Pushing the Boundaries
Lightweight design and innovation in uppers, midsoles and foam materials have running footwear brands racing ahead into 2022.
Lightweight design and innovation in uppers, midsoles and foam materials have running footwear brands racing ahead into 2022. With supply chain and inventory issues expected to continue well into the new year, look for some shifts on the shoe walls as availability and innovation combine to impact the running footwear brand pecking order.
ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 24
With advanced impact protection for distance training, the GEL-NIMBUS 24 offers a softer landing in every step. It is approximately 10 grams lighter than the previous version. The upper features soft engineered mesh and the midfoot panel is flexible, moving seamlessly with the foot for a smoother stride in every step. FF BLAST+ cushioning keeps the shoe lightweight while increasing shock absorption in each step. MSRP $160.
Skechers GO RUN Razor Excess 2
New for Spring 2022, this ultra-cushioned, lightweight, neutral road running shoe is built for speed, with a 4mm drop. A versatile trainer or race day shoe, the GO RUN Razor Excess 2 has a mono mesh and polyester knit upper and it features a carbon infused forefoot plate, which promotes stability and energy return. It also has a dynamic Arch Fit insole for podiatrist certified arch support. The shoe also features highly resilient Hyper Burst cushioning and a Goodyear Performance Outsole. MSRP $145.
Diadora Equipe Atomo
The first performance running shoe made in Italy in over 30 years, the Equipe Atomo features a brand new midsole technology called DD ANIMA (Italian for SOUL) that is light, cushy and reactive. DD ANIMA is an expanded EVA blended with a proprietary material that is highly responsive. It is also extremely durable, according to the brand. The shoe has a 5 mm drop; men’s stack height is 29/24; women’s stack is 27.5/22.5. The shoe’s upper is made of Engineered Air Mesh Nylon. MSRP $195.
New for Spring 2022, the Visper is a follow up to the men’s Visp trail shoe launched in 2021. It has a precision knit and leather upper with a padded collar and tongue. It features OrthoLite X40 for high rebound performance and has the brand’s EVA spacer to customize fit. The Visper boasts an EVA midsole with toe guard plus a Vibram Arctic Grip three-season traction outsole with Wet-Ice Technology. MSRP $114.95.
Under Armour HOVR Machina 3
In its third iteration, the HOVR Machina 3 continues to blur the lines between race day performance and everyday high-mileage trainer. It delivers softer landings with a more decoupled heel midsole design, along with softer HOVR in the heel and more responsive HOVR in the forefoot for improved shock attenuation at heel strike and more efficient toe-offs. It also has an enhanced rocker effect with more beveled heel and sprung forefoot. MSRP $150.
Brooks Glycerin 20
Featuring the brand’s super-soft DNA Loft v3 (nitrogen-infused foam) midsole tech, this Summer 2022 offering is designed to deliver comfort on the run. The Glycerin 20 has a redesigned midsole and outsole, offering a widened platform for smoother, easier transitions. And its plush and breathable, engineered air-mesh upper offers a secure fit, comfortably holding the foot in place. It has a 10mm drop. MSRP $160.
New for Spring 2022 in Carbon Grey, the Steadfast is designed to deliver “ultimate stability.” Xelero’s patented technology helps keep the foot in alignment and off-loads forefoot bottom pressure. Combining stability and cushioning with a dynamic forward motion, the Steadfast works to help wearers run easier for a greater distance with less pain. Available in multiple widths.
ENDA Koobi Fora
This nimble, lightweight trail shoe, with a 4mmm heel to toe drop, has a ripstop fabric upper for extra protection and water resistance, and an ariaprene fabric booty that hugs the foot around the heel. The Koobi For a also has a flexible ballistic fabric rock plate and 18mm high-rebound EVA under the forefoot. Enda footwear is designed for a natural midfoot landing. The brand makes its shoes in Kenya.
HOKA Tecton X
Carbon-fiber propulsion meets HOKA trail innovation in the Tecton X, available in May 2022. Coined after the earth’s tectonic plates, which inspired its parallel carbon fiber plate design, the shoe is built for speed, from its Vibram Megagrip with Litebase construction outsole to its ProFlyX midsole that merges a light, responsive foam base and ultra-soft foam underfoot. MSRP $200.