The Best Road Running Shoes of 2022

Kicks for logging tarmac miles

Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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Craft Pro Endur Distance ($150)

Craft Pro Endur Distance
(Photo: Courtesy Craft)

Best Long-Run Shoe

This Swedish-made shoe has an off-the-charts weight-to-cushioning ratio. At just 8.2 ounces for men and 6.3 ounces for women, it delivers 34 millimeters of foam in the heel and 24 up front. Credit a thermoplastic midsole foam that’s similar to Pebax—a material often found in carbon-plated super shoes that delivers more energy and impact resistance than traditional EVA or TPU, but at a fraction of the weight. That speedy midsole is bolstered by the airy one-piece engineered-mesh upper, which fits snugly yet unobtrusively around the midfoot. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable, cushioned neutral trainer that feels this lively. 8.2 oz (men’s) / 6.3 oz (women’s); 10 mm drop


Adidas Ultraboost 22 ($190)

Adidas Ultraboost 22
(Photo: Courtesy Adidas)

Best Supportive Shoe

This über-comfy knit shoe boasts a midsole made from Adidas’s expanded-TPU Boost foam, which produces a soft and cushy ride—more Cadillac than sports car. “I would wear these on a day when my body felt like it needed a little extra love,” said one tester. The shoe also gets bonus points for the stretchy upper, which is made of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent recycled ocean plastic. We’re particularly excited about the women’s model. It’s fit around a last that was based on scans of 1.2 million women’s feet. The outcome: a slightly narrower instep (from top to bottom), a narrower heel hold, and a dense rubber segment on the medial outsole to keep feet from rolling inward, since women tend to pronate more than men. 11.9 oz (men’s) / 8.4 oz (women’s); 10 mm drop


Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3 ($160)

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3
(Photo: Courtesy Nike)

Most Comfortable Shoe

Good shoes make you want to go running. The React Infinity Flyknit is that kind of shoe. It employs Nike’s React foam, which combines EVA with thermoplastic polymers to produce energetic pop without sacrificing cushion—ideal for fast long runs. The moderately stacked midsole (34.2 to 25.2 millimeters for men, 31.7 to 23.4 for women) also flares wide under the forefoot and heel, offering a touch of pronation control. That’s helped by a knit upper that wraps securely around the arch, while a plush heel collar adds to the supreme comfort. 11.2 oz (men’s) / 9 oz (women’s); 9 mm drop (men’s) / 8.4 mm drop (women’s)


Saucony Axon 2 ($100)

Saucony Axon 2
(Photo: Courtesy Saucony)

Best Value

This shoe may come with a reasonable price tag, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on cushioning. A generous stack of EVA-blend foam—35 millimeters under the heel and 31 up front—had us feeling well protected from the impacts of concrete and asphalt. But because this particular foam blend is firm and responsive rather than squishy and energy-sucking, all that joint-saving mass doesn’t come at the expense of a peppy feel. Noticeable curvature at the forefoot helps roll you forward for a fast ride and toe-off. A breathable mesh upper and sleek tongue keep the shoe from feeling overbuilt. For those who want one shoe to run various distances and hop into an occasional race, this relatively light model could be your quiver of one. 8.5 oz (women’s) / 9.6 oz (men’s); 4 mm drop


Diadora Equipe Atomo ($195)

Diadora Equipe Atomo
(Photo: Courtesy Diadora)

Best Max-Cushion Shoe

This shoe exhibits the type of careful craftsmanship we expect from handmade Italian goods. Runners who like a lot of foam underfoot but find most max-cushioned shoes too mushy will enjoy the energetic feeling of the Atomo’s firm midsole: a full-length layer of EVA blended with a proprietary compressed rubber material. That midsole balances out the 27.5-millimeter heel stack and wide profile so you get a stable fit and impact-absorbent ride, but also a quick, sporty stride. A thick engineered-mesh upper paired with a modestly padded tongue and collar kept our feet comfortable and happy during the longest of long runs. 6.7 oz (women’s) / 8.8 oz (men’s); 5 mm drop


Asics Noosa Tri 14 ($130)

Asics Noosa Tri 14
(Photo: Courtesy Asics)

Best for Tempo Runs

Named after the largest Olympic-distance triathlon in the world, Asics’ Noosa Tri 14 is the daily trainer our testers reached for when they wanted to go fast. It has a lower profile and slightly softer midsole than the Noosa Tri 13, and it features a sharper forefoot rocker that promotes an efficient forward roll during toe-off. The result feels like a slingshot with each stride. But don’t let the namesake fool you: this is more than just a triathlon shoe. “This is a simple, no-nonsense, efficient trainer,” said one tester. It’s ideal for uptempo runs and race days. 6.6 oz (women’s) / 7.5 oz (men’s); 5 mm drop


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