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Best Neutral Running Shoes for Men & Women Reviewed

last updated Apr 01, 2019

Runners know that there is a lot more to it than grabbing any ‘ole pair of shoes and hitting the pavement. Neutral running shoes are those designed for people with a neutral pronation who often strike towards the center of the foot when walking or running. Runners with neutral pronation do best with mild support, as too much can cause their pronation to change to something more severe.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

icon
Brooks Ghost 11
94.2/100 our score
Support
97
Weight
95
Use
93
Breathability
96
Value
90
Brooks Ghost 11
Why is it better?

Mesh Upper

Rubber Outsole

Segmented Crash Pad

Omega Flex Grooves

BioMoGo DNA Midsole

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Brooks Ghost 11
Test Winner: Brooks Ghost 11
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1359
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Support Weight Use Breathability Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Support
97 %
Weight
95 %
Use
93 %
Breathability
96 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Backcountry Link
$99.95
See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
$99.95
See Deal
Amazon Link
$120.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Support
95 %
Weight
96 %
Use
92 %
Breathability
93 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Road Runner Sports Link
$122.87
See Deal
Amazon Link
$152.19
Backcountry Link
$164.95
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Support
94 %
Weight
91 %
Use
94 %
Breathability
90 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$64.96
Road Runner Sports Link
$84.95
See Deal
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Support
92 %
Weight
90 %
Use
88 %
Breathability
89 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$39.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$69.95
See Deal
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Support
91 %
Weight
90 %
Use
90 %
Breathability
88 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$44.96
Road Runner Sports Link
$69.95
See Deal
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Support
89 %
Weight
88 %
Use
91 %
Breathability
87 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Backcountry Link
$119.95
See Deal
Amazon Link
$122.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Support
90 %
Weight
88 %
Use
87 %
Breathability
89 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$49.98
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Support
84 %
Weight
90 %
Use
87 %
Breathability
86 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$64.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Support
86 %
Weight
87 %
Use
84 %
Breathability
89 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$49.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$59.95
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Support
82 %
Weight
85 %
Use
90 %
Breathability
84 %
Value
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$86.71
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Brooks Ghost 11 Brooks Ghost 11
  • New Balance 990V4 New Balance 990V4
  • Adidas Performance Edge Lux Adidas Performance Edge Lux
  • ASICS Gel-Contend 5 ASICS Gel-Contend 5
  • ASICS GEL-Venture 6 ASICS GEL-Venture 6
  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
  • Nike Revolution 4 Nike Revolution 4
  • Adidas Cloudfoam Vs City Adidas Cloudfoam Vs City
  • Saucony Cohesion 12 Saucony Cohesion 12
  • Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4 Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Neutral Running Shoes

1. Brooks Ghost 11

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Brooks Ghost 11
Amazon Link
Support
97
Weight
95
Use
93
Breathability
96
Value
90
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$120.00
Backcountry Link
$99.95
See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
$99.95
See Deal
Pros:

Mesh Upper

Rubber Outsole

Segmented Crash Pad

Omega Flex Grooves

BioMoGo DNA Midsole

Cons:

A Bit Pricey

Brooks is a popular choice amongst runners and the Ghost 11 does not disappoint. Having a mesh upper, rubber outsole, Omega Flex grooves, BioMoGo DNA midsole, and a segmented crash pad, these are loaded with great technologies. In other words, this pair is comfortable to wear while out on your run and have high performance in mind. Furthermore, this footwear is perfect for those who run long distances, as well.

Read more

This technology not only helps to retain your balance but, also, aids in providing the ultimate in comfortability. The segmented crash pad adjusts to each footfall, no matter the angle. As such, these provide ample security for your feet.

Flexibility is a must-have when considering great running shoes. These Ghost 10's give you that with Omega Flex Grooves technology in the forefoot.

2. New Balance 990V4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
New Balance 990V4
Amazon Link
Support
95
Weight
96
Use
92
Breathability
93
Value
89
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$152.19
Road Runner Sports Link
$122.87
See Deal
Backcountry Link
$164.95
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Pros:
  • Lightweight & Supportive
  • Dual-Enforced Ankle Collar
  • Huge Range Of Colors
  • Fits True To Size
Cons:
  • A Bit Pricey

New Balance is another company with a reputation for affordable daily sneakers that, also, designs running shoes with specific runners in mind. The 99OV4 is intended for runners with neutral pronation and a need for a sold ankle cuff. They come in a range of colors and are the latest addition to New Balance's Made in the U.S. line.

Read more

Mesh has become a key material in modern running shoes, prized for its light weight and ability to let a foot breathe. Unfortunately, it is not particularly supportive, which is why New Balance mixed the mesh with leather. The design combines breathability with the structure of leather.

Running footwear can break down in the oddest places, one of which is the collar around the runner's ankle. With dual-density construction, the collar on the 99OV4 will last long past others.

3. Adidas Performance Edge Lux

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Adidas Performance Edge Lux
Amazon Link
Support
94
Weight
91
Use
94
Breathability
90
Value
88
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$64.96
Road Runner Sports Link
$84.95
See Deal
Pros:
  • Textile Upper
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Range Of Color Options
  • Soft, Snug Fit
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • Price Varies Widely

Some athletic designs have every bell and whistle mixed in. Others, like the Edge Lux, like to keep things simple. This design takes the idea of a neutral runner to a new level. It offers a mild amount of arch support and a trademarked Bounce core to aid in absorbing shock during footfalls. Beyond that, it is designed for the runner who likes to keep things simple.

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The Edge Lux weighs in at only eight ounces for a size seven shoe. A light shoe weight means less strain on the runner and allows for more foot flexibility and motion during runs or other forms of exercise.

Adidas used a very limited number of structural features when they designed the Edge Lux. Instead of heavier and more cumbersome options, they chose to use a snug sock-like construction that would comfortably hug a wearer's foot. Many reviews even claim that it can be used without laces, though this is not recommended for runners!

4. ASICS Gel-Contend 5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
ASICS Gel-Contend 5
Amazon Link
Support
92
Weight
90
Use
88
Breathability
89
Value
91
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$39.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$69.95
See Deal
Pros:

Ortholite Sockliner

Gel Brand Technology Cushioning System

Amplifoam Midsole

Rubber Sole

Mesh Upper

Cons:
  • Size Runs Small

The Gel-Contend 5 is the latest iteration of the Gel-Contend line, featuring a breathable mesh upper, grippy rubber sole, a cushioned midsole and sleek design. An improvement from the Gel-Contend 4, the TRUSSTIC technology system in the 5 adds structure without weighing down the wearer. Very reasonably-priced and stylish, the Gel-Contend is perfect for running, jogging or simply wearing out-and-about.

Read more

The new midsole in this edition of the Gel-Contend is enhanced with Amplifoam, a special material the increases the durability of the midsole, while preserving the comfort, cushioning and flexibility of traditional midsoles. Midsoles are often the first thing to wear out when a shoe ages, so this helps you keep your favorite pair of Gel-Contends for longer!

Finally, the 5 maintains the amazing gel cushion in the heel of the shoe, leaving the wearer with less stress on the heel and less shock to the joints. The sockliner was revamped and now features moisture management technology called Ortholite, made by ATP Manufacturing. Overall, an awesome shoe for an awesome price.

5. ASICS GEL-Venture 6

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Amazon Link
Support
91
Weight
90
Use
90
Breathability
88
Value
89
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$44.96
Road Runner Sports Link
$69.95
See Deal
Pros:

Synthetic/Mesh Upper

GEL Cushioning System

Removable Foam Sockliner

Trail-Specific Outsole

Multi-Surface Traction

Cons:

Better For Wide Feet

Having bright and supportive overlays, this footwear provides stability and flexibility at the same time. Furthermore, the GEL cushioning system gives you the shock-absorbent technology you need for a comfortable run. Multi-surface traction helps with easier transitioning from road to dirt and the outsole is trail-specific. This makes these perfect for both hard surface and trail running.

Read more

The upper gives you great breathability; thereby, giving you a wonderful and healthy environment for your feet while you run. Additionally, the mesh helps to provide decent flexibility, as well.

For those in need of orthotic support, a removable sockliner is in place. This makes these quite attractive, in terms of usability. Furthermore, the existing sockliner is decent in providing comfort.

6. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
Amazon Link
Support
89
Weight
88
Use
91
Breathability
87
Value
90
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$122.95
Backcountry Link
$119.95
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Pros:

Fabric Upper

Rubber sole

Flymesh construction

Reflectivity on the heel

Fitsole sock-liner

Premium Cushlon ST foam

Cons:
  • Size Runs Small

If you haven’t worn Nike’s shoes that feature flymesh technology in the upper, you are missing out. The new Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 is one of the most comfortable running shoes for neutral walkers on the market today, thanks to Nike’s legendary focus on design and technology.

Read more

The Pegasus 35, with dozens of cool colors, such as Floral and University Red, offers a breathable fabric upper, rubber sole for traction on any surface, and a Fitsole sock-liner that conforms to the shape of your foot. It’s perfect for wearing to college or on the track, and the reflectivity of the heel supports neutral walkers throughout the gait cycle.

The Premium Cushlon foam in the midsole is strikingly comfortable and doesn’t weigh down the wearer by adding excess weight to the shoe. Self-described by Nike as “incredibly snappy, both in appearance and performance,” it will leaving you feeling good and looking good.

7. Nike Revolution 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Nike Revolution 4
Amazon Link
Support
90
Weight
88
Use
87
Breathability
89
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.98
Pros:

Mesh upper for breathability

Soft foam midsole

Lightweight and responsive cushioning

Rubber outsole

Cons:

Thin Shoelaces

The Nike Revolution 4 are… well… revolutionary. With their lightweight, yet sturdy construction, you can have these runners for years and wear them for almost any sports activity. The shock absorption of the midsole is augmented by a soft foam material, while the rubber outsole offers traction and supports the wearer, even when making quick movements.

Read more

Like most Nike sneakers, the upper is mesh and highly breathable, meaning you won’t have (super) stinky feet after playing your A-game. The ability to let moisture and heat out when in motion also means you won’t find yourself with a nasty athlete’s foot condition or blisters after a hard run, either.

At the middle of the road in terms of price, the Revolution 4 is a great option for someone looking for a fashionable, effective runner, but still wanting a bargain. The only thing to watch out for is that they only come in three color options, so if you want something unique, you may need to look elsewhere.

8. Adidas Cloudfoam Vs City

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Adidas Cloudfoam Vs City
Amazon Link
Support
84
Weight
90
Use
87
Breathability
86
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$64.95
Pros:

Synthetic/Mesh Upper

Rubber Outsole

Cloudfoam Midsole

Flexible

3-Stripe Overlay

Cons:

Minimal Arch Support

For those who enjoy pavement running, Cloudfoam Vs City from Adidas might be just what you are searching for. The traction of the rubber outsoles is perfect for road running and the Cloudfoam midsoles provide decent cushioning with this in mind. In other words, there is a chance you could feel as though you are walking on clouds, even though you are running across the pavement.

Read more

The upper is made to bring you flexibility and breathability; that is, your feet will remain cool while you burn up the road in comfort. Utilized in conjunction with the 3-strip overlays, this pair is durable, as well.

This midsole is designed specifically for the hard impacts of road running. With Cloudfoam technology at the helm, you can be certain your feet will feel great with each passing mile.

9. Saucony Cohesion 12

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Saucony Cohesion 12
Amazon Link
Support
86
Weight
87
Use
84
Breathability
89
Value
87
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$49.95
Road Runner Sports Link
$59.95
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Pros:

Textile and Synthetic

Rubber sole

VERSAFOAM cushioning technology

GRID technology

Supportive upper overlays

Cons:
  • Runs Small

The Saucony Cohesion 12, like its predecessor, leaves the bells and whistles at the door and instead takes on a solid construction with features designed to help you do one thing: run farther and faster. The Cohesion is known for its durable construction and could endure at least one year of wear and tear from an avid runner.

Read more

The rubber sole is perfect for running on all sorts of terrain, from city streets to country roads. The traction offered by the Cohesion helps prevents twists, slips and falls, and keeps you running upright. The pattern of the thread on the outsole augments the shoe’s ability to grip any surface.

A tad more expensive than the average running shoe, these are still reasonably priced, when you consider what you’re getting. Although not as attractive as a Nike or an ASICS, substance takes the cake over appearance with the Cohesion 12.

10. Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4
Amazon Link
Support
82
Weight
85
Use
90
Breathability
84
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$86.71
Pros:

100% Textile Upper

Synthetic sole

Parallel Wave Technology

U4ic Midsole

Classic 3D Mizuno Fit

Cons:

Size Runs Small/Narrow

Say “sayonara, baby” to foot pain, injuries and discomfort with the Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4. With proprietary technologies designed to enhance performance, responsiveness and comfort of the runner, The Sayonara 4 is perfect for any neutral runner who, nonetheless, experiences pain from time to time after intense runs.

Read more

The lightweight construction of the Sayonara 4 doesn’t detract from the durability of the running shoe, thanks to Mizuno Dyno motion technology. The three panel upper with a welded midfoot overlay preserves support and adds comfort for the wearer.

The new premium sock-liner is anatomically-designed, offering enhanced comfort and a better overall fit, no matter your foot shape. Bright, vibrant colors are available for those that want to make a fashion statement, whereas neutral and clean style varieties also exist for the more-muted wearer.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Support

Because runners with neutral pronation are not in need of the same kind of support structures that other pronation types are, the shoes on this list were evaluated based on whether or not they offered any forms of additional support or padding, and whether those supports were necessary or only added to the weight and cost of the shoe without benefit to the buyer. Footwear with overly high arches or unnecessary supports was eliminated, thus leaving the shoes best matched to a neutral runner. One of the biggest concerns would be the weight of the shoe, the cost of a durable pair, and the shock absorption offered. Most of the footwear features specific shock-absorbing attributes to give the buyers run a smoother and less aggressive rhythm and cause less pressure on the knee, ankle and hip joints.

Weight

Many non-runners underestimate the effect that a shoe’s weight can have on a runner. Shoe designers, however, are very aware of this factor and it was high on the list of criteria that each shoe on this list was matched to. In many cases, an exact weight is offered, though of course, the weight varies depending on size. To reduce weight, many of these are primarily made of mesh with rubber soles, though each model has its own style and method of integrating these two materials. The base weight was not the only consideration, however. When possible, each was evaluated based on the features it offered and whether or not they were worth the weight they added to the shoe, allowing for a weight and function judgment to be made.

Use

These are, for the most part, intended for running and little else. Most people cannot designate just one activity per pair of shoes, however, and this was taken into account when choosing the shoes to list above. Each was designed specifically for running and may be mildly uncomfortable for activities where the foot moves in a markedly different manner, but there are numerous other activities that buyers have successfully involved these in, as well. Squash, boating, and basketball are just a few that were listed, leaving the door open for many other options in between runs; albeit, doing so will lower the life-expectancy for running usability.

Breathability

The right pair of footwear must provide sufficient ventilation for your feet to breathe. The most obvious benefit is the reduction in unpleasant odor (we all know that moment when you come home from a long day, slip them off, and catch a whiff… mhm, home sweet home.). But apart from that, there’s also the decrease in moisture and the reduced risk of harmful bacteria growing on the nice comfortable insole of your shoes.

The best material to provide breathability is mesh. Mesh is a type of synthetic material that is very light and flexible. Air can flow through it freely so that when it is found in the uppers of athletic shoes, the moisture from perspiration and any unpleasant odor is quickly filtered out to evaporate into the air. Besides allowing the air to flow, it also keeps the overall shoe nice and lightweight. This way, when you’re jumping around and working your butt off, you won’t have extra weights weighing you down at your feet. Mesh also dries quickly, which is convenient when they get wet by accident.

Some trainers also have leather in their uppers. The main practical benefit of this is that they render the shoe more durable. After all, leather is a very tough and hardwearing material. When it comes to appearance, they obviously have a handsome and luxurious look about them. Even if working out isn’t about having shining kicks to show off to your gym buddies, it can be good to know you’re still dressed decently when sweating and panting after a good session – because everything else about you sure isn’t impressive. However, leather isn’t as breathable as synthetic materials. It is breathable to some degree, but it’s not as efficient as a mesh. In turn, it is not a good option for those who tend to have sweaty feet.

Value

The last criteria that we would like to share are regarding the price tag. Here’s the deal, no consumer wants to spend above their budget on a good. So, when we were evaluating items, we really took into consideration a few different things when it comes to price. Primarily, we really wanted to focus on sharing brands and products that offered a blend of a good price tag with great value.

To do this, we actually started off the buying guide by scanning through a couple dozen different types of footwear. We looked at the price range and came up with an average or an estimated market value. This number was then used in choosing the best products. For example, we would look at a product and ask ourselves:

  • How is this priced in comparison to the estimated market price?
  • Does this product offer value equal to or greater than its price tag?
  • How does this compare to the other products we have selected?
  • Does the consumer receive more or less value from this than another brand?
  • No matter the type of good you are planning on purchasing, by asking questions like above, it can really help to ensure you are receiving your money’s worth for a purchase.

    Expert Interviews & Opinions

    Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
    Sort criterias acording to:
    Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
    Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
    #1
    ico Support
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #2
    ico Weight
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #3
    ico Use
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #4
    ico Breathability
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    #5
    ico Value
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    expert tips icon
    Going The Distance

    Increasing mileage each week can help get you to your goal of a marathon, but if done too quickly, will cause injuries such as shin splints, that could sideline your goals.
    To keep yourself safe, increase by only 10% each week in mileage for your longer run. So, if you ran a 10 mile long distance run one day, the following week, you'd try to hit an 11 mile long distance run.

    Replacing Running Shoes

    While a general rule of thumb is to replace your running sneakers ever 300-500 miles, it really depends on the brand, and the soles of the sneaker. Some soles simply wear out more easily than others, sometimes due to a super cushioned ride, instead of something a bit more structured.
    If you start to see 'wrinkling' in the sides of your soles, it's a good indicator that the cushioning is starting to wear down, and you should look to replace them soon.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Bottom Line

    A basic sneaker will work in the beginning, but anyone who tries to run in unsuitable footwear for long will quickly feel it in their feet, knees, and hips. A proper running shoe can be almost as unique as the runner wearing it and shoe companies are very aware of this. Footwear designers take everything into account such as padding for comfort,  cushioning to alleviate load-rate, fashion elements, and the support needed for people with different gaits.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Do the shoes fit true to size?

    a:

    For the most part, these fit true to size. In cases where there is a chronic issue with them being a size small, it is mentioned in the review. Athletic shoes are, generally, recommended to be a half size larger than dress shoes to allow for the foot’s movement. So, that factor was taken into account, as well.

    q: Are the shoes waterproof?

    a:

    A few pairs on this list do qualify as all-weather, so to speak (temperature wise); but as the majority of them are mesh, it is hard to deem them waterproof. A waterproof spray is, usually, recommended for any footwear that will often be worn outdoors.

    q: How long will a pair last?

    a:

    That depends on how often the shoes are worn and how much use they see in each wear. But, generally speaking, the shoes on this list will last a consistent runner a year or more before either the insole or the traction on the bottom fails and the shoes need to be replaced.

    q: Where can I find out my pronation?

    a:

    A podiatrist is the best bet for determining what kind of pronation a person has, but shoe stores and sports supply stores often have people available to help determine this, as well.

    q: Are neutral running shoes good for people with plantar fasciitis?

    a:

    For the most part, no. There is often not enough arch support or heel cupping for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Some of the shoes listed above have removable insoles so that suitable insoles for plantar fasciitis can be added and there are many wonderful insoles on the market. Straight from the box, however, neutral pronation shoes are likely not going to have enough support.