Favorite Road Running Shoes of the First Half of 2021

Favorite Road Running Shoes of the First Half of 2021

In a post that no one asked for, I thought I would share five of my favorite road running shoes so far in 2021.

Keep in mind, running shoes that work for me might not work for you. There is no best-running shoe, and anyone that tells you otherwise is misinformed or trying to sell you something. These are just a few of my favorite road running shoes of the first half of 2021. None were favorites of 2020.

I’ve worked in the run specialty world for over 8 years now (gosh, time flies). I’ve seen everything from minimalist shoes to the rise of Hoka running shoes. None of these brands are paying me to tell you they are great, but I do believe they are.

Favorite Road Running Shoes of the First Half of 2021

So What Are My Favorite Road Running Shoes of the First Half of 2021?

Asics Metaspeed Sky:

I think Asics has made the most competitive racing shoe to the Nike Vaporfly. Yes, I said it. While I think the rest of the brands have done great things, I think this is the fastest shoe outside of Nike. Obviously, Sara Hall has done great things in the shoe as well.

It’s a good racing shoe, and I think Asics has done an extremely good job with it.

Asics Metaspeed Sky Shoe Review

Reebok Floatride Energy Grow Shoe Review

When I told people my favorite training shoe was a Reebok running shoe, they were SHOCKED. Maybe I am too. Not only is the Reebok Floatride Energy Grow a great trainer, but it’s also sustainable. The Floatride Energy Grow contains 50% USDA Certified bio-based content. It’s probably the most sustainable and most high-quality trainer out there.

Reebok Floatride Energy Grow Shoe Review

Hoka Mach 4 Shoe Review

Sneaking up as one of the first shoes updated in 2021, the Hoka Mach 4 got A SERIOUS update. I was a fan of the previous Hoka Mach versions, but this version is nothing like the past. It has a lot of cushion and is responsive. Like many of my favorite shoes this year, you can take them for easy runs or faster runs without beating your body up.

Hoka Mach 4 Shoe Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo:

This lightweight trainer is a great speed work or tempo run shoe. It’s like New Balance knew the Tempo is good for tempos. Anyway, unlike many of New Balances’ lightweight trainers, it’s durable (the Beacon would have been up here if I could get more than 100 miles in it). The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo is an inexpensive trainer made for speed. Since it doesn’t have a carbon plate, you aren’t paying carbon plate prices.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2:

No, I don’t love the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 for the color. I do think it’s one of my top 5 favorite shoes because it’s light, durable, and has the ability to run fast runs, easy runs, or the occasional workout. When on the East Coast, I ran many of my daily runs in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2. I can pick up the pace if you want to. Also, when sweating on the East Coast, you don’t deal with a soggy shoe.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Shoe Review

These are just some of my favorite road running shoes of the first half of 2021. Obviously, if you ask any runner, you might find different results.

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you:

What is your current favorite running shoe?

Have any of your favorite running shoes been drastically updated lately? 


  1. Really good newsletter Hollie, and the timing is perfect because I just happen to be in the market for a new trainer. I have never run in any of the shoes you highlighted, but the Hoka and Saucony both look appealing. Will be at Waco Running Company (shameless plug for our local running store) later today to take a look at them.

    1. Thank you Ken, let me know what you decide! This is actually a blog post where I keep shoe reviews, life, etc. The newsletter is just fueledbylolz.substack.com 🙂

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