With the half-marathon season approaching, we’ve taken a look at seven worthy shoe options for your next 13.1-mile effort. Of course, we’re all looking for different things from a half-marathon shoe. While some runners prefer flat and light shoes while others look for comfort, support and cushioning.
We’ve reviewed a wide range of shoe options to reflect this – from the fairly minimal Adidas Adizero, to the soft cushioned ON Cloudflyer – all of which have their own merits. So whatever your preference, hopefully, you’ll find something that appeals to you in the collection – and can spur you on to half-marathon success this spring.
Scott Palani RC
It’s never advisable to take brands completely on their word, but when Scott says that the Palani RC is the ‘ultimate racing shoe’ we find it hard to disagree. The first thing you notice when you pull them on is the supreme comfort of the no-sew inner construction and the incredibly lightweight feel of the shoe in general – it weighs just 195g. There’s enough cushioning under foot for those who prefer a bit of a shock absorption but equally, the shoe feels responsive enough to let you turn on the afterburners. A moderate 5mm drop and a discreet rocker on the outsole help to promote a midfoot strike – so designed to see you cross the line with maximum efficiency. The Palani RC has everything it needs and nothing that it doesn’t. Truly a racers dream.
The Fate is Newton’s first truly neutral trainer, offering a little more underfoot protection than some of the line’s slinkier models. The heel-toe-drop though remains a relativley minimal 4.5mm – making the shoe a useful option for those looking to transition to a more neutral style. Newton’s trademark ‘pop’ wedge on the outsole aims to encorage a mid/forefoot strike, bit it feels less obtrusive than in previous versions. The toe box is roomy and the upper breathable without feeling flimsy. A great half marathon option.
Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2 V2M
Pearl Izumi’s no bells and whistles’ approach has garnered a loyal following. And fans of its neutral running shoe range will be pleased to know that the latest addition, the N2 V2, maintains the breathable, lightweight upper – made using 3-D print technology (no seams) – and just enough energy-returning cushioning. The traction is limited but as the name suggests, this is very much a road-only shoe. For those looking for a highly dependable option, the N2 V2 will ensure over the 13.1 miles are drama-free.
ON makes interesting shoes with a touch of Swiss sophistication, so any new addition to its ever-growing stable is is always worth a second look. The Cloudflyer is its latest launch and promises to take the cushioning and stability you’d expect from an ON shoe to “the next level”. At first glance, it looks bulkier than the Cloud Runner but at less than 300g, looks can be deceiving. It’s supremely comfortable and you do feel more protected than in other ON shoes. Perfect for neutral runners who are looking for a cushioned, stable ride.
Asics Gel-DS Racer 11
Light, low-profile and purpose built for quick miles, this shoe is a great choice for the runner looking to clock a sub 90 minute half marathon. Designed for neutral runners and those who mildly over-pronate, it’s not quite as flexible as some out and out minimalist offerings, and it comes witha an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, but it’s still very much from the less-is-more school of shoe design. The lacing system is excelent and extremely comfortable too.
Altra Torin 2.0
Looking for a zero-drop shoe that doesn’t sacrifice on cushioning? Then Altra is the way to go. All its shoes are zero-drop and come with a roomy toe-box that allow toes to splay, maximising both stability and comfort. The 27mm stack height provides ample underfoot protection while, at just 258g, it remains impressively light. The three-figure price tag may be something of a deal-breaker for some, but the Torin 2.0 is certainly a worthy option for the heavier runner looking to pick up the pace in their next half marathon.
Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2.0
Boasting adidas’ much lauded Boost formula, there’s a reason that this shoe is the weapon of choice for so many of the world’s quickest distance runners. The foam-like material provides comfort, great propulsion and an effortless running feel as you pound the pavements. Adding this to a stripped back lightweight shoe makes it everything an efficient runner could want. A thin layer of Continental outsole is enough to provide grip protection, while a well-sewn and flexible Coolever mesh lining offers great breathability.