons. Private consultant to pro-athletes.

Brooks Glycerin 21

BROOKS
Glycerin 21

4/5 Stars | Men | 10.5 oz | 10 mm Drop | $200
www.brooksrunning.com

The Brooks Glycerin 21 is your affordable neutral work horse that boasts a wide forefoot and comfortable upper. This high stack height shoe provides cushioning that is soft on impact loading but quick to bounce back making the overall sensation responsive not mushy. With a 10 mm drop and comfortable lacing system, this foot hugger is made for longer distance runs on the road with ample traction. The shoes feel and look great with a nice firm but comfortable heel cup and is true to size. 

CAL ZARYSKI, Calgary, AB – Professional active lifestyle coach, 10x World XTERRA Triathlon Champion, 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and holds the most Multisport world titles in Canada at 12.

HETTAS Alma Tempo

HETTAS
Alma Tempo

5/5 Stars | Women | 8.25 oz | 10 mm Drop | $238
www.hettas.ca

This is the first offering for a small shoe company. The shoe has a lower cut heel allowing a welcomed freedom of movement specifically at the tibiotalar joint. The lightweight yet durable upper, engineered with TPU mesh, ensures optimal breathability and 360° structural support. At 235g (size 8.5) the Alma Tempo is surprisingly resilient and durable which would easily handle a season’s worth of mileage. The shoe’s fit is wide enough in the toe box, but not sloppy. Heed the manufacturer’s suggestion of going up a ½ size. Overall, a well-tuned design that delivers exceptional performance and comfort for women who demand the utmost from their running gear. 

SYL CORBETT, Calgary, AB – World Cup and World Championship competitor in triathlon, duathlon, mountain running, snowshoeing and marathons. Private consultant to pro-athletes.

HOKA
Skyward X

5/5 Stars | Women | 9.2 oz | 5 mm Drop | $280
www.hoka.com

This is one of my favourite running shoes! When I first saw it, I was impressed by its big stack height and sleek design. Bouncy and responsive the shoe felt great on my feet and had a sweet kick to it. Road running can be tough on my body, but this shoe was springy without feeling off-balance and helped reduce the impact on my joints. I felt more energized and comfortable throughout my entire run. Overall, I highly recommend the HOKA Skyward X shoe to any runner who wants a comfortable, durable, and high-performance shoe.

GRACE HIOM, Kamloops, B.C. – Grace is an experienced ultrarunner who has completed numerous 50 km, 100 km, and 100-mile trail running races over the past decade. Her ultimate goal is to run a 100 km race in 2024, with the hope of qualifying for the Western States 100.

HOKA Skyward X

HOKA
Skyward X

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 11.3 oz | 5 mm Drop | $280
www.hoka.com

The newest shoes from HOKA have BOUNCE. Their soles feature a thick dual layered combo of PEBA and EVA foam which provides max cushioning. Typically, the plushness comes at the cost of feeling heavy and slow. HOKA solved this by adding a carbon plate which I instantly felt the extra energy return in each stride. Initially I had issues with my heel lifting out of the shoe, but that was quickly solved with using the second eyelet and tying in the heel lock. This is now my go to shoe for long runs.

JOEL NEUMANN, Calgary, AB – Endurance athlete, 2:46 marathoner, Ironman 70.3 finisher.

MIZUNO Wave Rebellion Flash 2

MIZUNO
Wave Rebellion Flash 2

3.5/5 Stars | Women | 7.2 oz | 1 mm Drop | $210
can.mizuno.com

I really enjoyed the ride of the Flash 2! It is a light, bouncy, and responsive nylon-plated trainer ideal for workouts and daily runs when you want to fly. The rocker is quite noticeable and encourages forward momentum, which makes this shoe a great option for midfoot and forefoot strikers. The only downside for me is the tapered toe box and overall narrow design, so those with wider feet like myself will have a tough time with the fit. 

JULIE HAMULECKI, Toronto, ON – Road and trail ultrarunner based in Toronto, Ontario, coached by husband Adam Takacs. Currently holds the Canadian Women’s 100 km road record.

MIZUNO Wave Rebellion Flash 2

MIZUNO
Wave Rebellion Flash 2

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 8.6 oz | 1 mm Drop | $210
can.mizuno.com

The shape of speed is changing with Mizuno’s latest take on a super shoe, which features a cut away heel and unique midsole geometry. The rocker and bouncy foam works best when you land on your midfoot or forefoot, so this light and zippy racer – also suitable for tempos and speed workouts – is not recommended for aggressive heel-strikers. When you land in the right spot, the carbon-reinforced plate propels you forward with a ride that feels snappy and fast.

KEITH BRADFORD, Calgary, AB – Elite masters runner, coach and crisis communications consultant who has worked with athletes at multiple World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games.

NEW BALANCE FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4

NEW BALANCE 
FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4

5/5 Stars | Women | 6.6 oz | 4 mm Drop | $329.99
www.newbalance.ca

I have raced in a variety of super shoes, but this one is a frontrunner when it comes to 10 km and half-marathon road racing. With every step you are propelled forward and feel like you might actually fly. The FuelCell’s thin carbon fibre plate and 100 per cent PEBA foam midsole offers energy return to the legs to keep you feeling fresh even when the going gets tough. The shoe is true to fit, narrow through the midsole with lots of room in the toe box. I highly recommend the shoe as a bouncy, comfortable option for longer distance road races.

JEN MILLAR, Victoria B.C. – Competitive Masters distance runner, 3x Masters Champion at National Cross-Country Championships. 

NEW BALANCE Fresh Foam 1080

NEW BALANCE
Fresh Foam 1080

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 9.2 oz | 6 mm Drop | $209.99
www.newbalance.ca

The new NB 1080s are incredibly soft and cushioned throughout the midsole. Unlike criticisms of past versions, this iteration fits true to size, and they feel comfortable in all phases of striding. I wore these on easy runs and found them to be ample for the work. I would happily reach for these for long work on the road any day. These will be a staple in my road running repertoire this season.

IAN MCNAIRN, Calgary, AB – Trail runner; guy with a PhD in the ultrarunning community.

NEWTON Gravity 13 
 Running Shoe

NEWTON
Gravity 13

4.5/5 Stars | Women | 6.8 oz | 3 mm Drop | $252
www.newtonrunning.com

The Newton Gravity 13 is a sustainably constructed lightweight road shoe. The breathable, sock-like upper is constructed using 100 per cent recycled materials. This is a neutral trainer with a light and responsive ride that provides a natural feel while running. The lower heel to toe drop took time to adjust to, but the full-foot cushioning felt responsive and fast.

EMILY SETLACK, Trenton, ON – Canadian Marathoner and Mountain Runner.

NEWTON Gravity 13

NEWTON
Gravity 13

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 8.2 oz | 3 mm Drop | $252
www.newtonrunning.com

A lightweight, responsive, up-tempo shoe is great for mid-foot strikers. Newton’s unique mid-foot lugs promote efficient running but do take a period of adjustment. The upper fit is excellent and accommodating due to its wide toe box and open throat tongue and lacing. Newton’s new mid-sole foam and XPS plate result in a cushioned yet snappy feel to the shoe. This shoe is worth a try if you’re looking for something different to spice up your run life.

ANDREW RUSSELL, Saanichton, B.C. – Seeking out roads, trails and mountains with the family, dog and friends. 2023 Grouse Mountain Seek the Peak winner, 2022 Thursty Elk winner, 2022 Royal Victoria Half Marathon winner.

Nike Reactx Infinity RN 4

NIKE
Reactx Infinity RN 4 

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 12.5 oz | 9 mm Drop | $235
www.nike.com

The Infinity FK4 is a shoe that excels for recovery and easy runs. It is well cushioned and comfortable. Relative to its predecessors it is more durable yet with softer foam and is also heavier. I found the shoe to have good take-off in striding and had noticeable midfoot support. Given its weight, I wouldn’t take to it for workouts or races. However, its comfortable ride makes it a perfect selection for easy running. It looks super sharp, too!

IAN MCNAIRN, Calgary, AB – Trail runner; guy with a PhD in the ultrarunning community.

NIKE Reactx Infinity RN 4

NIKE
Reactx Infinity RN 4 

3/5 Stars | Women | 9.9 oz | 9 mm Drop | $235
www.nike.com

This fourth version of the shoe is significantly different from its predecessors. Key improvements include a denser foam sole achieved through compression molding, enhancing durability but also adding weight and reducing reactivity. Another major upgrade is the higher quality fly knit upper, crafted from a comfortable but thicker material, also resulting in a slightly heavier shoe. While these upgrades will increase the shoe’s lifespan, it’s best suited for shorter or recovery runs rather than long-distances or races.

RACHAEL MCINTOSH, Calgary, AB – Retired Team Canada Track and Field athlete turned recreational road and trail runner.

ON Cloud Monster 2

ON
Cloud Monster 2

4/5 Stars | Women | 8.6 oz | 6 mm Drop | $229
www.on-running.com

Meet the On Cloud Monster 2, a shoe I was so excited to put on my feet, and to all you On lovers, I see you! It is a go-to medium-long run to long run shoe. The cloud technology allows you to put in the miles without punishing your legs. It feels stable underfoot, cushiony without feeling soft and spongy, yet still responsive. The shoe runs a bit longer and a bit wider than previous versions, so buy yourself a half size smaller. 

SASHA GOLLISH, Toronto, ON – 2015 bronze medallist, Pan Am Games; running roads to the trails and recently breaking World Masters Record in the Indoor Mile – now a Masters World Record holder.

ON Cloudmonster 2

ON
Cloudmonster 2

4/5 Stars | Men | 10.4 oz | 6 mm Drop | $229
www.on-running.com

This show is an excellent runner for those who like a good amount of cushioning and a forward rolling feel in their road shoes. The foot strike feels cushioned yet firm, the heel lock is incredibly solid, and the upper is very breathable, making for an overall pleasant running experience. The downside is that the tongue is incredibly thin which can cause pressure on the top of your arch if you cinch the laces tightly.

SEAN ALLT, Chilliwack,B.C.– A 16-year veteran of the fitness industry, experienced ultrarunner, founder and head coach at BackcountryStrength.com, and one of IMPACT Magazine’s Top Trainers in 2022 and 2024.

PUMA Velocity Nitro 3

PUMA
Velocity Nitro 3

4/5 Stars | Men | 9.1 oz | 10 mm Drop | $165
ca.puma.com/ca/en

The Puma Nitro 3 emerges as an exceptional everyday trainer striking a remarkable balance between comfort and performance. Its innovative Nitro foam midsole delivers exceptional responsiveness and cushioning, significantly enhancing energy return during runs. The shoe’s engineered mesh upper ensures breathability and a snug fit that cradles the foot, while the durable rubber outsole provides reliable traction across varied surfaces. This is an excellent shoe for use as an everyday trainer.

BLAINE PENNY, Calgary, AB – Blaine Penny is an elite master’s runner with a marathon PB of 2:27 at age 48 (finishing 2nd in 2022 the Abbott World Major Marathon Age Group Championships), 1:11 half marathon PB, 3x Canadian Ultramarathon Champion, 6x Guinness World Record holder.

PUMA ForeverRUN Nitro

PUMA
Velocity Nitro 3

4/5 Stars | Women | 9.5 oz | 10 mm Drop | $200
ca.puma.com/ca/en

The Puma ForeverRun Nitro is a great shoe for endurance runs in the city, where the extra cushioning protects against hard surfaces. I really like the way the cushioning feels responsive without being squishy. This shoe feels supportive and protective without restricting natural run stride. The outsole has surprisingly good grip for a road shoe, making it a natural choice whether wet or dry out. The Nitro may run a bit narrow for some people, but overall, this is an excellence cushioned trainer.

LUCY SMITH, Victoria, B.C. – A Canadian Champion of road and cross country. Now a Masters athlete, she coaches runners, leads community runs, and has an active lifestyle in her hometown of Victoria.

REEBOK Floatzig 1

REEBOK
Floatzig 1

4/5 Stars | Women | 9.8 oz | 6 mm Drop | $185
www.reebok.ca

This neutral shoe is both well-cushioned and responsive when running at faster speeds.  I could see myself using them as a regular trainer for tempo runs when preparing for races 10 km and longer. The collar around the ankle and back of the heel comes up quite high, so you’ll need to wear them with taller socks to avoid blisters. They fit true to size and have a moderate width toe-box.

JOANNA FORD, Calgary, AB – Ultramarathon runner with a passion for running long distances in the mountains.

REEBOK Floatzig 1

REEBOK
Floatzig 1

5/5 Stars | Men | 9.8 oz | 6 mm Drop | $185
www.reebok.ca

This stylish neutral daily trainer delivers a soft, bouncy and comfortable ride. Its relaxed fit, 6 mm drop and hitting a sweet spot in terms of flexibility, will suit a wide range of runners looking for a durable shoe to run many miles. Just don’t take them off-road—you will bring home hard-to-remove debris in the grooves that span the midsole.

ALISTAIR MUNRO, Toronto, ON– Run coach for the Toronto Harriers with a love of trail and ultra-funning for adventure, community and competition.

SAUCONY Guide 17

SAUCONY
Guide 17

4.5/5 Stars | Women | 8.4 oz | 6 mm Drop | $180
www.saucony.ca

Bring on the pavement! Saucony has outdone themselves with superb cushioning and comfort in the Guide. As a stability shoe I could feel the added support under my medial arch, however it doesn’t weigh the shoe down. The design of the shoe is great. On longer runs my feet feel ultra-comfortable while they roll seamlessly onto the toes for faster paced strides. Overall, I’m very impressed with the fit and look of the shoe.

SABRINA WILKIE, Surrey, B.C. – B.C. Masters 2024 XC Champion and 2016 Victoria Marathon Champion (2:45); Mom of four, wife, and physiotherapist.

SAUCONY Guide 17

SAUCONY
Guide 17

4.5/5 Stars | Men | 9.4 oz | 6 mm Drop | $180
www.saucony.ca

My initial reaction to slipping on a pair of Saucony Guide 17’s was “great fit.” The excellent heel lock-in, supportive comfort of the “FORMFIT” insole and broad platform of the shoe gave me a feeling of stability and confidence which transferred to my running. On the road the shoe performed very well. The wide toe box coupled with the breathable mesh upper ensured there were no hot spots, and the soft feeling underfoot equated to an optimum running experience.

MARTIN PARNELL, Cochrane, AB – Endurance runner, fundraiser, adventurer and author, six Guinness World Records in endurance events, summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours.

TOPO ATHLETIC Atmos

TOPO ATHLETIC
Atmos

5/5 Stars | Men | 9.7 oz | 5 mm Drop | $240
www.topoathletic.ca

This lightweight max cushioned daily trainer has the perfect amount of give and bounce without being too spongy. It has a gently rocked sole, low heel to toe drop and signature foot shape that allow your toes to splay. They tick every box on comfort and are great for long runs, easy miles, recovery runs and walking.


ALISTAIR MUNRO, Toronto, ON – Run coach for the Toronto Harriers with a love of trail and ultra-funning for adventure, community and competition.

TOPO ATHLETIC Phantom 3

TOPO ATHLETIC
Phantom 3 

3/5 Stars | Women | 7.5 oz | 5 mm Drop | $230
www.topoathletic.ca

This was my first opportunity to run in the Topo Phantom 3. Marketed as a high cushioned trainer, I found it to be more of a moderately cushioned shoe that felt quite firm against the road. Topo’s Zipfoam felt firm and stable, but not super soft or bouncy. The toe box was appropriately roomy allowing my foot to plant as it should. The upper felt light and the tongue and lace system hugged my foot with no pressure points or hot spots. The heel cup fit well with no slippage. The 5 mm drop and neutral design of the shoe would be suited well for easy to moderate miles.

CAT YOUNG, Calgary, AB – Competitive runner and life-long endurance athlete.

UYN Synapsis

UYN
Synapsis

3.5/5 Stars | Women | 9.44 oz | 6 mm Drop | $229.95
www.uynsports.com

This is a unique shoe. It’s engineered from socks and has a seamless, comfortable and breathable upper. The toe box is a nice width, the lacing system is great, and the shoe is very stable. The midsole is quite rigid which should give more energy return, however it felt too rigid and stiff for my foot. The shoe looks bulky but the weight was fine overall.  I like the concept of the shoe as it’s aiming to be more environmentally friendly. It will work for those seeking more stability as it keeps the foot in a more neutral position.

CATRIN JONES, Victoria, B.C. – Registered massage therapist, distance runner, 50 km, 50 mile and 6-hour Canadian record holder.

UYN Synapsis

UYN
Synapsis

3.5/5 Stars | Men | 9.44 oz | 6 mm Drop | $229.95
www.uynsports.com

This was my first time running in a pair of UYN shoes. The Synapsis felt relatively quick once it was on my feet, despite having a higher overall stack height than I normally opt for. The midsole felt lively and responsive, but the shoe overall felt somewhat rigid for my preference. After a little struggle getting it on my foot, the sock-like upper and heel counter held my foot nicely. The materials used did feel like they could use some streamlining and refinement, but overall this shoe is worth consideration for those looking for a stable daily trainer.

MATTHEW CECILL, Salt Spring Island, B.C. – Trail runner and running coach, represented Canada at the Trail World Championships and holds various trail FKTs.

Photography by Graham McKerrell

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