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Super Trainers!
By DOR Editorial Team

While carbon plated running shoes become an essential fixture of every brand, super trainers have suddenly become the next wave of footwear that each brand feels the need to deliver on. Super trainers are shoes that take the key elements of a super shoe - stiffener (carbon plate or similar feel), Peba foam, and aggressive rocker. The major difference is that they are a bit more relaxed often (heavier, more stable for daily use) and can break convention by adding a stack height over 40mm - the maximum legal stack height for professional marathon road racing shoes. The trend as we know it broke open with the Adidas Prime X which completely shattered convention in 2021 with a massive 50mm stack height and somewhat scary platform that many adored. Today, super trainers have become a bit more refined for stability while providing the intended comfort for long run training, and for some, a wildly cushioned race day shoe.

About this Page
The following page features all of the super trainers currently available in the market. We will update this page regularly when new super trainers release.

(Click to jump to section)

Additional Resources about Super Shoes
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Super Trainers Available Now: A-to-Z Jump to Section

But First: Hips

Believe it or not, the stability of the foot, our arches, and our ankle also depends on the strength and stability of our hip. These are the muscles that really help drive your leg behind you and push the rest of you forward during fast running. Most individuals tend to think the hip extensors are limited to the gluteal muscles, but that does not do justice to multiple powerful muscle groups that make up the hip extensors. Today we’re focusing a bit on the abductors. 

Running is a series of single leg stances/hops. Having only one foot on the ground means that gravity is attempting to pull your body down or collapse toward the opposite leg (that is off the ground). Without your hip abductor muscles, you would either fall or more commonly, your femur would collapse medially (inward). These muscles are very important to keeping your knees, hips and back stable and in line while you run. Weak hip abductor muscles contribute to collapse of the pelvis, femur, knee and back (and ankle actually due to connections to knee mechanics) with every footstep. Now take in the fact that running is 3-4x the amount of force with each footstrike compared to walking. Now multiply that amount of force combined with atypical movement of your spine, knees, hips and ankles over 1 mile, 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles.  

Neglecting these muscles and letting them become weak puts a great many structures at risk and puts even at and even greater risk of compensation with other muscles that do not have the connections or the set up to perform these jobs.  Compensation is rarely a good thing. Making sure every muscle is contributing in the correct manner to movement is a great way to work toward injury prevention.

Also: What is a Super Trainer Anyways?

This is actually a difficult question because companies have moved back and forth between what we thought was a super trainer over the past two years. We currently classify super trainers as 40mm and up stack height shoes with Peba predominantly in the midsole and usually a rocker geometry. Its preferable to be all Peba, but being intended for training the rules can be relaxed a bit we think. Unlike racing shoes, these don't necessarily need a carbon plate because these shoes often instead have other ways to stabilize the foam, such as generous width and sole flaring. Super trainers tend to be more stable (Prime X: "hold my beer") and a little heftier, as well as more durable than the racing companions.

The intention of these shoes tends to be towards training, but these for many will be more than capable of racing marathon distances and higher on the road.

Guide to Preparing Yourself for Super Shoes

See this video if you'd like information on what to strengthen as you use these shoes.

Additional Resources
All about Midsoles (Podcast)
What is the Role of Carbon Plates in Shoes (Video)
The Science of Rocker Sole Shoes (Podcast)
Update on PEBAX Research (Feature)

How to Train and Adapt to Super Shoes (Podcast!)


Super Trainers
From A to Z, a list of super trainers available in the market now. We will keep the latest and available in the market models available.

Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung

Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung 2
Price: $300 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.4 oz, 295 g (men's size 8.5), 9.9 oz, 281g (women's size 8)                Measured Weights: 10.7 oz (men's size 9), 11.5 oz (men's size 10)
Stack Height: 50 mm / 43.5 mm
Drop: 6.5 mm

The Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung is a super stack height maximal training shoe for daily training, long runs and uptempo efforts. A brand new, slightly more flexible Strung upper finally creates a sock-like fit that is true to size. A brand new midsole design makes the shoe far more stable, with two carbon plates instead of rods and three layers of Lightstrike Pro (with an interesting, mysterious, super soft middle layer). A dramatic increase in weight is the trade-off for these clear improvements, moving the Prime X series away from being a super racer to a true super trainer. Those wanting a solid long-run shoe that does an excellent job performing at easy and marathon-pace runs and has more stack height underfoot than any other shoe may be interested in this shoe.

Asics Superblast

Asics Superblast
Price: $219.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.4 oz, 239 g (men's size 9), Women's Weights Not Provided
Stack Height: 45.5 mm / 37.5 mm
Drop: 8 mm

The ASICS Superblast is the lightest of the current super trainers. It functions as a maximal stack height, lightweight trainer that can handle long runs, daily miles, and workouts. The shoe does not have a plate, but does a great job of stiffening the shoe to stabilize the super stack height. A slightly snug fit sits up top with a lightweight mesh providing the security of a performance shoe. The ride is rockered in the heel, stiffer in the forefoot, compressive, responsive and protective for almost every type of run. Those who want a shoe that can handle daily training, longer runs, uptempo efforts and almost any workout in a premium super maximal stack height should consider the ASICS Superblast.

Hoka Skyward X

Hoka Skyward X
$224.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 11.3 oz, 320 g (men's size 10), 9.6 oz, 272 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 49 mm / 44 mm
Drop: 5mm

The HOKA Skyward X is a super trainer aimed at providing the most cushion possible underfoot for your mileage. The shoe uses a new generation Peba midsole, a supercritical EVA frame underfoot, and a carbon plate. It also features really large sidewalls - which may be a make-or-break component for some runners - and big sole flaring.  The Skyward is a premium daily trainer built to eat mileage.  

On Cloudmonster Hyper

On Cloudmonster Hyper
Price: $219.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.3 oz, 272 g (men's size 9), 7.5 oz, 212 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 40 mm / 34 mm 
Drop: 6mm

The On Cloudmonster Hyper is a brand new max cushion training model from On Running. It features a combination of their CloudTec (EVA) and new Helion HF (Peba) foams, pushing the shoe into super trainer territory. The Hyper provides a versatile ride for longer distances and different paces. It comes in at a high price, but offers one of the best rides our team has seen from On Running so far.

- Mizuno Neo Vista Coming Soon
- More info on Super Trainers
- ???????????'s Super Trainer (!)


Check out the Doctors of Running Podcast to find more reviews, interviews, and running features from the team.

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at HOKA for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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