These 14 Shoes Are Our 2016 Fall Sole Mate Awards Winners

After testing dozens of new footwear releases, we selected the best of the bunch.


Just in time for fall training, old running-shoe favorites get hot updates and brand new styles make a splash. Evolving construction technologies and materials mean great things for you—namely, lighter shoes that fi t and perform like a dream. Running footwear has never looked this good. There are more choices than ever for every foot, which also means it’s even harder to make a bad selection!

With so many options, consider investing in two (or three!) pairs and rotating shoes throughout the week. Mixing up different models to match your runs means performance gains for you and also lessens the chance of injury as feet are forced to strengthen and adapt in different ways. After testing dozens of styles this summer, we selected the top-rated shoes to share with you. Click through for our 14 favorites!

Tester Spotlights

Ashley Lauretta, 30, Austin, TX
What was your favorite shoe? My favorite shoe was the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit for its sock-like comfort and unique style!
What type of running do you like to do? I am a road runner and primarily run half marathons.
What is your biggest running accomplishment to date? In 2013, I completed the Los Angeles Marathon.

Rebecca Ditmar, 34, Pflugerville, TX
What was your favorite shoe? I really liked the Pearl Izumi N2v3, because they are a solid, well-built neutral shoe with lots of agility and just the right amount of support! Their sizing and fit is ideal for runners’ feet to swell while completing longer distances, without having to buy a half-size bigger like with other brands.
What type of running do you like to do? I do mostly road running but fantasize about hitting the trails. A 5K to 10K distance is my normal, and before kids, I used to complete two races a month.
What is your biggest running accomplishment to date? I completed three half marathons. I’ve also run a 10K trail race that I thoroughly enjoyed! I hope to get back into shorter distances at faster speeds while throwing in an occasional trail race.

Sarah Swiss, 32, Encinitas, CA
What was your favorite shoe? Of the shoes I reviewed, the Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 was my favorite. The overall fit and feel of the shoe felt natural and comfortable, and it has a stylish look.
What type of running do you like to do? I have raced 13 marathons, but am now focusing on overall health-and-wellness-style running. I enjoy a mix of road and trail running and even tossing in some track workouts when possible.
What is your biggest running accomplishment to date? Finishing as the seventh overall female in the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon in 2014. The goal on the horizon is to complete my first Olympic-distance triathlon.