Community ASICS is Your 2023 Golden Sneaker Award Winner for Brand of the...

    ASICS is Your 2023 Golden Sneaker Award Winner for Brand of the Year


    ASICS is your 2023 Golden Sneaker Award Winner for Brand of the Year. 

    In an annual tradition at iRun, we canvass our readership to hear what scored the very highest marks in running. We take products and races seriously, as we know readers turn to iRun for inspiration and guidance. It’s a pleasure each year to ask what performed best for our audience.

    This year, the brand that ranked highest was ASICS. 

    From questions about training and racing shoes to broader ideas about brand values and social responsibility, ASICS came out on top. The Gel Nimbus, a durable, neutral trainer in its twenty-fifth iteration, and the Novablast, plush, flexible and versatile, were the most popular training shoes according to readers of iRun and racers on the Sportstats result timing website and app.

    These shoes were rewarded for their consistency, fit and comfort. “I really appreciate the Nimbus for its comfort over longer distances, ability to lock-in and maintain speed, and durability,” read a typical reader response.

    Other brands that scored high marks, beginning with the second most popular company, were Saucony, Brooks and a tie between HOKA and New Balance. The 1080 from New Balance and the Clifton from HOKA routinely earned raves.

    “Something that is comfortable, but not too heavy,” read one reader’s take on the HOKA Clifton. “Snappy and fun to run in.”

    As for athletes, Olympian Natasha Wodak, Canada’s all-time fastest marathon runner who graced the cover of our fall print issue and has a key race ahead of her in January, was bar none your Athlete of the Year.

    “I was not a child running prodigy. I ran my first race with my dad,” Wodak said in her feature profile. “He was a bus driver, and we ran it for fun.”

    On her Instagram account, Tash recently wrote: “Berlin Tash is emerging again.” (Berlin, of course, is where T-Fierce set the Canadian record).

    As for the iRun reader profile, 28% of our audience raced five to ten times this year, and the most popular distance was the half marathon. 51% of our readers train with a group while Garmin again was your favourite running watch, despite inroads made from Apple and COROS. (66% of our readers wear Garmin, 14% wear COROS and 5% sport Apple).  

    ASICS Meta Speed received many votes for the Race Shoe of the Year, as did the Endorphin Series from Saucony. (Saucony was the big Golden Sneaker Award winner at last year’s contest). It was surprising to see Nike not receiving more fist place votes—several readers said the shoes were too narrow—but with the ascendency of ASICS, along with consistent performance from Saucony, Brooks and HOKA, perhaps we’re seeing a changing of the guard amongst running shoes.

    On, the emerging Swiss brand favoured by Roger Federer and Ben Flanagan, scored much higher this year than in year’s past. Readers said they enjoyed wearing the Cloudflow 4, which I myself also enjoyed.

    Strava, which now counts an audience of 100 million, was the most popular running app, and the majority of our readers said they “somewhat” followed a specific eating plan. A typical response to questions about nutrition read: “I try to eat healthy but don’t follow a diet.”

    We love to make iRun and it’s always a pleasure to hear from our audience. We spotlight people like the team at Kickback, featured above, and appreciate everyone who voted and every brand and event working in this space to create the best possible experience for runners. Congratulations to all of our winners and a special salute to ASICS: Your 2023 Golden Sneaker Award Winner for Best Brand of the Year.