Five top neutral shoes

A look at the latest neutral shoes to hit the shelves

Brooks Glycerin

Many of you will be familiar with the idea of ‘neutral’ running shoes. For those who are not, here’s a brief explanation. ‘Neutral’ runners neither over-pronate (where your foot rolls too far inward upon hitting the ground) or under-pronate (where you foot doesn’t roll inward enough upon hitting the ground). Such runners are encouraged – by most brands, at least – to wear shoes with maximum midsole protection and minimum medial support. We rounded up the latest batch of neutral shoes to see what’s what…

Asics Gel-Ds Trainer 19
The engineered mesh is stretchy and supportive, making for a glove-like fit. Asics has also loaded these full with specs, such as a ComfortDry Sockliner, to make the upgrade from previous models feel truly worthwhile.
The 12mm drop heel to toe might have the Tarahumara fan club getting their huaraches in a twist.
Best for:
Runners with a neutral gait looking for a lightweight, flashy shoe with all the specs.
Reflective strips, blinding yellow and punchy blue will make you look more like Usain Bolt than Kilian Jornet. Decide for yourselves if this is a good thing.
Value for money:
At a smidge over the £100 mark, you should rightly expect lots of specs and a shoe to last you many a good mile. These live up to the task on both counts.
In a nutshell:
You can often judge the quality of a shoe on the number in the name. ‘19’ suggests Asics are on to a winner here, and we totally agree.
Star rating:

Skechers Go Run Ultra
Weight: 269g
Strengths: Manages to provide significant padding while remaining as flexible as a yoga teacher. They’re also supremely comfortable with a roomy toe-box.
Weaknesses:The amount of midsole protection creates a high ride, making them less responsive than more minimal alternatives.
Best for: Ultramarathons in the hills and on the road. Could also be used for recovery runs on tired legs.
Style: Understated in blue and grey, the Skechers Go-Run Ultras are an all-business affair.
Value for money:At £84, you’re getting a lot of shoe for your money – a relative bargain.
In a nutshell:A flexible, comfortable shoe perfect for the more-is-more brigade and those looking to run seriously long distances.
Star rating:4/5

Brooks Glycerin 12
: £130
Weight: 312g
Strengths: Super comfortable, with 25 per cent better cushioning than before, yet much lighter.
Weaknesses: Some who are used to the Glycerin line may be heartbroken to hear that the DNA drop-ins (Brooks’ signature gel-cushioning units used in all previous versions) have been ditched in favour of a new “Super DNA” compound, as found in the Transcends.
Best for: Neutral runners looking for good cushioning and responsiveness. These will serve you well for putting in some serious training miles.
Style: Effortlessly slick, as you’d expect from Brooks top-of-the-line shoe.
Value for money: Pricey – but worth every penny.
In a nutshell: Brooks call this the ultimate ‘float shoe’ for the neutral runner. We agree – these are heavenly to run in.
Star rating: 4.5/5

New Balance 890v4
Weight: 240g
Strengths: Light without sacrificing on cushioning, these shoes encourage a midfoot strike despite the 8mm drop.
Weaknesses: For such a lightweight shoe, the tongue feels unnecessarily cumbersome, making them feel less snug a fit than the New Balance ‘Fantom Fit’ promises.
Best for: Race day on the road or some mid-paced training miles.
Style: New Balance was one of the first brands to up the ante on eye-catching colours and this shoe is no exception.
Value for money: Good for the big day and for training, you’ll get your money’s worth.
In a nutshell: At first glance, the blown rubber outsole suggests these shoes might be a clunky ride. But never judge a shoe by its rubber – the 890v4 feels smooth and fast.
Star rating: 4/5

Nike Pegasus 31
Weight: 312g
Strengths: Mo Farah says this is the best Pegasus yet and, on first impressions, we’d have to agree. The shoe packs a great amount of cushioning, courtesy of the Zoom Air units, while it also hugs the foot thanks to its streamlined fit.
Weaknesses: The toe box is a little snug and the sturdy midsole lacks a little flexibility when you really want to push the pace.
Best for: Long, road runs when you just want to feel the miles ticking by.
Style: It’s Nike, so what do you expect? Understated aesthetics in go-faster blue.
Value for money: At £85, this is really good value for money.
In a nutshell: A seriously well-cushioned shoe that packs a big bang for the bucks.
Star rating: 4/5

What are your favourite running shoes? Let us know in the comment box below.



Rick Pearson

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