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20 Best Pairs of Running Shoes for Men, for All Types of Needs

RUNNING IS the easiest type of exercise routine to begin, at least according to the popular sentiment. As the truism goes, all you need is a pair of running shoes and a road to get started.

Read more: Best Shoes for Men

Failed couch-to-5k experimenters and veteran runners alike will tell you that in real life, becoming a runner is not that simple, and not just because you’ll need some real motivation to actually begin pounding the pavement with the consistency required to build up endurance. If the one piece of running gear that everyone agrees you need—the shoes—don’t work right for you, you’re less likely to be willing to put in the mileage you need to really jump into your healthy habit.

  • Best Daily Trainer for Flat Feet

    Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

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  • Most Cushioned Running Shoe

    Bondi 7
    Hoka One One

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  • Best Stability Shoe

    Fresh Foam 860v12
    New Balance

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  • Best for Long Distance

    ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2

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  • Best Neutral Running Shoe

    Triumph 19

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Starting your running journey with a pair of men’s running shoes that doesn’t do it for you could lead you right back to the couch—or worse, play a part in developing injuries that could land you there for extended periods of downtime. While it’s tough to find research that definitively proves whether certain styles of running shoes can either cause or prevent injuries in and of themselves, one thing is certain: a pair of running shoes that fits you properly will feel better on your feet and help you to run more efficiently than a pair of shoes that fits poorly or are worn past their expiration date.

Read more: Most Cushioned Running Shoes

Whether you’re just starting out running, you eat mileage for breakfast, or you just use jogging as a form of cross-training to help with your conditioning to achieve other fitness goals, you’ll need to find the right shoes for you. These are the 20 best pairs of running shoes on the market right now!

Best Daily Trainer for Flat Feet

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Upper Engineered spacer mesh
Midsole EVA blend foam

Most Cushioned Running Shoe

Bondi 7

Upper Engineered mesh
Midsole Meta-Rocker

Best Stability Shoe

Fresh Foam 860v12

Upper Engineered mesh
Midsole Fresh Foam

Best for Long Distance

ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2

Upper Flyknit
Midsole ZoomX Foam

Best Neutral Running Shoe

Triumph 19

Upper Breathable mesh
Midsole PWRRUN+

Most Versatile Trainer

GEL-Kayano 28

Upper Engineered mesh

Best Trail Running Shoes

Terrex Agravic Flow 2.0 GORE-TEX

Midsole Lightstrike

Best Trainers for High Arches

Ghost 14

Upper 3D Fit Print
Midsole DNA Loft

Floatride Energy Grow Running Shoes

What to Look for

We consulted with Mark J. Mendeszoon, DPM, FACFAS, podiatrist at Precision Orthopaedic Specialties in Ohio to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about running footwear.

When it comes to fit, Mendeszoon told us the most important factor to consider when purchasing a pair of running shoes is that you are fitted in the proper functioning shoe for your foot type. There are several categories of shoes and a footwear professional from a locally owned running store will lend their expertise to evaluate, select and fit you properly into the best shoe for your foot type and condition.


It is important that shoes be fitted not only in length but width as feet come in many different shapes and sizes. It is important that your feet are measured regularly, as feet can change in appearance and function as we get older, or when females have babies, or even with post surgical changes on lower leg, ankle or foot surgery. After length and width is determined it is important that the individual have a comfortable foot bed under their foot and a proper fitting tongue of the shoe that is not too tight or irritating on top of the foot. Lastly, make sure that the Achilles notch of the shoe does not irritate the back portion of your heel (the Achilles tendon).

Neutral vs. Support Shoes

There is a significant difference between a neutral shoe and support shoe. Generally neutral shoes are indicated for people who have a higher arch (less pronation), a forefoot striker, or someone looking for a performance shoe that is lighter and more responsive. A supportive shoe is for those who may need a little more control of their feet flattening out (pronation) and to provide a bit more shock absorption and control.

Neutral shoes typically are lighter than a supportive shoe and can break down a bit quicker.


The midsole is the portion of the shoe where the foam materials assist in shock absorption or even foot control. There are typically four type of midsole materials:

  • EVA: Ethylene vinyl acetate (both white and gray layers) has been the standard in midsole foams for its softness, flexibility, and low production cost since the 1970s. The downside is that it becomes more rigid in cold weather and compresses over mileage, losing its bounce.
  • PU: Compared with EVA, polyurethane is less sensitive to temperature, is more durable, and has a bouncier feel. However, PU is roughly 50 percent heavier than EVA.
  • TPU: Thermoplastic polyurethane is heated and reformed. Companies like Adidas and Saucony use a two-step process, making TPU beads and then fusing them to create a more durable, flexible, and bouncier foam than EVA and PU. However, TPU is still a heavier foam compared with EVA.Pebax: Polyether block amide (the top, off-white layer) gained recognition as the highly responsive foam used in the Nike Vaporfly 4%. Pebax retains its flexibility and energy return in cold conditions and is 20 percent lighter than TPU.

Generally the darker the midsole material, the more support the shoe will have (and also slightly heavier in weight).

Heel-to-forefoot ‘Drop’

Heel to forefoot drop is a recent term that has gained momentum over the last decade. This term represents the measurement of cushioning from the heel to the forefoot. Since the early 1970’s the construction of the running shoe changed dramatically as shoes were constructed with blown rubber and thick heels. Prior to this, most shoes were completely flat with no heel drop ( Converse Chuck Taylors, PF Flyers). Traditionally the most common running shoe has about a 12mm drop off and with in the last decade shoes have gone to the zero drop (0mm). Typically the greater the heel drop, those runners have more of a heel strike or mid foot strike whereas the lower drop shoes promote mid foot to forefoot strike. Thus neutral shoes, racing flats and performance shoes have a low heel-to drop if not a zero mm drop. Support, stability and motion control will have the larger drop (12 mm).

How We Selected

For the past two years, we consulted with Men’s Health‘s Fitness editors and writers on the top running shoes for men. Experts including our fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. and fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM, put countless men’s running shoes through the wringer to evaluate their fit, support, and effectiveness. We also considered top-reviewed men’s running shoes that had at least 100 five-star customer ratings on e-commerce websites that we trust.

Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.



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