You know what you want from your running shoes: light, cushioned, supportive, and a comfortable fit. Of course, the most important part of any running shoe is your experience over the hundreds of miles you’ll be wearing. To help you find your next great pair of running shoes and see how updating your favorite road or trail shoe might change its fit or performance, we review hundreds of men’s and women’s running shoes every year. Scroll down to see our favorite styles to see how we tested and selected them, as well as helpful buying advice and insights from our gear experts.
CLASSIC RUNNING SHOES
When newbies or people who aren’t sure what shoes they need ask us for recommendations, we usually choose classic shoes like these as a starting point. After all, there’s a reason the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus has been around for 38 years: It works for most people most of the time.
Asics Gel-Kayano 28
The Kayano has always been part of the ASICS line, and it remains one of the company’s most popular shoes. It’s designed to provide support for overpronation, and many neutral runners choose it for its legendary comfort.
Mizuno Wave Rider 25Twenty-five marks a huge milestone for the Rider.It helps return more energy in each step and more closely approximates the shape of the arch of the foot. It’s smooth and bouncy, and it’s perfect for long runs where you’ll be spending a lot of time standing.
Saucony Triumph 19
While it’s technically a heavy shoe, the Triumph 19 rides lightly and is bouncy compared to other luxury sneakers like the Brooks Glycerin 19 and Altra Paradigm 6. The collar and tongue are pillow-like, securing your foot after knotting thick lacing like a bucatini, giving your toes plenty of room to move.
Saucony Axon 2
It’s a bargain — how come this shoe is only $100? — looks and feels maximal cushioning, but it’s surprisingly light, forcing you to stride race speed. The chunky Pwrrun midsole has plenty of bounce, while the slightly curved profile (think Saucony’s Speedroll camber design, without the carbon fiber plate) transitions smoothly into the forefoot during turnarounds.
Saucony Ride 15
This trainer is able to tackle everyday workouts and is perfect for a high percentage of novices. Compared to the 14 Edition, snappy performance is boosted by nearly an ounce of weight savings, thanks to the sculpted sole shape and strategically placed rubber, which is thrifty in use. Minor upper changes include a soft pull tab on the tongue to prevent lace bites.