The best running shoes for men

The best running shoes for men

  • The pair of running shoes you choose can either make or break your running experience.
  • Luckily, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 is a versatile pair of shoes that delivers, and they're perfect for runners of every level, too with their lightweight feel, comfortable fit, and smooth ride.

Whether you're an average guy just starting your running journey to shed a few pounds, or you're deep in the running game training for your next marathon, the importance of finding a good pair of running shoes remains the same. Every runner is different, and there are a number of factors to consider before making your final decision.

While the choices may seem endless, we've done the research for you so you can hit the road with a new pair of kicks in no time. We've combed the reviews to find what we think are the 5 best men's running shoes based on a variety of running needs. Before we get into our picks, here are some things you need to consider.

Where will your running take you?

The type of running you're planning to tackle and where you're doing most of your training can help you hone in on the style of running shoe you'll need. If you plan to be logging most of your miles on sidewalks and pavement, a good pair of road running shoes will do the trick. However, if adventure calls you off the roads and into the woods, you'll want to consider finding yourself a good pair of trail shoes that can handle rough terrain.


What's your comfort zone?

If you enjoy competition and going for speed, you may want to consider a lightweight running shoe that won't weigh you down for training. A good lightweight shoe can also do double duty as a racer, giving you fast feet on race day. Are you in it for the long run when it comes to miles logged and time spent on the road? If so, a cushioned shoe will provide the comfortable ride you'll need to reduce the impact on your body and give you stamina even the energizer bunny would envy.

Will you need some extra support?

While we may like to think of ourselves as superheroes, we can't all be invincible. The best runners can be susceptible to overpronation or underpronation, and even if you've been lucky enough to be gifted with a nearly perfect running gait, that doesn't mean you'll escape injury. In order to reduce your chances of injury, it's important to find running shoes that will provide you with the right amount of stability and support. If you overpronate, meaning your foot tends to roll too far inward as you run, you'll want a more supportive motion-control shoe. Underpronation is just the opposite, meaning that your foot doesn't roll in far enough as you run. For this, you'll want a neutral-cushioned shoe that encourages natural foot motion.

After much research, we've found that these are the best men's running shoes you can buy, whether you're hitting the track or the trails.


Here are the best running shoes you can buy:

Updated on 10/21/2019 by Amir Ismael: Added two new picks and updated formatting and prices.

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The best men's running shoes overall

The best men's running shoes overall
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 are versatile shoes that will give you a smooth ride thanks to the full-length air unit in the sole, and they're just as effective for casual jogs as they are for fast-paced race training.

A true jack-of-all-trades running shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is designed to handle it all. Whether you're going out for an easy recovery jog, incorporating some speed work into your run, or going all out and training for the marathon that's been on your bucket list for ages, this is a neutral running shoe that won't let you down.

The Pegasus line of running shoes has been a Nike staple for decades, and while the 35 does have some big changes compared to previous versions, the design risks paid off in this case. The result is a shoe that still feels like a Pegasus to long-time fans of the model, with a new full-length air unit for an even smoother heel-to-toe transition, and a redesigned upper for an even better fit.

The Pegasus 36 is available for a reasonable price, too, giving you a great value for the cost. The fact that you can wear this shoe for so many different types of training, and as a runner of any level, also makes it a great buy. The shoe comes in narrow, regular, wide, and extra wide so you can find your perfect fit with a spectrum of colors available. As with so many Nike brand shoes, aesthetic appeal isn't forgotten here. These could double as stylish footwear even when you aren't running.

Looks aside, the specs don't disappoint, either. The 10mm toe drop is on the higher side, but still manages to feel natural while giving you that extra "pop" when you want to go full throttle on the speed. The natural feel is aided by the full-length air zoom unit that gives the shoe its ultra-smooth ride. The tread pattern on the sole of the shoe provides extra grip, which is ideal on wet roads.

The overall sole unit seems to be designed to propel you forward no matter what kind of run you're tackling. A redesigned seamless upper streamlines the shoe, giving it a lightweight feel, though this isn't a heavy shoe to begin with, weighing in at 8.9 ounces — slightly lighter than the 9.3-ounce Pegasus 35.

Reviewers across the board consistently praise the curved collar of the Pegasus 36 which holds the heel securely in place while arching away from the Achilles tendon to prevent any irritation.

A Running Shoes Guru reviewer put the Pegasus 36 through the paces saying, "I think this is a good shoe due to the simple upper, comfortable sole, and decent material + construction." They do point out that the mid-sole started showing some compression around 250 miles, so if you are covering large distances during your training runs, this is something to take into consideration.

Overall though, reviews were overwhelmingly positive. This Runners World tester sums it up nicely: "Nike's Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is just as great as its predecessors — with a tweaked upper all for the better."

Pros: Can handle different types of training and distances, full-length Air unit in the sole allows for a smooth ride, lightweight design, seamless upper and curved collar for a secure and comfortable fit, reasonably priced

Cons: Some reviewers questioned the durability of the midsole

The best men's running shoes for stability

The best men's running shoes for stability
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 live up to their title as a "go-to shoe" with a fast feel that doesn't fade on long runs, and the shoes provide the motion control support overpronators need.

Brooks is one of the few shoe companies that is focused solely on the sport of running, and that dedication shows when it comes to the quality of its running shoes. If you're tired of wearing running shoes that make you feel like you're wading through quicksand and leave you wishing you had the winged feet of Hermes, the Adrenaline GTS 19 may be the answer you're looking for.

We can't promise they'll turn you into a running god, but there is a reason that the "GTS" in Adrenaline GTS 19 stands for "go to shoe."

The Adrenaline line is known for maintaining a fast feel and a smooth ride. The latest version keeps that base, with a few tweaks like a redesigned upper and a stretchy material in the arch for added comfort, without sacrificing the stability that is so important for overpronators. The diagonal roll bar is still present to help encourage a more natural running motion, correcting missteps even as you increase your speed.

The streamlined upper uses less material, which helps the shoe feel even lighter. While it isn't necessarily a lightweight shoe, the GTS 19 won't be weighing you down. The men's version weighs in at 11 ounces, which is slightly heavier than the previous 10-ounce GTS 18. The added weight can be attributed to added cushioning and support.

These shoes will provide a fast feel that doesn't fade, making them ideal for half marathon and marathon training. The GTS 18 does have a higher heel to toe drop of 10.2mm, which makes these shoes a little less ideal for intense speed work or race day wear.

A tester from Running Shoes Guru says, "I couldn't go especially fast in them, but my easy to moderate days were a breeze. Once I put them in a rotation with my other shoes, I grew to appreciate them even more."

While these may not have as much responsiveness as a truly lightweight shoe, they make up for that with a smooth and comfortable ride that will help prevent fatigue even on long runs. The outsole of the shoe provides great grip which makes it possible to take this shoe from the road to some light trails if you're looking to change up the scenery to get through those long runs.

Most praise the Adrenaline GTS 19 as a successful update to the GTS 18. This Runner's World Wear Tester says, "the cushioning in the Adrenaline complimented my high arch, yet the weight did not feel heavy. I liked that the shoe continued to absorb the hard road surface and maintained its comfort. It felt similar running on a treadmill surface."

Pros: Superior stability for overpronation, fast feeling ride, comfortability that doesn't fade on long runs, streamlined upper for added comfortability and a lightweight feel

Cons: Ride lacks some responsiveness, higher heel to toe drop may not be ideal for speed work or race day wear


The best men's shoes for trail running

The best men's shoes for trail running
The Saucony Peregrine 7 is a dynamic trail shoe that has a fast feel and is able to handle almost any type of terrain at any speed.

The versatility of the Saucony Peregrine 7 will deliver, whether you have an adventurous spirit that loves mountain races and ultra-running, or you're simply looking for a way to lose the suit and tie and unwind with a run on the trails. The Peregrine is a fast and nimble neutral running shoe, but it has the ruggedness and durability to conquer almost any type of terrain while protecting your feet. It comes as no surprise that versions 4 and 6 claimed the

It comes as no surprise that versions 4 and 6 claimed the Runner's World Editor's Choice Award, and the 7 claimed this year's Best Buy award for holding a steady price even with new updates.

Building on this foundation of success, the Peregrine 7 features a redesigned upper that allows for more room in the toe box, as well as a full-length Everun topsole that allows for a more cushioned feel throughout the shoe. The Peregrine line of shoes typically takes some time to break-in, but the updated topsole helps reduce break-in time. These shoes weigh in at 9.8 ounces and have a fast and responsive feel that make them an ideal shoe for trail racing, but their durability makes them a great daily trail shoe as well.

This durability extends to the rugged outsole, featuring aggressive lugs that make these shoes able to handle loose terrain including mud and snow. Road Trail Run gave these shoes an excellent review after testing, noting that they do especially well on steep gradients and rough trails with their versatile outsole. The rockplate in the outsole was also appreciated when running over rough terrain.

The TPU exoskeleton of the redesigned upper wraps around the entire forefoot, providing a better fit and holding the forefoot in place. This exoskeleton extends to the toe bumper, which is one downside as it offers very little stub protection. The insole can also have a tendency to slide when it gets wet, but testers from I Run Far recommend gluing this down if it does become an annoyance. Luckily, Saucony doesn't shy away from making updates where needed, so this could very well be remedied in the next version of the Peregrine.

While some runners found that the Peregrine 7 ran slightly small, once they sized up, they were able to find their perfect fit and praised the comfort and lightweight feel of the shoe. This Amazon reviewer likes the good grip they provide on trails. Another reviewer, who previously owned the Peregrine 6, praises the newest version for its comfort and durability. If you're looking for a high-quality, versatile trail shoe to help you up your level of adventure look no further.

If you're looking for a high-quality, versatile trail shoe to help you up your level of adventure look no further.

Pros: Fast and responsive feel, widened toe box, light enough to be used for trail racing, full-length Everun midsole for increased comfort, durable outsole that can handle a wide range of terrains

Cons: The toe bumper could be more protective, insole can be prone to sliding when wet, some runners report needing to go up a half size

The best lightweight men's running shoes

The best lightweight men's running shoes
The Saucony Freedom ISO 2 keep the same lightweight, energetic feel of the previous version with an even smoother ride.

Saucony makes our list again with a neutral shoe called the Freedom ISO 2, an upgraded version of the revolutionary Freedom ISO. A few small changes were made to the original version, resulting in a more comfortable and natural feeling ride. The added comfort makes this shoe even more ideal for everyday runs than its predecessor. It can handle both speed work and long runs with ease.

The midsole of the Freedom ISO 2 is made entirely out of the bouncy material known as Everun. Saucony has been using this thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) in other shoe models, including the Saucony Peregrine 7, but this is one of the first running shoes to use it for the full length of the midsole.

The Freedom ISO 2 has some similarities to the lightweight Saucony Kinvara, but the addition of the full-length Everun midsole is what gives the shoe a bouncier, more energetic feel that not only makes it effective for speed work, but also keeps you feeling fast on those longer runs.

While the Everun midsole creates a slightly heavier platform, but any weight it adds is offset by the sleek, stripped-down design of the upper. The ISO 2 features an upper made from a Saucony material called ISOKnit for even more breathability and comfort — a nice addition to the ISOFIT technology which is designed to give runners a comfortable fit.

They are slightly heavier than the Freedom ISO, but the men's model still weighs in at 9.1 ounces, keeping them well within the lightweight range. The stack height of the ISO 2 has been raised by 3mm because of the increase of Everun in the sole, but this is what makes for the more comfortable ride. The outsole features a grooved crystal rubber, a transparent and durable rubber that masterfully handles the abrasion of road and track alike.

While some feel that the Freedom ISO 2 sacrifices a little of the snappy response for the added comfort, most didn't notice a difference between the two. This reviewer from Running Shoes Guru who says, "to be frank, on my first run if I was not told that the shoe on my foot was a different version of the Freedom, I'm not sure I would have noticed the difference."

The best kind of running shoe update is one you don't notice at all, or if you do it's because of the benefits — not any drawbacks. In this sense, the Freedom ISO 2 is a successful update to a successful original. This amazon reviewer says, "If you liked the first edition of Freedoms, you'll like these. Sizing is truer and there is more padding on the upper ISO."

If you want to make a statement on the road, these shoes will deliver with fun colors and a two-toned outsole. It has a fun design, but even more importantly this shoe is also fun to wear. It has a responsiveness that begs you to push the tempo, and the versatility to handle speed work as well as longer runs.

You can even pretend you're Usain Bolt as you're flying around the track. We won't tell anyone.

Pros: Full Everun sole for an energetic feel, ISOFIT Technology and an ISOKnit upper for added comfort and breathability, durable outsole, versatility to handle different types of training, fun design

Cons: Higher price compared to some competitors, some feel that the increased amount of Everun in the sole of the ISO 2 sacrificed some of the snappy response found in the first version


The best men's cushioned running shoes

The best men's cushioned running shoes
The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is a maximum-cushioning shoe that will provide you with a smooth ride and a soft feel to take the sting out of long runs.

While it may look like the ugly duckling of the bunch at first, this shoe delivers when it comes to comfort. The Bondi 5 is Hoka One One's most cushioned neutral road shoe. While it keeps the soft platform and rounded sole of previous versions, the newest version now has a roomier toe box for added comfort. The redesigned upper features engineered mesh and seamless construction for more breathability and a better fit.

The Bondi 5 has a 37mm stack height, but rest assured you won't feel like you're walking around in platform heels. As the tester from Running Shoes Guru describes, your foot sits down in the cushioning quite a bit, and much of it wraps up and around giving these shoes a pillow-like feel. Despite the higher stack height, the heel to toe drop is at a slight 4mm and even with all the cushioning the Bondi 5 only weighs in at 10 ounces. The rounded rocker design of the sole provides a smooth heel to toe transition, making these a very enjoyable shoe to run in.

In a review by The Active Guy, this smooth transition, along with the comfort of the engineered mesh upper and widened toe box, were all appreciated. However, the tongue did lead to some discomfort because it felt too long. He ended up cutting the tongue down, while the tester from Running Shoes Guru used a different lacing technique for added comfort. Overall, most Amazon reviewers love the fit of the Bondi 5, finding it true to size. This reviewer calls his experience with the Bondi 5 "love at first fit" and praises the larger toe box and cushioned feel.

The Bondi 5 is easily the type of shoe you could walk around all day in, but it really shines on long runs and recovery runs. While not a contact sport, running still has a high impact on your body and can leave you feeling like you've been wiped up and down the field by J. J. Watt. This can be avoided if you train smart and give your feet the support they need. Cushioned shoes like the Bondi 5 give your joints and muscles a nice respite from the impact of the road as you grind out the miles.

Pros: Soft cushioning, smooth ride, lightweight and responsive feel, true sizing with width options

Cons: Some reviewers felt the tongue was too long and rigid, limited color availability