Running Shoes: A Buyer’s Guide

Running Shoes: A Buyer’s Guide

Finding the best running shoes can be difficult. There are hundreds of style to choose from, and many offer very different experiences.

When you’re looking for your first (or next) pair of shoes, it’s important to know there is no one best shoe for everyone. What makes a shoe the best running shoe for you depends on many different factors: foot width, arch height, your weight and unique gait all play a role.

Choosing the best running shoes for you involves considering your training, preferred running surface and current fitness level—and let’s not forget your style, either. New runners might prefer a more structured and cushioned shoe compared to someone who is looking to ramp up their speed with a highly responsive shoe. Trail runners often look for a shoe with more grip than the average road shoe, and track stars need spikes built for speed.

Best Running Shoes By Brand​

Every major brand makes excellent running shoes for all different occasions. So, if you’re devoted to Brooks or loyal to New Balance, you can find the right pair of shoes for the right situations.

But just like there’s no one best shoe, there’s also no one best brand for every runner. Each brand has its own designs and technologies; what works for your friend might not work for you, so it’s important to know what makes each brand unique to make an informed decision.

Need a high-cushion everyday trainer? Looking for a light and fast racing flat? Check out the best running shoe brands and all the shoes they make.

Here are the best running shoe brands:

What to Look For in Running Shoes

There are plenty of things that make running shoes good. High quality materials last longer than cheap stuff; attention to small details, like stitching, helps make running shoes more comfortable; and technical fabrics make shoes more breathable.

But everyone’s feet are different—not to mention their weight, footstrike, gait pattern and pronation. Just because they’re good shoes doesn’t mean they’re the right shoes for you.

Other things to consider when you’re buying running shoes are your foot shape, the level of support you need, how much cushion you want and how you want the shoes to look.

In short: There isn’t one best pair of running shoes for everyone. But there is a pair of shoes that will give you a comfortable running experience.

Finding the right running shoes for you comes down to a combination of comfort, performance and price. Here are the first three questions you should answer to narrow down your search:

  1. How many miles per week do you currently run?
  2. What are your running or walking goals?
  3. How much money are you willing to spend?

Whether you’re a new runner looking for a comfortable pair of shoes to get started or you’re a veteran marathoner chasing PRs, there’s a perfect pair of running shoes for you. This Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide will help you pick the right running shoes.

How We Chose the Best Running Shoes

We consider several factors when choosing the best running shoes. From ensuring we judge shoes according to their intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the best running shoes in each category:

  • Purpose. Comparing apples to apples
  • Performance. How well does it do its job?
  • Real-world testing. We put them to the test on real runs
  • Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
  • Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason
  • Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it
  • Designer interviews. We ask the people who made it

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