Racing flats are an essential tool for the competitive road runner, but with such a large variety of shoes on the market it can be hard to determine which one is the right fit for you. In order to make the searching process a little easier, we have compiled a list of our top picks for the Fall 2016 road racing season.
Best First Racing Flat: ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7 – MSRP: $85.00
If you’ve never owned a road racing flat, you might be surprised at how snug the fit can be and how minimal the shoe can feel. The ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7 offers a semi-soft, yet responsive underfoot feel. It’s adaptive upper makes it a comfortable choice for runners used to running in training shoes. While experienced racers use this shoe for interval training or half marathons, its low price point, versatile cushioning, and comfortable fit make it a great choice for the newer racer looking to try out a road racing flat for 5K or 10K road races.
Best for a 5K/10K PR: ASICS Gel TartherZeal 3 – MSRP: $140.00
The ASICS Gel TartherZeal 3 delivers a highly responsive ride in a lightweight package. A stiff, stripped down midsole offers excellent propulsion and snappy cushioning. The shoe has a low volume fit to keep your foot secure. While the TartherZeal 3 is not the lightest flat on the market (6.0oz), the pop it puts in your step makes it a great option for the competitive 5k/10k runner. (Only available in men’s sizing. Women can subtract 1.5 sizes from their women’s shoe size for the correct size equivalent.)
Best for Long Distance Racing: Nike Zoom Streak 6 – MSRP: $110.00
Built for the highly competitive runner looking to take on the half or full marathon distance, the Nike Zoom Streak 6 offers a highly cushioned midsole paired with a smooth, responsive ride. With one of the higher stack heights among racing flats and an adaptable, super breathable upper, the shoe offers fantastic comfort over long distances. (Only available in men’s sizing. Women can subtract 1.5 sizes from their women’s shoe size for the correct size equivalent.)
Best Flat for Overpronators: New Balance 1500 v2 – MSRP: $110.00
Making our list for “Top Selling Shoes” for the past 2 quarters, the New Balance 1500 v2 has been a favorite of many. With a responsive ride, enough cushioning for any distance and just enough support to get you through your race, this racing flat should be in every overpronators arsenal.
Best Value: Nike Zoom Streak LT3 – MSRP: $80.00
Lightweight, versatile, and a low price, the Nike Zoom Streak LT3 delivers fantastic bang for your buck. A smooth, responsive ride makes the flat a fantastic option for 5K/10K road races, while a grippy minimally lugged outsole makes it versatile enough for XC use. (Only available in men’s sizing. Women can subtract 1.5 sizes from their women’s shoe size for the correct size equivalent.)