It's that time of year again—time for the folks at Runner's World magazine to log serious miles in order to bring their recommendations to eager runners everywhere. This year, they tested a whopping 78 pairs of shoes in consideration for their 2019 Fall Shoe Buyer's Guide. Contenders were evaluated in the lab as well as by more than 300 wear-testers who each logged at least 100 miles in their test shoes. They refined the list down to the top 30 shoes across various categories, using comfort, stability, and overall ride as key benchmarks. Below are some of the standouts.
Editor's Choice for a Speed Shoe: Hoka One One Rincon
Straight out of the gate, Runner's World was singing the praises of the Hoka One One Rincon, declaring it "the best Hoka you can buy right now." That's a pretty serious compliment, given how broad and diverse Hoka's offerings are.
Speed Hot List: New Balance FuelCell Rebel
Another contender in the speed category is the New Balance FuelCell Rebel, which features a unique "fin" on the outer edge of the shoe where most of the fastest runners make initial contact. This extra bit of foam offers runners a smoother landing while also guiding them efficiently to their toes for the fastest toe-off possible.
Editor's Choice for Cushion: Brooks Ghost 12
The Brooks Ghost 12 was recognized by Runner's World as an Editor's Choice shoe for the eighth time this year. Why does it so consistently find itself on their list? Its versatility is unparalleled. Testers wore Ghosts for speedwork, tempo runs, long-distance runs, and beyond and the shoes were equally comfortable during every activity.
Recommended for Cushion: Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3
The third generation of the already-popular Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit road running shoe features an update to the Wave plate that made it plush enough to earn a "cushion recommendation" from Runner's World. Where there used to be a Pebax Wave plate in the midsole, there is now an XPOP Wave—which joins two layers of foam together for a more comfortable ride.
Stability Hot List: ASICS GT-2000 8
Overpronators everywhere clamor to get their pair of ASICS GT-2000 whenever they're released—and with good reason! The GT-2000 offers premium stability without sacrificing comfort. This eighth iteration of the shoe was redesigned to offer the smoothest ride yet, according to testers at Runner's World.