Whether you’re exploring the outdoors, upping your weekly step count or just want a trainer for everyday wear, here are our picks.
Best for longer walks & workouts
SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SPEED (top): This has most of the same features as Saucony’s top-tier racer, Endorphin Pro, including the bouncy, PeBaxbased foam. But instead of an extremely rigid carbon-fibre plate, it uses nylon. This makes it easier to flex and boosts comfort for longer walks and workouts. In our testing, the shoes felt awesome underfoot. $259.99, saucony.com.au
Best for everyday use
NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 37 (second from top): The latest version of the Pegasus is an excellent all-rounder. Compared with previous iterations, the midsole is all new with springy React foam, an air unit up front helps you spring off your toes and an upturned heel collar with extra padding behind the Achilles keeps your heel planted securely. Overall, we found it comfortable, responsive and snappy. $180, nike.com/au
Best for ankle stability & achilles support
HOKA ARAHI 5 (third from top): This new generation of the Hoka Arahi has been created with a focus on fi t and stability and it shows. Engineered for lightweight support, the Arahi 5 is a soft runner with hidden support from its high-density foam EVA J-Frame, which helps prevent over-pronation, and a wider base for ankle stabilisation. In testing, the Meta-Rocker tech was also impressive, helping propel joggers forward and saving calves going up hills. The best bit? The removable footbed means orthotics fi t perfectly. $259.95, hokaoneone.com.au
Best for hitting the pavement
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V2 (fourth from top): This shoe is designed with an extra-thick layer of New Balance’s super-soft Fresh Foam midsole, which makes it look bulky, but we found it surprisingly lightweight and nimble. It’s lighter than rubber and more durable than Fresh Foam and we like how it delivers a quiet, smooth connection with the pavement. Perfect for long walks around the ’burbs. $250, newbalance.com.au
Best for exploring nature
THE NORTH FACE ULTRA TRACTION FUTURELIGHT (fifth from top): This is one solid shoe – it’s thick, heavy, stiff and protective. The chunky outsole gives it extra grip, which makes it feel more stable on the variety of terrains you’d find on trails. The midsole uses a low-density, high-rebound EVA (a rubber-like material) encased in a higher density, more durable EVA. The combination makes it feel soft, yet sturdy. Our verdict? It’s comparable to some of the best trail shoes out there. $250, thenorthface.com.au
You'll find more tips for saving your soles in the February/March edition of Prevention, on sale now.