Start the spring running season with a new pair of shoes. Reviewed by top Canadian runners from Vancouver to Toronto, there’s sure to be something here to make your feet happy.

Women’s Road Shoes

361 Degrees Meraki ($170) – 3.5/5

www.361usa.com | Stability • 9 mm Drop • 9 oz

The colour of this shoe was a great first impression that had me dreaming of summer! Without much flexibility in the shoe’s upper, they still felt comfortable and loosened with each run. The firmer sole provided good responsiveness along with some definite cushioning underfoot. This shoe could be used for easy recovery days and has the flash and feedback needed for a solid tempo session.

Kim Doerksen | 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon champion and represented Canada at the 2015 World 50 KM road race championships.

Altra Escalante 2 ($175) – 4/5

www.altrarunning.com | Neutral • 0 mm Drop • 7.4 oz

This shoe would be great for easy runs and is light enough for tempo workouts. After wearing them a few times I could feel the outsole technology which maps the bones and tendons of your foot for maximum flex and responsiveness. I love the sock-like fit but found the toe box a bit wide. The zero drop platform took some getting used to.

Katherine Moore | Distance runner and yoga teacher. She created Runningintoyoga workshops to share yoga benefits with runners.

ASICS Gel Nimbus 21

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 ($200) – 5/5

www.asics.com | Neutral • 13 mm Drop • 9 oz

Wearing the Asics Gel Nimbus is like walking on a cloud. I love the way the molded EVA sock liner shapes to your foot, while the heel hugs and supports the achilles. The shoe is responsive with great cushioning. At 10 oz these are great for long runs or amazing on the trails. This is a very durable shoe with extreme comfort allowing for longer, more comfortable runs.

Katherine Moore | Distance runner and yoga teacher. She created Runningintoyoga workshops to share yoga benefits with runners.

Brooks Glycerin 17

Brooks Glycerin 17 ($200) – 4/5

www.brooksrunning.com | Neutral • 10 mm Drop • 9.2  oz

The Brooks Glycerin is plush just like they promise! It’s a good shoe that I found responsive even though it has soft cushioning. It is heavier than I am used to so I wouldn’t use it on the track but it’s a good every day shoe if you wear neutrals. I would consider buying these …

Kirsten Fleming | Executive Director of Run Calgary and the Calgary Marathon.
“Running completes me … it’s everything.”

MBT GT2 Endurance

MBT GT 2 Endurance ($180) – 3.5/5

https://us.mbt.com | Stability • 5 mm Drop • 10 oz

With a slick road sole and a cushioned ride, this shoe will give your foot a ton of comfort. The unique profile ensures a rockered landing – best for those with a heavier heel strike or mid-foot landing. The G2 is sleek, breathable, and has a form fitting upper. This is a good shoe for a runner looking to land on a cloud!

Dana Ferguson | Revelstoke, B.C. runner, cyclist, and skier.
“I am happy when I get the chance to run and bike on roads and trails.”

New Blanace Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit ($150) – 4.5/5

www.newbalance.ca | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 6.1 oz

The latest version of this shoe, continues to improve and impress. Most noticeably, the midsole has softened while still boasting a snappy ride. The stretchy knit upper is breathable and gives a pleasantly snug fit. The outsole provides reliable traction on smooth surfaces and wears surprisingly well. If you’re looking for a neutral fast ride for interval workouts or a 5K, you’ve likely found your match!

Dr. Syl Corbett | Researcher, physiologist, coach, and founder of Rock On Clay.
“I love anything running, but trails are my favourite. Running is my pure joy!”

New Balance 890 V6

New Balance 890 v6 ($160) – 3.5/5

www.newbalance.ca | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 7.9 oz

The latest version of the New Balance 890 remains true to its legacy as a no non-sense, lightweight neutral runner. It looks and feels light and sleek and fits true to size, with support around the arch of my narrow foot. The 890 has a breathable upper mesh, and light cushioning. The responsiveness was average, but it held up to many surfaces (snow, gravel, trail and pavement).

Shauna Gersbach | 2005 Calgary Marathon winner.
“Running has always been a social activity, my motivation is spending time on the trails with my friends.”

ON Cloudace

On Cloudace ($250) – 3.5/5

www.on-running.com | Stability • 7 mm Drop • 11.8 oz

This shoe was an intimidating beast when I first took it out of the box – Swiss engineered and very durable. The rubber outer makes them less breathable, but suitable for more difficult weather and terrain. They were super bouncy at first, but I got used to them pretty quickly. If you’re looking for something stable and durable, these will give you lots of support and miles.

Rachael McIntosh | Former Canadian track and field athlete and heptathlete.
“I’m a spear tossing, hurdling, ninja who loves finding new ways to move!”

Reebok Floatride RunFast

Reebok Floatride Run Fast ($180) – 5/5

www.reebok.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 5.4 oz

Out of the box, this shoe is a stylish, light and comfortable racing flat. I appreciated how it encouraged a natural, forward running momentum, with slight extra cushioning at the heel. The upper is breathable and snug, so the shoe never felt sloppy. It is an excellent balance of comfort and responsiveness, well suited to long speed work/tempos and mid- to longer distance races.

Shauna Gersbach | 2005 Calgary Marathon winner.
“Running has always been a social activity, my motivation is spending time on the trails with my friends.”

Saucony Triumph ISO5

Saucony Everun Triumph ISO5 ($195) – 3/5

www.saucony.com | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 10 oz

These shoes were quite grippy despite not being built for trail/winter so I felt sturdy and stable running outside on icy Calgary pathways. This is a versatile shoe that would work for distance and tempo and I found they fit true to size.

Kirsten Fleming | Executive Director of Run Calgary and the Calgary Marathon.
“Running completes me … it’s everything.”

Skechers Gorun Ride7

Skechers GOrun Ride 7 – Nite Owl ($170) – 5/5

www.skechers.com | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 7.3 oz

This sharp-looking (glow in the dark!) trainer offers a nice balance of cushion and responsiveness. The midsole easily handles compression without losing integrity or road feel and gives a zippy sensation underfoot. An unobtrusive outsole and appropriate flexibility promote an excellent transition throughout the gait, making it a great choice for tempo running.

Dr. Syl Corbett | Researcher, physiologist, coach, and founder of Rock On Clay.
“I love anything running, but trails are my favourite. Running is my pure joy!”

Topo Ultrafly 2

Topo Ultrafly 2 ($170) – 3.5/5

www.topoathleticcanada.ca | Neutral • 5 mm Drop • 8.3 oz

There is something interestingly lightweight but industrial about this shoe. At first glance it looks rather basic and not overly beautiful, but it really impressed me with its comfort and durability. And, it’s almost too wide! The toe box is one of the roomiest that I’ve ever tried, but the heel was nice and snug. Easy to throw on right out of the box.

Rachael McIntosh | Former Canadian track and field athlete and heptathlete.
“I’m a spear tossing, hurdling, ninja who loves finding new ways to move!”

Under Armour HOVR Infinite

Under Armour HOVR Infinite ($150) – 5/5

www.ua.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 8.75 oz

This shoe fits slightly larger and would be good for racing, training, or easy/off-day runs. It’s very cushiony and feels like walking on a cloud! The vibrant pink and yellow with the black is fun. For a very cushiony shoe it was quite responsive. As a new shoe for 2019, UA describes the HOVR Infinite as “As a neutral cushion, plush balanced-trainer” and I totally agree.

Sasha Gollish | One of Canada’ top middle distance runners. She just completed her first marathon in Houston with an time of 2.32:52.

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2 ($120) – 3/5

www.ua.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 8.3 oz

I can see this shoe being used at the gym for short treadmill or elliptical workouts, then a strength work out. It fits true to size and would be good for racing, training, easy/off day runs, trails, or short runs. Overall I found this shoe thin and rigid, providing a very solid platform. I didn’t find it to be as cushiony as UA said it would feel. It connects with a mobile app.

Sasha Gollish | One of Canada’s top middle distance runners. She just completed her first marathon in Houston with a time of 2.32:52.

Xero Prio

Xero Prio ($120) – 4/5

www.xeroshoes.com | No support • 0 mm Drop • 6.4 oz

The Xero Prio is a great shoe for building barefoot strength. I loved the protective and grippy outsole and comfortable upper plus the extreme lightweight feel. I did my drills, strength training and agility running in this shoe and it was awesome, and a great addition to my training arsenal. I loved the roomy toe box and flexibility – perfect for strong happy feet!

Lucy Smith | 19-time Canadian Champion in cross country, road, track and triathlon.
“I run because I am still learning and evolving with the sport!”


Men’s Road Shoes

361 Degrees Strata 3 ($200) – 3/5

www.361usa.com | Stability • 8 mm Drop • 11 oz

I really liked the feel and the overall fit of this shoe. It was quite stiff, not as cushy as I was expecting. Sometimes that translates to a more responsive and fast ride, so I tried some tempo work. However, it wasn’t responsive or fast either. I was a bit perplexed with this shoe, but think it would be good for runners looking for a comfortable upper and a firm ride.

Rob Watson | Winner of four Canadian championships in several distances.
“I love to run to test my personal limits both mentally and physically.”

Altra Escalante 2 ($175) – 4/5

www.altrarunning.com | Neutral • 0 mm Drop • 8.8 oz

A lightweight road shoe with a snappy feel, this shoe ensures runners have a surefooted platform to spring off with each stride. The knit upper is stiff but gives with time. The front of the toe box is roomy but the rest of the shoe is snug and doesn’t provide much depth. This performance shoe is for runners seeking a little extra pop in their step.

Tony Tomsich | Distance runner and coach.
“I love throwing on a pair of shoes and exploring. Through running I have made some of my closest friends.”

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 21 ($200) – 4/5

www.asics.com | Neutral • 10 mm Drop • 10.9 oz

The Gel-Nimbus maintains its long standing tradition as a bomb-proof, densely protective everyday trainer with its latest version, the 21. I found it offered moderate stability and was particularly inspired by its plush, well-cushioned protective midsole, especially in the forefoot. A solid, meat and potatoes everyday trainer for pounding out those miles.

Bruce Raymer | Four-time Canadian champion and former national team member.
“I love running because it has given me the best moments of my life.”

Brooks Glycerine 17

Brooks Glycerin 17 ($200) – 4/5

www.brooksrunning.com | Neutral • 10 mm Drop • 10.6 oz

This is a super comfortable, soft and plush distance training and ultra-running shoe. It’s somewhat heavy for racing but ideal for tons of volume. The shoe has ample stiffness throughout the midsole and support through the upper. The tread allows for good grip and flex and felt very natural. This will be my go to shoe for most of my training runs in 2019!

Calvin Zaryski | 8-time World Triathlon Champion, and Canadian World SwimRun Record Holder.
“Running is a meditative activity…”

MBT GT2 Endurance

MBT GT 2 Endurance ($180) – 4/5

https://us.mbt.com | Stability • 5 mm Drop • 12 oz

This shoe is designed for mega miles of slow running or walking. It has tons of motion control features and firm cushioning. But what it lacks in weight, it adds energy return with its rocker technology that promotes a smooth mid foot to toe motion. Anyone trying these shoe, except high-arch runners, will need a break in period to reap the benefits.

Calvin Zaryski | 8-time World Triathlon Champion, and Canadian World SwimRun Record Holder.
“Running is a meditative activity…”

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit ($150) – 5/5

www.newbalance.ca | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 7.3 oz

Whole foot comfort! Like the comfort of home, my foot felt cozy, relaxed and supported with the freedom to move my foot and toes effortlessly.  The 8.5 oz weight combined with the 6mm drop seemed like a perfect match to support my mid-foot landing and high turnover. This shoe delivered a quick response and full foot support made me feel about 10 years younger during my run.

Aaron Case | Marathoner who enjoys runs in the woods.
“I am continually amazed by the ability of a run to completely change my mindset and perspective.”

New Balance 890 v6

New Balance 890 v6 ($160) – 4.5/5

www.newbalance.ca | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 9.0 oz

This shoe impressed me. I liked its fresh new looks for starters. Also loved its lightweight snug fit and its breathable upper. The midsole offers an
uber-responsive ‘punchy’ ride. If cushioning is your primary objective, then the 890 isn’t for you. But if you want a lightweight kick with tons of energy return for tempo runs or even as an everyday trainer, give the 890 a try.

Bruce Raymer | Four-time Canadian champion and former national team member.
“I love running because it has given me the best moments of my life.”

ON Cloudace

On Cloudace ($250) – 4/5

www.on-running.com | Stability • 7 mm Drop • 11.8 oz

This was my first time trying a pair of ON shoes, which has a uniquely patterned sole that I have been curious about for a while. The shoe is robust, supportive and stable with an attractive and sleek upper. It is heavier than what I normally wear, but offers a surprisingly light and bouncy feel. It fits true to size and runs more on the wide side.

Adam Campbell | Mountain athlete and trail runner.
“I run to satisfy my curiosity about my personal limits and the world around me.”

 

Reebok Floatride RunFast

Reebok Floatride Run Fast ($180) – 4.5/5

www.reebok.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 6.6 oz

This is a righteously light shoe with a tight heel cup, mid-width forefoot and tapered toe. Underfoot the Floatride is aptly named consisting of an EVA rim that keeps the feet stable while the lightweight responsive Floatride foam is a wicked combination of cushion and kick. Comfortable and responsive, the Floatride is a terrific high mileage training shoe I would be comfortable racing in as well.

Pete Estabrooks | aka the ‘Fitness Guy,’ prefers long trail runs, marathons and ultra-marathons.
“Running is an extension and expression of my soul.”

Saucony Kinvara 10

Saucony Everun Kinvara 10 ($140) – 5/5

www.saucony.com | Men’s • 4 mm Drop • 7.8 oz

I’ll pay the Kinvara 10 the highest compliment. Halfway through my first run, I forgot I was testing a shoe, I was lost in the run itself. The Kinvara is a non-invasive, wonderfully light shoe. The lightweight, breathable mesh upper provides long-run comfort. Underfoot the Kinvara provides a cushioned foot-strike with a rapid return response. Overall, it’s a near perfect lean, mean, neutral runner’s running shoe.

Pete Estabrooks | aka the ‘Fitness Guy,’ prefers long trail runs, marathons and ultra-marathons.
“Running is an extension and expression of my soul.”

Skechers Gorun Ride7

Skechers GOrun Ride 7 – Nite Owl ($170) – 3/5

www.skechers.com | Neutral • 6 mm Drop • 9.3 oz

Ideally suited for the runner who enjoys a larger stack height and increased cushioning. The Ride 7 has a firm but supportive mesh upper and a removable insert that allows runners to gain stiffness and responsiveness for shorter intense efforts. The convex bottom on the Ride 7 takes some getting used to as it tends to guide the foot in the strike phase of your stride.

Jon Bird | Race Director of Run Calgary and a former professional triathlete.
“I run to stay fit and bond with my Weimaraner.”

Topo Magnifly 2

Topo Magnifly 2 ($170) – 4.5/5

www.topoathleticcanada.ca | Neutral • 0 mm Drop • 10 g

This is a low drop, lightweight road shoe that feels like it is built to last through a season of long runs. It has a contoured fit, a snug midfoot and a wide toe box providing a natural feel. The shoe is quite stiff – good for ground contact and long runs – and the tread stood up well to icy trails. A pleasant surprise!

Adam Campbell | Mountain athlete and trail runner.
“I run to satisfy my curiosity about my personal limits and the world around me.”

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 2 ($120) – 4.5/5

www.ua.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 9.5 oz

The HOVR Sonic is a lightweight medium cushioned shoe well-suited for short to mid-distance running. This is a very comfortable shoe with a knit upper extending around the entire foot that provides a sock-like fit. The integrated tech linked to ‘Map My Run’ is an easy way to track your running. This is an excellent go-to lightweight trainer and 5/10K racing shoe.

Blaine Penny | Three-time Canadian Ultramarathon Champion. He loves speed on the pavement and big days in the mountains.

Under Armour HOVR Infinite

Under Armour HOVR Infinite ($150) – 3.5/5

www.ua.ca | Neutral • 8 mm Drop • 10.75 oz

The HOVR Infinite is a workhorse training shoe designed for stability, cushion, and high mileage. It’s a great marathon trainer with plenty of cushioning and a conservative 10 mm heel-toe drop. The shoe outer is pretty basic and not overly comfortable. This shoe has integrated tech embedded in the midsole, which links to ‘Map My Run’ making it easy to track your running stats.

Blaine Penny | Three-time Canadian Ultramarathon Champion. He loves speed on the pavement and big days in the mountains.

Xero Prio

Xero Prio ($120) – 3.5/5

www.xeroshoes.com | No support • 0 mm Drop • 6.4 oz

This shoe is definitely a contender in the barefoot/minimalist shoe market. What stood out was how well they performed in multiple environments. The Prio is an affordable yet extremely resilient shoe for those looking for some foot protection while enjoying their barefoot lifestyle. I loved the wide toe box and soft inner. Runners are cautioned to transition very slowly into minimalist shoes like these!

Jordan Bryden | Professional endurance triathlete and trail runner.
“The open trail helps me think clearly and be grateful for every day.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here