4 Shoes We're Excited About in 2023

While many of us are busy taking down our holiday decorations and trying to stick with our New Year’s resolutions, major running shoe brands are getting ready to launch new and innovative shoes in 2023.

Made with light, springy foams, carbon-based plates and more sustainable materials, many of these shoes are new versions of existing models that were fan favorites in prior years—with the exception of one, a completely new racing shoe from Mizuno.

Fleet Feet reviewers got a first look at some new releases in November 2022 at The Running Event in Austin, Texas. There were plenty of intriguing shoes that caught our eye during The Running Event, but we aren’t able to mention them here due to industry embargos. Below is a breakdown of four shoes we’re excited about in 2023.

1. HOKA Rocket X 2

The HOKA Rocket X 2 is an updated version of HOKA’s carbon-plated racing shoe, often seen on the feet of their elite marathoners during major races. Because the Rocket X hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, the second iteration is highly anticipated.

The latest version features a 2-millimeter increase in stack height (the height between the ground and your foot) and a new, full-length carbon-fiber plate. HOKA’s signature rocker shape combined with a lighter PEBA midsole make this shoe feel bouncier and springier than before.

The HOKA Rocket X 2 will launch in March for $250.

2. Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro is Mizuno’s entry into the world of super shoes. The concept was inspired by a Mizuno sprint spike, and the Rebellion pro features a nylon plate made with 30 percent carbon fiber, maximizing energy return with every step. A thick layer of Mizuno’s ENERZY Lite PRO foam–a new type of midsole foam we haven’t seen in any other shoes–sits atop the plate, while ENERZY Lite foam sits underneath the plate.

The combination of the plate, the foam, and the aggressive rocker shape (called Smooth Speed Assist) make for a unique running experience, while a calligraphy-inspired colorway is sure to catch eyes on the starting line.

“I tried these shoes on at The Running Event’s 5K, and they felt amazing. I personally have never tried a shoe that has such a defined rocker shape. I’m excited to see whether the unique shape translates to faster race times,” Caroline says.

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro launched this month, with another colorway slated for March, for $250.

3. New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2

The New Balance SuperComp Trainer V2 is an update to one of our favorite daily trainers of 2022.

The latest version has a slightly lower stack height, bringing it within the legal threshold for elite road racing. World Athletics states that “the sole must be no thicker than 40mm” for road-racing shoes worn by elite athletes. While these rules don’t apply to amateur athletes, some runners may feel more comfortable racing in this shoe now that it’s deemed street legal.

In addition to the lower stack height, the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 features a new FuelCell foam compound and a redesigned heel and ankle collar. Some runners experienced uncomfortable rubbing against their ankles in the original version of the SuperComp Trainer, and the redesigned upper attempts to fix this issue. Fleet Feet reviewers are looking forward to trying out this shoe for ourselves later this year.

We don’t have an official launch date for the SuperComp Trainer v2 yet, but keep an eye out for it later in 2023.

4. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25

Last but certainly not least on our list is the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25. It’s not every day a legacy shoe gets a complete overhaul, and the Nimbus has been around for over 20 years. When we first caught a glimpse of the Nimbus 25 at The Running Event, it was cloaked in a mysterious, all-white colorway with no accompanying information besides the launch date of February 1.

Take one look at the latest version of the Nimbus and the updates are impossible to ignore. The shoe has gained 6 millimeters in the forefoot and 4 millimeters in the heel, bumping its stack height above the 40-millimeter rule outlined above. It features a new, internal PUREGEL cushioning system, replacing the signature GEL that appears prominently in versions past.

The Nimbus 25 also features a new upper and a redesigned heel and ankle collar, that Fleet Feet reviewer Kate described as “a long marshmallow sewed into the shoe to hug my foot just below the ankle.”

Keep an eye out for the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25, launching on February 1.

The aforementioned shoes are just a handful of the exciting launches coming in 2023. Follow us on social media to see the latest news about exciting shoe releases.

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