When shopping for a new running shoe, it probably feels like there are a thousand choices out there. Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Reebok, Hoka One One… they all offer different shoes at different price points, which meet a variety of needs.
Before you pull the trigger on your next pair of running shoes, let’s take a look at the best selling and best performing shoes from all the major brands.
Nike is basically the brand when it comes to workout gear, and they’ve had that distinction for many years. With lots of money and research to back up their products, its no wonder they are the leaders in the industry, still.
If you’re looking for the best overall training shoe for running, consider the Air Zoom Pegasus 37. It’s one of the newest models Nike has to offer, and it’s got a new foam midsole, adjusted fit in the forefoot, and a new look compared to the previous model.
If you’re doing trail running, check out Nike’s Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5. If you can get over the colors – and they’re a lot! – the updates to this shoe are great. The wider toe box fits a larger variety of feet, and is great when going up or downhills. The toe also has a raised skin to protect it from damage from rocks, and the tight weave keeps pebbles and dirt out of your shoe.
Hoka One One
Hoka One One is a great brand because they primarily do just running shoes. That’s what they’re known for, that’s what they’re good at, and you know you’re going to get quality when you pick them up.
While these shoes run a little higher than, say, Nike will, you are getting serious engineered quality.
If you’re looking for a daily runner in a shoe, the Clifton 6 is a great choice. It has plenty of plush cushioning, it’s relatively lightweight, and it builds on the original Clifton, one of the brand’s most popular shoes.
If you’re looking for something with even more cushion, the Bondi 6 is the best you’ll find, within the brand or without. The only downside is that all that cushion comes with a price – you stand much taller. If you can get past that beefy sole, however, you’re in for a push and soft run.
Under Armour puts their money where their mouth is, and most of their products are top-tier conditions. The company also supports the area that they are from, often providing equipment to the college the founders went to, the University of Maryland.
By far, one of the best running shoes from Under Armour is the Micro G Assert 6. It’s got sturdy leather overlays on top, an extra layer of cushion in the sock liner, and it’s surprisingly lightweight for how durable it is.
Other winners include the SpeedForm Slingshot and the Apollo 2. Apollo 2 has great arch support for those who need it, and a super-breathable upper material if you have a tendency to get ‘foot sweat’. The Slingshot has great traction, extra layers of cushioning, and woven knit uppers.
Where to Buy?
Finally, let’s talk about the best places to buy these shoes… because running shoes are not cheap. Don’t set yourself up for failure before you even begin – make sure you have two good, sturdy pairs you can swap between, so you’re never in the situation where you need to buy a pair before you can start running again.
If you’re looking for an in-store purchase, so you can try your shoes on, I recommend DSW for sure. Their prices are excellent, they have a great return policy, and constant sales. There is also a full online website if your local DSW doesn’t have the size or style you’re looking for, or you can shop online and do a free In Store Pickup.
If you don’t mind waiting for shipping. Zappos is the way to go. A company owned by Amazon, Zappos offers free shipping, free and shockingly painless returns, and their site’s selection is literally unmatched. Their prices are usually below suggested retail, so you can save some money, too.
Don’t just buy whatever first shoe you come across – do your research, go with a trusted brand, and make sure you get a shoe that feels comfortable on your feet.