Winner: Runner's World Editor's Choice
The prestigious "Editor's Choice" award went to the Saucony Hurricane ISO 2. Saucony has definitely outdone themselves with this shoe. It's amazingly comfortable thanks to the generous padding in the two-layer upper. The midsole has layers of Everun - a layer in the heel and another right under the sockliner. Your foot is cushioned and then bounced back. It's rare to find a shoe that fits so perfectly, but the Hurricane ISO 2 hugs the heels and midfoot while still leaving ample room for your toes. The extra support is perfect for overpronators thanks to the firm material under the inside of the heel and arch.
Runner's World testers claim that the Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 are comfy right out of the box and "have great cushioning spread throughout the shoe in all the right places."
Shop the women's Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 and the men's Saucony Hurricane ISO 2.
Winner: Runner's World Best Debut
The Mizuno Wave Catalyst is the newest in Mizuno's line of touted lightweight performance shoes. Flexible, yet snug and supportive, the Catalyst is firmly responsive with enough cushioning to offer comfort and protection without slowing you down. The patented Wave plate is notched on the outside to reduce rigidity and the steep, short waves under the arch provide structure. Mizuno lovers will be thrilled: The new Wave Catalyst has the support of the Elixir with the cushioning of the Sayonara.
RW Tester's say that this shoe is a pleasure to run in and has "good balance between responsiveness and a cushioned ride."
Shop the men's Mizuno Wave Catalyst and the women's Mizuno Wave Catalyst.
Winner: Runner's World Best Buy
I've yet to hear any complaints about New Balance's Fresh Foam. The folks at Runner's World must agree because they have awarded the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2 the 2016 Best Buy award. Like its predecessor, this shoe achieves the "sweet spot between cushioning and responsiveness" but this year's model opens up the fit around the arch and extends the midfoot saddle farther forward. The Zante V2 has even more cushioning in the forefoot and a thicker rubber outsole. Overall, it's a reasonably priced comfortable running shoe.
Runner's World testers love that Fresh Foam Zante V2 has more cushioning and "felt light enough to do quicker, shorter intervals on the track but durable enough to serve as my ride through a six-mile tempo run."
Shop the women's New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2 and the men's New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V2.