Want a cushy ride and near-custom fit? This might be the next running shoe for you. Zoot, a brand long known for its responsive race-day shoes for triathlon, has made a significant push into the world of cushy training shoes in the past year and the Del Mar is about as smooth of a ride as any neutral trainer on the market. From a materials and build-up point of view, it probably falls into the maximally cushioned category (or pretty close to it, given its thick two-layer midsole). The midsole is made from a shock-absorbing layer of material directly under the foot (Zoot calls it Z-Bound) and a more responsive foam between that layer and the durable rubber outsole that hits the ground. It’s a combination that works great together, serving up a soft but not mushy sensation during long runs, recovery runs and modest up-tempo workouts. (It’s definitely not a speed demon and running faster isn’t its forte, but half-marathon and marathon race pace is certainly within its wheelhouse.) The best thing about the Del Mar, though, is the fit. The shoe is built with what Zoot calls an “inside-out” fit, meaning it has a seamless interior that’s smooth and sleek enough to wear barefoot. A cushy tongue and a fold-wrapping upper round out this premium cruiser with a luxe flair similar to the upscale Southern California beach town for which it is named.
This is the shoe for you if: … You’re looking for a well-cushioned shoe that offers a consistently comfortable feeling for the training paces you typically run.
Weights: 11.0 oz. (men’s 9.0); 9.6 oz. (women’s 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm; 28mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)
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