When runners and walkers arrive in the The Run Company to buy their new pair of trainers, they often ask “What shoes do you wear?” Whilst we do have our favourite “Go To” shoes, we analyse everyone as an individual to ensure you get the most appropriate shoe for your running style, distance and terrain. So to answer the question, have a read of what we like about a few of our favourite running shoes.
Now on version 8, the legendary Peregrine is one of the few trail shoes that can be used in almost all conditions, from some road to get to the trails, through hardpack, wet grass and mud, it can do it all, apart from the most serious gloop where you need a Speedcross or XC spikes.
It’s a 4mm drop, so great on the downhills with reduced ankle extension. The 3mm layer of Everun foam under the insole gives it a springy feel. The older versions had a rock-plate, but the v8 doesn’t have it, to save a bit of weight. I’ve tried running on stoney surfaces and didn’t miss the plate. Experience of older versions suggest they are indestructible, so hopefully that heritage will continue.
The On Cloud is marketed as a casual shoe you can run in and the Cloud X is marketed as a running shoe that you can wear casually. I’ve done 15 mile runs in the Cloud and know several people that have done marathons in them, so they are certainly capable. However many people use them as an everyday shoe. I often wear mine when working in the store, where I’m on my feet all day.
They are both extremely light shoes with a full cushion. The cushion is slightly firmer than, for example, the NB Fresh Foam, so gives them a planted feel. The Cloud comes with both elastic laces and normal laces, so you have the option of slipping the shoe on and off very quickly and easily. The Cloud X is marginally lighter than the Cloud, with a more engineered upper mesh over the forefoot, to adapt to the shape of the foot better when running. It has a more structured heel counter too, and traditional laces, plus a few colour options.
New Balance Zante
The Zante is a lightweight shoe, popular for shorter runs and gym work, so I use them for floor work, like weights, but also treadmill, bike and rowing. The upper is like a sock around the forefoot giving it a delicious feeling of almost forgetting it’s there, but it’s still supported around the midfoot.
That feeling of running on air continues into the midsole, which is NB’s Fresh Foam. It’s soft, but because it barely extends outside the width of the shoe, it still retains the lightweight natural feel. Suitable for neutral runners wanting a super-fun multi-purpose shoe. Love it!
Broook’s performance neutral shoe feels so plush the first time you put it on, you won’t want to take it off. The high heel cushion makes longer distances a breeze, but the forefoot cushion still feels responsive, with enough ground feel.
The padding around the heel is more than most shoes and is also quite narrow in shape to hold the heel with confidence. Similarly, the tongue is nice and thick, plus there are a couple of tongue lace loops so it stays in place perfectly.
The upper is now an engineered mesh, so very adaptable around the forefoot, with some clever shaped reinforcements in the middle and heel counter. A very capable shoe for many distances.
With a very different feel to the Clouds, the Cloudflow are aimed squarely at the running specific market. However, it’s such a good looking shoe that I can use it for everyday too. It’s still in the daftly-light category, and it’s super flexible too, but with a 6mm drop and a fairly low profile, I still feel in control.
The cushioning is more smooth than the Cloud, on the transition from heel to forefoot, and a less pronounced feel under the arch. I swapped out the original insoles for the Superfeet Comfort insoles to give them a bit of extra.
Salomon S-Lab Ultra
My next fave is the S-LAB Ultra. It has really been a great shoe from early on and I love the way it feels really moulded to my foot. It has fantastic grip on the trails and pathways I normally run on - it uses Salomon’s stickiest rubber compound. Plus because rubber is sticky and the lugs aren’t too aggressive, it’s good for a bit of road too.
It is made of Hydrophobic materials, so water just falls off it and the shoe hardly changes weight. The top-loading design of the lace storage compartment seems like a great step forwards too. Love love love.
Like Kelly, I’m also a huge fan of the Cloudflow. The cloudtec allows for a super smooth transition from heel to forefoot with an unparalleled lightweight feel.
New Balance 1500
I’m also a big advocate of the New Balance 1500. It’s a peripheral model, but I feel it’s an unsung hero. It provides a little support for pronators that want a super-responsive racing flat. The TBeam torsion bar under the arch keeps you in line when you are a bit ragged in the sprint finish of a race too!