Adidas Energy Boost
Built around an innovative new midsole foam, the Energy Boost is a cushy everyday trainer that really lives up to its name. Instead of traditional layers of EVA foam in the midsole, this material comprises balls of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fused together using steam. The difference is a much bouncier sensation than any other shoe in our test. Our testers found the snug-fitting shoe extremely energetic, but only moderately light compared to other models. The Energy Boost fits decidedly tight in the forefoot, thanks to a neoprene mesh that covers the toe box. Overall, our test group raved about the cushioning and silky smooth ride, with several testers mentioning they were excited to test the new foam in other Adidas shoes due out later this summer.
9.7 oz, 8.1 oz / 10mm heel-toe drop
“Very smooth ride and nice shock absorption when running on the road.”
Brooks Ravenna 4
An everyday workhorse, the Ravenna is geared toward high-mileage runners who need a bit of stability and support. Although it’s not light compared to other shoes in this test, the enhanced flexibility and agility help it run more nimbly than some of its contemporaries in the stability category. A new upper has given this version of the Ravenna a more secure fit, while tweaks to the outsole and chassis make it more flexible in the forefoot. Testers appreciated the Ravenna’s step-in comfort as well as its soft but not mushy feel and consistent heel-toe ride.
11.1 oz, 9.2 oz / 10mm heel-toe drop
“Bouncy and light, yet still plenty cushioned.”
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9
As with many Mizuno models, the Inspire 9 keeps improving on a successful theme. In this case, it’s an energetic and lightly supportive stability trainer. The latest version has a new, tighter mesh upper that aids in both support and breathability and enhances a snug fit. Otherwise, the Inspire 9 performs pretty much like the 8, a smooth ride with a semi-firm feeling and just enough stability for those who need it. It’s not the lightest or most agile stability shoe in this review, but it’s far from feeling heavy or clunky. The enhanced fit, aided by the new upper, fewer overlays and lower lacing, makes the newest version feel peppier than previous models.
10.0 oz, 8.3 oz / 12mm heel-toe drop
“Good for an easy day or a long run. … I’d even recommend this shoe for pronators who need a good go-fast shoe.”