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When the day comes to replace your trusty running shoes, it can be hard to ignore the signs. Your feet are sore and have fresh blisters, the shoe’s treads are worn or losing their grip. But it can be even harder to find a suitable replacement for your go-to pair.
Every sneaker worth your money will likely offer an array of features intended to make your running experience better — but it’s up to you to decide what a “better” run looks and feels like. Do you want to feel supported, propelled, or simply comfortable when you run? Would you prefer a shoe that’s on the lighter side or one that’s sturdy enough to stabilize your stride?
Determining what you want to get out of a running shoe will certainly help you narrow down your options, but even then, there remains a wide variety of brands and models to choose from. It’s one thing to know that you want a minimalist shoe with moderate arch support, but how do you know which minimalist shoe with moderate arch support is right for you?
Using customer reviews and footwear discussions on Reddit’s running subreddit, we’ve chosen the best running shoes currently on the market, for everyone from the diehard trail runner to the Asics devotee. Read on to find the sneaker that fits your needs and preferences.
This sneaker is designed to mimic the feel of wearing a sock or bootie, in that it’s lightweight, snug and breathable. But despite its seemingly minimalist construction, the Flyknit provides a surprising amount of arch support and structure according to reviewers.
Other reviewers, however, note that the support it offers comes at a price: Namely, a relatively narrow fit, making it a less-than-great choice for customers with wider feet. Fit aside, this shoe’s appeal lies in its sole, which allows wearers to spring more lightly off the balls of their feet and land softly on their heels.
Brooks sneakers are an enduring favorite among runners, and this recent iteration of its Adrenaline model is likely to convert any remaining non-initiated. New additions to the shoe’s design include supportive “GuideRails,” which allow the wearer to maintain a healthy range of motion while reducing the kind of excess movement that leads to knee injuries, and an impact-absorbing grid along the sole.
The attention to detail in this shoe’s construction makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to extend their longevity as a runner.
Multiple reviewers on Mizuno’s site noted that they were there to order their second pair of Waves, and, for those who want a supportive and springy shoe made to last, this shoe is an apt candidate. One reviewer described their wearing experience as being “propelled,” thanks to the responsive sole, while another wrote about how well the shoes prevented their tendency to over-pronate.
It should be noted, however, that this is yet another narrower-than-average shoe, particularly through the toe box.
Simply put, if you prefer the woods to the road, these are the running shoes for you. With a lug sole that offers excellent traction and grip through snow, rain and mud, the Speedcross helps the wearer maintain a steady pace over all varieties of terrain (one reviewer attested to the fact that the shoe’s durability doesn’t inhibit their performance while running).
The downside of a shoe that’s made to brave the elements is, unfortunately, a lack of breathability, although its antimicrobial footbed works to offset some foot odor.
Asics has been the dedicated runner’s long-time go-to brand for a reason: The brand remains the standard bearer for a stable, long-lasting pair of running shoes. In the past, wearers’ praise for the shoes support always came with the caveat that Asics tended to be clunky. But the GEL-DS Trainer 24 may very well dodge this common critique.
According to online reviews, it appears to have retained the tried-and-true arch support customers expect from Asics while staying somewhat lightweight, breathable and flexible.
Hoka One One
With cushioning that’s described as “plush” on Hoka’s website, the Bondi 6 offers wearers a seriously comfortable ride. Wearing them is “like walking on a trampoline,” one reviewer wrote, while several others wrote that, after suffering from chronic foot pain, this shoe made them enjoy running again.
Of course, there are clear drawbacks to this level of cushion in a running shoe, including a lack of sensation of the terrain beneath your feet, a clunky fit and overall instability. But, if you deal with sensitivity or pain when running, these sneakers are more than worth a try.
Yet another sneaker built for comfort, these Skechers are similar to Hokas in terms of comfort and fit, as several reviewers noted, but at a slightly more appealing price point. In addition to the shoe’s cushiness, its sole’s wide platform stabilizes the wearer’s strides and encourages the foot forward with a propulsive response. But this feature can make for surprising loud landings, some reviewers noted.
This clunkiness is likely a product of the shoe’s design, rather than its weight, as reviewers tended to describe the Goruns as “lightweight.”
This shoe is designed with extended wear in mind, so it makes sense that reviewers praise the Kayenta for its flexibility, secure fit, and arch support — in short, the elements that keep a shoe feeling comfortable for the duration of a long run. The inner sole provides a balanced fit (that isn’t excessively cushy) between the ball and heel, which ultimately reduces impact across the entire foot.
One reviewer even noted that this fit helped them avoid developing hot spots or blisters during their runs.
One reviewer described the Kinvara 10 as a shoe that needs no break-in period, and they likely have the shoe’s contoured in-sole and roomy toe box to thank for that near-instant fit. But don’t take that to mean that these shoes are nothing but “sink.” Their flexible soles offer plenty of bounce as well.
If you aren’t totally sure which shoe on this list is right for you, consider starting with the Kinvara 10, as it could very well be a “Goldilocks” style shoe. It’s not too much of any one thing — rather, it’s just about right.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.