4 running shoes reviewed

Wired
Adidas Adizero Feather 2.0 Running

(Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired)

Hitting the streets to get fit by spring? We review four new specialty sneakers for runners.

Adidas Adizero Feather 2.0 Running

Adidas' Adizero Feather 2.0 runners are so light (barely 7 ounces) and so responsive, running in them feels more like bouncing on fluffy clouds than pounding on pavement. OK, I'm exaggerating, but I was really blown away by the light weight when I took them out on long-distance runs. So effective was the feather-weight design on a 5-mile outing, I could actually notice the reduced effort in my legs.

The shoe is topped with a barely-there breathable mesh that runs from the toes all the way back to the heel. Ventilation is therefore excellent, with a constant flow of cool air delivered directly to your piggies. And, unlike most shoes that make use of fancy, lightweight materials, they're actually quite sturdy.

These sneaks are compatible with Adidas' miCoach data reporting system and its companion apps. So if you already have a miCoach Speed_Cell sensor, just lift up the shoe's insert and pop it in (You can also attach the sensor to your laces). The sensor can be synced with your iPhone to track your speed, acceleration, distance, and pace during runs.

The only problem is that the miCoach system needs some work, including the inconsistent syncing and the iPhone app's interface. If you're used to the Nike+ app, you'll be struggling to work your way through using Adidas' lesser creation. That said, it's an add-on to the shoe and not a primary feature, so miCoach's shortcomings don't detract from the sneaker's quality.

WIRED Obscenely light at only 7 ounces. Flexible mesh upper keeps your tootsies cool and dry. Durable, despite the lightweight design. miCoach-compatible for tracking your runs. Great styling. Affordable at $115. Men's and women's versions.

TIRED If you're not into light shoes, these aren't for you. The miCoach system needs a lot of work -- it's adequate, but could be so much better.

(See more: Stylish workout clothes)



Under Armour UA Spine RPM

(Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired)


Under Armour UA Spine RPM

As the name would imply, the design of Under Armour's sneaker is modeled after the human spine. Flip over the UA Spine RPM ($80, men and women) so its sole is facing up, and you can definitely see the dorsal inspiration -- the sole is a stylized vertebral column with a small channel running down the middle. This "spine" does give the shoe a very supportive feel (the primary intention of the design) while also allowing a great deal of flexibility in the toebox and midfoot.

In my tests, the shoe remained somewhat rigid while also being incredibly comfortable. A foam in the chassis provides the rebound needed to cushion those pounding steps. During runs on both the treadmill and the pavement, footfalls were cushioned, but the springiness at the start of the next step wasn't too pronounced.

The fit is superb, mostly thanks to the molded foam sockliner and collar. Your foot goes in, the Spine conforms to its shape, and it stays put. A mesh upper keeps the foot cool and allows it to breath. It's flexible, but it still feels really durable -- something I'd expect from a company that got its start making technical athletic apparel. Under Armour has clearly taken the knowledge it's collected creating comfortable clothing and applied it to its footwear.

WIRED As comfy as your favorite pair of wool-lined slippers. Molded foam insert and sockliner conform exactly to your foot. Breathable and cool. Sleek design, attractive color scheme.

TIRED Slightly heavy at 9.7 ounces. The company's claim of "explosive" rebounding performance from the spine-like design is definitely exaggerated.



Reebok ZigTech Shark

(Photo by Peter McCollough/Wired)

Reebok ZigTech Shark

If the UA Spine RPM and the ZigTech Shark ($100, men and women) were to battle it out using only their supreme comfort as their weapons, the Spine would probably win, but the outcome would be so close that they'd both end up bloodied and beaten.

Reebok's spongy, zig-shaped sole makes an exemplary shock absorber, while also providing the necessary rebound needed to keep your legs moving. The unique sole design also allows for additional flexibility that outdoes the normal "flat" sole you'll find on typical running shoes. The secret here is the way the sole material is cut -- a 20-degree backward angle is applied to the tread along the sole, so that when it's viewed from the side, it looks like the teeth of a shark (Get it?). This helps the shoes to bend more easily for better-than-average flex.

I took my Sharks out on the pavement and on the trail, and they held up well in both situations. I definitely felt a difference in both the cushion and responsiveness of the sole when rebounding.

Like many other current running sneakers, the Shark's upper is constructed mostly of breathable mesh. My personal favorite thing about the ZigTech Shark, however, is the so-soft-I-want-to-rub-it-on-my-face upper lining that runs along the tops of the heel, collar, and tongue. I didn't even feel the need to wear socks with these bad boys.

WIRED Ridiculously comfortable. Extra-flexy sole. Nice color choices. Inner lining is soft and supple enough to earn a nod from George Costanza. You could very well wear these without socks if you don't mind a little stinkiness.

TIRED The ZigTech design is a love-it-or-hate-it gamble. Some will find the sole too spongy, soft, and flexible. Not for fans of more rigid shoes.



Newton Gravity

(Photo by Ariel Zambelich/Wired)


Newton Gravity

These road trainers from Newton (the company also makes a trail version) incorporate a little gimmick to help you improve your running form -- each shoe has four external actuator lugs that sit under your forefoot on the bottom of the sole. They provide a lever-lift motion during each step: your foot lands, you push through the step, and your foot rebounds off the surface, infusing the beginning of each new stride with a burst of energy. You're not going to be bouncing off the pavement like you're jumping on the moon or anything, but it is designed to give you a little more pep in your step.

So, do the weird little knobs on the bottom of the shoe work? Meh. You can certainly feel them there when running, and they do, in fact, help absorb the shock of landing. But I never felt that Flash-like bolt of energy coursing through my body on the rebound. The feel and action of the lugs will take a little bit of getting used to (especially if you've been running in more typical running shoes for years), so that's something to consider.

The bigger downsides: the insane price tag ($175) and the fact that, despite being lighter than some of the shoes in this roundup (just over 9 ounces), they felt heavier and clunkier than all the others because of the added bulk.

WIRED Excellent way to improve your running form. Very breathable. Great flexibility. Once you adapt, the "Land-Lever-Lift" system is barely noticeable. Beginners can use them to develop good running form, while experienced runners already familiar with the Newton system will benefit, too.

TIRED That $175 price tag...phew! Adds a slight spring to your stride that takes some getting used to. Extra hardware in the sole makes them feel heavier than their 9 ounces. Heel is on the hard side.

More from WIRED:

8 Must-Have iPad Accessories

Why Products Break

11 Body Parts Defense Researchers Will Use to Track You

Recommended for You

  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan dismisses Trump Jr.’s Twitter jab following attack

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan declined to respond to an insult from U.S. President Trump’s son hours after a terrorist attack at the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday. “You have to be kidding me?!” Trump Jr. wrote. Trump Jr. mischaracterized Khan’s statements as if he had said that terrorism is an inevitable consequence of living in a big city and that nothing could be done.

    Yahoo News
  • Chimamanda Adichie stands by comments on transgender women

    "I didn't apologize because I don't think I have anything to apologize for," she continued. "What's interesting to me is this is in many ways about language and I think it also illustrates the less pleasant aspects of the American left that there sometimes is this is kind of language orthodoxy that you're supposed to participate in, and when you don't there's kind of backlash that gets very personal and very hostile and very closed to debate."

    CNN q
  • People
  • Russia is testing a new nuclear weapons system known as Satan. It's big enough to destroy France.

    Russia has for months been testing a giant nuclear weapons delivery system that can carry 10 heavyweight warheads—enough power to wipe out Texas or France. But the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile known in Russia as "Satan 2" has been delayed yet again, suggesting Moscow is having a harder time than expected updating its nuclear arsenal.  Russia began testing the Sarmat last year and had been expected to enter it into service in 2018. It was slated to be Russia's first new intercontinental ballistic missile in decades and much bigger than its U.S. counterpart, the Minuteman III, which carries three warheads.  The Russian weapon was designed to push through U.S. missile defenses.

    Newsweek q
  • Infant twin girls found dead inside apartment

    Two infant twin girls turned “purple” and died Wednesday morning in a south New Jersey apartment, according to a report. The mother of the seven-month-old babies frantically called 911 around 8 a.m. and told a dispatcher her baby twins couldn’t breathe, reports said. “My twins are purple. They’re not breathing!” the woman can be heard saying on the call, which was obtained by a local media outlet. The operator told her to try CPR, but her efforts were fruitless and she was unable to revive them, reports said. Tasia Mayweather, a family friend of the father, said he asked her for a ride to the Lindenwold apartment as the incident was unfolding but they arrived too late, the Courier-Post reported.

    New York Post q
  • Inside Edition
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • 'Rehab Addict' Nicole Curtis sued by city of Minneapolis

    "Rehab Addict" Nicole Curtis is facing a lawsuit from the city of Minneapolis over a home she purchased from the government in 2013 for just $2. And the HGTV star is firing back against the city.  According to the lawsuit obtained by Consumerist, Curtis' firm Detroit Designs purchased the home in a north Minneapolis neighborhood under several conditions, including completing "minimum improvements" on the home, maintaining the required insurance and paying property taxes within 12 months of purchase. The city alleges in its suit, filed in January, that Curtis "failed to redevelop the property," failed to "substantially complete minimum improvements," "failed to pay real estate taxes" and "failed

    Fox News q
  • Yes, They’re Dating! Diane Kruger and Norman Reedus Spotted Kissing in NYC

    Diane Kruger and Norman Reedus Spotted Kissing in NYC

    People
  • CEO creates ‘Snowflake Test’ to weed out job applicants

    The Silent Partner Marketing CEO Kyle Reyes on why he created the ‘Snowflake Test.’

    Fox Business Videos
  • US forces just went behind enemy lines in Syria to cut off ISIS’ only escape route

    The offensive to destroy ISIS in Syria took a big step forward recently with US military...

    Business Insider
  • Video shows suspected London attacker barreling across Westminster Bridge

    Dramatic video of Wednesday's terrorist incident in London shows the suspected attacker barreling across Westminster Bridge in a car. Surveillance video of the bridge broadcast by the BBC this evening shows the car weaving in and out of traffic as it crosses the bridge. A seriously injured woman was later pulled from the river and received medical treatment, an official with the Port of London Authority told ABC News.

    Good Morning America
  • The US Navy has a severe 'missile gap' with China and Russia — here's how it can beat them anyway

    The US wields the world's biggest, most powerful Navy, but recent developments in China and Russia's missile inventory severely threaten the surface fleet with superior range and often velocity. For years, the Navy has focused on a concept called "distributed lethality," which calls for arming even the Navy's smallest ships with powerful weapons that can hit targets hundreds of miles out.

    Business Insider UK
  • The 8 Best U.S. Cities to Visit This Spring (9 photos)

    You've always said you wanted to travel more...well, it's time to start checking these places off your bucket list. Just make sure you go at the right time. Here, a list of cities you'll want to visit now that it's spring. From Marie Claire

    Marie Claire
  • A deleted text message from vengeful gangster may get Aaron Hernandez off hook for double murder

    The text message was sent way back on July 5, 2013. Perhaps because its sender, Alexander Bradley, realized it held unwanted power, like the capability of impacting his immunity deal in an Aaron Hernandez double murder trial, let alone rocking the entire case altogether. In a plea deal, Bradley, however, gave authorities full access to his phone, including deleted and otherwise privileged communication with his lawyer.

    Yahoo Sports
  • Relationship Advice: 6 Signs Your Relationship Is Dead

    Is your relationship dead and gone? There is a good amount of evidence shown through you or your partner's behavior. Here's how to tell.

    The Cheat Sheet q
  • Were Women at Neil Gorsuch’s Hearing Sending a Message or Were Their Outfits a Coincidence?

    Some Twitter users noticed an interesting wardrobe choice made by the women surrounding Judge Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearing on March 22: They wore white. Clever audience arrangement surrounding Gorsuch's camera view. Three women, three races, wearing white (pure). Subconscious favorability. pic.twitter.com/NBP94NfLFn

    Yahoo Style
  • Carrie Underwood Works Out with New Gym Buddy: Her Son!

    Carrie Underwood Work Outs with New Gym Buddy: Her Son!

    People
  • Good luck buying an iPhone 8 on launch day this year

    Apple is expected to unveil three new iPhones in September, including the iPhone 8 and two iPhone 7s models. The initial iPhone 8 stock will be so low that it’ll sell out almost immediately after preorders start, a new report explains. Recent reports have claimed that production for certain iPhone 8 components will only commence in the third quarter, suggesting that Apple may not have enough iPhone 8 stock to meet demand at launch. A new research note from Barclays, obtained by MacRumors , says the majority of iPhone 8 stock might not be available until later in the fourth quarter. “Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs,” the report notes, referring to the iPhone 8 as the iPhone Pro. The iPhone 8 is also known as the iPhone X or iPhone Edition, as Apple is yet to announce a formal name for the upcoming handset. “We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4,” the report adds. The analysts at Barclay also reiterated many of the iPhone 8 rumors we’ve heard before. The iPhone 8 should sport a 5.8-inch display, 5.15 inches of which will be usable. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be embedded in the screen, and the remaining space around it might be used for virtual buttons. The phone will come with support for wireless charging, but the wireless charger will not be included in the box. Other specs include a front-facing 3D sensor module, a dual camera on the back, and a stacked logic board design that will let Apple pack a bigger battery inside the iPhone.

    BGR News