Top Shoes For Marathon Runners

What did the top 50 finishers of the New York Marathon have on their feet? We break down the winning brands
Flickr/rhythmstrip, Licensed under Creative Commons

Mary Keitany

Runners pay inordinate attention to their choice of shoes. Runners who race even more so to eke out any little extra bit of performance in the clutch that might make all the difference to a place or PR.

Who better to turn to for advice than a group of runners who really put their footwear through their paces — elite marathoners. What do the ones at the front of the pack wear?

We set out to answer that question by looking at what the first 50 home in the this year’s New York Marathon had on their feet.

Elite athletes don’t just pop down to their local running store and pick up any pair of kicks that catch their fancy. They are sponsored head-to-toe, and it was adidas-sponsored Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany who were the winners of the mens’ and women’s divisions respectively. So no surprise to see the three stripes adorning their feet.

But which model, and can you buy it?

Both wore adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0s., a “solar red” pair (more like orange, really, this season’s hot fashion color) in Kipsang’s case, while Keitany sported a “solar pink” pair (they were pink).

Retail price for both the men’s and women’s version is $140. Men have the additional color choices of blue or black; women of mint green or granite gray.

Adidas’s top-of-the-line 8 oz distance shoe wiped the floor with the competition. Four of the top 10 in New York ran in them, and thirteen of the top 50. Another three were wearing older models in the same line and three more adidas’s lighter racing shoes, the 6.6 oz Adizero Takumi Sen 2 or the Adizero Hagio 2.

In all adidas-shod runners took 19 or the first 50 places.

Hard on adidas’s heels was arch-rival Nike with 17 of the top-50 finishers.

Lelisa Desisa Benti was second home overall in a pair of Nike Zoom Streak 3s, the first of five top-50 runners to be wearing them. Next most worn Nike shoes by the NYC elites were its Lunaracer +3 and Air Zoom Streak 5, worn by three runners each, with Jemima Sumgong, second home in the women’s race sporting a pair of the Air Zoom Streak 5s.

Rounding out the top 50 were four Asic models, three from Brooks, two each from Saucony and Mizuno, and one each from New Balance, Skechers and Under Armor.

For the fun of it, we’ve compiled this league table of the top 50 finishers’ shoes, awarding 50 points for 1st place, 49 for 2nd and so on down to 1 for 50th place.


Skechers GOmeb Speed 3 NYC Edition  

2014 NYC Marathon Top 50 Shoes
Shoe No. of Top 50 finishers Points
adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0 13 421
Nike Zoom Streak 3 5 179
Brooks Unisex T7 Racer 3 83
Nike Zoom Streak 4 2 70
Nike Air Zoom Streak 5 3 63
Nike Lunaracer +3 3 62
  1 47
adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 2 1 44
Under Armour SpeedForm Apollo 1 41
Asics Kawauchi Custom 1 40
Saucony Fastwitch 6 1 29
adidas Adizero Adios 2.0 1 28
adidas Adizero Adios 26
Nike Air Streak Spectrum Plus 1 25
Nike Lunar Spider LT 3 2 24
Nike Lunar Spider LT+ 2 1 23
Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM NRG 1 18
Saucony Kinvara 5 1 17
Asics GEL-Hyper Speed 6 1 16
Mizuno Wave Ronin 5  1 15
Mizuno Wave Hitogami 1 14
New Balance RC 1600 1 13
adidas Adizero Hagio 2 1 12
Asics GEL DS Sky Speed 3 1 7
adidas Adios Boost 1 5
adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 1 3
Asics DS Racer 10 1 1


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