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Sole Mate Awards

The latest crop of running shoes shines bright even in the dark days of winter. Inventive materials and thoughtful designs allow runners of all types and abilities to log more miles in exceptional shoes. From pavement princesses to dirt divas, we have the new models you need to run strong until springtime. Whether you prefer the road, trail or gym, there is a pair (or two!) to match your stride. We sifted through dozens of styles, sussing out the top models—all featured here—to ensure you don nothing but the very best.

Best Lightweight

Lightweight shoes are best for runners of two persuasions: those who prefer minimalist kicks with a bare-bones structure and those who want a pair of feather-weight shoes to use for speed sessions and race days.

WINNER: Adidas Adizero Adios Boost
Add energy-return cushioning to traditional racing-flat design, then mix in airy mesh fabric with an electric color palette, and you’ll be saying ”Adios!” to the competition. If you’re ready to add some speed to your workouts, the Boost delivers a responsive platform with enough under-foot comfort to keep your tootsies happy. 7.8 oz.

RUNNER-UP: Ryka Excel
A big-box tread gives these fast flyers maximum flexibility for everyday training—or for setting a PR at your next 5K. With a snug fit in the heel, roomy toe box, moderate cushioning, low weight and a very sweet price point, the Excel is an ideal shoe for runners with a desire to dip their toes into the minimalist pool. 7.5 oz.

RUNNER-UP: Under Armour SpeedForm
Whittle those race times! Not only is this one of the lightest and sprightliest shoes we reviewed, it has a seamless upper that feels great when worn without socks. If the way the shoe hugs your foot reminds you of a different type of supportive gear, that’s because Under Armour used sports-bra technology to create the heel! 6.0 oz.

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