By Brian Metzler
The 127th Boston Marathon on April 17 will feature arguably the fastest and deepest men’s and women’s elite fields the race has ever assembled. It will also feature the fastest crop of marathon racing shoes ever assembled, too. Is that a recipe for the men’s (2:03:02) and women’s (2:19:59) course records to fall? It certainly seems so! Here’s a look at some of the most prominent models that will be racing on the feet of elites and recreational runners from Hopkinton to Boston on Marathon Monday. Whether or not you follow the race results of the world’s best runners, you’re definitely going to be interested in the shoes on their feet.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3, $250
Weights: 6.4 oz. (women’s 8), 7.8 oz. (men’s 9)
Heel-Toe Offset: 6.5mm heel-toe drop (39.5mm in the heel, 33mm in the forefoot)
Unlike some of the other super shoes mentioned here, the Adizero Adios Pro 3 doesn’t produce an excessively bouncy feeling. Instead, it provides more of a rolling sensation—buttery smooth and super-quick transitions from landing to toe-off, no matter how or where your foot hits the ground. From its first iteration, the Adizero Adios Pro incorporated a skeleton of carbon-fiber rods in its midsole instead of a carbon-fiber plate to maximize energy return. Those EnergyRods are now encapsulated into a more cohesive unit, beginning in a connected structure in the heel before spreading out in the forefoot under the metatarsals. The bottom line is that it’s lighter, more stable and faster than ever before.
adidas Adios Pro 3 available for purchase by clicking here.
ASICS Metaspeed Sky+, $250
Approximate Weights: 6.1 ounces (women’s 8), 7.2 ounces (men’s 9)
Heel-Toe Offset: 5mm (39mm in the heel, 34mm in the forefoot)
ASICS Metaspeed Edge+, $250
Approximate Weights: 6.4 ounces (women’s 8), 7.4 ounces (men’s 9)
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (39mm in the heel, 31mm in the forefoot)
The updated Metaspeed Sky+ and Metaspeed Edge+ both have thicker FlightFoam Blast Turbo midsole, a new, more pliable engineered mesh upper and adjusted positioning of the carbon-fiber propulsion plates. While analyzing stride data from thousands of runners, ASICS determined the “stride style” runner needed the plate to be placed higher, to allow for the greater compression of the foam during toe-off to gain higher bounce. The “cadence style” runner needed the plate to be lower and more forward to help maintain the tempo and promote easier roll-forward motion. The Metaspeed Sky+ has 4 percent more foam in the midsole, while the Metaspeed Edge+ has 16 percent more cushioning. Both are cushy shoes, but it’s the location of the foam relative to the position of the plates that is the differentiating factor for each gait style.
ASICS Metaspeed collection available for purchase here.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3, $250
Approximate Weights: 5.8 ounces (women’s 8), 6.5 ounces (men’s 9)
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (40mm in the heel, 32mm in the forefoot)
The top-tier racing shoe from Brooks hasn’t earned stellar reviews, if only because it doesn’t provide the same level of propulsion as some of its peers. Yet, Des Linden has raced in it just fine on numerous occasions, including setting a new world record in the 50K in 2021. However, Linden also raced the New York City Marathon on the yet-to-be-released Hyperion Elite 4 (which is expected to become widely available later this year) and will likely be racing in it on Monday.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 available for purchase here.
Hoka Rocket X 2, $250
Approximate Weights: 6.7 ounces (women’s 8), 8.2 ounces (men’s 9)
Heel-Toe Offset: 5mm (40mm in the heel, 35mm in the forefoot)
After several years in the making, the Rocket X 2 has finally arrived for recreational runners. Built with a responsive, full-length Peba foam midsole and the engaging comb