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The Best Running Shoes for Men: 9 Sneakers for Every Type of Runner

Best Running Shoes for Men
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Updated January 18, 2024

They say you can’t run away from your problems, but if your problem is inactivity, well, we guess you actually can? Whether you’re a newbie in the process of motivating to get off the couch, or a long time running enthusiast looking to step up your game, footwear is all-important. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best running shoes for men to help you run as fast—and as far as you can.

How to choose the best running shoes for men

Choosing a pair of sneakers is a little trickier than picking out, say, running shorts. “If you’ve never been properly fitted for running shoes before, the best advice is to visit your local running specialty store, where expertly-trained staff can do a gait analysis to determine the best category of shoes for you,” advises Sarah Stafford, marketing director at Brooklyn Running Company. “You want to look for a shoe that is comfortable, provides the right amount of support that you need, and does not cause any discomfort or pain in the arch or heel when you run. When determining the correct size for your running shoe, runners should typically expect to go up a half to full size larger than their street shoes, so that there is a bit of extra space in the toe box, allowing the foot to expand.”

“My advice is to keep it simple,” says movement coach Brock Armstrong. “If you put on a pair of shoes that fit and they feel good, they’re good! If you put them on and they feel weird, don’t get them. It doesn’t matter what the salesperson says, your running partner says, or a blog post says. What your feet say is the only thing that matters. Listen to your immediate reaction.”

“Comfort is most important when choosing running shoes,” agrees Blake Dircksen PT, DPT, CSCS, owner of Blake Dircksen Physical Therapy. “Try them on, walk, or jog around, and see how they feel. They shouldn’t feel like there’s extra pressure, irritation, or friction on your foot. It may take a few tries with different shoe brands and models to find the shoe that feels the most comfortable. Running shoes also have different purposes: There are your everyday trainers, your workout and racing shoes, your trail shoes, and your recovery shoes. If you’re just starting out, find an ‘everyday’ training shoe that’s comfortable and durable.”

Our top picks for the best running shoes for men

Best trail running shoes for men: Altra Superior 6

Altra Superior 6

While many runners talk about hitting the wall metaphorically, trail running might see you hitting a wall—or tree, or rogue wild hog—literally. Since you can never be totally sure what terrain you’ll be dealing with, you need shoes that will cushion your feet, but also grip the trail itself. The Superior 6 have Altra’s MaxTrac grip on their outsoles, giving you extra traction on the trail, while their Balanced Cushioning platform keeps your feet safe and comfortable.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Sizes: 7-15, half-sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 0mm
  • Price: $130

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Four color options

What we don't like:

  • Some customers complain the shoe is a little too wide at the toes
Best trail running shoes for men
MEN'S SUPERIOR 6

Best road running shoes for men: Adidas Adizero Boston 12

Adidas Adizero Boston 12

If you’re pounding the pavement, you want to feel like your feet are protected, but you don’t want to be dragging a couple extra pounds of rubber underneath you. The solution is these shoes, made from Adidas’ Lightstrike Pro foam, giving you bounce without the weight. They also feature carbon-infused Energyrods (fun fact: All modern shoe technology sounds like bad sci-fi spaceship names) designed to help limit energy loss. In addition, the Continental rubber outsole helps add a little extra grip for any road or pavement surface you encounter.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Sizes: 4-14, with half sizes
  • Drop: 7mm, midsole
  • Price: $160

What we like:

  • Continental rubber outsole helps provide traction
  • Lightstrike foam is very comfortable
  • Six color options
  • Made from at least 20% recycled materials

What we don't like:

  • Several runners mention that the laces were too short for their needs
Best road running shoes for men
adidas Men's Adizero Boston 12 Running Shoes, Size 11.5, Black/Green Spark

adidas Men's Adizero Boston 12 Running Shoes, Size 11.5, Black/Green Spark

Best running shoes for men for sprinting: Peluva Men’s Strand

Peluva Men’s Strand

Armstrong’s pick for a sprinting shoe is likely to raise a few eyebrows, as well as cause some incredibly conflicted feelings among foot fetishists. It might seem weird to have toes on your shoes, but the glowing reviews from customers suggest they might be on to something. Designed to give a barefoot feel while still cushioning your feet on hard surfaces, their rubber treads will give you the traction you need to move fast.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Sizes: 8-14, half sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 0mm
  • Price: $139.99

What we like:

  • Four color options
  • Lightweight
  • Definitely a conversation starter

What we don't like:

Best running shoes for men for sprinting
Peluva Men’s Strand

Peluva Men’s Strand

Best long distance running shoes for men: Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3

Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3

Footwear can’t help with the loneliness of the long-distance runner (never let it be said our references aren’t current!) but it can definitely help with keeping your feet safe. Designed for full-ground contact, the gel cushioning in this pair’s rearfoot and forefoot helps to absorb the repeated shock of foot hitting road, while the Asics Lite rubber outsole provides grip without adding too much weight.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Sizes: 6-16, half-sizes through 13.5
  • Drop: 10mm, heel
  • Price: Currently $99.95, normally $160

What we like:

  • Designed using some recycled materials
  • Breathable
  • Four color options

What we don't like:

  • Some reviews say they require a little breaking in
Best long distance running shoes for men
GEL-NIMBUS LITE 3

Best running shoes for men with wide feet: Altra Torin 7

Altra Torin 7

If you’re constantly feeling like your feet are being squeezed while running, it’s time to look for shoes made for girthier feet. Both Dircksen and Armstrong pointed to Altra as the brand for wider-feeted gentlemen, and the Torin 7 is notable both for the consistency of its positive reviews, and the fact it’s available in both regular and wide options.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Sizes: 7-15, half sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 0mm
  • Price: $150

What we like:

  • Has the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance
  • Five color options
  • Breathable

What we don't like:

  • Several reviews complain the laces are too short
Best running shoes for men with wide feet
Altra Torin 7

Best running shoes for men with plantar fasciitis: Nike Invincible 3

Nike Invincible 3

For those suffering from plantar fasciitis—inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes—shoes with supportive, well-cushioned soles are a must. Dircksen’s preference is this pair of Nikes, which are designed to fit securely but comfortably, with a super-supportive and bouncy sole to soften the impact when running.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Sizes: 6-15, half-sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 9mm
  • Price: $180

What we like:

  • Bouncy
  • Responsive
  • Seven color options

What we don't like:

  • Several reviews note that heel slippage can be a problem for some
Best running shoes for men with plantar fasciitis
Nike Invincible 3

Nike Invincible 3

Best shock-absorbing running shoes for men: Hoka Mach X

Hoka Mach X

For all the benefits of running, there’s no denying that the repeated shock of your feet hitting the ground can wreak havoc on your body. Give your knees, feet, or other body parts a fighting chance with the shock-absorbing properties of these shoes, which have both a layer of PEBA foam (a lightweight, super-elastic substance, to cushion your feet) and Pebax plates (for energy return and shock resistance).

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Sizes: 7-14, half sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Price: $180

What we like:

  • Designed using some recycled materials
  • Comfortable

What we don't like:

  • Only two color options
Best shock-absorbing running shoes for men
Hoka Mach X

Hoka Mach X

Most comfortable running shoes for men: Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15

Dircksen is a big fan of Brooks’ shoes, saying that, “Brooks makes a good quality shoe that’s comfortable right out of the box. They seem to work for a lot of people, especially those just starting out.” The Ghost 15s, especially, have extremely positive reviews from most customers, with people praising the comfort, support, and cushioning.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Sizes: 7-15, half sizes through 12.5
  • Drop: 12mm, midsole
  • Price: $140

What we like:

  • 29(!) color options
  • Carbon neutral product, made with some recycled materials

What we don't like:

  • Some user reviews say these are too narrow
Most comfortable running shoes for men
Brooks Ghost 15

Best Nike running shoes for men: Nike Pegasus 40

Nike Pegasus 40

Nike is already a top pick for men’s workout shirts, shorts, and other athletic gear—and their running shoe selection is top-notch. The Nike Pegasus 40 is Dircksen’s personal pick for his favorite Nike running shoe, for its stability and comfort. A good all-rounder, there’s nothing terribly flashy going on here, but with its reliability and durability, it’s a solid, versatile workhorse of a shoe.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Sizes: 3.5-15, half sizes through 12.5, also available in Extra Wide
  • Drop: 10mm
  • Price: Currently $103.97, normally $130

What we like:

  • Springy
  • 12 color options
  • Durable

What we don't like:

  • Relatively basic
Best Nike running shoes for men
Nike Men's Pegasus 40 Road Running Shoes in Black, Size: 15 | DV3853-001

Nike Men's Pegasus 40 Road Running Shoes in Black, Size: 15 | DV3853-001

How we selected the best running shoes for men

We made our choices through a combination of expert advice, in-depth research, personal experience, and sifting through countless customer reviews. Additionally, we developed categories for the top concerns among runners of all levels, then did extensive research to find the top brands known for their quality, selection, customer service, and product availability.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which brand is best for running shoes?

“Most of the major brands make a wide enough variety of sizes, shapes, and types of shoes that anyone is bound to find a pair they like,” says Armstrong. “It’s only when you get to the smaller brands (Altra, Hoka, Peluva, etc.) that you may or may not like them. My personal fave right now is Altra, but I have Wile E. Coyote feet (long and wide). That might not work for someone with Barney Rubble-style feet.”

What is the new shoe technology in 2023?

Sneakers specialized for activities (like basketball or tennis shoes for men) are getting more advanced by the year. “We’re in the era of the ‘super shoe,” says Dircksen. “There are racing and workout shoes now that have carbon fiber plates built into the soles, which improves running economy, decreases muscle damage, and improves performance. This new technology is being used by everyone, pros and recreational athletes alike. The everyday trainers are also seeing a shift in stack height, or how much cushion is on the shoes. Nearly all brands now have big cushioned options for their shoes. The foam used in these shoes is another technological evolution, improving the energy return for runners.”

“Shoe technology is ever-evolving, with improvements made constantly to the materials used for cushioning, plates, and other components of a running shoe,” says Stafford. “Shoe brands typically release a new version of each model once a year. Part of the fit process at a run specialty store is helping customers understand the implications of evolutions, especially in new updates to old favorites.”

What running shoes do pros use?

“Basically, anything with carbon plates in them,” says Armstrong. “The ‘super shoes’ are all the rage, from marathon to triathlon and even into track spikes. The brand of the shoe is less relevant than the technology. Spoiler: The brand they wear is usually determined by which company is willing to give the athlete free shoes.”

What are the three types of running shoes?

“Running shoes can be divided into two very broad and general categories of support: Stability and neutral,” explains Stafford. “A stability shoe is designed with supportive features in the midsole, for people who overpronate. Motion-control shoes are those models that lie on the most stable end of the stability spectrum. Conversely, a neutral shoe is designed for people with either a neutral gait or who supinate.”

“It’s important to note that many runners are not firmly in one support category or another,” Stafford continues. “Support requirements can be informed by injury, fatigue, strength, and experience. Additionally, biomechanists and footwear designers are constantly evaluating the appropriate amount of support (or lack thereof) that can best reduce injury. We recommend working with a fit specialist that can discuss training and injury history, goals, and the pros and cons of different amounts of stability.”

“Within and across these support categories you will also find varying degrees of cushion,” Stafford adds. “The appropriate amount of cushion can also be affected by training goals, injury history, and even simple personal preference in the ride of the shoe. Many runners may also consider exploring a shoe specifically designed for uptempo efforts or race day. These models maximize degrees of energy return or improved running economy, with the focus typically determined by the distance of the race.”

“We all have different feet,” says Armstrong. “And our feet all have different histories (injuries, uses, shoes worn outside of running). The main thing you need to know about the shoes is that your particular feet may be happier in shoes with stability. Your partner’s feet may be happier with more cushion. Don’t get hung up on why, just know which one feels best. And then, of course, spend as much time barefoot (or as close to it as possible) when you’re not running so you can keep your feet healthy and strong.”

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