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Top 10 shoes our testers are loving in June

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

Hoka Mach 6

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 fast, responsive training shoe with cushioning
Salomon Phantasm 2

Salomon Phantasm 2

A fast training shoe with propulsive technology

Designed as a go-fast training shoe, the Phantasm 2 delivers the performance and cushioning runners demand during faster running. The shoe features a unique midsole that combines an Energy Blade plate with a two-part foam midsole, creating a responsive, propulsive ride while still retaining sufficient cushioning for daily training. Salomon’s rocker geometry promotes a faster and smoother heel-to-toe transition, which ensures the Phantasm 2 feels fast even at the end of a long run. For the upper, Salomon has spec’d a highly breathable mesh textile with strategically placed padding for exceptional fit and foothold. Finally, the outsole has been updated with more rubber in the forefoot and heel for increased durability.

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 a lightweight shoe for daily training and tempo runs
Hoka Mach 6

Hoka Mach 6

A lightweight and responsive daily trainer

The Mach 6 is Hoka’s lightest and most responsive version in the Mach series. With this model, Hoka has used its supercritical EVA-based foam midsole, which provides extra energy return without compromising cushioning. For runners who need specs, the midsole measures 37 mm in the heel and 35 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a 5 mm drop. The upper is constructed with a creel jacquard textile that provides exceptional ventilation and a foot-conforming fit. It should be noted that the Mach 6 tends to fit a bit narrow, so runners with paddle-like feet may want to look elsewhere. The outsole has also been updated with a larger patch of Durabrasion rubber that now covers the majority of the sole, ensuring improved durability and traction. If you are a narrow-footed runner looking for a fast and versatile shoe, check out the Mach 6.

Daily Trainers

Best for runners seeking a neutral shoe with maximal cushioning and protection
Brooks Ghost Max

Brooks Ghost Max

A maximal cushioning shoe

Runners who are fans of the Ghost 15, but who want even more cushioning, should check out the Ghost Max. The shoe features a DNA Loft v2 midsole that is 39 mm in the heel and 33 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a 6 mm drop. As would be expected with such a generous midsole, the Ghost Max provides an exceptional amount of cushioning, making it ideal for longer runs or for anyone seeking additional impact protection. Brooks adds its GlideRoll rocker, which encourages a faster and smoother heel-to-toe transition and makes the shoe feel more nimble, considering its maximal proportions. The Ghost Max also features a broad base that improves stability without interfering with the shoe’s neutral ride. For the upper, Brooks has employed an engineered mesh that is lightweight and highly breathable. Finally, Brooks specs a highly durable outsole that ensures runners will get full use out of the Ghost Max.

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 lightweight max cushion shoe
On Cloudmonster 2

On Cloudmonster 2

A maximal cushioning daily trainer

The dramatic-looking Cloudmonster 2 delivers exceptional cushioning for daily training and longer runs. Built on a substantial dual-density Helion foam midsole with huge CloudTec pods and a nylon Speedboard propulsion insert, the Cloudmonster 2 delivers a plush, protective ride without feeling sluggish. The shoe features a 6 mm drop, making it a viable option for a wide range of runners. ON has updated the upper with a new premium-looking engineered mesh that does a good job of providing ventilating while also ensuring a secure locked-in fit. It’s worth noting that the toe box is exceptionally roomy–a major win for runners with wide feet. Finally, the outsole is significantly more durable than what was used in the original Cloudmonster.

Stability Shoes

Best for runners seeking a daily training stability shoe with cushioning
Salomon Drx Bliss

Salomon DRX Bliss

A stability shoe with plenty of cushioning

Unlike traditional stability shoes that employ ridgid posts and plastic inserts to control excessive pronation, the Drx Bliss achieves the same goal with its innovative, vibrant orange Active Chassis panels. These firmer panels are sandwiched in the centre of the Energy Foam midsole and provide exceptional linear stability and control without compromising the shoe’s cushioning or responsiveness. The midsole clocks in at 34 mm in the heel and 26 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a 9 mm drop–a sweet spot for many heel-striking runners. For the upper, Salomon has used an engineered mesh with overlays and mated it to a midfoot lacing system that provides an exceptional locked-in fit. Larger runners seeking a nimble stability shoe will appreciate the Drx Bliss.

Best for runners seeking stability, cushioning and comfort
Asics Gel Kayano 30

Asics Gel-Kayano 30

An updated, time-tested classic stability shoe

For the 30th anniversary of the Kayano series, Asics has delivered a major update to this classic stability shoe. From a stability perspective, Asics is now using its 4D Guidance System, which provides more natural and adaptive support. For the revamped midsole, Asics now uses FF Blast Plus Eco foam that’s softer and lighter, and that delivers a smoother ride when compared to previous midsoles. At the back of the shoe, Asics has spec’d its PureGEL technology for efficient impact absorption. Asics has also bumped up the stack height to 40 mm in the heel and 30 mm in the forefoot, resulting in a 10 mm drop. This midsole height increase delivers increased cushioning that will be appreciated on longer runs. The upper also receives an update with a breathable, engineered stretch knit fabric that provides support without bulky overlays. The outsole has also been tweaked with ultra-durable AHAR rubber being used more strategically to help decrease weight. With all these changes, the Gel-Kayano 30 exceeds the performance of previous models and should be a top choice for runners wanting a comfortable stability shoe for daily training.

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.

Products reviewed in this article:

Best for runners seeking a fast, responsive training shoe with cushioning

Salomon Phantasm 2

Salomon Phantasm 2

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 a lightweight shoe for daily training and tempo runs

Hoka Mach 6

Hoka Mach 6

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking a neutral shoe with maximal cushioning and protection

Brooks Ghost Max

Brooks Ghost Max

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 lightweight max cushion shoe

On Cloudmonster 2

On Cloudmonster 2

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking a daily training stability shoe with cushioning

Salomon DRX Bliss

Salomon Drx Bliss

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Buy Now - Men's

Buy Now - Women's

Best for runners seeking stability, cushioning and comfort

Asics Gel-Kayano 30

Asics Gel Kayano 30

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

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

Top 10 shoes our testers are loving in June

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