Best Running Shoes 2024

May 22, 2023
  • Sydney Kaiser
    Product Reviewer, Content Writer, Certified Personal Trainer

*TreadmillReviewGuru helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.

Running shoes literally come in all shapes and sizes. While this is great because everyone’s feet are different, it can make it difficult to find the best running shoes that work for you. Running shoes are completely subjective and what works for one person, might not work for another. With that said, we spend a lot of time running here at Treadmill Review Guru, and we’ve created this list to help you find a great pair of running shoes for whatever type of running you like. Each of the following running shoes has earned an award to highlight what they’re best for, to help you narrow down your search.

Best Running Shoes 2024

Why You Should Trust Us

Running comes with the territory of testing treadmills. We spend time on each treadmill’s belt, so we can create a thorough review to help give you insight into which machine you should buy. In addition to treadmill running, we also compete in races like half marathons and spend time hitting the pavement and trails. Between all of our reviewers, we each have preferences on which type of running shoes we like. We’ve compiled this list of the best running shoes that we think consumers should consider based on our research and personal experiences.

Our Picks Of The Best Running Shoes For 2024

Sneak Peek Of The Best Running Shoes:






 



The Best Running Shoes – Handpicked By Our Experts

1. Best Overall Running Shoes: Brooks Ghost 14

Best Overall Running Shoes: Brooks Ghost 14

Currently, as I’m typing this our best overall running shoes are on my feet right now. My first experience with Brooks was when I was training for my first half-marathon years ago. Those pair of Ghosts took me through training and beyond until I completely wore out the uppers with holes. My latest pair of Brooks, the Ghost 14, is just as I remember my first pair being: comfortable, consistent, and supportive.

For an all-around great running shoe, the Brooks Ghost 14 has medium cushioning that doesn’t feel overly plush or too firm. They’re shoes that I can use for running on treadmills and testing other cardio equipment, as well as running outside. While I haven’t taken these bad boys off cement yet (they’re white and I’m trying to keep them looking fresh as long as I can), the outsoles have more traction than what I was expecting so they could probably handle some easier trails, too. If you’re really into trail running though, you’ll want to check out the next shoe on this list.

The toe box is roomy and the heel collar is structured for support that doesn’t rub or dig around my ankles. My Ghost 14s were basically ready to go and didn’t need much time for breaking in, unlike other athletic shoes I’ve used in the past. The upper is thin and breathable which is perfect for running outdoors in hot climates.

The Brooks Ghost 14 might not be considered the flashiest of running shoes, but they are consistent and great for a wide range of runners and types of running. If you’re looking for a trustworthy, durable running shoe, these are the ones to consider.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • These shoes are consistent, comfortable, and durable.
  • The mid-level cushioning makes them appealing to a wide range of runners.
  • From running on pavement, dirt, treadmills, and short or long distances, these running shoes are workhorses that will handle all kinds of running.
  • The uppers are lightweight and breathable for running indoors and outdoors.

Cons
  • They’re not as lightweight as other shoes and might feel a little heavy to some.

Specs:
  • 100% DNA LOFT Cushioning
  • Cushioning: Mid-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 12 mm
  • Upper: 3D Fit Print
  • Shoe Weight: 9.8 oz (Men’s) 9 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Wide & Normal
  • Sizes: 7-15 (Men’s) 6-12 (Women’s)
The Brooks Ghost 14 is comfortable and features qualities that make this running shoe great for all kinds of running. We appreciate how versatile and consistent the Ghost 14 is. These have definitely earned the top spot on this list of best running shoes.

2. Best Trail Running Shoes: Hoka Speedgoat 5

Best Trail Running Shoes: Hoka Speedgoat 5

Of course with any type of running, you want a running shoe that will keep up with you, but with trail running you want a shoe with some grip. On trails, you can run across all kinds of surfaces including dirt, mud, water, loose gravel, and rock. First and foremost you want a comfortable, reliable running shoe to handle a variety of conditions. That’s where the Hoka Speedgoat 5 comes in.

Made for trail running, the Speedgoat 5 lugs are designed to grip any terrain. One of our testers took these Hokas through a trail race featuring mud and water and was happy to report that between the Vibram Megagrip 5 mm lugs and the mudguards around the toes, the Speedgoat 5s held up incredibly well. The mudguard is a nice touch for helping to protect the breathable uppers.

Hokas are known for their plush cushioning and the Speedgoat 5 is no exception. The max-level cushioning makes for a comfortable stride that helps protect you underfoot. The cushioning is definitely forgiving to absorb the impact on all of the different surfaces you might run across on trails. All in all, trail runners can expect a stable stride with a neutral level of support. The Hoka Speedgoat 5 will carry you through your trail runs with comfort no matter your pace.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • These shoes are ideal for running across all kinds of terrain.
  • The high level of cushioning makes for a comfortable and protective running experience.
  • The traction is impressive to give you a good grip no matter your running conditions.
  • The mudguard helps protect the breathable uppers from mud and water.

Cons
  • The neutral level of support might not be enough for some.

Specs:
  • Vibram Megagrip with 5 mm Traction Lugs
  • Mudguard
  • Cushioning: Max Level
  • Midsole Drop: 4 mm
  • Upper: Cruelty-Free, Vegan
  • Shoe Weight: 10.3 oz (Men’s) 8.5 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Wide & Normal
  • Sizes: 8-14 (Men’s) 6-11 (Women’s)
For trail running, our reviewers love the Hoka Speedgoat 5. This pick for the best trail running shoes is also vegan and environmentally conscious.

3. Best Treadmill Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

Best Treadmill Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

As I mentioned above, we spend a lot of time testing all kinds of treadmills, here at Treadmill Review Guru. Just like with cushioning on the decks of treadmills, the cushion on a running shoe’s midsole matters. That’s why we’re impressed with the mid-level cushioning on the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39. This best treadmill running shoe is lightweight and best for running on the softest and firmest of treadmill decks.

We love the grippy traction on the outsole that works well on all kinds of belt textures. You won’t have to worry about slipping on your treadmill in these. Several reviews of the Pegasus 39 say it’s a nice upgrade from the Pegasus 38. The uppers are lighter and overall the shoes weigh less. This helps you have a nice spring in your stride as you run on your treadmill for miles.

If you’re like us, you want a treadmill running shoe that is solid and stable, like your treadmill. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is just that. They’re reliable to carry you through whatever kind of training you do on your treadmill, from intervals and distance training, to incline and speed work. Beginners to seasoned runners will appreciate the Pegasus 39 for its durability and capacity to carry you for miles and miles…across your treadmill’s deck.

Now that you’ve found the best treadmill running shoes, check out our lists of the best treadmills and the best treadmills for runners, to take your indoor running to the next level.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • This durable, reliable, and stable shoe is great for use on all kinds of treadmills.
  • The mid-level cushioning feels cushioned yet light for comfortable indoor runs.
  • The padded collar and tongue make for great security and support.
  • The traction on the outsole grips all kinds of treadmill belts nicely for a non-slip experience.

Cons
  • They aren’t available in wide sizes.

Specs:
  • Cushioning: Mid-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 10 mm
  • Upper: Engineered Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 9.2 oz (Men’s) 7.58 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal
  • Sizes: 7-15 (Men’s) 5-12 (Women’s)
For a great all-around indoor running shoe the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is the one we recommend. From incline training, to speed runs, the Pegasus 39 is durable and stable to work for a large majority of treadmills and runners, alike.

4. Best Budget Running Shoes: Asics Gel Excite 8

Best Budget Running Shoes: Asics Gel Excite 8

We get it – running shoes can be expensive and well-loved ones aren’t going to last forever. This next pair of running shoes is budget-friendly. The Asics Gel Excite 8 comes in at well under $100 and is a great all-around running shoe. These shoes are great for running and all-day wear, making them an excellent bang for your buck.

We love the lightweight, mesh upper and GEL Technology cushioning. The Amplifoam midsole isn’t the softest but will still provide a nice amount of comfort and flexibility. This shoe can even help create a more natural running stride and consistent experience. We don’t anticipate a very long (if any) break-in time on these best-budget running shoes.

The rubber outsole is textured for a good grip on most surfaces. So, you can take these across pavement, treadmill belts, and on errands. The Ortholite sock liner helps keep your feet dry and cool, even when you’re in the Gel Excite 8s all day. This liner also makes for a comfortable, light grip around your ankles, for no rubbing or blisters.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your running shoes for a reasonable price, you should check out the Asics Gel Excite 8.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • This pair is affordable and suitable for running and everyday wear.
  • The Amplifoam midsole provides sufficient cushioning and consistent comfort.
  • They are durable for light to moderate running.
  • The Ortholite sock liner makes for a supported and comfortable feel that doesn’t rub.

Cons
  • These aren’t best for advanced runners.

Specs:
  • GEL Technology Cushioning
  • Amplifoam Midsole
  • Cushioning: Mid-Level
  • MidSole Drop: 10 mm
  • Upper: Engineered Material Upper
  • Shoe Weight: 9.9 oz (Men’s) 8.1 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal & Wide
  • Sizes: 8-15 (Men’s) 5-12 (Women’s)
The Asics Gel Excite 8 come in normal and wide sizes for men and women. Whether you’re looking for a shoe for light to moderate running or need an option you can wear anywhere, these are an excellent pick.

5. Best Speed Running Shoes: Saucony Endorphin Pro 3

Best Speed Running Shoes: Saucony Endorphin Pro 3

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is just the pair to help you get a PR in your next race. Holding the best speed running shoe award on this list, the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is a well-engineered running shoe for picking up your pace. The Speedroll technology is designed to propel you forward with each stride, and it certainly does so. Good luck trying to keep a slow, steady pace in these.

The Pro 3 is carbon plated which makes for a more energetic feel that encourages proper running form. Essentially it will help you keep a fast pace by lowering your risk of injury and fatigue. The max cushion of the midsole makes for a comfortable and bouncy feel underfoot. Even with the thick cushioning, the Pro 3 is very lightweight. The men’s only weigh 7.2 oz!

The outsole is textured enough for a good grip on the pavement. This is definitely not meant for trail running. The Pro 3 is durable to handle your races and various runs in between. The outsole should hold up well to protect the midsole for miles and miles. We are pleased with the ultra-light mesh upper that is very breathable. You won’t have to worry about your feet getting too hot while you run.

We recommend checking out the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 if you’re looking for a well-cushioned shoe to help you increase your speed. The kids will definitely be asking you how fast you can run in these impressive speed running shoes.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • These shoes are designed to help you increase your pace and improve your running stride.
  • The max-level cushioning and Speedroll technology creates a soft experience that propels you forward.
  • The carbon plates make for more responsive cushioning and keep your feet from feeling tired.
  • They’re durable to handle all kinds of running, not just races.

Cons
  • They don’t come in wide sizes.

Specs:
  • PWRRUN PB Cushioning
  • Cushioning: Max
  • Midsole Drop: 8 mm
  • SPEEDROLL Technology
  • Upper: Engineered Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 7.2 oz (Men’s) 6.2 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal
  • Sizes: 7-15 (Men’s) 5-12 (Women’s)
If you’re looking for a shoe that can help you increase your speed, then check out the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. They’re lightweight, springy, breathable, and durable – everything you need to hit that next PR!

6. Best Road Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin GTS 20

Best Road Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin GTS 20

Another pair of Brooks running shoes on this list is the Glycerin GTS 20. If you’re looking for a more cushioning running shoe than the Brooks Ghost 14, then these are the ones to check out. Whether you’re looking for a shoe for short or long-distance running, the Glycerin GTS 20 is great for both.

We like the new nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 foam in the midsole. While the midsole has a max amount of cushion, it doesn’t feel overly plush. The GTS 20 will definitely provide support and comfort for road running, however. The GuideRails also makes for a stable ride that encourages your most natural running stride. The GuideRails support your feet, knees, and hips as you run.

The updates from the previous version are impressive. The stack height is taller, yet the GTS 20 is lighter than the 19. The upper is light and wider for a more comfortable fit. We’ve named the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 as the best road running shoe on this list of best running shoes. The GTS 20 has earned this award because of its durability and ability to handle long-distance road running. With the GTS standing for “Go-To-Support”, the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 is a great stability shoe in which you can run for miles.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • This running shoe is durable and cushioned to handle all kinds of road running.
  • These offer more cushioning than the Ghost 14.
  • The GuideRails encourage your natural running stride while providing support to your feet.
  • These make for a smooth ride and a wider platform for a nice fit.

Cons
  • The midsole isn’t as soft as other max-cushioned shoes.

Specs:
  • Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 Foam
  • Cushioning: Max-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 10 mm
  • Upper: Engineered Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 10.5 oz (Men’s) 9.4 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal & Wide
  • Sizes: 7-15 (Men’s) 5-12 (Women’s)
For an excellent daily trainer for all your road running, check out the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20. They offer stability and a light ride to handle all kinds of running.

7. Most Cushioned Running Shoes: Hoka Bondi 8

Most Cushioned Running Shoes: Hoka Bondi 8

When you think of Hoka running shoes, the thick cushioning might come to mind. It’s no surprise that the Hoka Bondi 8 has landed the award of the most cushioned by our reviewers on this list. So, let’s start by going over the cushioning. It is plush and to the max. The Bondi 8 is Hoka’s most cushioned, too. The Bondi 8 has been upgraded to feel a bit softer than the previous version.

In addition to the high amount of shock absorption in the midsole, the Bondi 8 is comfortable. Of course, the plush max-level cushioning has a lot to do with the feeling of these underfoot, but this shoe in general is designed to be comfortable. The foam heel collar fits nicely around the ankle to not rub but hold your feet securely.

The extended heel and crash pad create a rolling, smooth ride. Just like the Hoka Speedgoat 5, the uppers are a vegan, engineered mesh. In short, they’re breathable and the recycled lining makes them more environmentally friendly than others.

If you’re looking for a soft, cushioned, yet stable running experience, we recommend checking out the Hoka Bondi 8. These will help keep your runs comfortable and provide excellent shock absorption to protect your joints.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • The max level cushioning feels plush but lightweight, underfoot.
  • These shoes provide a maximum amount of shock absorption to help your joints with the impact that comes with running.
  • These are great for long-distance running and recovery runs.
  • The breathable upper is vegan and made from recycled materials.

Cons
  • These aren’t best for speed work.

Specs:
  • Lightweight, Resilient Foam Cushioning
  • Cushioning: Max-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 4 mm
  • Upper: Vegan, Engineered Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 10.8 oz (Men’s) 8.9 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal & Wide
  • Sizes: 8-14 (Men’s) 6-11 (Women’s)
If you’re looking for a highly-cushioned running shoe to give you a soft, supportive feel underfoot, then check out the Hoka Bondi 8. These running shoes are stable and cushioned to be large, yet light on your feet.

8. Best Running Shoes For Beginners: On Cloudgo

Best Running Shoes For Beginners: On Cloudgo

If you’re new to running, we recommend looking into the On Cloudgo. These running shoes have a nice amount of cushioning without being overly plush or large in size. The Cloudgo feature On’s patented CloudTech cushioning. It is designed to be multi-directional so you have support any way you land.

The On Cloudgo is our pick as the best running shoe for beginners because it’s flexible, cushioned to propel you forward, and responsive. The outsole is durable to handle road running and traction in all kinds of climates, and soft enough for everyday wear. While we do recommend these for beginners, more advanced runners will find that the versatility of the Cloudgo is excellent for all kinds of running.

Whether you’re looking for a running shoe for casual running, slower paces, or picking up your speed, the On Cloudgo is a nice shoe for all of this. The collar wraps around your ankles for a comfortable feel that doesn’t dig. The sock liner is so comfortable that some people have said that they can wear these without socks. For those first few runs, you shouldn’t have to worry about these giving you blisters!

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • The cushioning is soft, comfortable, and provides support no matter which way your foot lands.
  • These shoes are great for daily training and everyday wear.
  • Beginners and advanced runners can get a lot of use out of these durable running shoes.
  • The Speedboard makes for a flexible ride that propels you forward.

Cons
  • The drop is a little high but doesn’t feel excessive when running.

Specs:
  • Helion Superfoam Midsole
  • PU Speedboard
  • Cushioning: Mid-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 11 mm
  • Upper: Engineered Polyester Mesh Made With 85-90% Recycled Materials
  • Shoe Weight: 9.0 oz (Men’s) 7.5 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal
  • Sizes: 8-14 (Men’s) 6-11 (Women’s)
The On Cloudgo is the most affordable shoe in On’s lineup. Even though it’s their budget option, this shoe makes for a really comfortable experience that should encourage beginners and those getting back into running, to put in the miles.

9. Best For Marathon Running: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2

Best For Marathon Running: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2

Another option from Nike that we recommend is the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. These are carbon-plated which is great for racing and long-distance running. We love how lightweight they are, too. The carbon plate is ideal for adding energy with every stride and these shoes certainly won’t feel heavy even after 26.2 miles.

The Vaporfly earn the title of the best running shoe for marathon running because of the comfortable max-level cushioning and feeling of being propelled forward underfoot. You won’t be able to not finish your marathon and you’ll most likely get a PR while doing so. The heel counters and collars are comfortable to not rub, too.

Whether running a straighter course or maneuvering through many curves and various grades, the Vaporfly is responsive to get you through easily. We like that these racing shoes are versatile to carry you through your marathon and other shorter races as well. Plus, the wide-toe box has room for your toes to spread.

Check here for men’s sizes.
Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • The carbon plate encourages an improved running form and gives more energy with every stride.
  • These are racing shoes made for running faster for marathons and shorter races like 10ks.
  • They’re lightweight and durable to handle a lot of use.
  • The mesh upper is durable and the laces make for a secure fit.

Cons
  • The outsole doesn’t provide the most amount of traction.

Specs:
  • Nike ZoomX Foam Cushioning
  • Cushioning: Max-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 8 mm
  • Upper: Engineered Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 6.9 oz (Men’s) 5.8 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal
  • Sizes: 8-14 (Men’s) 7-11 (Women’s)
If you’re a marathon runner looking for a shoe that will not only get you through your race but help you feel like you’re flying through it, then check out the Nike ZoomX Vaperfly Next% 2. These racing shoes are well-engineered for a comfortable, cushioned running experience that will encourage you to shave off some of your time.

10. Best Zero Drop Running Shoes: Altra Rivera 2

Best Zero Drop Running Shoes: Altra Rivera 2

To round out our list we have the Altra Rivera 2. These running shoes have a 0 mm midsole drop. This is where the heel and toe are on the same level. Traditional running shoes have a slight drop from the heel to the toe. Zero-drop shoes make for more natural running strides which can help increase your foot strength. Ever wanted to try barefoot running? Zero-drop running shoes are a good place to start.

The best zero-drop running shoes in our opinion are the Altra Rivera 2. The medium amount of cushioning is balanced and the rounded toe box gives your toes room to spread. This helps strengthen your feet as you run. The Rivera 2 is comfortable with a nice supportive heel collar and soft, flexible upper.

For use, the Altra Rivera 2 is great for everyday training. You’ll benefit from these from your first mile through your marathon and beyond. We love that this is a durable pair of running shoes that can help improve your balance and stride. The traction on the outsole should hold up well with most road running.

Check here for men’s sizes.

Check here for women’s sizes.

Pros
  • The heel-to-toe drop is 0 mm for a natural running stride.
  • The rounded toebox gives more room for your toes to spread while running.
  • The medium amount of cushioning provides enough comfort for all types of running.
  • These shoes are lightweight, breathable, and have great comfort around the collar.

Cons
  • These are not available in wide sizes.

Specs:
  • Altra EGO Midsole
  • Cushioning: Mid-Level
  • Midsole Drop: 0 mm
  • Upper: Mesh
  • Shoe Weight: 9.1 oz (Men’s) 6.9 oz (Women’s)
  • Width: Normal
  • Sizes: 7-15 (Men’s) 5.5-12 (Women’s)
If you’re looking for a zero drop running shoe then we suggest looking into the Altra Rivera 2. The 0 mm drop is great for promoting a natural running gait and we love the extra room in the rounded toebox.

Things To Look For When Buying Running Shoes

The following are important factors to consider when purchasing the best running shoes for you.

Type Of Running

What kind of running do you like to do? Do you often run on a treadmill, road, or trails? Maybe all three? If you run outside, what are the conditions usually like? Whatever kind of running you choose to do, you want to pick a shoe that is made for that kind of running. For trail running, for instance, there are specific models of shoes that have traction on the outsole that is made for hitting trails.

Ultimately, you want to factor in how you want to use the running shoes to help you find the best pair to fit your needs.

Fit

The fit is the most important factor. You don’t want to get a pair of running shoes that don’t fit your feet well. For a good fit, make sure you have enough room in the toe box to move your toes. You want the heel collar to fit nicely around your ankle so your heels don’t slip up. You don’t want them to be too snug though so they don’t dig and create blisters either. When it comes to sizes, some shoes come in normal and wide sizes, so be sure to get the fit that works for you. If you try on a pair that only offers normal sizes and they feel too narrow for your feet, you probably need to look into a larger size or a different shoe.

Your Stride

Do you know what kind of stride you have? Do you pronate or supinate? Heel strike? Do you have high arches or flat feet? Different shoes are made for different arch types and pronation. Running shoes offer various kinds of support depending on what you need. If you aren’t sure what your stride and pronation are like, then you can get a gait analysis in a running store. This can help give you an idea of what type of support you need so you can find the best running shoe for you.

Also for support, it is important to consider the cushioning in the midsole. Do you want more shock absorption or a firmer feel underfoot? The cushioning is what helps with pronation/supination, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Important Part Of A Running Shoe?

To most, the midsole is considered the most important part of a running shoe. This is where the foam cushioning is built into the shoe to give you shock absorption every time your feet hit the ground when you run. The midsole contributes to how the shoe feels underfoot.

How Often Should You Replace Running Shoes?

It depends on how often/far you run. Typically, when you put around 500 miles on the shoes, you should consider replacing them. Ultimately, some shoes might last slightly longer than that, while others might not last that long. It’s important to assess what kind of condition they’re in. If there are signs of excessive wear and the stability of the shoe is in question, it is probably time to replace them with a new pair.

What Are The 3 Types Of Running Shoes?

The three types are road-running shoes, trail-running shoes, and cross-training shoes made for all-purpose wear rather than distance running. Training shoes are designed for a wider range of movements.

Is It Okay To Wear Running Shoes For Walking?

Yes. Walking and running are similar movements. Running shoes are durable to handle walking well, too.

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