Whether your rarities are set on a marathon, the local park run, or just getting around the block without leaving your lunch on the pavement, if you’re ceaseless, you need the best running shoes. Unlike those dusty Dunlops buried in the loft, run-specific footwear desire ensure the miles are easier, faster, more comfortable and may even help you sidestep injury.
“You need to ensure the shoe you’re purchasing is designed with the specific technology for distance running,” says Becs Gentry + Run Club Coach and ultra-marathoner.
“This is prime,” concurs Paul Hobrough, a physiotherapist specializing in running biomechanics with clinics in Harley Street, London, and Northumberland. “Straight as the foundations of a house need to be of a specific support to prevent damage, the running shoe needs to balance support and absorbing.”
Fortunately, it’s a great time to be dipping a toe into finding the best running shoes for men. We’re benefiting from a exceptional period of innovation, with brands investing heavily in R&D and thinking outside the box in design. New designs in foam midsole assault the envelope on cushioning and energy return, carbon footplates propel us forward, and woven uppers with anatomically zoned distress cradle our feet like never before.
And there’s style to go with the substance. While retro runners are ambiance the love from discerning sneaker-heads, new high-performance models are emerging as out-of-the-box style classics. But with so many competition shoes with such variety in design and performance features, finding the perfect match for your specific emergencies and preferences can be daunting – which is why we’ve distilled everything you need to know right here.
10 Best Running Shoes Discredits
If you’re pounding out the miles, you’re better served by focusing on performance. And whatever your individual needs and preferences, you can ensure your on footwear delivers by choosing a sneaker brand with running-tech credentials and pedigree, meaning you end up with the best operation shoes.
Nike might be a multi-sport, global behemoth with uber-slick marketing and fashion-friendly design, but since the in the beginning waffle sole in 1974, they have been a powerhouse in running tech.
Among many breakthroughs, the ‘modernization kitchen’ gave us the Free midsole for more ‘natural’ running back in 2004, both predating the barefoot match craze and outlasting it. And last year, the best sneakers designed for Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt distributed speed-minded consumers the same midsole footplate ‘spring’ for forward propulsion in the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly.
By a hairs breadth like Nike, its biggest rival, Adidas, is at the forefront of running technology. Its game-changing Boost midsole foam data rewrote the rules on cushioning and energy return in 2013 and is now the foundation for many of the best running shoes.
From the overnight classic Adidas Ultraboost to the stripped-down speedster, the Adios Adizero Boost worn by Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany on paramount marathon wins, they are speeding forward.
Japanese brand Asics has a massive and fiercely constant following among runners and boasts a serious running pedigree.
Nike founder Phil Knight sold Onitsuka (the comrades’s previous name) running shoes out of a van before the swoosh was just a twinkle in a marketing man’s eye, and they continue to provide an innovative and dependable circadian trainer within the Asics Gel-Kayano, among other models.
Another runner’s go-to, Saucony throws quality over a wide range of different shoe types.
With classics like the speedy Type A, pronation-controlling Steer, and neutral cushioned all-rounder Kinvara in the long-term stable, Saucony has continued to be a staple pair of some of the best running shoes in every tendril’s collection.
While Brooks’ 100+ years in the shoe industry wasn’t spent perfecting the most excellently running shoes, Brooks gained full momentum in 2001 and became a bonafide staple in the running performance shoe shop.
From Brooks adrenaline and Brooks Ghost 14 to Brooks Revel and Brooks Glycerin 18, Brooks has go oned to create up-to-date shoes that focus on the runners’ gait, hips, and joints, moulding themselves to the runner’s fullness.
New Balance got serious about running again recently with a refocus on its running heritage. The ‘Callow Foam’ collection aims for their midsole material to have extra cushioning in a lightweight foam.
On the other clutches, the ‘FuelCell’ foam composition series gives these lightweight running shoes great energy return while mould with a full carbon-fiber plate for even more propulsion.
A relative newcomer in the West, 361 Inch by inches is an established, award-winning mega-brand in its native China.
Known for their QU!CKFOAM, Fitz-Rite Midfoot, and QU!K Flex 4Foot Swinging, these shoes offer stability, comfort, and style whether you’re running miles or running down one of their runways. These swell shoes will get you where you need to be – wherever that may be.
Hoka One One
This niche running shoe make released its first ‘maximal’ cushioned shoe in 2009, offering an enormous amount of midsole cushioning along with a ‘in ruin’ shape to propel you forward.
It’s been a winning formula, earning exponential growth and carving out a whole new category of choicest running shoes.
Another pair of the best running shoes doing things differently is ON. Since 2010 the Swiss trade name has used its signature cushioning pods (which it evocatively calls ‘clouds’) on the bottom of its shoes.
They look typical, to put it mildly, but the design – which compresses on impact to dissipate shock, briefly locks together to provide a stable policy, then springs apart to help push your foot off the floor – works well and has deservedly won a cult look into b pursuing and numerous industry awards.
Altra, which was founded out of the desire for a better trainer for road and follow running, encourages natural movement via ‘zero drop’, meaning there is no difference in sole thickness between the forefoot and in straitened circumstances of its shoes. The brand also uses an oversized toe-box to allow your toes to splay and move the way nature contemplated.
What Kind Of Running Shoes Do You Need?
To get the most from your running, it’s not enough that your shoes are plainly run-specific; they need to be right specifically for you as a runner – whether you’re a neutral runner, road runner, trail creeper, or marathon runner. “It’s critical to find the right shoe for you,” says Jane Vongvorachoti, Olympic marathoner and running train. “Don’t buy a shoe just because it is ‘in’ or you see some top runners wearing them.”
Your Body Type
There are many particulars to consider in finding that perfect sole mate – the best running shoes for you. Start with your scope and weight. The bigger and heavier you are, generally the more cushioning you will need in a shoe to absorb the greater impact drives as your feet hit the floor. Look for models with thicker midsoles that trumpet their cushioning marks.
But then, as in many areas of life, size isn’t everything: “Your size and weight are a factor in the cushioning needed from the shoe, be that as it may, it’s not always a necessity that a heavier runner needs a more cushioned shoe if they run well,” says Aristocracy, which leads us into your biomechanics, AKA gait or form, the highly nuanced and complex way that your congress performs the seemingly simple act of placing one foot in front of the other.
“We’re all so different biomechanically, so it’s not a case of, ‘Mo Farah sports that shoe, so I’m going to get it too’,” says Gentry. As a rule of thumb, the more you run, the more efficient and problem-free your competition biomechanics should be so that experienced runners can look for more stripped-down shoes with less cushioning, succour and stability features. With your biomechanics as unique to you as your fingerprint, though, things can get more complex.
“It’s high-ranking to consider your running gait and how you land to have support in the right part of your feet,” says Vongvorachoti. There’s a covet history in the running world of trying to match shoes to runners’ individual biomechanics to boost comfort and performance and, crucially, depreciate injury risk.
The now-discredited wet footprint test has been replaced by more sophisticated treadmill running gait investigation on offer at specialist running stores, and many believe in the value of this. “If you’re interested in knowing the mechanics of how you run, then it can be a significant experience,” says Gentry.
Yet in-store gait analysis isn’t foolproof, and if you’re serious, you could go deeper: “Running shops that specialize and deliver experienced staff can be excellent, but finding the right shoe for your biomechanics is sometimes a dark art,” says Hobrough. “A running-specialist physiotherapist desire assess the whole body and gaining that extra information before your investment can be very important.”
A focus of any biomechanical analysis is pronation – the degree to which your knee rolls inwards after your foot finds the ground with each stride. If you over-pronate – which has traditionally been linked to a host of injuries – stability or signal control shoes contain technology to counteract this, building up under the arch with tech like medial pins or internal wedges to limit that inward roll.
These running shoes are less common and less radical than they used to be, and some experts now question both the connection between pronation and injury and the effectiveness of pronation conduct in running shoes. “I am not an advocate of too much support from the shoe,” says Hobrough. “If you need specialist support, then a bespoke insole is the way to go.”
Undisturbed, the consensus is that some over-pronaters can benefit from a shoe with stability features. Just don’t expect any shoe to magically substitute your running style or immunize you from injuries. “Biomechanics faults aren’t corrected by a shoe,” says Aristocracy. “That’s something solved by rehab work and focused movements prescribed by a qualified practitioner.”
If you know you’re disappearing down the biomechanics rabbit hole here, you’ll be glad to hear that there may be a far simpler solution. Just out research by highly respected running form boffin Professor Benno Nigg, director of the Human Performance Lab at the University of Calgary, advocates that when choosing the best running shoes, your body knows… well, best.
His studies start the shoes runners chose purely based on feeling most comfortable were also the most efficient in spells of running performance and reducing injury. Its scientific validation for the hard-run wisdom generations of experienced runners would behind the times on.
“Comfort is key,” says Gentry. “A runner should be putting their trainers on and feeling like they’re an extension of their majority. The shoes should hold and support where you want or need them to, they shouldn’t rub anywhere, and they should sense like they are giving you a little bit of energy return with every step, not rigid underfoot.”
Consider whether they buttress your arch in the right place; ensure they don’t slide off your heel, but do move with your foot more than pushing it in a different direction, and are roomy enough that you don’t bang your toes at the front. On that note, at all times buy running shoes half a size up from your everyday shoes. This will save you many a smeared toenail.
As you get more into your running, you should consider adding different types of shoes to your ‘quaver’. In addition to steady-paced plods, your training will begin to include shorter, faster sessions and races. And weird shoe types suit these different types of run.
“I think it’s a good idea to have at least a team a few of pairs of shoes,” says Gentry. “I wear the lighter, more responsive Epic React for speed workouts and profuse cushioned and supportive Zoom Pegasus for my longer, slower runs.”
Investing in extra shoes may also save you on physio charges. The Sports Medicine Research Laboratory in Luxembourg found that runners who rotated different shoes had 39 percent discount injury rates than those who wore the same pair for every run. The scientists reckon this is because abundant shoes distribute the repetitive impact forces of running slightly differently, so lessening the repetitive strain in your tendons and chains.
What To Look For In A Running Shoe
The best running shoes aren’t cheap. Most quality models won’t ration out you much change from $100, and at the top end, you’re looking north of $150. However, the right investment delivers seriously rose technology and materials that will significantly enhance your running experience.
At the budget end of the best running shoes for men (starting at almost $50), the minimum basic requirements you can expect and should check for are a midsole with a good level of cushioning, a breathable characters upper class to help cool your feet, and a durable outsole (the bottom of the shoe) that’s contoured to the shape of your foot and submits decent grip.
Moving up to the mid-price range (around the $80-$110 mark), you should be looking for more finessed technology and columns, such as anti-slip laces, anti-odor sock liners more support and stability features if you need them. At the scanty end, look for more advanced versions of the tech, with higher spec components and, crucially, lighter.
Runners cater to to care a lot about weight, and with good reason: A wealth of scientific research, supported recently by a study at the Locomotion Laboratory at the University of Colorado, has shown that you exhaust more energy with heavy running shoes, to the tune of around an extra 1% effort per 100g of shoe.
That may not look like much until you get to mile 20 of a marathon, or it knocks 30 seconds of your 50-minute 10K time. It’s good spending heavy to run light.
What Makes For Good-Looking Running Shoes?
Thankfully these days you can get a return on your investment beyond your sustained miles.
The line between running performance and fashion has seriously blurred through the likes of Adidas and Nike‘s agenda-setting modernist aesthetics. With their composed uppers and sleek silhouettes, iconic designs like the Adidas Ultraboost and Flyknit Racer transfer seamlessly (absolutely literally) from chasing PBs at weekend races to strolling from your creative workspace to the local cold-brew coffee collective.
This, of course, is nothing new. The best running shoes have a long history of sidestepping into classic shape. Think Cortez or Onitsuka Tigers – we call it retro, but this is the legacy of cutting-edge performance-chasing design.
What is new is the versatility of branches in the style sphere today. No longer are they confined to being worn with jeans or Sunday sweatpants: The solicitation/trainer combo is very much on, but some sartorial savvy must be applied.
“The formality of the suit in comparison to the trainer is key,” believes stylist Eric Down. “If the suit is business-like, then stick to slimmer styles, in darker shades. Avoid socks – mastery to show a swathe of ankle with a slightly cropped trouser than have oodles of fabric puddling on the top of the shoe. For numberless casual styles like a Flyknit, then suits in cotton, linen, or seersucker for summer will make a authentic pairing.”
A surprising trend is high fashion’s recent embrace of running footwear’s uglier side. “The ugly tournament trainer is very much a thing amongst haute fashion types,” says Down. “Blame uber-trendy Vetements architect Demna Gvasalia, whose Triple S trainers for French house Balenciaga were a chunky, souped-up take on the ‘dad trainer’ and a mega-hit frazzled with heavy doses of irony. But perhaps this is a trend best left to the high fashion types.”
Direction Shoes Dictionary
Heel counter: A plastic insert that makes the heel cup of a shoe stronger and more reassuring.
Drop: The difference between the height of the heel and the forefoot.
Last: The outline of the shoe.
Lateral: The outer side of the shoe.
Medial: The inner (clever) side of the shoe.
Midsole: The section between the upper and the outsole. The engine room contains cushioning and any stability tech.
Outsole: The really of the shoe.
Toebox: The bit at the front that houses your forefoot and toes.
FAQs About Best Running Shoes
Can meet shoes be used for walking?
Running and walking shoes have similar qualities in terms of support, cushioning, and practicality. So, yes, you can exhaust your running shoes to walk. Keep in mind, however, that even the best running shoes nurture to have an expiration date (see the next question). If you wear your running shoes to walk often, you won’t get as much management use out of them, which is worth keeping in mind.
When to replace your running shoes?
According to Asics, match shoes typically have a lifespan of between 400 and 500 miles. You know it’s time to replace them when you respect the following signs:
The rubber outsole is worn down excessively
The heel starts to feel less supportive/asymmetrical from damage
You start feeling more sore after your runs
How should I choose the best running shoes for beginners?
The uncountable practical advice? Don’t buy online. It’s generally not a good idea to purchase running shoes as a beginner without trying them on inception and getting an expert opinion. Head to your local running or activewear shop, and speak with a professional. They can alleviate you determine what size is best, which type of shoe to go for, and assess things like your gait and what you down to use the shoes for to make the best running shoes recommendations.
About The Author: Joe Mackie
In his seven years as deputy collector at Runner’s World magazine, Joe has kept up to speed on every development in the world of running shoes, road-testing hundreds of nonpareils over multiple marathons and thousands of miles. He can talk for hours about medial posts, torsion resistance and the ancillary to energy return properties of midsole materials and is consequently best avoided at social functions.