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The 6 Best Running Shoes for Women for 2024 – And 12 Alternatives

Written on 10th April by Ruggero Loda Founder and Publisher, Running Shoes Guru
311 other reviews
best running shoes for women in 2024
To cut to the chase, here's the updated list of our recommendation of best running shoes for women in 2024.


  • If you are looking for a daily trainer, a shoe that you can wear for the majority of your training, our recommendation is the Asics Cumulus 26;

  • Do you need added stability? We recommend the Saucony Guide 17;

  • If you prefer a soft, plush ride with maximum cushioning, our recommendation goes to the On Cloudmonster 2;

  • A good shoe for fast training, uptempo efforts or other speedwork, you should definitely check out the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel v4;

  • Come race-day, the shoe to beat is still the Nike Alphafly 3;

  • Last, if you are looking to hit the trails have a look to the The North Face Altamesa 500.



Why you should trust our recommendations



  • We purchase all the shoes ourselves. We never accept free shoes from shoe companies. This is by far the highest expense in running this website - but we gladly do it so that we don't have to ask "please" or say "thank you" to anyone - and guarantee our reviews are completely impartial.

  • We review more than 120 shoes each year. The only way to know running shoes is to test as many as possible.

  • We run at least 50 miles in each shoe. A quick run is not enough to properly evaluate a running shoe. We always take a shoe through easy 3-5 milers, long run, speed efforts...

  • We have been doing this since 2009. We have been the first website to properly and thoroughly review running shoes, starting 15 years ago. We know what we are talking about.


Table of content

Our favorite 6 running shoes for women

Keep scrolling or click on a shoe to find out why we chose it and what other shoes you should consider.

Things to know when buying running shoes

First and foremost, the first consideration when buying running shoes is to know what you will use them for.

  • Daily trainer: the shoe you will be putting most of your mileage on. Your only shoe if you are a beginner.
  • Stability trainer: the daily trainer for people with unstable ankles.
  • Max cushion: softer, more comfortable shoes for either extra comfort, long mileages or heavier runners.
  • Fast training: the running shoe for your faster efforts.
  • Trail running: shoes with extra protection, durability and traction to take you off-road.
  • Racing: Lightweight, responsive shoes often with solutions such as carbon plates to try and improve your personal best time (PB).

We’ll go through more details about these in a minute, but here are other things you should consider when buying a pair of running shoes:

Comfort

Whatever running shoe you choose, make sure it’s comfortable. Running (6,500+ steps on average for 3 miles) will highlight any wrong fit you might have in the shoe.

A running shoe should fit well at the heel and midfoot (according to foot shape and preferences) but leave some room for your toes to splay. Also, your foot will swell approximately half a size when running – so beware of shoes that are “just right”.

Cushioning

Cushioning is the shock absorption that a shoe will do while you land on the pavement.

Shoes with high cushioning will absorb more of the impact, protection your ankles, knees and the rest of the kinetic chain – but higher cushion also absorbs the energy you put in your stride, requiring you more energy to run the same distance or the same speed.

It’s a matter of personal preference and again of the specific use of those shoes.

Responsive cushioning vs Plush cushioning

We often use these two terms when talking about the cushioning of a running shoe.

Plush cushioning is that “running on clouds” feeling that many running brands advertise. It’s soft, it’s comfortable but requires more effort (because of the extra shock absorption).

Responsive cushioning is a cushioning where you can feel the shoe bouncing back after each stride, propelling you forward.

Stability and Support

While not a focus as it used to be a decade ago, some runners (me included) have very unstable ankles and that causes unnecessary stress to that joint when running.

Modern stability shoes have simple solutions such as a wider foot base or “guard rails” to help your ankles stay aligned while not constricting your stride too much.

Best for Daily Training

Any shoe could in theory be a daily trainer.

What we recommend are running shoes at a mid price point, with balanced cushioning, good durability and versatile enough to be able to increase or decrease the speed when needed.

The winner

In short
The Asics Gel-Cumulus 26 is a cushioned daily trainer that is an everyday shoe for most runners of all abilities. It has a great rocker ride that is both smooth and soft. The heel tab can rub the back of your ankle, though, which would definitely bother some people.
Pros

  • Rocker leads to smooth ride
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used for uptempo runs
Cons

  • Heel tab can rub on ankle
  • Durability concerns
  • Traction
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a shoe that can handle most types of runs, this is a great shoe. Beginner runners will love this shoe as an all-around shoe that can provide great cushion and a smooth ride. Intermediate to advanced runners will likely use this for easy and long run days. Most runners will be able to use this for some uptempo days – think marathon paced runs.

Who should not buy it

If you have had issues with a high heel tab, then this shoe will likely rub on your ankles. If you’re looking for a highly durable shoe, I’m not sure this shoe will last given the outsole.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
8.9 oz
Heel
34 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
42 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
10
Landing
8.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Adidas Supernova Rise is a superb all-round daily trainer. It features support rods which stiffen its forefoot, giving it a mild rockered ride with efficient transitions. It also has a brand new Dreamstrike+ PEBA based midsole which isn’t extremely energetic but it does offer a decent amount of energy return. Its main weakness is that it has a snug forefoot which requires you to go up a half size, however, this is still the best Adidas daily trainer to be released in years.
Pros

  • Balanced ride and excellent versatility
  • Forefoot rocker increases efficiency
  • Smooth ride transitions
  • Great lockdown
  • Very stable
Cons

  • Narrow forefoot and toe-box
  • Tongue is not gusseted
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a daily workhorse which is stable and durable, the Supernova Rise is a great option. It’s a textbook daily trainer which you can use for all types of training runs.

Who should not buy it

If you want a super light, very flexible trainer, the Supernova Rise is not for you. If you have wide feet, the Supernova Rise is also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.8 oz
Heel
36 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
10 mm
Toe
26 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
7.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Also consider

In short
The Puma Velocity Nitro 3 is a do it all type of shoe with the benefit of having a very affordable price point. Light enough for speed work, cushioned enough for long runs, and nothing extraordinary for easy runs. The fit is a bit narrow but yet it is quite comfortable.
Pros

  • Price
  • Responsive
  • Versatile
Cons

  • Narrow
Who should buy it

The runner who should buy the Velocity Nitro 3 are those who need a safe choice. A runner who does not necessarily need anything specific but rather a do it al shoe. Especially runners who can appreciate a good price when they see one. The ideal running scenario that would make the Velocity Nitro 3 shine is a 10 mile run with a few tempo miles thrown in the mix.

Who should not buy it

Runners with wide feet should not buy the Velocity Nitro 3.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
9.17 oz
Heel
36 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
10 mm
Toe
26 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
7.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
Read full review

Best for Stability and Support

Are your ankles unstable? If you can't comfortably (without wobbling) stand on one leg for 45-60 seconds at a time, you'll benefit from choosing a running shoe that provides support.

The winner

In short
The Saucony Guide 17’s are a pillowy soft max cushioned supportive shoe. It's a very stable shoe that can be used for an everyday trainer. I personally don't care for the color combinations or how they look but thoroughly enjoy how they feel on.
Pros

  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Center Path Technology helps guide you forward
  • High stack height helps to absorb impact
Cons

  • The colors and look are not trendy but don't affect the way it runs
Who should buy it

This shoe is for the runner who is looking for a smooth and gentle ride. It’s great for long distances.

Who should not buy it

This shoe is not for the runner who likes to be connected with the ground. It has a dense built-up midsole that doesn’t make it a top pick for a shoe I would race or PR in.

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
9.4 oz
Heel
35 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
29 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
10
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
10
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Saucony Omni 22 is a moderate stability shoe built for durability with comfort and a smoother transition with lighter weight. A supportive heel stands out in this shoe and limits inefficient torsional movement as the foot begins to roll forward.
Pros

  • Stable base
  • Durable
  • Smooth ride
  • Comfortable, supportive heel fit
Cons

  • Lacks energy return
  • Long break in
Who should buy it

Wear Omni for regular runs up through about 10 miles. Runners who overpronate may benefit from the extra-secure heel to minimize excess movement. The regular fit is best for narrow feet; medium to wide-footed runners should try the wide fit.

Who should not buy it

Omni is not the best option for runners wanting a trainer/racer combined. While it rolls forward with a comfortably-smooth transition, the shoe lacks the spring into toe-off desired in speed work and racing.

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
10.1 oz
Heel
35 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
27 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
10
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
6.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Also consider

In short
The New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 is an exceptional everyday max stability trainer; it is stable, versatile, and comfortable. This Vongo gets high marks in all the right places: an upper that forms to and holds the foot in stable position and a midsole plate that provides stability and acts as a springboard.
Pros

  • Smooth, supported ride
  • Secure fit
  • Joyful toe-off
Cons

  • Outsole grip and durability
Who should buy it

Middle to long distance runners who want some stability in their cushioned ride will enjoy Vongo v6 for daily training including long runs, Tempo work, and longer speed intervals.

Who should not buy it

Vongo’s thin, low-traction outsole is less ideal for runners who often run in (any type of) precipitation. Do not go with this shoe if your outsoles show heavy uneven wear patterns.

Main Specs
Type
Stability
Weight
10.5 oz
Heel
35.5 mm
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
29.5 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
10
Toe-off
10
Traction
6.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
Read full review

Best Max Cushioned Shoes

Max cushioned running shoes are the most popular this year. Who doesn't want endless cushioning and a luxurious, plush feeling?

The development of new midsole foams in the past few years made it possible for shoes that deliver so much cushioning to not be too heavy and to still maintain some energy return.

Higher priced than most daily trainer, beware!

The winner

In short
The On Cloudmonster 2 is actually a versatile max cushion daily trainer. It handles speed moderately well and it can go the distance. The fit leaves extra room throughout the upper but it’s not unpleasant.
Pros

  • Tons of cushion
  • Stylish
  • Durable
Cons

  • Fit is inconsistent
Who should buy it

The Cloudmonster 2 is perfect for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet during weekend long runs. Someone attempting a marathon or ultra distance race would also benefit from the cushion it provides.

Who should not buy it

People who are particular with their fit should not buy the Cloudmonster 2. The shoe fits wide for feet that have high arches and that are narrow.

It has plenty of cushion, but it’s a little stiff so someone who is looking for a softer foam should not buy this shoe.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
10.4 oz
Heel
999 mm
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
999 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
7.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 is a cushioned daily trainer that is an everyday shoe for most runners of all abilities. It has great outsole grip, soft enough cushion, and a stable, responsive ride.
Pros

  • Versatile
  • Stable
  • Lots of cushion
  • Great traction
  • Eco-conscious
Cons

  • On the heavier side
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a shoe that can handle most types of runs while having a good amount of cushion, this is a great shoe. Beginner runners will love this shoe as an all-around shoe while intermediate to advanced runners will likely use this for recovery, easy, slower tempo, and long run days.

Who should not buy it

If you’re not a fan of a higher stack shoe or are looking for a fully plush shoe, then this shoe won’t be something you’ll love. Also, if you’re needing a shoe that is lighter in weight, I would also look elsewhere. If you’re an intermediate to advanced runner looking for a speedy shoe, this shoe will not meet your demands.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
10.7 oz
Heel
41.5 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
33.5 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
10
Build quality
10
Upper
10
Sole unit
10
Landing
10
Transition
10
Toe-off
10
Traction
10
Durability
10
Value / Price
10
Team review
Read full review

Also consider

In short
The Nike Vomero 17 is a good, premium trainer that delivers a cushioned, stable ride. It has a balanced ride suitable for most types of runs. While it isn't as exciting as some of the other premium trainers, it excels in outsole durability. Version 17 is an improvement over version 16. It has a plusher, more energetic ride with smoother transitions due to the removal of the outdated Zoom airbag.
Pros

  • Smoother ride due to the removal of the airbag
  • Lighter than previous version
  • Extremely durable outsole
  • Softer ride
Cons

  • Warm upper due to the inner sleeve
  • Price has increased
Who should buy it

If you’re a runner looking for a more modern, more engaging Pegasus, the Vomero 17 is the shoe for you. The ZoomX in its midsole gives it a much more exciting ride than the boring Pegasus ride.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a similar ride to the Pegasus Turbo 2, you should skip the Vomero 17 because it’s much heavier and not as fast. The Vomero 17 is more of a daily trainer than a shoe you can use for speedwork.

Main Specs
Type
Cushioning
Weight
10.6 oz
Heel
39 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
10 mm
Toe
29 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
6.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
10
Value / Price
7.0
Team review
People have been accusing Nike of focusing on their top-tier marathon racing shoes for the elite while leaving unexciting shoes for the daily training. Here comes the Vomero, one of the most exciting and versatile Nike shoe in a while. It's a Pegasus on steroids.
Read full review

Best for Fast Training

If you are at the point of looking for a fast training shoe - you'll probably don't need me explaining what it is.

We call fast trainers all those shoes that are lighter and more responsive than your average daily trainer, but still maintaining the comfort and durability of a shoe that needs to last more than a few races.

The winner

In short
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 is an excellent lightweight speed trainer which is perfect for any run faster than easy pace. Its new midsole which is a blend of PEBA & EVA delivers an energetic, engaging ride which makes it want to pick up the pace. Version 4 feels more like a speed trainer than version 3 which was slower and felt more like a daily trainer. V4 is firmer and more enjoyable for uptempo running.
Pros

  • Firmer, faster ride with significantly more energy return
  • Feels more like a speed trainer
  • Great value for money
  • Excellent breathability
Cons

  • Upper is too voluminous
  • Price increase of $10
Who should buy it

If you enjoy doing speedwork in trainers without a plate, the Rebel v4 is a great choice. If you want a similar ride to the SuperComp Elite v4 but with natural transitions and more ground feel, the Rebel v4 is also a great choice.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a workhorse daily trainer for mostly easy runs, the Rebel v4 is not the shoe for you. If you want a stiff, plated speed trainer for long runs, the Rebel v4 is also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Lightweight
Weight
7.5 oz
Heel
999 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
999 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
6.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
10
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Kinvara Pro is an exciting new, stiff speed trainer with a carbon plate. It performs well at a variety of paces due to its stable ride and its snappy forefoot. It’s a great training companion for the Endorphin Pro and Elite if you want a similar ride at a cheaper price point. While it doesn’t have as much bounce or energy return as other speed trainers, it still has a fast, propulsive ride.
Pros

  • Stiff ride, similar to the Saucony racers
  • Stable ride for such a thick midsole
  • Energy-saving forefoot rocker
  • Comfortable upper
  • Highly cushioned
Cons

  • Midsole foams feel a bit flat
  • Low outsole durability
  • Narrow fit
Who should buy it

If you find the Endorphin Speed 3 too soft or flexible for speed training, the Kinvara Pro is a good option which delivers a more similar feel to the Saucony super shoes. It has a more stable, snappier ride.

Who should not buy it

If you prefer minimal rides with a lot of ground feel, look elsewhere because the Kinvara Pro is a firm, maximalist trainer. If you like flexible, natural rides, the Kivara Pro is also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Lightweight
Weight
8.4 oz
Heel
42 mm
Carbon plate
Half length carbon plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
34 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Also consider

In short
The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is the first Puma running shoe I’ve ever worn, and I’m a fan! It’s the kind of shoe that doesn’t necessarily stand out for any reason, positive or negative. It simply ticks every box for a quality road shoe, which is why this is a shoe that is now entrenched in my regular shoe rotation.
Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable Upper
  • Responsive Sole Unit
Cons

  • Occasional Tongue Rub
Who should buy it

The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 is ideal for a runner that wants to go fast!

The shoe is lightweight and has a minimal amount of cushion, yet is still quite responsive. Whether you’re wearing the PLN2s for speed work or on race day, you won’t be disappointed.

The shoe also works as a daily training for a runner that is ok with a shoe without a lot of cushioning to it.

Who should not buy it

The Puma Liberate Nitro 2 isn’t necessarily for everyone. If you prefer a supportive shoe, or a shoe with more than a minimal level of cushioning beneath your feet, you might want to take a pass on the Liberate Nitro 2.

And while I wouldn’t call this shoe exceptionally narrow, if you prefer a wide shoe or one with a foot-shaped toe box, the LN2 is also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Lightweight
Weight
6.5 oz
Heel
26 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
18 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
10
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
9.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Best for Trail Running

Trail running means a lot of different things. From the runner who will run in muddy terrains, to people who will climb and descend high inclinations, to people running in snow and rocks.

The shoes in this selection are good "all rounders". Please check our trail running shoe guide to find more specific shoes to different uses and terrains.

The winner

In short
The North Face Altamesa 500 is a max cushion trail shoe that can handle long distances, even ultramarathons. Comfort and durability are just two of the many attributes that you’ll love if you give these shoes a try.
Pros

  • All day comfort
  • Lots of cushion
  • Premium quality
  • Above average durability
  • Adequate on pavement
Cons

  • Heavy
  • Timid tread pattern
Who should buy it

This shoe is for anyone looking for a road-to-trail option that performs well on both. They should also be in consideration for ultra marathon type distances.

Who should not buy it

They are not light weight by any means and won’t provide runners with a close to the ground feel. If you’re looking for either of these things, steer clear.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
10.4 oz
Heel
38 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
6 mm
Toe
32 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
7.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Runner up

In short
The Asics Gel Trabuco 12 is an exceptionally stable all-terrain running shoe that inspires confidence on varied terrain types, including dirt, grass, snow, and ice.
Pros

  • Exceptionally stable
  • Reliable traction
  • Comfortable out of the box
Cons

  • Heavier than its competitors
  • Speed limit in more technical terrain
Who should buy it

For a road-to-trail runner looking for maximum stability and versatility on longer runs with varied terrain.

Who should not buy it

Trail runners looking for a lightweight, maximalist shoe or are focused on shorter, speedier efforts.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
11.1 oz
Heel
36 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
28 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
9.0
Landing
10
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Also consider

In short
The HOKA Stinson 7 provides an exceptionally stable, reliable, highly cushioned ride for road to non-technical trails. For everyday training or longer efforts where the terrain varies between roads, grass, and gravel, the Stinson 7 goes the distance in plush comfort.
Pros

  • Exceptionally stable on road and non-technical terrain
  • Plush cushioning
  • High stack protects from underfoot hazards
Cons

  • Subpar agility in tight spaces and on rocks
  • Outsole can get slippery on rock when wet
  • Break-in period may be required before optimal comfort
Who should buy it

For a road-to-trail runner or non-technical trail runner or hiker looking for a stable, maximalist shoe to go the distance in comfort.

Who should not buy it

Trail runners who primarily run on technical, uneven terrain with tight rocks where a lot of agility is required or speed is the focus.

Main Specs
Type
Trail
Weight
12.7 oz
Heel
45 mm
Carbon plate
No plate
Heel drop
5 mm
Toe
40 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
6.0
Traction
6.0
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
8.0
Team review
Read full review

Best Racing Shoes

Last, our selection of best racing shoes.

We are talking about optimising performance - so the choice is going to be extremely personal in the end. Here are our favorites.

Only word of advice: don't buy one if you don't need them. They're not meant for daily training and you should really keep them for your races or your training at race pace.

The winner

In short
The Nike Alphafly 3 is a superb top-tier racer and the best Alphafly version to date but it’s not deserving of its megahype or its $285 price. While it lacks the ‘magical’ feeling, it still has a combination of critical features (light weight, firm, stable, efficient) which provide a high level of speed assistance to the runner. Version 3 is a much better version than 2. It has a continuous bottom which results in smoother transitions, a stiffer midsole and most importantly, a wider...
Pros

  • Smooth transitions due to new continuous bottom
  • Stiffer midsole results in snappier ride
  • Stable ride with wider carbon plate
  • Less prominent arch
  • Lighter weight
Cons

  • Narrow midfoot might still create arch blisters
  • $10 price increase over previous versions
  • Loud foot strikes
Who should buy it

If you don’t have sensitive arches and you enjoy firmer riding super shoes, the Alphafly 3 is a good choice. If you find the Vaporfly 3 too soft or flat, the Alphafly 3 is also a good option. If you want a light racer that disappears on your feet, get the Alphafly 3.

Who should not buy it

If you’re looking for a plush racer with a squishy ride, you should skip the Alphafly 3. If you want a super shoe with an extreme rocker that throws your forward, it’s also not your shoe.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
7.7 oz
Heel
40 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
32 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
7.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
6.0
Team review
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Runner up

In short
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 is a fun, stable long-distance racer. It has one of the softest and most cushioned rides of any super shoe but it lacks a high level propulsion. This is due to its cushioning still being too soft and its gentle forefoot rocker which doesn't give you a big forward tipping sensation.
Pros

  • Much better, more comfortable upper than v3
  • Improved heel lockdown
  • Increased cushioning
  • Faster ride than v3
  • Durable outsole
Cons

  • Not as propulsive as other super shoes
  • Too similar to the SC Trainer
  • Heavier than v3
Who should buy it

If you’re looking for a super soft, long-distance racer with good durability, the SC Elite v4 is an option. If you want something less aggressive than other super shoes which is easier on the legs, it’s also a good option.

Who should not buy it

If you want a really stiff, aggressive and firm-riding racer, the SC Elite v4 is not the shoe for you. If you want a super lightweight racer, it’s also not for you.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
8.1 oz
Heel
40 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
4 mm
Toe
36 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
8.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
8.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0
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Also consider

In short
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is a good racer which is best suited to marathon racing. It has a soft, stable ride and a very stiff carbon plate but it isn't in the top tier of racers due to its midsole foams and geometry. Version 4 has a softer ride and a less aggressive forefoot rocker so it doesn't have as much oomph but it has more long-distance comfort.
Pros

  • Improved upper comfort
  • Durable midsole foam
  • No more tongue slide
  • Grippier outsole
  • Softer ride
Cons

  • Narrow toe box - need to size up
  • Less aggressive forefoot rocker
  • Feels slower than v3
Who should buy it

If you are looking for your first carbon-plated racer, the Endorphin Pro 4 is a great option which has a “friendly” ride. It has good stability, excellent cushioning and comes in at a lower price than most flagship super shoes.

Who should not buy it

If you enjoyed the Endorphin Pro 3 but you want something more aggressive and faster, the Endorphin Pro 4 is not the shoe for you.

Main Specs
Type
Racing
Weight
7.4 oz
Heel
39.5 mm
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate
Heel drop
8 mm
Toe
31.5 mm
Rating breakdown
Comfort
8.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
10
Durability
9.0
Value / Price
9.0
Team review
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Quick Questions you might have

Can I run in a men's shoe?

Yes you can, but we recommend to buy a women version whenever you can. Women have different body mass than men so the amount of cushioning required is different, even at the same shoe size.

Can I run with gym shoes?

We suggest doing the opposite: most daily trainer running shoes work well for general gym use. But gym-specific shoes (lifting, aerobic classes...) make for terrible running shoes.