The 10 Best Running Shoes of 2024

A Complete Guide to Help You Find the Right Pair

By Tom Rivett, Evan Matsumoto, Mandy Wahl Updated on

Running shoes are a runner's most important piece of equipment. Whether you're running your first mile or you're planning your latest marathon, there's nothing more important than finding the best running shoes.

So what are the best running shoes? It depends.

To put it simply: There isn't one best pair of shoes for all runners. That's because every runner (and walker!) has their own needs.

Some people need wide shoes to accommodate their feet. Others will want extra cushioning to soak up the impact of running miles on pavement. Low arches? You might want improved stability. Getting into trail running? Well, there are shoes made to run on dirt.

So whether you’re looking for a shoe to start running, a rugged trail shoe for your next ultramarathon or a high-cushioned daily trainer for weekend runs, our guide to the best running shoes will help you choose the best running shoes for your feet and your training.

Check out our list below comparing the 10 best shoes for running as well as how we tested them, who they're best for and why we think you’ll love them.

Our Top Picks:

Looking for more options? Shop all running shoes or scroll down to find the best running shoe brands, the best shoes for trail running, the best shoes for marathons and more.

Love diving deeper into the details? Check out our in-depth shoe reviews where our testers run in each shoe and compare them to previous models to give you the best information about buying new running shoes.

How We Tested the Best Running Shoes

To curate this list of the best running shoes, Fleet Feet Editors and running shoe experts Tom Rivett, Mandy Wahl and Evan Matsumoto, in collaboration with our Fleet Feet gear testers and contributors, tested hundreds of shoes, considered details like real-world performance, weight, cushion, materials, comfort, style, durability and price, and also looked at best-seller lists and customer reviews.

Through our personalized Fleet Feet fit id® Outfitting process with 3D foot scanning technology that measures foot length, width, arch height and more, we used data from over 5 million foot scans (and counting) to give us unique insights into how today’s best men’s and women’s running shoes from the top brands fit and perform on a wide variety of feet.

The gear on this best running shoes guide has been updated to show only the newest products available in 2024.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26

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The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26 is a classic model with cushioning designed to withstand daily training for new and experienced runners alike.

If you're looking for durability that gives your run endless cushioning and a roomy fit, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26 is for you. Each and every run will feel comfortable and smooth. The upper is an engineered knit material that fits perfectly around your foot.

Between its comfy fit and versatility, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26 is perfect for all-around performance.

  • What It's Best For: The Nimbus 26 feels great on long-distance runs or everyday training miles no matter how far you go. It’s perfect for new runners and seasoned marathoners alike and is comfortable enough for people who are on their feet all day. Our reviewers loved it on long runs, run/walk intervals and standing on their feet all day.
  • Why You'll Love It: Soft cushioning underfoot creates a cushioned ride without feeling too mushy. The accommodating fit is comfortable for long runs when your mileage starts to increase, yet fits mid to narrow feet well too.

Read more: ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26 review

Want a similar fit with stability features? Check out the ASICS GEL-Kayano 31.

From our Gel-Nimbus 26 review:

“The knit material hugged my foot perfectly, the stretchy tongue was barely noticeable on my foot, and the collared heel was designed perfectly.” - Travis

Tech Specs

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26

Weight 9.2 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 8 mm
Stack height 40.5 mm/32.5 mm (W), 41.5 mm/33.5 mm (M)
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13, Brooks Glycerin 21

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Brooks Ghost 16

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The Brooks Ghost is an award-winning sneaker, and one of the most popular models on the market—and the newest Ghost 16 looks to be no exception.

The latest version of the Ghost comes with a brand-new, nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 midsole and sees the stack height dropped by one millimeter compared to the previous version. Combined with a new RoadTack rubber outsole, the Ghost 16 stands out as one of the most reliable and durable daily trainers out there.

  • What It's Best For: The Brooks Ghost 16 can handle just about anything. It’s perfect for beginner runners or experienced athletes looking for a reliable daily trainer for everything from runs and workouts to casual days out and about.
  • Why You'll Love It: You'll love the straightforward fit and easy ride that Brooks seems to have perfected. If you’ve run in previous versions of the Ghost or are just trying it out for the first time, you’ll love the shoe’s instant step-in comfort and balanced ride that make it an easy choice for runs, workouts and all-day adventures.

Read more: Brooks Ghost 16 review

Want a bit of support? The Brooks Adrenaline GTS offers a similar experience as the Ghost but uses Brooks’ GuideRail technology to keep you running smoothly.

From our Ghost 16 review:

“Year after year Brooks offers one of the most comfortable uppers on the market, and they certainly have achieved that again in the Ghost 16.” - Brandon

Tech Specs

Brooks Ghost 16

Weight 8.8 oz (W), 9.8 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 12 mm
Stack height 24 mm/12 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... Karhu Ikoni 2.5, New Balance 880 v14

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

HOKA Clifton 9

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The HOKA Clifton 9 is one the best running shoes for anyone who demands plush cushioning, shock absorption and a roomy fit.

In classic HOKA fashion, the Clifton 9 boasts a thick stack of EVA foam for heavenly comfort mile after mile. But don't let the tall stack height fool you, the Clifton is crazy light and energetic, so you don't have to switch shoes between recovery days and tempo runs.

No matter your foot shape, the HOKA Clifton 9 is designed with a roomy toe box and a flared heel collar to accommodate a wide range of feet without uncomfortable rubbing, a tiny detail that the testers loved in our HOKA Clifton 9 review.

  • What It's Best For: The Clifton excels at long runs and quick paces, but it’s just as comfortable for easy cruising or gentle walking. The light weight won’t hold you back, and the cushion can stand up to anything.
  • Why You'll Love It: Cushion, cushion, cushion. The Clifton 9 gives you a lighter, plusher and more energetic ride than ever before. You'll love the lightweight and protective feel of the EVA foam beneath your feet.

Read more: HOKA Clifton 9 review

Craving more cushion? The HOKA Bondi 8 is the most-cushioned model in the HOKA family.

From our Clifton 9 review:

“The midsole foam feels surprisingly snappy and responsive, considering how cushioned and soft the shoe is.” - Nate

Tech Specs

HOKA Clifton 9

Weight 7.3 oz (W) , 8.7 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 5 mm
Stack height 29 mm/24 mm (W), 32 mm/27 mm (M)
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to.. Brooks Ghost 15, New Balance More v4

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Karhu Ikoni 3.0

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Never heard of Karhu? Get hip with the Ikoni 3.0.

All Karhu shoes are designed using 3D foot scan data, helping the fabulous Finns behind the brand create a uniquely comfortable experience for neutral runners. The midsole foam is super-lightweight and offers plenty of cushioning over daily mileage, no matter how far you go.

The Ikoni 3.0 is great for individuals who usually rely on orthotic inserts to find that just-right feel. And even if you want to keep your inserts, the Ikoni has a removable sock liner and plenty of room for you to pop them in.

  • What It's Best For: All of your miles. The Ikoni 3.0 is a great everyday sneaker, whether you’re training for a race or running to clear your head.
  • Why You'll Love It: The custom-like fit works for many people because it was designed using data from many people. Plus, there’s a wide-fit version for runners who need it.

Read more: Karhu Ikoni 3.0 review

Looking for a softer feel and more stability? The Karhu Synchron 2.0 delivers a plusher ride.

From our Ikoni 3.0 review:

“The Ikoni 3.0 is a great everyday trainer, but it’s also a solid shoe to walk the dog in or work a long shift on your feet. It’s basically like the “swiss army knife” of shoes–it’s ready to do whatever you need it to do.” - Heather

Tech Specs

Karhu Ikoni 2.5

Weight 8 oz (W), 9.6 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 8 mm
Stack height 26 mm/18 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... Mizuno Wave Rider 27, Saucony Kinvara 14

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13

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There's very little the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13 can't do. Between long runs and speed days, for beginners and experts, the 1080 v13 is hard not to love.

Pillowy Fresh Foam cushioning provides a soft, neutral support to each step and absorbs the impact of running on pavement, delivering a bouncy feel on every run. The overall lightweight feel makes the 1080 v13 an easy choice for daily training, because nobody likes a clunky shoe.

The knit upper fits like a sock with stretchy and supportive sections. The forefoot is roomy enough for natural toe splay, and the 1080 v13 also comes in wide (and extra-wide) sizing.

  • What It's Best For: High mileage and hard efforts, but it’s just as comfortable for beginners dipping their toes in the water.
  • Why You'll Love It: The 1080 v13 is lightweight and soft, giving you the perfect foundation to ramp up your training and finish strong. The stretchy upper doesn’t pinch or squish your foot, so you’re more comfortable when the miles start piling up.

Read more: New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 review

Love New Balance but need stability? The refreshed New Balance Fresh Foam 860 v13 is a fan favorite.

From our Fresh Foam 1080 v13 review:

“This is truly one of the most versatile daily training shoes I have worn—it’s a very comfortable recovery shoe but also super energetic for faster paces.” - Travis

Tech Specs

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13

Weight 7.3 oz (W), 9.2 oz (M
Heel-to-toe drop 6 mm
Stack height 38 mm/32 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26, Saucony Triumph 21

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Mizuno Wave Rider 28

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Comfort and consistency are what make the Mizuno Wave Rider 28 one of the most approachable trainers you can find.

Energetic ENERZY NXT foam underfoot provides balanced cushioning and responsiveness, helping you move easily between speed work and recovery runs. Plus, the signature Wave Plate helps to disperse impact and makes the Wave Rider 28 durable enough to handle daily mileage.

Available in wide sizing too, the Wave Rider 28 is an excellent choice for anyone with a neutral gait looking for a balanced, energetic ride for everyday training and road races.

  • What It's Best For: The Wave Rider 28 is built to handle high mileage. Mizuno Enerzy foam delivers a well-balanced ride, while a durable rubber outsole adds traction and protects the midsole.
  • Why You'll Love It: With the Wave Rider 28, you get a versatile training partner that handles high mileage as well as it handles walking the dog.

Love the fit but need stability? The Mizuno Wave Inspire adds a stability-tuned Wave Plate.

Tech Specs

Mizuno Wave Rider 28

Weight 8.3 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 12 mm
Stack height 38 mm/26 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14, Brooks Ghost 16

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

On Cloudmonster 2

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The On Cloudmonster 2 brings a smooth and energetic ride to your runs.

The double layer of lightweight Helion superfoam and CloudTec cushioning provides plush landings and explosive takeoffs in every direction as you run, walk or jump. This shoe features a rocker shape that keeps you rolling along during your run, while the Speedboard gives you snappy take-offs.

In our Cloudmonster 2 review, our testers loved how the shoe performed for all paces and workouts.

  • What It's Best For: The Cloudmonster 2 is great for everything from tempo runs and long runs to 5K races and marathons. The unique CloudTec elements provide cushioning in any direction while the Helion foam is bouncy and stable without feeling too mushy.
  • Why You'll Love It: The unique CloudTec midsole and Speedboard create a snappy, engaging ride. The double layer of helion foam gives it a uniquely cushioned and energetic experience that keeps you comfortable for easy runs while still being able to pick up the pace.

Read more: On Cloudmonster 2 review

Need a bit more stability? Check out the On Cloudflyer 4.

From our Cloudmonster 2 review:

“The Cloudmonster feels firm and stable underfoot. The Helion Superfoam and CloudTec pods popped me right back up for some very solid energy return.” - Nate

Tech Specs

On Cloudmonster 2

Weight 8.1 oz (W), 10.4 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 5.5 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... HOKA Bondi 8, Saucony Triumph

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Saucony Ride 17

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The Saucony Ride 17 is a do-it-all trainer that’s great for beginners and experienced runners alike.

Upgraded with Saucony’s responsive PWRRUN+ midsole foam, the Ride 17 blends high energy return with supportive cushioning that makes it both soft and bouncy. Runners will love the newly engineered mesh upper that improves the midfoot wrap, while also giving you a plush and breathable fit.

This everyday trainer is versatile for a wide variety of runners and walkers. I

  • What It's Best For: Being your go-to, everyday trainer. The Ride 17 is confident on shorter efforts and comfortable on long days, meaning it’s the only shoe you need from your first day of training through race day.
  • Why You'll Love It: You’ll love the improved cushioning and luxurious fit that will keep you comfortable whether you're logging high mileage weeks or getting in your daily walk.

Read more: Saucony Ride 17 review.

From our Ride 17 review:

“The Ride 17 has a hefty base of cushioning for long runs, but it’s firm enough to tackle some uptempo workouts.” - Caroline

Tech Specs

Saucony Ride 17

Weight 8.4 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 8 mm
Stack height 35 mm/27 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... Brooks Ghost 15, ASICS GEL-Cumulus 25

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Altra Lone Peak 8

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The Altra Lone Peak has long been a fan favorite of trail runners and hikers looking for a lightweight and nimble trail shoe.

A spacious FootShape toe-box and zero mm heel-to-toe drop give you a connected and confident ground feel when you're flowing through single track or navigating over technical terrain.

From trailhead to summit, the Lone Peak’s tacky MaxTrac™ outsole and responsive AltraEGO™ cushioning give you the grip and protection to charge uphill or confidently race down steep descents. So whether you’re just starting to trail run or training for your next ultramarathon, the Altra Lone Peak 8 is one of the best trail running shoes for your runs, hikes and outdoor adventures.

  • What It’s Best For: The Altra Lone Peak 8 is a versatile choice for trail runners and hikers who like extra room in the forefoot for their toes to splay out. It’s lightweight and flexible enough to feel nimble, yet gives you the protection to tackle any trail.
  • Why You’ll Love It: Your feet will be the last thing you have to worry about when you’re spending long days on the trail—the Lone Peak’s unique ground feel and spacious toe box will keep you comfortable and confident no matter where your next adventure takes you.

Tech Specs

Altra Lone Peak 8

Weight 9.1 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 0 mm
Stack height 25 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Trail
Comparable to... Saucony Peregrine, Brooks Cascadia

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

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A workhorse shoe for elite athletes and weekend warriors alike, the Nike Pegasus 40 is ubiquitous thanks to its versatility and eye-catching design.

Nike’s React foam gives you a smooth and responsive ride, while two Zoom Air units at the forefoot and heel add a pop to your step to keep you feeling energized for miles. It’s a versatile and nimble shoe that can handle high mileage with ease or even take on cross-training and strength sessions.

No matter what you’re wearing them for, the Pegasus 40 will look and perform great thanks to its speedy silhouette and bold colorways.

  • What It's Best For: The Pegasus 40 is a do-it-all running shoe. Although it has a quick turnover and excels at uptempo paces, it's more than capable of turning in comfortable long runs and easy miles.
  • Why You'll Love It: The Pegasus feels nimble and light without sacrificing cushioning. Its React foam is energetic and soft, which works well whether you’re just starting out or training to set a new PR. Plus, two Zoom Air units in the forefoot create a quick response on takeoff.
Tech Specs

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

Weight 8.5 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 10 mm
Stack height 32 mm/22 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... Brooks Ghost 15, Saucony Ride 17

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

Best Running Shoes By Brand​

A group of runners run past a dry cleaning shop.

Every major brand makes excellent shoes for all different occasions. So whether you're devoted to Brooks or loyal to New Balance, you can find the right pair for the right situations.

But just like there's no one best shoe, there's also no one best brand for every runner. Each brand has its own designs and technologies; what works for your friend might not work for you, so it's important to know what makes each brand unique to make an informed decision.

Need a high-cushion everyday trainer? Looking for a light and fast racing flat? Check out the best running shoe brands and all the shoes they make.

Here are the best running shoe brands:

Best Running Shoes By Category

A man runs in the heat on a trail in an orange glow.

Different runners require different gear, so we created these lists to help everybody find exactly what they need.

Some runners who overpronate might prefer extra stability, while others go for neutral support. Off-road runners need grip for the trail, while some people are just looking for comfortable walking shoes.

We combed through each major category to find the best running shoes for every type of runner.

Best Walking and Running Shoes For Men and Women

Two runners run down a street together.

Many top brands make men's and women's running shoes with different attributes.

Men are generally heavier than women, so some men's sneakers have more cushioning. Women typically have a narrower heel and midfoot than men, so some brands make women's versions to accommodate those differences.

We pulled models for men and women to give you a place to start your search for the perfect pair.

Best Running Shoes By Foot Shape

A customer gets scanned to find the best running shoes

If you've had a 3D scan during our fit id® outfitting process, you know whether you have high or low arches, you know your heel shape and you can see your foot width. Or maybe you've tried enough running shoes to know you need a wide width.

Millions of runners and walkers have had their feet scanned at a Fleet Feet store, giving us tons of data to identify which shoes will fit which types of feet. Whatever your foot shape, we can match it with a pair that will help you run comfortably.

Check out these categories based on 3D foot scans:

Common Questions

Finding the right shoes online can be difficult. There are hundreds of models and styles to choose from, and you can find a wide range of prices for similar products.

Here are some commons questions we see about running shoes to help you make the right choice:

How Do You Pick the Right Running Shoes For You?

From carbon-plated running shoes designed to go fast to rugged trail running shoes, there are shoes for every ability, size, level and surface. With so many options to choose from, how do you find the best running shoes for you?

Whether you’re just beginning to run or are training for a race, your running shoes should feel light on your feet, cushion your landings and support your foot’s natural motion. Narrowing down the best running shoes for you, however, will typically come down to one thing: comfort.

​How Should Running Shoes Fit?

If you're new to running, here are some basic guidelines to follow when trying on shoes to find the perfect fit:

  • Length - Generally speaking, you should have a space about the width of your thumb between the end of your big toe and the front of your shoe.
  • Width - Your feet should sit in the middle of the footbed and not spill over the edges. If your foot is bulging out of the sides, consider trying a wider width.
  • Comfort - There shouldn't be a break-in period—your shoes should be comfortable right out of the box (although we don't suggest racing a half marathon in a new pair the day you purchase them.)

As you gain experience and try more pairs of running shoes, you'll learn if you like more cushioning or less, a stiffer model or a more flexible one.

Finding the best running shoes for you can be a daunting process, but it is an important one to get right. Your running shoes provide a base for your body to land on while you run; they can help prevent injuries and make your run overall more enjoyable. To be confident you’re buying the perfect pair, check out our guide on How to Choose Running Shoes.

What to Consider Before Buying

There are plenty of things that make running shoes good. High quality materials last longer than cheap stuff; attention to small details, like stitching, helps make them more comfortable; and technical fabrics make them more breathable.

But everyone’s feet are different—not to mention their weight, footstrike, gait pattern and pronation. Just because they’re good shoes doesn’t mean they’re the right shoes for you. That's why it's important to also understand the anatomy of a running shoe.

Other things to consider when you’re shopping are your foot shape, the level of support you need, how much cushion you want and how they fit your style.

In short: There isn’t one best pair of running shoes for everyone. But there is a pair that will give you a comfortable experience, mile after mile.

Finding the right shoes comes down to a combination of comfort, performance and price. Here are the first three questions you should answer to narrow down your search:

  1. How many miles per week do you currently run?
  2. What are your running or walking goals?
  3. How much money are you willing to spend?

Whether you’re a new runner looking to get started or you’re a veteran marathoner chasing PRs, this Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide will help you find the right pair.

Still not sure which shoe is best for you? Find a local Fleet Feet store for a free, personalized assessment and 3D scan of your feet. Plus, to make sure you love your gear, you can try out your shoes for 60 days thanks to our Happy Fit Guarantee.

Standing Behind Our Picks

Fleet Feet knows running.

We picked the best running trainers based on more than four decades of experience outfitting runners of all abilities, ages and sizes. If you buy gear from us and you don’t like the way it looks, fits or performs, bring it back within 60 days for a full refund.

Plus, we offer free shipping & returns on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.

fit id® & Dynamic Pressure Mapping

Buying online isn’t for everyone. To try on your gear before you buy it, visit a local Fleet Feet store for an in-person fitting experience.

We fit you for running shoes through our own fit id® outfitting process. The one-on-one process uses a 3D scanner to take precise measurements of your feet. This in combination with our *Dynamic Pressure Mapping system helps our highly trained Outfitters assess your foot’s path of motion and stride as you walk so they can find the perfect shoes for you. Then, using data points for each foot and decades of experience in the industry, we help you find the right gear for your unique feet and specific needs.

Want to try it for yourself? Find a Fleet Feet location near you.

*Pressure plates are available at select Fleet Feet stores