The right train­ers will make all the dif­fer­ence to your race-day per­for­mance. We put six pairs through their paces

Triathlon Plus - - Tested -

NEW BAL­ANCE FRESH FOAM 1080 £115 This plush, com­fort­able shoe of­fers a mag­nif­i­cent fit, not least thanks to the bootie con­struc­tion of the up­per. Work­ing off an 8mm heel to toe drop, you’ll feel suit­ably high from the ground, but ca­pa­ble of push­ing on should you feel the need. It can cover short sprints as well as long, easy runs – the lat­ter is its spe­cial­ity. The mid­sole has been tuned to de­liver a soft, re­spon­sive feel mak­ing this an ev­ery­day work­horse; com­fort­able, re­spon­sive, re­li­able. OVER­ALL

ASICS GEL DS TRAINER 21 £115 Lighter than a nor­mal trainer, it packs less pro­tec­tion than other shoes but still gives fair lev­els of cush­ion­ing with a springy ride, as well as hav­ing some sup­port and guid­ance for mild over­prona­tors. The fit is good, com­fort­able and snug. The fore­foot flex­i­bil­ity and re­spon­sive­ness are very good, too. This light fast shoe is suited to race day PBs rather than ev­ery­day train­ing. OVER­ALL

BROOKS RAVENNA 7 £115 brook­srun­ The com­bi­na­tion of cush­ion­ing and sta­bil­ity makes this a su­perb shoe for run­ners opt­ing for longer races. The fore­foot pods and the mid­foot tran­si­tion zone and seg­mented crash pad cre­ate fast heel-to-toe tran­si­tions all of which feel springy as you go through the toe-off mo­tion. Tra­di­tion­al­ists will en­joy the 10mm heel to toe drop, which makes for a com­fort­able, higher ride off the ground. It’s a great op­tion for long races too. OVER­ALL

UN­DER AR­MOUR SPEEDFORM GEM­INI 2 £110 un­der­ar­ If you’re af­ter a well-cush­ioned and smooth ride, this is the friendli­est shoe on test. While they lack the struc­tur­ing and sup­port that an over-prona­tor may want, they do give a very smooth and guided tran­si­tion all the way from heel strike to toe-off. The very good fore­foot flex­i­bil­ity com­bined with the weight, makes the shoe ideal for when you raise the pace. The up­pers are very soft and sup­ple which adds to the com­fort­able feel. OVER­ALL

SAU­CONY KIN­VARA 7 £110 sau­ For run­ners wa­ver­ing be­tween a light­weight rac­ing shoe and some­thing a lit­tle heav­ier with a touch more cush­ion­ing, the Kin­vara per­fect. It’s a wolf in terms of the speed and light­ness but a sheep when it comes to cush­ion­ing and sta­bil­ity. Work­ing off a lower pro­file of just 4mm, you’ll re­ally be en­cour­aged to get up on your toes and move along at pace. A per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to the fast world of light­weight shoes. OVER­ALL

ADI­DAS ADIOS BOOST 2 £110 adi­ These shoes are for hard­core run­ners who would pluck their eye­brows to re­duce weight and drag. Even for the faster guys with no in­jury or biome­chan­i­cal is­sues these are not for gen­eral train­ing runs, they are rac­ing shoes. They are very light, very sup­ple and hug your foot snugly. For such a light shoe the cush­ion­ing is good – it is fairly springy, but that is very rel­a­tive to the weight. OVER­ALL

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