Whether you're pounding the pavement in preparation for a bona fide marathon or just clocking a few leisurely miles around the neighborhood, here are the editor tried-and-tested running sneakers that we love. Make sure to do your warm-up stretches, because once you put these on, it'll be easier than ever to keep going.
This is the first running shoe from French cool-girl sneaker brand Veja (Meghan Markle is a fan). Even without the shoe's ethical cred—it's made from 53 percent plant-based and recycled materials (e.g. rice husks and plastic bottles) and manufactured in a fair trade Brazilian factory—it would still be a worthy performance pick for comfort and speed. I dodged pedestrians and navigated city terrain nimbly, and clocked faster-than-usual split paces. Note: this neutral shoe comes in only full sizes, though my regular size fit perfectly.
Running in these, I felt so light on my feet, it was like I was barely wearing shoes at all. The lightweight-ness let me pick up my pace, and the ride was smooth the whole way through. Cushiony with a breathable mesh upper, this springy shoe is a touch long in my normal size (great for summer swelling), and those with wide feet will appreciate the roomy toe box.
When I heard that one woman testing these shoes in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats ran for more than four hours, I ended up running nearly twice as far as I usually do. Asics says this neutral shoe helps you run “longer, easier” (the rocker midsole helps propel a runner forward). Who doesn’t want that? Bonus: It was super cushiony.
We're longtime Brooks fans for their dependable, stable shoes with plenty of cushioning and a little more width (without going wide), and the Ghost 12 delivers more of the same. They’re ready to go out of the box (no breaking in required!) and feel soft but not overly squishy, including in the tongue. Bouncy in the heel and lightweight, this shoe makes you feel like you can go fast whether you're doing a couple loops around the block or a long training run.
Pulling this shoe on was like slipping into a pair of socks; the stretchy knit upper hugs the foot, offering flexibility without sacrificing support. Cushy and comfy, this good-looking cult shoe (equally at home on the street and on the track) made an easy run feel even easier and swifter. Adidas usually runs big on me, so I’m good once I go down a half size.
Yes, this Swiss-born shoe brand is much like running on a cloud. Its full cushion foundation make a for super soft landing but won't build up heat. For those who favor support and a wide fit, consider making this your new running shoe. Even with a runner's sub-par knees and tight hamstrings, this shoe put extra pep in just about every stride.
These sneakers are the newest silhouette for the fashion-forward APL shoe brand. Super lightweight, this pliable shoe is much like a second skin—a run experience that gives the illusion of an invisible shoe. The woven sock structure is like a warm hug for your feet. Bonus: The seamless tongue allows you to remove the laces transforming it into an everyday slip on.
Known for its elite trail running sneakers, Salomon is changing the game with their first-ever road running shoe. The high-lace placement allows more space for your toes, while the lifted back creates ankle stability—great for cranking out sprints or HIIT runs around the track or on the 'mill.
If setting a PR is your next race goal, try the newest addition to the Nike family—a foam-soled shoe designed specifically for speed.
The cool knit construction will allow your foot to breathe while the airy sole will keep you light on your feet and ready to outrun the competition.
Saucony’s cult-favorite Kinvara is what I reach for when I’m feeling fast. To keep the shoe lightweight, Kinvara relies on bouncy EVA foam, so you feel like you’re flying through tempo days or workouts on the track. Though speedy, don’t take your Kinvaras out on the trails; they can withstand the miles, but the seamless build means they're not quite as durable on tougher terrain, so I like to reserve them for quicker days.
This isn’t your mother’s running sneaker. Designed with a breathable, flexible knit toe box and highly responsive, ultra-lightweight foam cushioning, the GORun Ride 8 is a dependable sneak for runners across distances. I’ve found they run a touch large (in the length, not width) so try a half size smaller than you’d usually wear for the perfect fit.
Launched in time for the New York City Marathon, the Fresh Foam 1080x10 (the newest version of New Balance's Fresh Foam line) offers comfort and control for all 26.2 miles (or 3 miles.... you're still killing it!). My favorite part is the collar: It comes up a little higher around your Achilles but dips lower around the knob of the ankle, creating a snug but seamless, sock-like flexible fit that basically banishes rubbing (a.k.a. blisters). Sturdy and stable, the Fresh Foam is ideal when you’re pounding the pavement as a city or sidewalk runner.
New Balance, $144.99
The design of a Mizuno trainer is unique: The brand relies on an embedded midfoot wave plate, which dissipates the force of impact and absorbs shock, preventing that annoying reverberation feeling that can happen while busting out a 5K. This makes the Waveknit 3 feel springy with every step, stride, and sprint. Stiffer than some others on this list, the Mizuno is for someone who wants a more responsive ride. If you’re an overpronator, go for the Wave Inspire, the brand’s stability version, for extra support.
The first time I saw a Hoka running shoe, I thought it looked a bit ridiculous. But I actually find the ultra-cushioned model quite nice to run in (and not just because they make me look 3 inches taller). Surprisingly lightweight for its size, this cushy shoe feels like a little cloud under your foot, making fast runs feel smooth and effortless. Runs in a Hoka almost feel anti-gravity, ideal on a grueling long-distance run.
Hoka One, $130
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