Buying a pair of running shoes is a very personal choice. First and foremost, you’ve got to find a shoe designed to fit well with the physiology of your body and feet. Your health and safety are more important than any other factor when it comes to running shoes. Form over function should not be an option in regards to running. Your comfort should not be sacrificed in favor of good looks. That being said, there are shoes that function great and are stylish. With the shoes on this list, there’s no need to sacrifice anything – they’re all highly function and good-looking. Also, each one of these shoes serves a slightly different purpose – some are made for high-speed sprints while others are for those who enjoy long jogs. Whatever your style of running, there’s good chance one of the shoes here will fit your needs.
Our Top 5 Picks for Best Running Shoes Under Different Budgets
Asics Men’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe
The Asics Mens GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe is an affordable men’s running shoe made to withstand various outdoor terrains. The Venture 5 is ideal for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, whether it be casual hobbies or strenuous workouts. One may get the impression that for such an affordable shoe, it would come at the cost of durability. Not so with this offering from Asics. The build of the Asics GEL Venture 5 is solidly constructed, was built to last and makes this a very versatile running shoe.
- Starting from the top of the Asics GEL Venture 5, it has an open mesh upper. A feature on many Asics shoes, the mesh upper design allows for flexibility of movement, is lightweight and provides airflow to the foot.
- The GEL series by Asics has got its name from having silicone-based cushioning systems throughout the sole of the shoe. The GEL Venture 5 utilizes this technology in the heel region and in the midsole so that weight is distributed more evenly throughout the foot upon heel impact and toe-off so that less strain is placed on the bottom of the foot.
- The GEL Venture 5 has Asics’ Trail Specific tread pattern, which acts as stabilization and helps with traction on terrain that poses difficulties.
- The shoe also has a removable sock liner that lets runners with special medical conditions put inserts into areas of the shoe that will better support the shape of their foot. Medical inserts encourage a safer foot strike when landing on the ground.
- Very affordable price
- Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System provides a smooth and soft transition
- Has good durability from High Abrasion Rubber
- Some complaint of ankle pain with this shoe, so its style and shape may not be for everyone
- Some runners with average foot width have found that the shoe is too narrow for them
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 is a running shoe/trainer designed with support in mind. For runners who have a tendency towards over-pronation, the Adrenaline GTS 15 is an excellent option. This is a shoe that does very well in outdoor environments and has a rugged and durable build.
- Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA cushioning system conforms to the shape of each runner’s foot and physiology. This provides comfort and balanced pressure throughout the foot through the gait cycle.
- A combination of a Breathable Element and synthetic overlays allow for air circulation and an overall light structure. An Element Liner wicks moisture away so that your the feet stay dry and free from blisters.
- The Adrenaline GTS 15 has a full-length S-257 Cushsole energy efficient midsole which provides additional cushioning and flexibility. Also providing to the midsole support is its Tri-density PDRB Progressive Diagonal Rollbar. This helps to control pronation and allows for smoother transitions through the stride. A thermoplastic device called DRB Accel provides rigid support throughout the midfoot while allowing freedom of motion to the heel and forefoot. If there’s one thing the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 is not short on, it supports throughout the midfoot.
- In addition, a full-length Segmented Crash Pad and Omega Flex Grooves allow for flexibility while not compromising on support. An HPR Plus outsole strengthens the shoe, making it resistant to the elements and abuse.
- This shoe is known for its very smooth transition
- Plush interior of these shoes is very comfortable
- Great traction and durability from the design of the outsole
- Has excellent shock absorption and flexibility, a combination that is difficult to achieve
- On the expensive side
- Some note that in the heel area, shock absorption should be better for a shoe with such high heel height
Mizuno Wave Rider 19
Mizuno’s goal with the Wave Rider 19 was to make it feel like an extension of the runner’s body. It’s a lightweight shoe that is very smooth through the transition. The design of the Wave Rider 19 was made with neutral runners in mind. With Mizuno’s Wave Technology and their recent weight reductions for this model, the Wave Rider 18 is a smart choice for neutral runners who like to go at a fast pace. Wave technology results in a shoe that is lightweight, incredibly durable and has a sleek look.
- The Mizuno Wave Rider 19 utilizes Parallel Wave and SmoothRide technologies to eliminate shock throughout the foot, giving a smooth, fluid transition from stride to stride. Parallel Wave disperses impact throughout the foot while keeping the foot centered in the shoe throughout each stride. A newly designed outsole made with X10 Carbon rubber provides not only much-needed protection for the heel of the foot but also long-lasting durability.
- Mizuno was able to lower the weight on this model by using a U4ic midsole material – it’s 30% lighter than the previously used material. It’s a midsole that provides excellent shock absorption and durability without compromising on weight or cushioning. Additionally, an SR Touch cushioning compound allows for greater bounce-back.
- In the upper part of the shoe, stretch mesh greatly reduces discomfort or chances of blisters. Flex eyelets help to keep heels in place throughout the runner’s stride. Dynamotion Fit grips and moves along with your feet to create a snug fit. SmoothRide engineering makes for smooth transitions when speeding up or slowing down. X10 carbon rubber strengthens stress-prone areas.
- The Wave Rider 19 is also a very well-ventilated shoe. Mizuno Intercool circulates air throughout the shoe by using an Airmesh upper.
- Very good combination of durability and lightweight
- Has a very responsive toe-off courtesy of its toe spring
- Shock attenuation is very well controlled from the sole to the upper
- Has shock liner that greatly enhances bounce back
- Some with smaller or more narrow feet have found the laces to be too long
- Slightly expensive for a shoe in this class
- Some believe that the breathability of this model is actually worse than previous ones
- Some people think that the cushioning doesn’t have enough give and is too firm
New Balance 990v4
The New Balance 990 line of high performance running shoes has a reputation for high quality, and it has earned that distinction. Classic good looks mixed with cutting edge technology make the 990v4 extremely attractive. These shoes last a noticeably longer amount of time than many in the same category and they do extremely well on any surface, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, track or road. The 990v4 can take a beating and it’s for this reason that so many people use them as both a running shoe and as for casual footwear. There’s no need to worry about wearing them out due to day-to-day use – they’re equipped to handle it. You may pay a premium for it, but not having to change your shoes all the time is a very convenient benefit.
- The ABZORB midsole cushioning of the 990v4 is soft and supportive for those long-distance runs but also makes these suited for situations in which you find yourself on your feet all day long. An outsole made of tough rubber means this shoe was built for durability.
- A combination of pigskin and mesh upper makes for a good combination of breathability and security. Both soft density (for cushioning) and firm density (for support) foam make up the Dual-density Collar. An ENCAP midsole allows for both structure and comfortable cushioning. New Balance’s famous Ndurance Rubber outsole remains sturdy over repeated use.
- The 990v4’s flexibility is due to its blown rubber throughout the shoe. Also as an added benefit, reflective panels keep you safe while running at night by increasing your visibility.
- Very comfortable and durable so they’re ideal for runners who run long distances or simply like shoes that you can put a lot of mileage on before moving on to the next pair
- Accommodates a wide range of foot sizes
- Ndurance outsole protects both the sole of the shoe and laterally
- Has a traditional look that many runners are fond of. Very different from the more modern and flashy styles seen in so many running shoes today
- A lot of padding on the midsole and throughout provide a lot of cushion and a very comfortable gait cycle
- Certain runners feel they have a lack of arch support
- This is not a lightweight shoe and as such, does not do well for high-speed runners
- Price – this shoe is a legitimately expensive option
The Nike Flyknit is a lightweight shoe with great cushioning ideal for those who like to run on road surfaces. It’s designed for neutral runners. Nike’s Flyknit line is a very competitive offering for its style and class and keeps on getting better with each and every release.
For runners who run at high speeds or like to change gears a lot, the Flyknit is a great option. This shoe is designed more for outdoor runners. Its sole is mostly flat, so it’s does great on pavement, dirt and gravel surfaces. It has a minimalistic build designed to encourage a more natural foot movement. This minimalistic build allows for a very lightweight and is one of the lightest trainers for neutral runners on the market.
- The outsole of the Free Flyknit is made of Phylite foam and has a hexagonal flex groove pattern for grip. Nike has implemented a unique, asymmetrical lacing system for this shoe which gives them a tighter and more secure fit.
- In addition to the fit that comes from the lacing system, it also has a removable molded sock liner that conforms to the foot and adds additional cushioning. It’s made from compressed EVA foam and lends more cushioning throughout the shoe.
- Nike intelligently placed rubber in places where typical weak spots are
- Lightweight and balanced throughout the shoe
- Sole has a nice bounce but is also lightweight
- Natural foot movement is facilitated by hexagonal flex grooves
- Snug custom fit thanks to Flywire cables
- Not the longest lasting shoes, as several users have had instances of the uppers falling apart or sole separation
- Tread pattern isn’t ideal for all running surfaces
- Somewhat expensive
If you’re new to running or haven’t gotten your feet examined before, it’s an important first step in determining what type of running shoe you should go with. Having the right footwear to address your individual foot type will keep you pain-free and far less prone to injury. It’s not difficult to figure out your foot type. There are ways to determine your foot type, such as the “wettest” where you dip your feet in the water and look how the impression of your foot shows up on a sheet of paper. For a more exact idea, you can consult your doctor. Regardless of how you find out your foot type, you’ll have a far more comfortable running experience after doing so.
There may seem to be an almost endless variety of running shoes to choose from and too many choices make it difficult to decide. However, of this list there are several options that have a few different uses and fall under different budgets. These are great starting point shoes but to make a truly informed decision, be sure to read through several reviews of your potential picks. That way you can get some information from people who have first-hand experience coming from an unbiased point of view. It’s also a good idea to find a way to try them on before buying. Take your time and don’t rush into making a decision – a good pair of running shoes is an investment that is going to be with you for awhile.