Smash Your Runs With These 4 Legendary Shoes

Some running shoes need only one name. Here are 4 that have been around a decade at least – and continue to impress.

RW Editors |


PRICE: R2 399
WEIGHT: 309 grams (M), 269 grams (W)

The Brooks Ghost racks up the Editor’s Choice for its appeal to a wide variety of runners. Newbies love its comfy cushioning, marathon vets pick it for pounding out high-mileage weeks, and road runners like its quick, smooth ride.

The Ghost delivers again with an almost spooky consistency, plus some notable updates to its midsole. Using a new foam, the Ghost feels lighter, without a loss of softness or bounce.

While this didn’t affect the weight of the shoe, our testers who have run in several models of the Ghost thought that it did add an extra spring, absent in previous versions. A new, structured mesh upper wraps your foot more securely – and with a better fit – than the 10. The stretchy material is designed to fit snugly through the midfoot and heel for more support, with a bit more wiggle-room when your foot needs to flex. – Morgan Petruny



PRICE: R2 100
WEIGHT: 285 grams (M), 236 grams (W)

Shoe companies don’t typically make major overhauls to their top shoes, but Asics did for the Cumulus – and we’re happy about the improvements. Shave nearly 45 grams of weight off the shoe? Check. Swop the old foam for a lighter FlyteFoam midsole? Done. Put the cherry on top with a more breathable upper? Oh yes.

Long-time Cumulus wearers picked up on the changes quickly, noting that the shoe felt lighter, with less cushioning and more snap than previous models – all confirmed in tests at the RW Shoe Lab. The result, say our testers, is a “crisper and more responsive ride”. (If, however, you’re one of the runners who seeks the same plush experience of the 19, check out the Nimbus 20.)

The sleek upper got an overhaul too, with a stretchy jacquard mesh and engineered support that replaces the heavier plastic overlays adorning the 19. The change helps the shoe adapt better to the runner’s foot. – M.P.



PRICE: R2 100
WEIGHT: 263 grams (M), 226 grams (W)

The Pegasus is one of the most versatile shoes available – it excels at everything from an easy jog to a long run at an elite’s pace. That range has made it a popular pick for more than three decades. So, it’s strange that Nike would almost entirely overhaul the shoe. But amazingly, the 35 still feels like the Pegasus.

Beneath its sporty new styling, the Pegasus has a full-length air unit for the first time. This smooths out the transition from heel to toe as you go through your stride. It’s still encased in Cushlon, the lightweight, responsive foam used in previous models.

The upper gets a sleek bootie construction; we found the fit to be snug throughout the midfoot yet roomy in the forefoot, without being too wide. The upturned collar and pointed heel make it just as fast as it looks. – J.D.

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PRICE: R3 000
WEIGHT: 325 grams (M), 265 grams (W)

Asics celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Gel-Kayano with some big changes. With a fully redesigned jacquard mesh upper that adapts to the foot for a better fit, the 25 is sleeker than last year’s model and does more for runners seeking rock-solid support. Underfoot, the Kayano still features Gel cushioning in the heel and forefoot, but the top layer of foam has been upgraded to Flyte-Foam Propel, a soft and bouncy compound.

However, the change didn’t affect the shoe’s overall cushioning, as tests at the Runner’s World Shoe Lab found it on par with previous versions. It also didn’t affect the weight, unfortunately, as the shoe remains a heavier, stiffer option.

Testers noted that the redesigned upper improved the fit, but some felt that it didn’t manage heat as well as prior models. – M.P.


READ MORE ON: Asics Gel-Cumulus 20 asics gel-kayano 25 brooks ghost 11 gear Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 running-shoes