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What!? You're telling us it's MID 2021 ALREADY. The year's flown by for all of us at Doctors of Running, but we've been really excited to get our summer gear out and get some warm days ahead. May was an interesting month for us: we got a huge load of shoes coming in from every which way, half of which we can't even talk about. Potential daily trainer of the year coming mid-June along with a shoe that's on NO ONES radar yet for speed day shoe of 2021.

Teasers aside for now, let's take a look back at everything that went down in May at Doctors of Running. Since we also are hitting the midpoint of the year, we thought we'd pull together our top five reviewed shoes of 2021 so far to see where we stand.


Daily Trainer
Asics Gel Cumulus 23 - The long running neutral series from Asics gets a load of changes including a new outsole geometry and flexible forefoot ride.
Puma Liberate Nitro - Truly liberating at well undrer 7 oz, the speed day shoe comes with a minimal upper and extremely flexible shoe designed for going all out during your workouts.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel 2 - The Rebel was a huge hit when it first came out, showing the power of the ultra soft FuelCell foam. Version 2 dials in the shoe's fit to accomodate more runners and dial in the ride. A shoe of the year candidate.
Asics Novablast 2 - The super soft trainer from Asics gets dialed in for version two, offering a slightly more stablized heel. A recovery and easy day champ.
Hoka Clifton 8 - May was truly all about soft shoes, and the Clifton is of course the long running champion of that. Version 8 dials in the upper, taking what was a successful version last year and just tweaking it for everyday use.
Puma Eternity Nitro - The "stability" trainer in the Nitro line, it features the softest use of Nitro yet, which caused some confusion from our team as we tried to balance the stability elements with the soft ride.

Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max
- Supercharged with graphene, an ultra-strong material, the shoe is built to last longer and take you farther on trails

361 Flame - This may be the ultra stable super shoe running fans have been looking for. A "budget" racer at $160 that is entirely built to go fast and far.

100 Mile Review Updates

Hoka Carbon X2: David Salas checks in after dropping 100 training miles in the X2
Asics Metaspeed Sky: Matt Klein ran gobs of miles including a 10 miler ON TRAIL (we do not endorse this decision)
Saucony Axon: Matt Klein rolled mile after mile in the shoe to help get a feel for the PWRRUN foam implementation.


#45: Natural Running" and the Founding of Topo Athletics - We talk to the founder of Topo, Tony Post, to hear about his career in running and how he came to start Topo Athletics
#46: Newton Gravity and Motion 10 Review | Podcast - The team takes a look at Newton's new updates to their long time trainers which have undergone a big sustainability shift for the 10th anniversary
#47: Co
ach Dave Ames on Holistic Training, Tapering, and Rest | Podcast
- Coach Dave Ames returns to talk about holistic training and the common mistakes he sees in tapering. Always a pleasure to catch Coach Ames.
#48 Puma Nitro Line, Reviewed - Contributor Nathan Brown drops a solo pod this week going through his experiences in the Nitro line and discusses which shoe is best suited for your needs.

Hoka Clifton 8 Video Review

Five Common Mistakes During the Taper
Why Your Training Needs Rest
The Last Review of the New Balance RC Elite on the Net
Saucony Shift 2 - Video Review
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 vs. Pro 2
Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G 300 Max Video Review

Note: Links provided are Affiliate links to Running Warehouse.
These links help support Doctors of Running if you are interested in making a purchase! Thanks so much.


New Balance Fresh Foam More V3
Release: Available now (Running Warehouse Link)

New Balance's most cushioned neutral trainer has been greatly hyped in the running shoe community already. There's no doubt there's a ton of foam here with over 38 mm of Fresh Foam X in the heel. There's a nice heel bevel for smooth transition and some flex grooves which is making this look like a real long range cruiser for those who want big stack.

Endorphin Collection 2, Triumph 19, and Omni 20
Releases: (Order the Endorphin Series here)
Endorphin Pro 2: June 1, 2021 ($200)
Endorphin Speed 2 and Shift 2: June 15, 2021 ($160, $140)
Triumph 19: 7/15/2021 ($150)
Omni 20: 7/15/2021 ($130)

The Endorphin Collection 2 dropped on our doors in late April. Since then, we've also gotten the drop for the latest Triumph and Omni which are combining to form this unique checkered collection that's divided the internet.

The Triumph sees an ounce in weight reduction at 10.2 oz, 290 g for men and 9.1, 259 g for women, that weight drop coming from a new mono-mesh upper. The Omni 20, the brand’s premium stability trainer, has a brand new design altogether with a Speedroll-inspired (similar to Axon) ride, enhanced flexibility, a wider geometry introduced, and new outsole and midsole design from the previous version. The shoe also features some use of recycled materials, continuing the industry trend towards sustainable running.

USWE Pace 2L and 8L
Release: Available Now

USWE (YOU-SWII) is a Swedish company focused on crafting the best hydration tools possible. This new set from USWE features a no-bounce, extremely lightweight design aimed at long runs through the summer heat. The mesh upper is very breathable and there are pockets for all your running essentials. Full review soon!

VJ Ultra
Release: Available Now

Newcomer VJ makes a big statement claiming "The Best Grip on the Planet" with their VJ Ultra shoe. It's got the makings of a good trail runner at a light 9.3 oz (265g) for men, 33 mm of stack in the heel and 27 in the forefoot for solid cushioning along with a 100% butyl rubber outsole. This is our first ever VJ shoe and we're excited to learn more about both the shoe and the brand with our review.

Adidas Eyewear:
Release: Available Now

Incredibly light at under 23 grams, the SP0031-H from Adidas provides a protective, impact-resistant eyewear for everyday running. The glasses use “Kolor Up” technology to brighten your surrounding light, color, and contrast. On initial testing, the glasses provide very crisp color that lets you enjoy the run while still protecting your eyes.

Reebok Floatride Grow
Release: Available now

Reebok combines the plant-based running shoe introduced last Fall with the Forever Floatride Energy 3.0 platform to create the new Floatride Energy Grow. The shoe fits into Reebok [REE]GROW category which guarantees at least 50% of used materials are plant based. The Energy Grow is packed with natural material from a castor bean midsole to eucalyptus upper and bloom algae sockliner. The shoe has a 9mm drop with 26.5 in the heel and 17.5 in the forefoot. Like V3, it has a very nice bevel for a smooth transition for daily training. The GROW comes in at $120.


Each Friday on our 
Instagram and Facebook we are excited to be sharing different discussions on shoe science between our team members and down the line with members of the running community.


We're only hitting June and were surprised to find that we already have blown through FORTY shoe reviews since the beginning of 2021. With the second half of 2021 shoes already drizzling in, we wanted to hit pause and take a look at early favorites so far based on our team's new grading system for 2021. Here are our top reviewed shoes so far for 2021.

Best Utility
Hoka One One Mach 4
Average Grade: A-

It's hard to argue with the internet when it comes to this year's favorite trainer. The Hoka One One Mach 4 came in with huge expectations and is one of the rare shoes that met all the anticipation. With an extremely smooth, cushioned ride that's great at daily paces and uptempo along with a good price point, solid stability for a neutral shoe, and great durability, it's hard to find a reason to fault the Mach 4. (Shop the Mach 4 at Running Warehouse)

Best Daily Training

When we talk about these shoes, we keep going towards budget and how they are so good for the price. After reviewing several trainers of varying price points, it's hard not to recognize that these are fantastic trainers on their own right, because we've been hard-pressed to find daily trainers that do all of the same things as comfortably and reliably.
Best Stability

It's a constant debate among our team what the best stability shoe is each year. This year has been a constant battle between these three shoes, all of which feature completely different forms of stability which is why we felt it was right to feature them all. Whether a post (Hurricane), something to help guide your run (Arahi), or just a really stable platform to crush miles (Horizon), these three really provide some of the best stability options you can find in 2021 to fit your needs as a daily trainer. Now we just need some real racing options for our stability friends... (Shop at Running Warehouse | Hurricane 23 | Arahi 5 | Horizon 5)
Best Racing
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite
Average Grade: A

Do you remember running? The Deviate Nitro Elite combines all the exciting elements that have defined marathon running recently with a stripped down, pure and fun design that we believe will work for a lot of runners. The combination of natural running with a really fantastic foam and stable plate is very well-executed here. This is the first shoe that even made our Alphafly enthusiast, David Salas, pause and think. FYI, that's a really big deal y'all.

We Just Like It a Ton
Saucony Kinvara 12
Average Grade: A

If you see our reviews, watch our podcasts, and follow us on social media, we keep coming back to the K12 time and time again. The lightweight classic from Saucony is just a really dependable everyday trainer that does many things well in a way that few shoes do today. Essentially a classic flat, it connects with your foot and just disappears on runs. Yes, sometimes we put on certain shoes to experience the fun of the technology, but often we just like to get out the door and run, and few shoes in 2021 do it so seamlessly as the K12. (Shop Kinvara 12 at Running Warehouse)


It's Saucony month coming up with reviews of the entire Endorphin line along with the Triumph and Omni underway. We also have a strong candidate for daily trainer of the year dropping mid-month along with more great podcasts lined up. Stay cool and hydrated runners.

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Interested in purchasing any shoes reviewed here? Visit the links below and shop with Fleet Feet or Running Warehouse! Using the links below or in the Round Up to shop helps support the work at Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Fleet Feet | Running Warehouse

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