Jump to:

  • Racing Shoe Award Winners
  • Training Shoe Award Winners
  • Max-Cushion Training Shoe Award Winners
  • Trail Shoe Award Winners

These shoes took a journey to get to you. As the final days of summer dwindled, we asked brands to show us their best in class. The leaves turned, snow fell, and the pages of our training calendars filled. We put more than 100 different models through their paces and considered each for a spot on this list. After months of running and thousands of miles on the feet of our 280 wear-testers, the 25 here rose to the top.

We evaluated them based on how each performed on the roads, trails, tracks, and racecourses with a focus on qualities like cushioning, flexibility, stability, and overall ride. This spring, the winners have arrived. And now you can finally meet them.


Racing Shoe Award Winners

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nike vaporfly 3
Nike Vaporfly 3

Available March 2023

Thomas Hengge
FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3
$230 at New Balance
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Endorphin Elite
Saucony Endorphin Elite
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Wave Rebellion Pro
Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Deviate Nitro Elite 2
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Flow Velociti Elite
Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite
Credit: Thomas Hengge

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Training Shoe Award Winners

asics gel cumulus 25
Asics Gel-Cumulus 25

Available April 1, 2023

Thomas Hengge
Blissfeel 2
Lululemon Blissfeel 2
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Ultraboost Light
Adidas Ultraboost Light
Credit: Thomas Hengge
saucony ride 16
Saucony Ride 16

Available April 2023

Thomas Hengge
Rivera 3
Altra Rivera 3
Credit: Thomas Hengge
361 Degrees 361-Centauri
Credit: Thomas Hengge

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max cushion train

Max-Cushion Training Shoe Award Winners

Asics Superblast
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Hyperion Max
Brooks Hyperion Max
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Axon 3
Saucony Axon 3
Credit: Thomas Hengge

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Trail Shoe Award Winners

Challenger 7
Hoka Challenger 7
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Catamount 2
Brooks Catamount 2
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Pegasus Trail 4 GTX
Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX
Credit: Thomas Hengge
merrell skyfire 2
Merrell Skyfire 2

Available March 2023

Thomas Hengge
Lone Peak 7
Altra Lone Peak 7
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Ultra 2
VJ Ultra 2
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Ultraventure 3
Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3
Credit: Thomas Hengge
Headshot of Jeff Dengate
Jeff Dengate

Jeff is Runner-in-Chief for Runner's World, guiding the brand's shoes and gear coverage. A true shoe dog, he's spent more than a decade testing and reviewing shoes. In 2017, he ran in 285 different pairs of shoes, including a streak of 257 days wearing a different model.

Headshot of Amanda Furrer
Test Editor

Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World who has run the Boston Marathon every year since 2013; she's a former professional baker with a master’s in gastronomy and she carb-loads on snickerdoodles.