The type of running shoe that excites you most as a runner is a matter of taste, but speedy shoes get my pulse racing and 2024 looks to be laden with thrilling new speedsters.
Contenders for the best carbon plate running shoes, as well as exciting super-trainers that bring super-shoe magic to your daily training, are all on the horizon. There are also intriguing cushioned shoes and daily trainers on the way in 2024, too, although details are more scarce.
Working off the announcements brands have made about their launches, as well as a bit of speculation about what may be to come, here are the running shoes I’m most excited to try in 2024.
Nike Alphafly 3
Admittedly, this is something of a cheat, as I’ve finished my Nike Alphafly 3 review and given it the full five stars, but it goes on sale January 4 so I’m counting it. I’m excited to see how runners take to it, having loved every step I’ve done in the shoe. I expect this will be the shoe Kelvin Kiptum uses in an attempt to break the two-hour mark for the marathon in an official race in 2024.
Puma Fast-R 2 Nitro Elite
Slated to be released in February, this outlandish super-shoe has a carbon plate that sticks out the front of the shoe to create more leverage. It also features a decoupled midsole made from aliphatic TPU, which Puma suggests delivers even more energy return than the Peba-based foams that have become standard in super-shoes.
The Fast-R 2 is another shoe I’ve been testing (and enjoying) already, but I can’t say more until the review embargo lifts on February 1. Puma is also set to launch the Puma Velocity Nitro 3 early in 2024, which I’m equally excited about as a huge fan of the Puma Velocity Nitro 2.
Hoka Mach X 2
The Hoka Mach X super–trainer was a disappointment. I expected big things from a plated version of the excellent Hoka Mach 5, which also added a layer of Peba-based foam to the midsole, though it didn’t have much bounce and was unwieldy for fast runs. The Hoka Mach X 2 has more Peba and hopefully will be more super than trainer. It comes out in the second half of 2024. There are also rumors of a new carbon racer from Hoka landing in early 2024, which sounds exciting.
Brooks Hyperion Elite 4
Brooks has not been at the races with its carbon super-shoes, but the Hyperion Elite 4 will hopefully change that thanks to the introduction of a new-and-improved midsole foam. British runner and 1500m world champion Josh Kerr has been using the shoe to great effect already, winning the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, as well as logging a 61min 51sec half marathon in them. The Hyperion Elite 4 is scheduled to come out in February 2024.
New Balance SC Pacer v2
The whole of New Balance’s fast running line-up is set to undergo an exciting update in 2024, with new, angular looks and a Peba-based midsole foam. The SC Elite v4 is the top-of-the-range racing shoe and due to launch soon, but the most intriguing shoe may be the SC Pacer v2. This comes out late in 2024 and looks to be more cushioned than the original New Balance SuperComp Pacer, though at 32.8mm at the heel the stack is still a lot lower than most super-shoes that hit the 40mm limit set by World Athletics. That low stack means it’s light, at around 6.5oz. The Pacer v2 has been designed with the input of elite athlete Emily Sisson, who holds the US record for the marathon.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.