Scott eRide AF Trainer 2
Runners with an affinity for traditional training shoes will feel at home in the eRide. It retains a substantial 12mm drop from the heel to the forefoot while many high-mileage shoes have migrated to a less dramatic drop. Heel-striking testers said it felt natural, and helped drive their foot through a stride. “The rocker helps roll the foot forward and allows for a more fluid foot plant,” a tester reported. Weight is substantially lower than some robust trainers, giving this shoe a more agile and fun feel than many equally supportive shoes. Fit is snug through the mid-foot, yet spacious in the toe box. The sturdy upper effectively pins the foot in place in the shoe.
For all the talk about the demise of the “minimalist” running shoe movement, Brooks’ latest cushioned trainer proves otherwise. While the Transcend does have some characteristics of a traditional high-mileage shoe—thick cushioning, stability, protection from the road—it moves more naturally with the foot thanks to a few attributes inspired by minimalism. Its relatively low heel helps transition from landing to toe-off with a little extra propulsion. “The first thing I noticed was it felt like I was running on springs,” said one tester. “The shoes were very bouncy with lots of cushioning.” Even runners who tend to prefer lighter shoes liked this pair for recovery days. “I’m a neutral runner but the stability was nice to have and not a problem,” a tester reported. They are not, however, a light shoe. Their bulk translates directly to ample shock absorption and support without dominating the runner’s stride.