Running is one thing, but running in an awesome pair of kicks is an experience on its own! It doesn’t matter if you’re an occasional “jog-around-the-block” kinda guy or a wake-up-at-4am runner who lives for the hard tar underfoot – everyone deserves a decent pair of running shoes that look good, feel good, and ultimately; do good! To help you find your perfect pair, we have rustled up a list of what we think are currently the best running shoes for men on the market.
The Best Running Shoes For Men
Like the name “Cumulus” suggests, wearing a pair of these ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20 running shoes can feel like you’re running on soft fluffy clouds. Need we say more? OK, whom rumor you! The Gel 20s are another upgrade to the Cumulus range and while the shoe follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, there are a few noticeable improvements.
Firstly, they made the shoe lighter, by a full ounce, in fact. A new layer of softer, bouncier Flytefoamlines the inner sole and the result is a stable, smooth running set of trainers with a comfortably cushioned heel and a flexible front. The new engineered jacquard mesh upper gives theseperformance running shoes a touch of new style innovation while moulding to the form of your foot for a fit that feels customized just for you.The Gel-Cumulus 20 is a modest-looking shoe that comes equipped with conceited powers while sticking to a competitive price.
Shaft measures Low-Top” from arch
I.G.S. (Impact Guidance System)
Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel cushioning
FLYTEFOAM Propel and FLYTEFOAM LYTE technologies
- Weight3 pounds
The 16th edition of Brooks’ Glycerin running sneakers has managed to uphold the brand’s reputation for delivering a comfortable fit with a high-energy return. The design offers maximum inner cushioning, although this adds to the weight, and the outsole performs well across slick, wet roads – many reviewers even gave it thumbs up for light trail action.
The Brooks Men’s Glycerin 16 boasts a roomy toe-box and together with a mesh upper, your feet are left feeling free but securely positioned at the same time. Heavy mileage is also no concern for these hardy men’s running shoes. The outsole is sturdy, the midsole features resilient materials, and the upper’s double-jacquard mesh will not tear on a whim. As for aesthetics, we think Brooks got the look right with a design that’s not too over-the-top but still maintains a unique character.
Durable rubber sole
Plush DNA LOFT Transition Zone
Removable cushioned insole
Plush interior bootie
Centralised lace-up closure
- Weight2 pounds
Mizuno is a Japanese-based company that is growing in popularity because of their brilliantly designed sports equipment and activewear. The Mizuno Waver Riders fall into this category of excellence. These high-mileage trainers have prioritized comfort over everything else and adequately supply a pleasant amount of cushioning and responsiveness.
Coming in at an average weight for running shoes, the Wave Riders run firm and fast. Being number 21 in a line of upgrades, improvements to this particular pair include an added mesh dual zone in the forefoot for improved breathability and flexibility and an ultra-soft heel collar. Pleasantly cushioned, these Riders are suitable for daily runs as well as for fast training workouts. A modest training shoe coming in at a modest price.
Breathable upper for hot runs
Soft anatomical sock liner
Includes a trail-oriented outsole
Single-density EVA foam innersole
- ModelWave Rider 21
- Weight2 pounds
The Saucony Triumph 5s sports a design with a flame-like print – we believe this print is a true reflection of the trainers’ heated performance abilities. These neutral running shoes are just a tad pricier than similar models, but we’ll let them get away with this since we do feel they’re worth the value for money – especially with all the added modern technology.
With a cushiony Everun underfoot, a silky and roomy jacquard mesh ISOFit upper, and a redesigned TriFlex outsole, the Triumph ISO 5s have outdone their predecessors in both flexibility and support. If you are looking for a well-cushioned energetic trainer that features tons of upgraded technology, then this is a pair that’s well worth checking out.
Crystal Rubber outsole
ISOFit dynamic saddle system
Average running shoe weight
Full-length PWRFoam midsole
Don’t let the humble price of these trainers fool you into thinking that they lack in quality. The Charged Bandits 3 have a beautiful way of molding to your feet – an attribute of theAnti-microbial Ortholitesockliner. With a mid-sole that provides a superior cushioning and bounce, the shock absorption on these babies is outstanding.
If you need to make a quick order on shoes that fit true to size and give good support and comfort, then we can highly recommend these kicks as the ideal interim footgear. Many of the features of the Charged Bandit 2 have carried over to version 3, although key attributes like the lighter weight and offset changes can be noted. While Under Armour’s charged bandits are far from being a minimalist running shoe, we give the pair an “average” thumbs-up.
Innovative UA SpeedForm construction
Firm external heel counter
Dual-layer Charged Cushioning midsole
Carbon rubber and blown rubber outsole
- BrandUnder Armour
- Weight3 pounds
True to their award-winning heritage, the Clifton 5sare light, superbly comfortable and a soft and smooth ride overall. With a bulky-looking design, these road running shoes might not seem like they will amount to much at first glance but just wait until you slip them on and hit the tracks. What you’ll be met with is an extremely accommodating full EVA midsole and an outsole that responds well to your movements.
The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 5 has one awesome feature that we simply have to bring to your attention: meta-rocker geometry. Also known as the rocking chair, meta-rocker geometry is an application to the design that propels you forward, bringing your weight onto your forefeet. This makes movement feel more natural and adds to the stability as your feet hit the ground.
3D Puff Print frame
Flat laces and discreet eyelets
High abrasion outsole
Breathable engineered mesh upper
- BrandHOKA ONE ONE
- Weight3 pounds
The Cloud X is one of very few road running shoes that has managed to pile on the cushioning while remaining slim in design and extremely lightweight. At first glance, the first thing you’ll probably notice about this pair of footgear is the CloudTec outsole – in other words, the hollowed-out pods at the bottom of the shoe. These pods work together to give the shoe a stable platform and a bit of pep in your step!
Other attributes that we like about On Running’s Cloud X design is the responsiveness of the Zero Gravity foam midsoles and the incredibly supportive and breathable uppers. We simply have no gripes with these kicks and can recommend them to amateur runners to the more serious marathon types.
Includes pod technology
Zero- Gravity foam absorbs shock
Seamless shoe tongue
- BrandOn Running
- Weight2 pounds
If you’re looking for a reliable all-purpose shoe, then you might just find New Balance’s Beacon V1s quite to your liking. They are light, airy, extremely responsive, and a good fit all around. With minimal bells and whistles, we might not recommend these guys for long and strenuous marathons, but they’ll do just dandy for cross-training, jogs around the block and short marathons.
The upper design is wrapped in an engineered knitted mesh which gives the trainers a textured look but also helps to ensure that the shoes breathe to perfection. With Fresh Foam cushioning, you’re guaranteed premium plushness and with Fresh Foam Ground Contact, you’ll be running on clouds!
Fresh Foam performance midsole
Ample midsole heights
Knit mesh upper
Small hexagons on outsole
Light and durable
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight2.11 pounds
Brooks makes it a yearly habit to add significant improvements to their running shoes and as for the GTS, they’re on their 18th edition. The latest update comes with stellar cushioning and a more streamlined look – all while keeping to the same competitive price. The stretchy material hugs the foot comfortably and it provides a decent level of breathability.
The Adrenaline GTS 18s comes with many awesome features but our favorite to make note of is the stretchy material mesh upper. This knitted outer-lining hugs the foot comfortably and it provides a decent level of air-flow – it boasts a pretty cool pattern too! As for the inner; comfortable fabric lining offers a great in-shoe feel and a removable molded foam insole supplies lovely light underfoot cushioning.
High energizing cushioning
Asymmetrical mid-foot saddle
Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
- Weight1.63 pounds
Most avid runners are no stranger to the name Pegasus, especially since it is now in its 35th edition! The Air Zooms have continued to add to the shoe’s performance while still sticking to the legendary fit and feeling. As for the design, the Air Zooms look as fast as they feel! With a racing stripe down the center, an “aerodynamic” heel fin, and a large Nike logo on the side, this pair of kicks has completely been designed for the fast-paced runner.
One gripe that a few reviewers have brought to light is that these trainers do run a bit loose, so you might want to try a size down before hitting the pavement. Other than that, we have no gripes with the Pegasus 35 Turbos and fully appreciate the curved tall collar, the slim fit and the accurately responsive feel of the React inner foam.
Neutral arch support
Flywire cables on the upper
Low-cut and curved shape collar
Suitable for cross-training
Perfectly suited for both short and long-distance running, the Escalante Racers are a highly responsive shoe with just enough cushioning to maintain comfort. As the name suggests, this shoe is geared towards racing and many runners have highlighted the featured Altra Ego technology which helps to form a very effective midsole compound.
Simple in design, these lightweight running shoes have a zero-drop and sit very close to the ground. While they do tend to lean towards the more expensive side of the scale, we can assure you that you will get your value for money. With an engineered knit upper that boasts a sock-like fit and flexible feel, comfort and performance are guaranteed.
Natural Foot Design
Altra Ego compound in the midsole
FootPod Technology in the outsole
Static Engineered Knit
Race-ready running shoe
- BrandAltra Mens
- Weight1.68 pounds
The Ultra Pro trail shoe is built for going the distance and is regarded by many serious runners as the best trail running shoe on the market. With a design that’s as hardcore as the model’s performance, this pair of kicks is in for the long haul. They’re well-equipped with sufficient underfoot support and an extremely reliable grip.
Perfectly designed to accurately fit most foot types, a dual-density compressed EVA midsole offers substantial cushioning and durability while a TPU Energy Save forefoot insert does a great job at aiding with shock resistance and adds to increased stability. Complete with a 3D Stretch Air Mesh upper and an easy-to-use quick lace system, you’ll be on the track with a fully-supportive system from heel to toe.
Moderate heel-to-toe drop
ENDOFIT™ internal sleeve
Exceptional traction and durability
- ModelL40492100-US 11.0/UK 10.5
- Weight2 pounds
The 890 has returned with a list of upgrades and has really outdone its predecessors. While the trainers have kept a lot of the same qualities and features that made it a solid daily performance shoe, one noticeable difference is a more attractive design – our thoughts anyhow.
The 890v6s continue to have a natural knack for blending breathable and pliable upper materials, lightweight and responsive midsole foams, and a basic yet highly responsive fit and design. They’re an everyday running shoe that will appeal to most budgets and at the same time, they will impress their wearers with streamlined comfort and an aggressive aesthetic twist.
No-sew material application
TPU strips for a springier lift
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight2 pounds
We love the design, we love the aesthetics! Let’s see what other features the Wave Inspire 14 beholds! Boasting a lightweight nature, these trendy kicks have been very strategically engineered to create a smooth landing and heel-to-toe transition. A soft blown rubber undersole grips to surfaces and offers ultimate stability and a “feel-good” grip.
The Inspire is a ‘support’ shoe and many reviewers pay tribute to how they had an uncanny way of shielding their feet, knees and back from discomfort. Catering to shoe enthusiasts of all levels of proficiency, the Wave Inspires are versatile shoes that will do well for lighter runs as well as fast-paced marathons.
Soft anatomical sockliner
U4ic Midsole for cushioning
Fit in motion upper
- Weight2 pounds
On scouring the net for information on the Adidas Ultraboost, we noticed that it received a lot of praise for its aesthetics, durability and the superb responsiveness of its mid-sole. We have to agree that we find no fault with these nifty kicks but at the almost exorbitant price, you’d expect nothing less than magnificent.
With energy-returning boost technology and an engineered mesh upper that hugs your foot like a second skin, it’s very difficult to tell who’s wearing who! Our only gripe is that the Ultraboosts are perhaps too heavily-laden with bells and whistles, fancy graphics, and plastic bits-and-bobs that have nothing to do with the overall performance of the shoe – but that’s just us.
Primeknit textile upper
Stretch web outsole
Moulded heel counter
- Weight1.79 pounds
Running Shoes Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Choose Our Selection Of Running Shoes
With thousands upon thousands of different trainers to choose from, narrowing our list down to a selection of what we consider to be the top running shoes was no easy feat. While we would love to say that we got to try each pair out for ourselves, this is nigh impossible. Instead, we looked to the consumers for feedback and finalized our choices by comparing brands with reviews and quality with price.
Brand - When it comes to footwear, there are many brands that have proven to deliver quality shoes time and time again. This is why we ensured that the choices we made are backed by manufacturers who have continued to withhold a good reputation for producing products that keep outperforming their predecessors.
Reviews - What a brand tells us is one thing - the consumer sometimes has a different opinion. This is why we weigh the promise of the brand with the feedback from reviewers so that we can draw our own conclusion on whether the running shoes hold true to their worth, or not.
Quality - Training puts a lot of stress on our bodies and to help alleviate this stress and to prevent injuries, we need to rely on our running shoes for both performance and safety. This means that only a quality shoe should make the cut and anything less than excellent simply won’t do.
Price - The better the quality the better the price – right? While this is often true, sometimes you stumble upon a gem of an item that comes in at a shockingly competitive price. In fact, we’ve managed to source a few running kicks that give you superb value for money without forming a hole in your pocket.
Features To Look For In Running Shoes
Distance - Some shoes are in for the long haul whilst others are better at peaking performance over short distances. For instance, long-distance runners tend to prefer a more cushioned shoe whilst short distance racers are far likely to benefit from a more flexible running shoe.
Surface - If you spend most of your running time on paved surfaces, then road shoes should be your best fit. Road shoes usually offer more cushioning which provides shock absorption to minimize your risk of injury. Trail running shoes, on the other hand, are ideal for rocky paths and feature deeper tread for stability and ankle support. Some trail shoes can be used on flatter surfaces but if you find yourself doing a bit of both, then you should perhaps consider a hybrid shoe.
Running Style - For a shoe to peak your performance, it needs include features that match your gait. How your foot naturally rolls inward or outwards when you run to where your foot strikes the ground - the way feet respond to a step differs between each individual. When looking for the perfect running shoes, you need to make sure that they respond well to how your feet pronate.
Breathability - Nearly all trainers are engineered with a mesh upper. This allows the shoes to breathe easily so that your feet remain cool and it also encourages sweat to evaporate faster - which can decrease your risk of blisters. Our bodies naturally lose a lot of heat through our feet, so wearing sneakers that have amazing breathing qualities can keep a person feeling cooler overall.
Comfort - Comfort comes down to three key elements; cushioning, arch type, and arch flexibility. Cushioning is determined by your running style, your frame (weight) and personal preference. Arch type and flexibility affect the amount of support your feet need. The higher or less flexible your arches are, the less support you need. Trainers designed for high arches are referred to as neutral running shoes. Runners who have lower or more flexible arches need more support. Shoes for lower arches are called Stability.
Fit - A perfect fitting shoe will meet your level of comfort. It will be the ideal weight and will also mold to your foot while giving your toes enough room to move effortlessly. When purchasing shoes online, you can request the brand’s sizing chart to help you determine which size will fit you best – some models will recommend that you size up or down, as sizing specifications can differ.
Types Of Running Shoes
Motion Control Running Shoe - Motion controlled shoes are your most rigid type of sneaker. They have been designed to reduce or control excessive rolling action of the foot and are very well suited for those who tend to overpronate.
Cushioned Running Shoe - Cushioned shoes are lined plush with dense foam inners and they are excellent at absorbing shock. The best-cushioned running shoes are ones that have specifically been designed for runners whose feet do not roll inward or outward as they meet the ground.
Stability Running Shoe - A compromise between motion control and cushioned shoes, stability sneakers provide cushioning, medial support, and durability. They have been magnificently designed to prevent excess motion of your foot and ankle without limiting movement too much.
Lightweight Running Shoe - A lightweight shoe is exactly that – light. It combines features to create a “minimalist” approach so that your feet do not feel heavily burdened. Lightweight shoes help to decrease fatigue and are less likely to leave your feet with a dull aching pain after a long and strenuous run.
Trail Running Shoe - Trail running shoes have an assortment of features that are unique to their ability to perform well on more rugged terrains. For instance, the outer sole of a trail shoe will have a deeper tread than other training shoe types. This offers more grip and traction on uneven surfaces, providing more stability as a result.
Running Shoe Fit Tips - Finding the best fitting shoe amongst the “oh so many” choices can be quite daunting. The first thing that you should note is that running shoes shouldn’t fit the same as your everyday footwear. What you’re looking for is a slightly bigger fit. You can also consider the following:
- Heel. Your heel should fit snug but not be squashed – if you can’t slip it out of your shoe with ease then it might be too tight.
- Instep. A shoe’s upper should feel secure but without pressure under the laces. If your laces feel too tight, try a different lacing technique before moving on to the next shoe.
- Width. Your foot should be able to move with ease within the toe-box area. Ideally, you want to be able to pinch half a centimeter of upper material along the widest part of your foot.
- Length. It’s not uncommon for feet to swell or lengthen over a run. A good practice is to make sure that there is a thumb’s width of space between the end of your foot and the end of the shoe.
- Feel. Pinpointing shoes that match your foot’s contours and movements is crucial if you are looking for running boots that will feel good and perform well. Take the shoes for a trial run before purchasing, if you can.
Premium Running Shoes Vs Cheap Running Shoes
When it comes to running shoes the question is, do you get what you pay for? The answer; yes and no. While there’s no denying that quality materials and perfect workmanship come at a price, some shoes are simply tagged according to the hype of the brand and while they come at a hefty cost, they’re just not always worth their value for money. The same goes for shoes that come in at a competitive price but match premium shoes in quality and design.
So, for the most part, premium shoes definitely do out-perform cheaper versions – although there are some running shoes that defy this rule.
Daily Training Running Shoes Vs Racing/Speedwork Running Shoes
Racing shoes are typically used for races. They are lightweight and less supportive, although the thinner soles and uppers mean you can run faster in them. Training shoes tend to offer more cushioning and can be used for longer more slow-paced marathons too. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to use the same model of shoe for both racing and training, but race shoes do offer a large benefit for those seeking faster racing times.
Running Shoes FAQ
Q: What are running shoes?
A: A running shoe has different characteristics to your normal walking shoe. The former is specifically designed to be more flexible and is lined with plush cushioning for both comfort and shock absorption. Running shoes are always engineered to include a built-up heel for added stability and are also often lined with knitted mesh to add to the breathability and comfort.
Q: Do running shoes make a difference?
A: Yes, definitely. Running shoes have specifically been designed to accommodate the motions of running and help to keep your feet safe from injury and pain-free. They give you the proper traction and stability that you need for fast-paced movements and their light weight helps your feet to move at a more natural gait.
Q: What is a zero-drop running shoe?
A: Most running shoes differ in the amount of padding placed on the heel-side and forefoot of a shoe. With zero-drop shoes, the foot sits flat on a level surface and there is little to no padding at all. This type of shoe brings you closer to the ground and more in tune with the surface you are running on.
Q: How to determine what level of cushioning do I need?
A: Cushioning levels run from level one through to level 5, with 5 being featuring maximum-level cushioning and top-of-the-line technology. To determine the level of cushioning you need you will have to take two things into consideration; what type of running you intend to do as well as how much padding you find to be enough support for your foot structure. As a rule of thumb, fast-paced racers tend to prefer levels 1 and 2 because they choose lightweight and flexibility over shock absorption. Marathon runners usually opt for level 4 or 5 cushioning, since this gives them the plush comfort that they need to continue running without injuring their feet, ankles, and calves. Level 3 is your intermediate cushioning level and can be good for short races or for daily training sessions.
Q: How do I know my current running shoes are right for me?
A: If you manage to get from point A to B without injury or suffering from blisters, aches, and pains – then you are most likely already fitted with a good pair of running shoes. However, a good pair of shoes does not mean they are the right pair. We suggest that you visit your nearest sports outlet to request their opinion on the pair of shoes you are using in conjunction with the type of running you do most.
Q: How often should you replace running shoes?
A: It all depends on how often you run in your shoes, what their overall quality is like as well as what type of running you do. Running shoes can last anywhere from a few months to a few years. If your pair starts to give you blisters, fail in comfort and are falling apart at the seams – then it’s time to go shopping!
Q: Can I wash my running shoes in the washing machine?
A: Some running shoes will indicate that they are machine-friendly on their Care and Maintenance labels. If you do put a pair of sneakers into a machine wash, however, they might not last as long as they would if you stick to a hand-washing process. Washing machines also tend to warp and shrink shoes. We suggest that you stick to a hand-washing regimen when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your kicks.