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We purchase all the shoes we review at retail with our own money, then we run in them for at least 50 miles. We don't receive free samples from companies and provide only expert, unbiased opinions.

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Best Neutral Running Shoes

Let's start with the best neutral running shoes for most people: these are shoes that received high praise from both our testers, our readers and the running community in general.

The Brooks Ghost 12 is reliable as ever as a daily trainer and long-run shoe that will deliver a plush, smooth ride mile after mile. Ghost loyalists will be pleased to discover that the 12th edition is substantially similar to the Ghost 11 with only a couple of updates.Perhaps the most noticeable difference is an aesthetic update to the shoe’s upper which uses 3D printed overlays on an engineered mesh to provide the soft, but secure fit that the Brooks Ghost is known for. Read full review »

Pros

  • Supremely cushioned and soft ride.
  • Highly durable shoe that will easily last 400+ miles.
  • Secure upper flexes flawlessly with the movement of the foot.
  • Excellent outsole grip.

Cons

  • Unstable on uneven surfaces due to high stack height.
  • Pricey (but durable)
Asics Gel Nimbus 22 - Lateral Side
The Gel Nimbus 22 is a welcome update to one of the most popular neutral running shoes ever: with generous cushioning and comfortable fit, it is a great choice for runners of all experiences for logging on training miles. Read full review »

Pros

  • Comfort of the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 far exceeds its competitors
  • The responsiveness of the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 and the overall cushioning leads to comfort
  • The ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 offers a stable and steady feel

Cons

  • The cost is on the high end for a pair of running shoes
The Nike Pegasus 36 is Nike's newest update of the always popular Pegasus shoe line. This budget friendly shoe features some key updates while maintaining the quick feel that has made the Pegasus line so popular. This shoe has the perfect combination of cushioning and responsiveness. Read full review »

Pros

  • Snug and modern fitting upper
  • Great rubber coverage on outsole
  • Simple upper reduces chances of chafing

Cons

  • Similar design and cost to the previous model
  • Fabric folds around the heel in an odd way

Best Support (Stability) Running Shoes

Most people will do very well in a neutral shoe, but if you need some stability (like I do) these shoes are trued and tested.

We also have a dedicated stability runnings shoes buying guide that you should absolutely read if you need some support while you run!

Saucony Omni Iso 2 - Medial Side
The Saucony Omni Iso 2 is phenomenal with moderate stability for a daily trainer. The combination of small but effective changes along with dependable technologies Saucony is known for makes the Omni Iso 2 a reliable everyday trainer. Read full review »

Pros

  • New Tailored Fit
  • ISOFit
  • Updated Outsole
  • EVERUN Topsole

Cons

  • Breathability
New Balance 870v5 - Lateral Side
The New Balance 870v5 is a straightforward lightweight stability trainer. The no frills approach may not be for everyone but ideal for those who yearn for simpler consistent lightweight stability trainer built to handle any speed or distance. Read full review »

Pros

  • Durable
  • Visual Design
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Longer break in time
  • Heel Slippage
Asics GT 1000 8 - Pair
The ASICS GT 1000 8 provides a firm, responsive ride with the right amount of support. It comes at a great price point and offers an astounding amount of premium features for a shoe under $100. Read full review »

Pros

  • Responsive ride.
  • Firm yet supportive.
  • Great price point.

Cons

  • Inconsistent fit in heel. caused blistering
  • Toe box too snug

Best Fast Training Running Shoes

If you already have a daily, high-mileage training shoe and are looking for a lighter, faster option to add to your rotation we recommend you to try these shoes.

They are also very popular options for marathon race day.

Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 - Lateral Side
The Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 is here to rock your workout and push you to long distance racing PRs.

The best in Nike’s foam technology doesn’t come cheap though, so it’s best appreciated by serious runners and by those who are chasing marginal gains. Read full review »

Pros

  • Efficient ZoomX foam
  • Redesigned thin and light upper
  • Highly breathable upper

Cons

  • 50% more expensive than the regular Pegasus model
  • Limited upper durability
New Balance 890v7 - Lateral Side
This sleek featherweight shoe is designed for responsive comfort that provides just enough protection without losing connection to the ground.

Its minimal weight and immediate reaction to picking up the pace coupled with a clean transition will make it a go-to shoe for daily training. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight feel
  • Contoured fit
  • Very breathable
  • Responsive ride

Cons

  • Durability
  • Weak heel counter
New Balance Zante Pursuit - Pair
The Zante Pursuit perfectly balances weight, cushion and comfort. It is an absolute must have for fans of lightweight cushioned shoes. Read full review »

Pros

  • Outstanding Upper
  • Fresh Foam Cushioning
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • None

Best Maximal Cushion Running Shoes

Up to a few years ago, shoes with a lot of cushioning were also usually heavy. Luckily technology has made tremendous leap in the past few years and now you can have extremely soft cushioning in shoes that are not much heavier than normal trainer.

These shoes are for runners who look for the most cushioned, soft ride there is.

Hoka One One Clifton 6 - Pair
The Clifton 6 sheds some weight and moves to a softer midsole foam giving it a soft, smooth and highly cushioned ride.

The ride combined with an upgraded upper made of higher quality and more durable materials than in previous years make this a shoe worth looking into. Read full review »

Pros

  • Smooth Ride
  • Improved Durability
  • Upgraded Mesh Material

Cons

  • N/A
New Balance Fresh Foam More - Lateral Side
The New Balance Fresh Foam More is a maximal trainer that still has a pep in its step. Cushion for the long run, but an aggressive design that will let you push the pace, it's a fun ride. Read full review »

Pros

  • Tons of cushion
  • You don't sink into the cushion
  • Upturned toebox rolls you forward
  • Roomy toebox
  • Decent grip

Cons

  • Upper lets in a lot of water, shoe is not great at getting the water out
  • Price tag -- it will set you back
  • Outsole shows wear quickly
Brooks Glycerin 17 - Lateral Side
The Brooks Glycerin 17 is a maximal cushion trainer for any neutral runner. The fit and cushion is great, and this could be a great marathon or long-run shoe for anyone. Read full review »

Pros

  • Tons of cushion
  • Super Breathable
  • Great traction
  • Comfortable, updated upper
  • Dried quicker than the 16s

Cons

  • Can get very heavy when wet with rain or sweat
  • Feet sank too far for track workouts

Best Running Shoes for Marathon Racing

If you are ready to lace up for race day, here are the shoes we recommend.
Most people will be fine using their training shoe for the race. But if you are a competitor you might want something lighter and more responsive.

Here are a few options, but if you want more choice, please check our marathon-specific selection that goes into detail separating suggestions based on your speed, training shoes vs race-day shoes and more!

A decade after its ground-breaking debut as a lightweight, low-drop daily trainer/racer in a market fraught with heavy, bulky shoes, the Saucony Kinvara is still leading the industry as a reliable long-distance road shoe.

The Kinvara 10 pairs the best features of early models with more recent technological advancements to provide the ideal running shoe for distances from 5k to the marathon.

Updates include removal of the Pro-Lock system, a reduction in blown rubber on the outsole, the addition of Achilles cushions, and a new Formfit footbed insole. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Highly responsive ride
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition

Cons

  • Unnecessary addition of Achilles “pillows” that don’t improve the feel or fit of the upper
  • Lack of forefoot traction on wet surfaces
The Zoom Fly 3 is the “affordable” version of the Nike premium distance racing shoes. While this is the tier below the Vaporfly 4% and Next% shoes, the Zoom Fly 3 come with premium Nike running shoe features in a more accessible format. Read full review »

Pros

  • Carbon Fiber Plate Midsole is Responsive and Fast
  • Improved Outsole Durability and Traction from Zoom Fly Flyknit
  • VaporWeave Upper Material
  • Cheaper and More Durable than Higher-End Options

Cons

  • Internal Bootie on Upper Seems Unnecessary
  • Expensive for an Affordable Option
Adidas Adizero Adios 4 - Lateral Side
Much like previous versions the Adidas Adios Boost 4 is built for speed and racing. Updates to the fit from previous versions make the shoe more comfortable while maintaining the performance driven Boost midsole. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight and Fast
  • Updated upper from previous version
  • Durability

Cons

  • Tight fitting
  • Limited Colorways

Best Trail Running Shoes

Trail Running is quite a generic term that includes running over a variety of terrains, inclines and mileage. We believe the shoes listed below offer a good choice for all your trail running needs.

If you want a more in-depth look at trail running shoes, check our dedicated article, where you'll find different options based on the kind of terrain you plan to run on.

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 - Lateral Side
The Nike Terra Kiger 5 was created with speed on the trails in mind. From toe to heel, the shoes are designed to let the runner blaze down dirt trails, paved trails and roads. The more technical the terrain, the less effective the Kigers can be. Read full review »

Pros

  • Fast and quick
  • Comfortable, secure fit
  • More responsive than past models
  • Upgrades from previous model work well

Cons

  • Does not handle mud well
  • Rocky terrain can be a challenge
Salomon X Alpine Pro - Lateral Side
The Salomon X Alpine is built for adventure. The shoes provide amazing protection from even the most challenging of escapades on mountains, technical trails or wherever your journey takes you. Read full review »

Pros

  • Superior protection
  • Traction built for any type of trail challenge
  • More flexible than other Salomon shoes

Cons

  • Very firm, takes time to break in
  • Lacks comfort
  • Price point may be an issue to some
Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 - Lateral Side
The Hoka Hoka One Speedgoat 3 provided comfort, cushion, support, traction, durability and confidence on tacking a few of the trails that I normally do hit up due to past injuries. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Goes the distance
  • Legs and feet never felt trashed

Cons

  • Grip on concrete or asphalt makes it impossible to run on

Best Cheap Running Shoes

Although our recommendation is to buy a previous version of a current running shoe (you can easily find last year’s version of a shoe for up to 40% discount, scoring you a $100 shoe for $60), some of the running shoes in the $60-$80 range are actually quite good.

Here are our favorites, and watch this video to let Frank explain to you why you shouldn’t buy EXTREMELY cheap running shoes.

Here's a more extensive guide on affordable running shoes.

Saucony Cohesion 12 - Lateral Side
The Saucony Cohesion 12 is a daily trainer that can log a lot of miles despite a low price tag. The shoe feels sturdy and holds up to some miles. Read full review »

Pros

  • Plenty of cushion
  • Upper has good support
  • Easy shoe in which to log the miles
  • Incredible value for price

Cons

  • Lacks responsiveness
  • Forefoot slightly narrow
  • Outsole lacked grip on wet/slick surfaces
Nike Winflo 6 - Lateral Side
The Nike Winflo 6 is a well cushioned daily trainer that comes with notable upgrades when compared to its predecessor.

The newer styling blends in with the more elite Nike shoes, but features a price for the budget conscious. Read full review »

Pros

  • Upgraded upper previous model
  • Sleeker outsole
  • Heat formed overlays

Cons

  • Budget materials wear out quickly
  • Premium look doesn't fit the feel
Asics GT 1000 8 - Pair
The ASICS GT 1000 8 provides a firm, responsive ride with the right amount of support. It comes at a great price point and offers an astounding amount of premium features for a shoe under $100. Read full review »

Pros

  • Responsive ride.
  • Firm yet supportive.
  • Great price point.

Cons

  • Inconsistent fit in heel. caused blistering
  • Toe box too snug

What are the best running shoes?

Possibly the most asked questions by our readers and any person who knows I run this site, “what are the best running shoes” is not an easy question to answer!

Running shoes are a very personal matter. So personal in fact that a recent medical research established that comfort and fit are the most important matter while selecting a running shoe in terms of minimizing the risk of injury.

For this reason, it is impossible to make a list that will be valid for everyone.

We are a team of testers with different running experience, body shapes and sizes, individual bio-mechanics. This always updated list is divided into different sections so that every runner can find the best running shoes for them.

Here are a few pointers and definitions to help you choose correctly.

Neutral (or cushioning) running shoes vs stability (or support)

Traditionally, all running shoes are divided into Neutral running shoes or Stability running shoes.

This is based on the concept (lately less popular) that the height and elasticity of your foot arch determines what your shoe should do for you.

  • Runners with high arches don’t amortise the shock of impact with the ground enough, therefore needing shoes with extra cushioning
  • Runners with low or flat arches have their arch collapse under the impact resulting in mis-alignment of the running gait, therefore needing shoes that correct this issue

Although there is much more to choosing a pair of running shoes than this, most runners will be find in Netrual (cushioning) running shoes. Some runners though (like me) absolutely do need stability in their shoes in order not to get injured.

Low drop or zero drop running shoes

A running shoe drop, or heel-to-toe offset, is the difference, measured in millimiters (mm) between the height of the shoe sole in the heel area vs the height of the sole in the toe area.
For reference, traditional running shoes usually have an offset (drop) of 12mm. Low drop are considered shoes with a drop between zero (called zero drop) and 4mm. Everything in between is also possible.

The logic is: shoes with a higher heel will favor heel strike during running, while shoes with a zero or low drop will favor a more forefoot or midfoot running gait. It is largely a matter of preference, but running on your toes requires a completely different set of muscle activation and switching from one kind of shoe to the other without proper conditioning and a very gradual approach might result in injury.

Minimal vs maximal running shoes

In a nutshell minimal vs maximal refers to the amount of cushioning that the shoe gives to the runners.

Starting in 2009, more and more runners have been promoting a barefoot running idea: shoes are bad for you, you should run barefoot or, if that is not possible, with “as little shoe as possible”. Milions of runners made the switch to minimalism and quite a few got injured. As a result, companies came out with running shoes that are lightweight (one of the principles of minimalism) but with very high, soft soles that really cushion the foot.

There is not a right or wrong type of shoe here – it entirely depends on the runner, their style and preferences.

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 year’s model for a fraction of the price, often as low as 50% less.

Trail running shoes vs road running shoes

While the distinction might seem obvious, it’s good to mention some points that differentiate a trail running shoe from a road one.

  • Trail-specific outsoles: the bottom of a trail running shoe usually has a layer of very grippy rubber to avoid slipping over ice, rocks or wet pavement. The shoe will often present aggressively designed lugs to maintain traction in grass, mud or gravel.
  • Rock plates: some trail shoes ahve rigid inserts that protect the foot from sharp rocks or stone bruises. This makes the shoe stiffer, but this protection is mandatory on certain kind of terrain
  • Protective toe bumper: similar to the rock plate, most trail shoes have hardened toe areas to protect your toes from the damage caused by, for example, kicking a rock
  • Weather resistant uppers: very often trail running shoes have water resistant upper, higher collars or special lacing systems that help keeping water, mud or small rocks outside of the shoe.

Daily training running shoes vs racing/speedwork running shoes

The last distinction we want to highlight is the difference between high mileage, every day shoes vs shoes for speedwork and racing.

It has become a common practice for runners all over the world to have at least two separate pair of shoes:

  • A pair of traditional, highly cushioned and comfortable running shoes in which they log the majority of their training mileage. These shoes are usually heavier and with a high drop.
  • A pair of lightweight, low drop shoes to be used when they train at slower distances and higher paces. Or on race day.
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