Winter run training shoes: 10 of the best reviewed
Need some new run shoes to see you through winter training and the increased mileage? James Witts tests 10 of the best
This popular neutral shoe from New Balance has reached its eighth edition (343g) but its evolution from V7 is minimal. That’s no bad thing, since we found V7 comfortable over distance yet fast for fartleks. The V8 retains its Trufuse midsole, which provides cushioning without losing ground sensation. Too much cushioning and you’re killing that connection and, with it, your natural injury defence. A no-sew upper protects your feet, while the Gore-Tex upper should deflect rain, but the mesh venting slightly dents that protection. It’s available in multiple widths for a more bespoke fit, but note that the UK 10.5 – our test size – did fit but was the tightest on test. So perhaps opt for a half-size up.
Verdict: The ideal off-season shoe but try before you buy 82%
Buy from www.newbalance.co.uk
When Newton launched more than decade ago, they had a clear USP: a lugged outsole to encourage forefoot running. They surfed the zeitgeist of the minimalist movement before a host of newbies, like Hoka, gained traction and the trends shifted from minimalist to cushioned. With this, Newton lost its way somewhat – and we’re unsure if they’ll regain it with the most expensive shoe on test. That said, this is a well-engineered shoe with a slightly firmer midsole than recent incarnations suggesting they may return to their roots. A 3mm drop gently leads you onto the lugs for a proficient ride and it’s so reflective you’ll light up like a beacon during winter. But while they’re solid, we don’t feel blown away, and for £155, we’d want to.
Verdict: Well-designed shoe… but lacks something 74%
Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk
The biggest update to Hoka’s Clifton 4 is the upper. Following the trend of 2018, the Clifton 5 (320g) features a tightly-woven, engineered mesh that’s one of the major run shoe developments. This adds comfort and breathability – though ensure your toenails are clipped! Feet are locked in place that little more securely with the new design and, as per previous models, it features Hoka’s ‘Early Stage Meta-Rocker’. Essentially, this is a tweak in midsole geometry that creates a fulcrum effect to encourage a guided gait cycle. It’s certainly tangible but it’s also divisive. Fans love how it works with nature; critics argue it hampers feel. We think it excels over longer runs but loses effectiveness at speed.
Verdict: solid shoe for long runs not speed 78%
Buy from www.runnersneed.com
Kayano is the shoe that Asics throw nearly all their latest innovations at, and with mixed results – either hitting the sweetspot between cushioning and feedback, or feeling over-engineered. Unfortunately, the 25 nudges into the latter camp. You can’t argue with its comfort; from heel-cradling to landing, it’s a little like wearing slippers. But, arguably, they’re too cushioned, especially around the heel. You just want to know you can gain speed, but the 25s doesn’t elicit that feeling, its 379g weight – the heaviest on test – notable with every stride. Hats off for the FlyteFoam Propel midsole which boosts comfort, but add the rearfoot gel, FlyteFoam Lyte and a deep rubber outsole and it’s all too much.
Verdict: Quality shoe that’s simply too bulky 75%
Buy from www.runnerinn.com
Continue reading our guide to the best winter run shoes (3/3)