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Best Neutral Running Shoes 2020

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 2020. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]

Brooks Ghost 12

A pair of runners wearing the Brooks Ghost 12 during a workout

The Brooks Ghost 12 lands on many of the best running shoes lists because it’s comfortable, versatile and durable. So it’s no wonder it’s also one of the best neutral running shoes around.

Brooks designed the Ghost with a roomy fit in the toe box and midfoot, and they also make wide sizing for runners who need it. Underneath, the Ghost uses soft DNA Loft foam in the heel and responsive BioMoGo DNA foam in the forefoot, giving the shoe a cushioned, neutral ride.

Fleet Feet testers had nothing negative to say about the shoe in the Brooks Ghost 12 review. It is cushioned enough for long distance running and light enough for speedier work, plus it fits a wide variety of foot shapes.

Runners looking for the best neutral running shoes will have a hard time finding a better all-around shoe than the Brooks Ghost 12.

Mizuno Wave Rider 23

A man runs in the new Mizuno Wave Rider 23 running shoe

Dependability and consistency are key to making the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 one of the best neutral running shoes on the market today.

The Wave Rider has been powering runners for more than two decades, and it hasn’t lost a step. A bed of firmer U4ic foam gives you a responsive ride, while a cap of softer U4icX provides cushioning in the heel.

The Rider also benefits from Mizuno’s classic Wave Plate technology. The molded sheet of plastic absorbs shock and creates smooth transitions.

In the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 review, Fleet Feet testers said they loved how the Wave Plate and firm foam worked together to create a snappy ride while still feeling like a full-cushioned running shoe.

HOKA Clifton 6

Two people run in the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6 shoes

The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6 became a best-selling neutral running shoe in no time thanks to its easy ride and lightweight cushion.

HOKA packs its running shoes full of EVA foam for supremely soft rides, and the Clifton is no exception. The Clifton 6 employs a full bed of the soft stuff to cushion each step, but the foam doesn’t weigh it down: A women’s size 7 weighs 7.4 oz and a men’s size 9 weighs 9 oz.

The latest model has a streamlined upper with embroidered midfoot support, which helps keep the overall weight down. But otherwise the shoe didn’t change much from the previous version to the new one, so fans of the Clifton 5 will feel at home in the Clifton 6.

Fleet Feet testers said in the HOKA Clifton 6 review the light weight and big cushion make the shoe feel like a beach cruiser bike, making it perfect for everyday training, walking and everything in between.

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 22

ASICS took premium cushioning to the max with the GEL-Nimbus 22.

Shoe designers packed a generous GEL unit in the heel to soak up impact, and they used a second GEL piece in the forefoot to create smooth transitions. ASICS’ Trusstic technology—the piece of plastic under the arch—helps reduce rotational forces, adds a touch of stability and improves the shoe’s durability.

Surrounding all the technology, ASICS used a bed of Flytefoam cushion to deliver lightweight protection against the pavement. When you need a neutral running shoe capable of handling long distances, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 22 will carry you through.

Saucony Ride ISO 2

Saucony lightened the load in the Ride ISO 2, making it an even better neutral running shoe for a wide variety of runners.

The Saucony Ride ISO 2 is built for long distances thanks two a pair of foams: EVERUN and PWRFOAM. The bouncier EVERUN topsole gives you a more energetic feeling, while the PWRFOAM does most of the work to absorb landing impact. The combination delivers a soft ride without feeling mushy.

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.