Running your best and fastest often takes a delicate balance between comfort and discomfort. Sure, speed is about tolerating pain sometimes, but that doesn’t have to translate to pain in your feet. To run at your peak you need shoes that will perform and that fit and feel right. Finding the right shoe for speed may open the door to a breakthrough performance—and fortunately, there is an abundant offering of summer footwear to help you.
To use this guide, be subjective and ask yourself about the shape and needs of your feet and whether you can forfeit weight and lack of cushioning for the distances you plan to train or race. Keep in mind that racing flats and lightweight trainers traditionally fit more snugly and are more minimalist than high-mileage training shoes.
With this guide, we will help you choose your fastest shoe by looking at three categories: FIT, FEEL and RIDE. Our panel of testers, all experienced and elite racers, rated the test samples objectively to help direct your choice. But first, you’ll need to identify your own characteristics; ask yourself such things as, “Do I have a narrow foot?” “Are my arches high, normal or low?” And so forth. The answers to these questions will allow you to use this review as a virtual try-on so that you can hone in on a shoe, or several shoes, that best accommodate your feet and running form for your speed sessions or race. Then you can test them at your local running retailer.
Click on the shoes below to read our reviews!
Written by Adam Chase/Photos by Nils Nilsen