Running shoes are an essential part of equipment for any runner. It’s safe to say that the quality of your workout depends significantly on the quality of your shoes. That’s why it’s crucial to equip your feet with a proper pair.
If you’re looking for the best running shoes, you’ve come to the right spot. Today’s review provides a detailed overview of the best models. As a bonus, we share a buyer’s guide so you can choose the model that truly matches your needs.
- Best Running Shoes: Reviews
- Under Armour Women’s Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe
- ASICS Women’s GT-2000 9
- Saucony Women’s Endorphin Speed 2 Running Shoe
- Saucony Women’s Triumph 19 Running Shoe
- Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe
- Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe
- ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 8
- ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Men’s Supportive Running Shoe
- Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s Neutral Running Shoe
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Best Running Shoes: Reviews
Under Armour Women’s Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe
Every runner knows Under Armour is one of the best running equipment manufacturers. Their Women’s Charged Assert 9 running shoe is just a reflection of that. The durability, added impact support, and ultra-lightweight design make these shoes stand out from the crowd.
The Women’s Charged Assert 9 running shoes are packed with valuable features for runners. The main highlight is the unique Charged Cushioning that provides additional protection against impact from every side. At the same time, its leather overlays can stabilize and lock down to provide more durable stability.
The Charged Cushioning technology also relies on the compression-molded foam to add responsiveness. In addition, the mesh upper helps keep the feet cool for added ventilation, which is especially important for long-distance runners.
Thanks to the EVA sock liner, which has a special cushioning property, these running shoes will make sure your every step is absorbed as gently as possible. There’s also the solid rubber outsole that protects high-impact zones and adds to the overall durability of the product.
The first impression you’ll get after trying this shoe on is how stable your feet feel. You’ll also notice the plushness all over the place. Although this isn’t much of an upgrade from the brand’s previous model (Charged Assert 8), it’s still one of the best features of this shoe.
Also, the placement of the rubber in the sole areas that are most heavily used gives the foot traction and durability without any extra weight to the shoe’s build.
Although it’s marketed as a running shoe, the Charged Assert 9 could be considered more as a multipurpose shoe. It’s a perfect product for shorter runs, fitness, and gym, but it lacks more features for any runs longer than the 5K. Also, the 9th edition doesn’t feature much new technology compared to the Charged Assert 8 model.
- Affordable product
- Added comfort due to cushioning
- Multipurpose running shoes
- The collar may rub the ankle
- Minor splining possible due to not very supportive heel cup
- Not the best choice for long runs
ASICS Women’s GT-2000 9
ASICS Women’s GT-2000 9 are some of the best running shoes for women in terms of endurance, comfort, and technology. The GT-2000 series has a history of almost 30 years, and this upgrade is an excellent choice for additional foot support, cushioning, and lightweight design.
The ASICS Women’s GT-2000 9 has everything you need for a stable, long-lasting, and functional running pair of shoes.
The GEL Technology Cushioning is made to attenuate the shock during toe-off and impact phases while allowing a multiple plane movement as you move your foot through the gait cycle.
The FlyteFoam Midsole Tech gives excellent responsiveness and bounce-back thanks to organic super fiber components. The upper is reinforced with no-sew overlays, even more so over the arch for additional comfort.
The DuoMax Support consists of a dual-density midsole technology placed to add stability and support.
The Guidance Line Midsole Tech adds to gait efficiency thanks to a vertical flex groove that decouples the tooling throughout the progression line.
Finally, the Trusstic System used in the middle part of the sole gives structural integrity to the midfoot with guidance line construction that allows the foot and the shoe to work in greater cooperation for added balance and support.
The best thing about this ASICS model and what sets it apart from competitors is that they are super comfortable from day one – they hardly need any breaking in. Also, they’re equally suitable for longer runs (marathons) as for shorter distances. Another notable feature of these shoes is the AHAR in the heel portion. This is a carbon rubber material responsible for the incredibly durable outsole.
Some runners may find the midsole of this shoe to be a bit stiff and provide a poor energy return. Professional runners may never completely get over this feeling, as it’s simply how the shoes are made. Also, the narrow fit may be troublesome for people with wider feet.
- Stable shoe
- Feet don’t get tired in them
- Redesigned upper
- Stiff ride
- Narrow fit
- Could provide a bigger energy return
Saucony Women’s Endorphin Speed 2 Running Shoe
The Saucony Women Endorphin Speed 2 is a versatile trainer and a multipurpose shoe that’s equally fun to run in and do sports or fitness. Performance-wise, it’s a robust solution that doesn’t lack a single important feature from design, construction, or comfort.
The Saucony Women’s Endorphin Speed 2 Running Shoe is an excellent shoe for runners that are used to speed workouts. The tweaked heel shape and upgraded slip laces give a locked-in feeling regardless of the distance you run. The upper is a mono mesh build with reinforced sidewalls compared to the Saucony Women’s Endorphin predecessor shoe.
The midsole and the nylon plate are made from industry-leading technology and materials, including the S-shaped plate that subtly pops the shoe but still keeps it quite flexible. As far as the upper mesh, it comes with an improved design and a snug fit in the heel with just enough room to keep the toes free.
Breathability-wise, this shoe doesn’t lag behind its competitors thanks to the mono mesh that keeps the structure airy and light. The breathability benefits are especially important for runners in warmer climates.
If the previous models we reviewed lacked energy return, this Saucony running shoe certainly makes up for it. Due to the super-flexible nylon plate and the ultralight PWRRUN PB cushioning, this pair of running shoes gives a runner the edge for races and speed workouts. It’s also one of the best running shoes you can find performance-wise, especially if you run at faster paces.
There are no significant complaints when it comes to this running shoe. Design-wise, some runners may not like having a checkered flag on the side, but this is certainly not a general issue. There are also reports of the Speed 2 model feeling chunkier than its predecessor, and that the rubber pattern could benefit from more traction to prevent sliding on rainy days.
- Exceptional breathability
- Great energy return
- Big upgrades from the predecessor model
- Questionable aesthetics
- Could benefit from more traction
- Feels chunkier than the previous model
Saucony Women’s Triumph 19 Running Shoe
Saucony’s Women’s Triumph 19 is an excellent workhorse for daily training, especially for slow-pace, high-mileage runs. Added PWRRUN cushioning makes this model ideal for recovery days or after a speed training. There’s a reason this trainer has 19 versions so far—and its loyal follower tribe serves as proof of that.
The 19th version of Saucony’s Women’s Triumph has come with some long-needed upgrades to the upper that make it more durable, breathable, and lightweight compared to its predecessors. The PWRRUN technology for the midsole is the same as in the previous models, which is still an advantage, as it delivers a consistent and smooth transition from toe-off to landing.
The very first impression is the comfortable design and upper simplicity that gives a plushy and airy feeling. The breaking in also isn’t as troublesome as with other models and running your first miles shouldn’t be painful for the feet.
The Saucony Women’s Triumph 19 midsole comes with just enough PWRRUN+ foam along with an Everun layer, which is a special layer that replaces their Powergrid Cushioning System for added support, responsiveness, and natural feel. The Everun uses a top sole technology that places the cushioning closer to the foot than before. That’s why the sole has a nice density and is not mushy.
The latest edition of the Triumph model comes with a much higher-quality and comfortable upper. The part is made from mono mesh for added lightweight and breathable design. The stripped-down design still doesn’t impact that premium feel.
This shoe still lacks responsiveness for faster runs, but the Triumph line wasn’t designed as a speedier shoe in the first place.
- Super-breathable plush upper
- More lightweight compared to the previous model
- Suitable for long runs
- Unsuitable for fast runs
- Laces too stretchy
- Not an advanced running shoe
Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe
The Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running shoe is the mid-quality daily trainer shoe that’s still a viable workhorse despite lacking fast-paced run support. The latest version comes with significant upgrades in the upper and forefoot design, which makes it an improvement from the 13th version. And of course, all Brooks running shoes are still vegan.
The construction of the Brooks Ghost makes it an ideal choice for beginner runners that are still experimenting with their preferred running shoe style. It is neither too firm nor too soft, and the upper is comfy for all foot types. Also, this shoe has a surprisingly stable ride for a shoe that’s made for neutrals.
The addition to the latest version includes a full DNA Loft midsole. The previous version only featured half of the construction. This means the ride will be slightly softer with the 14 compared to the 13. Also, Ghost 14 comes with an exceptional amount of midsole foam to keep your feet protected. The foam measures 36 mm in the heel, only 4 mm shorter than the maximum height allowed for professional running competitions.
When you put on Ghost 14, you’ll feel that the upper doesn’t seem puffy, and it won’t take long to break them in. Overall, you’ll experience a stable, smooth, and consistent running shoe.
The Ghost 14 is an ideal shoe for running long distances if time isn’t your primary concern. The medium-soft midsole isn’t too plushy, so it transfers the weight efficiently for a straightforward pace for runners.
The best part about the Ghost 14, and just about any of its predecessors, is the upper. The sublime tongue, collar, and heel tab padding make this shoe super comfortable for the feet. The new laces also help distribute the pressure more efficiently compared to the 13 and are more performance-boosting. The 14th version is certainly more versatile, and will improve your performance, especially if you’re a fan of this brand.
As for the downsides of Ghost 14, there’s not much to note other than this being a high-quality shoe designed for ordinary workouts. In fact, there’s nothing really out of the ordinary about Ghost in general, and the 14th generation is no different. Be aware of the plain EVA midsole that doesn’t provide enough energy return. However, it still offers a well-padded running experience with just enough foot protection.
- Plenty of cushioning
- Stable design
- Heavy-duty upper
- Chunkier than the predecessor
- Outsole could be of better quality
- Tongue not gusseted
Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe
The Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 9 shoes are known for their Charged Cushioning technology that provides additional impact protection, durable stability, and breathable surface for long runs. The trustworthy brand with millions of loyal customers certainly knows how to update their running shoe lineup, and this new addition is no exception.
Under Armour’s Charged Assert 9 running shoes are backed by a robust cushion technology called Charged Cushioning. The technology behind it allows the shoes to protect every stride with enhanced impact-absorbing features compared to its predecessor.
The leather overlays will stabilize and lock down your foot to provide durable support whether you’re out for a short run or a workout session in the gym.
The EVA sock liner, which is an additional cushioning property, makes sure every stride is gently absorbed in order to lower the risk of injury.
Finally, the lightweight mesh construction means instant ventilation and an airy feel that’s hard to beat.
Runners who also do a lot of fitness and sports should definitely consider this shoe. The multipurpose nature makes it super versatile, and the price certainly goes in its favor as well. Plus, the sole rubber placement on heavily used areas offers your foot traction and durability without adding any extra weight.
The only area where these shoes don’t excel is the lack of features for long run sessions. The Charged Assert 9 also doesn’t come with any notable upgrades compared to the 8th version.
- Multipurpose shoe wear
- Affordable pricing
- Comfortable design
- Collar may rub the ankle
- Minor slipping due to less supportive heel cup
- Not suitable for longer runs
ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 8
The ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 8 is a versatile, high-end shoe when it comes to trail runs, sightseeing, and light hiking. If you’re someone that spends a lot of time outdoors and also likes to go for morning runs out in nature, then this pair of shoes is worth considering.
The ASICS Gel-Venture 8 is as good a shoe as it gets for trail running. The super grippy construction, even on muddy and wet terrain, gives extra traction to the runner for a lower risk of fall and injury. The durable and lightweight design doesn’t make the foot tired even after long runs, while the affordable price won’t break the bank.
The shoe responsiveness of ASICS Gel-Venture 8 is exceptional, and the shoe feels very nimble on the trail. As far as the cushioning is concerned, things are average. The cushion is visible but doesn’t go over the top, nor does it give the spongy feeling of some of its competitors. The important part is that the cushion fulfills its function big-time; it eases the impact and smooths out the ride.
One of the biggest highlights of this pair of running shoes is comfort. The top of the foot is comfortably wrapped by the upper sidewall cushions so there’s protection and convenience everywhere. The shoe is also true to its size, and the flat laces keep the tongue in place for a secure ride.
While the construction is rather airy, the shoes aren’t made for extremely hot weather. Most of their comfort comes from the heel collar padding, which isn’t as refreshing for the feet when high temperatures arrive.
The ASICS Gel-Venture 8 will surprise you with how little time they need to break in. They have a super airy feeling that gives the impression that the shoes are ready for a run right out of the box. The ergonomic heel collar is also extremely comfortable, while the heel area foam becomes less stiff just minutes after you first put on the shoes.
There are hardly any bad sides of ASICS Gel-Venture 8 except for the relatively narrow toe box that may be troublesome with runners with wide feet. If you prefer to have plenty of splay room (but again, too much is bad!), you may want to consider Gel-Venture 8 alternatives. This model also doesn’t work well for ultra-long runs (up to 10K works just great).
- Exceptional shoes for trail runs
- Great comfort
- Affordable pricing
- Don’t work well for super long runs
- Unsuitable for runners with wide feet
- Not the best for hot weather
ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7
The ASICS’s Gel-Venture 7 is yet another pair of running shoes made for outdoorsy runners. The combination of the GEL technology cushioning system and a premium sock liner make this product an exceptional value for the money.
The Ortholite X-40 sock liner is a premium feature that provides higher rebound properties and exceptional moisture protection and management. The sock liner also comes with high-end breathability features, which is extremely important given that the shoe can easily overheat due to its padded construction.
The Rearfoot GEL Tech cushioning minimizes shocks during impact and provides a smooth midstance transition.
As far as the grip is concerned, the Venture 7 has average traction functionality for most terrain types and surfaces. It’s best used on technical trails and moderate trails, as well as for regular training.
Overall, this is a solid trail-running shoe that will meet all your basic running needs. The robust construction and straightforward design will help you enjoy plenty of hikes and trail runs.
The Gel-Venture 7 is more responsive than plush and offers just enough energy return to make it a more than comfortable running shoe. The model also comes with a great mixture of structure and flexibility, with the added benefit of built-in support and stability.
While this shoe is perfect for short to medium running sessions, it can feel a bit stiff for long runs (10K+). So, if you plan on purchasing running shoes for half a marathon or marathon runs, you’re better off looking elsewhere. The toe box may also be too narrow for runners with wide feet.
- Low-risk design
- Durable build
- Affordable pricing
- Can overheat in spring and summer
- Heavier than competitors
- Not suitable for long runs
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Men’s Supportive Running Shoe
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 shoes are a well-known runner favorite that never fail to deliver. Thanks to the ideal combination of balance and support, the GTS 22 will provide an unparalleled smooth ride with exceptional comfort.
The Brooks GuideRails Technology makes for medium support and cushioning to provide just enough protection when running on hard surfaces and gives sufficient energy return. As for the midsole, the part is now upgraded compared to the predecessor model and uses 100% of DNA LOFT technology for a softer ride. The midsole teams perfectly with the Segmented Crash Pad for a more straightforward flow from toe-off to landing.
The stylish color will make any runner enjoy the aesthetics of these shoes. There are nine options to choose from, so there’s something for all tastes.
When you put these shoes on for the first time, you may notice tightness around your arch area. This is simply a matter of breaking in, and after a few walks, the shoes will fit your foot perfectly. The fit itself is relatively wide, so you can wear these shoes if you have wider feet. You may find the 12 mm drop too big at first, but the legs adjust to it relatively quickly.
The outsole rubber gives traction and takes control of all road elements that come in contact with it. A major benefit is that the rubber isn’t slippery when walking in wet areas.
The Adrenaline GTS 22 is a viable solution for daily training, and you’re highly unlikely to find a more stable and reliable trainer on the market. The nonslip rubber is extremely important for outdoor runners that like to take more challenging trails that include mud or wet roads, and it’s something they won’t have to worry about with this model.
One of the very few slight disadvantages of these shoes includes a longer break-in time on average compared to its competitors. Also, the 12 mm drop may come as a surprise to some runners. But these are all minor drawbacks that certainly don’t take the fame away from the Brooks Adrenaline brand.
- Soft landing
- Perfect stability
- Great for everyday runs
- Slightly bigger drop than average
- Longer break-in time
- Not suitable for long runs
Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s Neutral Running Shoe
If you’re a Brooks Ghost fan and have been using their shoes for quite a while, you’ll be excited to try the 14th edition of this classic line. The Ghost 14 is a viable workhorse with great long-distance cushioning, but that’s about as much as you can get from this model.
Compared to its Ghost 13predecessor, the 14th version comes with an upgraded upper and a more enhanced forefoot. This is a small yet noticeable improvement. If you’re a beginner runner, you’ll appreciate this brand for its stability and construction that’s neither too soft nor too firm.
Although there aren’t many changes from the previous model, first-time Ghost wearers can notice a luxurious feel the first time they wear this model. The upper is puffy and streamlined compared to the previous version.
The overall design supports medium to long run distances pretty well. However, if time is your big concern, you’ll find these shoes lag behind some more notable competitors when it comes to fast-paced training. Still, there’s an improvement in terms of speed when it comes to previous versions of the Ghost.
The significant improvement in the new version is the complete DNA Loft midsole for added stability and comfort. There’s plenty of midsole foam for foot protection that measures 36 mm in the heel.
Overall, the Ghost 14 is an excellent solution for runners looking for stability during long-distance runs. The abundance of cushioning makes this shoe a good fit for neutral runners, which is one of its best features.
The simplicity and lack of energy return put this running shoe in the average basket. A bit heavier design and the outsole that suffers from wear and tear faster than the competitors are some of the biggest disadvantages of this model.
- Plenty of cushioning
- Stable shoe
- Smooth ride
- Questionable outsole
- Heavier than predecessor
- Shorter lifespan than the competitors
The ankle collar is an important element of a running shoe. It’s the wrap located at the top of the opening that holds the heel in place. Some models may have thick padding, and others shift the focus to the shape.
When you try the shoes on, you should check whether your heel slips and how the bones on the side of your ankles react to the padding. The back curve shouldn’t irritate your Achilles tendon under any circumstances.
The heel counter is a half-rigid cup located inside the rear foot. This element supports and cradles the runner’s heel. In some models, you can find an external heel wrap to serve as a replacement. Some minimalist models may eliminate the counter so your feet can have more space to move.
There’s little motion control with heel counters, but their presence centers the heel for more stable support and landing. Ideally, you want to find a heel that doesn’t prevent comfortable and normal ankle motion.
The toe box represents the integrity of the upper from the back of the shoe to the front of the eyelets. Running shoe manufacturers often cap the area with a toe bumper reinforcement material to hold the fabric off the toes and protect the runner from stabbing. This is a crucial feature to look for in trail shoes.
Also, the ideal toe box shouldn’t be in your way. Your foot should have enough room to spread out in all directions without having to rub or bind your toes.
The outsole on a shoe is the part where the rubber and ground meet. This component is often composed of a range of foam and rubber elements strategically placed to boost the shoe’s lifespan and increase its flexibility and bounce.
Ideally, aim for a shoe that has an outsole made from materials that don’t add weight and stiffness to the model but give extra traction. Also, look for a shoe that has a similar footprint shape as yours for added stability when you hit the ground.
Flex Grooves and Toe Spring
The point of the flex grooves is to make the shoe bend according to the way the foot bends. These grooves are placed under the ball of your foot. This can also be achieved by turning the toe up (toe spring) or cutting the midsole to a rocker pattern. You want to aim for shoes that flex and roll the same way your foot is intended to move.
The midsole is located between the upper and the outsole, and it’s made from foam to act as a cushion from the ground impact as you make a stride. It also serves as guidance to the foot. The perfect running shoe for your feet needs to have a midsole that feels just right at running speeds and isn’t too firm or too soft once you step in the shoes.
Heel cushioning is a midsole component that minimizes the shock of the heel strike. A range of cushioning materials can be used here, including soft crash pad areas on the outer edge of the foot. A notable alteration also includes rounder outer heels for smoother landing. As far as this element is concerned, look for balance between stability, cushioning, and ground feel. Your foot should touch down as expected.
Forefront cushioning is placed in the midsole and its role is again to lower the large force impact on your stride when you land and push off the forefront. The shoe you pick should be responsive and have a balance between the comfort of the cushioning and the push-off platform firmness.
The heel-toe drop is the difference in height between the heel and the ball of the foot once you wear the shoe. When you change the drop significantly, it distributes force to the leg and foot differently, making a change to your stride. You should look for a shoe that doesn’t stress any part of your foot and feels good from the beginning to the end of the stride.
Modern-day running shoe manufacturers use a range of technologies to prevent the foot from moving excessively and to increase stability. This includes various wedges, dual-density foams, medial posts, wider shoe geometry, etc. When you look for running shoes, select the one where your foot can move comfortably with enough support from the shoe.
Is It OK to Run with Different Running Shoes?
Yes, it’s completely okay to run with different running shoes. When you get used to wearing running shoes with varying heel-toe drops, your body gets to work in a slightly different way with every run, and you’re less likely to get injured. Also, if you wear different shoes on different days, you can prevent muscle, ligament, and bone overloading.
How Do You Break in New Running Shoes?
It may take you two to three weeks to break in your new running shoes. The duration depends on how frequently you wear them, the shoe type, and the way you break them in. The best way to break in running shoes includes going for several walks, then for a short run, and finally wearing the shoes with thick socks on.
Are Sneakers Good for Running?
Ideally, you shouldn’t wear sneakers for running, especially for long-distance runs. The midsole sneaker cushioning isn’t made to support strong impact from the ground while running. Instead, sneakers are better suited for walking, gym, or sports.
Should Running Shoes Be a Size Bigger?
The foot naturally expands when running long distances due to increased blood flow. For this reason, it makes sense to provide your feet with a bit of extra space (no more than a thumb’s width) between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. This equals to around a half-size bigger shoes than the ones you typically get.
Do I Want Running Shoes Tight or Loose?
The perfectly fitting shoe for running needs to feel snug in the midfoot and heel with some room around the toes. This means the shoe shouldn’t be too tight around the foot, nor so loose that the heels pop out from the back. Ideally, you should find your own happy medium in terms of snugness.
All shoes that have made it on today’s list are worth trying for runners of all ages and types. However, some models stand out from the competition.
For women, that has to be the ASICS Women’s GT-2000 9 for its incredibly comfortable design and durable carbon rubber outsole.
For men, the winner is yet again ASICS, with its Gel-Venture 8 model that’s an exceptional shoe for outdoor running on all terrains. And if you’re looking for a more universal running shoe you can also take to the gym, we recommend Under Armour’s Charged Assert 9 for both men and women.