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Top 10 shoes our testers are loving this April

We tested tons of great shoes this year, but only the very best make the list

Saucony speed v4

Our expert testers go through a lot of shoes, but we’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best. Each month we’ll update this list with our absolute favourites in four categories, including race day or speedwork shoes, daily trainers, stability shoes and trail shoes. This way, you can build your perfect shoe rotation. 

Every runner is different, but we loved these shoes and hope that you will too.

Race Day or Speedwork Shoes

Best for runners seeking a simple, affordable, no-nonsense shoe for racing and fast training
Brooks Hyperion

Brooks Hyperion

A lightweight shoe for racing and tempo runs

Neutral runners looking for a traditional lightweight shoe for racing or up-tempo training will appreciate the Brooks Hyperion. Constructed with a nitrogen-infused DNA FLASH foam midsole, the Hyperion delivers the low weight and responsive ride runners demand during faster runs. An updated shape encourages a faster heel-to-toe transition, while the similarly updated outsole reduces weight without compromising durability. The Hyperion’s warp-knit upper is light and offers increased breathability, and the gussetted tongue reduces shifting and helps create a more locked-down feel. If maximal cushioning and propulsion plates are not your thing, but you still want light and fast footwear, look no further than the Hyperion.

Best for runners who want a highly cushioned trainer without extra weight
Rebel v4

New Balance Rebel v4

A lightweight and propulsive shoe for uptempo speedwork and steady-state runs

The Rebel v4 might be one of the most versatile neutral trainers on the market. It features 30 mm of stack height with New Balance’s lightweight FuelCell foam (a PEBA/EVA blend). It may not have the stack height of some other competitors, but it has the added stability of a wider base, and at only 7.5 oz. (men’s size 9), it’s lightweight and propulsive enough to make it suitable for most paces and distances. The breathable upper featuring New Balance’s FantomFit technology, combined with the responsive midsole foam, make this a great option for racing and training at faster paces without a carbon plate.

Best for runners seeking an affordable race-day shoe with added durability
Saucony speed v4

Saucony Endorphin Speed v4

A speed training and race-day shoe with a winged nylon plate

The Endorphin Speed might just be the best “goldilocks” racer/trainer on the market. The shoe features Saucony’s responsive SPEEDROLL technology and PWWRUN PB foam combined with a nylon plate to offer some pop without the harsh stiffness of a carbon-fibre plate. The Speed gives you the same high-performance foam as the brand’s premium performance shoe, the Endorphin Pro, but with a little more flexibility, and at a lower price point. If you want a do-it-all trainer for just about any type of run, this is the shoe for you.

Daily Trainers

Best for neutral runners seeking a smooth ride and great cushioning
Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15

A daily trainer with exceptional cushioning and a higher drop

The Ghost 15 offers a smooth ride that will be appreciated by runners wanting a neutral shoe for daily training. The relatively high drop (12 mm) will also be welcomed by heel-strikers – a category often overlooked as the industry has moves toward lower-drop shoes. For the midsole, Brooks specs its DNA LOFT v2 material that’s lighter than previous iterations and provides exceptional cushioning. The upper has also been updated for a more secure and foot-conforming fit. Finally, the Ghost 15’s outsole features a segmented crash pad that encourages smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

Best for neutral runners seeking comfort and cushioning
1080 v13

New Balance 1080 v13

A reliable and well-cushioned daily trainer

The New Balance 1080 v13 has 37 mm of soft Fresh Foam X cushioning in the midsole to offer a soft landing and a high-cushion ride. The pronounced rocker makes it feel a little more lively than some max stack shoes, and the solid rubber outsole will ensure this shoe can stand up to big mileage before wearing out. It has a pretty standard mesh upper without too many frills, and at 9.2 ounces, it won’t feel heavy on your foot. It’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it trainer to get through your training miles.

Best for neutral runners seeking a luxuriously plush ride
Asics Gel Nimbus 26

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

A daily trainer with maximum cushioning

The Gel Nimbus 26 continues its legacy as one of the best cushioned shoes on the market. The latest version features Asics’ FF Blast Plus Eco midsole, which delivers a soft and plush ride while using 20 per cent bio-based content for less environmental impact. Cushioning is further enhanced with the impact-absorbing PureGel technology in the heel, which is 65 per cent softer than Asics’ conventional GEL insert. For the upper, Asics employs a lightweight engineered knit fabric that is highly breathable, conforms easily to the foot and offers exceptional comfort. Finally, the outsole is a hybrid construction that combines AHARPLUS rubber for durability with ASICSGRIP outsole rubber for improved traction and softness.

Stability Shoes

Best for runners with a tendency to overpronate
best running gear 2024

Saucony Guide 16

A great daily training shoe with unobtrusive stability features

Runners seeking stability without comprising cushioning and responsiveness will appreciate the new Guide 16. The upper has been tweaked for an improved fit and better lockdown. Overlays have also been adjusted, as has the heel cup. For the midsole, Saucony continues to use its PWRRUN EVA foam, which delivers a nice balance of cushioning and responsiveness. Pronation control is provided by Saucony’s HOLLOW-TECH stability device, which consists of a firm TPU insert on the medial side of the shoe. Other notable details include an 8 mm drop that hits the sweet spot for many runners and an XT-900 carbon rubber outsole that delivers plenty of durability.

Trail Shoes

Best for runners seeking a plush ride, protection, and traction during long trail runs
New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail V3

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3

A trail running shoe with maximum cushioning

Trail runners who want the benefits of maximal cushioning shoes will appreciate the Fresh Foam X More Trail v3. The shoes feature New Balance’s Fresh Foam X midsole, which is composed of 3 percent bio-based content and delivers exceptional cushioning while also reducing environmental impact. The midsole’s generous proportions (40 mm in the heel, 36 mm in the forefoot, and a 4 mm drop) also ensure excellent trail protection without the need for a traditional rock plate. A lightweight, seamless engineered mesh upper does an admirable job of providing a comfortable and secure fit, and the addition of abrasion-resistant overlays ensures your feet are protected when training in challenging trail conditions. Finally, New Balance has chosen Vibram’s aggressive Ecostep outsole for exceptional traction in a variety of trails.

Best for runners seeking a versatile shoe with a wide forefoot.
Altra Outroad 2

Altra Outroad 2

A hybrid road-to-trail shoe for packed trails and paved surfaces.

Altra shoe fans already know that the brand offers a unique wide forefoot shape that encourages a runner’s foot to splay when running, and the Outroad 2, with its roomy last, is no exception. The shoe bridges the gap between the current crop of trail-specific and road-specific shoes, offering a one-shoe solution for runners who spend their time training on the road and trails. The Outroad 2 achieves this dual-personality performance primarily through the use of a MaxTrac rubber outsole, which features densely spaced mid-size lugs for solid traction on the road and gentle trails. The midsole consists of Altra’s AltraEGO foam that delivers protective cushioning while remaining sufficiently responsive for faster-paced training. The upper is an engineered mesh that does a good job of maintaining breathability while keeping out dirt and trail debris.

Best for runners seeking a light, nimble trail running shoe with additional stability
Salomon alphacross v5

Salomon Alphacross 5

A protective all-round trail shoe

The updated Gel Trabuco is now lighter, yet still provides all the traction and protection runners demand on challenging trails. The shoe features Asics’ FF BLAST midsole technology, which delivers exceptional lively cushioning without excessive weight. The addition of GEL construction in the heel adds even more impact absorption. Asics employs a unique adaptive guidance system that ensures stability when running on uneven terrain and is especially useful during the later stages of your run, when fatigue sets in and your form starts to suffer. Additional protection is derived from a rock plate that shields runners from sharp rocks and roots. For the upper, Asics specs a durable, highly breathable and foot-conforming engineered mesh. Finally, Asics has used an aggressively lugged outsole that features ASICSGRIP rubber for excellent traction and durability.

Products reviewed in this article:

Best for runners seeking a simple, affordable, no-nonsense shoe for racing and fast training

Brooks Hyperion

Brooks Hyperion

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners who want a highly cushioned trainer without extra weight

New Balance Rebel v4

Rebel v4

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking an affordable race-day shoe with added durability

Saucony Endorphin Speed v4

Saucony speed v4

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for neutral runners seeking a smooth ride and great cushioning

Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for neutral runners seeking comfort and cushioning

New Balance 1080 v13

1080 v13

Buy Now Men's

Buy Now Women's

Buy Now Men's

Buy Now Women's

Best for neutral runners seeking a luxuriously plush ride

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26

Asics Gel Nimbus 26

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners with a tendency to overpronate

Saucony Guide 16

best running gear 2024

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking a plush ride, protection, and traction during long trail runs

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail V3

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking a versatile shoe with a wide forefoot.

Altra Outroad 2

Altra Outroad 2

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking a light, nimble trail running shoe with additional stability

Salomon Alphacross 5

Salomon alphacross v5

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Top 10 shoes our testers are loving this April

We tested tons of great shoes this year, but only the very best make the list