Updated June 2017
To keep up with the ever-changing market, we updated this review with the latest version of our Editors' Choice Award winner from Brooks. Improving on an already great design, the PureFlow 6 provides more comfort than its predecessor and no longer chafes where the tongue meets the ankle. Even better, it's $10 cheaper than the PureFlow 5! Also, since our original review, the Flex Fury 2 has been discontinued and the Saucony Kinvara 7 has beeen replaced with the Kinvara 8.
Best Overall Men's Running Shoe
Brooks PureFlow 6
Not the most durable
Our Editors' Choice Award in 2017 goes to the neutral, moderately cushioned PureFlow 6
. This versatile model balances the key aspects better than the rest, combining comfort, weight, durability, flexibility, breathability, and responsiveness to make this an unrivaled shoe. It's also the most comfort of all contenders, from the first mile through the last. The shoe's plush, wrap-around collar hugs the ankle and heel and has a snug-fitting, synthetic mesh upper. The lack of a midfoot trusstic allows full contact with the ground during landing, creates a more natural heel-to-toe transition for heel-strikers, and creates a smooth ride, complete with an innovative segmented crash pad. This cushy crash pad is polished off by nubs on the outsole that offer plenty of traction in all road conditions and allow for a responsive ride. Brooks released the PureFlow 6
in 2017 as a replacement to the previous PureFlow 5, and our reviewers are stoked this shoe just keeps getting better.
Read full review: Brooks PureFlow 6
Best Bang for the Buck
Saucony Kinvara 8
Comfort for miles
Lacks robust support
The Kinvara 8
wins our Best Buy Award, scoring highest in stability, durability, and responsiveness. As you probably know, many stability models can break the bank. The Saucony Kinvara
maintains an affordable $110 retail price, which is the least expensive stability version in our group. This model provides many comfortable miles for each dollar spent. You can't go wrong with this shoe if you're an over-pronator on a budget looking for a high-stability road running sneaker. And at 16.9 ounces, this shoe is a top contender for both overall and racing flats, but in the end, it is a maximal contender, which serves a less broad community than other styles. It is still a superb, versatile shoe that brings a lot of value to the pavement. As of June 2017, the review is updated to include information about the Kinvara 7's replacement model, the Kinvara 8. This new model has a stripped down upper, an upgraded topsole, and is available in smaller sizes. Jump over to the individual review to learn more about these changes.
Read full review: Saucony Kinvara 8
Top Pick Award for Lightweight Racing Flat
Nike Flex Fury 2
Second skin fit
Update - June 2017
The Flex Fury 2 is discontinued. While there are currently no plans for this model to be replaced or updated, you can still find this award winner at major retailers while supplies last.
The Flex Fury 2
is lightweight, minimal, and a versatile road shoe, snagging our Top Pick Award for its speediness. Jump into this light shoe and channel your inner gazelle. At only 17.2 ounces in a size 11, a 5mm heel-to-toe drop, and a reasonable amount of cushioning, it is resilient enough to provide comfort through daily runs, workouts, and even runs up to marathon distances. Runners who want to make a gradual move towards minimalism will find solace in the Flex Fury 2
. It presents a considerable change for those who have always used a traditional road shoe, most of which have a 10mm or more heel-to-toe discrepancy. Remember to adjust gradually to footgear like this. We have done the abrupt transition thing and had the stress fractures of shame. So go slowly, do your homework on biomechanics and muscles, do recovery, and build yourself up over time. The Nike Flex Fury 2
puts a lot more stress on your lower legs and Achilles tendon in comparison to traditional trainers. Don't be surprised if your lower legs are super sore after the first few runs in these quick racers.
Read full review: Nike Flex Fury 2
Top Pick Award for Stability Shoe
HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3
Our favorite stability model is the Clifton 3
. Given the newest version's plush ride, upper comfort, high stability, and great out-of-box comfort, we rate the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3
as a better stability shoe overall when compared to the other road footwear. For the stability class, it's lightweight and comfortable. At 20.3 ounces per pair of men's 11, it's the same weight as the Brooks PureFlow 6, our Editors' Choice winner — and lighter than seven other pairs in our cohort. Often, shoes need a few miles to break in, but this is by far the most comfortable pair of pavement pounders tested straight out of the box, thanks to the compression-molded EVA foam cushioning in the midsole. With this unmatchable out-of-box landing comfort, well-cushioned upper, and creatively designed landing platform that guides each step back to a neutral position, this one comes highly recommended for all over-pronators.
Read full review: HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 3