What To Look For In The Best Running Shoes
When it comes to finding the best pair of running shoes for you, there are a few different things to consider. Firstly, how you run. Before investing in a pair of shoes, it’s a good idea to head to a running store and have your gait checked. If you overpronate dramatically, you might be better off in a stability shoe to prevent injury.
Secondly, where you plan on running. If you’re planning on doing most of your miles on the pavements around your neighbourhood, you’ll want a road shoe that’s designed to help cope with the impact. If you’re hoping to go off exploring in the trails, you’ll want a trail shoe with an outsole designed to be grippy on rocky, muddy and wet terrains. If it’s a PB you’re after, you’re likely to want a racing shoe, which will have various features designed to get you a fast finish, for example carbon fibre plates and snappy, reactive midsoles.
Lastly, how often you run. A marathon runner will have different requirements when shopping for running shoes than a runner who clocks the odd 5K. If running isn’t really your thing, it’s just something you do in the gym now and again, you’ll probably want a more affordable shoe.
Buyers Guide: How To Choose A Road Running Shoe
Running shoes have their fair share of complexity. Sorting through todays shoe stats like stack height, heel drop, weight, and now carbon fiber plates can give anyone a headache. Luckily, were here to cut through the noise and give it to you straight.
Over the past 5 years as a shoe reviewer, Ive run in just about every running shoe produced. Ive recruited a team of testers for feedback. Ive talked with shoe engineers, podiatrists, and specialty running store owners.
Armed with this knowledge, Ive picked the best shoes of the season based on my expertise, my test teams input, and head-to-head comparisons within each category above.
Shop For Different Styles Of Men’s Running Shoes
Running shoes are available in different styles. While trail runners prefer chunky, heavy-duty ones, there are runners who prefer their shoes to have a streamlined look that narrows the appearance of the foot. Usually these shoes come in either white or black colours, but in recent years, there are shoes available in a rainbow of colours.
Running shoes have seen constant improvement in the materials used for construction, aerodynamics of the shoe design and development of durable shoes with proper cushioning power. When buying a pair, it is important that you compare the prices of different models and choose the one that best meets you budget as well as your needs and requirements. A pair of shoes with high price usually indicates high quality and the research that goes into incorporating the manufacturer’s trademark technology. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 running shoes is a good choice. SImilarly other good brands for athletic shoes are Fila, Lotto,Bata, Duke and more.
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Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16
Weight: 309g , 257g
Heel/toe drop: 10mm , 9.6mm
Type: Road / Neutral
The Vomero 16 is one of the first of Nikes high-mileage shoes to use the lightweight ZoomX foam. You still get all the impact absorption youd expect, but it doesnt feel as springy as the Alphafly Next% racers.
Perhaps thats partly due to the Air cushioning under the forefoot and the slab of rubber running the length of the sole. Nike top-loaded the Air unit, which you can feel on your first few strides only a thin sockliner divides you from that firm, responsive component. The result? The back of the shoe is smooth as silk when you heel strike and roll forwards. Once youre on your forefoot, the platform firms up and stays stable.
At the top, its as plush as ever. The heel collar is well padded and it has a pillowy-soft tongue. One tester said,I like how much space the toebox has without compromising on the security of the heel and lacing.
Who Shouldnt Buy The Asics Gel Nimbus 22
- Advanced runners who are ready to work on their speed and technique a little more intensely.
- Athletes who want something that feels super lightweight and slipper-like.
This pick is comfortable, breathable, versatile and durable, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a good shoe at a low price.
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Who This Is For
According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, approximately 50 million people in the US laced up their trainers for some form of running or jogging in 2019. That same year, according to Running USA , 17.6 million Americans registered for road races. In 2020, as the pandemic changed exercise habits , a running boom emerged, prompting new and renewed runners to head outside to log socially distanced miles. Now, with the easing of pandemic restrictions in many places and a return to in-person racing, a relative sense of normalcy has been restored.
No matter where you fall on the running spectrum, the right shoes can make all the difference in your relationship with the sport. A good pair is arguably the most important tool a runner needs to train comfortably and consistently ideally, once your shoes are on your feet, you shouldnt have to think too much about them. The wrong pair can bring on blisters, bruised toenails, or worse.
For this guide we considered go-to shoes for everyday running, either outside or on a treadmill. The shoes described here would be appropriate both for recreational runners and for competitive runners . Some of these shoes may not be ideal for long runs of more than an hour or for racing or speed work . That isnt to say you couldnt use the shoes we recommend for either or both purposesover the years many of our testers have happily used our picks for marathon training as well as at the track.
Altra Womens Escalante 25
The Altra Womens Escalante 2.5 has long been favored for its light ride. Along with the light weight, its also well-cushioned and has a comfortable one-piece knitted upper. Though comfortable, this upper isnt as stable when changing directions at a fast speed, so this pair is best used at steady paces on a straight course. If youre not trying to run sprints around tight corners, this shoe feels almost like a slipper, which makes for a great choice when it comes to consistent, comfortable running thats easy on your feet.
A fantastic running shoe for women, the Altra Escalante 2.5 blends comfort and breathability to a shoe that’s forgiving and durable at a very reasonable price point.
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Veja Condor 2 Alveomesh
- Best for: Easy runs and recovery sessions
- Weight: 301g
- Drop: 10mm
- How much? £135
You probs know them as the trendy brand that make the white trainers you love, but did you know Veja make running shoes too? The Condor 2’s are cushioned, comfy and the perfect partner for those easy weekend runs and recovery sessions. They look, feel and perform the part, thanks to the L-foam cushioned technology. Plus, they have full transparency on where they source every part of the shoe from, to help calm any qualms about sustainability or sourcing. We love? We love.
‘These shoes are the perfect balance between style and substance,’ says WH‘s former Senior Fitness Writer, Morgan Fargo. ‘They’re cushioned and supportive perfect for the endless park loops I’ve been doing as well as being breathable, something that makes them perfect no matter the ever-changing forecast.’
What Running Shoe Is Best For You
Finding the best running shoes can be difficult. There are hundreds of style to choose from, and many offer very different experiences.
When you’re looking for your first pair, it’s important to know there is no one best choice for everyone. What makes a shoe the best one for you depends on many different factors: foot width, arch height, your weight and unique gait all play a role.
You have to consider your training, preferred running surface and current fitness leveland lets not forget your style, either. New runners might like more structure and cushioning compared to someone who is looking to ramp up their speed with a minimal weight and lightning fast response. Trail runners often look for more grip than the average road runner, and track stars need spikes built for speed.
To give you a place to start, weve combined over 40 years of outfitting experience, real-life testing and fit id® data to curate this list of running shoes for every type of runner.
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Altra Mens Escalante 25
The Altra Mens Escalante 2.5 is lightweight, breathable, and adds a little extra energy boost to every step you take. It has a quick response time for changing speeds and allows for foot mobility inside the shoe as youre upping your speed. Its both cushioned and versatile, making it great for everyday use.
With a wider toe box than some other running shoes and a slightly less pronounced heel-to-toe differential, the Altra Escalante 2.5 is a solid shoe for guys looking for a comfortable run.
Ample Space In The Toe Box
Youll want to look for a shoe with ample space in the toe box.
In general, the longest toe should have a thumbs distance from the shoe box. This prevents the toe from repeatedly striking the toe box, which can cause problems like runners toes.
We also want to ensure there is plenty of room for our toes to move as our foot swells during the race. If youre getting numb feet while running, then your shoe is too small.
However, a shoe that is too wide may also cause your foot to move about inside it and your toes to rub against the toe box, which could result in blisters or other issues.
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Best Running Shoes For Heavy Female Runners
This article has been updated with current models for February 2022. The Saucony Peregrine 11 has been replaced with its updated version.
This is a slightly different take on the mens buyers guide on the same topic. However, our criteria for selecting the shoes for this guide are identical, so have a quick read if you can.
But hey, we understand youre pressed for time and dont want to go to the trouble of toggling screens, so heres a recap of that article.
Do not buy pillowy-soft running shoes though thats the most likely advice youll receive from store associates or online forums. Youll hear or read reasoning on the lines of soft cushioning provides better impact protection for heavy runners, or theyre good for your knees.
People may also suggest stability running shoes. You know, the ones with a firmer wedge called the medial post.
That has been the conventional wisdom passed down the generations. But thats far from sound advice.
Lets assume that youre 57 tall and weigh 180 pounds with a BMI of 28. Or youre a muscular athlete with the same height and weight, in which case, the BMI is a meaningless metric. The above-average bodyweight could also be a result of a large frame.
If any of the above apply to you, running in extremely soft shoes does more harm than good. Such running shoes are usually unstable and may cause injuries since the musculoskeletal system will constantly try to compensate for the soft ride.
How Long Do Running Shoes Last
Running shoes track more miles than just about any other shoe in your closet. That’s why most experts recommend you replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If you don’t track your mileage and run multiple times a week, consider replacing your current pair of running shoes every four to six months. The average runner goes through two pairs of running shoes a year. Three pairs if they’re logging lots of miles.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.
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Won: Best In Test 2021
Weight: 224g , 198g
Heel/toe drop: 8mm
Our Best In Test award is reserved for shoes that stand out from the crowd and this is one of them. Judged only by its name and weight, and youd be forgiven for thinking it is best suited to speedwork or racing, but that would seriously underplay this impressively versatile option, which proved as adept on long runs as it did on shorter, faster workouts. Sandwiched inside Sauconys PWRRUN PB cushioning in the midsole is a full-length nylon plate, which offers a propulsive feeling, but is flexible and subtle, with less of the obvious rocker motion typical of carbon-plated shoes.Compared with many carbon shoes, the Endorphin Speed 2 offers a more stable, unobtrusive and sure-footed ride you feel like you can plant your foot down with confidence. The shoe is finely tuned between cushioning and responsiveness: its bouncy but you can still feel the road and get plenty of pop from it as you run. In the words of RW editor-in-chief Andy Dixon, Overall, its a superb all- rounder, a great option for those who only want one pair of running shoes to cover all their bases.
Best Long Distance Running Shoes
What shoes do half marathon runners wear? Are there better shoes for a marathon or even a road ultra? Lets talk about the best long distance running shoes for your foot.
After 27,000 miles of running I have some opinions and luckily for you Ive also been able to run in a wide variety of running shoe models, brands and styles. Providing me with extra knowledge to help you find the shoe thats going to feel great with plenty of cushion, structure and lifespan to make it through training and race day.
Beyond my own experiences, Im lucky to have worked with thousands of long-distance runners who have shared their opinions with me as well.
More than anything else you need a shoe that FEELS GOOD TO YOU.
In this article we are going to look at what makes a good long distance running shoe from pounding the pavement for a half marathon to a trail race, and then my specific shoe recommendations.
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Premium Running Shoes Vs Cheap Running Shoes
A high price tag is not a guarantee that a shoe is better than another. This said, we always recommend to shop for running shoes that have a recommended retail price of $100 or more. This does not mean you need to pay more than $100! New versions of running shoes are released every year and most often than not changes versus the previous version are small and incremental in nature. This means that instead of buying this year version of a shoe, you can very often buy last years model for a fraction of the price, often as low as 50% less.
Standing Behind Our Picks
Fleet Feet knows running.
We picked the best running trainers based on over four decades of experience outfitting runners of all abilities, ages and sizes. If you buy gear from us and you dont like the way it looks, fits or performs, bring it back within 60 days for a full refund.
Plus, we offer free shipping & returns on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and well match a lower price from a qualifying retailer. Thats our Happy Fit Guarantee.
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How Much Support Do You Need
How does your foot hit the ground when you run? Pronation is the natural way your foot rolls inward when it strikes the ground and then propels forward. There are three different types of pronation, and you may want shoes with features that support your pronation level. Brands use different footwear technologies and features that reduce excess movement. The technologies are meant to guide the foot through a smoother transition.
The Hoka Mach 5 Is So Comfortable And Responsive I Turn To Them For All My Runs
If I could design a running shoe in a lab with access to all the intricate foams and pristine cushioning, I’d make something like the Hoka Mach 5.
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Hoka shoes have historically been specialized for the sole purpose of distance running. After all, the brand gained popularity from the ultra running scene where the need to have max cushioning at a light weight was valued above all.
But the Mach 5 represents a groundbreaking moment of sorts for the brand because it’s a shoe that feels just as apt to be used for plyometric exercises in the gym as it does to be your go-to shoe for long runs.
And while I do love this shoe on longer runs, I also want something that won’t feel clunky when rattling off 200-meter repeats on the track. The Hoka Mach 5 fits the bill perfectly.
If my overly specific, running-shoe-obsessed self isn’t convincing enough, you can look to the fact that when I brought my partner to a running shoe store and had her try on a litany of models from leading brands, she opted for the Machs herself. She doesn’t log as many miles as I do, but the cushioning, weight and responsiveness of the shoe really sold her.
A Quick Language Note
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New Balance Fuelcell Tc
- Best for: Competition runs
- Weight: 174.9g
- How much?£180
If you are looking for that extra motivation with every stride, then the Fuelcell TC’s are the running shoes for you. The bouncy foam midsole delivers a high rebound and has that propulsive feel when you step, helping drive you forward and maintain speed. You can rely on this pair for competition runs and racing.