Whether you are looking to take part in a marathon or you simply want a jogging shoe, the most important gear you need is a nice pair of running shoes.
Finding the best running shoes that perfectly match your feet as well as goals could be the difference between heavy pounding movements, and feeling light and free as you cover your miles.
The best running shoes are light in weight and have proper cushioning.
They also fit your feet right.
Importance of Running Shoes
Professional runners know just how important it is to get proper running shoes.
Apart from offering added stability, running shoes also prevent injury to the runner. Below are some of the reasons why you need running shoes, either as a professional or amateur runner or as someone who simply enjoys jogging:
- Midsole cushioning
This is one of the top benefits of using running shoes. Just as suggested by the name itself, the midsole refers to the region between the heel and the ball of the foot.
Midsole foot cushioning offered by most running shoes alleviates part of the stress exerted on the heel, toes, and ankles when running.
This makes running safer and more comfortable. In addition, proper cushioning could also help to prevent or reduce hip, back, or knee pain given that it enhances body mechanics.
- Arch support
This is crucial for people with flat feet, particularly if they take part in regular workout routines. The arch support offered by running shoes greatly benefits the most passionate runners.
According to various research, individuals having flat fleet should consult an exercise physiologist or physical therapist for advice on the best running shoes to get.
- Prevention of injury
Running shoes help to avoid various kinds of injury. Arch support and midsole cushioning (described above) could prevent certain overuse injuries like joint pain, stress fractures, and tendonitis.
Even though running barefoot, whereby runners run without any sort of foot protection, has become popular over the last few years, risks of scrapes and cuts are quite high.
Outsole protection, on the other hand, that’s offered by running shoes minimizes any injuries to the sole of the feet.
- Better athletic performance
Runners that use the proper kind of running shoes have been found to have better athletic performance when compared to those who don’t. This is most likely as a result of various factors such as enhanced running capacity and comfort.
Few Top Brands and Their Unique Features
There are loads of running shoes from different brands available on the market today. Let’s take a look at some of the top brands you should consider when looking for the best running shoes for both men and women.
- Nike running shoes
Nike is one of the top shoe manufacturers in the world today. Officially launched back in 1971, Nike now owns eight registered design patents.
The company has some of the most technical and innovative gear in sportswear, and its top-selling product is its running shoes.
Nike running shoes are manufactured using high-quality materials which ensure that they are strong, durable and ready to tackle any kind of running.
And unlike most running shoe manufacturers, Nike has minimum issues of size feet.
Its top running shoes include Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 and Nike Metcon 4.
- Brooks running shoes
Brooks manufactures strong running shoes for kinds of feet. Their running shoes are extra-cushioned and perfect for running on trails. They can considerably enhance your overall gait, endurance, effectiveness.
The upper part of their shoes are super breathable and this means that you don’t have to worry about your feet sweating and producing a bad odor. What’s more, the top quality materials used in the manufacture of their shoes guarantees their long life.
Their top running shoes include Brooks Beast 16 and Brooks Launch 5.
And apart from shoe production, they are also actively engaged in community programs, for instance, their Running Responsibly Program.
- Adidas running shoes
Adidas earned and maintains a special place in the world of athletic shoes by staying 100% true to what its believed in; carefully listen to athletes needs and manufacture products that suit their needs best.
Their commitment to comfort, performance, and innovation has become the brand’s trademark and the main reason why runners from all parts of the globe love them.
They were the very first athletic shoe company to manufacture running shoes with a tracking system. And not so long ago, they launched their Boost foam, which is a special cushioning material; that offers enhanced energy return and responsive support compared to EVA foam.
Their running shoes are quite stylish and great for both long-distance and up-tempo runs. They offer incredible grip on the running surface and have an advanced closure system.
Their best running shoes include Adidas PureBoost Go and Adidas Springblade.
Regardless of the running shoe, you decide to settle for from their vast collection, rest assured that what you are purchasing is a superior quality product.
- Asics running shoes
They are perhaps the oldest manufacturers of running shoes in this particular list. Asics has, over the years, manufactured some of the top running shoes on the market. It caters to the needs of both expert and amateur runners.
Made from top quality, breathable material, its running shoes are known to offer high levels of supports and stability. They are, without a doubt, great value for money.
Its top running shoes include Asics Nimbus and Asics Gel Venture 6.
The company is also involved in community building programs through initiatives like the Girls on Run. Thanks to this initiative, the company has donated over 50,000 running shoes to charitable institutions to support needy girls and also encourage them via running as a fun sport.
- Trail running shoes
Different from other running shoes, trail running shoes are heavier and are specially designed to protect as well as support the foot on rugged and tough terrain.
These particular shoes have durable soles featuring more defined tread patterns that defend against sticks, rocks, and any other obstacles on the trails.
Trail running shoes have soles that are wide and close to the running surface to offer added support on rough grounds. This prevents the runner’s ankle from twisting when their feet come down on rocks and bumps on the path.
What’s more, these running shoes have protective toe guard that protects against stubbed toes, as well as a thick insert positioned between the outsole and midsole that protects against bruising when the runner steps on debris.
Some of the best trail running shoes include Nike Zoom Wildhorse 5 and Scarpa Spin Ultra.
Based on the terrain’s ruggedness and your style of running, you might choose to go for either a conventional, minimalist or a hybrid model of such running shoes.
- New Balance running shoes
Having launched lots of ground-breaking and high-performance running shoes in the market, New Balance rightly earned its spot among the leading manufacturers of running shoes in the world today.
The company was started back in 1906 back it introduced its forts running shoes in the market, known as the Trackster, later in 1960.
They manufacture lightweight running shoes that are super comfortable to run in. Their shoes also have soft cushioning and a breathable upper.
New Balance is committed to its goal of helping individuals to stay physically fit whilst progressing in various steps of their lives. Additionally, they take part in community work via volunteer and philanthropy work.
Their top-rated running shoes include the New Balance 1400v5 and New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8.
- On running shoes
On Running launched their very first running shoes back in 2010. Ever since then, their trainers have become popular among athletes from all over the world. Their running shoes boast of noticeable comfort right from the opening step to the very last one.
They have a patented CloudTec Technology that utilizes an innovative cushioning system to provide powerful takeoffs and soft landings. That combination (powerful takeoff and soft landing) provides a running encounter like no other!
Their best running shoes include Cloudventure and Cloudsurfer.
- Saucony running shoes
Two years following the first Olympic Marathon in Athens, Greece saw the introduction of Saucony into the market. This running shoe brand is popular among both professional and beginner runners as well.
Up to date, Saucony has launched a plethora of top-selling running shoes that have made their way to the feet of all kinds of athletes.
The best part about these running shoes is that they remain super comfortable even after having them on for extended durations. They are more comfortable in comparison to most other running shoes.
They have an incredible construction, and given that they are made using high-quality materials, these running shoes are durable. They are indeed a great value for money.
Their top-rated running shoes include Saucony Echelon 5 and Saucony Bullet.
- Hoka running shoes
Hoka was started by two French trail runners back in 2009. The brand introduced to the market a running shoe that was totally different from most other ones. It was a special running shoe that properly protected and cushioned runner’s feet from any possible injuries.
These running shoes offer runners ample comfort and cushioning needed even running when running on rough grounds. They are created using flexible and breathable material and enhance the runner’s momentum.
Simply put, Hoka running shoes are known to have enhanced cushioning, a broader midsole and are lightweight. Even though the very first models were intended for trail running, there are now different models available on the market that are suitable for road and track runners.
Their best running shoes include the Hoka One Infinite.
- Altra running shoes
Started by high school friends, Altra launched its first running shoes in 2011; Intuition for women and Instinct for men.
These two running shoes, together with all other Altra running shoes, feature three main technologies, zero drop, foot shape, and fit4her.
Altra running shoes have a wider forefoot (thanks to the foot shape technology) and very little drop (thanks to zero drop) compared to other running shoes. The fit4her technology, on the other hand, is customized to suit the biomechanics of female feet.
Also, the cushioning material used, known as the Altra EGO maintains its shape lot longer in comparison to EVA foam. Lastly, these running shoes are quite stylish and properly-designed for speed.
Their best running shoes include Altra Lone Peak 3.5 and Altra One 2.5.
- Reebok running shoes
Reebok received very high ratings in 2000 for its best series of running shoes with ta kinetic fit system.
The incredible kinetic fit system that’s found in the upper body of the shoe was specially designed to simultaneously flex with the foot’s movement. It resulted in a better and more stable fit.
Today, Reebok has hundreds of shoes available on the market with notable technology updates and innovations.
The company introduced its Pebax Floatride foam about two years ago. This foam is lighter than TPU and EVA foams and offers runners maximum energy returns.
Their running shoes are flexible and lightweight and are appropriate for all types of terrain. The shoes are breathable and the midsole foam offers great traction.
Their best running shoes include Reebok Speed Rise and Reebok Nano 8.
Difference between Running Shoes for Women and Men
There are a few noticeable differences between the best running shoes for men and women. They include:
Given that men often tend to weigh more than women, their running shoes feature thicker cushioning at the forefoot compared to that of women.
This allows men’s running shoes to absorb more load and helps to alleviate the stress that is exerted on the hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
Women’s running shoes often have a thin cushioning since they don’t carry a lot of weight.
The heels of shoes help to cushion your feet from the impact force when your foot hits the ground. Since men typically have wider and longer feet compared to women with similar stature, the size and shape of the heel bevel in their shoes differ.
Women’s shoes are usually wider at the forefoot and narrower at the heel to accommodate their leaner ankles and heels. The best running shoes for women have a flatter heel whereas heels in men’s shoes are more angled.