by Cregg Weinmann, Running Network Footwear Reviewer
Each season, the overall direction of the footwear industry is revealed in trends. For more than four years, we’ve reported that companies have been lightening up many of their shoes and this continues. The growing influence of minimalism and “barefoot” running, in conjunction with improved technologies and formulations of components and refined design, means there are more shoes with less structure, lighter weight, and fewer motion-controlling features. Our racing shoe reviews have always looked at shoes that feature the least amount of support, weight, or inhibiting features, but this trend extends deeper than ever into the training shoe category. A number of high-mileage shoes have also benefitted from this trend, slimming down without compromising their protective cushioning. And there is a shrinking but significant offering of heavier models that cater to runners who need extra cushioning or even more significant structure to counteract overpronation.