Vasque Ultra SST from 5 Maximal Running Shoes for 2014

5 Maximal Running Shoes for 2014

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Vasque

Vasque Ultra SST

Showcasing Vasque’s new ShapeShifter Technology, the thick midsole is built to conform to the contours of the foot, as well as the rocks and ruts of the trail. Aimed at ultra and trail running buffs, this model features a 6mm drop from heel to toe via soft, high rebound EVA and geometrical sole pods. Since the trails can be unpredictable, this design accommodates heel and forefoot strikers alike.
$170; vasque.com

Hoka One One

Hoka One One Conquest

The beefiest looking of all the maximal options, the Conquest is lighter and more responsive than previous Hoka models. A rounded bottom promotes effective movement through the gait cycle, while the injection-molded foam allows for a durable, resilient midsole. A cradle design in the heel also provides for ultimate stability and comfort.
$170; hokaoneone.com

Brooks

New Year, New Shoes

Let’s be honest, a runner’s feet take a lot of abuse. That’s why it is important to take the time, especially if you are increasing your mileage or are a long-distance runner, to find the shoe that's right for you. Go to a running store and have your gait analyzed. Take a few test laps in each pair the store’s employee suggests until you find the one that feels right. Also, make sure to always size up, a half size or a full one depending on the length of your runs. This leaves room for swelling and will ensure that your new shoes won’t pinch or hurt. (Related: 5 Maximal Running Shoes for 2014)

New Balance

New Balance Fresh Foam 980

Living up to its name, the Fresh Foam 980 features the brand’s plushest midsole cushioning ever. Utilizing the latest in 3D printing technology, the cushioning system has a scant 4mm offset, taking a page from the minimalist playbook. A flexible upper void of any protruding seams or overlays make this one of the most streamlined models in the category.
$110; newbalance.com

Altra

Altra Olympus

With a 32mm stack height throughout the midsole, the Olympus stays true to the Altra zero-drop philosophy. Touting a “foot-shaped” design like all Altra models, the Olympus has a wider toe box than most running shoes, allowing your toes to naturally splay. Largely a trail brand, a stone guard in the midsole’s forefoot that complements the supreme cushioning will protect you from rocks underfoot.
$130; altrazerodrop.com

5 Maximal Running Shoes for 2014