HOW WE TEST

Runner's World (UK) - - RW Shoe Guide -

We send 12-15 pairs of each shoe to run­ners, who use them for at least a month and give de­tailed feed­back. The shoes are also tested at the RW Shoe Lab in Ore­gon, US. We dis­til the data into the re­view and work out which shoes merit an award.

CUSH­ION­ING An im­pact-test ma­chine mea­sures how soft or firm a shoe is. An 8.5kg weight – the av­er­age weight of the lower leg – is dropped onto the heel and fore­foot of a men’s size 8 shoe to ac­cu­rately gauge how the mid­sole com­presses.

FLEX­I­BIL­ITY This tells us how smoothly a shoe moves from heel strike to toe-off. The fore­foot is placed in a ma­chine that bends it 45 de­grees – about the same as a foot flexes on the run – 60 times in 20 secs. The force needed in­di­cates flex­i­bil­ity.

HEIGHT & WEIGHT We weigh men’s (size 8) and women’s (size 5) models. We also mea­sure stack height. To find heel and fore­foot thick­nesses, we cut away the up­per ma­te­rial and take dig­i­tal read­ings. Th­ese give us the shoe’s ‘heel drop’.

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