Our Staff Picks Top 10 Best Neutral Running Shoes for the AW18 Season
A common trait in biomechanically efficient runners is ‘neutral’ pronation. A Process which naturally absorbs body weight and impact without placing any unnecessary strain on the body due to un alignment. It relieves many muscles and joints of any pressure, which can essentially be the root of many injuries. Particularly in the knees, lower legs and lower back.
Getting the best neutral trainer for yourself can come down to a variety of things. However, ultimately comfort is a key factor to consider as well as how well the shoe fits.
Do you feel comfortable in the shoe? Standing and walking around is a good indicator of this however we strongly recommend having a gentle run on the in – store treadmill to replicate movement and apply the general weight put through your shoes whilst running which is typically 3 – 4 times your own body weight. It’s a great way to truly see how the shoe feels.
Does the shoe fit? Is the trainer wide enough? Have you catered for the swelling of your feet during exercise? Are they long enough for your toes to prevent blistering and black toenails? Do they slip around the ankle?
Finally, Double Check. Although Neutral Shoes suit the way in which you run, being tested in your shoe is recommended as what works for somebody else may not work for you. It’s trial and error and a successful gate analysis could take up to 30-40 minutes.
To follow are 10 Recommended Neutral Running Shoes at The Running Outlet…
1. ON Cloudflow
‘ON’ refers to the switching ‘ON’ and the activation of muscles when running. The Cloudflow stands out due to it’s interesting sole, with individual lugs which are referred to as ‘clouds’. When running, they compress and use your own body weight as your own cushioning system. This concept provides excellent comfort and spring in a unique way. Thus, the technology behind the Swiss brand is superb and up and coming. The brand is a relatively new brand with great innotive ideas and confidence in their work. Producing a technical shoe suitable for On -road ‘neutral’ runners. Perks about the shoes sole include its ability to change direction quickly. Perfect for exercise involving agility E.g. Gym Work, Tennis etc. Although it is actually a certified ‘running’ shoe. The idea behind this shoe sprouted from beach running and how sand will mold to the shape of a bare foot, hence it’s light weight , soft and mesh like upper. The shoe is built with a responsive flex and bend that promotes a flowing motion, encouraging the natural rolling process, and unlocking explosive take-offs. If your looking for a comfortable , lightweight , responsive ,neutral trainer then why not give the ON Cloudflow a try? Coming in at £119.99 in Store.
ON currently offer a policy where you may try their shoes for 30 days, go on as many runs as you like outside and if you are not happy with them, you’re welcome to bring them back in store and swap them for another pair. This shows their desire to improve their identity and technology.
2. Nike Pegasus 35
This shoe is recognised as Nikes shoe of ‘origin’ which has been used by the likes of ‘Mo Farah’ , an elite athlete both at track distances – 5k and 10k and now Marathons. Showing the real pedigree of the shoe. Staff at The Running Outlet have good experience with the Pegasus , describing it as a satisfactory trainer with no downfalls. In fact, all previous customers have had an excellent experience with this shoe and classed it as a successful purchase. Due to it’s general comfort and all around good fit. Nike are now on their 35th version of the product and generally they do not make too many alterations and changes to it thanks to it’s success , supporting the statement ‘If it’s not broken, there is no need to fix it’. The latest update is however considered to accommodate more foot shapes as the eyelets have been moved up, opening the toe-box and creating more flex , the shoe is also more padded around the Achilles tendon than it was before. The standout perk about this trainer is it’s price. Coming in at £94.49. The trainer is brilliant value for money and we also stock it in kids sizes for just £46.99.
3. Adidas Solar Boost.
Adidas have been well known for their unique technology in their shoes called ‘boost’ for a while now. A material consisting of compressed pellets shaped in a variety of their trainers. Adidas, a brand who’s success has skyrocketed in recent years, have dominated due to their recent innovation. There are many benefits of boost as a material. It is firstly , very efficient in terms of energy return thanks to it’s revolutionary cushioning system. “The more energy you give, the more energy you receive” is a statement which is well and truly correct and is supported by the fact that Adidas’s boost material provided the highest energy return in any running shoe in 2013. The material provides soft cushioning throughout the sole and long lasting energy over long distance runs. The shoe really does speak for itself once you try it on in terms of it’s comfort. With it’s Tailored Fibre Placement (TPF) , it offers stitched-in reinforcement for targeted support at the mid- foot and a molded heel counter which protects the Achilles but also allows for it’s natural movement. The Solarboost is a lot less rigid than most trainers and in comparison to the ‘ultra boost’ the mid-foot cage is replaced by a lightweight fabric designed to keep the foot in place adding extra softness with no extra weight. Throughout the construction of the new Solarboost , Adidas worked with the likes of NASA and used materials similar to the materials used in rockets to become extremely lightweight. They also eliminated all excess material on the upper by making it ‘ribbed’ making the shoe a superb fit. Boost is great because of it’s life span, it does not include a foam based material and therefore it doesn’t compress anywhere as quick as most shoes which tends to be around 600 miles. Boost can continue for 800 plus miles depending on the terrain etc. Realistically, the shoe is slightly more pricey, however you get this money back in terms of how long it will last you. If your looking for a light, responsive and comfortable trainer, give the Solarboost a go, in store for£125.99.
4. Brooks Ghost 11
Brooks are a very successful running brand and they have been around for over 100 years now. With great technology in their shoes they have really come into their own this season with some excellent models, being one of or if not, our best selling brands recently. They have dominated a great deal.
Brooks use an interesting material in their shoes called DNA, which is found specifically in the midsole of the shoe. It is a uniquely adaptive cushioning system which adapts to factors like – weight, pace, gate and running surface. This adds a spring to each step, adds a smoother transition from toe to heel, and provides twice as much energy to your run than a normal EVA based foam. The material essentially changes depending on the force you apply to it, we refer to the material as similar to the properties of ‘custard’. The more you run on it and the more pressure you apply to it, the more the material hardens. Brooks are great for catering for everyone as the shoe can be classed as a one for all. The Ghost 11 is a high mileage shoe with a great deal of plush cushioning all the way through the sole, it has a lovely soft upper which tends to hold the foot perfectly. The Ghost 11 is an all around great shoe and one which is definitely worth a try, costing £107.99.
5. Saucony Freedom
The Freedom ISO by Saucony is the brands most cushioned shoe so far. Saucony use a ‘Ever Run’ Foam Based Material for their cushioning system generally and in this shoe they have introduced the first full length ‘Ever Run’ mid – sole. This sole, provides maximum energy return and continuous cushioning from start to finish of your long run. There is a unique feature to the ‘ISOFIT’ which provides a dynamic fit system by adapting to the shape and motion of a variety of runners feet and running style, making it perfectly maluable and flexible for many. The upper of this trainer is super lightweight as it is an engineered stretchy mesh material designed for dynamic movement. It is super breathable and streamlined with a perfect support frame for the heels fit and hold. Although the shoe seems rather minimalistic, it is a super durable shoe suitable for high mileage. If your looking for a flexible, lightweight and dynamic trainer the Freedom ISO might suit you. At a retail price of £139.99.
6. Hoka One One Clifton 5
Hoka One One have quickly become a well distinguished running brand with an award winning heritage. They were designed by two French gentlemen from the French Alps who were running enthusiasts. They were sure that to make an efficient running shoe for a smoother ride they would have to maintain ‘momentum’ and ‘adrenaline’. They decided to add cushioning, a wider sole, light weight material and a rocker in the midsole. They continued to carve, shave, glue and run on foam for well over a year to perfect their model for themselves. Eventually word got around and people wanted it for themselves and here it is. A shoe packed with cushioning, suitable for high mileage. It is no wonder why this shoe is loved so much by marathoners and ultra – marathoners. The shoe looks as though it has a massive drop in it, however your foot sits in a cradle on top of a rocker which rocks you forward in the direction you want to go. This efficient process is aided by the J-Curved sole which rolls people onto the ‘ball’ of their feet which is technically the most efficient way of running. It does so by taking all of the pressure of the feet at the same time. The Clifton 5 has the best cushioning compared to the properties of ‘marshmallows’ offering a smooth transition from heel to toe. The Clifton 5 currently costs £114.99.
7. Asics Gel Pulse 10
Asics are also a well established brand with a great range of Running Shoes. The Gel Pulse is their shoe specifically designed for a medium mileage runner who is looking to push themselves to their maximum, averaging around 20-40 miles a week. The shoe uses a ‘silicone’ gel which is mainly visible in the heel of the shoe, yet it does run through the mid – sole also where it is needed. This gel material is super lightweight and beneficial providing an excellent bounce back and energy return in the rear-foot and the fore-foot of the sole also. The gel is great at reducing impact and shock, yet also works well for an efficient transition from heel to toe. There is also some EVA on the forefoot providing flexibility and some SpEVA foam in the heel to provide long – lasting cushioning.
The upper of the trainer, is seamless to reduce any chances of irritation and offers more comfort whilst providing support. The upper is a mesh material which is double layered around the heel of the foot for extra reinforcement. They feature an array of impressive ASICS technologies. Stabilising the sole, enhancing gait efficiency and preventing the shoe from twisting as you move, thus reducing your risk of injury. For durability, the shoe sports an ‘Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber Heel’, guaranteed to stand the test of time and provide you with excellent value for your money. The Asics Gel Pulse is an excellent mid range shoe costing £84.99.
8. Mizuno Wave Knit R1
In Mizuno Running Shoes, they use a ‘wave plate’ which is often visible through the shoes sole. The technology is superb as it improves efficiency of runners, propelling them forward in the direction they want to go. It also includes a rocking device which rocks the foot from the heel of the foot onto the forefront, quickly and taking the pressure off the feet. Essentially, this shoe makes a few of the hard parts of running, easier and makes running a smoother ride. The Wave Knit was designed and engineered for an ultimate adaptive fit. The knitted material ‘wraps’ around the foot in a double layer for lightweight support. The Knitted upper is also constructed for precise comfortable fit and freedom of foot movement, its light and breathable engineered mesh is present to ensure durability and a perfectly comfortable snug fit. ‘technology is the priority of Mizuno as a brand’ and this is clearly shown in their work of a soft yet stable product, packed with great cushioning and flexibility in a great and responsive shoe. Customers have said that the Mizuno Waveknit provides just the right amount of cushioning and support which the body needs. The Waveknit is essentially an updated version of the WaveRider, except the upper has been replaced with a knitted one. Reviews on the Waveknit have clearly stated The ride of the sole is very smooth and flexibility seems to be placed in all the right places in the forefoot. Combined with some toe spring, toe off is smooth and seems to unload the calves a little. The Mizuno Waveknit costs £134.99.
9. Adidas Solar Glide
The Adidas Solar Glide is a different range of running shoe by the brand which still involves the revolutionary technology of ‘boost’ cushioning which is visible through the sole of the shoe. The Solar Glide is different due to its more structured upper. The rest of the Ultra and the rest of the Solar Range have a soft and ‘sock’ like upper which is malluable and feels more like a slipper than an actual shoe. Some people like to feel like they have barely anything on their feet, whereas others prefer a more structured trainer which they can feel is protecting them. The shoe stands out to those who desire cushion but also a traditional shoe. The Solar Glide doesn’t contain 100% boost like the ultra because there is an introduced strip of EVA Foam running through the midsole of the shoe, providing a nice secure base. The molded heel cups lock the heel in place, protecting it, yet also allowing for it’s natural movement, it has comfortable, responsive cushion throughout and the midsole molds to the foot ever so slightly, to provide custom support. The Stretch web outsole offers fantastic flexibility with superb Continental grip for wet conditions on the sole. The TORSION SYSTEM has a full length stability bar to allow the heel and forefoot a more natural movement but still offering stability in the mid- foot. If your looking for a responsive neutral shoe for a reasonable price, the Adidas Solar Glide is perfect for you, costing £119.99 providing you with the most responsive cushioning ever for a great price.
10. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8
New Balance have a successful range of Running Shoes, which are famous for their ‘fresh foam’ material used – innovative midsole created from a single piece of foam that provides a plush, more natural ride. There neutral running trainer is called the 1080 which is on its 8th version now. The latest update has been designed and constructed to provide advanced cushioning mile after mile. The shoe stands out due to its flex grooves on the outer rubber of the sole which allow perfect compression and rebound. The upper is engineered to be completely breathable and mesh like. This version also includes an improved, roomier toe box to help your foot move more freely. Rubber on the outsole that delivers great flexibility with every stride. Inside the shoe the Ortholite sockliner helps towards a great fit that feels secure on your foot. The 1080v8 Fresh Foam costs £124.99.
Please Note: Price are correct as of September 2018.