Twenty Running Shoes I’d Like To Try in 2015
Posted on January 27 2015
Every once in awhile I like to scan the brand pages over at Running Warehouse to look for new shoes that are coming out. I spent some time this morning doing this, and quickly found myself drooling over a few models that I hadn’t yet heard about (hello Saucony Endorphin Racer!). I thought it might be fun to put together a list of shoes that interest me and that I’d like to try out this year. Some have been out for a bit, others are not yet available but are coming out within the next month or two. I have not yet seen any of these in person.
The list below will give a good sense of the type of shoe that I like, and how I narrow down models that I’d like to review here on Runblogger. Most are road shoes, most are on the more minimal side, and many are racing flats. I don’t have specs for all of them, but where available I have included them in my brief summary of each (weights are for men’s size 9). Photo credits all go to Running Warehouse.
Lot’s of eye candy on the way, here goes!
1. adidas Takumi Sen Boost
I’m a huge fan of the adidas Adios, and really like the Boost midsole material. The Takumi Sen is a speed flat, so a bit less shoe than the Adios, and the addition of Boost to the sole should make for an interesting ride. The $160 price tag is a bit steep for a racing flat, which may prevent me from pulling the trigger on a purchase. Specs: 6.1 oz, 22mm heel, 16mm forefoot. Available February 22 at Running Warehouse and Wiggle UK.
2. Altra Instinct 3.0
I ran in the Instinct 1.0 and 1.5 and found them a bit firm and stiff. Reports were that version 2.0 was super soft, so I passed. Version 3.0 is supposedly firmed back up a bit, but looks to be more cushioned than the original. Will it hit my sweet spot? Only one way to find out… Specs: 8.1 oz, 24mm heel, 24mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
3. Altra Superior 2.0
I don’t run a lot of trail miles, but I like to keep a few trail shoes on hand for the occasional run and for winter runs on snow and crusty ice (more of the latter so far this year, but about to get dumped on tomorrow!). I liked the original Superior, but durability was an issue and grip was not great. The Superior 2.0 looks great and the tread appears more aggressive. Specs: 8.7 oz, 15mm heel, 15mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
4. Asics 33-DFA
Asics is releasing a trio of new shoes in their 33 line, and the DFA is the most minimal. The new foam used in the sole of all three is supposed to be cushy, and the DFA pairs this foam with a 4mm drop and sub 20mm stack. Sounds like my kind of shoe. Specs: 8.6 oz, 19mm heel, 15mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse and Wiggle UK.
5. Asics 33-FA
In terms of cushioning, the Asics 33-FA is the middle-ground shoe among the three new 33 series shoes being released. Specs place it in a similar category to the Saucony Kinvara and New Balance Fresh Foam 980. Could be a solid choice for easy runs and longer distances. Specs: 8.9 oz, 25mm heel, 21mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
6. Asics DS Racer 10
I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile, but haven’t pulled the trigger. Not a brand new shoe, but I loved the Hyper Speed 6 and the DS Racer looks somewhat similar. Nice looking shoe, and specs place it right about in my sweet spot. Specs: 6.3 oz, 23mm heel, 15mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
7. Brooks Launch 2
The Brooks Launch 2 is on my must-have list for 2015, and I’ll likely pre-order a pair soon. The original Launch has gone without an update for years, and I consider it a classic. It carried me through my first marathon in which I did not hit the wall, and it is one of the smoothest riding shoes I‘ve run in. Version 2 looks phenomenal (love the blue/yellow colorway!), and you can expect an expedited review once I have a pair. Specs: 9.9 oz, 27mm heel, 17mm forefoot. Available February 15 at Running Warehouse.
8. Brooks PureFlow 4
I liked the feel of the sole cushioning in the Brooks Pure Project shoes, but the PureFlow 3 was a step back in terms of fit. Curious if v4 has returned to the fit of earlier versions. Specs: 8.9 oz, 22mm heel, 18mm forefoot. Available February 15 at Running Warehouse.
9. Mizuno Wave Ekiden 9
10. New Balance 1500
The New Balance 1400v2 is one of my all-time favorite shoes, and I just recently got a pair of the 1600v2. The 1500 slots in between these two – the question for me is whether the sole has the deadish feel of the 1600 or the cushier ride of the 1400. Specs: 7.3 oz, 22mm heel, 16mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
11. New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay
The photo above is labeled Fresh Foam 980v2, but in a move away from their traditional number-based naming system, New Balance is renaming the shoe as the Fresh Foam Boracay. The original 980 was an “almost-there” kind of shoe for me. Soften the heel a bit, open up the overly pointy toebox, and you have a great shoe for long runs. Curious to see if the updates to the v2 make this a more runnable shoe. Specs: weight ???, 22mm heel, 18mm forefoot. Available March 9 at Running Warehouse and Wiggle UK.
12. New Balance MT101 2015
An update to an old favorite, but apparently it will only be around for a year. The MT101 was kind of like the New Balance 1400 built for trails. Superb fit, decent traction, light weight, great heel cushion, and affordably priced. Loved the original, still debating whether to try out the update since only the upper has changed. Specs: 7.2 oz, 25mm heel, 16mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
13. Newton Energy NR II
I loved the original Energy NR, and was impressed by the Newton Kismet/Fate combo released last year. I’m interested in trying out either the Energy II or the Aha, but like the Energy II color combo better (note: both have been out for awhile, so not really new shoes anymore). The Energy and Aha are Newton’s POP3 shoes, which means they have the least prominent forefoot lugs and thus are thought to be a good entry point if you haven’t run in a Newton previously. I like the fact that they are more reasonably priced than other Newtons, and I don’t see much reason to pay $175 for one of the top-of-the-line models. Specs: 8.8oz, 23mm heel, 19mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
14. Nike Wildhorse 2
Have heard great things about the Nike Terra Kiger 2 trail shoe, and since David Henry has already reviewed that one for me, I’m curious to try the Wildhorse 2. I like a trail shoe that can also handle roads, and this one looks like a great match for my typical usage. Specs: 7.7oz, 22mm heel, 17mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse and Wiggle UK.
15. Pear Izumi EM Road N1 v2
I wish Pear Izumi would make it clearer that the above shoe is version 2 of the EM Road N1 as it doesn’t seem to indicate it anywhere on the naming/labeling. Version 1 was a firm but very smooth-riding shoe, and this update looks better from an aesthetic standpoint. Not sure if I’ll try it, but I like the original enough that I may give it a go. Specs: 8.3 oz, not sure about stack heights. Available now at Running Warehouse.
16. Salomon Sense Link
Don’t really know much about this shoe other than that the specs look like a good match for me, and I’ve been impressed by nearly every piece of Salomon gear that I’ve tried. This one looks to be designed as a road/light trail hybrid. Specs: ??? oz, 21mm heel, 15mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
17. Salomon S-Lab X-Series
I’m really excited about this shoe despite the high price tag. Maybe it’s because Running Warehouse compared it to the New Balance 1400 and adidas Adios Boost, maybe it’s because I had a really good experience with the Sense Ultra and Sense Pro last year. The X-Series is a lightweight road shoe, kind of a surprise from a brand that focuses on trail. This one might be on my must-try list. Specs: 7.7oz, 23mm heel, 15mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
18. Saucony Endorphin Racer
This one is a drool-inducer for me. Hadn’t heard anything about it until I saw it last week on the Running Warehouse site.
No specifics posted yet by RW on weight or stack height (Kyle in the comments indicates 11mm heel and forefoot), but it is zero drop (you can see it on the the insole in the top view photo). Wiggle UK lists weight at 88 grams, which is equal to 3.1 oz(!). Looks like a competitor to the Mizuno Universe and New Balance 5000. Expensive, but I’m a sucker for ultralight flats. Specs: 3.1 oz, 11mm heel, 11mm forefoot. Available February 22 at Running Warehouse.
19. Saucony Fastwitch 7
I really like the fit and ride of the Fastwitch 6, and version 7 looks great. Not much else to say on this one. Specs: 7.0 oz, 18mm heel, 14mm forefoot (per Kyle in the comments). Available February 15 at Running Warehouse.
20. Under Armour Speedform RC Vent
I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about the new running shoes coming from Under Armour (the amply cushioned UA Gemini is getting a lot of raves from shoe geeks). The Speedform RC is the lowest profile of the new models and I love the bright colorway. Specs: 6.0 oz, 25mm heel, 19mm forefoot. Available now at Running Warehouse.
So that’s my list for at least the first half of 2015, though I’m sure additional models will pop up (e.g., the next iteration of the Saucony Kinvara). Which shoes are you most excited about this year?
(Disclosure: Links to Running Warehouse and Wiggle UK are provided where available in the above post. Both retailers are Runblogger advertising partners, but this list is based on my own shoe preferences and was not influenced by them in any way.)