10 Best Running Shoes for 5K Races in 2023

best -running-shoes-for-5k

Lace up your excitement, because we’re about to dive into the world of the best running shoes for 5k races.

These shoes aren’t just your average pair of kicks; they’re precision-engineered to help you shatter your personal records and sprint your way to glory.

Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a newbie gearing up for your first 5K, this guide will unveil the perfect balance of performance and comfort, ensuring that every stride you take feels like an adrenaline-fueled victory lap.

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

Related:

If you’re eager to break the 30-minute, 25-minute, or even 20-minute barrier, be sure to check out our related articles.

10 Best Running Shoes for 5k

Quick Comparison

EndorphinStreakflyEscalanteGhostKayano
saucony-endorphin-speed-5k-comparison-tablenike-zoomx-streakfly-comparison-tableAltra-escalante-2.5-5k-comparison-tablebrooks-ghost-14-comparison-tableasics-gel-kayano-5k-comparison-table
VersatilitySuper shoeZero dropOverallStability
8mm drop6mm drop0mm drop12mm drop10mm drop
7.9 oz6.1 oz9 oz9.6 oz11.2 oz
True to sizeTrue to sizeTrue to sizeTrue to sizeRuns large
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Related:

For recommendations on great running shoes for 10k races, please check the related article as well.

Best Versatile Pick for 5K

Saucony Endorphin Speed

best-versatile-pick-for-5k-saucony-endorphin-speed
Saucony Endorphin Speed – Best versatile pick

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 6.9 oz 〉 M: 7.9 oz 〉 Drop: 8 mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 38 mm 〉 Forefoot: 30 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is the shoe that’s turning heads and setting hearts racing, and for good reason. It’s a shoe designed to help you conquer your fastest 5k or 10k, while also being your trusty companion for everyday training.

This shoe takes the best of its predecessor, the Endorphin Speed 2, and cranks up the performance dial. Saucony’s top-tier PWRRUN PB material is the star of the show, making each step feel like a premium race-day experience, with its impressive bounce and softness.

For those who prefer a bit more cushion on their easy days, the Speed is up to the task, ensuring a well-rounded experience. It bridges the gap between an elite racing shoe and an everyday trainer, offering versatility that’s hard to beat.

The S-curved nylon plate offers a guiding hand as you transition through the midfoot, providing the perfect balance of responsiveness and stability.

It’s a game-changer, delivering that extra pop and efficiency you crave, especially during a 5k race when every second counts.

The Endorphin Speed’s thin and breathable mesh upper keeps your feet comfortable and locked down, even when you’re sprinting at full tilt.

So, if you want a shoe that can tackle everything from grueling workouts to race day challenges, the Endorphin Speed is your ticket to speed, comfort, and performance – all in one incredible package.

Full review below

Check our two in-depth comparisons of the Saucony Endorphin Speed vs Pro and Endorphin Speed vs Shift.

Pros

  • PWRRUN PB is softer and provides more cushioned ride
  • Cushioning is lightweight & responsive
  • Comfy for easy days
  • Nylon plate is softer and a little bit more forgiving
  • Plate provides a fun, peppy ride & smooth rockered transitions
  • SpeedRoll technology helps this 8mm drop shoe flow nice and smooth
  • Upper is pretty breathable & pliable and can move around fairly easily
  • Roomy toebox
  • Offers more flexibility than other carbon-plated shoes
  • Durable XT-900 carbon rubber outsole
  • More stable than before
  • Now available in wider versions

Cons

  • Outsole durability
  • Tongue movement
  • Not for narrow feet

But if your feet are narrow, check out our in-depth article on top shoe recommendations for narrow feet.

Related:

If you’re dealing with Achilles tendonitis issues, we recommend checking out these great running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis to find footwear options that can provide the necessary support and comfort for your condition.

Top Super Shoe Pick

Nike Streakfly

best-super-shoe-pick-for-5k-nike-zoomx-streakfly
Nike ZoomX Streakfly – Best super shoe pick

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 6.1 oz 〉 M: 6.1 oz 〉 Drop: 6mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 31 mm 〉 Forefoot: 25 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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Behold the Nike ZoomX Streakfly – the super shoe designed to reign supreme in shorter-distance races and redefine your performance.

Nike’s journey in the competitive racing world has seen them soar, from the iconic Vapor Fly’s marathon dominance to the nimble, low-profile agility of the Zoom Streak and Streak LT. Now, these legends have converged to give birth to a new champion: the Streakfly.

With its 5k/10k designation proudly displayed on the side, it’s evident that the Streakfly is tailored for those sprints and shorter races where speed is everything.

The full-length ZoomX cushioning, akin to the Vapor Fly, delivers an unbeatable blend of plush comfort and electrifying responsiveness, propelling you forward with every step.

What sets the Streakfly apart is its lower profile, making it your go-to choice for nimbly maneuvering through turns and corners with finesse.

While it maintains a touch of midfoot shank rigidity, it’s not as rigid as the Vapor Fly, offering a harmonious balance between support and flexibility.

When it’s all about unleashing your inner speed demon, the Streakfly answers the call. It’s the ultimate choice for those who crave velocity, precision, and the confidence to tackle tight bends.

And, to sweeten the deal, the Streakfly offers exceptional value for those looking to make the most of ZoomX racing technology without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • Fast and speed-ready
  • Lightest racing shoe in Nike’s line
  • Stable and good at cornering than the Vapor Fly for example
  • Resposnive cushioning
  • Smooth transitions
  • Great lockdown
  • Great value

Cons

  • Not the best lockdown for narrow feet
  • Heavy runners might bottom out

Related:

Full review below

Top Zero Drop Pick

Altra Escalante 3

best-zero-drop-pick-for-5k-altra-escalante
Altra Escalante 3 – Best zero drop pick

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 8 oz 〉 M: 9 oz 〉 Drop: 0mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 26 mm 〉 Forefoot: 26 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The Altra Escalante 3 is that 5k specialist that’s redefining the running game. This series has garnered a dedicated following thanks to its unique underfoot experience – it’s soft, responsive, and boasts a comfortably low profile.

But what makes the Escalante a top choice for 5k races? Well, it’s all about speed. This shoe is tailor-made for those thrilling 5k sprints and tempo runs.

Unlike your typical daily trainers, such as the Hoka Clifton, Nike Pegasus, or Brooks Ghost, the Escalante is an up-tempo marvel. Its nimbleness allows you to run wherever you please and at any pace.

The secret sauce here is the EGO foam, which boasts a dual-nature personality. When you’re cruising at a slower pace, it feels soft and accommodating, ensuring a cloud-like ride.

But, when you decide to shift into high gear, it swiftly transforms, becoming more responsive and slightly firmer – the perfect boost for those race-winning bursts of speed.

And that’s not all – the Escalante has a hidden ace up its sleeve. It incorporates a subtle rocker sensation in the front of the shoe.

As you move through your gait cycle, the back of your foot lifts a bit faster, thanks to this clever design. This means you’ll be effortlessly propelling forward, picking up your feet more rapidly, and completing your gait cycle with greater efficiency.

In terms of fit, the Escalante’s roomy toebox ensures ample space for your toes to breathe and splay comfortably, while the secure heel design caters to those runners seeking both a wide toe box and a snug heel fit.

So, if you’re hunting for the ultimate 5k shoe that combines versatility, responsiveness, and a touch of innovation, the Altra Escalante 3 is your ticket to success on the 5k track.

One last thing, although the Escalante is roomy through the toebox, it’s secure in the heel, which makes it great for runners looking for shoes that have a wide toe box and a narrow heel.

Full review below

Pros

  • Zero-drop Ego midsole is as lively and resilient as ever
  • Decent amount of cushioning
  • Allows ground feel
  • Compression-resistant midsole that doesn’t bottom out
  • Really responsive, enjoyable, & quite a forgiving ride
  • Good energy return
  • Promotes a slightly faster cadence than normal
  • Helps off-load pressure on the ball of the foot
  • Seamless, comfortable, & soft sock-like knit upper
  • Natural foot shape design
  • Upper is breathable and stretchy and accommodates all foot shapes
  • Traction is very good on paths and roads
  • Looks great

Cons

  • The zero-drop feature takes some getting used to
  • Upper might feel sloppy at really speedy runs
  • A tad heavier than before

Related:

Top Overall Pick

Brooks Ghost 15

best-overall-pick-for-5k-brooks-ghost
Brooks Ghost 15 – Best overall pick

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 8.4 oz 〉 M: 9.6 oz 〉 Drop: 12mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 35 mm 〉 Forefoot: 23 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The Brooks Ghost 15 is the shoe that knows no bounds and reigns supreme in the world of running. With a forgiving 12mm heel-to-toe drop, the Ghost is a beginner runner’s dream, showing tender love to your Achilles and easing you into the sport with grace.

But make no mistake, the Ghost 15 isn’t just for newcomers; it’s a global best-seller adored by marathon veterans and it’s clear why.

It shines at 5ks, 10ks, and is your trusted companion for daily training, easy runs, and those not-so-intense medium-paced runs.

For the long-distance warriors who aren’t hitting the track in super-fast sprints, the Ghost 15 is the ideal partner. It’s not only soft and supportive but also offers the potential to kick it up a notch when the mood strikes and you’re eager to push your pace.

And for beginners venturing into the world of running, the Ghost is your guardian angel. Your body needs that extra cushioning when you’re just starting out and finding your rhythm.

The Ghost 15 provides the perfect balance – it’s not overly soft to hinder your speed, but it’s just soft enough to give your joints, knees, and muscles a well-deserved break from the relentless impact of the pavement.

Brooks has meticulously honed the Ghost series, crafting the Ghost 15 into the ultimate dependable workhorse, boasting impeccable stability in a neutral package.

You can also explore our latest comparison between the Brooks Ghost 15 and 14 for a detailed analysis of the differences and improvements between these two iterations.

Full review below

Pros

  • A ton of durable rubber works on any surface
  • Do-it-all running shoe (handles slow runs, long runs, and short runs)
  • Better at faster paces than the Ghost 14
  • Abundance of quality cushioning
  • Spectacular upper material holds your foot very well
  • Having a one-piece DNA Loft v2 and no dual densities or playing around with the crash pads is a huge step in the right direction
  • Super smooth yet very stable ride even on light trails
  • Brooks’ first carbon-neutral shoe
  • Comes in a wide variety of widths and lengths
  • Great traction & grip
  • Very stable for a neutral shoe

Cons

  • Not a light shoe (not in the heavy category either)
  • Tongue is still not gusseted
  • Firmer than the Ghost 14
  • Heavier than previous version

Related:

Runners looking to understand how the Brooks Ghost compares to the Saucony Ride should read our detailed comparison to make an informed choice based on their specific needs and preferences.

Top Stability Shoe Pick

Asics Kayano 30

best-stability-pick-for-5k-asics-gel-kayano-pick
Asics Kayano 29 – Best stability pick

Stability Pronation 〉 W: 9.2 oz 〉 M: 11.2 oz 〉 Drop: 10mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 35.5 mm 〉 Forefoot: 25.5 mm 〉 Road 〉 Runs large

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The Asics Kayano series, born in 1993, has emerged as an enduring favorite, amassing a devoted fanbase thanks to its steadfast reliability.

With a reputation as a top-tier stability shoe, it’s a go-to for those who yearn for a consistent daily training experience, making it an ideal choice for 5k races.

Why is the Kayano your trusted ally for 5ks? Well, it excels in providing a smooth and comfortable ride on those miles. It’s the epitome of a workhorse stability shoe, flaunting a plush premium midsole that’s renowned for its cushioning.

While it may lean a bit heavy and bulky for intense speed work, it’s the perfect match for 5ks and 10ks, particularly if you’re a stability-seeking runner.

The Kayano 30 introduces FFBlast+, a softer, lighter, and more responsive material that elevates the stack height underfoot, delivering the plushness and bounceback you crave.

But here’s where the Kayano takes its stability game to the next level. It swaps out the traditional Trusstic system for Lite Truss, a denser and more stable foam that wraps around the medial and lateral sides.

This innovative approach ensures full ground contact, smoothing out your ride and enhancing midfoot stability without the added bulk.

In fact, the Kayano’s new stability concept makes it feel almost like a regular neutral road running shoe, a significant departure from its earlier iterations.

The Kayano, with its premium support, comfort, and cushioning, caters to overpronators seeking a stable, reliable, and smooth 5k running experience.

Last thing, the Kayano 30 is one of these amazing running shoes for flat feet. Give it a read as well!

Full review below

Pros

  • Heel counter, lacing system, and upper all work together to give you a comfortable ride
  • Solid lockdown
  • Really durable with a ton of AHAR+ rubber on the outsole
  • FlyteFoam Blast, Gel, and 3D Space Construction provide a stable ride without jolting your foot into the correct position
  • Bouncier and more responsive than the Kayano 28
  • New midsole construction attracts new runners to the series
  • Comes in multiple widths

Cons

  • A tad heavy
  • Not as super stable as before for true stability runners
  • Not very versatile

Related:

If you’re struggling with metatarsalgia, we suggest checking our handpicked running shoes for metatarsalgia, aka, ball-of-foot pain.

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Asics Novablast 3

asics-novablast-3

Where to buy
AsicsZapposFleetfeet

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 7.7 oz 〉 M: 8.7 oz 〉 Drop: 8mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 41 mm 〉 Forefoot: 33 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The Asics Novablast 3 is the ultimate chameleon of running shoes, and your perfect partner for conquering 5k races. And with an additional millimeter of stack height compared to its predecessor, the Novablast 3 takes comfort and performance to new heights.

What makes the Novablast 3 a standout choice for 5k races is its remarkable versatility. Whether you’re a seasoned runner with a closet full of shoes or a newcomer seeking the one perfect shoe to take you from training day one to the finish line of your next race, the Novablast 3 has you covered.

It seamlessly transitions from daily training to race day, ensuring you experience both comfort and performance, all in one remarkable package.

Overall, if you’re in search of a running shoe that’s primed to elevate your 5k game, the Asics Novablast 3 is the embodiment of versatility and excellence.

It’s sturdy enough for your easy runs, cradling your feet in comfort during long-distance endeavors, and nimble enough to tackle those high-intensity workouts.

Full review below

Pros

  • Kind of do-it-all shoe
  • Midsole is softer and more energetic but not mushy
  • Transitions are smooth
  • Tempo-friendly transitions
  • Better breathability
  • Cushioning and support have been improved
  • Secure upper fit
  • Dramatic drop in weight
  • 5mm wider than before

Cons

  • Thing tongue might slide down
  • Runs long
  • Minimal reflectivity

Related:

Curious about the previous Novablasts performed? Check out our Asics Novablast 1 vs. Novablast 2  for a comprehensive understanding of the differences and improvements between these two running shoe models.

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Hoka Mach 5

hoka-mach-5

Where to buy
HokaHolabirdREI

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 7.0 oz 〉 M: 7.5 oz 〉 Drop: 5mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 30 mm 〉 Forefoot: 25 mm 〉 Road 〉 Fits long

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The Mach series has a storied history, but it was with the launch of the Mach 4 that it truly roared back to life, cementing its position as one of the Hoka’s standout performance shoes.

But the Mach 5 is a game-changer that’s redefining versatility for 5k races and beyond.

In a nutshell, the Hoka Mach 5 is the quintessential shoe for your daily training needs, making it a versatile powerhouse for 5ks, 10ks, easy runs, long-distance runs, spirited strides, and intense workouts.

This shoe has been tested and proven on runs spanning up to 20 miles and, for some, even longer marathon races. It’s a true all-rounder, ready to meet the demands of any run you throw its way.

While it might lack rubber on the outsole, it still performs admirably on various terrains and in a variety of conditions, ensuring a comfortable and responsive ride.

So, whether you’re venturing off-road or sticking to the pavement, the Mach 5 proves that it can tackle any environment with ease.

Full review below

Pros

  • Super versatile and great value
  • Lighter than the Mach 4
  • Comfortable upper
  • Great lockdown
  • Super smooth transitions
  • Responsive
  • Great looks

Cons

  • Outsole durability is still not the best
  • Not tongue loop

Related:

If you’re interested in comparing the Hoka Mach running shoe models, you can check out our collection of comparisons:

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New Balance FuelCell Propel v4

new-balance-fuelcell-propel-v4

Where to buy
NBZapposRunningwarehouse

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 9.6 oz 〉 M: 10.7 oz 〉 Drop: 6mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 33.8 mm 〉 Forefoot: 27.8 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The FuelCell Propel V4 is a shoe that’s redefining the boundaries of performance and value, making it a fantastic choice for 5k races and beyond.

Introduced in 2020, it took the running world by storm with its faster, more versatile, and budget-friendly performance design, instantly earning its place as a runner’s best friend.

Usually, I’d advise budget-conscious runners to opt for last year’s flagship models, but the Propel V4 might just have us rethinking that strategy.

With its attractive price point, this shoe is a close relative to the FuelCell Rebel, offering ample cushioning and forgoing the forefoot plate for a more relaxed, comfortable ride.

When it comes to 5ks, 10ks, and even half marathons, the Propel V4 is your secret weapon for securing a new personal record. It excels on easy days and shines during daily training sessions, particularly if you’re a midfoot to forefoot striker.

You can even take it on middle-distance or long runs, pushing your boundaries with confidence. However, it may feel a tad cumbersome for intense tempo workouts due to its slightly heavier build and reduced responsiveness.

The FuelCell Propel V4 is all about comfort, and while it may not be a purebred performance racer like the FuelCell Rebel, it offers a perfect blend of value and functionality.

So, if you’re on the hunt for a shoe that’s versatile, budget-friendly, and perfect for those exhilarating 5k races, the FuelCell Propel V4 is your ticket to a comfortable, confidence-boosting run.

Full review below

Pros

  • Price is hard to beat
  • FuelCell midsole is extremely soft, comfortable, and cushioned
  • Smooth and lively ride
  • Noticeable rebound and versatility
  • Very flexible and more stable than the Propel v3
  • Crystalized well-decoupled rubber outsole provides enough durability
  • Has a wedge in the lateral side to provide extra traction when you’re rounding your corners
  • Light and comfortable upper with a bootie construction
  • Lots of toe box room
  • Stitched-in Trace Fiber technology to provide midfoot and heel support

Cons

  • No gusseted tongue
  • A bit heavy
  • Lockdown is not the best

Related:

If you love maxed-out running shoes and want to find the best options, check out our recommendations and insights into shoes that cater to your preferences.

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Adidas Adizero Adios 7

adidas-adizero-adios-7

Where to buy
AdidasREIZappos

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 6.8 oz 〉 M: 7.8 oz 〉 Drop: 8mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 31 mm 〉 Forefoot: 23 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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The Adios series has long been the cornerstone of Adidas’ racing line, delivering that classic, no-nonsense racing flat experience that every runner craves.

The Adios 7 is a versatile performer, ideal for races spanning from 5k to 10k, and it’s even seen record-breaking attempts up to the marathon.

However, it’s not designed to be an all-encompassing running shoe. It thrives in the realm of racing, fast tempo sessions, and high-velocity brick runs.

The secret sauce here is Light Strike foam. While it may feel somewhat firm at lower speeds, it springs to life as you push off the ground with vigor, returning every ounce of energy to propel you forward into your next stride.

The Adios 7 knows when to be firm and when to provide that extra oomph, ensuring that every footstrike feels like a launchpad for your success.

In an era of super shoes with towering stack heights and carbon fiber plates, the Adios sticks to its low-to-the-ground, responsive nature, ensuring it’s your trusted partner for those high-speed sprints and races.

So, if you’re in the market for a racing shoe that encapsulates the essence of traditional racing flats while delivering a touch of modern technology, the Adidas Adios 7 is your trusted companion for 5k races, tempos, and those workouts that demand an extra burst of speed.

Full review below

Pros

  • Massive weight drop
  • LightStrike and LightSrike Pro midsole is ultra-responsive, light, snappy, and versatile
  • Torsion system prevents twisting, gets loaded, and then snaps back
  • Smooth and stable ride
  • Great for fast track workouts
  • Fantastic durability and grip no matter the condition
  • Lightweight and well-ventilated Prime Green mesh upper
  • Paper-thin upper and tongue are soft on top of your foot

Cons

  • Fits half size big
  • Difficult to put on

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Adidas Takumi Sen 9

adidas-takumi-sen-9

Where to buy
AdidasRunningwarehouse 

Neutral Pronation 〉 W: 6.6 oz 〉 M: 6.6 oz 〉 Drop: 6mm 〉 Stack Height: Heel: 33 mm 〉 Forefoot: 27 mm 〉 Road 〉 True to size

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Recently, the running world has witnessed the emergence of super shoes for shorter-distance races, with Adidas leading the charge with their Takumi Sen.

But while other contenders are embracing carbon fiber plates and towering stack heights, the Takumi Sen introduces a special ingredient – super foam design. 

This shoe was meticulously engineered for primarily 5k/10k events, but it’s also been embraced by athletes competing in half marathons. For efficient runners, it could even make a case for marathon racing.

Compared to shoes like the Adios Pro, the Takumi Sen offers a more nimble and low-to-the-ground profile, while retaining a highly responsive midsole. It incorporates elements of plate technology to enhance efficiency, all packaged in a streamlined design.

It also shines during longer intervals and fartlek sessions, providing the responsiveness and support you need to excel. It’s a versatile choice for a wide range of racing needs, although it may not be the top pick for easy runs or endurance runs.

Overall, the Adidas Takumi Sen is the embodiment of speed, precision, and efficiency, tailored for the needs of 5k and 10k races, yet adaptable for those who crave longer-distance challenges.

If you’re in search of a unique racing shoe that offers a versatile approach to short- and medium-distance racing, the Takumi Sen is your ticket to making every stride count.

adidas-takumi-sen-8-record-breaking
Athletes breaking records in the Adidas Takumi Sen

Full review below

Pros

  • Same LightStrike midsole on the Adios Pro 2
  • Super light, more nimble, and more flexible than the Pro 2
  • Superb speedster for short distances
  • Awesome comfort and stability
  • Energy rods deliver stiff torsional rigidity, but it’s more natural and a little bit more adaptive
  • Continental rubber on the outsole and tacky material on the lateral side
  • Excellent energy return
  • Upper is extremely light, extremely breathable, and extremely thin

Cons

  • Hard to keep the tongue flat at first

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Endorphin Speed

Midsole

The Speed retains its PWRRUN PB midsole compound, a Pebax-based material known for its impressive resilience and durability. It strikes a balance between soft and squishy foam and a firm midsole, offering a unique feel.

Notably, Saucony has created a distinct midsole tooling for the Speed to set it apart from the Pro, giving each shoe its own identity. While the midsole may resemble Adidas Boost, it’s fundamentally different.

PWRRUN PB stands out as a significantly lighter and more bouncy performance foam, marking a remarkable achievement for Saucony in terms of weight and responsiveness.

SpeedRoll

The Endorphin Speed has retained the SpeedRoll design technology, which plays a pivotal role in the shoe’s geometry, featuring an aggressive toe-spring that promotes an up-on-your-toes posture and enhanced propulsion through the forefoot.

While the Speed has a pretty generous 8mm heel drop, the SpeedRoll technology ensures a seamless flow through the gait cycle, delivering a swift and snappy toe-off sensation.

Nylon Plate

The distinguishing feature of the Speed 3 is its full-length nylon plate that spans from heel to toe, setting it apart from the Endorphin Pro 3. This latest iteration of the plate represents an evolution of previous designs, featuring an S-shaped layout that wraps around both the lateral and medial sides.

This design imparts some midfoot guidance during transitions within the shoe. Unlike carbon fiber plates, which tend to be notably stiff, nylon plates offer a bit more flexibility and adapt to your foot’s movement. The choice between nylon and carbon fiber plates often boils down to personal preference.

The Endorphin Speed, while still impressively fast, offers a slightly softer and more forgiving experience, making it suitable for both training and racing. With a nylon plate, you get just the right amount of spring without overwhelming your foot, accommodating a variety of foot strikes, shapes, and movement patterns.

This balance allows the Speed to be less aggressive than the Pro, making it an ideal choice for daily training while still providing the speed needed for workouts and races.

Outsole

Moving on down to the outsole, it closely resembles previous iterations with a substantial portion of exposed PWRRUN PB material. While the outsole compound has undergone a slight reduction, it’s unlikely to be discernible to the runner. The forefoot section retains a substantial amount of Saucony’s durable XT-900 carbon rubber, ensuring excellent traction and longevity, while the remaining rubber outlines the shoe’s bottom with added coverage in the high-impact heel zone.

Upper

The upper design of the Endorphin Speed 3 has been streamlined, featuring some overlay materials and a reinforced heel counter for improved security. This slight adjustment has added a touch of weight to the Speed, but it still maintains its lightweight feel on foot.

Overall, the Endorphin Speed 3 has garnered favor among runners, with many considering it one of their top choices over the past two years due to its versatility and responsiveness.

Initially, the Endorphin Pro seemed to be “the shoe,” the go-to racer with its super shoe status. However, as time passed, more and more runners found themselves gravitating towards the Speed. It offered efficiency, responsiveness, and crucially, greater versatility. Today, there are compelling reasons to have both the Pro and the Speed in your training lineup, as they cater to distinct performance and race-day preferences.

While the updates may seem subtle in some areas, the overall package, particularly the upper and the potent PWRRUN PB midsole with the plate, creates an immensely enjoyable and comfortable road running experience.

What I didn’t like much

In terms of aspects that could be improved, there are a couple of minor points to consider. The gusseted tongue, while functional, feels a bit thin and tends to shift around due to the absence of lace holes for stabilization. Additionally, the tongue doesn’t extend as high as desired, prompting double lacing to secure the ankle and provide better top-of-foot protection.

Regarding pricing, the Speed 3 comes at a slightly higher cost, around $30 more than expected given its midsole and nylon plate configuration. A more budget-friendly option would be appreciated.

Overall, the Endorphin Speed 3 excels as a versatile daily trainer and a race-ready up-tempo shoe. It’s perfect for tempo sessions, threshold runs, long-distance runs, and race days, catering to half marathons, marathons, and even 5K races.

The midsole offers a fast and snappy feel, with sufficient cushioning for extended runs, including marathons. The Endorphin Speed is the kind of shoe you’ll reach for multiple times a week, thanks to its enjoyable running experience. However, it’s important to note that it’s a neutral runner and lacks significant pronation control, so those in need of stability should consider using inserts or exploring different shoe options.

If you’re looking for a high-quality racing shoe without venturing into carbon-plated models just yet, the Speed is an excellent choice to dip your toes into the world of elite race footwear.

Where to buy
SauconyDicksRunningwarehouse

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Altra Escalante

Natural Approach

The Escalante offers a more natural running experience, aligning with your body’s inherent movements and responses. Its wide foot-shaped toe box is thoughtfully designed to enhance your natural running style, allowing your toes to splay and offering the autonomy to establish your sense of stability and push-off during each stride in the gait cycle.

Zero Drop Midsole

The Escalante certainly is not a minimalist shoe because while it is zero drop, it’s far from zero cushion. There is 26mm of stack height from heel to toe.

We still have that EGO compound that we’ve seen in past versions of the Escalante.  The midsole is quite rubbery, soft, and really responsive and it has been slightly tuned to be a little bit more versatile.

The EGO foam is going to give you a nice combination of impact protection on the road and energy return while also making sure that the ride feels nice and snappy.

This midsole feels a lot like React foam except for when you’re bouncing it, it comes back a little bit slower. Not only that, but EGO has quite a lot of rebound and it just does not pack down or bottom out.

Over a multitude of different surfaces and terrain and a variety of different paces, the midsole is really enjoyable and a quite forgiving ride. It has quite a similar feel to the FuelCell Rebel and the Beacon from New Balance.

However, you don’t have wild compression in the midsole as you get in a shoe with ZoomX or FuelCell. It’s a little bit more of a dense and robust compression with quite a lot of bounce and rebound.

Overall, the zero-drop feature is going to:

  • Help absorb shock
  • Provide a natural running motion
  • Be gentle on your Achilles

However, zero drop does require some getting used to.

Zero Drop Midsole

The Escalante certainly is not a minimalist shoe because while it is zero drop, it’s far from zero cushion. There is 26mm of stack height from heel to toe.

We still have that EGO compound that we’ve seen in past versions of the Escalante.  The midsole is quite rubbery, soft, and really responsive and it has been slightly tuned to be a little bit more versatile.

The EGO foam is going to give you a nice combination of impact protection on the road and energy return while also making sure that the ride feels nice and snappy.

This midsole feels a lot like React foam except for when you’re bouncing it, it comes back a little bit slower. Not only that, but EGO has quite a lot of rebound and it just does not pack down or bottom out.

Over a multitude of different surfaces and terrain and a variety of different paces, the midsole is really enjoyable and a quite forgiving ride. It has quite a similar feel to the FuelCell Rebel and the Beacon from New Balance.

However, you don’t have wild compression in the midsole as you get in a shoe with ZoomX or FuelCell. It’s a little bit more of a dense and robust compression with quite a lot of bounce and rebound.

Overall, the zero-drop feature is going to:

  • Help absorb shock
  • Provide a natural running motion
  • Be gentle on your Achilles

However, zero drop does require some getting used to.

Where to buy
AltraREIFleetfeet

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Asics Novablast

Midsole

FFBlast+ is brand-new foam for Asics this year and it is a fantastic improvement over the FFBlast. FFBlast+ is basically everything that I loved about FFBlast just taken to another level.

The midsole is lighter, squishier, and more resilient and so it springs back faster.

In terms of weight savings that this new foam can provide, the Novablast 3 comes in at 8.7 ounces, which is significantly lighter than the 9.5oz shoe that we had last year.

So, because of this Blast+ material, we’re getting more cushion underfoot, more springiness, more squishiness, and it’s coming in at a lighter weight as well.

It just seems to defy the laws of physics.

Is the Novablast still stable?

I know a lot of you guys didn’t love Novablast 1 because it was almost too squishy. The Novablast 2 really worked on stabilizing that heel while maintaining that squishy foam.

With the Novablast 3 being 100% FFBlast+, you’re getting even bouncier and even squishier of a sensation with the added benefit of somehow it’s still remaining a stable shoe in the heel.

So the Novablast 3 furthers the improvements in that arena in a way that doesn’t really make sense to me. I don’t know how they can make a shoe even squishier than it was last year while also maintaining stability in the heel and in the ankle so it doesn’t feel like I’m going to topple over as I’m running in this shoe.

Don’t get me wrong! The Novablast is still definitely a neutral shoe and not a stability shoe by any means. But for me, again, it’s surprising just how squishy they’re able to make this shoe while maintaining that stability in that heel and ankle.

Outsole

I don’t think that there are actually any changes to what we’re seeing in terms of the rubber. The outsole looks very similar to what we’ve seen in Novablast 1 and 2.

It’s still maintaining that trampoline-inspired design where the forefoot actually sticks out a little bit so that when you land on it, it compresses down and then wants to release back into its original position giving you a little extra pop off from that forefoot as your foot rolls through the gait cycle.

The outsole can handle a variety of terrain and I’ve certainly done a lot of city miles in this shoe. I’ve done a lot of running on paved surfaces but also took it on dirt road miles.

On one of the runs I did was a very steep and very wet loose gravel. I was very concerned with how wet and kind of slippery everything was that the traction wasn’t going to be all that great, but I didn’t have any problems at all bombing down the hill.

So, the Novablast is a surprisingly capable shoe even on surfaces that aren’t so paved and aren’t so flat.

In terms of durability, this is Asics rubber we’re talking about and it’s usually very durable. At 100 miles, there is still plenty of thickness to the rubber and so I’m not worried about the ability of this rubber outsole to provide traction and protection of the midsole foam.

Upper

Up top, we still have an engineered mesh which is super comfortable and very breathable on this shoe.

There is a decent amount of padding in the heel cup. It’s a little bit more padding than I think that I personally need for a lot of my daily trainers, but for those of you who really want to make sure that this back of the heel cup matches in terms of plushness and comfort with the rest of this midsole, you’re going to be taken care of back there.

The main improvement for the upper for me is in the tongue…

The first two editions of the Novablast had more of a taller tongue that stuck out a little bit further on the foot. But this year, they’re going with the notched tongue which sits a little bit flatter and gets out of the way, which is ultimately what I love for a shoe’s tongue to do.

Fit

It fits very similarly to the Novablast 2 and so if you have experience in the Novablast 2 or even the Novablast 1, my usual size has been what I’ve been going with and I’ve been very happy with it.

Overall, I love running in this shoe and I look forward to it and get excited every time I lace these shoes up and get ready to go for a run.

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Hoka Mach

Midsole

The Hoka Mach 5 upgrades the ProFly midsole. While it keeps the two-foam construction, that top layer of foam is now a supercritical EVA, which makes it nice and squishy with a quick response time.

You’re going to have that top layer of the new ProFly+ foam that’s going to be that little bit more responsive and a little bit more bouncy experience than what we saw in the Mach 4.

We’ve seen this ProFly+ material in some of the other Hoka models, and having a little bit more responsive of a material and having a lighter-weight design is always a benefit.

Then below that, you’re going to have that slightly firmer rubberized foam that still gives the shoe a little bit of pop and all the cushioning and traction you need for some of those longer-distance runs and some of those faster workouts.

Those two compounds have combined really well for a running sensation that is lightweight and squishy but also snappy at the same time so you’re not feeling too bogged down and you’re also feeling nice and nimble, especially in long runs and in workouts.

Outsole

The outsole is going to be the same material and same design that we saw in the last version, and of course, you’re going to have that full-length exposed rubberized foam.

The outsole does great on the roads and I had no problem with the traction. The grooves in the bottom give you the flexibility you would want on the roads, especially when you’re trying to run fast.

Upper

I feel like Hoka has made a lot of great strides in terms of their upper construction, and this upper is holding up exceptionally well, which is now, in my experience, the norm for Hoka uppers.

The upper has been great on all the Machs that I’ve worn. It really holds the foot in place and gives you some good support around the midfoot but still open enough on the toe box that it lets the toes spread out just a little bit there.

In terms of durability, I’m not seeing any places where I feel like the upper materials are going to start to fail anytime soon. Everything still feels fantastic.

Overall, there are real small changes over the Hoka Supersonic, but if you liked that version, you’re probably going to continue to like the Mach 5. It’s very responsive and has all the cushioning you need for some of those longer miles.

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New Balance Propel

Midsole

The Propel 4 has got FuelCell which is New Balance’s racing foam. FuelCell is extremely comfortable and really soft, which is the surprising headline for me when I’m looking at a shoe at this price point.

There’s actually two layers of FuelCell in here. In between, we’ve got kind of a harder more dense version of TPU that’s acting very much like a plate and you can even see it on the side indicating that they’re using it also as a little bit of a stability element.

FuelCell is a very squishy foam that has a lot of movement. It compresses a lot, but it also decompresses in a really exciting way. But, it can be a little bit unstable for some runners and so I feel like that’s why they’ve added this TPU plate.

Not only does it look really cool and it’s a nice technology feature, I think the way that they really use it and implement it in this shoe is to create a little bit more stability so that way when you’re landing on this shoe no matter how your foot kind of lands, it still stays a relatively stable platform for you to land on.

It’s also interesting to note how wide the heel platform is, which, again, allows this very soft midsole to actually be very stable.

FuelCell vs Other Foams

FuelCell is much more exciting and more bouncy than Nike’s React foam. It is actually quite close in feel to Nike ZoomX. However, it’s not quite as sprightly or springy but definitely approaches it.

I would say the FuelCell is softer than Skechers Hyper Burst foam which has kind of a springy but denser feel to it as well. Compared to other New Balance foams such as Fresh Foam, FuelCell is much more forgiving and exciting.

Outsole

The outsole is crystalized rubber in the forefoot and then a little bit in the heel. The outsole does not have a ton of rubber and I think the rubber placement is on the right areas to provide enough durability.

The rubber setup allows the really well-decoupled outsole to be very stable as well and also to move along really fast and smooth.

Upper

The Propel has a new synthetic mesh upper that has a bootie construction and a wide toebox with absolutely no overlays.

They’re calling it a no-sew upper meaning there’s not a lot of places where there’s seams that could accidentally rub or cause chafing on your foot, but it is a fairly breathable material.

A lot of shoes only have the knit construction by the ankle and call it a bootie construction. The Rebel, though, really goes all-in with the bootie construction and you have an upper that really hugs on your ankles just like a sock would, but it’s not tight or uncomfortable.

I feel like the upper adds even more value to an already great price shoe.

The one area where I feel like I’m getting a little bit less quality in the shoe is in the tongue. While I do appreciate that it is very thin and not too heavily padded, it just kind of feels a little bit on the cheaper side especially because of the fact that it’s not gusseted so it is flopping around a little bit.

Heel

As far as the rest of the heel cup goes, it’s also kind of minimal, which is a great thing if you don’t love shoes that are super puffy in this heel cup area.

So the light amount of padding in there, which may have originally been like a budget decision, for me actually really works and I find it’s much more comfortable when there’s less kind of stuff going on back there.

As far as the heel cup goes, there’s a little bit of structure. It feels like there’s kind of something a little bit rubbery back there. It’s not very rigid but enough to get this heel some shape and make sure that it still fits well on the heel and on the ankle even though there isn’t a bunch of cushy padding.

Run Experience

I took this shoe out for some easy runs and I felt like the shoe was really great for my everyday daily training.

I took it out for some strides as well where I had to pick up the pace a little bit and I felt like for something as kind of brief as strides, the Propel version 4 can certainly handle that task very well, but there is also a very wide platform that you’re landing on.

It’s a shoe that is trying to enhance its stability by being a little bit wider in that forefoot and I feel like the weight plus that width in the forefoot of the shoe kind of makes us that way.

I’m not sure I’d want to do a ton of workouts in this shoe but something that’s a little bit shorter duration repetition, I think it can totally handle it really well.

And at those faster speeds, that slight density that this shoe has turns into something that’s nice and bouncy and lively.

I also took this shoe on a 2.5-hour long run and I felt like the shoe did really well.

Ultimately, what I’m getting from this shoe is a sense of there’s nothing bad about it, but there’s nothing terribly exciting about it either.

Overall, that’s exactly what a shoe at this price point needs to be. It has to kind of appeal to the greatest common denominator of people.

And for someone that loves squishy and maybe slightly unstable shoes, it’s going to feel a little bit less exciting than I’d prefer for a shoe, but I feel like a lot of people are going to be able to get along with it really well.

IThe Propel v4 has me being kind of less fierce on the notion that you shouldn’t buy budget shoes. I feel like this is a totally acceptable budget shoe to buy.

I feel like a lot of people are going to really like it and I feel like it’s punching way above its class in terms of what it’s delivering in terms of performance for the price.

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Adidas Adios

Midsole

The shoe still uses the same platform that we saw in the last version. We’ve got a fairly low-to-the-ground design and we’ve got two foam compounds.

Starting out in the heel, you’re going to see that Light Strike foam that goes through into the forefoot and it’s going to create that nice light and responsive ride with a little bit more firm design.

Then moving above that Light Strike platform in the forefoot, you’re going to see that Light Strike Pro compound which is Adidas’s lightest and most responsive compound to date.

This is the compound that we see in shoes like the Adios Pro and the Primex and it’s really what’s going to create that little bit more lively feel in the shoe.

Actually, Light Strike reminds me a lot of DNA Flash in the Brooks Hyperion Tempo.

Related:

Outsole

The outsole has lots of Continental rubber that runs throughout the shoe. This is going to provide that grip and durability you need when you’re moving fast on the roads.

Compared to the Adidas Prime X and the Boston 10, the rubber on the Adios 7 seems to be very thick and dense. There’s still quite a bit of exposed foam and there’s lots of cutaways to help cut down on weight.

In the midfoot, you’re going to see that torsion system which provides a little bit of rigidity, snap, and that smoothness that you’ve come to know and love with the Adios series.

So, making such a lightweight shoe while still having a ton of thick rubber, good job Adidas.

Upper

We’ve got an all-new upper design which is going to be even more breathable, lighter, and sleeker than what we saw in the last version.

Taking a closer look at the material, it’s very breathable and feels even thinner, which helps create an even lighter-weight design.

This is going to be about a half ounce lighter than the last version and that all comes from the upper.

The tongue is very thin and has a couple of strategic little pads on the top to prevent the lacing system from putting too much pressure on the top of your foot.

There’s some small tweaks in the overlays, some small tweaks in the tongue, and then one very noteworthy thing is going to be the new heel setup.

We’ve got this kind of nice easy on/off that folds up and down, which is supposed to make the shoe easy to take the shoe on and off. However, it’s still a bit difficult to put the shoe on.

The fit is really good and strikes that balance between having enough room that your toes don’t feel crunched but also feeling snug and locked down enough for your workouts.

In conclusion,

… the Adios continues to be that staple traditional racing flat with a little bit of a modern take with that Light Strike Pro forefoot insert.

The Adios 7 is definitely taller than previous Adios shoes and that’s a change that I can certainly appreciate.

Last but not least, over the last 6 to 7 years, the Adios lineup has been at the top of the leaderboard for a lot of the major marathons as far as the elite competition.

It continues to be a great option for 5k and 10k, but some people may even choose to use this for longer distances. It really is a good option when you’re looking to pick up the pace.

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Adidas Takumi Sen

Midsole

We still see that same full-length Light Strike Pro compound we saw in the Takumi Sen 8. This is the same compound we see in the Adios Pro 2, but it’s going to be stripped down a little bit more.

So, the Takumi is a little bit more nimble than shoes like the Adios Pro and going to work better for maybe some of those shorter distances where you need to be able to turn a little bit better and you want to be a little bit closer to the ground.

Overall, Takumi Sen 9 is just a little bit lighter, more nimble, highly responsive, more flexible, really springy, and a little bit more geared to those faster races.

Outsole

The first thing that’s going to catch your attention is that Energy Rod design plate kind of peeking out. We saw the energy rod in the Adios Pro and it’s designed to deliver that stiff torsional rigidity.

But as opposed to a standard carbon fiber plate, the rods are a little bit more flexible and a little bit more compliant. And when doing some of the elite athlete testing, they found that this just worked a little bit better for those shorter-distance races.

Taking a closer look at the rest of the outsole, we’ve got a couple of different rubber compounds…

Up in the forefoot, we’ve got the sticky and ultra-durable Continental rubber to give that little bit extra bite. And then as you go into the lateral side down into the heel, you’ve got a thinner and lighter-weight rubber compound.

Then in the heel, you’ve got that exposed Light Strike Pro to keep weight down. This shoe is all about keeping weight at a minimum, and you see that in pretty much every part of the shoe.

This tacky material is what we saw in the Adios Pro 2 and it’s a bit lighter weight than the Continental rubber, but it is going to come at the expense of maybe not being quite as durable.

Upper

Continuing on with the weight savings, the upper is really the only significant change with the shoe. It’s extremely light, extremely breathable, and extremely paper-thin. This might be the thinnest material on the market and it really is built for race day.

In the last version, we saw a mix of Solar mesh in the back and then it moved up into a traditional mesh in the forefoot.

Now with the Takumi Sen 9, we’ve got full-length Solar mesh. It’s lighter and more breathable and it’s still going to have that unique heel cupping that keeps your heel locked in without that traditional heel counter.

Really, every part of this upper is built for race-day performance.

Overall, with the Takumi Sen 9, you get a lot of the benefits of super shoes on the market specifically the Adios Pro 2.

However, the Takumi is stripped-down, it’s lighter, it’s more aggressive, and it really is built for the 5k and 10k.

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Brooks Ghost

Midsole

Brooks is using DNA Loft v2 which is their softest cushioning to date. DNA Loft is basically a blend of EVA foam, rubber, and air to give you that perfect balance between responsiveness, cushioning, impact protection, and durability.

Although DNA Loft v2 is very soft, it’s not super bouncy, unstable, or mushy. It’s just soft enough to feel really comfortable when you want to go super slow. So, if that’s something that worries you, I wouldn’t be too concerned.

The midsole offers enough rebound that it lets you go fast and have a little bit of energy return and snap when you’re feeling good or going downhill or just working off a tailwind.

Even after hundreds of miles, you can still feel the midsole retain its pop and you’ll never go out for a run and feel like the cushioning is feeling hard any time soon.

DNA Loft is certainly not as responsive as a racer would be, but you’re going to get a soft landing with each step and you’re not going to be putting too much strain and impact on your body.

Outsole

The outsole actually might be the silent MVP of this shoe…

Most of the outsole is covered with thick soft rubber, and there’s only a very small part of the midfoot and the center of the rear foot which are not covered with rubber.

The rubber is softer than the average outsole rubber, which means landings feel more padded than the average daily trainer. However, the rate of wear of the outsole rubber might also be higher.

The grooves themselves are quite deep, which should help with traction and durability. Yet, Brooks did tweak the outsole a little bit to stiffen up the midsole and provide a more stable and controlled experience as you’re going through your stride.

Also, Brooks is using a segmented crash pad on the bottom which is an integrated system of shock absorbers that cushion each step and stride.

If you don’t feel the crash rail, that’s a good thing because it means it is effectively helping you ease the transition from your heel to your toe-off.

Upper

Compared to the Ghost 14, not much has changed, but the upper, as usual, is luxurious and comfortable from the get-go.

Brooks is implementing a new comprehensive engineered upper mesh material all around the shoe with 3D Fit Print.

3D Fit Print applies structure to specific areas where the foot needs support while keeping weight down. It’s also a balance between the stretch and the fit of the upper to allow it to be more accommodating and more comfortable.

The heel tab, collar, and tongue are all generously padded, which makes the area around your ankle supremely comfortable. But even though the tongue is non-gusseted, it does not sway at all over the top of your foot.

Talking about the top of your foot, If you’re that kind of person who has issues with pain on top of your foot, a lot of that can be caused by uncomfortable uppers or cinching your laces too tight. And the good news is that Brooks’ uppers are a heaven on feet.

The shoe also has a really substantial heel counter that locks your heel and ankles down really well. I would almost say this is the same heel counter as what was in the Brooks Adrenaline.

Overall, Brooks refined the upper to make it fit more foot types and just provide a better overall experience.

Carbon Neutral

This is Brook’s first carbon-neutral shoe. So, if you’re someone who’s looking to make a purchase that doesn’t harm the environment or is looking to be a little more sustainable, this is your shoe.

What I didn’t like much

The Ghost unfortunately costs 10 dollars more than the Ghost 14, which might be considered on the high-end for a mid-range neutral daily trainer.

This midsole foam doesn’t compress much and so it doesn’t provide a lot of rebound compared to other midsole foams on the market.

The midsole foam is slightly firmer than last year’s version and this makes it feel more efficient, but it makes it feel less comfortable on long runs because the ride is less plush.

The ride is not something that you’re going to get excited about because it’s a very simple no-frills ride which just gets the job done and gets it done comfortably.

Overall, as it stands, the Ghost is outperformed by other daily trailers and I’d rather recommend a lighter more versatile daily trainer like the Rebel, the Mach, or the Novablast which are the same price as the Ghost or cheaper.

Where to buy
BrooksREIFleetfeet

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Asics Gel Kayano

Stability

First off, Asics completely removed the classic Trusstic system which is a plastic piece that keeps the shoe from twisting. Over the past couple of iterations, they’ve evolved from it being exposed in the outsole to being sandwiched between two layers of foam, and now it’s not even there.

Instead, the shoe is now providing stability through a combination of FFBlast+ foam and a new Truss Lite system. Basically, when you run and land, this foam is going to limit the amount that your foot is turning inwards.

In addition to the dual-density cushioning, you also have something called 3D Space Construction.

Basically, these are geometric shapes that are designed to collapse in a certain way within the midsole to guide your foot in a natural and stable manner. This is the same technology that was featured on the Kayano Lite.

But is the new Kayano 29 going to provide the same level of support?

I don’t think so.

Because they took away that plastic plate and replaced it with this Lite Truss system or shank in the middle of the shoe, the Kayano 29 is now a little bit more flexible and it’s easier to kind of twist and bend.

I think this bold move did decrease the stability a little bit for true stability runners. So, if a true stability experience is something you really need, that might be a bummer for you.

But runners who had always avoided the Kayano mainly because of that intrusive stability aspect of the shoe can now try the shoe because it’s a little bit more dynamic and offers a less intrusive stability experience.

It’s definitely still very stable and it works well in that area, but I do think the stability came down a little bit when they took that plastic out and replaced it with foam and rubber.

The Kayano still has their Impact Guidance System (IGS). This is essentially a plastic plate on the medial side that wraps around a little bit to the lateral side.

Midsole

The midsole is where most of the updates take place. It’s still that dual-density approach that provides the stability. However, the forefoot foam is now FlyteFoam Blast+ (FFBlast+) which is now more energetic, a bit lighter, softer, and bouncier compared to regular FFBlast in the Kayano 28 and 27.

On top of that, we also get two more millimeters of stack height. Again, you have a better foam and more stack height under your forefoot to provide a much more plush much more bouncy feel.

Gel

Another small thing about the midsole is they did remove the gel in the forefoot and the only gel that remains is in the heel area.

They don’t use gel on their top-tier premium shoes like the NovaBlast and their race-day shoes and so I don’t know if it’s just kind of one of those historical things that they have to leave in.

Overall, I like a little bit more of a paired-down stability shoe with those bouncier and more fun foams. And then the fact that we get 2 more millimeters of it, I think it provides a very nice plush experience, especially in the forefoot section where it’s the most noticeable with that new FFBlast+ foam.

Outsole

The outsole has a ton of thick rubber coverage, which makes me pretty optimistic for the durability of the outsole.

Like most previous Asics shoes, you do get a softer more grippy rubber in the forefoot and a more dense AHAR+ rubber in the heel area which is supposed to be a little bit more durable for those heel strikers.

There’s also one less flex groove in the forefoot which helps kind of provide more coverage and better manage that softer and more vulnerable FlyteFoam Blast+ and gives you a little bit more stability through the forefoot.

Upper

I think the very dense knit material in the upper really really breathes comfort and luxury and makes the Kayano very comfortable and just keeps your foot well-contained for as many miles as you’re putting in it.

The previous Kayano had a layered engineered mesh and the Kayano 29 has a circular net that they call an engineered stretch knit upper. But I think it’s not that stretchy because there’s not much of an elastic nature to it. I think this is fine, but I just think it’s funny they called it a stretch knit upper.

The tongue is still non-gusseted and I kind of wish it was, but it’s a minor detail. Otherwise, it’s a moderately padded tongue with a robust lacing system and plenty of padding in the ankle and Achilles area.

The heel counter is incredibly sturdy and you have an internal heel counter that keeps your ankle locked in and helps with that stability story.

Overall, I was really happy with the fit and lockdown. It just feels right on par with most Asics shoes.

All in all…

The Kayano 29 feels much different compared to its predecessors and I think this becomes a more enjoyable stability experience mainly because of that updated FFBlast+ foam and the shoe going down almost a half ounce in weight.

Again, I think this stability shoe has become more accessible and more runnable to a wider range of runners. However, if you’re a more traditional fan of the Kayano, you might be a little bit disappointed.

Where to buy
AsicsZapposRunninwarehouse

Best Running Shoes for 5k – FAQs

Which shoes are best for 5 km running?

These are some great options: Brooks Ghost, Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2, Asics Metaracer, ASICS Metaspeed Sky Plus, Altra Escalante, Saucony Endorphin Speed, Adidas Takumi Sen, Adidas Adizero Adios 6.

Can you run a 5K in basketball shoes?

You should definitely avoid wearing basketball shoes during your 5k races. Long distances require shoes to be able to provide support, comfortable cushioning, and a lightweight package.

What is a 5K running in miles?

A 5K run is 3.1 miles.

Is it okay to run a 5k in Vans?

Vans are skate shoes. They’re designed to have a hard sole to provide better support and a solid landing platform for skateboarders. However, they’re not suitable for running and it’s advised not to run in them.

What is a good 5K time?

The chart below gives you average times based on age and gender.

Age groupMenWomen
0 to 1534:4337:55
16 to 1929:3937:39
20 to 2429:2736:22
25 to 2931:0936:16
30 to 3431:2738:41
35 to 3933:4437:21
40 to 4432:2638:26
45 to 4933:1339:19
50 to 5434:3041:20
55 to 5937:3345:18
60 to 6440:3345:49
65 to 9942:5950:13

 

In conclusion, the best running shoes for 5k races are those that offer a balance of comfort, support, and lightweight design, tailored to your individual running style and preferences.

Thank you so much for making it to the end of this article and see you in the next one 🙂

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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