Every runner deserves a solid, durable sports shoe and the most durable ones are constructed from the ground up. To determine the overall durability of a shoe we took a look at the outsole, midsole, and upper constructions. Durable running shoes for women have an outsole made of materials that will hold up to outdoor elements, rugged terrain, and are capable of withstanding hard impacts. Midsoles need to maintain a solid level of comfort, even when miles begin to pile up. The upper portion of the shoe should also be breathable AND made of strongly constructed materials. It’s crucial to us that we listen to what female runners from all walks of life had to say in regards to how much wear and tear their shoes could take after they’ve put several miles on them--this way we could provide you with the most accurate information in regards to durability.
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We chose all the shoes in this roundup based on feedback from the women on our test team, as well as test results from our RW Shoe Lab. We also researched the market, surveyed user reviews, spoke with product managers and designers to find the best of the best. Every shoe was evaluated over the course of hundreds of miles, with attention given to overall performance, comfort, ride, longevity, value, and yes, even style—because who doesn’t want to feel like they look good, even alone on a trail? Here are our favorite running shoes for women this year.
How fast can you go on technical trails? The Antora is a trail-running shoe for runners who want to get a little crazy in the woods, with a soft ride but lightweight and responsive feel that makes navigating rocks and roots at PR pace a heck of a lot less terrifying and more fun. The shoe uses Merrell’s new Q-Form 2 midsole, which is made from compression-molded EVA engineered specifically for women’s feet. The design places softer zones of cushioning in the heel and forefoot that keep form true when fatigue sets in, while extra air pods at the heel maximize shock absorption. Our testers found that the water-resistant upper protected their feet through rain and puddles while maintaining breathability and lightweight flexibility.
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Researchers have also found that because women tend to have wider hips than men, our feet are more likely to strike the ground toward the outside of our shoe soles. The inward rolling of the foot that results from this is known as pronation, which explains why more women are believed to overpronate than men. Some women’s running shoes account for this increased tendency with different materials used for support through the sole.