Altra

Torin Plus (Men’s) – $140
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.5 oz | 0 mm Drop

The Torin is an incredibly smooth, accommodating ride built with long runs in mind. The super wide toe box and zero drop allow for superior foot positioning and rocker feel to create a motion transfer that is second to none. The breathable, durable upper tucks nicely around the top of the foot and is lightweight while giving an 8/10 cushion rating.

Dave Proctor, Okotoks, AB. The Canadian record holder for 24, 48, and 72 hour road running.

Altra Torin Plus

Altra

Torin 4 (Women’s) – $120
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 6.7 oz | 0 mm Drop

I’m a big fan of Altras and the Torin 4 did not disappoint! The brand has achieved the perfect balance of cushion and lightness so they feel fast, but protective enough for longer runs. If you have a wider foot like me, the FootShape™ Toe Box is hard to beat in terms of comfort and the overall health of your feet. I’m typically a size 10, but size up in Altras.

Julie Hamulecki, Toronto. The current Canadian Women’s 100K road record holder and ranked 12th in the world. 

Altra Torin 4

MTB

GTR Run Matrix (Men’s) – $170
3/5 Stars | Neutral | 12.3 oz | 4.2 mm Drop

This shoe looks bulky and is on the heavy side. It is designed with a ‘rocker sole’ which isn’t apparent until you put it on. This is the first time I’ve run in a shoe with this amount of drop and it definitely took some time to get used to it. However, once I started running, the design enhanced my forward motion and the shoe was extremely comfortable. 

Martin Parnell, Cochrane, AB. Ran 250 marathons in 2010 and has raised $1.3m for Right To Play. Next stop Boston 2020!

MTB GTR Run Matrix

MTB

GTR Run Matrix (Women’s) – $170
3.5/5 Stars | Neutral | 10.1 oz | 9.3 mm Drop

This running shoe is surprising light and flexible although it looks and feels quite chunky. The MBT technology aims to help runners improve their form by providing an ideal foot striking platform. When I was getting lazy and aiming for a heel strike, the MBT GTX ‘caught’ me and moved me into a better running position. I would recommend transitioning into them by walking around first. 

Sasha Gollish, Toronto. An elite runner who competes at the international level and races in various distances.

MTB GTR Run Matrix

New Balance

Fresh Foam 880v10 (Men’s) – $165
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 10.7 oz | 10 mm Drop

If you’re looking for one shoe that does it all, this versatile everyday trainer should probably be on your shortlist. The addition of Fresh Foam to version 10 of the 880 series brings a softer feel to a ride that is snappy during speed work and tempos but comfortable and forgiving when logging easy miles. Too much shoe for racing but a worthy workhorse for any training block.

Keith Bradford, Calgary. “I’m a road runner with a passion for racing 10Ks.”

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10

New Balance

Fresh Foam 880v10 (Women’s) – $165
$4/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.9 oz | 10 mm Drop

This is a great all-around shoe that provides the perfect amount of cushioning without adding weight. I can easily take this shoe for long, slower runs when I need more recovery or for faster efforts. Even though it is a road shoe, it’s durable and capable for moderate trails too. It’s performance does not disappoint! The upper is knitted, flexible and hugs the foot comfortably. 

Lissa Zimmer, Vancouver. “I love being a member of the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club and running marathons competitively (PB 2:42:00).”

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10

Nike

React Infinity Run FK (Men’s) – $215
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 10.2 oz | 9 mm Drop

The hourglass shape translated into a comfortable, fast, and springy feel that made my nagging calf injury disappear for the entire run. And, the 9 mm drop, mid-foot react-foam cushioning and sock-like fit allowed for excellent stride transition, shock absorption capability and a great full foot feel during and after the run. So comfortable, I might get another pair for around the house!

Dr. Aaron Case, Vancouver. A chiropractor, avid runner and 5-time 2:40s marathoner. 

Nike React Infinity Run FK

Nike

React Infinity Run FK (Women’s) – $215
4.5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8 oz | 9.4 mm Drop

These shoes are a great option for mid- to long-run training! They have a more durable flyknit outer than previous models and lots of durable Nike React cushioning. I believe the tread would be safest on dry roads or tracks. There is plenty of room in the toe box and they fit true to size. I would suggest using these for training more than racing.

Rachael McIntosh, Calgary. Former Canadian Heptathlete and current CrushCamp coach.

Nike React Infinity Run FK

On Running

Cloudflow (Men’s) – $170
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.3 oz | 6 mm Drop

The Cloudflow is lightweight and hard-charging featuring Helion superfoam. The result is a racing flat that offers a responsive balance of cushion and take-off. The shoes felt minimalist and speedy. I like that the toebox is wide and my toes stayed in a natural and neutral splay while running. They were immediately comfortable. I would happily and comfortably race any distance on the road in these sneaks!

Dr. Ian MacNairn, Ph.D., Calgary. Professional trail and ultrarunner, two-time ultrarunning National Champion.

On Running Cloudflow

On Running

Cloudflow (Women’s) – $170
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.3 oz | 6 mm Drop

These are very minimal and neutral but I still felt extremely supported. They are perfect for speed work with just the right amount of cushioning to provide protection and a flexible response that makes pushing off the ground feel fast and snappy. I found they fit about a half size bigger. Overall this is a beautiful, fun, trainer, racer, or take-a-walk-to-yoga shoe. 

Katherine Moore, Vancouver. Coach at KM RunClub, competitive distance runner and yoga instructor.

On Running Cloudflow

Puma

Speed 300 Racer 2 (Men’s) – $110
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.1 oz | 8 mm Drop

If a light, tight, fast shoe is on your list this season look no further.

This shoe locks you in, cradles your feet and impresses with its killer foot protection-to-weight ratio. It’s outsole is textured to grip either road or track and a built-in propulsion plate provides a springy toe off with every stride. A lightweight layer of Pro-foam provides protection with no speed-stealing extra cushioning. 

Pete Estabrooks, Calgary. Award-winning personal trainer, ultra-runner and writer.

Puma Speed 300 Racer 2

Puma

Speed 300 Racer 2 (Women’s) – $110
4.5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.1 oz | 8 mm Drop

This is a slick, light-weight running shoe, which balances cushioning and responsiveness. There is a decent amount of foam under the heel and mid-foot, which tapers under the ball of the foot. I noticed myself running faster than normal, without added effort, as the shoe encourages a lighter stride and forward momentum. At 8.1 ounces, it suits long runs and tempos.

Shauna Gersbach, Vancouver. Racing 5K’s to marathons for over 15 years. She won her first marathon (Calgary) in 2005, using an IMPACT training plan.

Puma Speed 300 Racer 2

Saucony

Freedom 3 (Men’s) – $190
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.4 oz | 4 mm Drop

This is a shoe that feels great as soon as you put it on and it stays that way throughout your run. It has the best ride of any trainer currently in its class. The cushioning is perfect, it’s responsive and has some good get up and go. The grip is not the best on wet ground and it can get pretty heavy in the rain. But on dry days, these are my easy run kicks.

Rob Watson, Vancouver. Elite marathoner and head coach at Mile2Marathon Coaching Inc. 

Saucony Freedom 3

Saucony

Kinvara 11 (Women’s) – $110
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 6.9 oz | 4 mm Drop

This is your go-to running shoe! It fits snugly around the midfoot yet offers a roomy toe-box. I love how light the shoe feels, making it easier to pick-up the pace on those fast runs, yet sturdy enough for longer mileage. If you’re looking for a light, neutral durable shoe to take you from easy runs to workouts to races – this shoe is for you!

Sabrina Wilkie, Surrey, B.C. Physiotherapist and winner of the 2016 Victoria Marathon.

Saucony Kinvara 11

Skechers

GoRun Max Road 4 Hyper (Men’s) – $190
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.4 oz | 6 mm Drop

As a Sketchers virgin I had a lot of preconceptions. But right out of the box this shoe impressed me. It has tons of bounce per ounce! The Hyper Burst midsole has cushioning for days and provides loads of energy return. Combine that with its uber lightweight properties and you have one of lightest, well-cushioned shoes on the market. 

Bruce Raymer, Toronto. Four-time Canadian Champion, Ottawa Marathon Champion and Toronto Running Coach.

Skechers GoRun Max Road 4 Hyper

Skechers

GoRun Max Road 4 Hyper (Women’s) – $190
3/5 Stars | Neutral | 6.3 oz | 6 mm Drop

I found this highly cushioned shoe to be comfortable and responsive, and really loved it for easy recovery and longer runs. While I would prefer a little more structure and hold in the upper for my foot than the compression knit provides, the ankle collar on this shoe was really comfortable, and the shoe felt springy and responsive and not sloppy. 

Lucy Smith, Victoria, B.C. Former professional endurance runner, winner of multiple national championships and coach.

Skechers GoRun Max Road 4 Hyper

Topo Athletic

Fli-Lyte 3 (Men’s) – $110
4.5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.4 oz | 3 mm Drop

A lightweight and comfortable running shoe that worked well for faster sessions. The 3mm drop made these feel a little like a racing flat and it took a few runs for my lower calves to get used to this. These shoes have a fairly wide, roomy toe box and fit true to size. The craftsmanship and durability of these shoes is excellent. The upper is well padded, comfortable and breathable. 

Matt Setlack, Moose Jaw, SK. Elite Canadian mountain, distance runner and student pilot in the R.C.A.F.

Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 3

Topo Athletic

Phantom (Women’s) – $135
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.6 oz | 5 mm Drop

This shoe ticks all the boxes. The max cushion absorbs the pounding of the pavement. It has a generous toe box and a moderate rocker to help transfer weight to the toes for fast turnover. The phantom is not as light as other performance road shoes, but the trade-off is comfort on your long runs. I feel like I could run around the city in these all day long. 

Nicki Rehn, Calgary. An ultra-marathon runner and adventurer who loves doing crazy races and rips up the local single-track. 

Topo Athletic Phantom

Under Armour

HOVR Machina (Men’s) – $190
4/5 Stars | Neutral | 10 oz | 8 mm Drop

The Machina comes with integrated sensors to track your speed, cadence, distance, stride length and more. Connect the shoe with the MapMyRun app and it will piggy-back your phone’s GPS to provide accurate, real time feedback including distance. The Machina is very cushioned, fits narrow, and provides great traction. It’s a great alternative to footpod tech to analyze your next workout. 

Jordan Bryden, Calgary. 2019 Ultraman World Champion and endurance athlete specializing in Ironman and Ultra distances. 

Under Armour HOVR Machina

Under Armour

HOVR Machina (Women’s) – $190
4.5/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.5 oz | 8 mm Drop

The first thing I noticed was how comfortable these shoes are. The soles are soft and cushioning and the toe box has enough space for my toes to spread out without feeling too loose. The shoes respond well to impact and have nice rebound from the ground. They feel like the type of shoe you can do a lot of easy runs in and that will also hold up well to lots of mileage.

Malindi Elmore, Kelowna, B.C. Canadian Marathon Record holder and 2004 Olympian in 1500 m. Next stop, Tokyo 2020!

Under Armour HOVR Machina

361 Degrees

Spire 4 (Men’s) – $155
5/5 Stars | Neutral | 10 oz | 9 mm Drop

I love how fast and springy this shoe is due to the relatively stiff carbon fiberglass shank and the responsive midsole foam. The midfoot lacing stabilized and locked down my foot really well. The soft yet responsive midsole foam was really comfortable for longer runs. Breathability of the upper is okay while durability is excellent. I was really impressed with this shoe; it was a joy to run in.

Matt Setlack, Moose Jaw, SK. Elite Canadian mountain, distance runner and student pilot in the R.C.A.F.

361 Degrees Spire 4

361 Degrees

Spire 4 (Women’s) – $155
3/5 Stars | Neutral | 8.2 oz | 9 mm Drop

These shoes had a simplistic construction with enough room in the toe box without feeling too wide. I especially liked how the shoes hugged my ankles. The insole was super soft and comfortable. This is a very neutral shoe with little support under the arch. They would be a great second shoe for easy runs but personally I wouldn’t do any long runs in them.

Ellen Pennock, Victoria. Canadian ITU triathlete and coach for Element Sports Coaching. 

361 Degrees Spire 4

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