Man, what a week. We took a look at pretty much all the 2020 running shoes at The Running Event (TRE) 2019 in Austin, Tex. It was a whirlwind of shoes, products, and people that will play major parts in the 2020 running scene.
I’m a bit tired over here as I write this on the plane, mostly cause we had dos too many Dos Equis at the Brooks after-party last night. But we’re really excited about some stuff coming out in 2020, some that we can show, others that we can’t. In two parts, we’ll give you a rundown of what’s trending, what’s hot, and we’ll leave out what’s not.
For the first part, we’ll be looking at Saucony, Altra, Skechers, HOKA ONE ONE, Diadora, and On. In part two, we’ll look at ASICS, Brooks, Reebok, New Balance, and Salming.
For starters, there was definitely a sustainability theme going on this year. From uppers made of recycled plastic (HOKA) to midsoles made from castor bean oil (Reebok), it seemed like everyone had some sort of environmentally-friendly pitch for their shoes.
It probably goes without saying, but the carbon fiber and high-stack trends are still burning the candle at both ends. Literally every company that isn’t minimal-based (i.e. Altra, Topo Athletic) is coming out with a carbon fiber shoe next year and into 2021. Some of which we can show, others which still have embargos (Brooks Hyperion Elite and New Balance). Even On has a part-carbon shoe coming out with the ultra-lightweight Cloudflash and Cloudboom.
Aside from our legs and livers, the most painful part of the show was seeing embargoed shoes on display and not being allowed to share photos or specs on them. All the while, Jeff from the local running store is snapping up a thousand pics and posting them to Instagram.
Hear us out, companies we love: WE WANT TO MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD. If you’re not pulling a Nike and hiding all your shoes behind a black curtain, then please let us do you a solid. Major props to Altra for letting us do whatever we wanted.
Anywhere, here’s our first round of thoughts on TRE 2019. Enjoy and if you have any questions, ask away in the comments.
Saucony Firing Up Our Endorphins
No doubt, the smash hit of the show was Saucony. The Endorphin line officially debuted, and the whole Saucony fam was there to support it. Jared Ward and his mustache, Parker Stinson, and other Saucony elites were all hanging out and hyping it.
We tried on the Endorphin Pro, and it is light, fast, and has a ton of pop. There was a lot of hope that it was coming in March, but unfortunately, it won’t drop ‘til June 1 and will be priced at $200. The Speed will also be a nice tempo-type shoe, while the Shift is more of a daily trainer with a lot of cushion.
Those both come out July 1, with the Speed at $160, and Shift at $140. The Endorphin Pro will come only in white, while the Speed and Shift will come in a bunch of other colorways, including black and gold.
Saucony’s 2020 colorways are wild too, and really separate them from the pack, as 2020 seems to be more muted for most other companies. The shoes in the fluorescent color pack are called the Mutant Collection, and feature the Endorphin Shift, Endorphin Speed, Kinvara 11, Ride 13, Guide 13, and Triumph 18 (which will now be released in June).
You can check out a full walkthrough of the Endorphin line here.
Saucony is also bringing fire to the trails, so BOLO Smokey the Bear. All models will now feature either PWRRUN or PWRRUN+ cushioning. The all-new Canyon TR is a road-to-trail shoe with PWRRUN midsole that should provide a smooth ride across varying terrain. Drops 7/1/2020 for $120.
Meanwhile, the Switchback 2 is looking wild with side-lacing BOA system and weighing in at a light 8.8 oz with the super-lightweight PWRRUN+ midsole. This is a fast one, with a 4 mm drop. Pretty excited to see how this works on the trails. Price is $140, arrives 6/1/2020.
The Peregrine line remains largely the same, but the Peregrine 10 does come in a badass Mutant Collection fluorescent orange colorway.
Altra Innovates Stability, Splits Torin Line
Altra is taking time in 2020 to thin out its offerings and tidy up the shop, focusing on its best models (with minor updates), which will lead to a bigger push in 2021. That said, there’s one new innovation Altra is excited about in the Provision shoe.
Altra, which lends itself to non-stability for the most part, is pushing a new stability function for 2020 with the Provision 4.0. Instead of a traditional medial post, it has a strobel layer that will wrap around the arch and up along the medial side of the foot. It essentially autocorrects your foot and engages it to be more upright. At the same time, it allows for non-stability wearers to enjoy it just as much. If that makes no sense, you can see/hear more about it in this video. This comes out in March and weighs a respectable 9.8 oz.
In more “tidying up” news, Altra will split the Torin line down the middle cause it was confusing AF having a regular and plush model. The Torin regular will be called something else in the future while the Torin Plush will retain the Torin moniker. We previously said the Torin was no more, but that is not the case, it will just be called something else. Also gone is that god-awful razor blade horror contraption known as the Altra Duo 1.5. No mas.
We’re also excited about the new look of the Olympus 4.0. The redesign is looking pretty sweet for the high-stack trail shoe.
Skechers Keeps Improving
Everyone knows one of our favorite midsoles out there is the HyperBurst, so we’re excited to see it in a bunch of new/improved models. We’re not going to cover them all here, but here’s what we’re most excited about:
For starters, a whole family of shoes we’re not allowed to talk about, some wild colorways, and the Speed Elite (whyyyyyyyy… it comes out in like two months).
Maybe the best shoe in the Skechers universe, the Skechers GOrun Razor 3+ Hyper is an even lighter mutation of the previous version, coming in at 6.3 oz. for a US M9. New mono mesh upper and a cleaner overall look. Drops Fall 2020 for $140.
The new Flow series takes traditional models and updates them with an open mesh upper for great breathability (and obviously less weight). Models include the Razor 3 TR FLOW, Ride 8 FLOW, Speed TRL FLOW, and GO Meb Speed 6 FLOW. These are all out in Fall 2020.
In the trail universe, the GOrun MaxTrail 6 Hyper is super exciting. They fixed the terrible upper of the MaxTrail 5, and now have a more secured lightweight mono mesh upper. Outsole features 6mm lugs and obviously has that HyperBurst midsole with great drainage technology (one of the good features of the last version). Comes out in Fall 2020 for $140.
One more thing– Skechers Performance is finally entering the wide foot world, starting in Spring 2020 with the Forza 4 and Ride 8. Now Jarrett gets to join the HyperBurst party fashionably late.
Oh also, Skechers is coming out with a recovery slide that will blow your mind.
Come on, HOKA
While we got a preview of the mainstays in HOKA’s lineup for next year, their lips were zipped on the two secret shoes coming out sometime in the spring, likely right before the Olympic Trials.
We got some secondhand info that one of these will be called the Clifton Edge, but not much else as far as specs go. However, there is another carbon fiber plate shoe coming out (possibly called the Rocket X) that will be a true racer, much lighter than the Carbon X or anything else in the HOKA family. It was definitely disappointing to walk away emptyhanded on the HOKA front, cause we were really hoping to get a look at one of those.
We did get a look at a transitional Carbon X, the Carbon X SPE, which has the same midsole and carbon plate setup, but with a more comfortable and structured upper.
Check out our “Live from TRE” interview with HOKA’s product line managers, where they cover the whole 2020 lineup.
The rest of HOKA’s lineup has minimal changes, except for changes to the uppers (and that elf heel thing everyone is doing), so HOKA fans shouldn’t be too disappointed with anything.
On Was Certainly On People’s Feet
I can’t tell if it’s just ‘cause they look weird, but it seemed like more people were wearing On than any other shoe at TRE. I was certain security would be called if we entered their turf on account of past reviews, but they were actually awesome and walked us through some models.
Apparently we’re not allowed to show them, but the Cloudflash and Cloudboom are looking pretty sweet for Fall 2020. One is more cushioned than the other, but both are meant to go fast. We were also told they’ve made strides in the comfort/cushioning aspects of the shoe, so we’re willing to give them another go.