Best Road Running Shoes Reviewed
Shopping for the best road running shoes is not as easy as it sounds. People often underestimate the need for proper gear by assuming that runners can wear any casual sneakers or trainers. If you have been having trouble finding the right pair to meet your needs, this guide will help you narrow down your options.
We have started off the list with five of the best road running shoes for men, and finished off with five of the best options for women, to ensure that there is something for everyone.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Lots of support
Breathable outer mesh
Four width options
Top 10 Picks
1. Brooks Ghost 11
Lots of support
Breathable outer mesh
Four width options
These Brooks Ghost 11 options are exciting to run in. They are incredibly comfortable and breathable. Users also like how they offer plenty of cushioning and support. Part of what makes them stand out is that they tend to stretch according to your feet as you run. They are ideal because they offer everything you would want in a pair of road runner shoes.
The Ghost 11 midsole foam provides a light feel, without compromising on bounce or softness. The midsole is also divided into a matrix of shock absorbers. This design effectively disperses shock as you land, smoothly transitioning you to your next stride. They will provide you with faster transitions and better protection compared to most brands.
They have the same outsoles as their predecessor, the Ghost 10. The pair performs well in varied terrains and conditions, so there was no need to change something that works perfectly. You will find their grip impressive, thanks to the deep treads.
It’s safe to say that they will boost your confidence whenever you step on the tracks. Users also like how the pair doesn’t restrict their training and workouts. You won’t have to worry about sliding or slipping in torrential downpours or elevated slopes. Runners can wear them anywhere and still perform their best.
The structured upper mesh wraps your foot securely, giving you an excellent fit. The stretch material on this section runs around the midfoot to the heel for superior support. The mesh around the forefoot is loosely knitted. The loose construction offers extra room for your toe and wiggle room for your feet. The pair is also highly breathable to provide you with all the ventilation you will need.
2. Nike Air Max Torch 4
When describing the Nike Air Max Torch 4, the words durable and high-performance come to mind. You would expect nothing less from Nike since the brand is always at the top of most runners’ must-have gear. The pair has several shoe technologies and comes in an attractive design. They are an excellent fit for people looking for versatility, added mobility, and comfort, among other features.
To enhance the pair’s durability, Nike made the outsoles using carbon fiber rubber waffle. The rubber is full-length and also provides users with sufficient traction. The pair’s uppers consist of both synthetic leather and mesh overlays. Their overall construction enables the shoes to withstand constant movement and continuous flexing.
The mesh also contributes to their comfort since the shoes are well ventilated. Other comfort features include a spacious toe box, lightweight design, and adequate padding. Nike also incorporated its Air Cushioning Technology to ensure that your feet will always feel great during your runs.
Users also like how the shoes provide them with a snug fit. You’ll also love them if you prefer minimalist midsoles. The design ensures that your heel to toe transition is effortless and that you’re consistently comfortable. Therefore, you shouldn’t panic once you realize that there is a lot of foam material at the back of the shoes.
You will also benefit from the various protective features around them. Each of them has a splash guard, toe guard, and a heel guard. Users also find the shoes sturdy yet responsive. The Nike pair also has reflective elements, which will come in handy in low light conditions.
3. Reebok Classic
Soft leather upper
These pair of Reebok’s are well known for their classic appeal. They have a sophisticated style and come in a wide range of colors. In fact, most Reebok fans have highlighted them as one of their favorite pairs in the Reebok Classics Collection. Despite their affordable pricing, the pair can easily outperform other highly-priced, road running options.
These are some of the most underrated shoes. Not only are they great for road running, but they can also serve as lifestyle shoes and have many valuable features. They are popular because they are compatible with both wide and narrow feet.
Users also claim that they can wear the pair for long hours. However, you should consider adding inserts or insoles if you want more cushioning. The shoes stand out because they can hold their own despite daily usage. They are exactly what you need if you wish to prioritize longevity.
You will find that they have adequate arch support. These sneakers midsoles are made of die-cut EVA foam and have padded sock liners. The outsoles are high abrasion, with enough grip to boost your road running experience.
4. PUMA Tazon 6
The arch lacks flexibility
Puma offers a pair of stylish and eye-catching road running sneakers in the Tazon 6. They are ideal for people who want general athletic training shoes. You can also wear them while taking on other activities aside from running. Users wear them to the gym, work, and several casual settings. Since the brand refers to them as ‘running-inspired-training shoes’, you can be confident that they will be able to meet your road running needs.
The trainers stand out for several reasons. They have a sporty silhouette, a logo at the tongue, the medial sides have Puma cat logos, and the lateral sides have PUMA Formstrips. The uppers have fracture graphic and consist of synthetic leather. The trainers also have a T-toe construction.
Some users feel that the midsole is stiff. However, despite its rigidity, it is surprisingly stable. It has a TPU shank, which also contributes to its stability. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what kind of features you want to prioritize. For shock absorption, the shoes have an EVA foam cushioning heel pod.
They are designed to provide users with the ultimate comfort and fit. To achieve this, Puma uses EcoOrthoLite® sockliners when making this line of trainers. The sock liners are also breathable. Other comfort features include the Midfoot saddles and lace closures, which provide users with the optimum fit.
5. TSLA Sports
Heel loop band
Multiple color options
Insufficient shock absorption
TSLA road running models are popular because of their quality and affordability. They are also great for roadside running because of their lightweight construction. The pair is available in different size variations, making them suitable for people with diverse feet sizes. Meaning that you can easily get a pair that fits you, regardless of whether you have narrow or wide feet.
One of the shoes’ biggest selling points is their flexibility. They are well known for their flexible movement. The outsoles are hydro-grip with flex groove soles. You won’t have to worry about stability or traction whenever you put them on. Runners can wear the shoes on various terrains and surfaces.
Your feet will always be in place. The heel areas have internal foam padding for balance and centering. Unlike other brands, TSLA uses Vamp materials. Compared to conventional knit materials, vamp alternatives last longer and have better ventilation. The pair also has Circular Air breathable designs for enhanced air circulation.
The pair also has multi-directional flexible groove insoles with excellent cushioning. These features ensure that you will always have balance when running or engaging in other activities. Aside from grip, the midsoles will also ensure that you have a shock-absorbent fit. For added security, TSLA guaranteed that each side of the shoes has a PU upper.
6. ASICS GT-2000
Tight toe box
Do you have pronation issues? If so, the ASICS GT-2000 7 might be the right fit for you. ASICS engineered them for people who struggle with overpronation. They will ensure that you get all the support you need, to stop your feet from rolling inwards. The GT-2000 7 series are a step up from their predecessors and feature better breathability, durability, and an improved fit.
To improve on the model’s breathability, Asics used newly engineered mesh when constructing the shoes. As a result, the upper provides users with more support and a glove-like fit as well. For cushioning performance, the pair has ComforDry sock liners. The liners are removable, making it convenient for runners who wear medical orthotics.
The sock liners also have moisture-wicking properties. Thanks to such features, your feet will always be in a healthy, cool, and dry environment. Most users will attest to the fact that they have a smooth transition to midstance. ASICS incorporated its Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System for reducing shock during the impact phase.
Aside from the Rearfoot and forefoot technology GEL Brand technology, the pair also has FLYTEFOAM LYTE tech for shock absorption and bounce back. They are also incredibly stable because of ASICS’ DYNAMIC DUOMAX SUPPORT SYSTEM technology. Part of what makes this pair durable is their AHAR outsole. ASICS placed the rubber in critical outsole areas to enhance durability.
7. Saucony Cohesion 10
Heel grid system
Plush tongue and collar
Not for wet surfaces
Whether you’re a high or low mileage runner, these Cohesion 10 shoes are going to be your go-to options. They are neutral trainers that stand out because of their shock absorption and comfort features. The pair comes in over ten colors, each with their own appeal.
The Saucony alternatives have excellent traction, thanks to the brand’s Tri-Flex system. The system is also, what handles the pair’s shock absorption. It helps improve surface contact and provides a stable ride. You will also love these trainers if you value flexibility. They also have flex grooves and an improved material design, which makes them more flexible than their predecessors.
The material consists of rubber and soft iBR. This combination also contributes to the pair’s durability. Aside from the mentioned combination, the outsole has other materials around the high-wear areas. Users like how they can run confidently since the footwear was designed to handle abrasive elements.
Other features that can handle wear and tear include the injection-molded EVA and the mesh upper as well. Despite their robust features, the shoes do not offer much arch support. However, they have overlays around the heels and throughout the shoe for added stability.
8. Adidas Cloudfoam Pure
Stretchy mesh upper
Cloudfoam memory sockliner
Like most Adidas shoes, you can expect nothing short of reliable performance from these Women's Cloudfoam Pure alternatives. Although they are great for road running, the shoes are also known for their role in helping people recover from conditions like plantar fasciitis. The brand has received a lot of positive feedback from people whose discomfort was alleviated. For that reason, if you often suffer from knee problems and such issues, then you should definitely try the pair.
The shoes are comfortable because they have a strong padding foundation. The sneakers’ dense padding consists of the brand’s EVA compound, and the patented Cloudfoam technology. Users like the level of bounce back offered and how it holds up over time. The EVA midsole and slightly contoured insole, further contribute to the sneakers’ resilience and comfort.
For ventilation, they have a highly breathable upper and Cloudfoam Pure technology. The tech helps regulate the temperature inside the shoe so that your feet remain cool and your sneakers don’t get stuffy. They are also lightweight, making it easy for you to run without subjecting you to fatigue.
9. New Balance Fuelcore Nergize
Textured breathable upper
New Balance offers a pair of athleisure sneakers for road runners in the Fuelcore Nergize. The sneakers come in over twenty colors, making them easy to match with different types of gear. Their design is also stylish, making them more versatile than other types of trainers. Like most New Balance trainers, they also have some shoe tech that will enhance your road running experience.
What makes these sneakers lighter is the use of New Balance’ Revlite midsole foam. It is 30% lighter than the standard New Balance foams and incredibly responsive. You will get the benefit of having a lighter ride without minimal construction. Other brands tend to sacrifice stability or underfoot cushioning to achieve the same results.
The trainers have a slip-on silhouette, making them convenient to wear or take off. Other features that stand out are the details on the modern upper and the low-cut design. You will also like how your ankles retain their agility and flexibility, thanks to the sneakers’ V-dip collar design.
10. Aleader Mesh Sport
High arch support
These Aleader sports sneakers are some of the most affordable alternatives on this list. They are professional athletic shoes, made from quality materials and advanced shoe technology. Most runners find them appealing because of their new 3D print double-layered air mesh upper. Apart from aesthetics, the top also offers better breathability.
The sneakers dynamically adapt to your steps for comfort. They also have soft insoles and sufficient arch support. Users like how the sneakers’ feel as if they are hugging one’s feet. The material feels exceptionally light, and the support contributes to the runner’s stability.
Aleader has a 5 Claws Stable Support feature, which is also responsible for the sneakers’ ergonomics and comfort. You will find their traction impressive, thanks to the streamline on the outsole. The outsoles are also hydro-grip, for use on different terrains and surfaces.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You are at your best when you are comfortable.
Running can be challenging, so there’s no reason to make things harder on yourself by wearing uncomfortable shoes. People’s feet are different. Even the right and left foot sometimes vary in some individuals. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things you can look at to determine if the pair you want is right for you.
First, you need to look at the features and design. Do they conform to your interests? Second, is the lining quality up to par? These are questions that we consider from thousands of reviews to get a view of how people felt in the shoes we listed.
What this means is that we considered the majority of the buyers rather than looking at the opinion of a few people. When you do extensive research, you will also make better purchasing decisions, since you will have more information regarding things like comfort.
For the road, you want well-cushioned insoles in your shoes. Some even have removable insoles, so that you can add inserts that you prefer. Some people like to have padded collars on their shoes, while others feel as if they cause some unwarranted friction. Features like these are preferential, so you wouldn’t want to rely heavily on someone else’s opinion.
By testing out your shoes, you can get a feel of how they are; if there is any need to adjust them or discard them altogether. Doing so will also help you determine if the shoes are compatible with your feet. Sneakers vary, with some being neutral and others designed for overpronation and underpronation.
In this review, we also looked at brands with not only different sizes but also whether they offer shoes that run narrow and wide. When it comes to comfort, there’s nothing like one size fits all. It’s crucial to find the right fit for the sake of your performance.
If you are a long-distance runner, you need a shoe that’s lightweight, breathable and provides the cushioning and necessary support. Midsoles should be firm, yet flexible enough, not to restrict your foot movement. Good midsoles usually have a bouncy effect, to add a spring in your step. The shoes in this review offer all these features and more.
When purchasing road running shoes, you don’t have to worry much about off-road terrain. Therefore, by design, the shoes on this list focus more on comfort and a decent amount of stability. The cushioning in these shoes will reduce fatigue while maximizing on flexibility. You won’t feel restricted, and your range of motion will increase.
Ventilation varies according to your needs.
You are, without a doubt, going to feel hot in your shoes, more so over long distances. People sweat even more when the temperature is hot. To a runner, sweat can be catastrophic and can lead to chafing, blisters, and hot spots that can stop you in your tracks. Because of this, this list highly considers the breathability of your shoes.
Moisture-wicking is another factor that goes hand in hand with breathability. The design and materials try to mitigate sweat. Most manufacturers use mesh, which allows moisture to dissipate outward and evaporate.
Because of the mesh design, you will find that the shoes on this list are lightweight. Other types often have many support features built into them. Such shoes need overlays or strips of materials sewn to the upper to create additional support. However, they tend to get in the way of the mesh, which in turn traps moisture inside the shoe.
On-road options don’t need a lot of stability. You should focus more on features like breathability instead. Ventilation is a must because you want your feet to stay dry on your runs. Off-road shoes are also heavier because they need both breathability and protection from the elements. The additional protection adds up more weight and often takes up material on the upper that would have otherwise been mesh.
Good shoes need to hold up to the stress.
There are many low-quality manufacturers in the market. While running, you clock in many miles, and your shoes will be subject to wear and tear. In this review, we looked at brands with features that will improve their product’s durability.
To get a long lasting pair, you need to look for a durable outsole, proper construction, and use of quality materials. We focused on what user experiences, and how long the pairs lasted, without the eventual defects getting in the way.
It goes without saying that cheap shoes will often yield first. The lower the quality, the less durable they will be. However, that does not mean that all shoes with low prices are always of poor quality. The shoes in this list are not overly expensive, and you can find a good quality pair that’s in line with your budget.
Most good running shoes must clock 500 miles or more, like the ones in this review. They may last longer since they won’t experience abrasion because they aren’t for use in rough terrain. You also should take proper care of your shoes, to ensure that they serve you for a longer duration.
Runners have different needs.
It is essential to know your foot type. Even though it’s bordering on personal comfort, the arch of your foot and running gait influence the level of support you require. Some people’s feet have unique issues; hence, they might need a specific type of shoe.
In this list, we considered the cushioning provided by the midsole. Cushioning goes hand in hand with support and comfort. Too much or too little shock reduction will make your feet sore. You want to avoid discomfort; otherwise, you won’t be able to perform your best.
The inserts should be simple enough to provide flexibility without adding unwarranted weight. Worthy cushioning should protect your feet, to help you avoid minor injuries and bruises. Some shoes in this list also have specialized features to deal with issues like plantar fasciitis. Such shoes are great for numerous foot conditions, because your muscles won’t feel exhausted or overworked.
The best arch support should be firm, and not yield to the pressure as you sprint. The midsole should be able to absorb shock, support, and add comfort to your foot, without feeling bulky. Whereas the outsole should have lugs that are deep enough to add adequate grip and traction on the track.
The thing is, you can only realize the level of support provided after putting in some mileage. Luckily, our selection was based on shoes that have good feedback from athletes. We considered the insight they provided when making this guide. However, the fact remains that low-quality padding loses its stability in a short time. Therefore, it’s not something that you can always judge from face value.
When it comes to support, you should also look at the flexibility and stability provided. Too much flexibility without stability will give you less control, thus increasing the risk of injury. On the other hand, a shoe that lacks flexibility won’t allow you to move freely. Make sure that the shoes you select strike the right balance between the two factors.
You will run with ease if you move naturally. Besides, your joints and muscles won’t hurt as much, after a long run.
Look good, feel good, and run better.
Studies show that people who like how they look on the track, usually feel better, and perform exceptionally. Some people don’t think much about that: but, consider the compliments you receive by having a stylish pair of shoes. A kind gesture will increase your feel-good factor, and you will be pumped for the race.
The road running shoes in this list come in plenty of stylish choices to showcase your personality and preferences. There are many attractive colors and patterns that you can choose from. The brands are well known, and you can step out on the track, matched from head to toe.
With the available variety, you can even ask your running mates to get similar styles, just to foster team spirit. They will also get to experience and enjoy wearing quality from a brand that can also meet their needs.
Another added benefit of selecting a well-known brand is that they offer more options in terms of sizing. Lesser-known brands often have less variety, meaning that there’s a high chance that you’re likely going to deal with inaccurate sizing. Ill-fitting shoes will not only cause you discomfort but also cause you harm. You might even end up with blisters or worse. That will most definitely affect your performance.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Seasoned long-distance runners alternate between two pairs of running shoes. By doing so, each pair will degrade evenly, and the midsole will decompress better. Cushioning takes time to regain its spring, so don’t overwork one pair. With rotation, your footwear will remain fresh, and you will always have a pair of shoes to use when the other wears out.
Wash the pair you choose by hand, with warm water and soap. Remove stains that may have accumulated on the upper and inside any treads when cleaning. Dirt will make the shoe wear down faster, so proper cleaning ensures you get your money’s worth by adding to your sneaker’s longevity.
With suitable cushioning, your shoe will give you a bounce, thus propelling you forward. The right shoes will make it easier for you to run faster and further, with each step. The excellent designs in the shoes featured here provide a suitable platform, to keep forging you ahead.
Other Factors to Consider
Your foot will strike the ground more times compared to that of a person who only runs occasionally. That is why your road running shoe has to shield you and absorb the impact so that your joints and tendons don’t suffer.
The insole and outsole also need to provide you with enough cushioning. In low-quality shoes, you will experience more fatigue, or even develop conditions like plantar fasciitis.
We also considered the prices and what the shoes have to offer, ensuring that the two match up. Cost and efficiency don’t always go hand in hand. High pricing does not necessarily mean better quality. The shoes featured here are reasonably priced and worth the purchase.
If you find a pair that costs more, we ensured that it’s of exceptional quality and durability. It’s logical to invest in a pair that costs twice as much if it’s going to last three times longer. Quality shoes have excellent features that will enable you to get the most out of your workout.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How long do road runner shoes last?
Each pair of shoes has its limit. Some perform highly, while others fail miserably. Their durability also depends on your usability and the distances you cover.
Regardless of the type of shoes you buy, you have to maintain them if you want them to serve you well. Otherwise, they will wear out quicker than the stipulated useful life. At the end of the day, quality shoes will last longer because they are made of better materials.
Statistics show that a sound pair of shoes clocks between 400-500 miles on the road. However, you can expect some pairs to clock more miles if you rarely use them or train as hard as some people do.
Shoes that have gone past their limits tend to lack proper cushioning, which in turn reduces their shock absorbency and level of support. As mentioned earlier in the guide, this might lead to injury. Start looking for replacements once you start seeing the tell-tell signs of wear and tear.
q: Why not just use my regular tennis shoes when running?
Many people wonder why, and some learn the lesson the hard way. Wearing a random pair of shoes when running will work against you. It will result in consequences, such as blisters, irritation, and injuries.
Suitable road running shoes offer enhanced flexibility, support, torsional stability, better cushioning, traction, and so much more. With the right pair of road running shoes, you won’t end up with a myriad of problems.
The advantages clearly outweigh wearing any type of footwear, just because you want to cut on costs. It’s not worth negatively affecting your performance, or risking and getting injured. You won’t be able to reach your potential on the track, with the wrong pair of shoes.
q: Is it okay to wear a brand new pair of shoes to a race?
For running, you want a pair that you have already broken in. New shoes might lead to problems, which you probably won’t be able to deal with on the track. By spending more time with the footwear, it adjusts according to your foot. You’ll also see how you’ll need to tailor it to get the best fit. Take time and try your shoes out during regular workouts, before using them on significant occasions.
q: What’s the difference between road and trail running shoes?
Trail running shoes focus more on protection rather than speed. On hills or rocky areas, you can’t go on a run with your regular shoes because you are more prone to injuries. Trail shoes also have deeper traction on the sole than road running shoes. With better traction, you have a better grip on rocky terrains.
On the road, you don’t need much protection. You will just need a lightweight shoe that offers more flexibility. For these reasons, the two types of gear are interchangeable.
q: What’s the price of a good running shoe?
Most people tend to believe that expensive shoes are better. However, that’s not always true. Many factors come into play when gauging the price and value. In some cases, lesser-known brands can go toe to toe with top-rated brands.
Some shoes are more expensive because they use higher quality materials. With better materials, your shoes will last longer. Lower quality options will send you back to the shop for another pair earlier than you expected.
Other brands add features that you may not even need, thus shooting up the cost of the shoes. That is why you should mainly focus on comfort and stability when making your selection.
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