Whether you are a fitness and running enthusiast, or are just getting off the couch, one of the most important pieces of kit you’ll invest in is your running shoes. These can make or break any fitness regime. But with the right research and decision making process you can put yourself on the track to success.
While there are hundreds of choices today, that sometimes ends up making the decision even more difficult.
How do you possibly decide which one will work best for you?
Making the wrong decision and finding out only after a couple of runs, can be a disaster. If the shoes are uncomfortable, heavy or just don’t feel right, then your training will suffer.
There are so many brands and products out there that will probably work OK. Some are cheap, and some are very expensive. But price alone will not guarantee you a certain outcome.
To help you through the process we have put together this list of best running shoes for men and women. We even cover an option for trail running, as your needs there will be slightly different.
After months of research we are ready to share the results with you. That way you can save yourself a ton of time doing boring research.
Our Top 5 Running Shoe Recommendations
1 – Nike Flex Experience RN 4
The last pair of sports shoes on this recommended list is not surprisingly another pair of Nikes. These sneakers are a bit more affordable than the top one on the list, but they will still work great for your running experience. Whether that’s on a treadmill or an outdoor run.
The majority of the upper part of the shoe is made of a mesh material. This makes it very light and breathable. As a result, you will almost feel like you are wearing slippers. With the added ventilation providing a great cooling effect.
The soles are also designed to spread the impact in multiple directions. It is not as effective as the Nike Free model above, but it is better than just standard athletic shoes.
The only real downside to this product is that it’s not that suitable for people with very wide feet. It’s also not going to withstand much exposure to rougher terrains. Overall though, a very affordable option for the average runner and budget.
- Wide use of mesh makes it very light and breathable
- Extra sole support for the heel to help withstand heavy impacts
- Hexagonal grooving gives your feet a more natural movement
- Excellent range of colors to suit all preferences
- Very light weight so you barely notice you’re wearing them
- Not ideal for wide feet
- Can damage easily on rougher terrain
2 – Under Armour Women’s Micro G Assert 6
Under Armor is a relatively new company in the sports and exercise industry. But don’t mistake that for a weak point. Every single one of their products has been designed to suit athlete’s needs and the same is the case for these womens running shoes.
The placement of the mesh around the shoe is very deliberate and provides for maximum ventilation. Keeping your feet cool while you work out will make a huge difference to how comfortable these are.
The design of the foam insoles will significantly help to support your foot. It will also encourage a better gait that avoids common aches and pains that you might get from regular running. Especially in urban environments where the ground is very hard.
As far as womens sneakers go, this is a fantastic option. It will provide the support you need and with the color range it’s a great way to make sure your whole gear is coordinated.
- Very lightweight materials making them only 7.2 ounces
- Excellent mesh usage to allow for ventilation
- Foam insoles to provide extra cushioning and comfort
- Great ankle and heel support to make running less straining
- Great range of colors to match up with your other fitness wear
- Very good value for money
- Sizes are a bit on the small side
- Inner sole cannot be replaced for orthopedic ones
3- Salomon Men’s Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
If you are looking for trail running shoes then Salomon is the number one brand. And this Speedcross model will work great for any cross country running you might have planned. When it comes to this type of exercise, you need a shoe that stand up to completely different forces than your regular running shoe.
First of all, you need something that is water and debris resistant. That’s the only way to ensure that your feet stay dry from outside influences, especially muddy water. The debris in that kind of water can quickly start rubbing on your skin resulting in quite some discomfort and pain.
An insole is included to support your arch. That will be particularly valuable if you have a flat foot, which can cause pain when running. Especially on uneven ground.
To protect your toes and the shoe itself, there is a rubber cap at the front. This will help avoid wholes appearing on tough cross country terrain.
The soles are also designed to provide excellent grip in all sorts of situations. Whether there is snow or mud, you don’t want to be slipping and sliding all over the place. Just be aware that if you run on a lot of rock, stone or concrete, then the tread will wear off quite quickly.
- Water and debris resistant mesh protects your feet exceptionally well
- Rubber soles provide grip on mud and snow to help avoid slipping
- Arch supporting insole for extra comfort
- Rubber toe cap to protect shoes from damage
- Great selection of colors to suit your preferences
- Quicklace functionality saves you some time to tie up and tighten when needed
- Tread can wear quite fast when regularly used on hard ground
- Not suitable for very wide feet
4 – ASICS Men’s Gel-Cumulus 18
The next set of mens running shoes is this Asics Gel Cumulus. Similar to the Nike ones above, Asics have put a lot of work into making the soles a lot more protective of your feet. If you ever suffer from pains in your joints, arch and heel, then you might want to take advantage of some better cushioning effects.
This product has additional padding in the center to better support your arch. This will promote a more natural motion and your gait will be supported as well. As a result, the motion of your feet is sustained from heel impact to toe-off.
If you have a narrower or wider than average foot, then you are also in luck. Sizes are not only available by measuring the length. However, you should keep in mind that sizing is reportedly a little bit small so you might want to go up a half or full size when ordering yours.
- Extra cushioning in mid-section to protect your arch
- Entire sole is designed to promote your natural gait from heel to toe
- Front and rear of sole is supported by gel cushion to provide added support
- Available in different widths to better fit your foot size
- Available in great choice of colors
- Extra padding around ankles means ankle socks are not suitable
- Sizes are a bit smaller than you might expect
5 – Nike Men’s Free 5.0+ Breathe Running Shoe
Nike has long been one of the leading makers of all types of sports shoes. Whether it’s baseball, basketball, jogging or tennis, they will have you covered. One of their latest innovations has come in the past years with a completely new approach to the design of the soles. Nike Free is the name they have given this, and if you haven’t tried these then you’re in a for a treat.
Essentially the sole is segmented into smaller pieces. This allows the sole to flex and move a lot more freely. And that helps absorb the impact of your wait while running. In this latest model, you’ll even notice that the segmentation from heel to arch to toe slightly changes. All that is very deliberate to help your foot stay in a natural motion.
The materials used are very high quality and will support even long distance runners for a few hundred miles. If you do a lot of running then you want to give your feet the best possible comfort to avoid injury and fatigue. And that is exactly what you get with these gym shoes for men.
They are as light as a slipper and will protect your feet from the elements.
The only real downside to this product is that the black running shoes are the most widely available ones, and there is not a huge amount of color selection. Also, the fit can be a little bit tight, so you might want to order half or one size up for best comfort.
- Multidirectional sole for more comfort and shock absorption
- Heal section designed to flow with the natural movement of your foot
- Lacing is designed to follow the shape of your foot for a comfortable and secure fit
- Sole design in arch helps to promote a better ideal and natural motion
- Good value for money
- Color selection in this model is a little bit limited
- Sizing can be bit smaller, so you might want order half size larger
What Features You Need To Focus On
When you are comparing the best running shoes available then you can quickly struggle with the different ways that companies describe the same features. In this section, we bring you the most important features to focus on so that you don’t get distracted by the usual marketing hype.
This kind of feature is going to cost you a little extra. But it can be a vital decision to make. If you don’t go running outdoors then a pair of gym shoes that are not water proof will work perfectly fine. You’re not going to get caught in the rain inside the gym.
However, if you tend to go running outside, and you don’t shy away from a bit of bad weather, then make sure you buy something that provides at least some bit of weather protection.
With all sports shoes, the design of the soles is one of the most important things to focus on. High end products will utilize everything from gel to foam and even segmented sole structures. The end result is always to provide you with added comfort and a way to protect your foot and leg joints from repetitive impact.
Essentially, you want to make a decision that will make sure that your foot is protected and will be encouraged to keep to a motion that is natural and avoids strain and injury.
With all jogging shoes, indoor and outdoor, the weight is always going to be an important factor. If you end up with heavy clunkers on your feet, it will increase the effort and will not make your life any easier.
One thing to keep in mind though is the following. Once you head towards the cross training and trail running sneakers, the added protection and durability will come at the price of weight. If you find a product that is exceptionally light, then be careful to not buy something that might not last very long.
In the above list, we have provided you with the best shoes for running. These are not cheap running shoes, but from a budget perspective they go from the medium to high-range of prices. If you choose any of these products, then you will be making an investment in better performance.
Less stress on your feet and legs, means that you can push yourself a bit further. And your recovery times will also speed up as a result. The best thing to do right now is to pick a pair that is in your budget range and have them delivered in time for your next workout. You won’t regret it!