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RunSociety Picks: Top 25 Must Have Running Shoes of 2013

by On Dec 30, 2013
RunSociety’s Top Shoes of 2013

The year’s races are wrapping up. With 2014 just around the corner, take a deep breath, and take a look at all the races you’ve ran (and conquered) over the year.

As clothes make the man, so do shoes make the runner, and 2013 saw an enormous number of shoe launches. It’s impossible to keep track of them all, so RunSociety gathered up the shoes that made the largest footprints in their respective categories, and compiled them into a wonderful list.

Your favourite shoes aren’t here? Drop a comment and share them with us.

Note: All shoe weights are based on men’s US size 9.

Stability Running Shoes

2013 saw the return of plenty of tried-and-tested stability ranges, which help athletes who require support for mild or moderate overpronation. These shoes tend to have better support and midcushion for runners with normal to low arches.

Asics Gel Kayano 20

  • Weight: 320 grams
  • 10mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Gel Kayano has an illustrious history, hitting 20 years with no signs of slowing down. The FluidRide midsole gives a responsive base, and the heel clutching system offers support for overpronators. This classic maximum support trainer also accounts for differences in foot anatomy between men and women, with the women’s shoe having gender-specific cushioning.

Asics kayano black gold mens

Brooks Trance 12

  • Weight: 345 grams
  • 9mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Featuring full-length DNA cushioning gel, a highly viscous liquid that change to adapt to the individual’s biomechanics, and the world’s first biodegradable BioMoGo midsole, the Brooks Trance 12 is has numerous technologies that gives pronation control and arch support.

Brooks Trance 12

Nike Lunarglide+ 5

  • Weight: 277 grams
  • 12mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Nike LunarGlide+ 5 is lighter than its predecessor without sacrificing an ounce of stability. It features a cleaner, sleeker silhouette, and ultra-light FlyWire connected to the laces give a better mid-foot fit. The Dynamic Support is a two-part midsole system that helps the foot more efficiently absorb the shock from hitting the ground.

Nike Lunarglide+ 5

Saucony Hurricane 15

  • Weight: 317 grams
  • 8mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Hurricane 15 combines the features of a stability shoe with the feel of a lightweight training shoe. In a surprising move, the Hurricane 15’s PowerGrid midsole and outsole remains almost unchanged from its older counterpart, and that’s a good thing. The Sauc-Fit system ensures a great fit around the arch and locks in the heel for maximum stability.

Saucony Hurricane 15

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8

  • Weight: 255 grams
  • 12mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Wave Elixir 8 has different aesthetics from its predecessor, with a checkerboard pattern instead of the Elixir 7’s bold animal prints. But the excellent midsole and outsole combination remains unchanged, giving runners a lightweight shoe that has excellent stability support.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8

Neutral Running Shoes

These shoes, while built for running, are pretty versatile as well. Suited for runners with normal to high arches, they can be used for a wide range of other activities, from gym sessions to normal everyday use. 2013 saw a couple of interesting new launches which we will be watching with keen interest on next year.

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Reebok ONE Cushion

  • Weight: 280 grams
  • 13mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Reebok’s ONE series of running shoes has been a surprise hit, and for good reason. The ONE Cushion is a comfortable ride, with its signature Zoned Function System dividing the shoes into 3 distinct zones for shock attenuation, foot guidance and propulsion, and an outsole release zone for pronation control.

Reebok ONE Cushion

Mizuno Wave Rider 16

  • Weight: 286 grams
  • 13mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The 16th iteration of the Wave Rider is 28 grams light than its predecessor, and has excellent responsive shock absorption thanks to Mizuno’s innovative Wave plate technology. Internal forefoot overlays provide superior foothold, and the Dynamotion Fit emulates motion of feet, eliminating bunching, pulling and sliding. As Mizuno’s most popular series, you really can’t go wrong with the Wave Rider 16.

Mizuno Wave Rider 16

Brooks Ghost 6

  • Weight: 243 grams
  • 10mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Light, bouncy and balanced, the 6th iteration of the Brooks Ghost removes the midfoot shank to create full ground contact from heel to toe. Horseshoe Segmented Crash Pad extending around the heel helps with shock absorption, and its “no-stitch” breathable upper offers durability and comfort. Hitting the optimum balance of durability and cushioning, the Ghost 6 can handle anything you throw at it.

Brooks Ghost 6

Nike Air Pegasus+ 30

  • Weight: 311 grams
  • 14mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Pegasus is 30 years young this year! That the range has lasted so long is testament to its reliability and success. Ultralight engineered mesh on upper gives support and ventilation, and the Nike Zoom heel unit delivers low-profile, responsive cushioning. As they say: “If it works, don’t fix it,” and with the same sole layout as its predecessor, the Air Pegasus+ 30 continues to give great forefoot flexibility and excellent cushioning.

Nike Air Pegasus+ 30

New Balance 890v4

  • Weight: 284 grams
  • 8mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Despite its bulkier profile, the 890v4 is lighter than its older counterpart, thanks to the new FantomFit technology for a stitch free upper. With a unique podular sole called the ABZORB Crash Pad for added stability, the 890v4 offers great cushioning for extended road work.

New Balance 890v4

Puma Mobium Elite

  • Weight: 255 grams
  • 10mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Mobium Elite makes is another surprisingly strong debut. Its unique feature, the Mobium band, is an elasticised band that emulates the tendons in one’s foot. Meant to help a runner adapt to a forefoot strike, we’re interested in how far Puma will develop this technology.

Puma Mobium Elite

Minimalist Running Shoes

2013 has seen the rise of the ‘minimalist’ wave in full force. These shoes aim to recreate the barefoot experience, while offering minimum protection from hazards and terrain.

Merrell Road Glove 2

  • Weight: 200grams
  • 0mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Merrell Road Glove 2 is a great addition to the minimalist movement. The updated aesthetics with reflective details, protective toe cap and upper mesh treated with Aegis antimicrobial solution makes the Merrell Road Glove 2 such a joy to run in.

Also read:  Gear Up with PowerDot: The World's First Wearable Sports Muscle Connected Stimulator

Merrell Road Glove 2

Adizero Feather 3

  • Weight: 225grams
  • 0mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Holding some superior technology, the third iteration of the Adizero Feather is definitely made to go miles. With SPRINTWEB support and lightweight heel cushioning, the Adizero Feather 3 definitely flies as fast as it looks.

Adizero Feather 3

New Balance Minimus Ionix 3090v2

  • Weight: 186 grams
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Minimus Ionix 3090v2 is powered by REVlite technology, which provides responsiveness at a 30% lighter weight than other foams. The sole is inspired by inspired by the geometries of a molecule, and offers good protection while running. Its no-sew synthetic overlay gives great support no matter how fast you go.

New Balance Minimus Ionix 3090v2

Saucony Virrata

  • Weight: 184 grams
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Virrata is Saucony’s answer to the minimalist movement, and it isn’t pulling any punches. With EVA foam that is a lighter alternative to rubber in the midsole and outsole construction, the Virrata is the lightest of the minimalist shoes at 184 grams, edging out the Minimus Ionix 3090v2 by 2 grams.

Saucony Virrata

Nike Flyknit Lunar One+

  • Weight: 226 grams
  • 10mm Heel-to-Toe drop

With an innovative single-layer upper, constructed entirely of precision-engineered polyester yarn, the Nike Flyknit series has one of the most distinct aesthetics of any running shoe we’ve ever seen. Combined with the ultra-soft Lunarlon cushioning and weighing at a light 226 grams, the Nike Flyknit Lunar One+ is a snug and agile shoe that fits like a sock and runs light as a feather.

Nike Flyknit Lunar One+

Racing Shoes

For runners who have normal arches and are looking for maximum performance above all else, these shoes will not fail you on race day. The 2013 lineup has some interesting and high profile additions joining the fray.

Nike Free Flyknit+ 5.0

  • Weight: 195 grams
  • 9mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Taking the Phylite midsole and outsole from the Free 5.0 platform and planting it on a polyster yarn knitted upper, the Free Flyknit+ has excellent flexibility and truly distinct aesthetic appeal.

Nike Free Flyknit+ 5.0

Asics GT 1000 2

  • Weight: 311 grams
  • 9mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The latest generation of the Asics GT 1000 gets a sleek new upper. With full length SpEva material along the outsole to soak up impact, along with heel and forefoot gel units, the Asics GT 1000 2 provides reliable, long-lasting impact protection. This is a reliable and supportive trainer that won’t let you down.

Asics GT 1000 2

Saucony Kinvara 4

  • Weight: 218 grams
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Kinvara 4 sports an all-new look and feel from its predecessor, thanks to its new Flexfilm upper mesh. With upgraded PowerGrid technology that’s 15% lighter and 30% more durable than standard EVA foams, the Kinvara 4 provides heel protection without sacrificing its lightweightness.

Saucony Kinvara 4

Mizuno Wave Sayonara

  • Weight: 240 grams
  • 10mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Wave Sayonara is a spiritual successor of sorts to the discontinued Wave Precision series. Its new U4ic (pronounced ‘euphoric’) midsole provides commendable resilience, and the Wave plate technology gives good cushioning and stability. Its bold, bright colours definitely evoke images of its namesake, making the Wave Sayonara an attractive choice for training or race day alike.

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Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Trail Running Shoes

The virtues of trail running are plenty, and you can reap the benefits with these trailblazing shoes. Interestingly, 3 of the 5 shoes that launched in 2013 had waterproofed Gore Tex variations for extra protection against the outdoors.

Merrell Ascend Glove Trail

  • Weight: 255 grams (280 grams for GTX version)
  • 0mm Heel-to-Toe drop

Containing a Trail Protection Plate on the outsole, the Merrell Ascend Glove Trail gives extra comfort over more complicated terrain, such as rocky trails. The seamless and seamless MotionMesh works to help breathability and range of motion. The Ascend Glove Trail also comes with a waterproof Gore Tex version.

Merrell Ascend Glove Trail

Brooks Pure Grit 2

  • Weight: 274 grams
  • 6mm Heel-to-Toe drop

With a new outsole sporting a diamond-shaped lug pattern, the Pure Grit 2 improves on its predecessor with a better grip. The new asymmetrical tongue and lacing also does away with bunching and consequently blisters and hot spots. It’s these 2 big improvements that make the Pure Grit 2 a substantial upgrade over the original.

Brooks Pure Grit 2

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

  • Weight: 178 grams
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The Minimus 10v2 Trail manages to save all the strengths from the original, while managing to weight 15 percent lighter. The bulk of weight savings come from a reconfigured outsole, which now feature six-sided lugs of varying size over the round rubber pads seen in the previous version, making it the lightest trail shoe in the list.

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

The North Face Ultra Guide

  • Weight: 272grams (301 grams for GTX version)
  • 8mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The streamlined look of the Ultra Guide proves that trail running shoe designs don’t have to be large and cumbersome. Featuring V-shaped lugs on the outsole for gripping terrain and a plastic plate rock shield located in the forefoot, the Ultra Guide also comes with a Gore Tex version to keep your feet warm and snuggly even in wet conditions.

The North Face Ultra Guide

Brooks Adrenaline ASR 10

  • Weight: 310 grams (330 grams for GTX Version)
  • 12mm Heel-to-Toe drop

The advanced technologies that the Adrenaline ASR 10 packs (DNA cushioning, BioMoGo sole, Stable Pod Configuration) may seem like overkill. But with a water-repellent finish (and being entirely waterproof in the Gore Tex version), the Adrenaline ASR 10 is a sturdy trainer fit for everyday running in all kinds of terrain and weather.

Brooks Adrenaline ASR 10

Choose the Best Shoes for You

While we've searched high and low to compile this list, do know that finding the right shoe for yourself is a personal choice. There are many considerations to take note; from your preferred heel-to-toe drop, to shoe weight, arch support and so many others. Be sure to take your time to look, and it's always best to try before you buy.

Having said that, thanks for reading and let's race towards 2014!

Jonathan was a stereotypical couch potato a few years ago. He finally took the courage to take his health into his own hands, and now enjoys lengthy runs by East Coast Park.

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