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Best Neutral Running Shoes 2021

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Shop All Neutral Running Shoes

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.

Neutral running shoes don’t have any added stability features. The best stability running shoes use different technologies to create a more durable shoe for overpronators. That tech includes medial posts, multiple foam densities, added supports and more.

Many modern stability shoes are still smooth riding and comfortable, but runners with a neutral gait probably don’t need the extra support. So, finding the best neutral running shoes for you, your training and your specific needs is important.

Luckily, since neutral running shoes are often the best-selling and most popular shoes from each brand, it’s easy to find a pair that works for you.

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 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]

Brooks Ghost 13

A runner wearing the Brooks Ghost 13 running shoes

It's no surprise the Brooks Ghost 13 is one of the best neutral running shoes—Brooks built it to be cushioned, comfortable and versatile.

Comfort is key, which is why the Brooks Ghost 13 has a roomy fit. The accommodating fit makes it comfortable for a variety of foot shapes (and it comes in wide sizing), while an engineered mesh upper is light and airy.

Underneath, Brooks used a generous amount one of its softest foams—DNA Loft—to create a cushy underfoot feel and a smooth, consistent transition. The DNA Loft works with Brooks' other foam, called BioMoGo DNA, to provide a more responsive toe-off.

The neutral ride, comfortable fit and light overall weight make the Brooks Ghost 13 a great all-around running shoe for most people, and it's one of the best running shoes for beginners.

In the Brooks Ghost 13 review, Fleet Feet testers said the Ghost is an ideal choice for runners who are just starting out and experienced runners putting in big mileage.

Mizuno Wave Rider 24

A pair of women's Mizuno Wave Rider 24 Waveknit running shoes

The Wave Rider has long been a dependable training partner thanks to its responsive feel and durability. The Mizuno Wave Rider 24 maintains those same characteristics with an added pop.

Mizuno used its new Enerzy foam in the Wave Rider 24 to give it a bouncier feel. The foam feels plusher on landing but delivers better rebound for a more energetic feel.

Designers also used Mizuno's signature Wave Plate technology. The plastic plate embedded in the midsole helps disperse the impact of landing and create a smoother transition from heel to toe.

This year's model also comes in two different styles: an engineered mesh upper and a Waveknit upper. The mesh gives the shoe a familiar, lightweight feel, while the Waveknit hugs your foot for a sock-like fit.

In the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 review, Fleet Feet runners said the new Enerzy foam feels well balanced between cushion and response.

HOKA Clifton 7

The profile view of the women's HOKA Clifton 7 running shoe

Lightweight cushion—and lots of it—makes the HOKA Clifton 7 one of the best neutral running shoes on the market today.

The original Clifton burst onto the running scene with a maximalist bed of EVA foam. Now on the seventh version, HOKA hasn't strayed from what made it a hit.

The Clifton 7's puffy midsole is soft underfoot and delivers smooth transitions. But despite its big look, the Clifton is surprisingly light, giving you the best of both worlds.

HOKA draped the Clifton 7 in a lightweight mesh upper, which maintains the shoe's low weight and breathes easily on hot days, and designers created a flared heel collar for a slightly more aggressive look.

Fleet Feet runners laced up the shoe for the HOKA Clifton 7 review. Test runners said it's everything they want from the Clifton: soft, light and smooth, making it perfect for everyday training, walking or just standing around all day.

On Cloud

Don’t let the On Cloud’s unique look fool you into thinking it’s just a fashion statement this is a serious neutral running shoe that can handle all of your miles.

The Cloud’s 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.

On updated the Cloud this year to reshape the Cloud elements, improve the central channel in the midsole and increase the shoe’s grip on pavement. Overall, the meticulous design and outstanding performance make the On Cloud one of the best neutral running shoes you can buy.

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10

Several pairs of the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10 arranged in a line

Making major updates to a popular running shoe can go wrong quickly. Luckily, New Balance expertly navigated the line between making necessary improvements and maintaining a familiar feel.

The biggest change to the updated New Balance Fresh Foam 880v10 is the addition of Fresh Foam. New Balance’s premier cushioning provides a softer underfoot feel and bouncier response than the foams used in previous version of the 880v10, and it was a hit with testers in the New Balance 880v10 review.

Designers also gave the 880 a new Hypoknit upper with low-profile midfoot support, and they styled the shoe for a faster look and more casual appeal. The updated 880v10 makes an excellent neutral running shoe for everyday training or just kicking around town.

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23

A pair of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 shoes

ASICS took the classic Nimbus and made it even softer.

The GEL-Nimbus 23 maintains the comfortable fit and easy ride that so many runners love, but they added a more cushioned heel. Designers created a new GEL unit that compresses more, which softens your landings.

In the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 review, Fleet Feet runners said the premium cushioning makes the shoe ideal for easy miles, recovery runs or long days on your feet.

Paired with ASICS' gender-specific Trusstic technology, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23 is one of the best neutral running shoes—and the best Nimbus yet.

Saucony Ride 13

A pair of Saucony Ride 13 running shoes

The Saucony Ride 13 is a classic, no-fuss neutral running shoe that's as good for beginners as it is for experienced marathoners.

Part of the mass appeal is the easy fit. Saucony built the Ride 13 around its FORMFIT system, which uses laters of cushioning to adapt to you specific weight and stride. Capped with a one-piece engineered mesh upper, the shoe is comfortable for a wide range of foot shapes.

Underfoot, Saucony used PWRRUN foam, which is soft when you land and responsive when you push off, making the ride as low maintenance as the fit.

In the Saucony Ride 13 review, Fleet Feet runners said the accommodating fit and easy ride make it perfect for most types of runs, from mellow evening jogs to weekend long runs.

Altra Torin 4.0

Altra is known for its accommodating toe box, called FootShape, and that’s what stands out on the popular Torin 4.0.

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

Altra doesn’t use any of its stability technology in the Torin 4.0, but its roomy toe box and 0 mm heel-to-toe drop give you a natural sense of control.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37

The Nike Pegasus 37 isn’t just one of the best neutral running shoes—it’s the latest in the line of best-selling Nike running shoes of all time.

Pushing four decades of experience, the Peg 37 gets a couple major updates to maintain its versatility and speedy feel while keeping with its low-profile silhouette and streamlined fit.

Nike this year swapped out the old midsole foam for a new React foam cushion. React has a proven track record in other Nike running shoes, and it now brings its bouncy, durable performance to the Pegasus 37.

An updated Zoom Air unit in the forefoot replaces the full-length unit in the previous Pegasus model. The new unit is also twice as thick than before, giving you greater rebound in the forefoot, where you really need it.

Even with the updated ride, though, the Nike Pegasus 37 keeps its minimalist upper and lightweight feel, making it one of the best neutral running shoes on the market today.

Karhu Ikoni

A runner ties a pair of Karhu Ikoni running shoes

Karhu broke the mold when they developed the Ikoni, and they did it using data.

Designers created the shoe using data points from more than 100,000 3D foot scans captured during Fleet Feet’s fit id® outfitting process. The data informed every part of the Ikoni’s construction, and it delivered an outstanding fit.

The updated Ikoni has two versions: the standard Ikoni and the HiVo version. HiVo (standing for “high volume”) has a wider, more accommodating fit. Although, a wider-footed Fleet Feet tester found both models to be plenty comfortable in the Karhu Ikoni review.

To go with the stellar fit, the Ikoni uses Karhu’s Fulcrum technology and AeroFoam cushioning for a smooth and stable ride. A lightweight feel and comfortable fit for most runners make the Karhu Ikoni an outstanding neutral running shoe that’s capable of tackling most of your workouts.

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.