Best 10mm Drop Running Shoes – Asics Are The Stars of This Category

best-10-mm-drop-running-shoesIn today’s massive article, we’re going to be diving into some of the best 10mm drop running shoes in 2021 for men and women.

Heel drop is very simplistically the measurement of drop from the heel to the toe of the shoe giving the shoe a possible forward angle. It’s normally measured in millimeters and typically ranges from 2 to about 14mm on the high end.

Without further ado, let’s dive right into it…


10mm Drop Running Shoes

Asics 10mm Drop Shoes

In our 12mm drop running shoe list, we found that Mizuno has the most offerings. But Asics shoes are the stars of 10mm drop shoes. 

Asics Gel Kayano 28


First off, the men’s Kayano 28 has a 10mm drop, but the women’s version is 13mm. I really think loyalists and new runners looking for a reliable stability shoe are going to enjoy the Kayano 28.

So, the Kayano is a premium high-level stability running shoe for recovery runs and long runs. It’s also great if you’re looking for the perfect combination of stability and softer max cushioning.


Jump down to Asics Kayano Lite


One of the biggest changes with this shoe is it receives that FlyteFoam Blast (FF Blast) cushioning upgrade. It’s going to be a little bit more responsive and propulsive, and it’s going to just create a little bit more lively experience underfoot.

The FlyteFoam Blast is going to work with rearfoot and forefoot Gel cushioning. It’s going to be a little bit softer and going to help with that impact protection and overall create a very similar experience to past versions.

The shoe still has that Dynamic DuoMax dual-density posting we’ve seen in the Kayano 27. This is a little bit firmer material on the medial side and it’s what creates that stable experience the Kayano series is famous for.


The 28 has that Asics High Abrasion Rubber+ (AHAR+) outsole that’s going to create a high level of durability and traction. The shoe also has some modified flex grooves up in the forefoot to help create a little bit smoother of an on-foot experience. Then the Trusstic system is not quite as bulky anymore. It’s going to help create that stability and that torsional rigidity that you’ve come to know in the Kayano.


While the upper of the Kayano series has always been about plush comfort, the new engineered mesh design continues to deliver that same experience.

There’s a lot of foam in the heel that just gives a very plush heel wrap. Then we’re also going to see added breathability in the forefoot, which is really great for those longer days.

The only other real change in this shoe is going to be in that external heel counter. It’s a little bit sleeker but overall still going to create that supportive foot wrap and really round out the stability features in this true max stability classic.

Overall, the Asics Kayano 28 is going to continue on the Kayano legacy.

  • It still has a high level of cushioning.
  • It’s highly stable.
  • It has that plush and comfortable upper.
  • And it’s going to be even more lively and responsive underfoot.

On its 28th anniversary, this is a shoe that people come back to year after year because of its reliable cushioning and high-level stability.


Asics Gel Kayano Lite

Like the Kayano, the Lite is 10mm for men but 13mm for women. 


The Kayano Lite is a Kayano by name and not really by nature. It is obviously lighter and now feels more even from the heel to the toe rather than having those pockets of gel and that really solid Trusstic piece. The Lite is generally for people who love the amount of stability the Kayano series offers and are a little bit lighter on their feet.

So, if you put the regular Kayano and you feel like there’s too much cushioning and it feels like you’re dragging a lot of load behind you and want something a little bit more responsive that you can move a little bit quicker in, this will be a really good option for you.


Jump down to Asics Gel Nimbus

Kayano vs Kayano Lite

The major changes in the Kayano Lite over the traditional Kayano are the actual removal of Gel and the removal of the Trusstic System. Visually, we don’t see the Gel particularly on the lateral heel and underneath the forefoot.

There’s still a small amount of Gel underneath the big toe and just a little under the heel, but Asics has gone for foam-based materials as the primary form of cushioning. So, if you’re coming from other foam-based shoes like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS, the Kayano Lite is going to have quite a similar feel and profile as well.  

Also, the Kayano Lite has gotten rid of the Trusstic system through the midfoot of the shoe. Then they filled the area with a little bit more foam and rubber through the outsole.

These updates are going to spread the load out a little bit more evenly across the shoe. Also, you’ll notice the increased surface area particularly on the medial side of the outsole to help spread load given the lack of Gel that does cop a lot of the load on the traditional Kayano.

Asics Gel Nimbus 23

Like the Kayano, the Nimbus is 10mm for men but 13mm for women.


This is Asics’ plushest most cushioned neutral daily trainer known for luxury, max comfort, and max protection for everyday training. This shoe is primarily designed for easy recovery workouts and long runs. However, it’s a bit too squishy for super long runs.


Jump down to Asics Gel Cumulus


In the midsole, we’re going to continue to see that high level of cushioning with the FlyteFoam compound. This is going to add a little bit of responsiveness but a very soft underfoot experience. In the heel, we’ve got that exposed Gel which is even softer than before, again, to create a nice soft and premium underfoot experience.

It is worth noting that the Nimbus is going to continue to stay on that +3 platform. What that means is women’s shoes are going to have an additional 2 millimeters of stack in the heel and one less stack in the forefoot. Overall, there are differences between men’s and women’s feet and so the Nimbus tries to accommodate for that.

The Nimbus offers great responsiveness and some decent levels of spring-back. You’re going to be able to pick up the pace a little bit with relatively little effort. It is still significantly more stable than other max cushion shoes like Saucony Triumph, New Balance 1080, and the Nike Vomero.


On the outsole, we’re going to see that Asics light rubber compound surrounding the shoe to create amazing durability and traction. And, of course, we’ve got that Trusstic system in the midfoot just to create a little bit extra torsional rigidity.


On the upper, this is where the Nimbus gets all the comfort. We’ve got that premium knit design which is very soft on foot and the shoe has a gusseted tongue for that bootie fit. This is going to hold your foot in place and create a very seamless on-foot experience.

The 23rd version is going to maintain all those features while making small updates to make it a little bit more of a modern neutral trainer.


Asics Gel Cumulus 23


The Asics Cumulus is the textbook definition of a daily trainer. It’s always been a multi-purpose shoe that can handle any type of run and that’s why it’s been so popular for over two decades.

The high versatility of the Cumulus means it can handle easy runs, recovery runs, steady-paced runs, but it’s a bit too soft for long distances. It’s not a long-run shoe. For long runs, I would choose something lighter and a little more responsive for that type of workout. But even at tempo speeds, the Cumulus 23 doesn’t feel like it is out of its comfort zone.

Check out our latest review of the Asics Gel Cumulus 25.


Jump down to Asics Gel Kinsei


The FlyteFoam midsole is now one continuous single piece of foam. This means the ride and transitions now feel softer, smoother, livelier, and the shoe feels more versatile. The hexagonal shapes on the midsole act like pillars to allow the midsole foam to compress more in these zones, which gives the cumulus 23 a softer ride.


Asics is using AHAR+ on the heel and AHAR on the forefoot. The densities of the rubbers on the Cumulus are higher than the Nimbus 23, which gives firmer landings but increases durability. The grooves on the outsole are now wider and deeper for a more flexible forefoot.


The upper has enough padding in all the right places to make it comfortable and effective. The tongue is not gusseted like on the Nimbus 23, but it still stays in place during runs. The heel tab and the collar are also generously padded and they do a great job of keeping your foot locked in place.

Vs Others

The Cumulus is unique because other mid-price daily trainers like the Nike Pegasus, New Balance 880, Saucony Ride, and Hoka Clifton receive upper-only updates every other year. But the Cumulus receives a brand-new upper, midsole, and outsole every year.

Overall, the Cumulus 23 has a softer and more premium upper, 3D space construction zones in the midsole, and a full-length bottom layer of FlyteFoam. It’s now a little bit heavier than the 22, but it maintains the same 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.

If you only had one running shoe and it was the Cumulus 23, you’d be really happy with it because it can handle a variety of different distances and paces with ease. If you’re a loyal fan of the Asics Cumulus and you buy it every year, you will love the Cumulus 23.

Asics Gel Kinsei Blast


The brand-new Gel Kensei has got every piece of Asics technology that you’ve heard of and even some that you may have never seen before.

If you have tried the Asics Novablast and thought it was way too squishy, the Kinsei Blast is a shoe that you might want to take a look at. It still has the excitement provided by the Novablast, but it has it in a much more stable package. I feel like the squishiness of the Kensei is much more controlled and even and kind of absorbs a lot of those idiosyncrasies that might happen during any given normal run.

So, if you want something that’s soft and cushioned for your long runs and recovery runs, this is the shoe for you.


Jump down to Asics GT 2000 9

Cake Midsole

The Kinsei has a four-layer cake of a midsole. We’ve got FF Blast (FlyteFoam Blast) which was seen in the Asics Novablast. And then there’s something brand-new called FlyteFoam+ which is supposed to be lighter weight and a bit more durable than FlyteFoam. This lighter midsole compound is going to be important because there’s heavy Asics Gel in the heel and forefoot on the lateral side.

The fourth thing we have in this cushioning setup is a Pebax plate that starts in the heel and it kind of weaves its way through the midfoot up into right into the ball of your foot. With all of these things put together, that gives us 30mm of stack height in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot for a 10mm drop.


There’s an engineered knit upper that looks really nice and is very soft and stretchy. It’s got a moderately padded tongue that feels like a neoprene-style tongue.

On the inside of the heel, Asics put a bunch of padding and the material feels really nice and very inviting to the touch. On the outside, there’s again a kind of armored heel counter to help keep your ankles and heels locked in securely.

Walking & Lifestyle

While you can use the Kensei as a casual shoe for walking around doing your normal daily things, it’s a good option for the gym. I also really enjoyed the Asics Tartheredge for lifestyle. But while the Tartheredge has more of a retro vibe, the Kensei is a more futuristic vibe.

One of the ways that I’m thinking about this shoe is it’s like the cross trainer for runners. It’s great for your mobility work and also for your plyometrics.

Overall, the Kinsei Blast could be the one-and-only shoe that you have in your running shoe rotation especially if running is not the only thing that you’re doing.

If you’re going to be doing other different activities at the gym or maybe you’re doing some kind of interval workouts, I think this is going to keep up with all those varieties of activities while also still being at its core a running shoe.

Asics GT 2000 9


The 2000 series has been around for years and for good reason. It’s a reliable moderate stability shoe that’s going to work for a wide range of overpronators. This is a great option if you’re looking for an everyday trainer to put on a few miles.


Jump down to Asics Gel Contend


In the midsole, we’re going to continue to see a combo of FlyteFoam Gel cushioning for reliable protection, a soft underfoot experience, and a little bit of pop. This FlyteFoam is a lot lighter than previous versions of the shoe. For added stability, Asics is still using their Dynamic Duo Max medial posting which is going to offer all the stability you need for minor to moderate overpronators.


On the outsole, we’re going to see a ton of super durable rubber in the heel and forefoot, which provides a good amount of cushioning under the foot. The Trusstic system in the midfoot is going to add a little bit of torsional rigidity. Also, the outsole features a cool guidance line that runs down the middle.


On the upper, Asics have switched to this one-piece engineered mesh to eliminate irritation points in the forefoot. It’s worth noting with the 2000 9, we’re also going to see a knit version available depending on what you want your on-foot experience to be like.

Overall, the Asics GT 2000 9 is going to continue to be a staple for mild to moderate overpronators. It has all the cushioning and stability you need to do your daily miles on the road.


Asics Gel Contend 7


The Asics Gel Contend 7 is a budget-friendly shoe for the neutral runner who is looking for cushion and support. I would recommend this shoe for any introductory runner who is starting to get serious about running and wants a nice quality shoe with a decent amount of new technology but not spend triple digits for a running shoe.


Jump down to Asics Roadblast

Midsole & Outsole

The midsole is made of AmpliFoam which provides great comfort and flexibility. There’s also Gel technology in the heel, which allows for excellent shock absorption. Then the outsole is made of textured rubber. The guidance line technology helps you to just make sure that your stride is nice and even and balanced.

I would say the biggest complaint with this shoe is the rubber outsole is pretty noisy, but it is really durable and it won’t affect anything with your running form. The flex grooves help improve the flexibility of the sole and make for a nice even ride. You can use this shoe in wet conditions, on gravel, on the road, on pavement, and you will have no issues with slipping or grip.


The upper is made up of multi-directional engineered mesh that improves stability and ventilation so that you will have no issues with your foot overheating. This mesh is a little bit different towards the midfoot to the heel, but up in the toe box area, it is a really nice soft mesh material.

There are three overlays that have synthetic stitching over the heel, the midfoot, and the toe box, which helps offer more support when trying to get a nice solid fit in this shoe. The tongue is just the perfect thickness and offers a lot of comfort.

Again, the technology that the shoe offers is rearfoot Gel technology, a durable AmpliFoam midsole, an Ortholite sock liner, and the guidance line technology that runs through the middle.

Last but not least, this shoe will definitely open your eyes to looking into more budget-friendly shoes because the Asics Gel Content 7 will definitely find a spot in your running shoe rotation.

Asics Roadblast


The Roadblast is a new model from Asics designed for short fast runs or anything up to about 10 miles on dry flat surfaces. It was designed to deliver responsive bounce, and lasting comfort, and enable you to beat your best time.


Jump down to Mizuno Wave Sky 4

Right out of the box, the Roadblast feels super light. That’s down to the FlyteFoam technology in the midsole and the thin knit upper. You can definitely feel the shoes being light on the feet and they’re really comfortable from the off.

Midsole & Outsole

The midsole is Asics’ FlyteFoam foam which is designed to be a bit lighter than regular foams. In the Roadblast, the midsole is mixed with AmpliFoam, which keeps the overall price down but increases the weight a little bit.

The thing I was really impressed by is the cushioning under the heel. When heel striking, there wasn’t any pain there and it felt really comfortable and my joints recovered really quickly the next day as well.

However, there’s a lot less cushioning under the forefoot so you get a lot more ground feel when you’re running. So, if you’re running on gravel, you could feel a lot of the stones coming up. And if you’ve been running a lot in more cushioned shoes before, it’s just going to feel a little bit strange before you completely get used to that feeling.


There’s a decoupled outsole, which means when you heel strike, the force is spread out over the foot rather than going straight through the joints. The Roadblast does not have quite as much cushioning as the other shoes in the Blast range, but it is still cushioned and responsive and it really does the job well.


On the upper, the male and female versions are slightly different and they act differently because our feet are designed anatomically differently. The Roadblast has got a really comfortable lightweight knit upper which is going to keep your feet nice and cool. The upper is really stretchy and really comfortable knit so your toes can splay comfortably. However, the Roadblast is slightly on the narrow side. But because of this upper being quite flexible and stretchy, your toes can splay out well.

The heel counter feels pretty tight and the shoe might rub the back of your heel ever so slightly if you’re wearing shorter socks.

Overall, the Roadblast offers a great compromise between a lightweight comfortable cushioned shoe. It feels adequately responsive, bouncy, and supportive. The FlyteFoam in the midsole in this shoe gives you some really good energy return so your joints recover quickly after a run. To top it off, the Roadblast is a great value price as well.

More Asics Shoes

Asics GT 1000 9



Asics GT 4000 & 3000


  • Asics Metarun
  • Asics Versablast
  • Asics Gel Quantum 90
  • Asics Gel Quantum 360 5
  • Asics Gel Excite 8
  • Asics Gel Kahana
  • Asics Gel Exalt 4
  • Asics Patriot
  • Asics Gel Pursue 5
  • Asics Roadhawk FF 2
  • Asics Gel Fortitude 7
  • Asics Tartherzeal 6
  • Asics Tartheredge

Mizuno 10mm Drop Shoes

Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 4



Over the years, build quality and durability have stayed very true with all of Mizuno shoes. Even larger runners can always get over 300 miles before they start to feel them getting crushed out.

Made for surface road and track, the Wave Sky 4 is a solid everyday training built for high mileage. For casual non-elite runners, this shoe could pretty much be used for long runs, recovery runs, and everything in between.

While the Sky 4 does provide a hint of stability, if you need a lot of stability, you will need something like the Mizuno Wave Horizon below. The Horizon is basically the same shoe in a more stable package.

Jump down to Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Midsole & Outsole

The Wave Sky uses its newest foam from Mizuno called Enerzy which is the bottom layer of the midsole running the full length of the shoe. The Sky is touted as being softer and providing more energy return. Enerzy is also in other models like the 12mm drop Mizuno Wave Ride 24.

So, Mizuno have combined proven tech like the U4ic foam and that bouncy X Pop foam with the new Enerzy foam to create a plush stable yet bouncy ride called the Wave foam. This combination provides a very soft, cushioned, and relatively responsive ride even for bigger runners.

The X10 outsole still has that super-durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear. The ride does feel like a lighter shoe, but there’s still tons of protection providing a nice plush ride and a smooth 10mm heel-to-toe transition.


The Wave Sky 4 is topped with a WaveKnit upper for a premium fit and feel. The upper is soft and stretchy and provides plenty of room in the toe box, which should work for many different foot shapes without feeling loose and sloppy. With this one-piece construction, there’s no rubbing or irritation on the top of your foot, toes, or anything like that.

The gusseted tongue adds another layer of comfort to the Wave Sky. Mizuno used a very soft and smooth fabric to create the tongue. The tongue doesn’t have a lot of padding and the slim profile of this shoe molds very nicely around the top of your foot for a very snug bootie-type feel.

Your heels are really going to feel anchored in nicely and the internal heel counter gives the Wave Sky an excellent structure, which adds to the secure fit and feel of the shoe. Overall, the upper is breathable, fits true to size, and provides plenty of room in the toe box.

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4


The Wave Horizon 4 is a max cushion plush stability trainer designed for long runs and recovery runs. Mizuno has updated the Horizon 4 in favor of simplicity without compromising stability.

This is a stability everyday trainer made for the roads and tracks. If you like this shoe but you don’t need all the stability features it offers, get the Wave Sky 4 above. The Sky is the exact same shoe for neutral runners who don’t need all these stability features.


Jump down to Nike Pegasus

Midsole & Outsole

The new Wave Horizon 4 ditches Mizuno’s signature plastic Wave plate technology in favor of an all-foam midsole called the Foam Wave. So, instead of the Wave Plate technology, Mizuno used different layers and shapes of foam to achieve that stable effect they were going after.

In addition to stability, Mizuno says this new Foam Wave gives the shoe a floating feeling thanks to the XPOP foam running down the center of the shoe. XPOP is a completely new type of midsole compound delivering cushioning, rebound, and durability at a high level. This material is super soft and has a high energy return making you feel well-protected when you are running on the roads.

The Horizon 4 derives its stability from the shape of the waves created by the first two layers of the foam. The rectangular waves on the medial side on the instep compress a little less under your weight than the rounded waves that are on the lateral side helping you get that more even wear on the shoe.

This enhances the durability for overpronators who put more stress on that instep. But even without the Wave plate, the Horizon 4 feels really cushioned and stable, which makes it a good choice for long days and recovery days.

As always, we have the X10 durable carbon rubber outsole that allows for longer wear and just feels super grippy.


The Air mesh upper is not constrictive and it fits very well almost like a glove to your foot. This cleaned-up upper provides a sleek look and a modern feel looking very much like the Wave Inspire 16.

It’s got a gusseted tongue giving you that bootie feel. Together with the Air mesh upper, the INTERCOOL system really gives the shoe a very breathable and comfortable on-foot experience.

Overall, if you are somebody who doesn’t really need a strong stability shoe and you want something that feels more like a neutral shoe but still kind of being something that gives you that support, I highly recommend the Mizuno Wave Horizon 4.

More Mizuno Shoes

  • Mizuno Wave Sky Neo
  • Mizuno WaveKnit S1
  • Mizuno Wave Skyrise

Nike 10mm Drop Shoes

Nike Pegasus 38


The Pegasus is considered by many to be the essential workhorse training shoe. What makes this a workhorse is reliability, versatility from the 60-meter dash to the marathon, and durability.

For any of your typical daily runs anywhere ranging from 45 to 60 minutes in these will feel nice. For longer runs even including 10+ miles, the entire of your feet will be really comfortable. And when you kind of get busy and run around 6 minutes and 50 seconds for a few miles towards the end, you would be able to easily make the transition.

If you’d like to do some 100-meter strides in like 15 seconds or so, you’re going to be able to do that in the Pegasus.


Jump down to Nike Vomero

Midsole & Outsole

The midsole remains predominantly React foam with the Zoom Air bag in the front. The benefit of this combination is that you get durable foam throughout with some additional responsiveness from the Zoom Air bag.

The traction on these delivers every time and the waffle outsole just works really well. One of the other things you’re going to get when it comes to that overall versatility is not just the type of effort but the surfaces that you do it on.

Whether it’s running on the road, asphalt, concrete, or the track, this is the shoe that you would just throw in your bag if you don’t know what you’re going to be running on.

So, for whatever workout you would find yourself in, the Pegasus would deliver and so that’s something that you want to consider when you’re looking at what makes a workhorse world-class.


Apart from the overall refined fit, the upper is still breathable but it does offer nice slight padding to it. The upper just wraps around your foot so you’re able to get a bit more of a secure fit through the midfoot.

If you’re coming from another brand or you just haven’t tried on a Pegasus lately, the heel collar and the cup are fairly secure to cut down on rubbing and that’s one of the reasons that you don’t have that super-tight feeling in the heel.


When it comes to weight, even with the change to the upper, the overall weight change was minimal. When it comes to a workhorse, I’m not looking for necessarily the lightest shoe but at the same time, I don’t want it as heavy. So, the Pegasus is lighter than the New Balance 1080v11 or the 1080v10 but still heavier than something like the Hoka Mach 4 and the Asics Novablast.

Pegasus 37 vs. 38

If you’re trying to figure out which Pegasus to get, I’m of the mind that I like to keep the most current version available. If you just want to save some money, go with the Pegasus 37 because the difference is not going to be in the midsole or the outsole. The laces themselves are similar and the loopholes are similar.

The big thing is just the upper. So, if you had some difficulty with the overall fit, then you’ll see that improvement in the 38. And if you just loved the 37, get some more of them while they’re still on sale.

Again, the Nike Pegasus remains the standard of what a world training shoe should be; reliable, versatile, and durable. While there are a number of different shoes that can do any one of those things really well, the Pegasus is still one of the only ones to be able to do this for 40+ years and that makes this shoe more than worthy but definitely world-class.


If you’re looking for a shoe purely for value to miles, you’re definitely going to get that. You’re going to get a lot of mileage out of one shoe that can do a lot of different things.  

Last but not least, if world and Olympic champions choose the Pegasus as a staple of their rotation, you and I are in good company with the Pegasus.


Nike Vomero 16


The Vomero 16 is a more versatile more premium upgrade of the Nike Pegasus above.

You’re going to enjoy the Vomero most on steady runs and slightly faster than easy pace. It’s a shoe that you pick up if you want one of the most durable running shoes that can handle a variety of paces. The large thick forefoot Zoom Air unit provides a springy pop during toe-offs and it makes you want to run fast.

It’s really easy to pick up the pace and you’re going to enjoy how snappy the Vomero feels. Tempo paces are easy to hold despite how heavy the Vomero 16 feels in hand.


Jump down to Nike Tempo Next%


Just like the Pegasus 38, the Vomero retains the same midsole and outsole as the previous iteration. The shoe’s ZoomX core provides significantly more energy return than the React foam in the Pegasus. As a result of the ZoomX, the Vomero feels much better on faster-paced runs than the Pegasus.

One thing to take note of is that the Vomero doesn’t have a soft ride. The pressurized Zoom Air unit in the forefoot feels a bit firm on distances longer than 15 miles. So, I wouldn’t recommend the Vomero for long runs.


The Vomero has one of the most durable outsoles I’ve ever come across. Not only is the rubber extremely tough and hard-wearing, but it’s thick and there’s plenty of it. Nike calls this in-house developed rubber OG/RS-002 high-abrasion rubber. While durability is excellent, traction is slippery on wet surfaces because of how hard the rubber is. 


The upper now feels more comfortable and plusher because of the new thicker tongue and the overall experience is much better than its predecessor. The biggest and most important update to the Vomero 16’s upper is its tongue. It’s no longer a thin flat racing-inspired tongue, but it’s now a generously-padded thick one. It’s attached to an inner sleeve so there’s no side-to-side movement. 

However, this thicker padded tongue does make the Vomero run warmer and so it’s more suited to cooler climates. While the Vomero is not a light shoe, it’s built like a tank and it feels luxurious on foot.

Outside of Nike, there are far better options than the Vomero which are cheaper, lighter, and more versatile. Shoes like the 8mm Asics Novablast 4, the 5mm Hoka Mach 4, and the 6mm New Balance Rebel v2 are much more fun and more engaging than the Vomero 16 and they can also do long distances much better. However, where the Vomero 16 beats them all is outsole durability.

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%


The Next% Tempo does share some similar design philosophies to the Alpha Fly Next%. While the Alpha Fly is known as that elite carbon-plated racing shoe, the Tempo is more of your performance trainer. It can be used for daily training and some people may even use it for race day. It’s just a more versatile shoe and almost your everyday Alpha Fly.


Jump down to Nike React Miler

Midsole & Outsole

You have Nike’s premium super foam ZoomX as well as React in the heel and midfoot for extra durability and stability. While there is a composite plate in the shoe right above the Zoom Air unit, the stars of the show though are the explosive Zoom Air units in the forefoot.

The Tempo Next% feels better on shorter faster runs whereas the Pegasus is better for longer runs. This shoe rides much firmer than the Fuel Cell TC and so stability is better. However, you’ll still have to slow down when cornering due to the massive stack height.

The Tempo rides firmer than the Pegasus, Hoka Clifton, Brooks Ghost, Saucony Ride, and Asics Cumulus. However, it has a much more unique ride. The incredibly responsive forefoot rewards you with explosive rebound when striking hard on the forefoot.

On the outsole, There’s a thick layer of rubber covering the entire forefoot and two thick strips of rubber on the rear foot.


The upper is a bootie construction made from a light and breathable flyknit with soft internal cage reinforcements on the midfoot. The fit of the Tempo is great, the forefoot and midfoot are spacious, and the heel and midfoot lockdown is excellent. The heel collar does come up a bit high so you might have to wear longer socks to avoid chafing.

Overall, the Tempo Next% has a really great upper with comfortable lockdown, a grippy outsole, and a super responsive yet firm riding midsole better suited to faster-paced efforts. The ride is a really fun ride but it feels a bit harsh at slower paces. This kind of reminds me of a sports car with tight suspension. The ride can feel a bit harsh, but it rewards you with speed.

When compared to the other training companions, it’s heavier than the Saucony Endorphin Speed but lighter than the New Balance Fuel Cell TC and about the same weight as the Zoom Fly 3.


Nike React Miler


I would place the Miler in a high-end cushion category and it’s great for doing a lot of training runs in. It’s a little bit on the heavier side and so it’s probably not the best shoe for faster shorter races like a 5k, but it has the cushion for really long runs

So, if you have a wider foot and need more room in the toe box, nice heel lockdown, and more comfort throughout, I think you’re really going to like the Miler.


Jump down to New Balance FuelCell TC


When I first saw the Miler, I was expecting a racing flat or something to run fast one mile in. But once I put the shoe on, I noticed that it was a lot more cushiony than I expected.

The midsole is a ton of React with 30mm in the heel and 20mm in the front for that 10mm drop. React is not as firm as you would find in the React Infinity or even the old Epic React 2. It definitely has a soft feel to it, which is kind of comparable to the Pegasus Turbo 2. The midsole would definitely provide that cush for tons of miles.


The Miler has a full rubber outsole which is a comparable design to the Pegasus. It has a pretty thick layer of rubber for great grip on pavement and on wet roads, but it’s not as flexible in the forefoot as the Pegasus.


The upper is a double jacquard mesh which is a lot thicker than the React Infinity or the Pegasus 38. The Miler has a very nice wide toe box so your toes are not going to feel cramped at all. Nike put in a lot of cushioning in the heel collar but then also put in a flat tongue. There’s also a little heel clip in the back that can add a little bit of extra stability for those who need a bit of motion control.

So, if you have problems with Nike shoes being narrow, you’re not going to have that problem with the Miler. Again, the forefoot and the heel area are both very wide and are much more stable.

As far as the fit goes, the Miler is pretty comfortable. It’s definitely going to hug you in your arch area. So, if you have a flat arch, it might bother you. But if you have a higher arch, it’s going to feel pretty good on you.

Overall, the Miler serves a good purpose for those who are looking for a long-distance Nike running shoe that has a lot of cushion and stack.

More Nike Shoes

  • Nike Air Zoom Winflo
  • Nike Joyride Run Flyknit
  • Nike LunarGlide 9
  • Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2
  • Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
  • Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit
  • Nike Downshifter 9

New Balance 10mm Drop Shoes

New Balance FuelCell TC


The FuelCell TC is the training and competition shoe from New Balance. It has a carbon-fiber plate in it, a lot of rubber, and a lot of soft foam. If you like a soft landing, the TC is a fun shoe and it’s going to be a great option for long runs.

You could also absolutely use this shoe for tempo days or threshold days, but I would opt for a slightly lighter shoe like the Saucony Endorphin Pro.

Jump down to New Balance 860 & 880

Carbon Plate

The plate does have a common shape that we’ve seen in Saucony and Nike shoes. It’s closer up under the heel further and it’s closer to the ground in the forefoot. This gives you that comfort when you’re toeing off but really gives you that cushioning and protection when you land so you don’t feel the stiffness from that plate there in the back half of the shoe.

Midsole & Outsole

The midsole features the soft FuelCell midsole compound for softer landings. But like all of the FuelCell shoes, the TC has a bulge on the lateral side. When you come in and land, you land on the outer edge of your foot a little bit and roll inward. So, they’ve given you this little bit of extra platform that sticks out just a little bit, which smooths that landing, especially if you’re hitting midfoot.

The sticky rubber on the outsole is just enough to give you a lot of traction. And then there are a couple of little patches in the heel that wrap around for durability in case you are heel striking and landing on that gob of foam.


The upper is really pretty rigid and stiff and it’s not going to stretch a lot, which is going to give you a lot of structure and support as you’re training. The heel is not a traditional heel counter, but there is a little plastic and stiffness in there to lock your heel. The heel is padded, but it curves away from your Achilles so it’s not going to cause any kind of problems for your Achilles tendon.

Overall, while carbon fiber has been the rage since 2020 for any shoe that is really a fast or a performance shoe, the FuelCell TC is no different.

New Balance 860v11 & 880v11

If you’ve been following the 860 for a long time, New Balance is now calling it the Fresh Foam which is their new proprietary foam blend. It is now spongy and responsive.

If you overpronate and need some medial protection, go for the 860v11. And if you’re somebody more neutral across the board and doesn’t need any guidance, go for its partner 880 below. So, these are the two everyday trainers in a neutral and a stability category.

Stable 860


While Altra and Brooks have opted for GuideRails as their stability system, New Balance feels that the old-school traditional medial posting is still doing a good job providing stability for the 860v11. But unlike some other really big beefy clunky stability shoes, the 860v11 is a great everyday shoe that has got that blend of soft and protective.


Neutral 880



This is New Balance’s everyday neutral mid-cushion shoe and it’s the companion shoe to the 860 above. I kind of call this a shoe that’s good from a mile to a marathon.

Like the 860, the 880 used to be a much firmer and stiffer ride. Over the past few years, New Balance has made this shoe considerably softer and wider compared to previous versions.

Like I said with the 860 above, if your feet don’t roll in too much or don’t need any support at all, go with the 880. And if you find that you need more support on the medial side, then get the more stable 860.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the New Balance 880 and the 860.


Jump down to Brooks Glycerin

More New Balance Shoes

Brooks 10mm Drop Shoes

Brooks Glycerin 19 & Glycerin GTS 19


Previously known as the Transcend, the Glycerin GTS 19 has now come over under the Glycerin franchise. Both shoes are great for those easy days, long days, or days when you just want a little bit of extra cushion and a little bit of extra protection.

The main difference between the Glycerin and Glycerin GTS is that the GTS version comes with Brooks’ GuideRail system. What this does is provide a little bit of extra structure along the medial and lateral side if your feet tend to roll inward or outward too much.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the Brooks Glycerin 19 vs Glycerin GTS 19.


Jump down to Brooks Launch


The midsole that they use is referred to as DNA Loft which is the softest foam that they have in their lineup. The Glycerin has a whopping 31 millimeters on the heel and 21 millimeters on the forefoot for a 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.

What Brooks is really trying to do is make the Glycerin the softest ride in their lineup to really help a ton of runners looking for that premium plush underfoot experience.

The Saucony Triumph and Hurricane are premium rides, but they feel like there’s a lot on your foot. The Glycerin doesn’t really feel that way. So, I do appreciate the materials they used and having that premium ride without feeling overly built.

Any time you’re going to go long, the Glycerin is a shoe that you can count on. It’s going to protect your feet and you’re really going to enjoy the support with the Glycerin GTS.


Brooks do a great job of putting a ton of outsole rubber on their shoes. They like to give you that rubber coverage, which gives you great traction and grip on various conditions. It also makes their shoes good for light trails and things like that.

If you’re looking for a durable high-level cushioned shoe, then the Glycerin and Glycerin GTS are that daily workhorse that you can depend on.

No More Transcend

The Brooks Transcend never really kind of lived up to what they hoped. I think what Brooks is really trying to do is simplify their line. They’re taking everything that people love about the Glycerin and then they’re tuning it up a little bit with that structure.

Brooks Launch 8 & Launch GTS 8


While the regular Launch is designed for the neutral runner, the Launch GTS is for the runner who is looking for a bit more stability. It is a lightweight everyday running shoe where weight, comfort, responsiveness, and durability come together beautifully.


Jump down to Brooks Ravenna


The area where the Launch 8 and the Launch 8 GTS distinguish themselves from other shoes is the midsole. The midsole is incredibly responsive, which really helps to pick up the pace whenever you want but at the same time feels comfortable for the easy runs.

However, the GTS has some extra support in the midsole thanks to Brooks’ unique GuideRails technology on the outside and the inside. These GuideRails work like built-in protrusions around the inside and outside, which will help to stabilize the knees and help guide the foot towards the middle if you tend to land on the side of your foot.

You should not expect the softest midsole simply because this is a versatile shoe that is built for different kinds of runs. So, if you are looking for a squishy underfoot experience, you should opt for other alternatives. But if you want a versatile running shoe where you can safely and effortlessly play with the tempo, the Brooks’ shock-absorbing and firmer BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole is a great match.


Both shoes have a durable outsole that is built to last and last. However, the outsole of the GTS version has a bit more rubber under the midfoot in order to stabilize the foot a bit more and provide less flexibility compared to the neutral version.


Both shoes have an Air mesh upper which is a really comfortably padded upper. The upper allows enough room for your toes, provides a great fit, and overall feels light on your feet.

There is more focus on support in the GTS thanks to the added support band around the midfoot to give an even tighter and more stable fit. I actually think the GTS delivers a better locked-in feeling compared to the neutral version.

Overall, the Launch 8 and the Launch 8 GTS will do well on the same types of runs. The only difference between the two models is that the Launch 8 GTS has extra stability and support. These shoes are a lighter alternative to the traditional everyday trainer without compromising the shock absorption. They will propel you forward in every run of the week as they deliver a high standard on all the aforementioned fronts.

Brooks Ravenna 11


As a stability classic from Brooks, the Ravenna is good for tempo runs and your daily training thanks to the shoe’s very versatile cushioning system.

Brooks ditched that traditional media posting and adopted the new GuideRails support system. So, the Ravenna is going to offer that hint of stability without the bulky firm feeling normally associated with a stability shoe.


Jump down to Adidas UltraBoost


Again, the support is done through Brooks’ GuideRails. On the Ravenna 10, the Guiderails were glued into the midsole, but in this version, Brooks have now cold-molded those GuideRails into the rest of the midsole giving it a little bit lighter weight.

Midsole & Outsole

The Ravenna 11 has the same tooling as the previous version. In the midsole, there’s that BioMogo DNA midsole which is lightweight, simple, and responsive. What makes this shoe distinct amongst other Brooks shoes is that it’s nice and firm underfoot especially compared to a shoe like the 12mm Brooks Adrenaline GTS.

The Ravenna offers a much quicker and springier feeling. That said, you don’t compromise on the stability of the shoe. It uses a GuideRail system around the back of the heel and the inside of the arch, which keeps your foot in check if you’re overpronating.

The Ravenna has a rebounding rubber outsole that’s going to give you that little extra spring and liveliness under your foot. But the biggest difference between the Ravenna 10 and the Ravenna 11 is the midfoot transition zone which allows you to pick up the cadence and it’s what makes this a fast road running shoe.


On the upper, this is where we’re really going to see the updates in the shoe. The Ravenna now features a one-piece mesh which is thin, simple, reliable, and it’s going to keep your foot locked down while also creating a very lightweight experience.

Overall, the Ravenna 11 is light, quick, fast, and supportive. The lightness comes from this really breathable one-piece mesh upper while the quickness comes from the midfoot transition zone getting you from heel to toe quickly.

More Brooks Shoes

  • Brooks Dyad 10
  • Brooks Anthem 10

Adidas 10mm Drop Shoes

Adidas UltraBoost 21


Redesigned from top to bottom, the UltraBoost 21 is significantly more focused on performance running compared to the previous UltraBoosts. This is a neutral everyday trainer that is great for long and easy runs where comfort and maximum shock absorption are your top priorities.


Jump down to Adidas SL20


Boost is all about comfort and energy return. But don’t be tricked by that gigantic heel cushion because Boost encapsulates the heel on both sides forming a cradle where your heel sits. 

Overall, the Adidas UltraBoost 21 is a great running shoe for the runs where you’re simply cruising at an easy pace. Even though the UltraBoost 21 is a soft and protective running shoe, it’s not nearly as soft as shoes like the New Balance FuelCell TC, the Hoka Bondi, or the Asics Gel Nimbus.

So, while being very shock-absorbing and protective, the UltraBoost 21 feels more springy rather than marshmallowy soft.

Also, if you want to run fast and set new personal records, the UltraBoost is on the heavy side. For this, Adidas offers plenty of great options. But if you’re looking for a reliable workhorse for your everyday training, then the new Adidas UltraBoost 21 is designed to be this max comfort running shoe for your runs, and it truly delivers that.


The outsole is totally different from the UltraBoost 20. This Stretch Web outsole is made with rubber from German Continental. The grip with the surface is great and the shoe does feel very durable.

Another big upgrade is the shoe’s new torsion system which gives the entire shoe a bit more structure, control, and stability. So, this linear energy push, or simply LEP, extends all the way out to the front of the foot to help strengthen the bending stiffness.


The 21 has a sock-like one-piece Primeknit+ upper which is incredibly elastic and more tight-fitted. The upper hugs your foot in a way that almost allows you to run without tightening the shoelaces. However, if you’re not a fan of very tight-fitted shoes, I would recommend you go up half a size.

The upper is also made with PrimeBlue which is a recycled material that is partly made with Parley ocean plastic. I think it’s great to see such a big brand like Adidas lead the way when it comes to sustainability.

Around the heel, we have the renowned Adidas soft and flexible piece around the Achilles tendon. The shoe is very stable and firm along the sides and down the middle thanks to this external heel cup.

However, the material is nicely soft and flexible around the back of the Achilles. So, if you tend to have problems with your Achilles tendon or your shoes are irritating your Achilles tendon, I would nominate this shoe as a really great buy for you.

Last but not least, the UltraBoost 21 is also quite stable without being a stability shoe. Runners who normally opt for shoes with mild stability can easily run in this UltraBoost.

Adidas SL20


When Boost has been overtaken by other technologies that are lighter and even more responsive, Adidas launched their Lite Strike midsole material which was designed to compete with the new modern super foams.

The Lite Strike midsole is firm and feels like a more traditional EVA midsole, but it has some slight rebound. It’s a snappy midsole suited for tempo runs under 6 miles. Anything longer, the firm midsole is going to be a bit hard on your feet. I went for tempo runs, long runs, and recovery runs in the SL20 and the shoe felt best for those workouts which last less than 30 minutes.


Jump down to Adidas Solar Boost


The SL 20’s upper is made from a breathable mesh. It has a thin tongue which is not gusseted, but it is attached at the bottom half of the tongue so it doesn’t move around at all. The fit of the SL20 is on the narrow side and you might need to go up a half size. 

The heel counter is traditional and doesn’t flare out like other Adidas shoes. This heel counter is not very secure and so you may have to do a lacing heel lock in order to stop your heels from slipping out during workouts.

Midsole & Outsole

The Lite Strike midsole doesn’t bottom out and the torsion system provides midfoot stability and helps the forefoot snap quickly back into its original position when it flexes. The rearfoot is made from Adiware which is softer but not as durable as the Continental forefoot rubber.

Again, the SL20 is a competent tempo running shoe for distances less than 6 miles.

Adidas Solar Boost 3


While the UltraBoost is using Primeknit Blue (ocean-recycled plastics), the Solar Boost is using a new material called Prime Green. This shoe is designed to be a sort of medium to long-distance comfortable running shoe.


Jump down to Adidas Adizero Tempo


The brand-new Solar Boost 3 has still got that much loved tried-and-tested Boost. Boost gives that really plush cushion ride and yet it’s still really responsive.

Above that classic Adidas Boost material, you’ve got this full 360 rail of foam that Adidas are calling the Control Rail. It’s basically going to give you more control and support as your foot is going to be sitting more inside the shoe rather than on top of it.


The Continental rubber offers really good grip on tarmac roads as well as when they’re really greasy and wet too. The outsole does incorporate Adidas LEP, which is Adidas’ Linear Energy Push system. This is basically a TPU plate that runs in between the Boost midsole and the Continental outsole.

This system almost acts as a sort of carbon plate that just gives you that little bit more energy return with every step. Not only is it going to give that little bit more responsiveness, but it’s going to give the whole shoe a more torsional stiffness so the shoe is going to be slightly more stable.


Unlike the UltraBoost 21 above, the Solar doesn’t come with that full one-piece sock-like upper. The upper is made from a knit material and has these rubberized sections that go around the toe down the side, which actually gives the shoe a little bit more structure and then allows the knit to flex where you need it to.

The heel counter isn’t that aggressive by any means at all and it’s just quite firm just along the sides but the back is actually just almost like a piece of neoprene. That’s just going to make the shoe really comfortable for that everyday sort of leisure.

The tongue is held in place essentially by these two neoprene gaiters that run down either side. This feature also gives you some added cushioning as those neoprene gaiters are a little bit soft. They also give you just a little bit more of that sort of mid-cage hold and give you a little bit more lateral support.

So, Adidas want to conquer only using recycled plastics for their products by 2024, which is just a really amazing direction for them. 

Adidas Adizero Tempo 9


The Adizero Tempo is a neutral training shoe with a mild amount of support and stability features.

As the name suggests, it is ideal for tempo runs and longer long runs and I would even consider it for a half marathon. You can also use it as a daily trainer for some of your faster efforts. One thing you’re going to really love about it is just how fresh it feels on every run and the fact that it’s going to last 500+ miles.


Jump down to Reebok

Midsole & Outsole

Like all Adidas Adizero shoes, the Tempo 9 features a full-length Boost midsole which provides exceptionally lightweight cushioning and ultimate durability. The midsole is actually two different types of cushioning.

The upper layer is a little bit firmer and it’s going to provide that little bit extra amount of support. There’s also an additional support feature on the medial side for a modest amount of pronation control.

The outsole features Continental rubber and provides tons of traction and durability. It also contains Adidas’ torsion system that runs between the heel and the forefoot to help prevent any unwanted lateral movement of the foot.


The Air mesh upper is extremely light with maximal breathability. The solid heel counter is going to lock your foot into place with no unwanted movement. The fit of these shoes is not going to be an issue for runners with narrower feet. But because the Tempo 9 only comes in one width, some people with wider feet might find it not quite wide enough for their forefoot.

Finally, this shoe is in the upper range as far as price point goes. But again, considering the durability and the miles you’re going to get on this shoe; it’s totally worth it.

More Adidas Shoes

  • Adidas UltraBoost PB
  • Adidas Supernova
  • Adidas Adizero RC 2
  • Adidas Alphabounce+
  • Adidas Ultraboost Clima
  • Adidas Pureboost Clima
  • Adidas Solar Glide 3
  • Adidas Alphatorsion
  • Adidas AlphaEdge 4D
  • Adidas Alphaboost
  • Adidas Solar Drive ST
  • Adidas Adizero Prime LTD
  • Adidas Runfalcon 2.0

Reebok 10mm Drop Shoes

Reebok Forever FloatRide Energy 3 


You’re looking at a neutral running shoe with incredible technology in the midsole for your everyday runs. The FloatRide Energy might be a useful everyday trainer for casual heavier runners who are looking for an inexpensive durable everyday trainer.



The midsole technology is where Reebok has really started to excel especially within the running space. The Forever FloatRide Energy foam is made up of TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomers). What Reebok have actually done is they steam-molded these together at high temperatures to give you a lot more responsiveness and a lot more cushioning throughout those short, medium, to even longer runs.


The other benefit that you’re looking at within the FloatRide Energy is its outsole. The outsole is carbon-based to give you a lot more durability and traction to get you a lot more mileage on your running shoe.

With this in mind, you’re looking at a really great technical running shoe that is offering you a super foam coming in at a really affordable price point.


The upper is a breathable mesh material, fits comfortably, and does not chafe. One of the biggest talking points around this is the added perforation points in the forefoot as well as the midfoot to give you a lot more breathability and a lot more comfort throughout your runs

The FloatRide Energy is Reebok’s super durable version of Adidas’s UltraBoost. Again, the FloatRide Energy might be a useful everyday trainer for casual heavier runners who are looking for an inexpensive durable everyday trainer.

More Reebok Shoes

  • Reebok Harmony Road 3
  • Reebok Floatride Run 2.0

Kudos to you if you’ve made it to the end of this massive article about the best 10mm drop running shoes on the market. If you think we’ve missed a good 10mm shoe, please let us know in the comments.

Stay safe 🙂

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

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