Best Neutral Running Shoes 2024

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Runners looking for the best neutral running shoes are in luck: All of the best running shoe brands make outstanding neutral shoes as part of their lineups.

This list of neutral running shoes is not exhaustive, and there are other great running shoes out there for you. But if you’re new to running or unsure of what to look for, this is a good place to start.

Here are some of the best neutral running shoes for most people:

[ This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2024. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]

Brooks Ghost 16

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It's no surprise the Brooks Ghost 16 is one of the best neutral running shoes—Brooks built it to be cushioned, comfortable and versatile.

The Brooks Ghost boasts an accommodating fit for a variety of foot shapes and sizes. An engineered upper is light and airy but secure around the midfoot and heel for an instantly comfortable feeling as soon as you step into them.

“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,” said Brandon in our full Brooks Ghost 16 review.

Brooks uses an updated nitrogen-infused DNA Loft v3 foam to deliver a lightweight, bouncy and soft ride. The neutral ride, comfortable fit and durability make the Brooks Ghost 16 a great all-around running shoe for most people, and it's one of the best running shoes for beginners.

Read more in our Brooks Ghost 16 review.

Mizuno Wave Rider 28

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The Wave Rider has long been a dependable training partner thanks to its responsive feel and durability.

The Wave Rider 28 is powered by Mizuno's soft and energetic ENERZY NXT foam that springs you forward with each step and cushions landings mile after mile. A Pebax Rnew® Wave Plate helps disperse impact and promotes smooth transitions from heel to toe.

With a lightweight and breathable Jacquard mesh upper that stretches across your foot to give you a great lockdown, you're going to love the balanced, neutral support of the Mizuno Wave Rider 28.

HOKA Clifton 9

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A new midsole compound and refreshed upper give the HOKA Clifton 9 a boost while maintaining its position as one of the best neutral running shoes you can find.

The original Clifton made waves with its blend of max cushioning and minimal weight, and the newest model retains those same characteristics. HOKA pumped the Clifton 9 full of even more light and energetic EVA foam that's as capable at quick paces as it is for long, slow days.

Designers retooled the shoe’s engineered mesh upper for an even better feel and secure fit. But the soul of the Clifton remains the same: You get a protective ride and buttery transition while staying light on your feet. Fleet Feet runners praised the newest version in our HOKA Clifton 9 review, with one saying “The changes to the Clifton 9 seem to be micro improvements. I think if you’ve been a fan of the Clifton in the past, you will love this shoe and find that it’s not much different.”

On Cloudgo

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The On Cloudgo gives you style and performance for the run.

The Cloudgo look comes from On’s innovative CloudTec technology. Designers carved each Cloud element beneath the shoe to collapse on landing for precise, comfortable cushioning but spring back into shape for a firm, consistent response when you take off. Because of this unique design, the Cloudgo is not only great for running but for fitness classes and workouts where you’re changing direction quickly.

A bed of Helion foam above On’s signature CloudTec outsole absorbs impact upon landing and energizes toe-offs to deliver fast, smooth transitions on the run. The Helion foam works with the Speedboard to create a snappy ride that lasts over quick efforts and marathon-length races, which our reviewers loved in the On Cloudgo review.

Overall, the meticulous design and outstanding performance make the On Cloudgo one of the best neutral running shoes you can buy.

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v14

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The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v14 is as dependable as a running shoe can be thanks to its straightforward fit and premium Fresh Foam X cushioning.

New Balance’s Fresh Foam X cushioning feels soft when you land and is super comfortable for long runs. The foam has proven itself in a variety of New Balance running shoes, meaning you can rely on it mile after mile. In our New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v14 review, Kate said it best when she noted, “Runners love the 880 for similar reasons as why people love a Honda Civic. It gets the job done, it’s comfortable and affordable and they know they can count on it.”

The accommodating fit and responsive ride makes it a great choice for new and experienced runners alike, which is also something that we noted in our review. Some of our testers felt it was a bit too roomy, however, while others thought it was the perfect fit.

The 880 v14 is a true workhorse. It's cushioned enough to handle itself on long runs but light and responsive enough to pick up the pace. Whether you're just starting out or training for your next marathon, the Fresh Foam 880 v14 can keep up.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 26

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The new GEL-Nimbus 26 maintains the comfortable fit and easy ride that runners have loved for decades. ASICS designers refined their FF Blast™ Plus Eco foam in the midsole for a more balanced ride and used a Pure-GEL pad in the heel that is lighter than its previous gel to absorb impact and soften your landings.

In our ASICS Gel-Nimbus 26 review, Fleet Feet testers said the premium cushioning makes this neutral running shoe ideal for easy miles, recovery runs or long days on your feet.

“The first thing I notice when I step into the Nimbus 26 is how soft it is,” says Kate. “From the cushioning in the heel collar to the whole underfoot feel, it’s soft, soft, soft. When I run in these, I feel protected from the impact of the road since there’s such a tall stack of plush cushion.”

Saucony Ride 17

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The Saucony Ride 17 is a classic, no-fuss neutral running shoe that's as welcoming for beginners as it is performance-ready for seasoned marathoners.

Part of the Ride’s mass appeal is its easy fit and roomy toe box compared to the competition. The plush upper of the Ride 17 fits a variety of foot shapes thanks to its great midfoot lockdown and breathable upper.

Now upgraded with Saucony’s soft yet bouncy PWRRUN+ midsole foam, the Ride 17 feels a bit peppier than years past and makes it even more versatile for daily training.

“This shoe has a really nice balance of soft-to-firm cushioning that served me well on my workout,” says Caroline in our review of the Saucony Ride 17. “They felt so smooth that I actually forgot I was wearing them and was totally immersed in the workout—a great feeling!”

Read our full Saucony Ride 17 test and review.

Altra Torin 7

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The Altra Torin 7 provides a springy, cushioned and natural ride that’s perfect for walking, running or standing all day.

The Torin is one of the best-selling neutral running shoes from Altra because it delivers on its promise of a comfortable and accommodating fit. Where some shoes taper toward the toe box, Altra’s FootShaped toe box is more square to mimic the actual shape of a human foot. The shape lets your toes splay naturally when you land and push off powerfully during toe-off, so your feet stay comfortable for all the miles to come.

The Torin 7 now has even more of Altra’s EGO™ MAX midsole foam, which provides a bouncy and soft feeling underfoot. Runners loved the comfort and cushion that this shoe had when they slipped it on in our Altra Torin 7 review. It also has Altra’s signature Balanced Cushioning (or zero drop), which puts the heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground to encourage better alignment and better form.

The Altra Torin 7 sports a roomy toe box and 0 mm heel-to-toe drop to give you a natural sense of control during your run.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

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The Nike Pegasus is consistently one of the best running shoes every year. Because of its straightforward fit and versatility, it can be spotted not only toeing the starting line on race day but on athletes of all types.

Nike’s React foam in the midsole 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.

A breathable and lightweight upper keeps your feet comfortable and blister-free. For fast turns and cross-training workouts, flexible circular knit mesh works with Nike’s new midfoot wrap to hug your foot for total support during your run or workout.

If you’re looking for a neutral running shoe that you can use for just about anything, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 fits the bill. Its lightweight cushioning and dialed-in fit make the Pegasus 40 an ideal choice as your go-to daily trainer.

Karhu Ikoni 3.0

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The Karhu Ikoni 3.0 may be one of the most slept-on daily trainers in the neutral running shoe category. Its design based on millions of 3D foot scans captured during Fleet Feet’s fit id® outfitting process makes the Ikoni one of the most comfortable fitting neutral running shoes you’ll put on.

A bed of lightweight foam feels super plush and responsive and is supported by a half-length Fulcrum rocker in the midfoot. This combination helps to roll the foot through its heel-to-toe transition and makes runs and walks feel effortless with each step.

Karhu’s M-Lock lacing system in the upper feels like the palm of a hand gently holding the top of your foot down, making the Ikoni 3.0 a great neutral shoe for walking, running and everything in between.

Read more in our Karhu Ikoni 3.0 review.

How We Chose the Best Neutral Running Shoes

We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best neutral running shoes.

You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.