Women’s Running Awards – Part 1

The shoes, underwear and apparel that came out on top at this year's WR awards

Buying running kit should be a pleasure but it can be tricky. With so many products to invest in – from the essentials, like running shoes and a sports bra, to the nice-to-haves like good earphones and massage products – you could go dizzy trawling the shelves to find what you’re after.

Here at Women’s Running, we do our best to test a range of products every issue to make sure you’re aware of the best kit on the market, but we know even this leaves a lot to choose from. So, each summer, we recruit a team of testers to work their way through every type of running-related product you can think of and give their verdicts.

How do we judge?

Our testing process is long but straightforward. We invite manufacturers to submit their products in a range of categories. If we don’t receive enough entries in a given category, we don’t include it; and if products don’t meet high enough standards in the opinions of our testers, we don’t place them in the awards. Over a period of two months, our testers are encouraged to use their products as much as possible, and they complete a questionnaire for every category, with reference to the entry forms so that they know what the manufacturer was trying to achieve and how much each item costs. Nutrition products are rated using a slightly different questionnaire.

At the end of the testing period, the questionnaires are returned, compiled and given to the Women’s Running team anonymously to keep the results independent. The awards are then given to those products with the highest average score. Below you’ll find the shoes, underwear and apparel that came out on top. To see the tech, accessories, running buggies and nutrition products tested click here.

Shoes

Trail shoes

Gold

On Cloudventure
£125, on-running.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Excellent trainer, comfortable on my ankles and heels, exceptionally lightweight, which is great for longdistance runs. Material is great quality, the light mesh allows for feet to not overheat and prevents them from becoming too wet in rain as it dries very quickly. By far the best trainer I have worn.”

Silver

The North Face Ultra Endurance Trail Shoe
£110, thenorthface.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“The North Face’s claims were backed up when testing. The Ultra Endurance Trail Shoe is a great allround trail-running shoe which gave me confidence when running on all terrain. It was especially good over roots and sharp flints through woodlands local to me. The Vibram Megagrip sole looks and feels bulletproof while being flexible and feeling light. Nice colourway too – not too girly which I like, with attractive blue and peach contrast. Quality throughout, and looks it too!”

Bronze

Decathlon Kiprace Trail 3
£54.99, decathlon.co.uk

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Love them! Very lightweight compared to other trail trainers. Grip is great on all trail surfaces, very durable, easy to wash and come out brand new and without any changes to the fabric. Great colours for female runners and I would happily recommend to others.”

Best update

Gold

Skechers GoRun 4 2016
£94, skechers.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“My kind of shoe. Love the vibrant yellow/pink knitted mesh upper. Will get you noticed, and [it’s] breathable too. Very lightweight and the toebox fits my wide feet well. The GoRun 4 feels very supportive for a light shoe. Skechers claim that this shoe is fast. I produced a PB over my favourite five-mile training run so I can confirm this is true. Overall, a great package at a competitive price.”

Silver

Saucony Ride 9
£115, saucony.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Good shoe, comfortable, practical, light and easy to wear.”

Bronze

Salomon Speedcross 4
£100, salomon.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Very tough shoe, great material yet lightweight, very well cushioned. The ‘lock in’ laces are exceptionally practical for trail running. Very strong toe region of the shoe which is normally forgotten about in other designs.”

Neutral shoes

Gold

Saucony Ride 9
£115, saucony.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“I love these Ride 9s. They fit my foot really well. I was initially worried about the very thick padding around the heel, but once on me feet the shoes just hugged my feet perfectly. It was also really nice to have some cushioning back. They still felt responsive and only slightly heavier than my Saucony Kinvaras. Only been able to test them in the dry and they’ve given me plenty of traction on a tarmac surface.”

Silver

Puma Ignite Dual
£70, puma.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“These felt great from the start and I immediately started using them for club sessions and races, despite having just bought a new pair of trainers. Very happy with the fit and the feel. These are more expensive than my usual trainers but are better value than many out there.”

Bronze

Skechers GoRun Ride 5
£84, skechers.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“A very sound all-round running shoe. Perfect if you like to feel support in a neutral shoe. Striking 3D knitted upper design with a sole that gives confidence over road or park trail terrain. My wide feet were accommodated perfectly with the wide toebox and overall fit was very good. The 4mm heel drop helps you to naturally midfoot strike. My running style needs this gentle help and it works well. A great package at a really affordable price point.”

Newcomer shoes

Gold

Karrimor Excel Lite Ld71
£109, karrimor.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“High cushioning around the ankle provides great support, which trainers lately seem to forget about. Mesh on the upper part of the trainer allows for feet to easily breathe.”

Siver

HOKA ONE ONE Clayton
£120, hokaoneone.eu

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“These trainers have become my ‘go to’ running shoes. I love them and have even convinced my mum to buy a pair! They are bulky looking shoes, but they are super light. I could feel the rocker in the shoe and felt I was potentially running a bit more on my toes and also picking my feet up a bit more than usual. I can’t see myself ditching these shoes any time soon.”

Bronze

Skechers GoRun Forza
£94, skechers.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Good cushioning. Initially looked and felt quite chunky, but wasn’t noticeable when running and just felt very supportive.”

Support shoes

Gold

Karrimor D30 Excel 2 Ld81
£119.99, karrimor.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1
“The Karrimor D30 Is a practical shoe with a classic design. The shoe offers a snug and supportive fit, which means that each step feels protected. The shoe really is designed to hug your foot from toe to heel. There is an obvious feeling of flexibility, which enables a responsive, yet comfortable ride. The materials are breathable, but durable – meaning that this shoe should keep up with you, all year round.”

Silver

Skechers GoRun Forza
£94, skechers.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Good cushioning. Comfy upper and toebox. Overall, comfy and supportive.”

Bronze

HOKA ONE ONE Infinite
£99.99, hokaoneone.eu

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“These feel supportive from the moment that you place them on your feet. The ride from heel to toe is smooth and fluid. The sole is large and stable, but does give the sensation of running in platform shoes. The design and materials are durable and offer a plush comfort.”

Underwear

Socks

Gold

Fit Brands Balega Womens  Enduro No Show
£12, balega.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1
“A great pair of running socks. They were very comfortable, washed well and kept my feet feeling good even on long runs in the heat. I like the height of them, providing enough cushioning around the back of the ankle. I’ve had them for a month, and they still feel new, so I’m hopeful that they will last as long as promised.”

Silver

Hilly TwinSkin Socklet
£12, hillysocks.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“These are – hands down – the comfiest running socks I own! They’re extremely comfortable and cushioned and gave me an extra layer of protection when running in my minimal racing flats.”

Darn Tough Vertex Running Sock
£14.90, darntough.com

Bronze

Darn Tough Vertex Running Sock
“I wouldn’t normally pay this much for a pair of socks, but these ones are lovely. They are super comfy, soft and super cushioned. I’ve now ditched all my other socks and am just wearing these ones.”

Sports bra

Gold

Sportjock Sports Bra
£28, sportsbra.co.uk

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“Loved this! So comfortable, great support, soft to wear, no seams or catches to scratch, washes really well. Great price point and lovely colour [mine was aqua]. I will definitely be buying this again – the small fitted perfectly for a 30D and a friend tested the medium (she is 34C) and said exactly the same as me – we are converts!”

Silver

Puma PWRshape Sports Bra
£20, puma.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Great-looking, eye-catching bra which I love! The adjustable hooks at the back are great for getting the perfect fit and provided really good support, while wicking away any moisture, which is always a great addition, while in the gym!”

Bronze

Freya Active Underwired Crop Sports Bra
£40, freyalingerie.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Excellent support, good quality. The shape  it gave me was a little odd but wasn’t a  major concern.”

Underwear

Gold

SueMe Beech Shorties
£16, sueme.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“I liked the boxer-short-type cut of these briefs, which gave them a good fit. The material was very comfortable and they didn’t rub or chafe. They washed really well, and I also liked the thoughtful addition of getting beech tree seeds in the pack!”

Silver

Runderwear Briefs/Low Rise Hipster
£16, runderwear.co.uk

Women's Running Awards - Part 1
“They were very comfortable to run in, barely noticed that I was wearing them which is a good feature! The material feels very high quality and the shape is good.”

Bronze

Runderwear Crop Top
£25, runderwear.co.uk

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“I really liked this sports bra/crop top and intend to buy it again. It is very supportive and comfortable to wear, with no seams that rubbed. It washes well. I liked the racer back and the colour. The price is good considering the quality and is comparable to other sports bras on  the market.”

Apparel

Capri pants

Gold

Crewroom The Lunges Crop
£55, crewroom.co.uk

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“Lovely soft fabric, lightweight, nice wide waistband with nice reflective detailing. Fit really well and very comfortable, no movement or rubbing when running, good breathability. A little bit pricey for leggings but comfort and quality are great. Love these leggings!”

Silver

Karrimor Xlite M Cap Ld73
£29.99, karrimor.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“These are very good quality leggings. They are comfortable and are light which means they are good for running and do not ride up like some other brands. They are very breathable and therefore avoid any rubbing between material and skin.”

Bronze

Puma Graphic ¾ Length Tight
£35, puma.co.uk

 

Puma Graphic ¾ Length Tight

 

“Great fit, very flattering. Stylish while also being very practical. I would wear these a lot in the winter due to the reflective pattern. Very comfortable to run in. Good value for money. I would pay a lot more for leggings with this combination of comfort, visibility and style.”

Technical top

Gold

Zaazee Erin
£38, zaazee.co.uk

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“It was a treat to wear this top as I am used to running in race t-shirts. At first I thought it felt like a swimming costume, but actually it felt great on – it was very comfortable to wear. It also washed well, even though I accidentally put it in at 40 degrees instead of 30.”

Silver

Salomon Elevate
£38, salomon.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“Very lightweight! Breathable – whatever sweat did develop on the shirt dried within minutes. Very well fitted to the body, making movement in the top much easier. Material is also exceptionally soft with no rubbing.”

Bronze

Karrimor XLite M Tee Ld73
£24.99, karrimor.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“I loved the fit and the colour. It is a nice length for bum coverage and loose fitting. I tried it out on a sweaty track session and it was nice and comfy. Definitely would wear it again and look at Karrimor next time, especially as they are good value for money. I’ve since worn this several times, it washes well and I love it!”

Waterproof jacket

Gold

Ronhill Women’s Vizion Rainfall Jacket
£110, ronhill.com

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

 

“Hood fits excellently – none of my head got wet, also the light weight of the material allowed you to run with it down and for it not to bounce up and down on your neck. Deep left pocket allowing [room] for all phones and music devices. One hundred per cent waterproof every time I wore it and very warm.”

Silver

Berghaus Hyper Jacket
£120, berghaus.com

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“Super light, practical waterproof running jacket, stuffs into a sack the size of a tennis ball, which has a handy belt loop, making it easy to carry on a race belt/vest or backpack. It kept the rain and wind out perfectly well. The build quality is good and shows no sign of wear after a few outings.”

Bronze

Kalenji Women’s Windproof Trail Running Jacket
£21.99, decathlon.co.uk

 

Women's Running Awards - Part 1

“My favourite element of this jacket is how convenient it is. Its compact design allows you to fold it into a pocket. It shields you from the wind without having you overheat.”


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