The 20 Best Running Shoes in 2023
Although we’ve covered all kinds of running essentials in the past, the good news is that there is really only one piece of gear that you absolutely need to enjoy the sport.
While many people have contemplated the benefits of running barefoot in recent years, the vast majority of runners still prefer a reliable pair of shoes.
Fortunately, there are countless options available in 2023. No matter what kind of running you like to do, the perfect pair of shoes are out there.
Let’s take a look at the 20 shoes that are currently considered the best.
Choosing the Best Running Shoe for You
Choosing the Best Running Shoe for You
Before we dive into our list of the best running shoes in 2023, let’s quickly talk about what you should look for in your next pair.
It’s always a good idea to consider how much a potential running shoe weighs, as research shows that heavier shoes require more energy to run in to the tune of 1% more energy for every additional 3.5 oz per shoe.
Now, lighter shoes may not have as much cushioning, but new foam materials have made it possible to have a comfortable ride without added weight. So, a comfortable run no longer means settling for a slower time.
Even though the shoes on this list are “bare bones”, stability is still of the utmost importance for runners who want shoes that will support the long-term health of their feet. You won’t find any “high tops” on this list, but we only included options made from strong, durable materials that will protect your feet and provide at least some stability during your runs.
Finally, it’s important to consider the heel-to-toe drop, or the difference in height between the height of the heel of the shoe and the height of its toe. A higher drop can lead to more heel striking and strain on the knee, while a lower drop puts more strain on the calf and Achilles.
The drop of a running shoe usually ranges from 8 to 12mm, with some as low as 6mm and some having none whatsoever (the aptly named, “zero drop shoe”).
If you currently run in a conventional shoe with a high heel-to-toe drop, I’d suggest you switch to a more moderate design, as opposed to transitioning right to the most minimalist heel-to-toe drop option or even a zero drop shoe.
Don’t worry. We’ll cover all of these factors as we go through each of the running shoes on this list.
The 20 Best Running Shoes in 2023 - from Cheapest to Most Expensive
This list will have something for everyone, from minimalist shoes to versions that offer a significant amount of cushioning and added levels of comfort.
We also made sure to include running shoes from across different price ranges, so whether you’re looking to save money on your first pair of shoes or you’re a veteran runner who is ready to spend a bit more, you’ll find the perfect pair below.
1. Brooks Revel 5 ($100)
So, let’s start with the cheapest pair of running shoes on our list and then we’ll work up from there.
If you’re on a budget, then the Brooks Revel 5 is a great value running shoe. These running shoes are incredibly comfortable, as well as very responsive.
They are a solid all-rounder shoe that is perfect for mid-distance runs, recovery runs, or just more relaxing days.
The foot comforting upper support works well for runners with a wide range of foot shapes and sizes. Despite this added support, these shoes are still lightweight and durable.
What the Brooks Revel 5 Is Best For
Because this shoe is at an entry-level price, it’s a great option for newcomers to the sport who want a reliable shoe that doesn't cost a fortune.
These are great for anyone looking for a general, multi-purpose running shoe.
What Makes the Brooks Revel 5 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners have been impressed with the price of the shoes versus the features. They say the shoes are comfortable with a snug fit, even for wider feet.
Some commented on the great range of colors and designs available, in particular their range of running shoes for women.
2. Reebok Zigwild Trail 6 ($100)
The Reebok Zigwild Trail 6 has been designed with long-distance running in mind. It promotes stamina and energy preservation by dispersing energy across your underfoot. Although it's listed as a trail running shoe, it's also a good shoe to run on pavement or on a treadmill.
The edgy-looking zig-zag feature on the outsole not only looks great but is designed to absorb and disperse energy during your run as well as provide support across the whole of your foot.
What the Reebok Zigwild Trail 6 Is Best For
Because of the price, this is a great shoe for newer runners who may not want to spend a lot on a trail shoe. Don’t let the budget price fool you, the Reebok Zigwild is also a great shoe for more experienced runners used to paying more for comfort.
What Makes the Reebok Zigwild Trail 6 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners have commented on how soft any impact feels with this shoe, thanks to the zig-zag structure of the sole.
People also comment on how they are great for other sports including basketball and soccer, as well as being a good-looking street shoe.
3. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 ($120)
What makes these shoes a popular choice is the React foam soles which give you an impact-free ride. They also feature two Zoom Air units, one at the forefoot and one in the heel, which gives added spring.
Not only are these shoes great for running, but they also work as a decent recreational shoe, as well as being a great choice for gym-based sessions like cross-training and strength training. Pegasus 39 looks good and performs well.
What the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Is Best For
These shoes are robust and multipurpose, so are great for beginner runners through to competitive athletes, and everything in between. They are the perfect gym-to-street shoe and look just as good for everyday wear and use.
If you're looking for a shoe that provides optimum comfort, then last year Nike improved the Pegasus range and switched up the midsole from standard cushioning foam to a more reactive foam, React. They also included two more millimeters of it underfoot padding.
What Makes the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus a Great Running Shoe?
Runners have commented on how lightweight and breathable the upper body of this shoe is. They mention the comfort and extra padding at the tongue and collar, as well.
These are also one of the best running shoes for women, as Nike lowered the pressure in the air unit. They changed the shoe to be at 15 PSI, whereas in the men’s version it’s 20 PSI. This is better geared at female runners.
4. Hoka Mach 4 ($130)
If you’re a fan of Hoka shoes, then it’s worth checking out the Hoka Mach 4 has been inspired by the propulsive speed of the Rocket X and Carbon X models.
The Hoka Mach 4 benefits from using a blend of foams that combine into an incredibly soft and lightweight upper, and rubberized foam lower sole. The midsole features PROFLY™ which promotes a cushioned landing and propulsive toe-off.
What the Hoka Mach 4 Is Best For
Anyone looking for shoes with a decent amount of support will enjoy the built-in anatomical Achilles construction, which has been designed to provide maximum comfort and support.
They have lightweight ground contact, as well as responsive cushioning and feature a meta rocker to help provide a smooth run.
What Makes the Hoka Mach 4 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners comment on how versatile this running shoe is, and that they quickly make the Mach 4 their only running, gym, and street shoe.
5. Karhu Ikoni ($140)
One of the lesser-known brands in the realm of running shoes are these hidden gems by Karhu. Their shoes are designed by using 3D foot scan data which helps to create their Ortix footbed, and some of the most comfortable shoes with moderate support.
The midsole of the Karhu Ikoni features their super-lightweight AeroFoam design, which offers an abundance of cushioning for your regular daily mileage runs, no matter the distance.
What the Karhu Ikoni Is Best For
They are great for a wide range of runners, in particular for anyone with wider than average feet thanks to their wide-fit version of the shoe.
They are a good all-around shoe and suitable for anyone new to running, right up to long-distance pros.
What Makes the Karhu Ikoni a Great Running Shoe?
The Karu Ikonirange of shoes is great for individuals who rely on orthotic inserts, as well as people who don’t need additional support thanks to their shoes being designed based on anthropometrical data.
Reviewers have also commented on the feature of the half-length Fulcrum rocker, which helps to promote the correct rolling transitions during walks and runs.
6. Mizuno Wave Rider 25 ($140)
Mizuno has a track record for comfort and consistency when it comes to running shoes. Like previous models, the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is an outstanding running shoe.
The underfoot support and cushioning come from the integration of their Energetic Energy foam that gives balance during use and allows you to transition easily from walks to runs. These shoes also feature their signature Wave Plate which helps to distribute any impact.
What the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 Is Best For
These shoes are great for anyone with a neutral gait looking for a balanced and low-impact shoe. They are available in wide sizing, too.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 are great for everyday training, as well as road racing thanks to the durable outsole rubber, which adds traction and helps to protect the midsole.
What Makes the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 a Great Running Shoe?
Reviewers frequently comment on how comfortable and flexible this shoe is. They also like the durability of the rubber on the outsole, which helps to prevent uneven wearing.
Another thing that runners praise about these shoes is their use of sustainable materials, which Mizuno used to make the mesh upper and laces. They are made from recycled PET, which makes them a great choice for eco-conscious buyers.
7. HOKA Clifton 8 ($140)
The HOKA Clifton 8 features a thick stack of EVA foam in the sole for mile-after-mile of heavenly comfort during your runs. These shoes are also incredibly lightweight if you're looking for long runs at a quick pace.
They are designed to accommodate a wide range of foot sizes and have a roomy toe box plus a flared heel collar to alleviate any pressure points and uncomfortable rubbing.
What the HOKA Clifton 8 Is Best For
If you’re looking for excellent cushioning, then the HOKA Clifton 8 is one the best running shoes for this. It features outstanding shock absorption and offers a roomy fit thanks to its generous toe box.
What Makes the HOKA Clifton 8 a Great Running Shoe?
Reviews rave about the cushioning and comfort of this shoe thanks to the EVA foam that makes them feel like they are floating during their runs.
They also comment on how effective the breathable engineered upper mesh keeps their feet cool and that they love the inclusion of the Achilles pull tab, which makes them easy to pull on and go.
8. Saucony Ride 15 ($140)
Another great do-it-all trainer is the Saucony Ride 15 featuring both neutral support and well-balanced PWRRUN cushioning.
They are a great choice for beginner runners, as well as those with more experience and are durable enough to handle long runs but lightweight enough if you’re focusing on speed work.
What makes the Saucony Ride 15 a great running shoe is the geometry of the midsole. It encourages you to sit on the footbed as opposed to on top of it, so it gives the feeling of full support.
What Saucony Ride 15 Is Best For
The Saucony Ride 15 offers runners a no-fuss fit with excellent support. It’s comfortable for regular width feet, as well as is available in wide sizing. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice of running shoe for daily training as well as long-distance runs.
What Makes Saucony Ride 15 a Great Running Shoe?
One of the stand-out things that reviewers have commented on is the comfort of this shoe regardless of the type of run they are doing. Some even said that now it’s the only shoe they use for training through to race day.
They also really like the lightweight and springy cushiony feel of the shoe.
9. Altra Lone Peak 6 ($140)
If you’re interested in trail running and hiking, the Altra Lone Peak 6 needs to be on your radar. It’s a firm favorite of runners who prefer to take their sport into rougher terrain.
The shoe features a foot-shaped toe box and has zero heel-to-toe drops making you feel more connected to the ground, which is vital over technical terrain. And if you love this type of footwear, our list of the best barefoot shoes is probably worth considering, too. These are about as minimal as athletic footwear gets.
Lone Peak uses their tacky outsole called MaxTrac™ to give great traction on the ground, plus their responsive Altra EGO™ cushioning helps protect against the impact on downhill steep descents.
What the Altra Lone Peak 6 Is Best For
The Altra Lone Peak 6 is best for any runner who needs a nimble shoe. It’s lightweight and supportive, yet still allows for a great connection with the ground.
They are a good choice for newcomers to trail running, as well as seasoned runners, and, overall, one of the best running shoes for outdoor adventures.
What Makes the Altra Lone Peak 6 a Great Running Shoe
Reviewers have commented on the comfort of the Altra Lone Peak 6 as it offers plenty of room in the forefoot to allow their toes to splay out. They are wide enough to accommodate any swelling during intense runs.
10. Lululemon Blissfeel ($148)
One of the best running shoes for women is the Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe. They are available in a range of feminine and bright colors.
These are a great option if you’re looking for running shoes with a good frame that supports the foot while running. They feature a seamless and moisture-wicking liner that wraps snugly to your foot and come with a padded tongue and heel collar that molds to your foot's shape for an inviting fit.
What the Lululemon Blissfeel Is Best For
Blissfeel by Lululemon is a perfect choice if you’re wanting a great-looking all-around shoe. Not only a great choice for running, but they look fabulous on the high street too.
What Makes the Lululemon Blissfeel a Great Running Shoe?
Reviewers have mentioned the generous width of the shoe, making them suitable for wide feet with a wide toe box.
They have also commented on the cushy feel to the soles as well as giving plenty of maintaining support.
11. On Cloud X 2.0 ($150)
The On Cloud X 2.0 is a robust, multipurpose shoe. Not only is it great for running, but it also performs well in gym training sessions and HIIT workouts.
Like its name states, this shoe feels as light as a cloud, thanks to the Helion foam and CloudTec cushioning used in the sole. This helps to give softer landings and more explosive takeoffs with your movements.
The Cloud X gives neutral support and benefits from raised sidewalls to give more support to the midfoot during your runs and helps with any horizontal motion as you run.
What the On Cloud X 2.0 Is Best For
This shoe is great for anyone who plays multiple sports, as aside from running, they’re also suitable for cross-training and HIIT workouts.
Another drawing point of this shoe is that it also looks great with casual outfits, so you could easily go from the gym and then out for a coffee without needing to bring an additional pair of shoes to change into for other plans.
What Makes the On Cloud X 2.0 a Great Running Shoe?
Reviewers like the low profile of this shoe along with its lightweight feel. They also comment on how they are comfortable with slightly above-width feet.
Others praise the versatility of the shoe and say that they end up wearing these as everyday shoes thanks to the comfort.
12. Brooks Ghost 14 ($150)
The award-winning Brooks Ghost 14 is one of the most popular running shoes on the market right now.
Inside, Brooks DNA Loft foam helps to create a smooth and soft ride. They are also a great-looking shoe with fun colorways, especially in their range of running shoes for men featuring their engineered mesh upper. The Ghost 14 is a lightweight yet durable shoe suitable for use as a daily trainer.
What the Brooks Ghost 14 Is Best For
The Brooks Ghost 14 can handle any type of running, regardless of the surface. This is thanks to the soft featured full-length DNA Loft foam midsole. This gives you super soft and springy responsive runs. Combine this with a lightweight upper that hugs your foot for extended runs as well as workouts.
What Makes the Brooks Ghost 14 a Great Running Shoe
Customers who have reviewed this running shoe commonly mention it’s comfort and dependability.
Runners also enjoy its straightforward fit and easy ride, as well as being a versatile shoe for walking and easy runs right through to long runs and workouts.
Reviewers commented on the flexible structure that contours their feet, which gave them a natural movement as they ran. They also say the knit mesh hug of the shoe's upper helped to prevent chafing and any uncomfortable rubbing.
13. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v12 ($160)
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v12 is the perfect running shoe for every style of runner. They’re great for experienced runners doing long runs, as well as sprinting days, plus a great choice for new runners building confidence. They consistently show up on listings as one of the best running shoes for men and women.
The super-soft and neutral support provided by the cloud-like Fresh Foam cushions each step by absorbing the impact of running on hard surfaces, like roads and pavements. These shoes are also incredibly lightweight, weighing between 8.3 oz for women and 10.3 oz for men.
An improvement from the previous model is the redesigning of the heel with the addition of more traditional style padding.
What the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v12 Is Best For
This is a great all-around running shoe for a range of runners with a natural toe splay. There is a version of this shoe, targeted at runners with widener feet.
Although popular with well-established runners, they are a running shoe that we’d highly recommend for beginners dipping their toes in the water.
What Makes the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v12 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners commented on the comfortable and supportive upper on the shows, with the knitted material fitting like a stretchy sock.
14. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24 ($160)
One of the best running shoes is the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24. This durable classic all-rounder running shoe features a gel-cushioned design. It’s great for daily training, whether you’re an experienced runner or taking your first steps into running.
These cushiony and roomy shoes feature ASICS FF BLAST PLUS foam. This makes the midsole incredibly soft and lightweight. If you’re a fan of the Nimbus range, this is their lightest model yet. They’re 20 grams lighter than their previous model making it feel as if you’re floating through your run.
If you're looking for a versatile shoe that features responsive cushioning and comfort, then you won’t go wrong with the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24. They are a great addition to a runner's kit. These running shoes come in a wide range of colors in both men's and women's models.
What the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24 Is Best For
The ASICS’ classic GEL provides some of the best cushioning in a running shoe. It helps to protect your feet and joints by reducing the impact on your runs and walks. The addition of their FF BLAST PLUS cushioning in the midsole also adds an extra layer of arch protection and comfort when your foot lands right through to when you push off with your toes.
What Makes the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 24 a Great Running Shoe
Reviewers love the cushioning on this shoe, as well as the breathable engineered upper mesh, which gave their feet plenty of room but allowed for a solid lockdown during long runs. They also commented on the soft padding on the back of the shoe which hugged their ankle, and with amazing comfort.
Other reviewers commented on how the shoe upper is made with recycled materials and that ASICS is making a considerable effort to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
15. On Cloudmonster ($170)
The On Cloudmonster is a great long-run shoe and one of the most cushioned On running shoes on the market right now. They are responsive and a lot lighter than other long-run shoes.
Despite the slightly amusing name, the Cloudmonster features a thick wedge of CloudTec. Usually, the shoes look huge, hence the name “monster”, but they don't feel it.
What On Cloudmonster Is Best For
These are aimed at runners wanting to focus on distance runs as opposed to speed. They are great-looking shoes and outside of running and sport would also look great as streetwear.
What Makes On Cloudmonster a Great Running Shoe?
Reviewers frequently comment on how spongey and cloud-like the shoes feel. They do say it’s a little interesting to get used to at first, but after the initial feeling has worn off, they say that they can run faster and feel less tired thanks to the cushioning.
16. Salomon Sense Ride 4 ($170)
The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a great running shoe aimed at trail runners. It features an insane grip, and unrivaled durability making it perfect for multi-terrain running with 3.57mm lungs helping you grip to any surface.
Despite having a slightly bulky look, they are actually fairly lightweight shoes. In addition to this, they also have a super convenient lockdown system. The Quicklace system makes them simple to get in and out of, is very secure, and helps to prevent any in-shoe movement.
What the Salomon Sense Ride 4 Is Best For
They are great for a variety of runners, and even if you’re not quite up for trail running, they are an excellent hiking shoe. The wide toe box means they are comfortable for people with wider feet.
If you spend a lot of time out in the wilderness, on hills, or cross-country, then the insane grip, nonslip heel, and durability are a great choice for any outdoorsy type.
What Makes the Salomon Sense Ride 4 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners are constantly impressed with the grip of these shoes. This is a no-frills trail beast that will grip any terrain you attempt to run on.
17. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 ($180)
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 comes with 100% DNA LOFT technology underfoot, which is the perfect blend of foam, rubber, and air. This results in incredible durability and softness, creating smooth landings and lower impact.
They are great all-rounder running shoes, suitable for slow recovery runs or long-distance efforts. They even perform well on full-day hikes.
What the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Is Best For
Because of the tech used in the underfoot, the Brooks Adrenaline shoes are great for people with flat feet or overpronation—or for anyone who needs a little more support on the inner side. They are great at helping keep your foot straight and not rolling inwards.
What Makes the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 a Great Running Shoe
The shoes are well padded and offer good levels of support. Runners have noticed improvements and corrections with their pronation after wearing these.
Runners have also commented on the plush upper of the shoe, which hugs the foot. This has also been noted by people with wider feet as there is ample toe space.
18. Adidas Ultraboost 21 ($190)
The Adidas Ultraboost 21 ticks all the boxes for being a great running shoe. It combines excellent design with high-quality materials and construction.
It combines the perfect balance of weight and cushioning, which provides a responsive run. The running shoe also offers a decent level of foot support. It’s a reasonably tough shoe that aids in midsole support.
The upper structure features a sock-like fit made from a comfortable textile lining with a generous toe box. The material also stretches to accommodate the shape of your feet.
What the Adidas Ultraboost 21 Is Best For
This is a great running shoe for a range of runners. It’s also a great choice for people with wider feet. Although this is listed as a running shoe, it’s also suitable for use doing multiple sports, such as cross-fit and gym training. It also looks good as a street shoe.
They have been created and designed based on scans of over 1.2 million feet, so the Ultraboost is a great-fitting shoe.
What Makes the Adidas Ultraboost 21 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners say they are impressed by the fit of these running shoes and that it holds their foot snugly when running. They also mention the wider base on the shoes which softens impact and provides additional support and stability.
19. Salomon XT-6 ($250)
Salomon is a champion at producing excellent running shoes aimed at trail running. The Salomon XT-6 has been the most popular shoe for terrain running for nearly a decade.
They offer great upper protection, an insane grip, and are highly responsive. It’s a shoe that’s sure to leave you confident traversing steep gradients while still being plenty comfy at the end of a long run.
What the Salomon XT-6 Is Best For
The Salomon XT-6 is an incredibly robust multi-terrain trail shoe that looks great during trail runs as well as for recreational wear.
If you spend a lot of time in softer terrains, this is a great option thanks to the use of stiff foam, durable lugs, and a decent amount of protection.
What Makes the Salomon XT-6 a Great Running Shoe?
Runners often state how robust this shoe is, and that the grip is unparalleled in other brands of a trail shoe. They also praise the lacing system, which makes it easy to tighten and adjust the shoes.
20. ASICS MetaSpeed Sky ($250)
This is one of the best carbon-plated running shoes on the market right now. It’s incredibly lightweight and features a low drop. If you’re looking at increasing the speed of your run and smashing your PRs then, ASICS MetaSpeed would be a good place to start.
True, these aren’t the cheapest shoes on our list, but they are one of the best thanks to their comfortable soles and potential to make you physically run faster. They are less stiff than other carbon-plated running shoes giving your foot more flexibility.
What the ASICS MetaSpeed Sky Best For?
These are geared at anyone wanting to increase their run time. They are ultralight responsive and offer full support. When compared to other carbon-plated race shoes, they often come out with the best stability.
They are great for people with wider feet and who want to lengthen their stride during their run.
What Makes the ASICS MetaSpeed Sky a Great Running Shoe?
Reviewers say they are a great fit for a wider foot. Some even claim that they are the best fitting race shoe they’ve tried thanks to the roomy toe box.
A lot of runners also comment on the great range of colors.
Finding the Best Running Shoes
You can’t underestimate the importance of a good pair of running shoes.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, one of the great things about running is that you don’t need all kinds of equipment. Just a pair of shoes is enough to get started.
And yet, they really make all the difference to running.
This is why it’s so important that you take the time to decide which running shoes are going to be best for your unique needs.
Hopefully, the above reviews have helped you feel better informed about making this decision. For another running essential, check out our blog post where we cover the best socks for every type of running. We also know how important the right pair of shares are, so check out our list of the best running sunglasses of 2022, too.