Out of all the shoes we have worn this year, which ones have stood above the others? Our shoe of 2023 choices are all here!
Shoe of the year 2023
This year has seen a raft of new shoes, updated versions of old favourites and some surprises landing on our feet. Out of everything we have tried during the past year, which ones have been the best?
These decisions are all entirely personal. There were no set criteria for choosing our shoe of the year. For some, it was the shoe that was the most fun. On the other hand, it was, for some, the shoe which they found on their feet the most often. Moreover, some chose those which showed the most technical innovation or caused the most stir during the year!
We will also finish this shoe of the year 2023 round up by looking forward to 2024 and some of the shoes on show at TRE which we are most looking forward to.
In our final article, we look at:
- Shoe of the Year
- 2024’s Most Interesting Release (so far)
Shoe of the Year 2023
Not much needs to be said here. We have all worn, tested and ran hundreds of kilometres in a whole raft of shoes. Which ones were our favourites of the whole year?
Alex – ASICS Superblast
Andy – New Balance SC Trainer v2
Ivan – adidas Adios Pro Evo 1/adidas Prime X Strung
Josh – adidas Adios Pro Evo 1
Silke – New Balance SC Trainer v2
Theo – Salomon S/Lab Genesis
Our Favourite Shoes 2023
The one and only ASICS Superblast is my shoe of the year 2023.
It is one of these unicorns that make it to the shoe market every now and then. Just like the OG Nike Pegasus Turbo in 2018, the Saucony Endorphin Speed in 2020, or the New Balance Rebel v2 in 2021, the Superblast is one of these products that won all the hearts beyond any reasonable expectations. What’s the common trait between all these shoes? They can do it all and they’re the perfect shoe to pack for a short trip where you can bring one pair only. No matter the run types, surfaces or conditions, you won’t regret your choice.
I have been incredibly lucky this year to try a whole range of different shoes for different purposes. Some have been incredible and I have loved every run in them. On the other hand, with others, I have been quite happy to publish the review so I don’t need to run in them any more.
That being said, the shoe which I have kept coming back to this year and ran more miles in than any other is the New Balance SC Trainer v2. I hated my first run in it. Genuinely thought I’d never run in it again. However, as the year progressed, I kept reaching for it for a range of runs and it’s the first shoe in a fair while that I have actually run to bits. From easy bouncy, paces to days when I was chasing my faster friends down the road, it was always there for me and just did it without fuss. Overall, that’s what made it my shoe of the year 2023.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the privilege of testing the adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1. Despite the ongoing debate about its steep price, I find myself captivated by the groundbreaking advancements within the industry.
Similar to the revolutionary introduction of the original Vaporfly with its ZoomX technology in 2017 or the Boost-powered shoes from Adidas a decade ago, these leaps in innovation shape the landscape of athletic footwear and not only the running shoe industry. Undoubtedly, the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 represents a game-changing milestone. Above all, I firmly believe that the cutting-edge technology behind the impressive weight-to-performance ratio will redefine the industry’s standards and influence most leading brands. While the cost may be a deterrent for everyday runners, it’s a development that’s hard to overlook.
When it comes to the shoes I’ve actively used this past year, my top pick is the adidas Prime X (Strung). This particular shoe has proven to be a lifesaver on numerous occasions. Despite enduring a year filled with tough workouts and persistent achilles/calf issues, this shoe has consistently enabled me to tackle the following days, irrespective of the pace or distance, with remarkable ease. In short, its ride is not only protective but also exceptionally smooth, ensuring that I navigate through most runs with a smile on my face.
Nobody was expecting such a monumental step in running technology and innovation. The adidas Adios Pro Evo v1 really is the next step in the performance running industry. With product focus and innovation on the top 0.001% of runners.
Personally, I am excited to see how other brands will respond to this and what other technologies we will see emerging targeted at getting every last strain of power out of the runner in the race. This move to specialist sporting equipment isn’t just a sign of the technological advancement of the sport but also of the public’s perception of innovation. Could we be seeing technological development and innovation like we have seen in Formula 1 in running?
Whatever the industry has coming for it, I can’t wait to experience it with you all.
To me it would be the New Balance SC trainer V2. Overall, I am a big fan of their Fuelcell shoes such as the Rebel V2 and V3. The SC Trainer is like the big bouncy brother of the Rebel v3. I never have any issues with instability. Therefore, the height and squishy foam are just big fun to me which is why it is my shoe of the year 2023.
The S/Lab Genesis, according to me, offer basically everything a trail runner needs: they are lightweight, responsive, comfortable and secure. While their price may be a point of contention, the use of Matryx material ensures the upper’s durability, and the outsole remains impressively resilient. I wholeheartedly recommend these shoes for all types of trails, particularly for distances ranging from 50 kilometers to ultra trail competitions, whether on technical or non-technical terrains. For longer and more challenging adventures, the S/Lab Genesis is the perfect choice. To sum up, if I was to make a bold comparison, they would be, the Mercedes of the 2010s: the best of their era, able to perform on every trail.
New Balance SC Trainer v2
adidas Adios Pro Evo v1
adidas Prime X Strung
Salomon S/Lab Genesis
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2024’s Most Interesting Release (so far)
Following the amazing show put on at TRE by all the brands there. Consequently, the Meta Endurance team has looked ahead from their shoe of the year 2023 to imagine what might take the crown in 2024. Obviously, we have not tried these shoes yet and we don’t even know all of the releases from the next year. However, it is always fun to get excited about what might be, especially around Christmas time. As a result, we gaze into our crystal ball (Alex’s YouTube channel) and make some guesses about what may delight us in the next 12 months.
Alex – adidas Supernova Prima
Andy – New Balance SC Pacer v2
Ivan – New Balance Balos
Josh – New Balance SC Trainer v3
Silke – New Balance Balos
Theo – Altra Mont Blanc Carbon
2024 Release Favourites
I have so many shoes in mind for this category that it almost feels like torture to pick one. As I have to choose, I’ll go with a daily trainer because I really want to spend more time building base aerobic fitness next year. Therefore, my choice will be the Adidas Supernova Prima, a beefed up version of the recently released Supernova Rise. It simply addresses the only issue I have with the Rise, which is the lack of an extra couple millimetres of foam in the forefoot. If it comes with the same fit and comfort as the Rise, I’m ready to log some proper mileage in it.
From the things I have seen, I am excited to try the new version of the Puma Fast-R 2. Overall, the original was good but the new one just seems to have that little more refinement and aggression in the forefoot. But, I think the one I am most excited about is the New Balance SC Pacer v2. Surprisingly, the original was a bit of a non-event of a shoe. On the other hand, this version seems to be very much in the Takumi Sen vibe which I absolutely adore. Helpfully, the colour they showed at TRE was gorgeous.
A decade ago, I was an avid enthusiast of most New Balance shoes. However, in recent years, they haven’t seemed to align well with my preferences in fit and my biomechanics. Despite this, there’s a unique allure to the New Balance Balos that captivates me. I have a particular fondness for almost exaggerated rocker geometries, which work wonders for my notably flat midfoot strike. The Balos certainly embodies this feature, and coupled with the PEBA blend in the midsole and the lightweight upper, I’m optimistic that it could evolve into a great snappy trainer for a fairly light, high cadence runner as myself.
TRE offers us a view into next year’s shoe lineup. To me the SC Trainer v2 was a shoe which had no place in today’s running shoe library. Far too expensive to be a tempo shoe, of which I didn’t find it felt fast enough to meet that category. I didn’t find it appealing. However the unveiling of the SC Trainer v3 has got me intrigued. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but with the promise of feeling like the SC Elite v4 in a less expensive package; what’s not to like!
All of New Balance’s models look very interesting to me. Overall, the Balos attracts me the most.