Home Guides Best Running Shoes for Beginners
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FOR EVERYONE

FOR EVERYONE

FOR EVERYONE

Brooks Ghost 12

Brooks Ghost 12
Possibly one of the most comfortable shoes in the mid-price range. The Ghost 12 confirms itself year after year as one of the best choices.
Possibly one of the most comfortable shoes in the mid-price range. The Ghost 12 confirms itself year after year as one of the best choices.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach

INJURY PREVENTION

INJURY PREVENTION

INJURY PREVENTION

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
The Infinity Run uses Nike's softest foam - React - and a construction that has been proven to help reduce the risk of injury.
The Infinity Run uses Nike's softest foam - React - and a construction that has been proven to help reduce the risk of injury.
Thomas Caughlan
Ultrarunner and 10-Year Running Shoe Tester

MOST AFFORDABLE

MOST AFFORDABLE

MOST AFFORDABLE

Saucony Cohesion 13

Saucony Cohesion 13
The Cohesion is a budget running shoe without many bells and whistles, but suprises us year after year for how durable and reliable they are.
The Cohesion is a budget running shoe without many bells and whistles, but suprises us year after year for how durable and reliable they are.
Sarah Dean
5k Runner, Personal Trainer

SUPPORTIVE

SUPPORTIVE

SUPPORTIVE

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
The Adrenaline is the support sibling to the Ghost. Equally comfortable, but made for runners who want or need support.
The Adrenaline is the support sibling to the Ghost. Equally comfortable, but made for runners who want or need support.
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert

GREAT VALUE

GREAT VALUE

GREAT VALUE

Asics Gel Cumulus 22

Asics Gel Cumulus 22
The Cumulus is one of Asics most popular shoes, also thanks to the impressive amount of premium materials and technology that they pack at this price.
The Cumulus is one of Asics most popular shoes, also thanks to the impressive amount of premium materials and technology that they pack at this price.
Jeremy White
5k, 10k and Half Marathon Expert

For beginner runners, there are literally hundreds of options when it comes to running shoes.

In this guide we will select the shoes that we believe to be good universal choices for people just starting to run. In case you want a personalised recommendation, don't forget to visit our running shoe finder: answer 5 questions and we will recommend three shoes for you to choose from.

We also put together the video below that will tell you without BS what is important when choosing a running shoe and how to differentiate between them.

Mid-Priced Running Shoes

Running shoes range in price between $50 and $180 (with some, more expensive, exceptions). You don't have to spend a lot of money on a pair of running shoes - especially your first one, but surely you shouldn't cheap out.

In our years of testing, we identified the sweet spot between price and value at $100-$120.

Shoes in this price range are comfortable, durable and will help protect you from unnecessary injury.

First choice

Brooks Ghost 12

Weight
10.1 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Ghost 12

Reasons to buy
  • 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.
“Possibly one of the most comfortable shoes in the mid-price range. The Ghost 12 confirms itself year after year as one of the best choices. ”
Recommended for
Neutral, high-mileage, and/or heavier runners looking for a daily trainer or long run shoe they can trust to last for hundreds of miles.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of Ghost 12
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Nike Zoom Pegasus 37

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Nike Zoom Pegasus 37

Reasons to buy
  • Versatile consistent cushion for long runs, tempos and intervals.
  • Durable midsole and outsole capable of withstanding many miles.
  • Comfortable lightweight upper.
“The most versatile shoe! With enough cushioning and comfort for your daily training but with enough "byte" to pick up a faster pace if you want to. ”
Recommended for
The Pegasus 37 is a wonderfully Versatile shoe cushioned enough for beginners and has a snappy ride for picking up the pace. This is a do it all kind of shoe that works for any runner.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.
Read the full review of Zoom Pegasus 37
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10

Weight
9.9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v10

Reasons to buy
  • Good cushion, but still firm
  • Solid grip on multiple surfaces
  • Upper is soft and breathable
  • Upper fits well
“One of the most balanced shoes out there, the New Balance 880 offers good cushioning in a lightweight and good-looking package. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is designed for people logging high mileage or going for slower runs. This shoe can fit most runners, and is a great beginner shoe.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fresh Foam 880 v10
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Gel Cumulus 22

Weight
9.2 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Asics Gel Cumulus 22

Reasons to buy
  • Sturdy shoe with good rebound that is a suitable everyday trainer that can be used on road, track, treadmill or neighborhood trails.
  • Light weight as ASICS delivered on a one piece mesh upper
  • Great shock absorption with the gel and the Flyte Foam
“The Cumulus is one of Asics most popular shoes, also thanks to the impressive amount of premium materials and technology that they pack at this price. ”
Recommended for
The ASICS Cumulus 22 is a shoe for the average runner who wants a durable and reliable shoe. From the accomplished to the beginner, each will find the ASICS Cumulus 22 a shoe to add into their regular rotation.
Jeremy White
5k, 10k and Half Marathon Expert
Read the full review of Gel Cumulus 22
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics GT 2000 8

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Asics GT 2000 8

Reasons to buy
  • Ride offers moderate amount of support.
  • Incredibly sturdy and long lasting.
  • Comfortable redone upper.
“If you need some stability when you run (maybe your ankles are not all that stable) or simply prefer the feeling of a shoe that guides your step a little more, the GT 2000 is one of the best options. ”
Recommended for
I like to think of this as a gateway shoe for runners that are starting to get serious about their running.
It works great for those who are looking for a medium amount of cushion and support. It's the text book every day trainer.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of GT 2000 8
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Weight
10.6 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Stability

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Reasons to buy
  • Sturdy shoe with superb heel support
  • Comfortable with springy toe off
  • Appealing design
“The Adrenaline is the stability-focused sibling to the Brooks Ghost. Sporting the same comfort and durability, but adding the right amount of support for most people. ”
Recommended for
The Adrenaline continues to shine as an all-around trainer for runners needing steady support, durability, and cushion for everyday runs whether speed or distance is the focus.
The cost pays off in the long run, with a durable build and midsole that make it a solid investment whether new to...
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Adrenaline GTS 20
or buy them here: Men / Women

Premium Running Shoes

Premium running shoes usually cost $150 or so and what they offer is extra comfort. You'll find premium materials on the upper and soft soles.

It's not a massive extra investments over the mid-priced shoes, but up to you if you think it's worth it or not.

First choice

Brooks Glycerin 18

Weight
10.2 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Glycerin 18

Reasons to buy
  • Super soft cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Soft, flexible upper
  • Great traction
“The Glycerin is Brooks' most comfortable, soft and durable road running shoe. One of our favourites of this year full stop. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is made for any neutral runner looking to get some cushion for your runs. Great shoe for beginners or heavier runners.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Glycerin 18
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

Reasons to buy
  • Incredible cushion to weight ratio.
  • Soft stability without a medial post or overly firm midsole foam.
  • Rocker design provides a very efficient feeling ride.
  • Wider forefoot fit than most Nike shoes.
“The Infinity Run uses Nike's softest foam - React - and a construction that has been proven to help reduce the risk of injury. Lightweight and breathable, but comfortable for miles on end. ”
Recommended for
The Nike React Infinity Run is a shoe that will have very broad appeal. It has enough protection and stability to work as a great shoe for beginning runners who are just getting into the sport.
Additionally, the protection of this shoe will appeal to advanced and elite runners looking for a...
Thomas Caughlan
Ultrarunner and 10-Year Running Shoe Tester
Read the full review of React Infinity Run Flyknit
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Weight
9.4 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Reasons to buy
  • Tons of cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Supremely comfortable upper
  • Wide toebox design
“This is New Balance's most cushioned running shoe - capable of accommodating the needs of the heaviest runners out there. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is for any runner looking for high cushion and is tackling long miles. With only a 4mm heel-toe drop, it might be a tough shoe for beginners.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fresh Foam More v2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Weight
11.1 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Reasons to buy
  • Exoskeletal Heel Counter
  • FlyteFoam Propel Cushioning
  • Smooth Heel/Midsole strike to toe off
“The Kayano is a shoe that has it all: premium, soft cushioning together with first-in-class support. If you want a shoe to safely take you through marathon training here's your shoe. ”
Recommended for
I would recommend the Kayano 26 to a runner who would like a daily trainer with max stability that’s built to last.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Gel Kayano 26
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Weight
10.60 oz.
Drop
5 mm.
Category
Stability

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Reasons to buy
  • Max Cushioning that is both lightweight and responsive
  • Stable ride
  • Visual redesign makes it more appealing
“If you need a lot of stability, but want a fast, soft and lightweight shoe - go for the Hoka Gaviota! ”
Recommended for
I would recommend this shoe to a runner who needs max cushioning for many miles.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Gaviota 2
or buy them here: Men / Women

Budget Running Shoes

If budget is a concern, there are a few entry-level shoe that we have tested and feel comfortable recommending.

Beware! Many cheap shoes might sacrifice comfort and durability - making your saving not a great deal after all.

First choice

Nike Winflo 6

Weight
11 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Nike Winflo 6

Reasons to buy
  • Upgraded upper previous model
  • Sleeker outsole
  • Heat formed overlays
“This is a $90 shoe (but you can find it for cheaper) that looks and performs like it belongs in Nike's lineup of elite trainers. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is for low to moderate mileage runners who want the newest of Nike available at a low price point.
Those with a neutral gait and interest in moderate cushioning will enjoy the shoe the most.
Frank May
Fast Runner, Triathlete and Engineer
Read the full review of Winflo 6
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Gel Excite 7

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Asics Gel Excite 7

Reasons to buy
  • Inexpensive platform for Asics Gel technology
  • Reliable layout based on successful platform
  • AMPLIFOAM midsole better than regular EVA foam
“This is another shoe from Asics that includes many of the japanese' brand technologies but only makes you pay a fraction of the price. ”
Recommended for
Newer runners and low mileage runners looking for a stable and well tested shoe should consider the GEL-Excite 7s.
Most of the shoes by Asics stick close to their winning formula, so risk-averse runners looking for something reliable will enjoy this shoe which sacrifices the newest tech for...
Frank May
Fast Runner, Triathlete and Engineer
Read the full review of Gel Excite 7
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Saucony Cohesion 13

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Saucony Cohesion 13

Reasons to buy
  • Fantastic value
  • Lighter than previous models
  • Good breathability
  • Range of widths and half sizes
“The Cohesion is a budget running shoe without many bells and whistles, but suprises us year after year for how durable and reliable they are. ”
Recommended for
The Cohesion 13 is a simple, entry level neutral running shoe for runners looking for their first pair of running shoes, or to replace another pair of trust Saucony’s.
For runners looking to keep costs down but get a shoe that they can trust to do the job, mile after mile, the Cohesion 13 is...
Sarah Dean
5k Runner, Personal Trainer
Read the full review of Cohesion 13
or buy them here: Men / Women

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