As New Balance’s premier stability trainer, the 1226 stands its ground as a structured utility vehicle. It’s stiffer with plenty of shock-dampening qualities and a close fit, and comes in width choices so you can buy the right model for your foot type. The heel hold is quite deep and feels comfortably secure; and the forefoot hold, as might be expected from New Balance, is very comfortable. Our testers like the feel of the tongue and soft encapsulation of their feet. It’s too much shoe, though, for lightweight runners who want something more sleek and flexible for their tempo runs.