Multiple webbing strips and synthetic overlays provide support in the men's Montrail Hardrock, which has a wide midsole base and molded protection plate that's designed to allow maximum forward flexibility and underfoot protection, plus a medial post for pronation (feet that roll in when you run) control, $89.99, from Massey's Professional Outfitters (3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-1144; 816 Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809 7544; www.masseys.net).
Popular especially among high-mileage runners, Brooks' top-of-the-line Trance model is engineered with cushions that provide stability with more response, a progressive diagonal roll bar that helps with pronation, and it's packed with elements for overall comfort. It's available in men's and women's versions, $130, from Southern Runner Sports (6112 Magazine St., 891-9999).
Breathable mesh and thin and structural mid-foot welds guarantee a snug fit, while springy pink shock absorbers protect the heel from harmful impacts and metallic silver embellishments add eye candy in the Shox Bella Cosa women's shoe from Nike, $99.99 from Sneaker Shop Inc. (904 Harrison Ave., 488-9919).