What You Need To Know
- It’s gonna be a big year on the running shoe scene
- Get ready for even more carbon plates and super foams
- Some of these shoes are still a mystery, even to us
We’ve got it pretty good here at Believe in the Run. After all, we get to hear about upcoming running shoes before just about anyone else. It gives us something to get pretty hyped about (which we sorely need at this point in winter). However, there are some shoes that even we haven’t seen yet — let alone run in. This list is dedicated to those shoes, the upcoming ones that have us ready to lace up and go for even more miles.
We got a pretty good preview back at The Running Event, but we haven’t seen it all yet. We’ll put on our speculation caps and dig into what we hope is coming, but know that we’re just as excited as you are. Ready to build some running shoe hype? Let’s get to it.
Our first upcoming running shoe is a good indication of what we’re expecting for 2022 as a whole. Last year, Adidas busted the max-cushion barrier with the insanely high-stack Prime X, and now New Balance looks ready to follow. We got our first taste of the Supercomp Trainer back at TRE, and it packs just about everything there is to like in a New Balance shoe. It’s got a massive bed of FuelCell underfoot and an upper that looks light and breathable.
However, the real reason we’re looking forward to the SC Trainer is the new EnergyArc system. It combines a cambered (curved) carbon fiber plate with a carefully placed void to maximize energy storage and return on top of the already excellent FuelCell foam. EnergyArc is the same platform that New Balance’s SC Pacer and SC Elite will run on, too. If it works well for one shoe, we hope it works for all three.
Remember that the SC Trainer isn’t World Athletics race-legal (i.e. < 40mm stack) due to the thicc, thicc chunk of FuelCell.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $180, Spring 2022
Fresh Foam More v4
Another shoe we got a quick little sneak peek at during TRE is the Fresh Foam More v4. If you read our review of the More v3, you know we flat-out loved it last year. Now, we’re just hoping that New Balance can build on an already great thing. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until nearly the end of 2022 to get the More v4 laced up. It offers both the largest and the softest stack of Fresh Foam X cushion in the entire New Balance lineup, which is music to our ears.
One of New Balance’s key changes this year is that we expect a lighter overall package even though there’s an extra millimeter of cushion for the pushin’. When we talked to Paul from New Balance at TRE, he even suggested that you can push the new version of Fresh Foam X to uptempo paces. If we have one question, it has to be how much foam is too much foam?
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $165, Fall
OTHER MODELS WE’RE STOKED ABOUT: Rebel v3, FuelCell Supercomp Pacer
ZoomX Alphafly NEXT% 2
We’ll be totally honest… we don’t know a damn thing about the next Alphafly. Sure, we’ve seen the same leaks on Instagram that you probably have, but no insider information here. However, it’s still one of the best upcoming running shoes because how could it possibly not be? We’ve been racing in the original since it first dropped, and we’re expecting even bigger things from the sequel. What we do know is that Nike will stick with ZoomX foam, a carbon fiber plate, and two Air pods under the forefoot.
Since we don’t have much to share, we’ll offer some things that we hope Nike does. First, the Alphafly could lose a few grams. It’s on the heavier side for a super shoe, but that’s down to how much is going on. Nobody ever said it would be easy to add a bunch of technology and keep it light. We could maybe ask for some reimagined midsole geometry, too, just to improve the stability. After all, a rolled ankle on this much foam is bound to leave a mark.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $275 (probably), Fall 2022 (probably)
Endorphin Pro 3
Hey, wait a minute — this upcoming running shoe doesn’t look anything like the last few Endorphin Pros. We know it doesn’t, and that’s why we’re so excited. Saucony pretty much reimagined its Endorphin lineup this year, and we got to go hands-on at TRE. The new Endorphin Pro 3 brings back an upper that looks and feels a lot more like the Endorphin Pro+. Saucony added a little more rubber coverage underfoot and reduced the overall height of the shoe despite the larger wrap of PWRRUN PB.
The black colorway seen above looks pretty sick, but there’s just something about the loud, proud pink versions we saw at the end of 2021 that are screaming our names. Luckily, the Endorphin Pro 3 should be coming just in time for the heat of summer, so we’ll put that upper to the test.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $225, Late June
OTHER MODELS WE’RE STOKED ABOUT: Carbon Edge (trail shoe), Tempus
Check out our Saucony TRE coverage: Road Running Shoes
The next shoe that we know precious little about is another much-anticipated sequel. We saw signs of greatness in the original Novablast before the Novablast 2 confirmed our suspicions. In fact, the follow-up was good enough to earn our title of the best daily trainer in 2021. It brought back the Flytefoam Blast midsole with a bit of extra cushion and much-needed stability. ASICS even trimmed the drop from 10mm to a more enjoyable 8mm.
Now, it’s time to give some hopes and dreams for the sequel. This version will have Flytefoam Blast+, the same midsole compound found in the GEL-Nimbus 24. Don’t get scared off by the GEL reference though– that shoe is one of our favorite daily trainers so far this year. We may have heard some people saying the Novablast 3 may be the best ASICS shoe… ever. Robbe, Thomas, and Meaghan were hard-pressed to find too many flaws last year, so this is sure to be a great upcoming daily trainer once again.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $130 (we hope)
Check out our ASICS TRE coverage: Road Running Shoes
Metaspeed Sky 2
Thinking back, 2021 might have been the year of ASICS. It followed up its win among daily trainers with another shiny trophy as the best race day shoe of the year (since the Alphafly came out in 2020). Of course, that award went to the Metaspeed Sky, which we called the best non-Nike racing experience around. We loved racing in it, and so did ASICS athletes — there were plenty of new PRs set in the Metaspeed Sky. Just last week, Robbe set his half-marathon PR in the shoe. Once again, the details are pretty slim so far, but we’ve been told there will be some changes to improve the fit of the upper, which was one of our only complaints about the shoe last year. The Metaspeed Sky 2 will also have an updated version of the Flytefoam Blast Turbo midsole, which should make for a softer feel. Lastly, expect a bit more stability and punch with a wider carbon plate.
One of the more unusual traits of the Metaspeed Sky was the shoe’s noise. Robbe compared it to what a T-Rex might sound like, which isn’t always what you want. But as long as you’re kicking ass on race day, does it really matter? Both Thomas and Robbe had some lacing issues, so we’re hoping to see improvement there. Otherwise, ASICS can just keep kicking carbon-plated ass as far as we’re concerned.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $250 (probably)
Ready for a really vague upcoming running shoe? Let’s talk about zero drop with lots of pop. All signs point towards this being the year that Altra dives into the super shoe game, and we’re hoping it’s sooner rather than later. We may or may not have seen a teaser at TRE (but we can’t tell you), but we’re sticking to the embargo. This, despite the fact that we’ve seen the shoe on Altra athletes Cal Neff (as he paced Keira D’Amato to a U.S. marathon-record in Houston) and Frank Lara.
We’re expecting the carbon-plated shoe to debut for the roads, of course, as most brands give pavement a try before moving to the trails. Altra might also move to a slightly slimmer last with less volume. Overall, Altra has some pretty exciting things going on, so we’re pumped for a big year.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $225-ish, Spring/Summer 2022
Mont Blanc BOA
Altra’s traditional Mont Blanc just hit shelves over at Running Warehouse, but we have our eyes on a bigger prize. We got up close and personal with a new BOA version of Altra’s ultra-marathon racer at TRE, and we’re hooked. Like the Speedland SL:PDX, this version of the Mont Blanc lets you crank the BOA system to find your perfect fit (though these dials are only one-directional). Instead of a single adjustable flap, the Mont Blanc BOA combines four individual “fingers” that run up the top of your foot.
You get a sweet bed of EgoMax cushion underfoot along with a Vibram MegaGrip outsole, which should have the traction for all of your action. It’s going to be one of Altra’s more expensive upcoming running shoes, but we think it’ll be worth the money.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $215, May
Fast-R Nitro Elite
Is there anything tougher to get your hands on than a Puma shoe these days? It might be the Molly Seidel hype or the global supply chain, but these shoes are like catching the Golden Snitch. The Deviate Nitro Elite hasn’t even come back in stock yet, but we’re already pumped for the upcoming Fast-R. Heck, it’s so fast that they had to drop a letter from the name. It’s gonna be tough to get a pair, but this is shaping up to be a Puma race shoe for all distances.
The Fast-R combines a two-part upper and a separated midsole with a full-length Powerplate in the middle. We got to spend plenty of time listening to product line manager Todd Falker talk about the shoe at TRE, so we have a good idea of what’s coming. Puma’s two-part midsole combines a Nitro front half with a softer, intentionally less responsive heel to keep you up on your form and use your energy to its best potential.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $220, limited launch in March, full launch in June
Check out our Puma TRE coverage: Full Lineup Walkthrough
S/Lab Phantasm CF
Can you guess what CF stands for in this upcoming running shoe? If you said carbon fiber, congrats, you’re wrong. In Salomon’s case, it stands for composite fiber, and it’s what the plate in the Phantasm CF is made from. There will also be a non-CF phantasm, which should serve as a daily training counterpart.
This is shaping up to be Salomon’s elite road racing shoe (Noah Droddy has already been racing in it), complete with a fat stack in the midsole. It carries a Glide Max shape with a 9mm drop in the Energy Surge foam. You shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear our thoughts — a special box from Salomon just arrived at headquarters.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $225, April or May
OTHER MODELS WE’RE STOKED ABOUT: Glidemax (max cushion shoe)
Check out our Salomon TRE coverage: Road Running Shoes
Hyperion Elite 3
If you wanna talk about improvement from year one to year two, how can you forget the Brooks Hyperion Elite? This makes our list of the best upcoming running shoes because we want to see what happens. We flat-out hated the OG Hyperion Elite, it was one of the worst shoes we ever reviewed, but we got along swimmingly with its successor, the Hyperion Elite 2. The main reason is that Brooks learned some lessons from its Hyperion Tempo and brought ’em to the big leagues. Brooks fixed the midsole debacle in the second version, so now it’s time for an updated upper. The new QuickKnit upper should provide decent breathability (though we wonder about its weight in wet conditions). The good news is that they focused on fixing the atrocious heel collar from v2 so you’ll get actual comfort and lockdown in this version.
A new lace catch on the upper keeps laces in place while a semi-integrated tongue keeps it from sliding around mid-race.
Overall, we still think Brooks is behind in the super shoe game, but as the number-one-selling runnings shoe brand, we’re always curious to see where Brooks is headed. A couple of new colorways wouldn’t hurt either, and we’ve heard tell of an even thicker stack on the Brooks Hyperion Max.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $250, Spring
If there’s one upcoming running shoe that’s bound to sneak up on some people, it’s probably the Glycerin 20. Not because there’s anything wrong with this workhorse of a shoe, but only because it’s neither a super shoe nor does it ride on max cushioning. Instead, this traditional staple in the Brooks lineup is getting an overhaul with an all-new midsole. Not just any midsole, but the DNA Loft v3 formula from the experimental Aurora-BL, which we thought was the best Brooks shoe of 2021.
The shoe also gets an all-new engineered mesh upper and a redesigned outsole for smoother, easier transitions. We don’t often get excited about a Brook daily trainer, but we’re steeped in anticipation for this one.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $160, July 1
OTHER MODELS WE’RE STOKED ABOUT: Caldera (trail)
Finally, a shoe that we know quite a lot about. We first got to check out the HOKA Tecton X back at TRE, and this one is gonna be worth the wait. We know the official price and release date for once, and we’ve even published our review. You can check out our full thoughts on that page, but let’s run through a few highlights. For starters, the Tecton X carries not one, but two plates that run parallel to each other. HOKA added a bed of Profly X foam, too, though it’s a much better mix than the version found on the Carbon X3 or the blocky Mach Supersonic. No joke, this may be the best Hoka road shoe of 2022. It runs flawlessly on any surface (asides from super technical terrain).
Honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some HOKA pros lace up the Tecton X and shave off some of the lugs for road races. The only drawback is that you’ll have to wait until May to get your hands on a pair.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $200, May 1
OTHER MODELS WE’RE STOKED ABOUT: Speedgoat 5, which may end up being the best overall trail shoe of 2022
Check out our HOKA TRE coverage: Trail Running Shoes
Okay, so we’ve certainly had our issues with On in the past. Namely, that their firm ride defies their entire name and marketing concept. But we won’t deny that they look cool as hell, and they’re even hotter than Hades at the moment. So suffice it to say that we’re quite interested in the max-stack, kinda-wack Cloudmonster. It looks as absurd as its name, but we’re 100% here for it. It’s poised as a maximalist option with huge CloudTec pods and Helion super foam underfoot. An exaggerated rocker in the forefoot should get you a nice roll off the toe when you come down from the skies.
A soft-touch comfort fabric comprises the upper and around 30% of the shoe is made from recycled materials.
Unfortunately, the spec sheets we have don’t have a stack height, but expect it to be high (we do know it’s a 6 mm drop). Weightwise it comes in around the average range for a daily trainer, which is 9.7 oz. (275 g) for a US M8.5. Either way, all that cush is gonna cost you: this one rings in at $170.
Is this the shoe that turns us on to On? We can’t wait to find out.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY: $170, March 31