Looking for a pair of running shoes that are good quality and affordable can be tricky. There are so many shoes, endless brands, innovative designs, and no one shoe that fits all. When choosing the right running shoe, it’s important to consider fitness goals. There are several shoes on the market that cater to different kinds of running, whether that be trail running, track specific, and even more leisurely running/walking. 

We’ve done our best to evaluate running shoes for both men and women. We considered the best out there based on comfort, stability, fitness goals, and pricing. 

Let’s get running!

Best Running Shoes

Editor’s Choice For Men

New Balance Men’s 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe

The New Balance running shoe is affordable, made out of 100% synthetic material, and has grooves on the sole which gives it top-quality comfort all day long. The cushioning makes this shoe good for everyday activities, but also long runs that require the shoe to be durable and flexible for all the unpredictable barriers during a run. 

Pros:

  • Design. These shoes are specially designed for comfort and have grooves on the underfoot part of the shoe to give every step a nice cushion and feel. 
  • Appearance. A simple design, several colors, and the synthetic/mesh upper part of this shoe make it a solid option that feels good and looks good too.
  • Price. For a properly cushioned and sturdy running shoe a price that starts at $38.99 is about as good as it can get.

Cons:

  • Size. While these shoes are offered in wide and extra wide sizes, the tip of the shoe is noticeably narrow. This is something that has everything to do with preference, so be sure to keep the tip design in mind when shopping! 
  • Color. There is a hint of metallic to these shoes which may not be a look for everyone. 
New Balance Men's 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe
New Balance Men's 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe
New Balance Men's 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe

The New Balance 520v5 Cushioning Running Shoe is affordable, and detailed with grooves on the sole which gives it top-quality comfort all throughout the day.

Editor’s Choice For Women

ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 4 Running Shoe

The ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 4 is sturdy and has a rearfoot GEL cushioning system which helps alleviate the impact with every step. This special attention to cushioning detail stands out from other shoes on the web, and also makes for an incredibly comfortable everyday sneaker. The removable sockliner makes this shoe versatile if someone needs extra support. 

Pros:

  • Comfort. The GEL cushioning system shoes ASICS’ attention to detail and quality. The cushioning is designed for all different kinds of impact. 
  • Safety. These shoes include reflective materials on them to be a pair for low light or even nighttime hours. 
  • Design. A high rubber outsole makes the design of these shoes ideal for any weather conditions. 

Cons:

  • Colors. These aren’t the simplest pair of running shoes on the market, so be prepared for some bright colors and funky designs.
  • Return. There is only free return for certain colors and sizes. 
ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 Running Shoe
ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 Running Shoe
ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 Running Shoe

The ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 4 is durable and has an advanced rearfoot GEL cushioning system..

Best Outdoor Running For Men

ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

Whether it’s trail running, or just taking on the roads of the great outdoors, finding a shoe that  can withstand rough surfaces and unpredictable weather is key when searching for a good running shoe. The ASICS GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe is designed with a gel cushioning and a trail-specific outsole that makes for a comfortable stride even on difficult land. 

Pros:

  • Design. The ASICS GEL Venture 5 are equipped with mesh, GEL cushioning, a trail-specific outsole, which makes them a solid choice for any kind of outdoor running.
  • Price. For a shoe specific for outdoor running, and even trail-specific, these are a serious steal. A pair of long-lasting, durable running shoes for men starting at just $44.95 is hard to come by. Similarly on the women’s side, the starting price is just slightly higher at $54.95. 
  • Durability. The rubber outsole runs higher than typical running shoes, but makes these shoes standout from other markers. The height of the rubber sole is a great defense against wet conditions.

Cons:

  • Weight. The ASICS GEL Venture are certainly stable, but because of all of the trail-specific design to the shoe, it can feel heavy, even though it doesn’t weigh particularly high for a trail running shoe. The ASICS GEL Venture weighs 10.7 ounces, which is around the same weight for most other ASICS outdoor running shoes on the market. 
  • Flexibility. While these shoes can handle sneaky roots and deep puddles on trails, they aren’t going to nudge much with agility moves. Running uphill and downhill on different terrains is fine, but these aren’t the kind of shoe that is going to fold or feel light to easily pack in a bag. 
ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe
ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe
ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

The ASICS GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe is designed with a gel cushioning and an outsole equipped for trail-running.

Best Outdoor Running For Women

ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

The ASICS Women’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe is designed with a gel cushioning and a trail-specific outsole that makes the shoe prepared for the toughest outdoor conditions, along with providing the runner with optimal comfort and stability.

Pros:

  • Design. With a similar design to the men’s version, this shoe is equipped with mesh, GEL cushioning, and a trail-specific outsole. This design is catered towards a runner taking on the toughest terrains! 
  • Price. For a shoe specific for outdoor running, and even trail-specific, these are a serious steal. While they are a bit steeper than the men’s shoe, they still are priced at just $54.95. 
  • Stability. The height of the rubber outsole is higher than most running shoes which is convenient for running through puddles, or any difficult outdoor conditions. The rubber sole also ensures that the shoe can not only make it through unpredictable weather conditions, but also last and provide a stable surface.

Cons:

  • Color. All of the ASICS GEL Venture shoes have grey on them. No matter the other colors and designs on the shoe, there is always a dominant base of grey surrounding the shoe, so that is something to keep in mind if that isn’t a preferred color. 
  • Flexibility. These shoes are made for adventure, but are not the easiest to bend or cut in These will not be the type of shoe for any quick agility moves on the turf, but rather designed for lasting and supporting long runs outside.
ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe
ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe
ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

The ASICS Women’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe has a gel cushioning and a trail-specific outsole that makes it dependable for any outdoor adventures. 

Best Everyday For Men

Nike Men’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe

An everyday running shoe should be no-fuss. We looked at shoes that are comfortable, durable enough to handle everyday use, and have a simple design. For men, the Nike Men’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe stood out because of its minimal design and lightweight comfort.

Pros: 

  • Material. Nike uses Mesh/Phylon Foam for a comfortable and well structured fitting shoe. The mesh is used on the upper part of the shoe to help with breathability, and the foam is used on the midsole for a light cushioning.
  • Design. There is nothing flashy about these, which makes for a good everyday shoe. There are plenty of color options, however the design itself is classic and simple. 
  • Comfort. Above all else, an everyday running shoe should be comfortable. The Nike Men’s Revolution 3 are easy to wear with the soft foam beneath the foot.

Cons: 

  • Price. While in general these shoes run around $45 for a pair, there are some pairs online that are sold for a much higher price. The price spikes depending on design and sizing. 
  • Support. These shoes are sturdy and comfortable, however there isn’t much ankle support due to the deep sockliner.
Nike Men's Revolution 3 Running Shoe
Nike Men's Revolution 3 Running Shoe
Nike Men's Revolution 3 Running Shoe

The Nike Men’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe has a simple look, no-fuss design, and lightweight comfort.

Best Everyday For Women

Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe

For women, an everyday running shoe should also be no-fuss! For a comfortable and sturdy shoe, the Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe was our favorite because of its cushion, simple lace design, and breathable material. 

Pros:

  • Comfort. The cloudfoam memory sockliner molds well to the foot and makes for a comfortable and easy to slip on and off of the shoe. 
  • Breathability. It’s easy to wear these shoes all day because they are lightweight, and are made with a knit pattern on the upper-half which makes them breathable. 
  • Design. These shoes are simple with a clean and consistent design. They come in several different colors.

Cons:

  • Support. These are very lightweight. While they are easy to slip on and off, they aren’t going to be the best shoe for any long-distance or trail running adventures.
  • Price. While in general these shoes run around $35 for a pair, there are some that are sold for a much higher price. The price spikes depending on design and sizing, and not all sizes are available for every color listed.
Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe
Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe
Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe

The Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe is cushioned well, has a simple lace design, and breathable material.

Best Value For Men

Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe

The Under Armour Men’s Charged Asset 8 Running Shoe is a neutral shoe (for all kinds of runners), and is reasonably priced from just $51 to $70. It’s durable, yet has a lightweight mesh upper-part which gives it stability and breathability.

Pros:

  • Design. These running shoes are designed for comfort and stability. The mesh is lightweight which makes them breathable, and the cushioned midsole gives optimal comfort in every step. 
  • Stability. The leather overlays secure the foot to ensure little movement is happening at the midfoot. This is a natural feeling design and doesn’t add any pressure or discomfort around the foot. 
  • Price. Under Armour created a shoe that uses advanced technology that is personalized, but also won’t break the bank. While the shoe does change in price depending on size, it won’t spike over $70. 

Cons:

  • Variety. There are only six colors available. If choosing the white/white shoe, know that there is actually some black on it. Similarly for the black/black options, there is some white on it. 
  • Return. There is only free return for certain colors and sizes. 
Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe
Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe
Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe

The Under Armour Men’s Charged Asset 8 Running Shoe is made with a lightweight mesh upper-part which gives it dependable stability and breathability.

 

Best Value For Women

Saucony Women’s Cohesion 10 Running Shoe

The best value on the web for women is Saucony’s Women’s Cohesion 10 Running Shoe because of its breathable mesh material, plush tongue and collar, and heel cushioning all for an affordable price on the market. The rubber sole gives the shoe protection, and the runner confidence knowing the shoe won’t likely tear or give out during a long run. 

Pros:

  • Material. These shoes are made with mesh on the upper which means they are comfortable, breathable, and lightweight. 
  • Price. For such a durable and comfortable shoes, we were impressed by how low the starting price was, at just $21. 
  • Stability. These shoes have great cushioning, and even have a grid design on the heel for extra comfort. 

Cons:

  • Appearance. These come in several different colors, however the most common base color is grey. If a simple, one color look is your preferred style, they don’t offer any shoes made in all one color or shade.
  • Support. In terms of high arch support these shoes do the job, however they aren’t designed with as much attention to low arch support. 
Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe

The Saucony Women’s Cohesion 10 Running Shoe is designed with a breathable mesh material, plush tongue and collar, and heel cushioning.

How We Picked

Now that we’ve gone over eight of my favorite picks, let’s go through a brief rundown as to how I made my selections. This is also a reminder that what shoes may work for my foot and activity level, may not be the right fit for you. Please keep this in mind as I go over a few of the best running shoes out there.

  • Comfort. Running is a high-impact sport. Whether it’s a slow jog, a steady pace, or sprinting, a running shoe should take away some of the pounding. We tested shoes that use all different types of material to evaluate what feels best. We looked at cushioning, breath-able mesh material, and different designs that provide stability without any pinch.
  • Activity. Some running shoes are designed for specific conditions and terrains. We looked at the best outdoor running shoes for those people that would rather run through trails than log miles on a treadmill. We also looked at running shoes for everyday use, and made sure that the ones we selected were designed to last and comfortable enough to wear every day.
  • Design. There are new designs entering the running shoe space each day, so we took time to observe what different makers are doing to improve comfort and stability. We also looked at color schemes and options. Certain styles and fit can be specific to preference, so we looked at how different arches, soles, and general design factor into shopping for the best pair.
  • Price. Running shoes can be affordable, functional, and comfortable. While some prices may go up depending on style and size, for the most part we selected shoes that won’t compromise quality for cost efficiency.

BarBend Tips

While there are specific shoes for lifting, there are few suggestions we can make for selecting the best running shoe. When shopping for a running shoe, it’s important to look at first and foremost the size of your foot and its arch length. It’s also important to look at heel height and type, and what the lacing/strapping situation is like. While these aren’t necessarily every factor that goes into shopping for a running shoe, sizing, lacing, and activity preferences are some of the components to consider. 

  • Type of Heel. When shopping for a running shoe, it’s important to look at heel support and then general sole of the shoe. Some shoes even have higher outsoles that provide added benefits.
  • Lacing/Strapping. Lacing and strapping are key parts of any shoe. Good lacing and strong straps help ensure the foot security. Runners don’t want to ever slip, or feel unstable, so we looked at lacing that was simple, strong, and even picked one shoe that had leather straps to make sure the foot stays intact. 
  • Activity. Depending on activity level and running style, look for a shoe that is specific to that is crucial. Most running shoes are designed for a certain distance, terrain, and may even be made for a certain foot size/shape. 

Wrapping Up 

Running shoes should be the easiest part of any run. A simple slip on, lace up, and off to the races! We examined and tried on all types of running shoes, and found some of the best affordable options on the market. Hopefully, after going through a few of my favorites, including some shopping tips and facts, there’s a pair of shoes on this list that fits.