Absorb most of the impact so your body doesn't have to. Best for forward motion.
Clockwise from top left:
Extreme comfort: A runner's cult fave for its slipper fit, this shoe has a roomy mesh front to keep your toes happy and a sturdier heel for better balance. Wave Evo Curoris, $130, Mizuno.
Breathe easy: The cooling concept behind these soles channels air to where you need it, when you need it, to keep feet cushy from the first step to the last. Bonus: They make you feel taller! DMX Sky Reebok, $140, Reebok.
Big bounce: This sleek shoe's midsole uses new souped-up technology to literally spring you forward, so you can run longer and faster on less energy. Oh, and did we mention they look really good too? Energy Boost, $150, Adidas.
Made-to-measure: Big pavement-pounding props to the customized weave technology that is "steam-fitted" in the store to the shape of your foot (no joke!), so the shoe tightens and relaxes with your body's natural movements. Flyknit Lunar 1+, $195, Nike.