Every man knows what they want from running shoes. You want support, ultralightweight, comfort, the right fit, and the perfect cushioning. Running hundreds of miles is never an easy thing, and the last thing you want is to do it with low-quality shoes. To help you find the perfect running shoes, we have analyzed and reviewed some top brands.
Each year we look at various men and women running shoes in the market, their features, and everything they have to offer. Although each running shoe is unique and different, there are a few brands that tend actually to stand out from the rest. In this particular article, we are going to list the top editor’s choice.
We believe this list represents the best option when it comes to men running shoes this year. Our list is based on extensive feedback from runners. We have also done our tests from the lab to differentiate between the best shoes in the market and the rest. Each shoe here is analyzed based on its overall performance.
Three important categories were also considered and are listed here below.
Many runners care about the weight of their shoes. However, research shows that people who run with heavier shoes spend more aerobic energy compared to those who run using lighter ones. But heavy shoes might limit the total number of miles you can run.
Light shoes tend to have less cushioning. This makes them feel faster. Extra cushioning on heavier shoes can be a big advantage for long distance running. The trick is to find the right balance that works for you.
A shoe drop is defined as the difference between the shoe’s heel and the forefoot measurements. It’s simply a measure of how much your toes drop below the heel. A higher drop leads to more heels striking which affects how you run. Typically, shoes tend to have a drop of between 8 and 12 millimeters. However, some may have a drop of as low as 6 millimeters. Some minimal designs may even have zero millimeters in the drop.
Cushioning is designed to provide impact absorption. We have our unique way of testing cushioning. First, we take measurements in the heel and the forefoot. We then average the measurements and give each shoe a score based on what we have found. Our scores range from 1-100 where 1 is the least cushioned shoe while 100 represent the highest cushioned running shoe.
Having looked at all these factors, we think the list below of top rated running shoes would be perfect for anyone.
The Adrenaline GTS 18 is designed by Brooks. It offers stable support for people who want to run for longer distances. The shoe is also very stable and has managed to strike a perfect balance between stability, usability, and support.
The shoe also delivers perfect support and stability without feeling heavy or cumbersome for the runner. The shoe’s midsole features Brook’s progressive Diagonal Rollbar and a BioMoGo design. This is a combination of hardened plastic and foam created to offer extra support.
The shoe has also been redesigned on its upper parts with an all-new streamlined mesh now included. The mesh offers great comfort. The shoes also fit well. It isn’t too big or too small. Although there’s still some wriggle room, you can’t feel it as you run. The heel also feels softer.
- Super light with effective overall support
- The redesigned upper part adds to the comfort
- Many different colors available for you to choose from
- The lightweight design and the high heel may sometimes prove problematic for some people.
The Asics GT 2000 6 is also a high-quality running shoe. Its new redesigned look is quite impressive. The improved lacing system is especially very important in the overall shoe design. We also loved the effective support and durability. The Asics GT 2000 6 is a high-quality running shoe that you can trust to run hundreds of miles without any issues.
It’s light, breathable, and with a slimmer and more fitting base. The Asics GT 2000 6 also has some innovative ventilation features on the upper part. It’s possible to feel the cool air move through feet. The midsole is created using FlyteFoam with small amounts of gel on the lateral heel and forefront. This helps to deliver perfect shock absorption.
- A very stable and moderately comfortable running shoe
- Light and quite breathable compared to the other options in this list
- Solid heel counter
- Responsive cushioning
- The cushioning might feel harder and firm at first which can be uncomfortable for some people
The New Balance 1260v7 is a classic New Balance design running shoe. However, it has a lower drop compared to other shoes. The shoe has paired soft cushioning with reliable stability. The 8 mm drop may not be standard, but it’s still workable and is designed for intense daily running. The New Balance 1260v7, however, is relatively heavy. It feels a little bit bulky, to be honest, but it does so much better compare to many other shoes it competes with.
The lower drop is complemented with light responsive foam in the sole unit. This gives the shoes a springboard like a lift to ensure you run faster. The overall look is also not bad. We love the sleek variety of colors with subtle accents of neon. The reflective detail on the shoes is also something worth noting. Although this is a feature that most people ignore, it can be a lifesaver when you are running during an autumn night.
We also noticed that the sole features an Abzorb cushioning design that significantly distributes the shock. The only downside to the New Balance 1260v7 shoe is that it doesn’t cup the heel that effectively. You will need to tighten the laces or use lace locking to overcome this challenge. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of long runs on tough terrain, this is the kind of shoe to go for.
- The high amount of cushioning helps to increase stability and comfort for runners
- The lower 8 mm drop improves performance without affecting the overall comfort
- The reflective details on the shoes are very impressive
- We found the shoe to be a little bulky compared to the other options in this list
- The cost is too high for some people
The Hoka One Bondi 5 is a solid highly cushioned running shoe. The upper side is very comfortable with soothing cushy sides too. The shoe is designed for people who are already used to a highly cushioned shoe or those who may love to make the switch.
The Bondi 5 is designed with a tapered shape at the heels making it easier for everyone to transition into it regardless of the type of feet. The engineered mesh on the upper side of the shoe is smooth and flexible. It also contributes massively to the shoes outward appearance, and the shoe feels comfortable right away when you put in on. This is very different from many other running shoes that might require easing in for a few days before they learn the contours of your feet.
The Bondi 5 has a soft EVA foam midsole that runs the entire length of the shoe. The midsole offers an additional thick layer of cushioning. The cushioning is so thick that you’d normally feel a little taller. The ventilation is also very well done. The Hoka One Bondi 5 is designed for people who are looking for comfort and performance. Its unique design and dense thick cushioning offer the perfect mix of durability and comfort.
- The thick cushioning adds to the shoe’s comfort
- Very strong and durable design
- Stable and supportive on any terrain
- Offers a smooth ride during long runs
- The upper sides can start to wear and tear relatively quicker compared to other running shoes
- The tongue may sometimes feel rigid for people who lack the required lacing techniques
There are many things that make the Nike Zoom Vomero 12 one of the best running shoes on this list. However, the priceless combination of a soft, thick midsole and a very comfortable upper does stand out for any runner. The shoe also fits easily on any feet. For high mileage daily running on difficult terrains, the Nike Zoom Vomero 12 would be a perfect choice.
The shoe is, however, heavy on the sides. It may take a few weeks to get used to it, but eventually, it will feel much lighter. The Nike Zoom Vomero 12 also provides great responsiveness more than any other shoe on this list. It is also multipurpose. Although it’s designed for running, you can use it for many purposes including training and other recreational activities like hiking.
The cushioning also feels soft and thick, making the shoe very comfortable. The cushioning gets thicker around the heel and the upper. It’s a design innovation created to make it easy for your feet to fit right in. The forefoot is less thick, and the latest Nike Zoom Vomero 12 has moved from 12 mm in offset to 10 mm.
The midsole has been created using the innovative Nike Lunarlon cushioning technology along with an Air Zoom unit that adds a unique spring. The midsole feels soft and supportive. Its firm design adds to the durability of the Nike Zoom Vomero 12 running shoes. It also provides stability. The Nike Zoom Vomero 12 is a simple multipurpose shoe that delivers strength, support, and comfort. The shoes can be used by anyone. They are relatively affordable compared to other shoes in this category too.
- Thick cushioning that delivers comfort and support
- The upper part of the shoe is very comfortable
- Features innovative Flymesh and Flywire
- Highly responsive
- The toe box shape can be problematic for some people
The Brooks Glycerin 15 is, in fact, an upgrade to a previous shoe model. It comes with newly added features. The Glycerin line is one of the most popular brands in the market, and the company has often been known for its highly cushioned shoes that are created to withstand any rough terrain and long-running. The shoes also provide a lot of comforts giving you a smooth ride as you run.
The previous version of the Brooks Glycerin 15 was quite solid too. The new version has retained the impeccable foundation of the older models while making a few tweaks to deliver value to the runner. The Brooks Glycerin 15 features a supper DNA midsole material. The upper part is created using 3D-fit print technology. Although these two features were all present in the older shoe design, there are a few changes on the upper with all-new rearranged overlays.
The shoe also has a new plush transition zone that allows a smooth and soft transition from heel to toe. The mesh on the upper is not just designed to guarantee proper ventilation, but it also looks very beautiful. The mesh feels quite thin, to be honest compared to another older version from Glycerin and can also easily stretch. This reduces any chances of quick wear and tear. The Brooks Glycerin 15 is a comfortable shoe design that offers the right amount of durability for long mileage. It’s designed with the runner in mind, and that’s why we think it’s among the best running shoes out there.
- The shoe is built using innovative technologies and materials to offer outstanding value for the runner
- The breathability is relatively better compared to many shoes in this list.
- Very comfortable with that extra layer of cushioning
- Other than the relatively high price, we couldn’t find any other cons about this shoe.
The Nike Zoom Fly is somewhat related to the Vaporfly that’s no longer available in the market at the moment. The shoe comes with a 10 mm drop and a weight of just about 8.4 ounces. This makes it one of the lightest running shoes in the market now. The Nike Zoom Fly is regarded as one of the ideal long distance running shoes too. It’s been used by professional athletes for years including our guys who ran the Boston marathon last year.
The insole is innovatively designed to offer support and stability without affecting the overall comfort. This is a challenge many manufacturers have been trying to overcome. Getting that right balance requires innovative foam in the insoles and extra cushioning. It seems the folks are making the Nike Zoom Fly have gotten this right.
There are many foam materials that are used. We are seeing TPU leading the way at the moment. Some companies have however customized the foam to meet their shoe design needs. Adidas, for example, is using Boost Foam while Saucony is trying Everun. Nike, on the other hand, is using Lunarlon on most of its shoes. Lunarlon tends to be lighter compared to other TPU foams. In fact, research shows that it’s 30% lighter than the standard phylon foam that’s used in many running shoes. Lunarlon is also very effective in shock absorption. This is the reason why it ranks as one of the best options for running shoe insoles and the Nike Zoom Fly just like many Nike shoes is taking advantage of it.
In addition to this, the Nike Zoom Fly also has a great upper. It’s smoothly designed to reduce the risk of chaffing on the runners. We also loved the Flymesh material. It’s so breathable, good looking, and very durable too. The Nike Zoom Fly may not be the best running shoe in this list, but if you are in the market for marathon running shoes or any other long-distance running, you will not go wrong with the Nike Zoom Fly. It’s simply impeccable.
- Sole materials are new and perfectly designed for efficient long-distance running
- The snug lacing system is simple and highly effective
- The upper design does well on aesthetics. It’s also very light and efficiently designed
- The shoe is very breathable
- You get full rubber cover under the forefoot for additional comfort.
- Some people may have a problem with the cushioning and extra lightweight.
The Hoka One Clifton 4 is the latest design from Clifton. We all know that Clifton is one of the leading shoemakers in the market and previous running shoes from the company have always ranked among the top ten. The Clifton 4 is, however, a major upgrade and the additional features in these shoes set them apart from many others out there.
The density of the material has been increased in this new version. We know most people were worried about this, but it turns out you don’t have to. The dense materials help to increase the shoe’s longevity. Despite this, the Clifton 4 doesn’t feel heavy. You slip it in and run without feeling so much difference.
We also loved that Clifton decided to add a soft and more durable midsole. Although the older models had some measure of comfort, this one feels so much better. The Clifton 4 is also very versatile. The high dense cushioning makes it ideal for any distance, and the lightweight design also complements this. This means that you can use the Hoka One Clifton 4 for long distance runs or short bursts of speed without feeling any discomfort at all.
The midsole has been created using CMEVA foam, one of the firmest and strongest materials in the market. The midsole does not flare out in the new Hoka One Clifton 4 as it did in the older versions. The base of the shoe has also been narrowed to improve stability and overall performance. The seamless construction on the upper is also something worth noting. The thin mesh material is complimented with various sections of puff print overlays that are carefully wrapped around the upper. This helps to ventilate the shoe while keeping the design innovative and appealing. The Clifton 4 is designed for the average runner who’s looking for a running shoe that can also double up as a recreational one. It’s simply that versatile!
- The new version has increased rebound which adds to the support
- The upper is designed to provide the ultimate comfort
- The durability has improved significantly compared to other older versions
- The shoe is relatively heavier compared to other options in this list and will require getting used to before it feels 100% comfortable
The Saucony Kinvara 8 is an upgrade to the Kinvara 7 and to be honest; there aren’t a lot of differences. The outsole, the upper, and the midsole haven’t changed a lot. However, there are two important improvements on the Kinvara 8 that are worth noting. First, the Kinvara 8 has a wide toe box and a much softer ride compared to the previous version. This has significantly improved the shoe’s stability and overall comfort. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Kinvara has somewhat built a cult status in the market as one of the leaders of running shoe makers.
In addition to this, the midfoot on the Kinvara 8 is lighter compared to the Kinvara 7. The top-sole has added a measure of luxury too on the new version. The overall design offers a lightweight and high performing comfortable shoe that can be used by runners of all types. These two changes have propelled the Kinvara 8 to a whole new level.
The blown rubber has also been injected into strategic parts of the soles to provide optimum durability and shock absorption, especially on rough terrains. The upper features a FlexFilm and a Pro-Lock lacing system. These features were also available on the early versions of the shoe. FlexFilm overlays are seamlessly melded on the upper, and they provide outstanding flexibility and breathability. However, even though the Kinvara 8 may feel lighter compared to its predecessor, there are other shoes in this list that are far lighter than it. Despite this, it’s still a good running shoe, especially for the support and stability.
- The lightweight design is perfect for long-distance running
- Very soft and durable cushioning for ultimate comfort
- A highly responsive shoe
- A very versatile shoe that can easily be used for many roles
- The Pro-Lock lacing technology may be constricting for some people
- The laces are also very thin, cheap, and somewhat flimsy
Are you planning on running a PB soon? Well, the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 could help you with this. The shoe’s lightweight design and responsiveness will help you run fast with added stability. The Adizero Tempo has been rated as one of the most popular brands in the market and its 9th version meets the highest standards of quality you’d expect from such a popular brand.
The shoe is designed for long-range runs. Adidas is well-known for making marathon shoes since the 80s and this tradition has remained true for the last decades. The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 comes with synthetic suede on the logo, around the toe area, and in additional supportive strips that are designed to accentuate the look.
The support strips, in particular, are very innovative. They allow this narrow fitting shoe to slide into the feet and remain there without any discomfort. Adidas has done well to add cushioning. Without a doubt, the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is the ideal choice, and if you are looking to run a marathon anytime soon, you can trust the Tempo 9 to get you to the finish line safely.
- Features a lightweight design that’s highly stable too
- The streamlined design helps to improve stability and comfort
- The sole unit is highly durable and very responsive
- Excellent ventilation. The shoe is highly breathable
- The shoe also features extra cushioning
- The upper fit is not as secure as we thought, but it’s not a deal breaker for the Tempo 9.
How to Check the Age of Your Running Shoe
Running shoes will not last forever. At some point, you will need to replace them. It’s very important to know when the shoe has simply run its course. However, this is not always as easy as it seems. First, it’s not easy or even possible to tell the difference in comfort levels right from when the shoe was bought until the time it’s discarded for a new pair.
The difference becomes clear only when you can buy a new pair and try them out. Each shoe has its unique longevity. However, many manufacturers believe that a shoe should not go beyond 800 kilometers in mileage.
In addition to this, there are a few other important conditions that can help you decide whether it’s time to replace your running shoes or not.
- Check the tread – The outer sole of the shoe will show you the kind of wear and tear the running shoe has already gone through. If the tread appears worn out or degraded, then it’s time to get the shoes
- Test the midsole – It’s easy to test the quality of your midsole. Start by pushing your fingers into the plastic foam on the midsole. The midsole should have firm foam. If the pressure from the finger is making the foam give in, this means that the shoe has lost its cushioning. Pay attention to wrinkles on the midsole too. This is also a sign that the cushioning is worn out. In all these cases, buying a new pair is the way to go.
- Inspect the stability of the shoes – Place the shoes on a flat surface and examine the heels. If the shoe tilts either side on the flat surface, it means the balance and stability have been reduced. Consider getting a replacement if you don’t want to risk any injuries while running.
- Examining the torsion rigidity – Try and twist the head and the forefoot of your shoe in opposite directions. The sole should not twist If it does it means, it’s weak and needs to be replaced.
Common Mistakes Runners Make When Buying Running Shoes
It doesn’t matter whether you are a seasoned runner or a beginner in buying shoes, there are a lot of common mistakes that people make. It’s not a surprise. Shopping for new shoes is never an easy thing, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you may end up very disappointed. Besides, there are so many options in the market, most of which offer unique features. The technology in shoes also keeps changing. Staying with one type of shoe or brand is never a good idea.
Well, we have compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid below:
- Wrongfully Measuring Your Feet
There are many people who know their accurate feet size, but there are others too who don’t. As you step into the store to buy the running shoes you need, instead of assuming you know the right size, it would be best to have your feet measured by the store attendant. This will ensure that the accurate measurements are taken so that eventually you can get the right fit.
- Confusing Width with Volume
The shoe volume is defined as the measurement inside the shoe. It’s the total amount of space inside. When most people put on a shoe and realize that it’s not fitting, instead of asking for a bigger volume, they tend to ask for a bigger width. They try different sizes, and they soon realize that not even one single shoe fits. This is a common mistake that you need to avoid. If a shoe doesn’t fit, try and get a bigger volume instead of a bigger size.
- You Don’t Want to Increase Your Shoe Size
The ultimate goal for anyone in the market for running shoes is to get the perfect fit. If you feel that the shoe you have is small for your feet, don’t be afraid to go for a bigger more fitting replacement. Some people tend to believe that even if a shoe feels smaller, they will ease into it once they run for a few days. Running with a small shoe can be dangerous, and it will affect your performance in the end. Besides, if you can’t find the right fit for your feet, it’s best to go for a slightly bigger shoe than a small one.
- Giving in to Peer Pressure
Many people buy a type of shoes simply because they see their best friend wearing them. This is so common among women, but it also affects a lot of guys out there. Each shoe is unique, and your feet are too. If you are going to shop for the best running shoes, you will need to personalize your approach. This will ensure you get shoes that work for you. Although there’s nothing wrong with getting a few recommendations from friends and family, at the end of the day, buying running shoes must be based on your own needs.
- Reading the Wrong Shoe Reviews
Expert reviews on shoes can help you find the right option. However, you need to read the right reviews. Detailed analysis of various products available in the market and how they work are highly recommended. Focus on opinionated reviews. These are expert reviews that provide factual information as well as a personal experience using various types of shoes. This will eventually help you gather all the information you need to buy the right shoes.
- Wearing Your Shoes for Too Long
Although most running shoes are highly durable and impeccably designed, they will not last forever. You will need to replace them at some point. You can refer to the guide we have given above in case you need to know when to replace your shoes. Wearing your running shoes for too long even if there’s no visible wear and tear is not recommended. If you run on a regular basis, getting new shoes often can improve your experience.
- Ignoring Specialty Stores
Most specialty stores are designed to offer a personalized shoe shopping experience. You will get dedicated staff in these stores who are there to help you find the perfect fit for you. However, specialty stores will more often than not charge you extra for the service. In the end, you will get a personalized shoe that will serve you for a long time. A lot of people these days tend to shop for running shoes online. Although we don’t entirely disagree with this, try and visit a few specialty stores too and see if you can find the perfect fit for you. You can then proceed and buy them online if you want.
- Not Accepting the Fact That Shoes Are Just Tools
A good pair of running shoes will help you run with comfort, but that’s as far as it can go. Changing shoes or buying the best shoes doesn’t necessarily make you a better runner. It will not make you run longer or build your endurance further unless of course, you were using terrible running shoes before. The shoe is designed to complement your feet, not change how you run. As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable actually to buy a pair of shoes that’s aligned with the type of feet you have instead of just buying a shoe simply because it’s the best in the market. With the many types of shoes available, it’s very easy to find something that works just for you.
Pronation vs. Supination
There are two common terms that people in the shoe business always use. These terms are Pronation and Supination. The two terms refer to the way our feet hit the ground when we are running or even walking. Pronation refers to the inward roll felt on the foot and the ankle while the supination refers to the outward roll. If there’s too much rolling either inwards or outwards, you run the risk of hurting yourself. To fix this quickly, you can buy custom orthotics. Some people may always try to work and improve the muscle endurance on the feet. Although this is a lot more difficult, it will serve you well in the future.
Finding the right running shoes is not easy but with the list above you can explore some great options. However, there are some shoes that we think are a cut above the rest. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 is our top pick. Its design and durability carry the day. They are also relatively within the price bracket for most people. The Brooks Glycerin 15 is also not far behind regarding quality and value. In case you are looking for versatile multipurpose shoes for long distance running, we would highly recommend the Nike Zoom Vomero 12. This shoe is purposely built for long distance runs, and its lightweight design, as well as strong support, will deliver. The Saucony Kinvara 8 is also not a bad choice either.