Our latest running shoe reviews

Saucony / Trumph ISO 4 / £140 / saucony.com

The latest Triumph shoe is a mixed bag. The biggest change from version 3 is the Primarily is the absence of the PWRGRID+ foam which has been replaced with a full-length EVERUN midsole. I’ve always liked the PWRGRID technology, so it took a bit of time to get used to this 8mm drop shoe. The outsole is covered in Tri-Flex, a triangular rubber patter which boosts your confidence on trails and loose surfaces, as it offers good traction and durability. The wide, low collar/tongue make it easy to slip into the ISO 4 and it feels comfortable straight away. The main disappointment is the ride, which became progressively heavier as the miles ticked by. A few miles into my first run, I started to feel my foot slapping and my calves tighten. It feels like there’s a disconnect between the upper and midsole/outsole of the shoe. The upper is too low cut and wide, and the midsole/outsole quite heavy. The low and wide upper, which lacks structure, makes it feel like my foot was never quite sitting ‘inside’ the shoe, but rather on top of it. While the ISO 4 looks great and feels cushioned, disappointingly, it comes up short on performance and ride.

Performance 2 / Value 2 / Overall 2

 

HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 2 / £110 / Hoka

Shoe ReviewThe first HOKA stability shoe, the Arahi, offers some good features. Like all HOKA shoes, it’s highly-cushioned and lightweight, and on first fit, does feel quite stable. The Arahi features a more durable sole platform, with J-Frame (and EVA foam) midsole technology along the medial and lateral heel sections. The outsole is also more durable than in other HOKA models. This makes for a stable, wide-fitting feel and comfortable heel wrap – although after 10 miles, they gave me a slightly clunkier (less smooth) ride compared to other HOKA such as Clifton and Speedgoats. This seemed to settle down and they felt smoother on runs up to 6 miles. A good shoe for over pronators. The upper is also pleasing: I was able to use the extra heel lock holes at the top of the laces (I can’t do that with other HOKA as the upper tends to dig into my ankle) which provided a firm fit and well-supported heel. Overall, the Arahi 2 is a decent shoe for training and ultra events, for those who prefer cushioning over responsiveness.

Performance 4 / Value 3 / Overall 3.5

 

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 / £125 / newbalance.co.uk

Shoe ReviewThis latest cushioned shoe from the Fresh Foam range felt comfortable on first fit. With previous versions (1400v5, 890v6) I had trouble initially getting comfortable in the shoe due to stiffness and flexion, but the 1080v8 felt soft and comfortable straight away, yet firm and springy when walking. The soft mesh upper moulds well to my high arches and I had plenty of toe room. The upper felt supportive and well-balanced with the midsole/outsole – sometimes shoes feel bottom heavy, but NB uppers are excellent – they offer comfort and good support. The midsole/outsole consists of a single piece of (Fresh) foam designed with concave hexagons which provide the deflection (cushion effect) and a smooth, consistent heel to toe feel when running. The 1080v8 felt responsive and cushioned with minimal bounce. A good training shoe and mid-distance racing/triathlon shoe.

Performance 4 / Value 3 / Overall 3.5