Staff Shoe Picks for 2023
We caught up with Gear West employee Ellie Davenport to chat about her favorite running shoes for the season and also how to recycle your old shoes responsibly.
Specs: neutral, 5 mm drop, moderate cushion
Best for road, gravel, and light trail running. I like the Hoka Clifton because it's a high-cushion shoe that's also responsive. It's ideal for daily training runs. The upper locks in your foot enough to make it great for cross-training as well. The flexible mesh in the toe box allows ample ventilation and wiggle room for longer runs.
Best for wide toe-box comfort: Altra Via Olympus
Specs: neutral, 0 mm drop, high-cushion
We've noticed many people who come into the shop are looking for "zero-drop shoes". The term means the sole is completely flat instead of a slight heel lift found in many shoes. While they're not for everyone, they can help encourage a more "natural" foot strike and lower impact on runs.
The Via Olympus is a great entry point into the zero drop category. We love the serious amount of cushion. The Altra Via Olympus is plush without feeling bulky. It also has a spacious toe that accommodates the natural foot shape.
Best fit: Books Ghost
Specs: neutral, 12 mm drop, moderate cushion
The Brooks Ghost is a reliable fit for running. Accommodating many foot types and known for its ability to work in many terrains, the shoe has been updated for the 2023 season with a new upper that creates a more supportive feel. It's also built for the long haul with a durable cushion. Great for both track and cross country, the Ghost remains one of the bestselling shoes of all time for good reason.
Best stability shoe: Brooks Adrenaline GTS
Specs: stability, 12 mm drop, moderate cushion
In the stability world, the Brooks Adrenaline is known for helping runners who pronate. I find this shoe to be supportive but not aggressive. The arch support encourages runners to evenly distribute their weight while maintaining contact through the entire insole. It's also great for recovery runs.
If you've experienced foot pain or injury, we would recommend Gear West's gait analysis from Wendi Morin. You can learn more about our expert shoe fitting from Wendi and the rest of the staff here.
You can also check out our whole selection of running shoes right here.