So you have a race on the horizon? Today, we’re going to take you through some of the best running shoes for 10k races to cross the finish line comfortably.
The 10k race is a really fun and rewarding distance to train for. But without the right 10k shoes, all of your training and fueling efforts might just be useless.
This article has been updated to include the newest versions of some shoes as well as some new interesting releases of 2021-2022.
Let’s dive right into it …
- Related: Best Running Shoes for 5K
11 Best Running Shoes for 10k (2021-2022 Reviews)
Comparison of the 4 best 10k running shoes
|9mm Drop||12mm Drop|
|Breathable engineered mesh||Breathable mesh upper|
|Plush & responsive midsole||Luxurious DNA Loft midsole|
|Bottom-loaded carbon plate||No carbon plate|
Adidas Adios Pro
Asics Metaspeed Sky
|8mm Drop||5mm Drop|
|Lightweight breathable upper|
|Smooth Light Strike Pro midsole||Bouncy FF Turbo midsole|
|Carbon plate & energy rods||Full-length carbon plate|
Let’s start with the more affordable shoes….
∴ Affordable 10k Running Shoes
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
This is a stability daily trainer with a moderate level of cushioning. It’s also kind of jack of all trades or like the classic do-it-all running shoe that can pretty much handle almost any running situation that you can throw at it.
Why the Adrenaline is good for you
The Adrenaline GTS 21 is one of the best running shoes for 10k training and racing especially if you’re an overpronator and are looking for a stability shoe.
It’s also great for daily training, long runs, and steady runs. This is a nice blend of responsiveness, support, and cushioning that can get you through a multitude of run types.
However, I don’t recommend the Adrenaline for recovery days because it just feels a touch hard. For recovery days, you’d rather go with something like the Nike React Miler, the React Infinity Run, or the Saucony Endorphin Shift.
Midsole & GuideRails
Brooks are doing a little bit of dual-density midsole foams to aid in some pronation control and support.
The full-length DNA Loft midsole feels really nice. And if you’re hitting lower on the back of your heel, it feels very cushioned and it kind of babies your foot and it feels really nice.
The good news for overpronators and underpronators is there’s no stiff medial post or anything of that nature. Instead, Brooks are using a support system called GuideRails. Think of GuideRails as those bumpers in bowling.
This system provides both lateral and medial support but only when your feet need some support.
If you’re a neutral runner and your feet do not roll inward or outward too much, you can still run in the Adrenaline because the GuideRails won’t interfere with your gait.
But if you’re an overpronator (your feet roll inward) or a supinator (your feet roll outward), you’re going to love this new support system by Brooks.
The outsole seems to be one complete injected-foam mold.
For a stability shoe, this thing really does have a lot of flex in the forefoot, and that aids in a nice little snappy toe-off, which is great if you’re trying to move fast.
Brooks are keeping the outsole very simplistic yet again with blown rubber. As always, this outsole is super durable. The segmented crash pad tread pattern doesn’t seem to appear to exhibit much function.
I think it is just an exciting marketing term because it’s not super unique and there are a lot of other shoes that have something that looks kind of similar to it.
Again, the outsole is very thick, very durable, and the traction is really nice. Just keep in mind that when you see thick heavy rubber on the bottom, the shoe is going to be heavier.
And anytime that you’re looking for a specific supportive shoe, it’s going to be heavier. Compared to other Brooks shoes, the Adrenaline is heavier than the Brooks Glycerin and the Ghost.
The upper is the same style of mesh that we’ve all known and expect to love from the Adrenaline. It has a nice 3D Print to enhance the fit, it’s soft, it’s smooth, and it’s completely void of any stiff or rough edges.
Something runners love about the Adrenaline is the heel counter feels really nice. If you like your shoes to kind interfere a little bit and make sure you’re not swimming around too much in there, this is going to do the job perfectly. That’s why everybody who needs a lot of support would enjoy that as well.
The upper offers a super nice lockdown across the midfoot and the ankle. And when you slip your foot in, it just feels sock-like and the gusseted tongue really feels nice and it holds your foot in well.
Overall, combining the engineered mesh with a nice lockdown and a kind of an enhanced fit with that gusseted tongue and a smooth lacing system, the upper is hard to beat.
The Adrenaline 21 still offers a very reliable and comfortable fit across the ankle, the heel, and over the midfoot. It’s nice and roomy in the toe box and offers your feet and toes plenty of room to spread naturally.
If you have narrow feet, your feet might be swimming in the forefoot a little bit so maybe try the shoe on and consider going a half size down if you’re concerned about it.
Overall, if you are an overpronator and are looking for a durable 10k running shoe, I think that you are going to enjoy the Adrenaline. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a shoe that you can always come back to if you just need some reliable support, some generally nice cushioning, and that super soft upper.
I think the Brooks Adrenaline is an incredibly average shoe and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you like a shoe that you can run 5k or 10ks in, I think you can be totally fine.
Last but not least, the Adrenaline is one of the best cushioned running shoes for Metatarsalgia.
- GuideRails system provides great lateral & medial support for overpronators and underpronators.
- Really nice & soft full-length DNA Loft midsole.
- Smooth & supportive cushioning
- Soft yet not mushy
- Very flexible through the forefoot.
- Really durable rubber outsole.
- Plush mesh upper offers a really comfortable feel & great lockdown.
- Really roomy shoe for wide feet.
- Not for speedy runs.
- 12mm heel-to-toe drop (not an issue if you’re not used to that.)
Nike Pegasus 38
The new Nike Zoom Pegasus 38 is a true daily training classic that can be used for your 10k efforts. It is going to retain a lot of those same philosophies but further enhances on-foot fit and comfort.
With Nike getting rid of the Pegasus Turbo, the Pegasus 38 is going to start bridging the gap in that faster daily trainer space.
Why the Pegasus is good for you
The Pegasus is a great shoe for your 10k efforts and a great daily training workhorse. The ride and the responsiveness feel really good, which is pretty good if you want to pick up the pace a little bit.
The Pegasus does perform at a wide variety of speeds from slow efforts on those recovery days to maybe even some tempo runs. This is going to be a shoe that both competitive runners and more beginner runners are going to come to because it is such a versatile shoe.
We have the same design as the last version with a full-length React cushioning. React is going to create a very responsive ride. The shoe has just enough cushioning for pretty much any day of the week. The stack height is not quite as high as some of the other shoes in the category.
It’s going to be just a little bit lower and that gives it a little bit of a faster feel but again, plenty of cushioning to pick up the miles and do those long runs and those slower efforts.
In some other Nike shoes, people don’t quite feel the Air unit underfoot, but in the Pegasus, it feels very responsive. This translates into a soft compression and then a nice pop at toe-off.
Traction isn’t something people normally think about with road running shoes, but the Pegasus actually stands out. The outsole is very grippy, which is something you’re going to feel as you are going around turns on the road.
You also have these small lugs that are a little bit grippier than some of the other shoes in the category. These even help on light trails a lot if you go from roads to light trails and back to roads.
This really is going to be the only major change with this shoe and that was really one of the only complaints I heard from the past version.
A lot of people thought the toe box on the Pegasus 37 was just a little too shallow and there were just, in general, some minor fit issues.
Nike has completely addressed that with version 38. Now, the on-foot experience is just so much more comfortable.
We have a new double-layer mesh and it is more plush, a little bit thicker, and a little bit warmer, which is something you might notice on some of those hotter days.
The forefoot has been just broadened out a little bit. The Pegasus is just not quite as shallow and I think it is going to alleviate a lot of those toe box issues like top-of-foot pain.
The tongue is going to be a little bit more plush and that helps with that initial step-in feel. In the heel, there’s a little bit of support, which is going to offer just kind of what you’d expect from a Pegasus.
Again, the Pegasus 37 was such a huge upgrade and these fit changes are going to make a huge difference and people are going to continue to love this shoe.
The 38 is very similar to the 37 and that’s a good thing. The 37 had an amazing underfoot experience, which was a huge upgrade from previous versions and so the 38 didn’t really need huge changes.
However, the fit changes are going to make a huge difference and people are going to continue to love this shoe.
All in all, the Pegasus is one of Nike’s best running shoes for 10k training and racing.
- Full-length React midsole offers a very responsive ride & a faster feel.
- Air unit compresses & pops back at toe-off.
- Durable full-coverage rubber outsole.
- Grippy outsole lugs.
- Double-layer mesh is more plush & a little bit thicker than the Pegasus 37.
- On-foot experience is better than Pegasus 37.
- A bit heavy.
- Thick upper feels warm.
- Minimal energy return.
- Related: Best Running Shoes For Bunions
Hoka Mach 4
The Mach series has had its ups and downs over the years, but it’s always been known as that lightweight and responsive performance trainer.
Looking at version 4, you can definitely see that a lot of the design inspiration has been taken from the very popular Hoka Carbon X 2 and they’ve got a very similar silhouette, look, and feel to them although they do perform quite differently.
Related: Hoka Mach 4 vs Hoka Clifton 8
Why the Mach is good for you
The Mach is a neutral shoe and so it’s going to be good for those runners with a neutral running gait. Since you’re looking for the best 10k running shoes, I can definitely say the Mach 4 is a great shoe for that.
It was designed for long-distance training days and it performs really well on faster days, slower days, and recovery efforts. You can use it for your 10k races, faster daily training, and steady efforts.
So, if you need to pick up the tempo and go for a sprint finish, the Mach just not going to give up on you.
It isn’t quite as sluggish or unresponsive as the Clifton or the Rincon. It’s just going to be one of those shoes that gives you a little bit more edge and a little bit more responsiveness than those really cushioned long-distance shoes.
The ProFly midsole has a really nice combination where the top layer is a little bit softer and the bottom layer is a little bit firmer.
The midsole is going to give you smooth cushioning yet a really responsive run as well, which means the Mach 4 is going to be good for those slightly faster long-distance runs.
The ProFly material has a nice squish at impact, but as you go through the toe-off, it just has this propulsive feel that makes speed very easy.
The ride is a little bit similar to the Hoka Carbon X 2, but it is different because the Mach does not have a plate in it, which I think is going to make the Mach even more versatile than the Carbon X.
While the Carbon X is great for more speed workouts and some faster long runs, the Mach has that similar feel in a more versatile package.
Underneath that midsole, you’ve got this really nice integrated rubberized outsole. Everything about the Mach 4 is focused on weight saving. First, there’s some exposed rubberized foam and some carved-out sections in the midfoot, again, to keep the weight down.
The back of the midsole has that swallowed tail design that we’ve seen in the Carbon X and other Hoka shoes.
This is all about creating that smooth experience and I really feel like this piece helps bring the shoe together and just further enhances that already unique ride.
While the upper looks lightweight and breathable, it is actually quite thicker than you’d expect, which is actually going to make for the shoe to be a lot more durable than what we saw in the past.
The upper is not going to be a racing fit because there still is a little bit of room and it is fairly adaptable. Also, the toe box has enough room for your toes to splay.
The neoprene gusset on the tongue is going to keep the tongue nice and central as well as actually giving it that slightly plusher more comfortable feel as that neoprene is just quite a soft and plush material itself.
In the heel, we’ve got this elongated heel design which makes for easy on and offs and it’s also going to create a nice Achilles cradle.
The heel is actually quite less cushioned, but I guess it’s done on purpose to help you get that real good heel lock, which is definitely something that you want on those long-distance runs.
The heel counter is sturdy and it’s just really going to help with that heel hold and heel lock. It’s also going to help with that stability on those longer-distance runs.
Overall, the Hoka Mach 4 has seen a complete redesign from a new stretchy mesh upper all the way down to a new wider outsole platform, which is just going to give you more stability.
I don’t actually mean a stability shoe to help with any sort of pronation as the shoe is completely neutral. It’s just going to be a wider platform to actually give everyone a more stable run.
The Mach 4 is a shoe that can do it all and it’s THE BEST MACH to date and one of the best Hoka running shoes as of late. It’s also one of the best running shoes for 5k and 10k.
Hoka Mach 4 vs Nike Invincible
Heel striking on the Invincible is a little bit unstable compared to the Mach 4, but Nike has engineered the heel cup to provide a little bit of that extra structure.
On the Mach 4, it’s almost impossible to land on this shoe wrong. The way Hoka developed the crash zone in the heel does a good job of cushioning that impact and gently rolling you right back into the proper alignment.
- The ProFly midsole is cushioned yet responsive.
- The ride is a little bit similar to the Hoka Carbon X 2 yet more versatile.
- Very lightweight outsole.
- Breathable upper & the toebox has enough room for your toes to splay.
- Elongated heel design for easy on and offs.
- Secure gusseted tongue adds a layer of cushion on top of your foot.
- Wider base than the Mach 3.
- Long laces might come untied easily.
Saucony Freedom 4
The Freedom 4 is one of the most dynamic shoes in the Saucony line. Saucony tried to keep it pretty simplistic with neutral color tones and really clean looks.
It is a shoe that speaks to a broad number of customers and covers a variety of activities in mind.
Why the Freedom is good for you
There are runners who absolutely love the Freedom for their 10k endeavors and others are doing more than 100+ miles a week.
We also have people that go to CrossFit that the Freedom is their favorite shoe to use, and then we also have people that just like a pair of athletic shoes that looks good with jeans.
The new outsole, the slightly wider base, and the strategic stabilizers mean it’s better equipped to handle lateral movements. This makes the Freedom 4 the perfect shoe to take on any kind of workout running or otherwise.
If we compare the Freedom 4 to the Endorphin Speed, you want to choose the Freedom if you prefer a non-plated shoe and you want a more traditional natural ride.
One thing that has changed about the shoe is the midsole compound. The upgrade from PWRRUN+ to the PWRRUN PB-based midsole is going to be huge for the Freedom.
In fact, the Freedom 4 is the first time that you see Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam from the Endorphin Speed and the Endorphin Pro in a non-plated shoe.
That Peba-based midsole material comes in a pellet form that they add to the cavity of the midsole, add heat to it, and it melts together and bonds. Thanks to this, the Freedom is now more comfortable, more cushioned, and way more responsive than ever before.
This compound is also extremely durable. It’s more durable than any other Peba-based compound that’s used in the industry.
The Freedom 4 drops a significant amount of weight from its already lightweight predecessor the Freedom 3, which means it’s now equal to the iconic Saucony Kinvara. But the Freedom 4 is considerably more stable than the Kinvara 12.
So, when you’re talking about the weight of the Freedom 4, it’s going to be one of the lightest shoes that you try on from any brand.
The upper is really a thing of beauty. When you look at it, you’ll notice how simplified it is. The Freedom has a new engineered mesh upper which is thinner and more pliable. The upper has very nice suede overlays and embossing of the logos.
The tongue is gusseted and the shoe has a great lockdown in the heel counter.
Another very significant change is to the outsole…
The Freedom 3 had crystal rubber and you could literally twist the shoe into a pretzel. On the Freedom 4, Saucony is using XT900 rubber which is really durable and pliable and handles a variety of surfaces really well.
The Freedom 4 is considerably more rigid torsionally while still having decent flex. So, it has become a much more stable shoe. Saucony has added some little rubber sidewalls on both sides at the heel to reinforce and stabilize things.
Then up front, there is an expansive rubber which is quite firm. This isn’t the soft kind of mushy crystal rubber of old.
While the PWRRUN PB midsole gives the Freedom that nice spring similar to the Endorphin Speed, the outsole provides the stability element to the shoe, the response on toe-off, and also the stability on landing.
All in all, the Freedom 4 is a much more stable ride than prior Freedoms.
- Midsole is now PWRRUN PB (same as Endorphin Speed and Pro).
- More comfortable, more cushioned, more durable, & way more responsive than ever before.
- Lighter than Freedom 3.
- Engineered mesh upper is thinner and more pliable.
- Tongue is gusseted and heel counter has solid lockdown.
- Low versatility.
- Runs ⅕ size big.
Nike ZoomX Invincible
It’s full length and it just offers that soft responsive feel without a carbon fiber plate. This all-new offering from Nike is quickly becoming a favorite in a lot of people’s running shoe rotation.
Why the Invincible is good for you
This is a premium, neutral daily trainer and a beautiful shoe for 10ks. It runs really smooth and the responsiveness even allows you to pick up the pace a little bit.
If you’re looking for a plush neutral daily trainer, a shoe for your 10k efforts, a shoe that can go long miles, and a shoe that can be used for your daily training, you can’t go wrong with the Invincible.
Also, for someone who’s more of a higher mileage runner, this really is checking all the marks for your daily training.
However, the Invincible may not be the shoe for everyone. If you don’t necessarily like a shoe that is a little bit on the softer side, has a little bit higher of a stack height, maybe a little more broad platform, this might not be the shoe for you.
I’d really put the Invincible in the same ballpark as something like a Saucony Triumph.
Midsole & Outsole
The Invincible is one of the best long-distance running shoes from Nike. It utilizes the revolutionary Zoom X midsole foam to achieve an incredibly soft and bouncy ride, which is perfect for long-distance comfort.
Nike has been using Zoom X in a handful of their shoes, but this is really their first kind of daily trainer meant to go long and give you plenty of cushion while also not having any sort of plate.
This is an extremely soft and airy light pillowy cushion with a lot more bounce and momentum and the result is one of the most comfortable shoes to run your 10ks in. Again, the shoe’s running experience delivers so much soft and springy cushion even Hoka would drop its keys in the bowl.
The outsole pattern is unique. We have a lot of very small rubber nubs that are populating the entire outsole.
The Flyknit upper is so accommodating that so many different foot types are going to feel right at home in this shoe. What you get with the overall material choices is a comfortable accommodating padded upper and a really plush heel and tongue that protect and essentially hug your foot in a nice layer of comfort.
As you move into the midfoot and then up into the forefoot, it’s more of a thinner Flyknit material but it still feels very comfortable. Up in the toe box, there’s plenty of room for your toes to splay and the midfoot is nice and secure without being too tight.
Overall, with the wide thick laces, the gusseted tongue, and the really good structured heel counter, the shoe itself will tie down and fit to your foot in a precise manner than you would expect from something that’s just meant to go long or something that’s more accessible to various foot types.
- You’re looking for an insanely comfortable trainer for your 10ks and 10k training,
- You don’t need a lot of structure or stability elements,
- You’re not looking for a shoe to do speedwork or fast racing,
- You’re willing to sacrifice precision for comfort,
…, the Invincible is going to offer a dramatically fun bounce and a pleasurable experience. This is the shoe that finally gave us that pure Zoom X experience.
- Zoom X midsole is incredibly soft and bouncy.
- Accommodating Flyknit upper, gusseted tongue, and structured heel provide a great fit.
- Upper hugs and wraps around your foot naturally.
- Outsole with unique rubber setup.
- A bit unstable.
- Not a fast shoe.
- Zoom X is not for heavy runners.
∴ Pro 10k Running Shoes
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2
The Adios Pro 2 is highly cushioned, smooth, and it has a natural ride compared to most other super shoes. What makes the Adios Pro so unique is that it utilizes these stiff carbon rods in its midsole instead of a full-length carbon plate like other super shoes.
Why the Adios Pro is good for you
The Adios Pro 2 is one of the best 10k running shoes hands down. It can handle long runs, slow runs, steady runs, intervals, and tempo runs with ease. I’ll even go as far as to say that the Adios Pro 2 is one of the most versatile carbon fiber running shoes out there.
Although the upgrades are minimal, Adidas has still managed to improve their flagship 10k to marathon running shoe.
The Adios Pro 2 is lighter, cooler, and it feels faster because of its more aggressive toe rocker. This innovative design approach has worked out really well for Adidas because the Adios Pro is one of the most lethal weapons in the super shoe war.
Adios Pro 2 vs Adios Pro 1 vs Prime X
On paper, the Adios Pro 2 is vastly different from the Adios Pro 1. It’s got a new upper, midsole, and outsole and it now weighs 7.6 oz for a men’s size 9, which is 0.4 oz less than the Adios Pro 1.
It’s also got an increased stack height of 39.5 millimeters in the heel and 29.5 millimeters in the forefoot.
The ride of the Adios Pro 2 feels very similar to the first version. It is easy to get up to tempo pace and hold there for the entire run.
The ride feels very natural and smooth compared to other super shoes which have jarring rides. Compared to the Adidas Prime X, the Adios Pro 2 is way more stable, the cushioning feels slightly firmer, and the forefoot rocker isn’t as aggressive.
Adios Pro 2 vs Asics Metaspeed Sky
Compared to the Asics Metaspeed Sky (below), the Sky beats the Adios Pro 2 in three main categories. It’s lighter, it’s more stable, and its carbon fiber plate provides even more propulsion.
However, the Adios Pro 2 is still cheaper than other flagship racers like Asics Metaspeed Sky, the Vaporfly Next%, and the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2.
So, if you’re a runner looking for an elite racing shoe and you value long-distance comfort and a natural ride over propulsion, then the Adios Pro 2 is the shoe for you.
While the LightStrike Pro foam is not the softest or the lightest super foam and it doesn’t return the most energy, it’s just a really complete super foam that does everything well.
The Adios Pro 2 has a carbon plate in its heel and carbon energy rods in its midfoot and its forefoot. These two technologies provide stability and stiffness in the midsole compared to a springboard type of propulsion like in the Endorphin Pro or the Vaporfly Next%.
A big difference between the first and the second version of the Adios Pro is that the midfoot cut-out makes stability lower especially on the midfoot section, but the positive is that the shoe feels more nimble, more agile, and leaner.
The Adios Pro 2 also has a higher toe spring than the first version and so it’s got a more aggressive rocker and the rolling forward sensation is more intense, which makes it feel faster.
The bottom has that regular thick Continental rubber on the toe area, but the majority of the forefoot and the rearfoot is protected by thinner modified Continental rubber.
The outsole has fantastic grip, but it’s super thin and it wears down faster than usual. So the Adios Pro 2 is best saved for race days and key workouts.
If you’re looking for a training shoe which is more durable, the Prime X is one of the best running shoes for 10k training thanks to the regular thicker Continental rubber on the outsole.
The upper is a really effective racing upper. Breathability is high, foot lockdown is secure, and it’s lightweight. It’s made from Celermesh 2 which is an improvement over the first version because it’s thinner and more porous so it lets in even more air.
The tongue is flat and wide and it’s sewn on both sides to the underside of the eyelets, meaning there’s none of that annoying downward tongue slide that was present on the first version.
The unstructured heel has a lightly padded heel tab and it’s got these rough inner collar pods which grip onto the sides of your ankle to prevent any heel slippage. The midfoot and the forefoot are spacious and the upper is comfortable enough to wear on runs that last longer than four hours.
Overall, the Adios Pro 2’s upper is one of the best racing uppers. Its only fault is that it runs a half size too large.
- Light Strike Pro foam is a really complete super foam that does everything well.
- Carbon plate & carbon energy rods provide the stability & stiffness needed.
- Pro 2 is more nimble, more agile, lighter, leaner, faster, and has more stack height than the Pro 1.
- Natural & smooth ride compared to other super shoes.
- More prominent toe rocker than the Pro 1.
- Thick Continental rubber on key areas offers fantastic grip.
- Lightweight breathable upper offers a secure foot lockdown with no heel slippage.
- Runs a half size too large.
- A bit unstable at slow speeds.
Asics Metaspeed Sky
This is a neutral road racing shoe that many pro athletes like Sara Hall have been setting PRs in.
Asics brought out the Metaracer which is a great carbon plate shoe, but they’ve revamped their whole carbon plate line and the Meta Speed Sky is going to be the highest cushioned shoe of the bunch.
Why the Metaspeed Sky is good for you
When the Asics Metaspeed Sky was first released in 2020, I was instantly impressed by its potential as a 10k/marathon super shoe and a threshold workout shoe. It’s also good for somebody who’s looking for one of the lightest marathon racing shoes on the marketplace as of now.
I think I’m going to save the Metaspeed Sky for peak performance on race day. With the amount of protection you have on this shoe, it’s built to go long, it’s built to go far, and it’s highly efficient.
I might bring it out on some key workouts, but if I’m going to look for a carbon-plated shoe from Asics specifically to pound out those workouts, I’m probably going to go with the Asics Magic Speed.
Midsole & Carbon Plate
The key to the excellence in terms of running in the Metaspeed Sky is that FF Turbo midsole foam. Asics says that the midsole is ultra-lightweight and ultra-high bounce and I think that is not marketing hype. They did have delivered on that promise.
The full-length FlyteFoam Turbo is Asics’ most advanced, most premium, and most responsive midsole compound to date. What’s contributing to that bouncy sensation is that FF Turbo foam compresses a lot and then just bounces back really quickly.
So with FF Turbo, Asics truly has a super foam now. When you start picking up the pace, the midsole just comes to life, springs forward, and works perfectly with that carbon fiber plate.
The stack height is nearing 40 millimeters with a 5mm drop. So, the Metaspeed Sky is a max amount of protection and it’s going to be right up there with some of the other top plated shoes. However, with that high stack height, the shoe doesn’t necessarily feel as bulky or as much shoe as some of the other competition.
The kerb on the midsole especially under the toe box is designed to reduce ankle flexion, which is supposed to save energy through your lower leg muscles.
During turns, the Sky feels very nimble and for the amount of protection, I feel like it doesn’t necessarily feel like a maxed-out plated shoe. It just feels very smooth.
Sandwiched between these two layers of FF Turbo is a full-length carbon fiber plate. Asics has been experimenting with carbon fiber plates and the plate in this shoe is stiff, rigid, and it gives the shoe an efficient design and a very solid snap.
The carbon plate is not very aggressive and it makes sure that all that stack height is staying nice and stable and not crashing in too much on one side or the other.
Guide Sole Technology
We saw this technology in other shoes like the Metaracer and the Evo Ride and it’s really what helps kind of bring this midsole package together.
It creates a very smooth transition and it just works effortlessly with that carbon fiber plate and that foam to just create a high-level efficiency that’s going to feel great for shorter distances all the way up to the marathon distance.
The outsole has a new compound from Asics called AsicsGrip. It’s sticky, it’s grippy, it feels good, and it has all the traction you need especially when you’re picking up the pace on the turns.
This outsole is supposed to be specially tuned for wet conditions not only in case it’s raining during your race, but also for those slick spots that may appear in the aid stations.
The rubber is not too thick, which is a critique against other carbon fiber plate racing shoes. We’re also going to have some exposed foam in the heel just to help keep weight down.
From a durability standpoint, you know this is going to be an elite racer and so I don’t expect to get 350 or 400 miles out of this shoe. But when you save it for race day and some of your key workouts, I think durability is going to hold up just fine.
One other thing worth bringing up is the net base on the shoe has been widened specifically in that forefoot. It gets slimmed down a little bit in the heel, but that wider forefoot is just going to help create that inherently stable feel.
Then paired with the higher sidewalls, this shoe does feel fairly stable for being a very sleek racing flat.
The Metaspeed Sky has an ultra-light and ultra-breathable single-layer mesh. While the upper is extremely breathable, it’s not that forgiving, which is perfect for holding your foot in on some of those corners and turns.
When you go into the toe box, this is where it gets a little bit interesting. Asics really opened it up, especially from the Metaracer.
When your feet get swollen especially later in those races, it’s going to offer plenty of room for your toes to splay and expand and feel just ultra-comfortable on foot.
In the heel, there’s a slight counter and there’s just a little bit of padding around the collar to help keep the foot stay locked into place.
Overall, the Asics Meta Speed Sky is going to be the Asics racing shoe of 2021. It has a high level of cushioning, it’s highly efficient, it’s going to be right up there with the top competition.
With that 40mm stack height, I’m seeing this being comparable to the Nike Alpha Fly and the Adidas Adios Pro 2.
This entire package comes at a very lightweight 7.3 oz for men. More options that are closest to the Metaspeed Sky with respect to weight include:
- Nike Next%.
- Saucony Endorphin Pro.
- New Balance RC Elite.
- Nike Alphafly Next%.
Overall, the Metaspeed Sky has lived up to the potential that it showed up when it was first released in terms of the way the foam is performing, the way that carbon fiber plate is working with that foam, and the way the outsole is holding up and protecting that foam.
- FF Turbo midsole is ultra-lightweight.
- FF Turbo is really bouncy (compresses a lot and bounces back really quickly)
- Max cushion shoe that doesn’t feel bulky.
- Guide Sole technology helps reduce ankle flexion, saves energy, & provides a smooth transition.
- Full-length carbon plate gives efficient design & a very solid snap.
- Plate makes sure stack height is stable and not crashing in too much.
- AsicsGrip outsole is sticky and grippy.
- Outsole is tuned for wet conditions and slick spots in aid stations.
- Ultra-light and ultra-breathable single-layer mesh upper.
- Upper is not very forgiving, which is perfect for those corners and turns.
- Exposed outsole foam wears down quickly. (save shoe for race day and key workouts)
The word “meta” means more comprehensive or transcending. Asics named it the Metaracer because this is the racing flat re-imagined and upgraded. Asics has delivered some fast shoes over the years but nothing quite like the Metaracer and the Metaspeed Sky.
Why the Metaspeed is good for you
The Metaracer is Asics’ most advanced premium racing shoe designed for runners who want to get the most out of their 5ks, 10ks, and half marathon races.
Asics says it’s great for marathons, but for non-elite runners, I think it’s only going to benefit them in half marathons, at least in my opinion.
Looking at some of the other competitors, we see large stack heights. But what sets the Metaracer apart is while it is a little lower to the ground, it’s still going to have all the cushioning you need for the 10k to half marathon distance.
The main goal with the Metaspeed is to help you run as fast as possible and keep your feet as cool as possible because if your feet are cool, your whole body is going to run more comfortably. The more comfortable you run, the faster your times are going to be.
Midsole & Carbon Plate
The midsole is made from the same new FlyteFoam compound that’s in the Asics Nimbus Lite. FlyteFoam is softer and more responsive and it’s going to be on par with all of those ultra-responsive carbon fiber shoes. The Metaracer is built to save energy, which is key if you want to race with a negative split.
How does it do that?
Well, Asics are using the Guidesole technology and the carbon fiber plate to make sure you use less energy in your lower limbs.
The Guidesole technology helps create an ultra-smooth foot transition and propel you forward while the lightweight bottom-loaded carbon plate adds structure, rigidity, and snappiness to the shoe. However, the Metaracer is one of the most flexible of all the super shoes.
The soft and tacky rubber on the outsole of the Metaracer is flat. It grips extremely well even on wet roads and foot strikes are extremely quiet. Unlike a lot of similar shoes, the Metaracer does not have a lot of exposed midsole.
Although there’s a lot of rubber, it doesn’t seem to make the shoe heavy. So, because performance is the main goal for Asics, I’m sure there is a reason for this outsole design.
I just hope Asics gives the Metaracer 2 a thicker midsole so that non-elite runners can use them for longer distances because the Metaracer series has tons of potential.
The hydrophobic upper looks super sleek. The upper is ultra-breathable and is designed to increase airflow around the foot to keep your feet cooler during hot and humid conditions.
The mesh on the upper also prevents the shoe from absorbing too much water, which will help you maintain the lightweight feeling during a race.
The special feature of the upper is the air vent on the toe which is supposed to keep your feet cool. It’s a good idea, but in reality, I didn’t notice that it made a bigger difference.
The Metaracer is extremely comfortable and has zero heel slippage and a solid lockdown even though the tongue is not gusseted. The upper fits true to size and has a snug midfoot but a spacious toe box, unlike traditional racing uppers.
Overall, when some of the plated shoes have come out, Asics kind of faded into the background. But with the Metaracer and the Metaspeed Sky, it looks like they’re coming back big.
So, if you’re a runner looking for a stable racer with a great ground feel that will save you energy, improve your performance, and get you PBs, the Asics Metaracer is the perfect match for you.
The Metaracer just offers more protection than a traditional racing flat and has a carbon plate which provides a nice pop on toe-off. It will certainly help you to stay fresh longer so that you can finish your race faster and stronger.
Again, the Metaracer is one of the best 10k racing shoes.
- FlyteFoam is soft and responsive. It’s on par with most ultra-responsive carbon fiber shoes.
- Guidesole technology creates ultra-smooth foot transitions and push-offs.
- Bottom-loaded carbon plate adds structure, rigidity, and snappiness.
- More flexible than other super shoes.
- Outsole rubber is soft, tacky, and grips on wet surfaces.
- Super-breathable hydrophobic upper does not absorb too much water.
- Zero heel slippage and solid lockdown.
- Tight midfoot.
Asics Hyper Speed
The Hyper Speed is an old-school/new-school racing shoe. It’s kind of that traditional racing shoe because it’s lightweight, it has a low drop, but it doesn’t have all that crazy technology in it.
Why the Hyper Speed is good for you
This is a great entry-level 10k racing shoe for runners who want to save money. Think of the Hyper Speed as the MetaRacer without a carbon fiber plate.
I wouldn’t recommend going to race anything over a 10k in this shoe just because I feel like you probably would get beat up just a little too much.
It’s just too lean of a midsole for anything more than 10k. It really gives good ground contact, which basically means you’re more aware of your running form when you’re out there trying to run faster. You can also use it for speed days and speed sessions, track workouts, and strides.
The midsole is not an overly engineered foam. It’s simply an EVA midsole that produces decent energy return through the foot strike. It definitely gives you enough cushioning and so it’s very comfortable.
The shoe has this rocker design that Asics call the Guide Sole technology. This is basically just kind of an arch that starts at the midfoot and goes to the front of the foot. This helps spring you through and helps roll you through your gait cycle.
The midsole has enough responsiveness through the toe box meaning it’s snappy through the foot strike that it will allow you to go up to faster speed specifically to 10k.
The outsole is Asic’s high abrasion rubber (AHAR) which is strategically placed. They probably didn’t have to put as much rubber on as they did, but I assume they did some of that basically to increase the longevity of the shoe.
The upper is a jacquard mesh design which has an incredible amount of ventilation holes including the little triangles on the back of the heel counter. These are designed to actually help increase airflow.
This is a seamless upper, which basically means that you could wear this shoe without a sock and not really have to worry too much about getting blisters.
It isn’t super narrow but it has a nice and snug feel through the toe box. It actually has plenty of room in the toe box for a racing shoe. But if you do have a wide midfoot, I do think the Hyper Speed is a little on the narrow side through the midfoot.
The heel counter is actually quite substantial. Usually, for a racing shoe, they really tend to skimp on the material because they try to make the shoe as light as possible.
However, this heel counter is serious. There’s plenty of material and plenty of padding, which means no rubbing and the lockdown is solid.
Again, the Hyper Speed is one of the best 10k racing shoes at a great price.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Has a breathable upper
- Breathability has been improved
- Midsole is soft yet responsive and tempo-friendly
- Provides a comfortable close to the ground ride
- Design is simple yet effective
- Cheap (great value for money)
- Heel counter feels a bit stiff
- Low arch might bother some runners
- No widths available
Adidas Adizero Boston 10
The Boston 10 is a daily trainer that gets the job done while making runs feel effortless and enjoyable. It is a maximalist daily trainer and it’s designed to be the training companion to the Adios Pro 2.
Why the Boston is good for you
The Boston 10 shines more on middle-distance (10k) and long-distance (marathon) runs at steady or easy paces. This is when the rocker and the energy rods become most effective.
It’s really easy to get into a rhythm and it just makes you want to keep on going. I feel that short fast-paced runs are a bit of a chore because the Boston weighs a bit too much.
The Boston can now handle much longer distances better because of its thick monster midsole. It can handle distances over 24 miles with ease while still feeling very efficient. The efficiency comes from the stiff forefoot combined with the rocker that saves you energy on long runs.
So, the Boston is for you if you prefer a higher stack and a firmer ride.
Midsole & Outsole
The midsole looks as chunky as the Adios Pro’s midsole. It has a massive heel stack height of 39 millimeters in the heel and 31mm in the forefoot for a drop of 8 millimeters.
The ride is firm but cushioned while the high toe spring and the rocker make it feel efficient. The forefoot is a little bit more flexible than the Adios Pro and so the ride feels more natural but still very snappy.
The Boston 10 rides much firmer than it looks. It’s firmer than other popular daily trainers like the Asics Cumulus, the Nike Pegasus, or the Brooks Ghost because of this plate that sits in the back half of the shoe.
The energy rods in the midsole are more flexible than the carbon rods in the Adios Pro and the Boston is more suited to daily training. The top layer of LiteStrike Pro foam provides a little bit of energy return while the bottom layer of LiteStrike provides a firm stable platform.
There’s plenty of thick hard wearing Continental rubber which is one of the toughest outsole rubbers to ever exist.
While the upper is thick, it’s not the best on the market. Sock fibers might poke through the perforated layer of the upper and get trapped between the two layers.
The tongue is gusseted meaning no tongue slides. However, the tongue is too flat and so your foot might not sit far back enough against the heel counter, which can lead to heel slippage.
The fit is roomy and relaxed, unlike previous Boston versions which had a snug racing fit.
Boston vs SL20 & Adios
If you really love the fit and feel of the previous versions of the Boston, the SL20.2 fits the same and is a cheaper more traditional lighter daily trainer. However, the Boston 10 has more cushioning and its ride is more exciting.
The Boston 10 is an excellent training companion to the Adios Pro. It has a similar ride but with better stability and durability and it’s easier on the wallet. It also has a more flexible forefoot, which makes the ride feel less jarring and more natural.
In conclusion, the Boston 10 now shares features with the Adios Pro 2 such as Energy Rods and LiteStrike Pro foam, but it’s designed to be more durable and more affordable.
- LightStrike Pro/LightStrike EVA midsole (top layer gives energy return & bottom layer provides a firm stable platform)
- Chunky midsole provides a firmer yet cushioned ride.
- High toe spring and rocker make the ride feel efficient.
- Carbon plate and energy rods give a really firm ride.
- Really tough Continental rubber outsole.
- Thick upper with a flat gusseted tongue.
- Roomy toe box.
- Warm upper.
- Loose heel hold.
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite
After releasing their 10k to marathon super shoe, I love the fact that Puma is dipping their toe into the carbon fiber plate game, which is really good for us.
The Deviate Nitro Elite has a Peba-based midsole foam and a 100% carbon plate compared to a composite plate in the Deviate Nitro. The Elite also weighs only 6.8 oz, which is a massive 2 oz less than the Deviate Nitro.
Why Nitro Elite is good for you
The Deviate Nitro Elite is a neutral 10k to marathon road racing shoe with a carbon fiber plate. It is a really versatile super shoe that can handle all types of runs from easy runs all the way up to speed sessions because of how soft the midsole feels.
The midsole is a nitrogen-infused Peba-based midsole which has an extremely soft ride almost just like the New Balance RC Elite v2. The plate is not too stiff and gives you a really nice push-off through your foot strike.
The PUMAGRIP LT on the Nitro Elite is different from PUMAGRIP that’s on the original Nitro. It’s a little bit less durable but its main advantage is that it’s lighter.
What I’ve been most impressed with is how resilient the Nitro foam is. Most super foams start to shred after the first couple of runs, but on the Deviate Nitro Elite, the outsole remains intact and looks almost as good as new.
So if you’re a little concerned about your legs feeling uncomfortable by the end of your 10k run, the Deviate Nitro Elite is a good shoe to look at. It’s just a soft comfortable ride.
The mono mesh found on the upper feels a lot like the plasticky feel of the Vapor Weave that was on the Vapor Fly Next%. This one has a rougher matte texture and it also does a great job in repelling water.
The upper is so transparent that you could clearly see your toes right through the mesh. Your first run would definitely feel great right out of the box with no braking period needed.
Breathability is excellent and you get a ton of reflectivity on the upper, eye stay, tongue, and heel, which means the Deviate Nitro Elite is great for low light training.
The heel tab on the original Deviate Nitro caused me a lot of problems because if I tied it too tight, it gave me blisters, but if I didn’t tie it tight enough, I got heel lift. Luckily, on the Deviate Nitro Elite, I experienced no heel issues whatsoever and foot lockdown is superb.
The ungusseted tongue is flat and wide, but it slides around a bit during runs.
So the upper on the Deviate Nitro Elite feels better than the Deviate Nitro. It feels lighter, more breathable, and it doesn’t have that annoying heel tab that cuts into your Achilles. Also, the ride feels a little bit soft, smooth, stable, and well-cushioned.
Overall, while the Puma Deviate Nitro doesn’t do any one thing better than any other super shoe, it does however tick a lot of boxes. It’s durable, it’s stable, it packs enough cushioning for a full marathon, and it’s a lot cheaper than other super shoes.
- Nitrogen-infused Peba-based midsole offers an extremely soft ride.
- Plenty of comfortable cushioning for long-distance
- Super lightweight, super fast, soft, & bouncy yet stable midsole
- Carbon plate is not too stiff and provides a really nice push-off.
- PUMAGRIP LT outsole is very resilient.
- Transparent mono mesh upper is transparent and repels water.
- Upper provides a racer fit
- Heel clutch is secure
- Tons of reflectivity, which is great for low-light training.
- Compared to the Deviate Nitro, the Elite is lighter, more breathable, a bit softer, smoother, more stable, and more cushioned.
- Upper is a bit scratchy and plasticky
- Tongue slides a lot.
Where to buy these 10k running shoes
|9mm Drop||12mm Drop|
|Breathable engineered mesh||Breathable mesh upper|
|Plush & responsive midsole||Luxurious DNA Loft midsole|
|Bottom-loaded carbon plate||No carbon plate|
Adidas Adios Pro
Asics Metaspeed Sky
|8mm Drop||5mm Drop|
|Lightweight breathable upper|
|Smooth Light Strike Pro midsole||Bouncy FF Turbo midsole|
|Carbon plate & energy rods||Full-length carbon plate|
Tips To Run a Better and Faster 10k
We’ll be looking in more depth at picking the race, training, consistency, and motivation. So, if you’re stepping up from 5k or you’re completely new to running, we’ll help you to get to the start line.
Pick a race
Running a 10K race is a great goal to have. The distance is less demanding when it comes to your training schedule compared to a half or a full marathon. Also, there are loads of events for you to sign up through as well.
First, you’re going to have to work out how you’re going to get yourself up to that 10K. That may be a distance that’ll take you up to an hour, perhaps longer to run.
When you’re starting out, that can seem really daunting, but it’s totally doable. It might even be something that pushes you onto longer distances like a half marathon.
How much training you need to do for a 10K really does depend on your level of experience. Give yourself from 6 up to 10 weeks to train. So, find a race that fits in around that time scale.
Investigate the course
Make sure you check out the course as well because you don’t want to be entering something that’s hideously hilly. You can also decide whether you want a trail race or a road race. So make sure you investigate the course properly before you sign up.
Set yourself a goal
Set yourself a goal for your race; maybe it’s to:
- Set a PR.
- Finish at a particular time or just under a particular time.
- Run the whole thing without stopping.
- Just finish the race on your feet.
Whatever your goal, make sure you choose a training plan that’s right for that particular goal. You can always adjust it if you change your mind.
When you’re training for a 10K race, set your focus in 3 main areas: speed, endurance, and recovery.
Speed is important if you have a target time in mind for your 10K. If you don’t, then don’t worry too much about it. But if you want to be crossing that finish line at a certain time, then you are going to need to be doing some workouts during the week at your target race pace and also some slightly quicker stuff, too.
This kind of thing can be done on a track if you have access to one.
The endurance side of things will come into play when you start running the longest distances that you’ve ever run before. This is an important part of any training program.
Start and end each run with a 5-minute walk. Walking not only prepares the body for running and cools down afterward, but it also extends the time on your feet, therefore increasing your endurance.
Pick a training plan that works around your free time. There are loads that you can choose from online and there are also some handy apps as well. All you’ve got to do is go out there, do the runs and just tick them off.
You can be really flexible with them as well. So if your plan says you should rest on a certain day, you can actually move that around so that it fits in with your own personal commitments.
Just be sensible with that and don’t run for 4 days in a row and then take 3 days off – that’s not quite how it works.
Most plans will take the form of either goal distances or goal times. Either is fine and there’s not one is better than the other. It’s whatever works for you, so just give it a try and see what’s best.
But the simplest way to do it is to run to time and that way all you need is a watch. If you want to run to distance, then you’re going to have to download an app to your phone or use a GPS watch.
Don’t overload yourself though. There’s nothing wrong at all with being ambitious, but you need to pick a plan that suits your level of fitness.
Think of something that you can actually keep up with so you don’t overload yourself and just give up because it gets too hard or run a risk of getting an injury.
At the same time though, we don’t want it to be easy. Pick something that challenges you but doesn’t leave you exhausted at the end.
One of the key factors to successfully training for your first 10K is consistency. You could try and set your running days to be exactly the same each week. That way you’re less likely to give up on them.
Also, try to run in the morning because that’s great motivation to make sure that you’re going to get out there and get it done.
Being consistent can be a lot easier when you train with other people. Why not look into joining a running club. A lot of them have special programs designed to get you from 5 to 10K.
Or, you could sign up for a race with a couple of friends because mutual support and maybe a bit of competitiveness could work wonders.
Make sure you follow the plan and build up to the distance sensibly and gradually. Anything too soon could add to a niggle or maybe even bring on an injury. If you do have any concerns, make sure you rest up or see a professional.
On the flip side, don’t lose motivation if you have a bad run or if you have to skip one altogether.
Let’s face it, we’re not all elite athletes and sometimes some things got to give in order for you to fit everything into your life. If you do find that it’s your running that gets put in the back of the queue all the time though, you may just to have a little look and find out why that is.
Maybe you’re just trying to put it off and need a bit of a kick of motivation to get out there and get it done.
10k is not double 5k time
An important thing to remember if you’re setting yourself a goal time is that your 10k time is not simply going to be double your 5k time.
There’s a lot of different factors that can affect your race time like hills, weather, how you’re feeling on race day. But regardless of all those, when you’re going longer, you’re always going to be going a little bit slower as you go along.
Hopefully, these tips have given you all the inspiration you need to go and sign up for your first 10K.