2012 Spring Running Shoes
Spring 2012 Running Shoe Guide
Image: David Clugston
Editor’s Choice: Brooks Trance 11
“Oooh la la!” That's Cheryl Miller, an 80-mile-a-week runner from East Lansing, gushing about the Trance 11. "I felt as if I were running on clouds." Miller isn't our only smitten wear-tester: 26 of 29 rated this shoe above average or better. Credit the rave notices to smart cushioning. (Related: 8 Features of High-End Performance Gear) Brooks essentially has made three different versions of the Trance, each with a varying amount of foam density in the midsole. The women's version uses the softest, lowest density amount because women have lower body masses and do not need a thick, firm sole. By contrast, there's a firmer version for midsize guys (men up to a size 10.5 foot), and the even-bigger guys get the firmest, most dense foam of all. (Are you trying to lose weight by running? Try Run Your Butt Off today) (Note: The cushioning and flexibility scores to the right reflect a men's size 9.) The result? Each pair of the Trance feels like it's made just for you. Because, in a way, it is.
Bottom line: A shoe suited for bigger runners with normal to flat arches. Softer overlays help limit the chance of hot spots and blisters. The density of the midsole varies depending on shoe size. $140
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