The Best Road Running Shoes of 2020

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- 10% Skechers GOrun Forza 4 review
The Skechers GOrun Forza 4 is a good lightweight and sturdy stability road running shoe.
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$135.00 $121.67
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Best deal at: Amazon.com
Last price update was: September 19, 2020 8:16 pm
The fourth in the famous Skechers line of stability shoes, the GOrun Forza 4 is surprisingly lightweight given its chunky yet vibrant style. It's considered one of the "workhorse trainers" of Skechers. While its design makes it more likely to be used as a road shoe, some runners also used it on easy trails. The Forza 4 features two types of midsole material: UltraFlight and Hyperburst, which work in conjunction to ensure runners "bounce" through every stride, while their feet are well-supported by the denser, firmer fabric that UltraFlight provides. The entire midsole section is thick, cushioned, and exceedingly stable, making it fantastic for moderate to longer runs. Meanwhile, the upper part of the Forza 4 is a mix of mono mesh and polyester, which adds to a soft, comfortable ride from heel to toe. The outsole features Goodyear rubber, which — although it appears excessive and thick — runners appreciate for its durability and traction. With the many elements of comfort, support, stability, and style that runners have noted, the Forza 4 wasn't notable for many downsides. However, some users stated that the tongue sits relatively lower on the foot, making tight lacing a bit uncomfortable (and challenging to get snug). Additionally, while the sturdiness of the shoe is a plus, the Forza 4 seems to retain its rigidity over time, even after the break-in process. Unfortunately, this minimizes the ability of the foot to "roll" through each step, according to the testers. Coupled with this response is also the remark that the shoe is "too firm," despite its cushioned midsole and flexible upper. Primarily intended for overpronators, the Forza 4 is suitable for runners of all profiles, including neutral runners. Overall, the Skechers GOrun Forza 4 is a good stability road shoe: lightweight and comfortable despite a relatively firm and somewhat rigid platform.
Comfort
8.5
Durability
9.5
Value for money
9
Design
8.5
PROS:
  • Good general comfort
  • Lightweight for a stability shoe for overpronation
  • A tightly fitting upper that keeps the foot securely and comfortably in place
  • Sturdy shoe
CONS:
  • The rigid platform even after a few runs
  • Rather firm cushioning that may not be suitable for all runners
  • Tongue position is not the most comfortable
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On Running Cloudflow 2.0 review road running shoe
The On Cloudflow 2.0 is a good Swiss-engineered lightweight road running shoe.
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$139.99
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Best deal at: Amazon.com
Last price update was: September 19, 2020 8:16 pm
The On Cloudflow 2.0 is the 2020 version of the original Cloudflow. Engineered with an innovative design and updated features, the Cloudflow 2.0 is made for 5k, 10k, and even half-marathon races. A few noteworthy qualities of the Cloudflow 2.0 include its Helion super foam midsole, which promotes a snappy ride and a consistently smooth ride with its well-cushioned padding—perfect for ensuring optimal comfort on shorter runs. Additionally, the toe box is an ideal width for accommodating a range of foot sizes, from narrow to wide, and is purportedly quite airy due to its breathable upper mesh material. Runners remarked it was a clear step up from the original Cloudflow design. The outsole of the 2.0 has been updated, as well, offering improved traction for a better grip on wet roads. Runners who tried the Cloudflow 2.0 did report a few of the shoe's disadvantages, including a lack of support, faulty outsole design (rocks and debris lodge easily in the grooves), and even stated that the shoe's design caused some abrasions after running longer distances. However, for short-term use, training sessions, and short to moderate races, the 2.0 did not disappoint, offering runners a speed advantage, breathable fabric, and enhanced comfort with its Helion midsole padding. However, the On Cloudflow 2.0 may be a bit pricier than its performance warrants. The promise of superior quality due to the Swiss design of the shoe just doesn't seem to materialize in the Cloudflow 2.0. On a scale of 1-10, we rank this running shoe an 8.7 for its overall positive feedback and enhanced technology from the original Cloudflow design. Runners looking for long-wear shoes that will persevere on trails and longer distances, however, should consider other options.
Comfort
9
Durability
8.5
Value for money
8
Design
9.5
PROS:
  • Good comfort
  • Lightweight shoe
  • Responsive ride
  • Snug fit, good foot lockdown
  • Appealing design
CONS:
  • The outsole quickly shows traces of wear
  • The design of the sole with its "Clouds" tends to retain small stones and gravel
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- 44% Salomon Sonic 3 Confidence road running shoe review
The Salomon Sonic 3 Confidence is a good comfortable road running shoe - the most padded of the Sonic family.
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$130.00 $72.99
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Best deal at: Amazon.com
Last price update was: September 19, 2020 8:16 pm
The third model in the brand's Sonic series, the Salomon Sonic 3 Confidence, is all about added cushioning, support, and traction. The Confidence gives users an added "spring" in their step with its forward-propelling design, serving to energize runners and make it that much easier for them to achieve their desired speed. The Confidence also provides reliable traction for navigating a variety of terrains —though it is probably best for standard road use. Compared with its siblings, the Accelerate, and the Balance, the Confidence stands out for its optimal padding, which better accommodates long-distance runners with this added cushioning. Also, despite the thick stack height of 31 mm for the heel and 21 mm for the forefoot, the cushioning is rather firm to offer a good pop for a more responsive ride. Confidence also commented that the lacing area and tongue have an elastic quality, which means that the shoe can be molded to each user's uniquely-shaped foot. Overall, it's a supportive and reliable running shoe that works perfectly for most longer outdoor excursions and activities. There are a few potential drawbacks to the Confidence's design, including a restrictive midfoot area and an insecure heel collar, which isn't as supportive as the rest of the shoe. Users also noted that the Confidence's design is much clunkier than the Accelerate or the Balance. Perhaps because of this overall big design, the shoe itself tends to run on the larger side, so it's a good idea for users to size down when purchasing. In addition, the unusually-dense mesh fabric of the Confidence combined with its gusseted tongue takes away from foot breathability, especially when compared with other Sonic options. Pricing for the Salomon Sonic 3 Confidence is $130, which is decent, but perhaps not an excellent value given some of the downsides of the shoe. Ultimately, the Sonic 3 Confidence is a good choice for beginner to moderate runners planning to run medium to long distances, due to its extra padding for absorbing the shock of pounding.
Comfort
8
Durability
9.5
Value for money
8.5
Design
8
PROS:
  • Good overall comfort
  • Firm and thick midsole to combine shock absorption and spring
  • A sturdy shoe that can last a while
  • Good stability (note that it's a neutral shoe)
CONS:
  • Heel counter a bit loose that impedes the foot lockdown
  • Lacks a bit of breathability
  • Runs large
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- 17% New Balance 890 v8 review running shoes
The New Balance FuelCell 890 v8 is a good shoe with firm cushioning for speed training.
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$119.99 $99.95
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Best deal at: Amazon.com
Last price update was: September 19, 2020 8:16 pm
The New Balance FuelCell 890 v8 is a lightweight running shoe made for speed. This new version uses New Balance's latest cushioning technology: FuelCell. It replaces Revlite but testers are mixed on the result. Indeed, the cushioning is very firm. According to them, it's not stiff but lacks some spring to truly feel good. This impression fades during fast sessions such as tempo or Fartlek but, at slower speeds, the lack of responsiveness is much more obvious according to the runners who tested the shoe. For the rest, the 890 v8's platform is wide and stable, which proves comfortable. As for the upper, the testers appreciated the precise and comfortable (true to size) fit of the shoe. Also, the gusseted tongue is ingenious and the toe box is spacious without hindering the fit. However, it should be noted that several runners noticed signs of early wear in the rubber under the forefoot. Finally, the shoe has gained weight with nearly 30 grams since the last model. This is a pity even if it remains light compared to the competition with only 238 grams on the scale for men and 204 for women. In summary, the New Balance FuelCell 890 v8 is a good light running shoe but the lack of responsiveness of its cushioning and the fragility of its sole disappoint.
Comfort
8.5
Durability
8
Value for money
8.5
Design
9.5
PROS:
  • Comfortable foot support
  • Lightweight shoe
  • Nice design
  • A wide and stable shoe without rigidity
  • Firm cushioning that will appeal to runners looking for this type of configuration
CONS:
  • Cushioning that lacks responsiveness bounce according to several runners
  • Doubts about the durability of rubber under the forefoot
  • Higher weight compared to the previous model
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The Nike Zoom Gravity is a good entry-level running shoe that combines style and comfort.
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$80.00
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Best deal at: Amazon.com
Last price update was: September 19, 2020 8:16 pm
The Nike Zoom Gravity is a running shoe that features the bold futuristic design of the latest Nike models but at a lower price. The Gravity looks indeed a lot like the Nike Zoom Fly 3 but costs almost half as much. So what is it really worth? The Zoom Gravity offers a comfortable cushioning with a stack height of 31 mm under the heel and 21 mm under the forefoot (the drop is 10 mm). It includes the famous Zoom Air technology at the front of the shoe. According to the runners who tested it, the cushioning absorbs efficiently shocks while being a little firm. The upper is also comfortable and provides a precise support for the foot. However, it’s important to note that the shoe is rather narrow which may not be suitable for runners with wide feet. Generally, a size up is advised so to be safe it may be better to try it in a shop if possible. Finally, regarding quality, the Nike Zoom Gravity is well made and represents good value for money. However, some testers noted traces of early wear. Therefore, it would seem that the Gravity is less resistant than the more high-end shoes of Nike. To summarize, the Nike Zoom Gravity is a good running shoe with an ambitious design and a comfortable overall fit overall but not solid enough.
Comfort
8.5
Durability
7.5
Value for money
8.5
Design
9.5
PROS:
  • Good overall comfort
  • Effective cushioning
  • Affordable shoe
  • Rather lightweight
  • Appealing design
CONS:
  • Narrow fit that may not be suitable if you have large feet
  • Some doubts about the durability
Runner's Lab
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