Image via Runnow.eu 
Image via Runnow.eu

Let's kick this year off with a bang. Our favorite brands are definitely ready to take 2014 by the horns, introducing a bevy of new performance models with upgraded uppers, reconfigured soles and the most aggressive (yet lightweight!) trail runners we've seen in the a few years.

Check out what we're looking forward to this month.

RELATED: 10 Performance Sneakers We’re Looking Forward to This October
RELATED: The Best Performance Sneakers to Look Forward to This September

Image via Holabirdsports.com 
Image via Holabirdsports.com

Asics Gel Hyper Speed 6

Category: Running
Release date: January 2013

The Asics Gel Hyper Speed racing flat is back in 2014 after a year-long hiatus, and the sixth iteration of the series maybe just the best yet. Not only is the Gel Hyper Speed 6 over an ounce lighter than its predecessor, but the shoe will be available in gender specific sizes for a more custom fit as opposed the previous unisex versions.

Image via Gurvinder Singh Gandu
Image via Gurvinder Singh Gandu

Saucony Peregrine 4.0

Category: Running (trail)
Release date: January 2014

The Peregrine 4.0 has been on the Sneaker Report "want list" ever since we caught a glimpse of it back in Summer 2013. With updates both inside and out, the Peregrine 4.0 is expected to turn heads even more so than its predecessor—a shoe that has consistently been ranked as one of the best trail runners on the market.

Image via Nikeinc.com 
Image via Nikeinc.com

Nike Lunar Clayton

Category: Golf
Release date: January 1, 2014

Gone are the days you have to choose between performance OR style on the golf course. With shoes like Nike’s new Lunar Clayton, you get the versatility of aesthetic appeal AND some performance firepower to get you through all 18 holes—36 if you’re up for it.

Image via Runnow.eu 
Image via Runnow.eu

Mizuno Wave Paradox

Category: Running
Release date: January 1, 2014

Mizuno is expected to roll out a series of brand new running shoes in 2014. Among them is the eye-catching Wave Paradox, which will replaces the dated Alchemy series in the neutral running category. The shoe features a Japanese-inspired upper design similar to the Wave Sayonara, which consists of straight lines paying tribute to traditional Japanese drawing technique.

Image via Nikeinc.com 
Image via Nikeinc.com

Nike Lunar Ballistec

Category: Tennis
Release date: January 2, 2014

Drawing inspiration from basketball shoes like the KD VI, the new Lunar Ballistec tennis shoe has arrived just in time for the first major tournament of the year. Anchored by a Lunarlon midsole, the Lunar Ballistec features an upper that is constructed using synthetic leather and mesh, and features Nike Flywire technology for locked-in support, particularly in the midfoot region.

Image via Sportsmart.com 
Image via Sportsmart.com

Asics Gel DS Trainer 19

Category: Running
Release date: January 2014

To start the year off on the right foot, Asics has taken an already good running shoe and made it even better with key updates throughout. Most notably, the shoe features a more open mesh construction for breathability, as well as fewer overlays for improved comfort.

Image via Nikeinc.com 
Image via Nikeinc.com

Jordan Melo M10

Category: Basketball
Release date: January 4, 2014

Last year was a fairly good one as far as notable basketball shoe releases go, but there's definitely room for improvement in 2014. Fortunately, Jordan Brand is kicking off the year right with the release of Carmelo Anthony's next signature shoe, the Melo M10. This one's a must-have.

Image via Nike.com 
Image via Nike.com

Nike Free Trainer 7.0 "Unleashed Speed"

Category: Running
Release date: January 2, 2014

The Nike Free Trainer 7.0 has taken on many shapes and forms since its debut, but perhaps none compare to the "Unleashed Speed" silhouette the Swoosh has on tap for January 2014. Need some extra motivation to hit the gym this year? A pair of these should do the trick.Mizuno-Wave-HItogami_1

Mizuno Wave Hitogami

Category: Running
Release date: January 10, 2014

Chances are you’ve never heard of the Mizuno Wave Hitogami, well we don’t blame you—it’s because the Hitogami is an all-new model that is expected to take the place of two current ones in the Mizuno running lineup, the Wave Musha and Wave Ronin.

Now, if you’re a fan of either the Musha or Ronin (and we’re sure a lot of you are), the bad news is that the racing shoes you’ve come to know and love will be no more. However, on paper, the Hitogami looks to be a worthy replacement, so hold back the tears for now. As we’ve seen with various other future models from Mizuno, the Wave Hitogami, too, will be taking on the new U4ic midsole in place of the standard AP+ version. The result of this is improved cushioning despite a lighter build—30% lighter to be exact.

Pearl-Izumi-Road-N-0_2

Pearl Izumi EM Road N

Category: Running
Release date: January 5, 2014

Part of Pearl Izumi’s E:Motion collection, the EM Road N 0 is a lighter version of the EM Road N 1 neutral runner. It weighs in at around 6 ounces, and features a low-profile design for enhanced ground contact. The shoe features a seamless upper for a comfortable fit with welded overlays for some support. For grip, the shoe has a blown rubber outsole for reliable footing on the road.