Running Footwear Predictions for 2014

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We’re in a midst of an exciting time for running shoes. If you follow the running shoe industry closely, you are aware of the different trends, innovations, and design philosophies that have come (and gone) over the past few seasons. Luckily for footwear-geeks (like ourselves), we don’t see these changes in trends going away anytime soon. Here are some of the things we think will make a splash in the running shoe world over 2014.

“Maximalism” will continue.

The popularity of minimal shoes has waned over the past year, with many runners trading in their near-barefoot shoes in for something that still allows for an uninhibited stride but offers more cushioning. And when we say more cushioning, we mean it. We’ve seen the rise of Hoka over the past year, and other shoe manufacturers are taking notice and starting to bring their own super-cushioned models to market as well. The Brooks Transcend is an early example of this, combining learnings from their Pure line with the plush and protective ride of the Trance for a soft, yet natural-riding feel.

Durability will be a focus.

One problem runners face with the continual dropping of footwear weights is the diminishment of durability. By reducing the use of robust upper materials and high abrasion outsole rubbers, shoe manufacturers have been able to make their products lighter than ever, however runners have been blowing through shoes like never before. We think footwear companies have taken notice, and will put a bit more emphasis on durability so you can get a few more miles out of your favorite shoes.

Manufacturers will pay more attention to traditional.

With the hype surrounding the less-is-more philosophy over recent seasons, it’s easy for runners and shoe manufacturers to get caught up with your new low-profile, natural running footwear models. Manufacturers are realizing, though, that a majority of runners are sticking with the traditional models that they know and love. Expect brands to increase their focus on their core, traditional footwear models in the coming year.

White will make a comeback.

Our bike-riding friends over at our sister store Art’s Cyclery will tell you that white is totally in, and we think that the same can be said of the running shoe world before long. Gone are the days of the Lite Brights. But these won’t be the boring all-white shoes your grandparents wear – expect some tasteful pops of color to really make these shoes stand out in a clean way. We’ve already seen this on the Mizuno Wave Rider 17 pictured above as well as the new Nike Zoom Fly, and we think white-based shoes will continue to make their way onto shoe shelves (and our site) in the coming seasons.

The Brooks Launch will remain unchanged.

The Launch has been going strong in its current state for half a decade. Do you really think this is the year it gets changed?

What running shoe trends do you expect to see in 2014?

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