Running shoe choice, like Art, is subjective. There is no one best shoe fits all.
And unlike buying Art once-off, you’ll be coughing up those “beaucoup bucks” every 300-500 miles! So you want to get it right.
Fortunately for you, we’ve narrowed down the options. Here we’ll look at the top brands, shoe categories, and other helpful information. All you have to do is choose. It’ll be a walk in the park. Get your running socks…and your wallet!
Top five running shoe brands with their lineups (in no particular order)
A brand over a century old definitely gets the title of knowing what they’re talking about. Not only that, they have shoes for casual and serious runners. This is because their shoes are durable and comfortable.
They even have shoes for walkers. Never mind boots made for walking. You get a pair! You get a pair! EVERYBODY gets a pair!
Brooks is rated as the number one running shoe to own based on user reviews. Oh, and by the way – not a single Brooks running shoe has less than three out of five stars on any review. What are you waiting for?
Feast your eyes on our leading lineup of shoe matches made in heaven! Well, no. Probably, more accurately made in a factory somewhere, but FEAST nevertheless!
- Daily training: Brooks Ghost 14 – Great fit, great comfort cushioning for your daily slog.
- Trail running: Brooks Catamount – High performance in all environments and built for speed. I feel the need, the need for speed.
- Distance training: Brooks Glycerin 19 – Comfort that goes the distance, like running on sunshine.
This brand is the High School all-star of running shoes. It’s cool, stylish, gets top marks in class and everyone wants to be its friend. ASICS is the go-to running shoe for foot support.
The team at ASICS is designing running shoes for things you didn’t even know you needed to know. Like, what foot-striker are you? Do you want responsiveness in your shoe? Did the Interflora guy run in his birthday suit with wings at his heels?
DID YOU KNOW? Akshay Kumar (famous Bollywood superstar) kicks butt and takes names wearing his trademark Onitsuka Tiger shoes. These shoes are one of ASICS sports shoe brands. Effortless, stylish athleisure wear. I told you ASICS is cool.
Are you ready? Are you ready for this? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat?! (Cue guitar riff) Another one bites the dust!
- Daily training: ASICS Gel Cumulus 23 – The versatile workhorse for various runs.
- Tempo training: ASICS EvoRide 2 – Almost does your running for you with its forward-propelling Guidesole rocker geometry.
- Racing: ASICS Metaracer – Fatigue destruction and increased runner efficiency for the long-distance runner in you!
The official running shoe brand of IRONMAN Europe and North America. Whoah. I mean, are you even a triathlete if you don’t run in a pair of HOKA’s? (*Gasp* did I just say that out loud?).
It’s the cushioning; that’s what it is. It’s like having the “Princess and the Pea” bed for your feet! The lightweight cushioned midsole and closeness to human foot shape is the rage for this shoe brand.
This cushion has accurate science technology designed to help with shock absorption, joint protection, and injury prevention. This technology is crucial if you’re looking to do ultras. Or triathlons. Or even if you’re just starting out.
HOKA is a solid, never-look-back choice for any runner.
Anti-chafe cream in all the cracks? Tri-gear on?
Right! Pumped-up kicks, here we come!
- Tempo Training: HOKA ONE ONE Rincon 3 – Firm and lightweight for any kind of runner and any run.
- Trail running: HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4 – Running shoes that laugh in the face of trails, thumb their nose in the general direction of hazards, and keep you low-flying as the name suggests.
- Daily training: HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 3 – Shoes for running all the miles. Smoothly.
Ah, the good old-fashioned American grit of running shoes. New Balance has been pushing the boundaries of running shoe design since 1906, when they started out.
Remember the “Trackster”? Me neither. New Balance designed them in 1960. It was the world’s first running shoe with a ripple sole and the first-ever running shoe to come in various widths.
That’s just it. New Balance is at the forefront of everything. They’re sponsoring athletes and teams. They’re designing shoes for elites and amateurs. Their unique Fresh Foam midsole and their completely customizable sizing options are what set them apart.
No foot is too wide or narrow. All are welcome here. New Balance sees you. New Balance has the answers.
Trample the weak. Hurdle the dead—your daily dose of running wisdom from Attila the Hun; in a Zombie Apocalypse. You’ll need a shoe that fits you perfectly and looks great too.
- Daily training: New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 – The “do it all” running shoe has something for everyone.
- Trail running: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6 – Rugged foot-hugging beauties with superior grip for easy-pleasy zombie trail running.
- Racing: New Balance FuelCell RC Elite – Full-length carbon-fiber plate. Ooh. It is propelling you forward, making you efficient. Making the Terminator wish he could run like you.
In 2019, Kenyan Olympic runner; Eliud Kipchoge (hailed as the most excellent marathon runner of all time, well – that we know of since the Ancient Greeks didn’t have the internet); broke the world marathon record by running it in UNDER TWO HOURS.
He was wearing Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Flyknit running shoes. Clearly, the name does not do for your mouth what the shoes do for your feet. Get done quickly. Why am I telling you this?
Because Nike lives by their own commandment, they do “Just do it.” They just keep doing what they do best: design a better running shoe. The primary benefit of their running shoes is the comfort and energy return.
Now you, too, can feel like an Olympian.
- Best value for money: Nike Air Zoom Winflo 7 – all the tech from the “uptown” side of the family on a budget of the “downtown” runner.
- Trail running: Nike Air Zoom Structure 23 – Best structure in its class. Run that trail like you were born just to do it.
- Racing: Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit – Delivering propulsive power directly to your feet. Why run when your shoes can do it for you?
FUN FACT: You can run a marathon in the desert, at the North Pole, or even around Mount Everest! But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
And there you have it! Running shoe choosing is subjective like Art, but also science. Think Leonardo Da Vinci and his helicopter.
So remember! The second most important thing to choosing the right running shoe is choosing the left one. Just choose already and get running.