WHAT I’M TESTING
Max Road 4 Hyper
Featuring Skechers’ new Hyper Burst
midsole, this thickly cushioned shoe is
extremely lightweight and soft, with a
rounded sole to roll smoothly from heel
landing to toe-off.
BEING THE SHOE NERD that I am, our Septem-
ber issue is one of my favorites each year.
In this issue, you’ll again find our Fall Shoe
Guide, which features 30 of the best road
and trail shoes just released. It’s a real treat
watching this guide come together, because
there’s so much sweat put in by our staff
and the nearly 300 local runners who hit
the pavement and singletrack all spring and
summer—we tested 78 models to help you
find the next pair you’ll love.
The process has also helped me dial in
what shoe I’ll wear when I race the Chicago
Marathon this fall. Years ago, I would have
reached for the lightest shoe possible, but
I’ve learned the value of extra cushioning
for 26.2 miles—even if it means the shoe
weighs a little more. That lesson came at
the 2015 Boston Marathon, when I wore the
Adidas Supernova Glide Boost 6.
I still believe that race was the best of my
29 marathons—not my fastest, but my best—
and I give a ton of credit to those shoes.
Leading up to race day, I didn’t plan to
run fast—even though I had a qualifier and
a bib—because I had run 70 miles in each
of the previous two weeks training for a
marathon later in the year. My legs were
tired, but...it’s Boston! So I grabbed the
Supernovas, intending to treat the day as
a fun long run, soaking up the atmosphere.
When the gun fired, I went out easy over
the first few downhill miles. But, a funny
thing happened: As the weather turned
crappier—it was cold and rainy that year—I
started running faster. As other runners
suffered and shuff led up Heartbreak Hill
in the driving rain, I f lew past them with
a smile on my face. My legs felt great, so I
continued to pick up the pace. The last 5
miles were my fastest. I crossed the line
in 3:03:48, notching another BQ. And, get
this, I kept running! It was cold, and my
warm clothes were about a mile away at
the Boston Common. So I jogged past those
tired finishers with blue lips.
My legs should have felt like junk. I’ve
run enough marathons to know that kind of
pain. This time? I wasn’t sore at all. In fact,
just six days later, I paced the 1:30 group at
our local half marathon.
So why do the shoes get so much credit?
Well, they had a thick slab of Boost foam.
It’s bouncy, soft, and incredibly durable.
Even though my shoes were two years old,
and had been worn for a few hundred miles,
I was confident they could go another 26.2.
What I wasn’t prepared for was just how
much they protected my legs, so I could
keep up a fast pace at the end of the race.
With a lighter pair of shoes, my legs would
have been toast. The weight compromise
was well worth the performance benefit.
Sadly, I recycled that pair long ago. But
I’m still looking for my next pair that cap-
tures a little of that magic.
NOBODY HAS RUN
IN SIX DIFFERENT
DECADES, BUT JOAN
COULD BE ONE OF
THE FIRST TO DO SO.
IS AIMING FOR AN
RECORD AT LONDON
OR TOKYO IN 2020.
A GROUP OF MEN
WILL BE CHASING
AS EARLY AS JANUARY
THE TOP THREE
FINISHERS AT THE U.S.
TRIALS IN ATLANTA
WILL BE HEADED TO
TOKYO, EVEN IF THEY
DON’T HIT THE IAAF’S
TIMES. THE TRIALS
HAVE BEEN GRANTED
GOLD LABEL STATUS,
MAKING A TOP
FINISH AS GOOD AS A
The Inside Lane
18 RUNNERSWORLD.COM PHOTOGRAPH BY LAKOTA GAMBILL