For serious runners, choosing a pair of running shoes can’t be handled casually. Since you will spend many hours training with them, they must fit you perfectly and remain comfortable till you take them off. They should also help you to reduce injuries, be adapted to your foot characteristics, be suitable for the kind of surface you are running on, and help you to achieve your fitness goals.
If you have any condition like shin splints, high arch, plantar fasciitis or excessive pronation, buy shoes that will help your condition. Be sure to choose a shoe that will reduce pain and help you to prevent further injuries to your leg and foot.
Top Running Shoes For Men And Women
- Top Running Shoes For Men And Women
- Best Running Shoes By Type
- Best Running Shoes By Brand
- Buying Guide
- Understand the Basic Features Of Running Shoes
Best Running Shoes By Type
Merrell Trail Glove 3
The Merrell Trail Glove 3 provides minimalist runners with a durable barefoot running shoe. It allows you to have a good feel of the trail and it enhances your speed. The third edition offers a more breathable shoe with an attractive sneaker-like look.
In the upper unit, Merrell uses durable air mesh material to provide excellent air flow. It ensures that your foot is properly ventilated during long distance running. The lacing system is very secure and prevents debris from getting into the shoe. To prevent odor from building up in the shoe, its non-removable foot bed has been treated with Merrell’s M-Select Fresh odor control, which also has anti-microbial properties.
The midsole has been upgraded with 4mm compression molded EVA foam, which provides durable cushioning. Although it is a lightweight material, it delivers impressive shock absorption and it is more responsive than its predecessor. Trail Glove 3 has a zero drop from heel to toe which means it is a flat minimalist shoe that is designed for neutral runners.
Merrell uses the well known Vibram Outsole TC1. This multi-sectioned outsole is designed to provide superb grip on both wet and dry surfaces. Coupled with its ability to provide good ground contact, this flexible material also offers improved speed and performance. In addition, the TrailProtect technology embedded in the outsole protects your foot against sharp objects.
Brooks Beast 16
Brooks Beast 16 is a motion control shoe designed to meet the needs of runners who need support and stability. lt has a well-cushioned midsole for optimum responsiveness. Its comfortable interior and attractive upper design make it ideal for both daily training and gym workouts.
In the upper unit, the Element Mesh provides sufficient ventilation and wicks out sweat to cool the foot. Seamless synthetic overlays work in tandem with the lacing system to keep your foot secure. However, the foot chamber and color scheme have been redesigned to fit masculine feet. In the interior, the Element Lining technology provides a comfortable environment for the foot and helps to prevent odor.
Brooks uses the Super DNA material in the midsole because it is their best cushioning system. Shortly after you put your foot into the shoe, the Super DNA material conforms to your foot’s shape. To correct over-pronation, a triple density foam helps the foot to attain a stable gait while running or walking. The DRB Accel technology has also been added to decrease underfoot muscle strain and reduce fatigue.
In the outsole, a combination of materials have been arranged to deliver optimum durability and motion control. MC Pod configuration guarantees that your foot rests on a supportive, stable and comfortable platform. HPR Plus rubber at the heel section of the outsole provides high abrasion resistance and excellent surface traction. HPR Green offers skid-resistance and good traction on both wet and dry surfaces while Flextra enhances the flexibility of the sole.
Salomon X-Tour is a well cushioned road running shoe, which provides a good blend of comfort, arch support and protection. It is a great shoe for athletes who want provide support for their Achilles tendon and engage in either long or short distance running.
The upper unit provides good ventilation and support for the foot through the breathable mesh and seamless synthetic overlays. The synthetic overlays keep the foot stable in the midsection. The Ortholite Sockliner provides moisture wicking functions and its anti-microbial properties help to keep the shoe free of germs and odor. At the heel section, the newly added suede material keeps the feet stable while allowing a little more flexibility.
In the midsole, Salomon has placed two high quality EVA foam materials. Just above the rubber of the outsole, you can find the injection molded EVA or IMEVA. This EVA foam gives protection and shock absorption to increase the responsiveness of the shoe. On top of this layer, there’s the second EVA foam, which is softer and more comfortable. It provides durable cushioning for your foot while running.
Salomon changed the lugs of this shoe in its second edition. It replaced the aggressive Chevron lugs with redesigned small pentagon lugs. This new design is more comfortable for runners with achilles tendonitis and it allows you to shift from the road to a light trail easily. The bulk of the outsole is made of the well known Contagrip rubber compound that offers impressive grip on various types of surfaces and terrain. To provide better flexibility and stability, Salomon has added flex grooves in the forefoot.
Saucony Omni 15
Saucony Omni 15 is one of the best running shoes for people with flat feet. It provides great support for the feet and gives stability whether you are running or walking. The arch support prevents users from straying off during the gait cycle. Its upper unit and sole have been overhauled to give more ventilation and support. It has a relatively light weight so you don’t feel overwhelmed by its cushioning.
In the Saucony Omni 15 upper section, a combination of breathable air mesh and welded and stitched overlays offer excellent air flow, adequate dryness, and a snug fit. The welded overlay called FlexiFilm is a lightweight material that gives the upper unit a durable structure and ensures flexibility and security for the foot. The Sauc-Fit system stretches along with the lacing system and helps to provide a perfect fit as you loosen or tighten the shoe laces. It also helps to keep your heel and mid-foot stable.
In the midsole, a very responsive foam called Everun runs through the whole length of the shoe. This gives superior cushioning to the foot and reduces the impact of shock when you land or lift your foot. To help you correct over-pronation, Saucony has placed a medial post in the midsole so your gait can be balanced and properly supported.
The outsole has a durable rubber compound called XT-900 This material delivers impressive traction and protects the midsole from wear due to abrasion. To improve flexibility, a Tri-Flex design was introduced in the outsole by Saucony. It has flex grooves in the forefoot and it makes the entire sole move with the natural movement of your foot. It also optimizes the traction and grip of the shoe while providing good ground contact.
Mizuno Wave Creation 18
In the upper section of the Mizuno Wave Creation 18, a double-layer mesh material provides good air flow and keeps your foot dry. It also makes the shoe more durable. At the mid-foot section, stitched overlays give the shoe a beautiful appearance and keep the foot secure while providing a snug fit. Mizuno added Dynamotion Fit technology to the heel collar and forefoot to offer extra comfort without affecting durability. Also the anti-microbial sock liner will help your wide foot to stay fresh and odorless.
The midsole of the Wave Creation has an elastic material called Infinity Wave. It has a peculiar figure-eight shape and it enhances your energy efficiency by storing and returning some of the energy you expend after you land. The U4ic cushioning foam absorbs shock and also provides optimum responsiveness. An Intercool ventilation system allows air to come in through the midsole to your foot to keep it ventilated and dry.
In the outsole, the X10 carbon rubber material is used to reinforce the sole at the forefoot and heel. This durable material is wear resistant and it improves surface traction. Mizuno also added flex grooves to the forefoot to deliver a better toe-off and increase the flexibility of the shoe. Runners with wide feet will also appreciate the unique design that provides more support at the mid-foot section.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 10
The 10th edition of the popular Mizuno Wave Inspire shoe is unique because it offers amazing stability and it is extremely light. In fact, it weighs less than 10 ounces. It also has a very flexible forefoot. So if you have to run for many miles daily, you will appreciate the stability and comfort it offers without any unwanted weight.
The upper unit is made of lightweight mesh, with mostly welded overlays and very few stitches. This gives your foot a snug and secure fit without any irritation. To provide more stability, the mesh used on this shoe is a bit sturdier than what you will find on other Mizuno shoes. At the rear, the heel counter is durable and strong with more foam added to it. To provide more comfort and freedom for your toes, the shoes has a relatively wide toe box.
In the midsole, Mizuno upgraded the old double foam layer. Now you have one main material that makes the shoe lighter and gives a more stable feeling underfoot. Mizuno replaced the AP+ foam with the superior U4ic foam that gives strength, durability and comfort. It is also extraordinarily light and it provides impressive cushioning and responsiveness.
The design of the outsole provides excellent support for runners who frequently experience shin splints. The Smooth Ride system now offers an excellent heel to toe transition. Instead of the tabs used in the previous version, the outsole has a bevel round the midsole. This creates a rather smooth curve so when you run on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt, you can have a smoother pronation and feel less pain in your shin.
Saucony Cohesion 9
The support and comfort offered by Saucony Cohesion 9 is hard to beat. Every part of the shoe including the thick outsole and flex grooves at the forefoot make the shoe more responsive and supportive. It also supports a wider variety of runners including those that need arch support.
The attractive upper unit consists of durable mesh material that offers superb ventilation and comfort. To reduce restrictions around the foot, the synthetic overlays have been connected directly to its lacing system. These overlays are thinner and lighter but they still give you the secure snug fit to keep your foot stable while running. At the heel collar and tongue, a lot of cushioning has been added to hold your foot without causing irritation.
Saucony placed a full-length injection molded EVA foam in the midsole section. This foam offers good shock absorption so that you feel less pain in your arch when you land. It also offers durable cushioning and comfort. At the rear of the shoe, the Heel Grid technology holds up your foot and prevents injury. The additional cushioning at the heel helps your heel, which is already strained by high arches, to carry the weight of your body. You also have the option to include an OrthoLite insole to replace the original one and get better arch support.
New Balance 1260
The New Balance 1260 was created to help mild to severe over pronators run with confidence and comfort. It provides plush cushioning, ample support, stability and motion control for users. The shoe may be used for both long and short distance running.
In addition to being very attractive, the upper unit of the New Balance 1260 is breathable and comfortable. The open mesh material can be found on the entire upper section where it is combined with light synthetic overlays. New Balance uses the FantomFit technology to create a stable upper design that fits your foot like a glove. The well padded heel counter and tongue keep your foot secure and comfortable. You can also replace the removable insole with one that provides more support and stability.
The midsole has a compound called Acteva Lite. This material weighs close to 25% less than normal EVA. It stretches from the heel to the forefoot and gives your foot a better heel to toe transition. It also offers good shock absorbing features. At the heel and forefoot, a nitrogen induced cushioning material, called N2, is included while the Dual Density post provides stability at the arch of the foot. The T-Beam provides torsional stability for the whole shoe.
The outsole is composed of blown rubber to give additional cushioning and improved traction. To increase the durability in areas subject to quicker wear, New Balance has added the Ndurance carbon rubber compound. You can find this at the lateral side and the heel of the shoe.
Salomon SpeedCross 4
Salomon SpeedCross 4 is well known for its superb traction on different trail surfaces, aggressive lugs, durable outsole, and great performance. Designed for the experienced trail runner, this shoe offers good grip when climbing mountains, inclined rocks, gravel and various kinds of wet or slippery surfaces.
In the upper unit, the SensiFit system provides superb fit, breathability and comfort. This system combines stitched mid-foot overlays and the anti-debris mesh which permits airflow, but it does not allow dirt to come into the foot chamber. With the QuickLace system and the synthetic overlays, the shoe holds your foot firmly in place. The lacing system provides a quick way to get the best fit by tugging it and it remains in place from the beginning of your training till you take the shoe off. To keep the shoe free of odor, it has an Ortholite sock liner with anti-microbial and quick drying properties.
The midsole of this shoe is basically a thick piece of molded EVA foam. This foam serves as the main source of cushioning for the shoe and it helps to protect you against the impact of very rough surfaces and pointed objects. Since the same material covers the midsole, it increases responsiveness and helps you to have a good heel to toe transition.
Salomon’s Contagrip rubber is the main component of the outsole. It delivers impressive traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The 6mm lugs, which are shaped like arrows, give you solid grip on virtually any terrain. The arrangement of the lugs enhances multi-dimensional grip and protects your foot against the pointed objects you will frequently find on trails.
Saucony Kinvara 7
Saucony Kinvara 7 is a great road running shoe that is loved by both beginners and experienced runners. It has a thick outsole that offers support, comfort and cushioning to runners who need to keep training even after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Its lightweight design helps you to run for many miles without experiencing a drop in performance.
In the seventh edition of the Kinvara, Saucony updated the upper unit with a seamless design. This makes it more durable than its predecessors. The Flex Film overlay has now been added to the breathable mesh to give you a glove-like fit. So for each stride, your feet feel very secure. To keep your foot dry, it has the Rundry Collar Lining located on the tongue and heel collar. It’s moisture wicking features will keep the foot dry and cool.
The midsole of this shoe now has the Everun Heel Insert. This technology provides high energy efficiency and helps you to enjoy better shock absorption and cushioning. To provide plush cushioning without making the shoe very heavy, Saucony has added the light and soft SSL EVA. This foam offers you a rebound and responsiveness that places less strain on your ligaments.
Saucony’s XT-900 compound is the main component of the outsole unit. This durable carbon rubber material gives you good traction and grip on diverse kinds of surfaces. To improve ground contact and flexibility, Kinvara 7 also has the Tri-Flex Design. This outsole very is durable and it can withstand wear and abrasion after running for many miles.
Best Running Shoes By Brand
Selecting the best pair of running shoes requires a lot of knowledge about your foot, how you run, and how you intend to use the shoes. In thsi short guide to choosing running shoes, you will discover the steps required to pick a shoe that will provide optimum comfort and performance.
Know Your Foot Characteristics
For your running shoes to fit you perfectly, you need to know the type of foot you have. Start with the standard size, know your foot length, width, and your type of foot arch. Compare the measurements of your foot length and width with the dimensions in any standard running shoe size chart to know if you have normal, narrow or wide feet.
Take a water test to know the type of arch you have. Your arch could be either high, medium or flat. If you have a high arch, you will need shoes that can support your heel and the balls of your feet. Flat footed runners will however require running shoes with adequate arch support in the midsole.
Discover Your Style of Running
To prevent injuries from regular running, you need to know how you land when you run. Basically you should focus on pronation, the rolling of your feet inwards or outwards, and how you strike the ground. You can detect your pronation by looking at the heel of your shoes to discover where the wear takes place.
You should also find out if you land with your foot or your heels. Most beginners land with their heels so they will need more heel-to-toe height in their running shoes than experienced runners who can buy flat minimalist shoes. If you over pronate, you should opt for stability shoes or motion control shoes that will help you stabilize your gait and reduce your pronation.
Where Will You Be Running?
You should know whether you will be running on the road, track, gym floor or trail. Running shoes are basically divided into two: road runners and trail runners. Some trail runners are suitable for all kinds of off road terrain, including wet and dry surfaces, while some are only good on light trails. Note that road runners should not be used to run on trails.
How Long Will You Run?
Some running shoes are suitable for daily training for one or two hours while others are suitable for running races. So you should know whether you will be using your shoes for half marathons, cross country races, short sprints, or for jogging every morning. If you will run for many hours, your running shoes must have good ventilation and cushioning to keep your foot comfortable.
Do You Have Any Injuries?
If you have had injuries on your legs or feet within the past one year, you may not have recovered completely. Even if your doctor or physiotherapist gives you a clean bill of health, you should take precautions when buying running shoes. If you have had conditions like plantar fasciitis, shin splints or Achilles tendinitis, you should buy a shoe that will provide adequate support and reduce any pain caused by these conditions.
Try Out the Shoes for Some Days
The best way to know if a shoe is right for you is to try them out and run with them for some days. This is important whether you order for your shoes online or buy them from a local sports gear shop. Normally, shoes will come with a short return period. So take advantage of it and make sure you test the shoe before you decide to keep it.
Understand the Basic Features Of Running Shoes
Most running shoes are divided into three parts: the upper unit, the midsole and the outsole. The upper unit is the part of the shoe you can see outside apart from the base of the shoe called the outsole. Its main function is to help you have a snug fit and give you a comfortable run by providing adequate ventilation for your foot.
The midsole is the cushioned layer within the shoe. It is not visible from the outside. But it determines many features of shoes including support, stability, comfort, arch and heel support, energy efficiency, responsiveness and shock absorption. The outsole gives you good grip and traction and protects your foot from injuries. It must be durable enough to withstand wear and abrasion when you run on the road or on a trail.
With these tips, you should be able to get a shoe that is suitable for your foot. Always bear in mind that comfort and fit are the most vital features to look for when buying running shoes.