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The Best Running Shoes 2020

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Shop All Running Shoes

Buying running shoes online is hard. We’re here to make it easier.

Finding the best running shoes is tricky because there isn’t one best running shoe for all people. What makes the best running shoes the best running shoes for you depends on lots of factors.

New runners might prefer more structure and cushion than runners looking to set new 5K records, while people out for mellow evening jogs might want a more accommodative fit than someone ramping up their speedwork. Likewise, trail runners would have problems on technical terrain if they chose an average road running shoe, and track stars need spikes built for top-end speed.

The length and width of your feet, your arch height, your weight, and your unique gait all play a role. But choosing the best running shoes also involves your training, your preferred running surface and current fitness level (and don’t forget about your personal style, too).

To give you a place to start, we’ve used our outfitting experience, real-life testing and fit id® data to curate the best running shoes on the market today. With collections of the best running shoes by brand, the best stability running shoes, the best cushioned running shoes and plenty more, we’re confident you’ll find the right shoes for any situation.

Best Running Shoes By Brand​

Racers wearing the best running shoes

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

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

The New Balance 860v10 is one of the best running shoes

Different runners have different needs.

Some runners prefer stability running shoes to help stabilize their stride, while others go for neutral running shoes that deliver comfortable support. No matter what you need, you can find the right pair with the best running shoes by category.

Best Running Shoes For Men and Women

The Brooks Launch 7 are some of the best running shoes

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

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

We pulled the best running shoes 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.

Whatever your foot shape, we can match it with a running shoe that will help you run comfortably.

Here are the best running shoes by foot shape:

What to Look For in Running Shoes

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 running shoes more comfortable; and technical fabrics make shoes 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.

Other things to consider when you’re buying running shoes are your foot shape, the level of support you need, how much cushion you want and how you want the shoes to look.

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

Finding the right running shoes for you 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 for a comfortable pair of shoes to get started or you’re a veteran marathoner chasing PRs, there’s a perfect pair of running shoes for you. This Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide will help you pick the right running shoes.

How We Chose the Best Running Shoes

We consider several factors when choosing the best running shoes. From ensuring we judge shoes according to their intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the best running shoes in each category:

  • Purpose. Comparing apples to apples
  • Performance. How well does it do its job?
  • Real-world testing. We put them to the test on real runs
  • Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
  • Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason
  • fit id® data. Our own data shows how shoes fit for different feet
  • Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it
  • Designer interviews. We ask the people who made it

How Long Do Running Shoes Last?

As your training picks up or you start running more consistently, your shoes will eventually wear out. Knowing how long your running shoes last is important because they can leave you with nagging aches or injuries when they're ready to retire.

Typically, most premium running shoes will last between 300-500 miles. Lighter, faster racing shoes will have shorter lives, though, since they're built for a specific purpose.

Standing Behind Our Picks

We picked the best running shoes based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy a pair of running shoes from us and you don’t like the way they look, fit or perform, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund.

Plus, we offer free shipping 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®

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

We fit 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. Then, using data points for each foot and decades of experience in the industry, we help you find the right running shoes for your unique feet and specific needs.

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