Footwear for racing a 10K to half marathon distance has to hit an elusive sweet spot. The shoe should be efficient and ready for high performance—but not so much that runners must forgo all creature comforts, as they might for a fast 5K racing shoe. A shoe you wear for an hour or two is very different from one that you only wear for a third of that time.
This season you can choose from many great options; here are three, depending on your specific needs and preferences.
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adidas adizero Takumi Sen 3 Boost, $160
Weight: 6 oz. Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm The adidas adizero Takumi Sen 3 Boost is a unisex sized, lightweight speedster packed with abundant call-outs, like Boost material in the forefoot for outstanding energy return and impact dampening, with a 9mm drop for some heel cushioning. This neutral, elite racing shoe has a wider toe box, features Continental rubber on the tip and tail of its outsole and a midfoot stability system to aid in the fore-to-rear transition. The mesh and textile upper is both comfortable and breathable, and drains quickly after dashing water over your head at aid stations.
Reebok Floatride Run, $150
Weight: 8.9 oz. Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm For those who want a remarkably soft and flexible racing shoe, Reebok’s newest shoe, the Floatride Run, is also its most technically advanced. The seamless knit upper offers supreme flexibility without binding the foot, and yet the foot hold is quite secure due to a midfoot cage, thick laces and a heel counter that lock the foot into place. The Floatride accommodates most foot shapes, and its midsole uses a foam cell material for those who don’t want to race in the standard, rigid, unforgiving racing flat. In other words, the Floatride is more absorbing and cushioned than you’d expect from a 10K to half marathon shoe.
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4, $110
Weight: 7.6 oz. Heel-to-Toe Drop: 9mm Mizuno’s Wave Hitogami 4 is more of a comfort racing flat with enough cushioning and impact protection to serve an efficient runner for a full marathon, given its Wave impact dispersion technology insert and a new full-length midsole compound for better response and durability. The newest Hitogami has the narrow fit of a racing flat and weighs in at 7.6oz with a 9mm drop that speaks to its heel cushioning for slower running later in the race.