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We Found The 14 Best Running Shoes For Spring 2017

The Tester: Erin Douglas
This 45-year-old resident of Washington, D.C.—who also happens to be WR’s art director!—runs to clear her mind. Her current goals are running more than 3 miles pain-free and possibly tackling the New York City Marathon for her 50th birthday! After spending several years recovering from chronic injuries, Douglas is picky about her footwear. She wants lightweight shoes that work with her custom orthotics and let her feet move naturally. She also likes a snug fit and wears a size 8.5.

Julie’s guidelines: Erin should try a neutral shoe rather than a stability shoe as this will work better for her orthotics. She could try shoes with different levels of cushioning to see what she likes best.

On and Nike

Nike Air Vomero 12

9.4 oz., 12mm drop

For Douglas, testing the Nike Air Vomero was like coming home. She actually has purchased three versions of the shoes and swears by the model! The new design lived up to expectations with good arch support, medium-plush cushioning and improved traction on wet surfaces. Her favorite aspect is the “Nike Flywire,” which has cords attached to the laces that can be tightened to cradle your mid-foot, providing zero in-shoe slippage, even when striding downhill.

On Cloudflow

6.7 oz., 6mm drop

These roadrunners made Douglas utter the magic words, “I felt fast for the first time in a long time!” The proprietary sole design, which includes little rubber rings that contract upon landing and expand when you take off, made Douglas spring o the ground with every step. From the just-enough cushioning to the secure fit, these shoes were a winning experiment for Douglas. She also said they had good traction on wet roads. The one drawback was she prefers thicker shoelaces.


Merrell Agility Peak Flex

9 oz., 6mm drop

“Fantastic” traction helped Douglas feel confident running over loose rocks, mud and roots on her favorite trail. The kicks offer a sweet spot between structured and lightweight, and Douglas reported that she felt at once sturdy and agile. Her narrow foot loved the tight fit around the heel and the roomy front, which gave her toes enough room to relax. The laces have a bit of give, allowing the wearer to get a good, locked-down fit.

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Allison Pattillo

Allison Pattillo

Allison played field hockey and golf while growing up, but always ran “just for the fun of it.” She completed and won her age group in her very first race, a 5K, when she was 26 so that she would at least know how to pin on her number before running her first marathon a month later. Those two races turned into dozens, from mile long sprints to ultras, running to triathlon with some ski and snowshoe racing mixed in as well. After earning a Boston qualifier and completing her first IRONMAN 140.6, this mother of two is now focused on seeing how much she can better her 3:48 PB marathon time, running the World Marathon Majors (Boston and Tokyo are in the books!) and tackling a 50-miler.