The Best Speedwork Shoes of 2023

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While most runners will start with one do-it-all shoe, it can be beneficial to choose a couple for your running rotation—particularly when it comes to speedwork. Though you can certainly do speedwork in your everyday trainers, it can help to mix it up with something a bit lighter and faster to get you in workout mode and be a bit closer. The thing about a speedwork shoe though is that it can range from carbon-plated racers, to lightweight trainers, to something in between.

To help you choose, we gathered up some of our favorites. Check out our top picks for speed work below.

Best Running Shoes For Speedwork 2023

Best Lightweight Trainer: Saucony Kinvara 14 

Saucony Kinvara 14 
(Photo: Running Warehouse)

Key Specs:

  • Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 6.2 oz
  • Plated: no

The Kinvara has been a go-to for runners for years thanks to its lightweight and springy feel. Coming in at only $120, this shoe is also pretty affordable when compared to most other daily trainers. It has a PWRRUN midsole which is made from a super light EVA foam that is soft but responsive and incredibly light—allowing you super quick turnover without feeling muddy or weighed down.

Even the upper is made with keeping weight off at the forefront of the design. It is composed of an open mesh that allows for great breathability—making it a great choice for the summer months—and it doesn’t have any intense plastic overlays that can rub or cause hot spots.

Softest Feel: Hoka Mach 5 

HOKA Mach 5
(Photo: Running Warehouse)

Key Specs:

  • Drop: 5mm
  • Weight: 8.2 oz
  • Plated: no

While Hokas may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of speed, the Mach is actually a great choice for those who crave some cushioning. Unlike most Hokas which employ a full EVA midsole, this one uses a combo of both EVA and ProFly+ foam which gives it a snappy but soft ride that is comfortable for long tempos and can still rip out 400s on the track.

This shoe also uses Hoka’s early stage meta-rocker which helps to propel the foot forward and roll through with every step. Not only does this help you run more efficiently, but it can help to decrease shock and increase responsiveness.

Best Stability: Brooks Hyperion GTS 

Brooks Hyperion GTS

Key Specs:

  • Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 7.9 oz
  • Plated: no

While there is no shortage of speedy shoes out there, the options get much lower when you need something with arch support. But the Hyperion GTS is a great option for runners with both neutral arches and collapsing ones. It uses Brooks DNA Flash foam as the main portion of the midsole. This gives it a super responsive ride that propels you forward with every step.

Along with this, it pairs a set of guide rails which help to keep the feet and ankles properly aligned with every step. This works equally as well for those who overpronate as those who don’t because it only corrects your gait as much as you need it to. If you aren’t falling out of alignment, it will function as a neutral shoe.

Best Plated Trainer: New Balance SuperComp Trainer 

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2
(Photo: Running Warehouse)

Key Specs:

  • Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 10 oz
  • Plated: yes

It used to be that carbon plates and training shoes weren’t used in the same sentence, but lately that has changed. One of the best carbon-plated trainers on the market is the New Balance SuperComp. Lightweight, cushioned, and incredibly responsive, this shoe is a great option to do it all. It has enough cushion to go long but also springs you forward during speedwork.

It uses FuelCell foam with the carbon Energy-Arc sandwiched between so it gives you a great amount of propulsion without feeling too hard and snappy. While it does have a rubberized bottom, the traction could be a bit better, especially on wet and slippery surfaces— but if you are using this mainly on road and track it will grip just fine.

Most Responsive Trainer: Asics NovaBlast 3

ASICS Novablast 3
(Photo: Running Warehouse)

Key Specs:

  • Drop: 8mm
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Plated: no

If you want something super bouncy that can take you from your everyday training runs to all-out repeats on the track, this could be the right choice for you. The NovaBlast is designed to be an everyday trainer so it can handle high mileage, but it is also made with a very light, incredibly responsive foam that gives you maximum energy return with every step. It has a foam pad in the heel and toe of the shoe for cushioning and a trampoline pod outsole design that increases bounce.

The shoe also has a super breathable upper that is made from recycled mesh, and the flat tongue gives it a snug and streamlined fit that keeps it secure on the foot. Like most Asics, this shoe tends to run a bit narrow, but that’s great for those that have a slimmer foot—especially in the heel as it won’t slide around.

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