Best Men's Running Shoes

Updated October 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

56 Models Considered
12 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
77 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best men’s running shoes

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.

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Men’s and women’s shoes differ primarily in support for different weights and shoe widths.

Types of running shoes

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."
STAFF
BestReviews

Stability

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.

Motion control

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.

Neutral

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 feet 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."
STAFF
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Running shoes vs. other shoes

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.

Durability test of Asics running shoes

Repetitive motion

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.

Forward movement

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.

Weight of shoe

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.

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Did you know?
Running shoes typically weigh less than other types of shoes. Distance runners have more success with lightweight shoes.
STAFF
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Parts of a men’s running shoe

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.

Heel

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.

Length

Most people initially think about length when selecting 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.

Toe box

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.

Top of foot

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.

A proper fitting running shoe prevents a lot of foot problems for an avid runner. Consequently, a poorly fitting shoe may cause new foot problems.

Know your foot strike

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.

Toes and forefoot

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.

Midfoot

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.

Heel or rear

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."
STAFF
BestReviews

Men’s running shoes prices

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.

Low price range

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.

High price range

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.

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Quality running shoes are a smart investment. Even at $100 a pair, you’d pay roughly 10 to 20 cents per mile traveled before the shoes wear out.

FAQ

Q. What are some common mistakes people make when selecting men’s running shoes?

A. The biggest mistake runners make when getting shoes involves choosing 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 get 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.

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