5 Best Neutral Running Shoes 2015: Half-Way Point Edition
In my article “5 Best Neutral Running shoes 2015” I will discuss my favorite neutral shoes I have been able to test through the first 6 months of the year. Lets start by allowing me to discuss what exactly neutral shoes are and who should be wearing them over other types of running shoes.
Neutral running shoes are for runners who pronate the proper amount. That is considered about 15%. What happens is when you take your steps, your foot rolls inward. When your foot is able to roll inward about 15% it is able to make full contact with the ground. This motion called “pronation” is optimal for any runner because it will absorb the most shock and have the easiest time holding up all your body motion.
I have tried quite a few neutral running shoes thus far in 2015. Here is my list of best neutral running shoes in the first half of 2015. I will try and highlight the pro’s and con’s of each shoe and what exactly is special about each shoe.
Keep in mind I am a pretty harsh grader when it comes to my running shoes. I have never given a shoe a perfect score because a running shoe almost always compromises something. So while there may be near-perfect running shoe for specific runner need’s, there is no perfect running shoe for everybody and I base my grading off that idea.
#1) Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit
4.4 Out of 5 Stars
It is a bit of a close call but the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit is my favorite shoe I have been able to run in so far this year. It has everything that I personally look for in a running shoe. It is super lightweight at 7.4 ounces as well as extremely flexible. It is really built to be a flexible shoe. The shoe actually has a “curved look.” It is a good representation of how well the shoe flexes. With its lightweight nature and amazing flexibility comes surprisingly good cushion. I am not a runner that needs max cushion all the time so it bodes well with my running style. The two downfalls that prevents this being a perfect shoe for me is its traction is not the greatest. I would never run over wet grass in these and risk an injury. Secondly, the durability is not the greatest of running shoes. Lots of running shoes can go 300-500 miles, but these do not quite make the distance, which I can live with without a problem.
Check out the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit through the Amazon Store or read my full review Here.
#2) Hoka One One Clifton
4.3 out of 5 stars
It may be a bit of a surprise considering the contrasting styles of the Hoka One One Clifton and Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit. It is definitely one of the best running shoes of the year and I am not the only one to think so. There is a reason the Hoka brand is the fastest growing premium shoe brand in the world right now. The Hoka One One Clifton absolutely offers an extremely lightweight shoe (7.7 Ounces) with max cushion. Normally that is a combination that does not work. The Clifton proves otherwise though. It still amazes me how Hoka One One was able to make this shoe so comfortable at the same time. While the upper may be pretty thin the Hoka One One Clifton performed longer than I thought it would hold up. This is a great neutral running shoe and any runner who loves cushion while running may be interested in the Clifton.
Check out the Hoka One One Clifton through the Amazon Store or read my full review Here.
#3) Wave Prophecy 4
4.1 out of 5 Stars
Similar to the Hoka One One, the Wave Prophecy 4 is also a max-cushion type shoe. There are still vital differences between the two shoes though. While the Clifton is lightweight and comfy, the Wave Prophecy 4 has a better focus on durability and safety. It is weighed at 12.5 ounces which is almost 5 ounces more than the Clifton. Instead of being super lightweight it is actually built extremely well. It is fairly stable for a neutral running shoe. To put it best, the Wave Prophecy 4 may be best for heavy-runners who are looking for cushion to “cushion” the blows on their feet, knees, and joints. It is definitely the best running shoe overall on this list in terms of shock absorption. Other than weight the only downside about this shoe is its price. It’s the most expensive shoe on the list with an MSRP of $200.
Check out the Wave Prophecy 4 through the Amazon Store or read my full review Here.
#4) Asics Nimbus 17
4.0 out of 5 Stars
The improvements in the Nimbus 17 over last year’s editions is why this shoe made this list. With the exception of it being a little on the heavy side (10.8 Ounces) it is really good at everything. Its cushion is not quite as great at the Wave Prophecy 4 or Clifton, but it is definitely above average. My favorite feature in the shoe may be the upper. It’s is extremely comfortable and plush and feels great on the feet. The Nimbus 17 serves my long runs extremely well. I love this neutral running shoe for distance.
Check out the Asics Nimbus 17 through the Amazon Store or read my full review Here.
#5) Nike Flex Experience Run 3
4.1 out of 5 Stars
I felt conflicted with which neutral running shoe deserved my final spot in my 2015 listing, but ultimately I decided with the Nike Flex Experience Run 3. While it may not quite compare with some of these other shoes, the price tag sits at around $65 and offers so much value to beginner to intermediate runners. I love how the Flex Experience Run 3 is able to do just about anything at a relatively high level. Its extremely comfortable. I could fill the plush cushion on the bottom of my feet as soon as I put these on. It is also more flexible than other shoes around this price. These are a great choice if you are forced with a tighter budget.
Check out the Nike Flex Experience Run 3 through the Amazon store or read my full review Here.
Throughout my neutral running shoes testing, these are the 5 that I personally think are the best. It is based off my opinion completely. Every shoe will perform differently for each user. Best of luck making any possible decisions on buying running shoes and most importantly, enjoy your running.
Expect a new list in December after the year has come near its end. Until then, lets keep enjoying our running.
So we know my list, does anybody else have other shoes they believe should be on this list. I am not capable of trying every neutral running shoe out there.