We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
When performing work around your home, the proper tools make the job easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Try driving two hundred nails with a hammer rather than a nail gun, and you understand quickly how proper tools help.
Exercise requires the right tools, too. Perform an exercise routine without the right equipment, and you risk injury. Your performance suffers without the optimal gear.
When starting a running regimen, running shoes are the primary equipment to consider. You need to take the time to find a great running shoe for top performance levels, comfort, and safety.
When shopping for the best men’s running shoe, we at BestReviews offer key advice. We take great pride in the research we perform in each product category we cover, including running shoes. The shopping guide that follows gives you the information you need to make a smart purchase decision.
Our research also helped us select the products included in the product matrix, above. We never accept free samples from manufacturers, allowing our reviews and selections to be free from bias. Count on our recommendations as a smart starting point to select the best men’s running shoes for your feet!
Men’s running shoes appear in a few different designs. Understand these subtle differences to improve your chance of finding the men’s running shoe most appropriate for your feet.
Ultimately, comfort plays a huge role in your enjoyment of a particular running shoe. Select a type of shoe that feels good, while supporting the areas of your foot where problems have occurred in the past.
Always wear high quality socks with running shoes to help prevent blisters.
A stability shoe represents the most common type of running shoe. It works best for runners with average arches. It provides average cushioning in the midsole as well.
A motion control running shoe provides proper support for runners with flat or low arches. The flatter outsoles on these running shoes prevent overpronation, a slight inward rolling of the foot with each stride. People with low or flat arches find that overpronation causes problems and soreness regularly.
Don’t purchase running shoes that fit too tightly. Your feet swell a little bit while you run, and a slightly loose shoe allows this to occur comfortably.
A neutral running shoe primarily offers midsole cushioning inside the shoe. This cushioning absorbs the shock of footfalls while running. A neutral shoe works especially well for runners with high arches or those who roll their foot outward. Neutral shoes deal with the problem of supination too, where the runner’s outer heel strikes the ground first. This problem causes a slight rotation of the foot and ankle.
Some of the best brand names for running shoes include ASICS, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Reebok and Saucony.
You don’t have to wear a running-specific shoe when running, of course, but quality running shoes include features designed specifically for the activity. Here are some examples of the contrast between running shoes and shoes designed for other purposes.
A basketball shoe provides support for sudden, unpredictable movements, including jumping. Much of the support is oriented high on the shoe, around the ankle. Runners use a repetitive motion with a predictable foot strike, requiring a different kind of support.
Running shoes provide support for specific movements related to running. Other types of athletic shoes offer different support that may not be effective for running.
A tennis shoe gives extra support to the heel, as a tennis player moves forward and backward regularly with sudden stops. Because the runner moves forward consistently without sudden stops, running shoes require a different type of support.
A cross training or trail hiking shoe provides support for uneven surfaces. Such shoes offer thicker soles and sides, yielding a heavier shoe. Runners typically run on pavement or well-groomed trails, ensuring a steady, even surface. Running shoes can skip support for missteps from uneven surfaces. Running shoes are typically constructed from lightweight materials, which works well for long distance running.
Running shoes typically weigh less than other types of shoes. Distance runners have more success with lightweight shoes.
Each part of the running shoe provides support to a different part of your foot. If you have a particular problem with your foot when running, support in the right part of the shoe helps.
The back of the men’s running shoe should not hold your heel so tightly that it never moves. A slight movement of your foot’s heel is normal as you take your running strides. If the heel fits too tightly to the back of the shoe, irritation and blisters may occur.
Most people initially think about length when purchasing a men’s running shoe. Length certainly represents the natural starting point for a shoe fitting. Because your feet may swell while running, a little extra room in the shoe works well. Look for about one thumb’s width of extra space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
Walk around in your new running shoes for a few days to break them in before running with them.
The area of the shoe that holds your toes needs to allow for some lateral movement. A tight toe box pinches your toes, sometimes leading to uncomfortable running strides or poor balance. For a proper fit, you need to be able to wiggle your toes inside the shoe’s toe box. Some people need a wider-than-normal fit in a men’s running shoe to accommodate the toe box.
The middle part of your foot, near the top, needs a snug fit with the running shoe. However, a really tight fit in this area of the foot causes significant problems with pressure on important blood vessels. Additionally, once you lace and tie the shoe, you may notice rubbing on the foot here. Try a different lacing technique to fix this problem or tie the shoe more loosely.
Understanding how your foot strikes the ground while running helps you select the right shoe for your foot. Runners typically fit into three foot strike categories.
To figure out your foot strike, look at your current pair of running shoes. They should show more wear in the area of the shoe’s sole that strikes the ground first.
If the front of your foot or toes hit the ground first, you run with a forefoot strike. Runners with painful knees may use a forefoot strike naturally, because it decreases pressure on the knees. However, this represents more of a sprinter’s type of gait versus a typical distance runner’s gait. Runners moving fast tend to run on their toes, but this type of foot strike tires out your muscles quickly. The right running shoe decreases the problem of tired muscles from a forefoot strike. Those who have a forefoot or toe foot strike need more cushioning in the front of the shoe.
Runners who suffer irritation on the top of the foot should try lacing the shoes a new way. Don’t cross the laces. Run them horizontal across the tongue instead.
Those with an equally balanced foot strike between the front, back and middle of the foot use a midfoot strike. No particular type of running shoe caters specifically to midfoot strike runners. Instead, look for a shoe that provides balanced cushioning throughout the shoe.
Those whose back part of the foot or heel strikes the ground first have a heel type of foot strike. Heel strikes cause stress on the knees, but provide relief for those with painful ankles. Look for a shoe that features plenty of cushioning in the heel area for this type of foot strike.
Understanding your foot arch type is essential when choosing the proper type of men’s running shoe.
Most types of running shoes for men fit into one of two price points. As runners know, good quality running shoes pay for themselves in terms of longevity, comfort and injury prevention.
The least expensive men’s running shoes cost from $50 to $100. Such shoes often have a bit less padding and lower quality stitching than more expensive shoes. People who are just starting running commonly use shorter distances per run. This means a less expensive running shoe can work well, as the runner won’t be wearing the shoes as long consecutively as longer distance runners.
The most expensive running shoes cost between $100 and $200. Expensive running shoes give runners a great option for long distance runs. Experienced runners who log dozens of miles per week should invest in these higher-quality shoes, as they’ll last longer and be more effective at preventing injuries.
Q. What are some common mistakes people make when buying men’s running shoes?
A. The biggest mistake runners make when buying shoes involves purchasing a shoe based on looks alone. To reduce the chance of injury, a shoe must fit properly and give your foot the proper support. Additionally, people tend to buy running shoes that are too small, especially in width. Your feet swell a little bit as you run, meaning your shoe needs to accommodate this swelling.
Q. How do traditional running shoes differ from trail running shoes?
A. A traditional running shoe performs best when running on pavement or indoor surfaces. The running shoe features a lightweight design for distance running, sacrificing some support. The trail running shoe offers thicker soles and sturdier materials to provide support for the foot on uneven surfaces. A traditional running shoe or trail running shoe both work on a well groomed trail, though.
Q. How can I determine what types of arches my feet have?
A. A pretty simple process can determine the types of arches you have, helping you select the right men’s running shoe. Step in a pan of water with your bare foot. Take a few steps on cement or on multiple paper towel segments. Your foot leaves a wet print on the cement or paper towel. A medium or average arch yields a traditional foot shape with a slight curve in the middle. A flat arch results in a print with little to no curve in the middle, leaving flat sides. A high arch causes the middle of the foot to almost disappear in the print, as very little of the base of the foot strikes the cement or paper towel.
Q. How do men’s and women’s running shoes differ?
A. Typically, men’s running shoes are a little wider than women’s running shoes. Women’s shoes offer less impact support than men’s shoes because of the average weight difference between the two genders.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.