The Waverider introduced runners to Mizuno’s Wave plate technology, and 19 updates later it has legions of fans who depend on its unique ride. The good news about Round 20 is that all is well, and the Waverider’s tradition lives up to expectations.
For many Hoka fans, the Bondi is the definition of maximum cushioning so getting its update right was crucial. Fortunately for all involved, our testers found that Round 5 got it right. The upper is closed mesh with 3D-printed overlays, putting Hoka’s bold graphics on full display.
Altra debuted with the Instinct (and the women’s Intuition) and receives an attentive update to its successful design. The upper is completely new, with an engineered mesh that adjusts well to the foot. The lining is smooth, offering support while snugging up comfortably.
The new Noosa FF joins the ASICS lineup as a performance trainer with a speedy feel, and the shoe’s triathlon roots point to its purpose. The upper is both snug-fitting and beefy enough for serious training. Welded overlays support the forefoot, and there’s plenty of toeroom.
The Transcend is Brooks’ top-of-the-line Motion Stabilizing shoe. Round 4 is a catch-your- breath round: some material improvements, but nothing earth-shattering. The majority of improvements are in the upper, beginning with the 3D-printed overlay supports that run along the surface in a linear pattern.