One of the simplest, cheapest and most effective forms of exercise is running. It can be undertaken just about anywhere, and as it doesn’t normally require any special or expensive pieces of equipment, it is a fun activity that anyone can pursue.
While it may not need equipment such as a bat, ball or club, if you want to run safely and comfortably you should wear the best shoes for running that you possibly can. In this article, we’ll review five of the best running shoes from five different manufacturers, plus give you additional information to help you make an informed choice.
Best Shoes for Running Reviews
1. Asics Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
The first running shoe we are going to look at is the Asics Gel Venture 6, which is one of their best sellers, and a product that has a lot of positive feedback.
The first point we need to make about these running shoes is the breathable material. As any runner will know, overheating feet is the last thing you want when pounding around the track, street or park. With the breathable material, your feet will be able to stay cool for longer.
For enhanced comfort, the shoes have a padded collar, the lining is made from a soft material, and the tongue is cushioned so that the top, sides, and base of your foot all benefit. The sock liner is removable, so that it can be washed, or you can choose to replace it with a custom sock liner.
The upper is made from a mesh material, which has synthetic overlays, to provide the correct balance between flexibility and stability. Underfoot you benefit from Asics incorporating their ‘Rearfoot’ GEL cushioning system, which helps to minimize the impact each time your foot hits the ground.
Having good grip underfoot is essential component of many aspects of running, including safety, and comfort. Asics use their brand registered high abrasion rubber outsole on this shoe which provides excellent grip and traction, on both smooth surfaces, and rugged terrain.
This running shoe is available in multiple sizes, and there are several color choices too. These include black, blue, red, and gray plus these can come with several different trim colors.
What's to like about the Asics Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
Good grip is essential when running and it can be the difference between a safe run, or one which ends with you slipping and injuring yourself. This why we love the enhanced grip on these running shoes.
What's not to like about the Asics Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
It has been noted by several wearers of these running shoes that the lace eyelets are not as strong as they might be, and sometimes one will break long before the shoes ever need replacing.
2. Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes
Our next running shoe comes from Brooks Sports who have over 100 years’ experience in manufacturing sports equipment, with the ‘Adrenaline GTS’ one of its most popular and successful products ever.
If you were wondering what the ‘GTS’ stands for in ‘Adrenaline GTS’, it is ‘go-to-shoe,’ and this seems appropriate, given the huge popularity of this running footwear since it was first released in 1994. In fact, it is one of the highest selling shoes for running that has ever been produced.
The sole of this running shoe has excellent grip is particularly secure when running on roads and other hard surfaces. Obviously, these surfaces mean that impact underfoot is a bit harsher than if running on soft surfaces like grass, but thanks to enhanced cushioning within the shoe, this is minimized.
What also helps is the flexibility of the sole which allows for the transfer of pressure from your heel to your toe area to be achieved seamlessly and ensures a secure platform for every stride you take.
The DNA midsole cushioning has the very unusual name of BIOMoGo but regardless, it is an effective feature which provides further support and comfort as each foot lands.
For the upper, Brooks have used engineered mesh, which has two main benefits. The first is to provide a snug and comfortable fit, and the second is to streamline the surface of the shoe so that it generates minimum resistance when you are running.
What's to like about the Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes
Whether you are running a slow jog, or at a faster pace, the less resistance the better, therefore the streamlining features of the upper are a great benefit to anyone running in these.
What's not to like about the Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes
As is often the case with sports shoes, the sizes for the Brooks running shoes tend to be a bit smaller than that quoted so you may have to go one size up for them to fit, especially if you have wider feet.
3. Nike Women’s 898476 Low-Top Sneakers
Although not branded as running shoes, these women’s sneakers are so lightweight that they are ideal footwear for light and medium running, including jogging.
It is well-known among runners, both amateur and professional, that the more lightweight your running shoes are the better. These sports shoes from Nike, weigh just 12 ounces, so if anything holds you back when running it will not be your footwear if you are wearing these on your feet. They also have a very simple, and therefore streamlined design which is another benefit when running.
The synthetic upper is a single layer, and it is a meshed material which provides an excellent level of flexibility and makes running in them more comfortable. This material is also breathable which helps keep your feet cool when running in them.
The tongue and the collar are both padded to provide further comfort and a degree of protection in the rare event that something should come into contact with your shoe. Continuing with this cushioning theme you also have a foam insole which acts as a shock absorber for your feet on each step that you take.
Underfoot, you have a rubber sole, which not only provides a high level of grip on most surfaces you are likely to run on, but its flexibility ensures that you never feel hindered when bending your foot.
The last point we should highlight about the Nike Women’s Sneakers is the vast color selection that you have. There are over forty of them, with some of the options including black, white, pink, orange, blue, and gray.
What's to like about the Nike Women’s 898476 Low-Top Sneakers
As we have just mentioned, the number of choices you have with regards to colors is incredible. We are struggling to think of any other sports footwear we have reviewed with more options and are certain there will be at least one that will suit each individual.
What's not to like about the Nike Women’s 898476 Low-Top Sneakers
These running shoes have a very narrow fit, and while that is understandable for women’s sports shoes, it means any women with wide feet will not be able to benefit from these.
4. Puma Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoes
Puma has been manufacturers of sports footwear for 70 years, and their Tazon 6 running shoes are one of their most popular products so our expectations were high in terms of what they would offer runners.
We’ll start with the Tazon 6’s sole which has one the most distinctive grip patterns of all the running shoes we have reviewed. The sole is made from rubber which adds to that grip and therefore gives runners the option of running on different surfaces, and in various conditions such as wet or dry.
The heel section provides runners with a very high level of shock absorption in this crucial area, thanks to the EVA heel pod, and enhanced cushioning.
Moving to the other extreme of the foot, the toe section in these Puma running shoes is certainly worth mentioning. This section is reinforced with a ‘T’ section, and this in conjunction with the lace closure, ensures a snug and secure fit.
The sock liner and upper materials provide several benefits which include their breathability so that your feet do not overheat, even when running in the intense heat. The perforations also add to the overall styling of the sports shoes.
The sock liner is also extremely comfortable due to having a soft, foam which gives your feet as close to a feeling of walking on a plush carpet as it is possible for a running shoe to do.
Puma’s Tazon 6 FM running shoes can be purchased in many sizes, and there are three color options which are black/silver, white/black/silver and white/silver.
What's to like about the Puma Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoes
The heel section of these Puma running shoes is one of the most supportive you will find, and it acts as an excellent shock absorber for your heel when you are running in them.
What's not to like about the Puma Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoes
While having such durable materials will boost the longevity of these running shoes, it comes at the cost of them being very stiff when new, therefore they may require a period of breaking in.
5. Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoes
Any consideration of sports footwear would not be complete without at least one offering from sports giant Adidas, so their very distinctive Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoes are our final review.
One of the most popular aspects of these running shoes from Adidas is their very simplistic design, and it is easy to see why that would be the case. Unlike many sports shoes which have multiple layers and trims, these have a simpler but very appealing design.
The sole which is all-important when you are running is made from synthetic materials and has a very simple, but effective grip pattern. The effect of this sole in combination with the cushioned midsole is to give runners an extremely soft landing with each running pace they take.
Adding to the levels of comfort is sock liner, which is very lightweight and provides additional cushioning for the wearer’s feet. The memory foam which has been used to make this sock liner also ensures that it molds perfectly to the shape of each foot for maximum comfort and support.
The mesh upper is stretchable and the fact that it is breathable will help keep feet cool in hot conditions. This upper also adds to the flexibility of these running shoes which will ensure that when you are running in them your feet should not experience any pressure points.
Although the design is simple, there are several color and trim choices available to you. There are old favorites such as gray, white and black, but other options like maroon, and great variations in terms of the different shades you can choose from too.
What's to like about the Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoes
These running shoes are as appealing in terms of how they look, as they are in how effective they are as sports footwear. The simple styling and choices of colors and shades make these running shoes visually very attractive.
What's not to like about the Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoes
For once we don’t have an issue with sizes being small, but instead, with these running shoes, they are bigger than the stated size. This may mean having to wear thicker socks for some runners.
While our reviews give you the good and bad points on these running shoes, there are some specific features which we believe you may want to consider before making your choice.
These key features will have varying importance to each individual buyer, but from our experience of reviewing running shoes, these are some which most buyers have a very keen interest in knowing a bit more about.
Whether the sport is running, horse racing or Formula 1, the consensus is that the lighter something is the faster it will be. With running shoes, you are going to find some differences between each product, with the average weight across all brands being about 9.5 ounces per shoe.
Unless you are running competitively this should not be too much of an issue, but it will do no harm for you to check the weight of any running shoes you are considering just in case they are considerably heavier than the others.
There have been several published studies and reports relating what, if any, differences there are between running shoes which have either a high or low heel to toe height difference. You may have seen this referred to as the shoe’s ‘drop’ or HTT drop which simply stands for ‘heel-to-toe drop.’
The HTT drop can vary quite significantly between different brands and products with it ranging from zero up to 12 millimeters. Studies show that the drop has no significant influence in terms of injury rates, however, it may need to be considered if the person who’ll be wearing them has a history of injuries.
In general, a low drop is considered more suitable if you suffer from knee problems, and a higher drop is recommended if any injuries have occurred in the lower leg, such as the ankle, Achilles tendon or calf muscle.
Drop cushioning is the term which refers to the cushioning within the insole of a running shoe that creates the drop, which we defined in the previous key feature. Where a running shoe is designed to have a high drop of up to 12 millimeters, the cushioning in the heel area will be much thicker than the rest of the insole.
At the other end of the scale, you have running shoes with zero drop, that are sometimes referred to as ‘barefoot’ running shoes. This because your foot sits almost flat when these running shoes are being worn.
Whilst the term stability can mean many things when it comes to the world of sport and exercise, it is the case that there is a category within this one that is called ‘stability running shoes.’
If a running shoe is described as ‘stability’ it means it has certain features which are particularly designed for runners who overpronate. Overpronation describes the action of your foot rolling inwards when you are running, and it can lead to several problems, with the most common being injuries to your ankle or shin.
Stability running shoes will have design features built into them which allow for better alignment and smoother transition from your heel to your toe on each step.
As you may have gathered from reading our running shoe reviews each of the brands whose products we have highlighted are significant players in the sports equipment, clothing and footwear marketplace. Each of the five, Asics, Nike, Adidas, Puma and Brooks, can be regarded as some of the largest and most popular sportswear companies in the world, and this applies to their ranges of running shoes too.
To suggest which one is top would be unfair as each of them will have advantages and disadvantages depending on what aspects of them you are comparing. Suffice to say that any product, including running shoes from any of these five brands, has a multi-billion dollar operation behind them in terms of research, and manufacturing.
Best Shoes for Running FAQ
What should I look for in running shoes?
There is one thing to look for which is the most important, and that is to make sure they are suitable for your feet with regard to how you run. The term for this is pronation, which is how the ball of your foot, your toes, and your heel land with each step you take. You can discover this by looking at the wear pattern on the soles of any shoes you wear. By ensuring you buy running shoes that are suitable for your pronation, can help you avoid several strains and other injuries.
What are running shoes made of?
Here are the component parts of a running shoes and the most common materials used for each one.
Materials range from leather at the heavy end of the scale, or lightweight synthetics at the other, which is often in the form of a mesh.
This will be made polyurethane and/or an EVA material where durability is required.
Likely to be rubber whose type will vary between carbon rubber where durability is required or blown rubber for very lightweight running shoes.
How are running shoes supposed to fit?
There are three things to check to ensure your running shoes fit properly
- No, or very little slippage in the heel area.
- In the midfoot area the shoe should feel secure, without being uncomfortable.
- From the front of the shoe to your longest toe, there should be a thumb’s width of wiggle room.
What are neutral running shoes?
Neutral running shoes are best suited to runners whose foot does not roll outwards or inwards when they run. They can also be used by those who have a slightly high arch or have flat feet. These shoes have heel support and tend to be very flexible with cushioning to make them comfortable, and they tend to have less extra material on the outer sides of the shoe.
How often should you replace running shoes?
To answer this question, it is not necessarily going to be how long in terms of time you’ve had your running shoes, but how many miles you have ran in them. Normally, you should consider replacing your running shoes every 300 miles, although the quality of materials, and the terrain you run on will influence that up or down, with 500 miles a possibility with some top quality running shoes.
While we are happy to recommend all 5 of these running shoes to you, we always like to select the one which we feel is our No. 1 choice. In this case, our best shoes for running are the Puma Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoes.
These running shoes are extremely comfortable and have many features which prove they are built to last, including the T-toe construction. They have a breathable sock liner to keep your feet cool, and a cushioned midsole to both reduce impacts as you run.
Those two elements of comfort and durability are incredibly important when it comes to running shoes, and these Puma Tazon 6’s have them in a big way.