New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3
Our pick for the best shoe overall, this sneaker does it all — and well! Most runners will appreciate the cushy midsole, neutral arch support, lightweight outsole, and springy feel. Make these shoes your go-to pair for everything from tempo training to half-marathon races.
Saucony Ride 9
Don’t settle for sub-par technology when you can get last year’s version of a longtime runner’s favorite on the cheap. With moderate cushioning, neutral arch support, and a flexible upper, the Ride 9 works for novices who are still getting their feet wet, and it's preferred by experienced runners who like a simple and reliable shoe.
Perfect for speed training, these feature Altra's Alter Ego midsole, which is quite possibly the bounciest midsole on the market, with incredible responsiveness, step after step. They also have a flat-knit, sock-like upper that basically feels like an extension of your foot.
Hoka One One Bondi 5
These are the cushiest shoes we've seen (and the most cushioned in Hoka's lineup), which makes them ideal for serious mileage for marathons and more. Everything about this shoe was made to keep you comfortable and your joints protected.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
Runners with low arches who overpronate need a certain kind of shoe, and this is our favorite pick with added arch and medial stability. This shoe is nothing fancy, but it does have 18 years of success and updates, with runners mostly using it for half- and even full marathons.
For busy, health-conscious men, running is one of the best ways to stay active — just lace up your shoes, head out the front door, and go! But running shoes are like underwear: You either nail the fit and the world is your oyster, or you fail, and you’re pretty much destined to have a bad time. That's why it pays to know about support and cushioning before investing in some new kicks. Here are some pointers before deciding on the best men's running shoes for you:
1. Support: Most feet naturally pronate (roll inward) to some extent when you run. A high arch pronates just a little, but no added arch support is needed — for this, a neutral shoe is best. A medium to low arch overpronates, so a shoe with added medial arch support is needed — those are called stability shoes. The third kind of foot mechanics, supination, where the foot rolls slightly outward, is very uncommon.
2. Cushioning: This is a really personal preference, but it's generally understood that more cushioning provides better impact absorption, which protects your joints better. A shoe with maximum cushioning is ideal for longer distances when your body will take more of a beating. Meanwhile, a sneaker with less cushioning may be lighter and faster, but it won't be quite as comfortable.
Knowing what type of support and cushion you want is a good starting point, but we've picked out some important details to help make your decision easier. Whether you're squeezing in short, early-morning jogs or crushing long-distance races, check out our in-depth review of the best new men's running shoes for 2018.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
1. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3 Running Shoe — Check Price
Pros: Versatile, comfortable, lightweight
Cons: Too soft for longer mileage
Versatile is the best way to describe this shoe, which perfectly blends cushion, weight, and support to win our pick for the best overall men's running shoe. The Zante sits in New Balance’s “soft and cushioned” category, meaning better impact absorption and joint protection. You’ll appreciate that when distances are building up to the magic number of 13.2 (miles).
But that extra cushion doesn’t mean this shoe is bulky and heavy — at just 8.8 ounces per pair, it’s the exact opposite, actually. The outsole is lightweight and flexible, while the toe spring is aggressive, which creates a faster push-off and encourages a longer stride.
Neutral arch support caters to many runners (with mid-to-high arches), and a no-sew mesh upper hugs your foot like a bootie, making this versatile road sneaker a relatively easy choice for our favorite men’s running shoe.
2. Saucony Ride 9 Men's Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Support
Pros: Affordable, flexible, responsible
Con: Insufficient cushioning for longer distances
Saucony’s Ride 9 is last year’s version of their longstanding Ride model. By choosing a top-notch sneaker from the previous year, you save money while still getting a high-performance shoe, rather than skimping on a low-tech “budget” buy.
Almost everything about this shoe is middle-of-the-road, including neutral arch support, moderate cushioning, and a weight that's neither heavy nor light (9.3 ounces). All that positions this shoe well for most men who log good miles on pavement, with the most frequent use being for half-marathons.
But other than the price tag, what sets this shoe apart? Saucony’s Everun topsole construction gives you a smoother landing and more energy return with each step. They also have integrated Flexfilm technology, which allows the upper to flex with minimal resistance, so your feet have less work to do over the long haul.
3. Altra Escalante Running Sneaker — Check Price
Best for Speed Training
Pros: Responsive, energetic, and fast
Cons: Less supportive and less cushioned
Altra's Escalante has been very well-received in its first year, thanks to the company's Alter Ego midsole — quite possibly the most springy, responsive midsole compound that's currently in-line. This material cushions your foot as it lands, distributes the impact, then bounces as you push off, giving you the energetic feeling that's needed to run faster.
One standout feature of this shoe is the 1.1-millimeter heel drop. This is almost as low as minimalist shoes, which promote a more natural forefoot strike. However, this low heel drop, coupled with neutral arch support and moderate cushioning, means this shoe might not be for everyone.
The upper is a flat-knit, sock-like material that basically feels like an extension of your foot. This engineered knit upper keeps the shoe breathable, and it positions this shoe on the lighter side of the competition, at just 8.2 ounces per pair. Of course, it has Altra's odd-looking, yet comfort-enhancing "foot-shaped toe box," which lets your foot lie flat rather than unnecessarily scrunching your toes on top of one another.
4. Hoka One One Men's Bondi 5 Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Long Distances
Pro: Maximum cushioning for marathons
Con: Overkill for shorter distances
Hoka One One has introduced many shoes that are a bit more mainstream than the ones that they got their start with a few years back, but the Bondi 5 continues to improve on their signature feature — when it comes to cushioning, more is always better.
If you run long distances on hard surfaces, the Bondi 5, Hoka's most-cushioned road shoe, will reduce stress on your body, so you can keep going when other shoes might cause a slow-down. Contrary to previous models, this one looks more like a standard running sneaker than a moon shoe, because Hoka decided to paint the top portion of the sidewalls for less of a moon-walker look.
The sole of this shoe is moderately rounded (beveled), which provides a smoother rolling transition from heel to toe. This is especially useful for many guys who strike heel-first. This shoe also has a roomier toe box, so your toes have some room to breathe.
5. Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Overpronators
Pros: Superior stability and cushioning
Cons: Stiff and less responsive
The Adrenaline is in its 18th generation, which should be all the convincing you need that it's a fan favorite. For runners with arches on the flatter side, these are some of the more lightweight (just 8.6 ounces) options in the stability category.
A large amount of medial arch support reduces overpronation. A heel-to-toe drop of 10.2 millimeters is on the higher side, which encourages more natural movement, too. Those features — in addition to a high amount of cushioning for a softer feel, as well as a streamlined mesh upper — make this a great marathon-ready shoe that won't shy away from 26.2.
More of Our Top Picks:
Even though these didn't make our top five, they're still worth checking out, because every runner has different needs and preferences. If you're one of the few supinators (underpronators), check out some options here. But if you're a novice, a style-conscious gym-goer, or an overpronator who needs a shoe with stability, check out our runners up (see what we did there?)!
6. adidas UltraBoost Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Fashion-Forward Runners
Pros: Fashionable and responsive
Con: Less comfortable with distance
Running shoes aren't always the most fashionable, but adidas has created a perfectly capable neutral running shoe that also flexes some style when worn with joggers around town. This black-on-black pair is killing it, but the UltraBoost comes in over 15 other colors, too!
Adidas' key technology here is their Boost cushioning, which softens your landing and offers some pretty great energy return at push-off for an all-around lively feel that'll energize your runs. At 11 ounces per pair, they're quite a bit heavier than Altra's Escalante — but hey, looking good has its price.
Another feature we love is the Primeknit upper which, when combined with some added support in the midfoot and heel, hugs your foot and gives you a locked-in feeling, so slippage is rare and comfort is top-notch.
7. Nike Free RN Flyknit Running Sneaker — Check Price
Best for Short Runs at the Gym
Pros: Gym-ready, stylish, minimalist, and lightweight
Cons: Less support and cushioning
Some people can't imagine wearing anything but Nikes to the gym, and these shoes are for gym-goers who lift, cross-train, and mix in some short runs on the track or treadmill.
Nike made this men's shoe to have a minimalist feel, so it won't provide stability for overpronators, nor will it provide cushion for serious distances. It will, however, contract and expand with every landing and push-off, offering a more natural feel than shoes with added cushioning or support.
These shoes have great support in the uppers, though, thanks to a set of Flywire cables that are integrated into the sock-like, breathable Flyknit fabric. The tighter the laces, the more hugged and supported your feet will feel.
At under 8 ounces per pair, these are the lightest shoes we reviewed, which has many benefits. Toss them in your gym bag and forget about them until later, or lace them up and feel more free as your stride lengthens and the miles add up.
8. Reebok OSR Harmony Road Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Daily Wear
Pros: Bouncy, itch-free, and versatile
Con: Heavier than other marathon shoes
Reebok introduced these shoes in the spring of 2017, and Runner's World quickly awarded them the "Best Debut." Rock them as your daily runner, because they're great for tempo training, but they can also handle longer jaunts without wearing you (or itself) down.
The standout feature of this shoe is what the company calls the KooshRide core — the outsole is made of TPU foam with space between pieces, which allows the foam to compress and expand, providing a bouncing feeling under the heel. That, in addition to the moderate underfoot cushioning, makes this shoe great for both speed and distance training.
Reebok's SmoothFuse upper is super breathable and lightweight, and its seamless construction really minimizes irritation. All in all, this truly is a versatile option, built for daily use.
9. Brooks Ghost 10 Men's Running Sneaker — Check Price
Best for Beginners
Pros: High cushioning, good support, and super breathable
Con: A bit on the heavier side
This shoe has been an award winner for some time now, including Runner's World's Editor's Choice of 2017, because it continues to be reliable and high-mileage-ready for runners of all types and abilities. We like to think of this as the "Old Faithful" of running shoes.
A high heel drop (11.2 millimeters) encourages the heel to strike first, which is typical of newer runners. But don't worry — this shoe features more cushioning underfoot than most others, varying between high and moderate from heel to toe.
The Ghost is categorized as neutral for those with higher arches, but it works well for runners who mildly overpronate, thanks to a generally stiffer construction and more medial stability than is typically seen in neutral shoes. This will help beginners and experts alike maintain proper form and avoid injury when your muscles start to fatigue.
10. Asics GT-2000 6 Running Shoe — Check Price
Best for Stability
Pros: Supportive and firm for overpronators
Cons: Stiffer and heavier than most
If you have a low arch, overpronation can cause undue stress on your body in places where it shouldn't. To protect your muscles and joints, you'll need a shoe in the stability class, which has added medial support to prevent overpronation and promote a more neutral motion. Asics calls this support their Impact Guidance System.
The GT-2000 is in its sixth generation, thanks to great success with overpronators. It has been updated with Rearfoot Gel technology to cushion heel impact, a Spevafoam midsole that bounces back more than previous sole materials, and a removable sock liner that both enhances comfort and the life of your shoe.
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