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The Best Running Shoes Of 2023, For Every Type Of Runner

Kristine Thomason
Author:
Updated on October 26, 2022
Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director
By Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director

Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen.

Image by mbg creative
Last updated on October 26, 2022
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

Whether you're just starting your running journey or you've been logging miles for years, a solid pair of sneakers is crucial.

Finding a pair of running shoes that suit your feet, offer the right amount of cushion, and help elevate your stride makes all the difference in your run (trust me, as a health and fitness editor, I've tried a lot of sneakers).

"You want to take time to find the right fit, as the shoe can help prevent injuries and improve your performance," running coach Emily Fayette, CPT, previously shared with mbg.

She advises stopping by a running store to find a pair that suits you—but in case you don't have time to make the trip, or you already know a bit about your foot shape and running style, we've rounded up some of the best running shoes to help you find your perfect pair.

How we picked:

Support

A good running shoe will provide structure that doesn't bend or twist. It should support your arches with a firm yet responsive design.

Comfort

Whether you're heading out for a short jog or you're racing in your first marathon, comfort is key. The shoes we selected are comfortable enough for any distance.

Reviews

Customer perspective is vital, so we read a wide range of reviews for each product on this list and considered all feedback.

Quality

We prioritized shoes with materials that are sure to hold up over time—because you need something that will be with you for the long run.

Our picks for the best running shoes of 2023:

Best for coached runs: Women's UA HOVR™ Machina 3

Pros:

  • Flexible
  • Supportive
  • Bluetooth-enabled

Cons:

  • Not very breathable
Sizes available: 5-12(half sizes available)
Colorways: 12 options
Return policy: Varies by retailer

These shoes are lightweight and springy, but have enough cushioning to give ample support and propel you forward. There are carbon rubber pods under the heels, which provide traction throughout all your runs.

In addition to standout cushion, these sneakers feature a high-tech pod embedded into the midsole, which tracks and analyzes details about your running. You can even connect to the brand's Map My Run app to get real-time form tips and run coaching. So, if you're looking to elevate your running technique while feeling like you're floating on air, these are the ideal pair.

What customers say:

One fan of the brand says, "I just received them and ran 5k with no complaints. Great data collection through MapMyRun. This is my 2nd pair of UA running shoes and I’m impressed."

Best sustainable: Women's Tree Dasher 2

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Supportive
  • Sustainable

Cons:

  • Run small
Sizes available: 5-11(half sizes available)
Return policy: 30 days

Great news for the eco-minded runner: This highly technical running sneaker from sustainable footwear brand Allbirds is made with responsibly sourced sugar-cane sole, renewable eucalyptus, and superfine merino wool. The brand had 90+ amateur and professional athletes test this sneaker over a nine month period, to ensure it provides enough stability and cushion for ample miles.

While most sneakers don't rank high on the sustainability front, these are made with the world’s first carbon negative green EVA foam in the midsole, which helps provide support while you run. The upper is lightweight and breathable, and the shoe is incredibly easy to slip on.

What customers say:

Like the rest of the brand's shoes, these sneakers get a ton of love. One runner writes, "I absolutely LOVE these shoes that are so comfortable & have great support. I ran a 5K after wearing them only once & my feet wanted to run longer! The wide toe box makes all the difference. I highly recommend getting a pair!"

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Editor's pick: Asics Gel Nimbus 24

Pros:

  • Supportive
  • Lightweight
  • Great for distance runners

Cons:

  • Expensive
Sizes available: 5-13(half sizes available)
Colorways: 18 options
Return policy: Varies by retailer

The Gel Nimbus has been a longtime favorite of many runners (including our marathon-running commerce editor) due to the signature gel technology in the sole for superb cushioning and comfort. Designed to reduce impact, this running shoe is perfect for distance runners who plan to log a lot of miles.

They have a breathable mesh upper and a durable outsole that helps them withstand any weather conditions. The foam provides sufficient cushioning and impact absorption (for a softer landing), but the shoes don’t feel heavy at all on your feet. 

What our editor says:

"There's truly not much worse than when your feet start feeling hot during a long run—but the mesh upper on these shoes is breathable and lightweight. I've trained in these all year round, and they always keep me comfortable. During the summer, I regularly tested them out in 90+ degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and my feet stayed cool and breezy. Plus, I love knowing that at least 30% of the upper is made from recycled materials."

Best for speed runs: Adidas Ultraboost DNA

Pros:

  • Great traction
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Not a ton of heel support
Sizes available: 5-13(half sizes available)
Colorways: 50+ options
Return policy: Varies by retailer

This fan-favorite sneaker really lives up to its name and is ready to help you log some speedy miles. The Boost technology in the midsole absorbs energy as you run, then uses it to propel you forward—and this edition offers 4% more Boost than its previous addition.

Part of the brand’s strides toward helping to end plastic waste, the shoe’s upper is made with at least 50% recycled materials. They also provide even better traction than previous models, thanks to the rubber flexes on the outsole.

What customers say:

These shoes have a dedicated fan club. One runner writes, "I run between 4 to 7 miles daily, three seasons out of the year, so I go through running shoes pretty quickly. I am on my third pair of Ultraboost and I can't say enough good things about them—they are the only shoes I will run in. They are comfortable, lightweight, and the Primeknit allows air for breathability."

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Best for high arches: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

Pros:

  • Breathable
  • Good balance of flexibility and support

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Run small
Sizes available: 5-12(half sizes available)
Colorways: 12 options

Crafted to keep injuries at bay, these stellar sneakers are great for newbies and experienced runners alike. In fact, in a study of 226 men and women during a 12-week run training program, the React Infinity Run reduced injury by 52% compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22. Nike attributes that, in part, to the thicker and wider stack of foam cushioning—among other supportive features.

They provide strong arch support, so they're also a great pick for people with high arches. The shoes are breathable and supportive, and combine a flexible knit material with reactive foam to give runners a bouncy, cushioned stride.

What customers say:

Take it from this ecstatic reviewer, "The cushioning on the shoes is just the right amount to protect my feet from extreme running. I do walk around a lot with my niece and nephew and I am able to wear these all day. Comfort wise, I would rate these shoes a 9.5. It's near perfect. I have no complaints at all. Performance wise, I rate these shoes a 10/10."

Pros:

  • Uses some recycled materials
  • Maximum cushioning & support

Cons:

  • Run large
  • Less breathable
Sizes available: 5-12(half sizes available)
Colorways: 10 options
Return policy: Varies by retailer

This running shoe is perfect for anyone who needs extra cushion underfoot, yet it's still shockingly lightweight. Previous models have even received awards from the American Podiatric Medical Association, for promoting good foot health. The sneaker is both comfortable and supportive, offering a smooth ride through all your miles.

Because the arch is not super high, it is a great option for peope with medium-to-high arches, and it has a shape that will keep any stride smooth. If you have bunions or metatarsal pain, you'll appreciate the roomy toe box. On the flip side, though, if your foot is more narrow, these might be a little too wide.

What customers say:

Even non-runners love these shoes for long days of standing or walking. One person says, "These shoes are great. Perfect for long hours at the hospital, and perfect for running as well! I do not have foot pain anymore!"

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Best stylish: APL TechLoom Pro

Pros:

  • Well-cushioned
  • Breathable
  • Vegan materials

Cons:

  • Expensive
Sizes available: 5-11(half sizes available)
Return policy: Varies by retailer

Not only do these stylish sneakers look great with any athleisure outfit, but they're also a fantastic running shoe. The knit upper is made with one piece of material, which gives the shoe a unique look while reducing unwanted friction on your foot. With just the right amount of cushion, this ultra-versatile running shoe will be your new go-to sneaker.

These shoes do run on the smaller size, but half sizes are available—so we recommend sizing up. They are lightweight, reactive, and flexible, and will truly move with your feet as you run (or walk).

What customers say:

"Very comfortable, slip-on’ish sneaks. Multipurpose, running, walking. APLs are worth the hype," one reviewer says. Many more praise these for their comfort, aesthetic, and how well they hold up over time.

Best budget: Saucony Cohesion 15 PL

Pros:

  • Neutral cushioning
  • Affordable
  • Heel support

Cons:

  • Less breathable
  • Bulky
Sizes available: 5-12(half sizes available)
Colorways: 8 options
Return policy: Varies by retailer

For a sneaker that won't break the bank, and will provide comfort and support, opt for this affordable running shoe. They have a ton of cushioning to offer a smooth transition from heel to toe, and a durable rubber outsole that will help them hold up mile after mile.

While they're not the lightest or most breathable sneakers, they're great for colder months or for runners who want a bit more cushioning and comfort. You'll truly feel full-body support with these.

What customers say:

There aren't a ton of reviews for these sneakers, but the feedback they do have is generally positive. One person raves, "I am so pleased with my Cohesion 15 shoes. I had tried another brand (due to availability and developed ankle/calf pain when walking. My switch back to my Saucony shoes solved the problem. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 57 years and Saucony shoes are my "go to" shoes for good fit and support!"

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Speedy

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Narrow tongue
Sizes available: 5-11(half sizes available)(wide sizes available)
Colorways: 7 options

Ready to take your running game up a notch? These sneakers are designed to help you excel in training and racing. A favorite among elite athletes, the newest generation of On Cloudflow offers a smooth ride, with plenty of speed—thanks to its foam technology.

The shoes use 20% recycled materials, and have a breathable design that allows a comfortable amount of airflow during your runs. They also feel incredibly lightweight, which is what makes them such a great choice for racing. That said, while the cushioning is minimal compared to others, the foam is supportive enough to keep your stride smooth through each run.

What customers say:

"These shoes are amazing. I've been a runner and physical therapist for years. My go to was Brooks, but over the years, I haven't been as happy with how they have been holding up. I wanted a more narrow width with a lower heel drop and neutral support. These shoes checked off all the boxes. Also, these shoes are so light and comfortable that feel like I am just picking up speed each time I go for a run. FYI- I usually run 5-10Ks and do Sprint Triathalons," one runner raves.

Best for wide feet: Brooks Ghost 14

Pros:

  • Plenty of support and cushioning
  • Contours to your foot

Cons:

  • Run small
Sizes available: 5-13(half sizes available)(wide sizes available)
Colorways: 30+ options

Brooks has a number of standout running shoes, and the latest generation of the Ghost is no exception. This shoe is great for road runners, providing enough cushion for support while still letting you feel connected to the ground. And thanks to its unique system of shock absorbers, you'll feel protected through every stride.

What customers say:

These are an Amazon best-seller, with over 13,000 perfect five-star ratings. One reviewer calls these the best running shoes ever, going on to say, "I have had several pairs of the Ghost running shoes and I just love them I just received the Ghost 14 and went straight out of the box on a 3 mile run. They have a lot of support and cushion in the shoe. My feet never hurt when doing my activities and they have a lot of great colors. I normally wear 7 1/5 but I went up to a 8W I have a wide toe box so I need that extra width and I think they do run 1/2 size smaller. They are Great!!!!"

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FAQ

Which brand of running shoes are the best?

While it's important to look for a brand that you respect and trust, it's also important to take into account all the other factors like fit, comfort, quality, and design. Each shoe on this list is from a brand that we trust, and the best one for you will depend on your foot shape and running style. It's best to see your podiatrist to learn what shoe type is right for you.

What are the fastest running shoes?

If you are looking for a shoe to race in or wear on your speed training runs, you'll want something lightweight, but that still offers enough support to keep your feet and your joints healthy. We've included specific options on this list for speed training and racing, but again, always consult with your podiatrist or a specialist if you are not sure what's best for you.

How often should you buy new running shoes?

This depends on how often you are running, the distance you are running, and (of course) what shoes you are running in. Each brand will typically have different advice when it comes to how long its shoes will last, but the standard recommendation is every 300 to 500 miles.

The takeaway.

You may think of it only as physical exercise, but running is one of our favorite mental health activities, too. Maybe you're in it for the runner's high, or maybe you simply want to break a sweat. Regardless of your goal, it's crucial that you have the right shoes to help avoid injury and keep your stride smooth. And if this colder weather has you lacking motivation, it may be time to invest in some new gear to get you out the door.

Meet The Experts

Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen.