2020 Top 5 High Mileage Neutral Running Shoes

by Sportitude
4 Jun 2020

Josh reveals his top 5 high mileage neutral running shoes for 2020, the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite, New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10, Saucony Triumph 17, Brooks Ghost 12 and Mizuno Wave Sky 3 to get you lacing up, on the road and loving every stride.

Whether they’re a go-to in his personal running rotation or a popular choice for road warriors on the Sportitude shop floor, Josh runs through the reasons these running shoes are easy to fit and successful in clocking up the Ks.

He covers what type of runner profile and running workouts they’re best suited for to guide you in your shoe selection. From lightweight and responsive to plush and protective, we'll help you find your ideal fit to turn tough miles into your running bliss.

Check out the full review with transcript below.

Hey guys, Josh here from Sportitude and today's shoe review is going to be a little bit different. I'm going be talking about a category of high mileage neutral running shoe and going through my top 5 picks for the first half of 2020. We're looking at that January to June period right now.

I’m going to explain the reasons why I found these shoes successful. It could be shoes that I've ran in and enjoyed or shoes that I've had a great deal of success fitting on the shop floor at Sportitude

I'm going to call-out some great features of each of these shoes, why I have enjoyed them and why I found them easy to fit. Without further ado let’s get stuck in.

We have the Asics Nimbus 22 Lite, a great shoe and first of its kind, the Saucony Triumph 17, the New Balance 1080v10, the Mizuno Wave Sky 3 and the ever-reliable Brooks Ghost 12. The reason I've grabbed these shoes is because they've either been on the market for roughly 10 to 12 months themselves or at least a minimum time frame of 3 months.

The reason I haven't grabbed a couple of shoes that have just landed like the Brooks Glycerin 18 for example is because I haven't had enough time or enough read on fits with that shoe at Sportitude. Certainly, when we’ve been fitting it it's been very successful, but I want to get some good data on how these shoes have worked and what's been successful about them.

I'm going to start off by talking about the two shoes that I've really enjoyed running in over the last 3 months.

Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite

In no specific order I'm going to grab the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite. It’s a great addition to what Asics have done in their running shoe category. Obviously, it’s a play on the Nimbus franchise. It isn't the same as your traditional Nimbus. They've taken components out of the midsole to make it lighter as its namesake suggests.

Also, the midsole is a softer durometer so it's a really plush running shoe underneath your foot. It’s not necessarily targeting a heel striker. They have the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 for that category. Heel strikers tend to strike ever so slightly at the front of the centre of gravity. Therefore, they need a little bit more cushioning, hence the Gel pod in the Nimbus 22.

The Asics Nimbus 22 Lite is targeting that runner that’s probably going to make more contact with their midfoot but potentially forefoot as well. The set-up through the outsole assists that strike pattern with full purchase with the ground and full ground contact.

The reason I have liked this shoe for myself is that it's really light and really cushioned. This is the shoe that I'll grab when I'm going out for a long run and it's not necessarily something that I’ll track with my Garmin.

I don't care how quickly I'm running in this shoe, it's more about clocking the minutes out of the road and knowing that I'm going to be protected and comfortable. It takes an orthotic really well with great success, not only in the shop floor but with my orthotic rotation too.

From time to time I will run with my orthotic depending on how my body is feeling and the session that’s coming up. It’s a great shoe, I love it. It breathes really well.

It is a standard width at the moment, being D for men and B for women, but that's OK. We may see that change in years to come. There’s a lot to like about the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

The next shoe we're going to cover is the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 which is pure bliss to run in. It’s light, cushioned and has a very responsive feel on toe-off. It has that slight rocker sole to it as well.

The reason why I have personally enjoyed running in this shoe is a similar reason to the Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite in regard to the fact it's super cushioned but very light. However, I will grab the New Balance 1080v10 over the Asics Nimbus Lite if I'm potentially going to pick the pace a little more on a tempo run where I want more protection.

The 1080v10 is on an 8mm offset and offers a great purchase for my midfoot strike pattern yet still caters very well for heel strikers. The Fresh Foam X midsole is a great execution of cushioning and  responsiveness. Kudos to New Balance for going back to the engineering table and redesigning this shoe.

The 1080v9 was OK and I kind of liked it, but the 1080v7 and v8 weren’t that fabulous. I didn't enjoy running in them. In v9 I fell in love with it again but the v10 is fantastic. I love the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10.

Also, a great call-out in regard to a fitting perspective is the widths on offer. We have three widths in the men’s being the D, 2E and 4E and in the ladies’ we have a B and D. It makes life a lot easier as a fitting specialist when we have the ability to grab wider widths or narrower width to suit someone's foot shape. It’s a fantastic shoe. I like the Hyperknit upper as well, it’s strong but really breathable.

Saucony Triumph 17

The next shoe I'm going to grab is the Saucony Triumph 17. In early days I was using this shoe for some longer mileage runs and I really liked it. The reason I liked it is because it's a very responsive midsole for what this shoe is all about.

It's actually marginally heavier than the 1080v10 and certainly heavier than your Nimbus Lite. That's OK because this shoe is all about providing plush comfort on your longer runs. It has an 8mm offset and PWRRUN+ midsole which is the first time they've rolled this out in their Triumph series.

I liked how they executed the midsole cushioning in this shoe. It's protecting the areas where needed and it's nice and responsive underneath the foot. The other feature which I like about this shoe is the crystallised rubber, the orange portion underneath the shoe.

The crystallised rubber can be a little thinner, lighter but super durable. The asset in this shoe is the midsole. There's no question about that. How do you protect your number one asset? You've got to have a really good outsole because that is the protection between you and the ground.

It’s a great outsole that isn’t intrusive, stiff, heavy or overly flexible which is really important with a shoe like this. You don't want to lose form with such a cushioned responsive base by having too much flexibility. The team at Saucony have designed a fantastic shoe and I can't wait to see what version 18 is all about which is a few months away.

I’ve had a lot of success fitting this shoe down on the shop floor. The main reason being is it's targeted to that runner that wants to throw in a nice, ‘heavy’ shoe into their rotation. It's all about pure cushioning and plushness. They're not fussed on the speed they're running, it's more about  clocking the miles out on the road and that's exactly what this shoe does.

It’s a nice update from Saucony. As I said before I’m looking forward to what the 18 is all about but the Triumph 17 is one to consider.

Brooks Ghost 12

The next shoe I’m going to talk about has probably been the easiest shoe to fit in the last five or six years in speciality retail. It is the Brooks Ghost 12.

The reason it has been so easy to fit includes a number of factors. It has a lot of widths on offer and it’s stable neutral so it can cater for a mildly overpronated foot type but also a supinated foot type. It has a perfect combination of a good cushion base but is really responsive as well. It's on a light package too.

The Brooks Ghost 12 has been a favourite of mine over the last 12 months and the Ghost 13 is not too far away. The Ghost 12 is an easy shoe to fit for that specific foot type we're talking about, being neutral or mildly overpronated. It’s ideal for someone wanting a perfect combination of cushioning and responsiveness.

For someone who may be getting back into running and you may not want to spend top dollar on a premium cushioned shoe but happy to come down a category, this has been fantastic. It's so cushioned underneath the foot but also really responsive.

With that in mind, it's a versatile shoe. The Brooks Ghost 12 is certainly worth considering if you're a runner that may not have two or three shoes in your rotation – and that’s OK, that’s the majority of people out there.

This shoe is fantastic for your longer runs. It has enough cushioning but is also light and responsive enough for your shorter tempo runs as well. The Brooks Ghost 12 has a great execution in the upper. It’s strong, very breathable, features an internal heel counter and fits orthotics with ease.

The other reason it’s on my top 5 list as I said before is the width offerings. The ladies’ comes in 2A which is narrow, B standard and D which is a slightly wider option. In the men's there’s a D which is standard, 2E and then 4E, so three widths on offer. It makes life so much easier fitting good shoes when you've got a variety of widths to grab, so a fantastic move by Brooks.

Mizuno Wave Sky 3

Last but not least is one of my go-to shoes for someone looking for plenty of cushioning underneath the foot that has a neutral foot type. The Mizuno Wave Sky 3 is a shoe I've done some running in early days when I first got my sample about 12 months ago.

I found that this shoe had a very cushioned base. They actually have three densities of foam underneath the foot. Sometimes brands can overcomplicate things with what they're doing, whether it be with the upper, midsole or outsole. I looked at it on paper and thought, three densities of foam, that’s just too much. Mizuno, what are you doing?

However, you must put a shoe on your foot and take it for a test run before you can truly have a comment on a running shoe. When I put this shoe on my foot the first step-in feel was incredibly comfortable. It was a big change on the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 which was a successful shoe for us down on the shop floor.

The second thing about this shoe was the introduction of the XPOP cushioning system. XPOP is the yellow foam you can see under the shoe. It’s intertwined with the two layers of foam which is Mizuno’s U4ic and U4icX underneath the shoe. These white and grey foams are blended together to work like Mizuno’s patented Wave technology and the XPOP sits in between that.

The XPOP midsole starts from the heel strike zone and runs right through just before your toe-off point underneath your first metatarsal. It's strategically placed to give cushioning in the areas you need it. It's a gradient XPOP foam so as you're going through to the forefoot it tapers off to give that responsive feel.

Again, it's not the lightest high mileage shoe. I’d probably put it in the same category as the Saucony Triumph 17. Regarding weight, there’s a subtle difference between the two of them.

The reason I like the Mizuno Wave Sky 3 from a fitting perspective is the width on offer. Again, it makes life so easy. Men’s are available in a D and a 2E and ladies’ are available in a B and a D. There are standard and wide widths on offer in both genders which is fantastic.

The other reason why I like this shoe is the full ground contact underneath. The previous Mizuno Wave Sky had a little cutaway and Trusstic System which had the traditional Wave Plate technology splitting the midsole in half.

When I saw the Wave Sky 3 on paper before I saw a sample, I was honestly a bit nervous because Mizuno runners are very loyal runners. They tend to not like too much change and when this shoe landed I was a little sceptical about what it was going to do.

However when running in it, putting it on and getting it fitted on the shop floor my concerns were put to the side very quickly. Full ground contact provides a smoother transition through your whole gait cycle. You have a point of contact with the ground the whole way through from heel, midfoot to toe-off. For midfoot runners that may look at this shoe, you've got plenty of purchase with the ground underneath the outsole.

There you have it, that’s my take on the 5 easiest shoes to fit in the first half of 2020 and hopefully it's been of benefit to you at home. If you have any questions about these specific shoes please contact our Sportitude shoe experts and subscribe to the Sportitude YouTube channel for the latest on all things running related.

We also have links below to all of these shoes and my independent reviews on them where I go into more detail in regard to the outsole, midsole, upper and what profile runner could consider them.

Until next time happy running and we'll see you on the road. Take care.  

Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Lite & Nimbus 22
Full Review
/ Shop

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10
Full Review
/ Shop

Saucony Triumph 17
Full Review / Shop

Brooks Ghost 12

Mizuno Wave Sky 3