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The Monday Shakeout: My Favorite Shoes of 2023 for Training and Racing
By David Salas

2023 was an awesome year! In some ways we had progressions of the classics and in other ways some completely new models and concepts. Every company brought the heat and gave me some new favorites. 

My Favorite Neutral Trainer: Nike Vomero 17 | Full Review

The Nike Vomero 17 was an incredibly pleasant surprise. The Vomero takes a lot of things I love from traditional daily trainers and integrates some new generation elements almost seamlessly. The shoe has a traditional high drop ride with a sense of softness at initial contact and a decent amount of bounce through toe off. The dual midsole of Cushlon and ZoomX works really well together for a balanced training option with some flare. This shoe is the definition of a neutral shoe and keeps the workhorse DNA while also adding some really fun elements.  

My Favorite All-Terrain Trainer: HOKA Stinson 7 | Full Review

My daily runs cover a decent amount of different footing on a daily basis. This can range from road, track, soft mulchy horse trails, packed dirt, sand, or grass. Because of this I often find myself looking for shoes that can handle a variety of footing. The HOKA Stinson 7 is more than capable of all the above. The Stinson 7 has a trail ready outsole, wide base, reinforced upper, and a great balanced ride. It does not feel too "traily" for road efforts and it feels great when I need a more trail ready option in the mountains. The Stinson is very sturdy and reliable for any road/trail effort you will find yourself on. 

My Favorite Racing Shoe: Saucony Endorphin Elite | Full Review

For any road races past 10k I really haven't found anything to match the Endorphin Elite with my mechanics. The PWRRUN HG midsole provides a really good bounce without being mushy or over compliant that I find in some other super shoes. The Endorphin Elite has a nice wide base and smooth geometry that works really for me both in rhythm and when I am tired. The sharp toe spring and balanced rocker keeps you constantly feeling like you are being guided forward in a productive way. For those long controlled efforts this is my go to. 

My Favorite Performance Trainer: Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 | Full Review

Wow. I have not had this much fun in a shoe in a while. The Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 really blew the doors open for the training companion and performance trainer category. The shoe is in the 6-7 ounce range for men's size 9, a comparable weight to the Vaporfly. The full length Pebax midsole is certainly noticeable and the natural ride it comes with even more so. The shoe is relatively flexible but holds its structure just well enough to not feel like it is folding on itself underneath you. The shoe feels balanced, nimble, and responsive enough to tackle literally any effort you throw at it. I have ripped some hot 400s in these with zero issues and have also done full length tempo runs. This is the performance trainer of the year. 

Honorable Mentions

The Saucony Ride 16 gets an honorable mention from me. This was my trainer of the year up until the Vomero arrived a couple months ago. This is a shoe that still feels really stable and reliable for workhorse mileage. The 9.1 oz mark makes it light enough to turn over, though still structured. The sole flaring and transitions of the Ride make this a shoe worth bringing up for the neutral training category. 

The Adidas Boston 12 also gets a huge shout out. The Boston has a very smooth geometry for running rhythmically fast. This is has been a go to for long tempo runs and long runs for me. The addition of more Lightstrike Pro in the forefoot is noticeable and gives a fun bouncy toe off to an already rhythmic ride. 


Matt's Favorites of 2023
ChatGPT Writes a Review, Take 2
How Forefoot Helps with Toe Mobility
The Science of Running with Backpacks
How Much Does Doctors of Running Make? Report #5
Changes We're Excited to See
Why Heel Bevels are Natural
Do Heavier Runners Need Different Shoes?
Shoe Rotations for Different Runners
Strength Training to Prevent Injury - A Case Study
On the Impacts of Different Stacked Shoes
The Importance of Heel Bevels in Shoe Design
Low vs. High Drop Shoes
Why is Proprioception Important to Runners?
My Favorite Flat Feet Shoes of 2023
Best Running Movie Scenes of All-Time, Part 2
Best Running Movie Scenes of All-Time, Part 1
What a Week at DOR is Like
Reflections on Saucony's Running Economy Study
Sustainable is Only Going to Work if It's Good
A Simple Guide to Footwear and Foot Health
Best Flat Feet Shoes by a Flat Feet Runner
How Long Do Shoes Last?


*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


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Previous Shakeout:
Matt's Favorites of 2023

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