If you ever thought that max-cushioning trend would disappear after 2014, then think again. The trend still appears as strong as ever with many more brands offering thickly cushioned shoes in 2015. Even though shoes with copious amount of cushioning have been in the market for a while, maximally cushioned running shoes have quickly exploded in popularity over the past few years. The category was pioneered by Hoka One in 2010, but that is not the only brand which is producing shoes with thick and cushy midsoles. In addition to Hoka One, sketchers and Altra running, there is a variety of new maximally cushioned shoes from Adidas, Salomon, Pearl Izumi, Nike and Under Armour. Below are the top 11 maximally cushioned running shoes:
Hoka Bondi 4
Having one of the thickest midsoles available in the market, the Bondi is an extreme class of high-off-the-ground and oversized cushioning shoes. The uniqueness of the shoe is not just about cushioning but the balance offered by the shoe as well as design features; beveled, significant toe spring and rockered profile. These features make running in the Bondi 4 to be an exalted experience.
Hoka One Conquest
Leading the way in 2014 trend of bulky and foamy cushioning is the hoka one conquest. The shoe is very big in addition to having a firm foam outsole/midsole layer by R-Mat Company. Nevertheless, it is extremely light as compared to its bulky size. Time will definitely tell if runners really take to the highly enforced maximal cushioning.
Altra the Olympus
This is also all about high cushioning. The Altra Olympus is built for the trail rather than the track. In terms of bulk, it is slightly leaner which makes it more durable and stable. Just like the hoka shoes underfoot, their lighter upper will be perfect for individuals who prefer a lighter sensation around their toes and foot.
Brooks have also got into the max cushioning trend. Unlike the hoka that has an out and out foam feel. Brooks have used their considerable expertise in crafting a cushion with intelligence which responds to the amount of weight which is applied on them. This is well designed to work in tandem with the upper thus delivering both support and specific moments in the foot strike when it is necessary.
Vasque ShapeShifter Ultra
This is a shoe designed by Vasque Flagship to bring their ShapeShifter technology in the market. Their idea is to conform the upper to the shape of your foot while the midsole and sole morph so as to connect with the trail. This results into a one to one fit between the trail and runner. It is designed to decrease leg and foot fatigue on the extreme end of the running scale so as to give the runner a lighter feel.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980
New Balance have employed state of art technology on this shoe which could revolutionize how manufacturers will construct running shoes. Through the use of 3D printing technology, they have created fresh foam midsole which offers energy rebound and excellent cushioning. The convex and concave hexagons that are found within the sole structure are designed to resist under the arch while compressing the outer edge.
Pearl Izumi Road N0
This type of maximally cushioned running shoes resist the urge to add foam underfoot and come out with a lighter and streamlined shoe which brings the runner in closer contact with the ground. This is a zero-drop shoe that looks a racing flat.
Asics Gel-Electro 33
The new Asics gel is set to offer similar cushioning to the Excel 33 with mild support for over pronation. The shoe is designed for runners to mix the Asics gel range with their contacts. They offer a very comfortable run.
Sketchers GoRun Ultra 2
This maximally cushioned shoe has been revamped with support and tad more structure in its 2nd incarnation. Its undercarriage construction is similar to last year`s version; very flexible, extremely soft and infinitely pliable. Although it does not have a protection plate, its squishy, thick foam and outsole lugs help in keeping sharp objects at bay.
The North Face Ultra Trail
This is a very clever trail shoe featuring an upper which is inspired by track shoe technology. The upper adjusts to the feet and contracts in the course of the race while the outsole is made up of a pure trail running hardware which has durable adaptive gripping.
This is a road-inspired running shoe which keeps to its minimal philosophy while delivering a stable and comfortable run. It is very light and offers sufficient cushioning to starve off fatigue over long distances.