The Best Running Shoes
By Shannon Allen
, last updated January 22, 2012
Finding the best running shoe can be a challenging task. Runners must take into consideration factors such as their current fitness level, their preferred genre of running, the level of needed stability and of course how comfortable the shoe feels. The following shoes have been rated as some of the best running shoes on the market and may provide a nice starting point to find your ideal pair.
New Balance 860 V2
Runner's World gave an Editor's Choice award to this stable New Balance running shoe for its high performance fit and premium level of cushioning. The 860 is designed to support runners through high mileage with layers of underfoot cushioning that assist in absorbing and distributing the shock of impact. This model also features a stability web that snugly wraps the arch of the foot as well as a top-quality lightweight midsole that offers resistance to compression. This model from New Balance is the best fit for heel-strikers and beginning-level runners.
Nike Zoom Structure +15
Nike created an innovative yet comfortable solution for runners who pronate with their Zoom Structure +15. Unlike the traditional sidewall posts of most stability shoes, Nike created more of a wedge support structure that is posted medially in the shoe to keep your gait in the proper position. In addition, the Zoom Structure features light yet strong Flywire heel and midfoot panels that attach to the laces for reduced rearfoot motion. Together these designs offer a secure fit as the help combat a runner's tendency to overpronate. Stability has never been so effective and comfortable as with the lightweight, low profile Nike Zoom Structure +15.
The 2011 International Editor's Choice award from Runners World went to the Asics GT-2160. With enhanced guidance features, consistent fit and superior comfort, it is easy to see why this shoe was such a standout model in 2011. The Asics GT-2160 features an Impact Guidance System and Guidance Line to create a more natural gait from heel strike to toe-off. In addition, the Space Trusstic System in this shoe is gender specific to provide optimal arch support and control. Runners also rave about the high stability, cushioned comfort and snug fit of the GT-2160.
Nike Air Pegasus +28
For runners who tend to have a mild overpronation or underpronation in their gait, you may want to consider making the Nike Air Peagesus 28 your next running shoe. This well cushioned classic has been enhanced with many new innovative features, including the Flywire premium support in the upper portion of the shoe. The upper portion of the Air Pegasus has also been updated to include overlays, allowing the runner to experience a freer range of motion and better fit. This low-profile shoe is also loaded with cushioning and crash pads for better shock absorption and a smoother stride.
Brooks Pure Connect
The latest and greatest running shoe in the minimal department, Brook Pure Connect creates a perfect balance between the barely-there of minimalism and cushioning protection of training. Rubber pods on the outsole and a rounded heel promote a midfoot strike and the low set forefoot provides a quick toe-off phase. While beginners may find this shoe a little lacking, proficient runners looking to ease into barefoot running will find that this shoe offers exactly what they need.