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Running shoes are a vital component of many people’s workout wardrobes. A suitable pair of running shoes should be comfortable, provide support, and help prevent injury. Men’s running shoes are slightly different than women’s, and there are a few factors to consider when buying a pair.

A quick look at 10 of the best running shoes for men

The most suitable running shoe will vary among individuals, depending on their exercise preferences and the structure of their feet. Men will also have specific needs that manufacturers take into account when making running shoes. These include the shape of the foot and the way men typically run.

In this article, we look at what makes a good running shoe for men and list some points to consider when buying a pair. We also suggest some shoes that people may wish to consider trying.

We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one or the other. A person should choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for them.

Male feet are anatomically different than female feet, and a properly designed shoe for males should not just be a larger version of a shoe for females.

A 2019 study notes that male shoes should be wider and higher in the instep than female shoes.

Researchers have also found a difference between male and female running performance, with males performing to a higher standard.

In recreational runners, differences between male and female running movements can include:

  • hip movement toward the midline of the body
  • hip internal rotation
  • knee angles when moving away from the midline of the body
  • knee flexion angles
  • quadriceps activation
  • hamstring activation, which may affect hamstring flexibility

Due to the differences in male and female foot anatomy and running styles, males may benefit from choosing running shoes specifically designed for male feet. Most running shoe manufacturers create male and female versions of each model.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

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  • Materials: MNT chooses products that use safe and durable materials and fabrics that are easy to clean.
  • Sizing: MNT chooses products available for various foot sizes.
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Many running shoes are available to buy. Below, we list six pairs that people may wish to try.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for sustainability: Brooks Ghost 15

  • List price: $140
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: medium cushion
  • Heel-toe drop: 12 millimeters (mm)
  • Weight: 286.3 grams (g)

Brooks Ghost 15 running shoes provide medium support and cushioning for road running.

They include the company’s DNA Loft technology to cushion the foot from the heel to the forefoot, along with a segmented base to provide a smoother heel-to-toe transition when running.

Additionally, this product is carbon neutral and contains 6.67 plastic bottles from landfills. The upper is 62.5% recycled materials.

Best for a lightweight feel: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

  • List price: $130
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: no information available
  • Heel-toe drop: no information available
  • Weight: no information available

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 road running shoes are lightweight, supportive, and responsive. Nike states that its durable foam provides cushioning and bounce.

The company also states that these shoes have the most lightweight feel in comparison to other models.

These shoes are available in regular or extra wide fit.

Best for a wide range of colors: New Balance Fresh Foam 880v12

  • List price: $134.99
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: soft
  • Heel-toe drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: 290 grams (g)

Suitable for long runs, as well as shorter, everyday runs, the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 focuses on cushioning for extra comfort and support.

The company states that these shoes are suitable for road, track, court, and field running, as well as everyday activities.

People can choose from a wide range of sizes, colors, and widths, including narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide.

Best for vegan materials: Hoka Rincon 3

  • List price: $125
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: medium
  • Heel-toe drop: 5 mm
  • Weight: 7.7 ounces (oz)

Hoka Rincon 3 shoes are made with 100% vegan materials. The design gives neutral support, along with cushioning and responsiveness. The company classifies these shoes as suitable for racing.

According to the product website, key features include an asymmetrical tongue for a better fit and a full compression midsole that provides extra cushioning. The high abrasion contact zones may increase tread and durability.

Best for lower budgets: Adidas Supernova 2

  • List price: $100
  • Surface: no information available
  • Cushioning: no information
  • Heel-toe drop: 9 mm
  • Weight: 275 g

Adidas Supernova running shoes may be a good option for people looking to spend less money. They offer flexible, breathable support when running.

The company does not specify that the shoes are suitable for any particular surface.

According to the product website, this shoe has low carbon emissions. Additionally, the company details the carbon footprint of the shoes, packaging, and transport so that customers can make an informed decision about their environmental impact before purchasing.

Best for uneven terrain: Altra Lone Peak 6

  • List price: $140
  • Surface: trail
  • Cushioning: medium
  • Heel-toe drop: 0 mm
  • Weight: 10.6 oz

The Altra Lone Peak 6 running shoes may best suit people who run on uneven terrains, such as rocky trails.

Key features of these trainers include a lower-impact design, quick-drying mesh upper, and a hook-and-loop tab for attaching a strapless gaiter.

Best for those with limited mobility: Nike Glide FlyEase

  • List price: $120
  • Surface: no information available
  • Cushioning: no information available
  • Heel-toe drop: no information available
  • Weight: no information available

Nike Glide FlyEase is laceless, with a flexible heel that collapses and then snaps back into place to secure the foot. These trainers may be most suitable for people who prefer hands-free trainers, those with prosthetic legs, or those with limited mobility.

These trainers also feature recycled ZoomX foam cushioning for a more responsive feel and lightweight, breathable, mesh overlays.

Best for short—medium distance trail running: On Running The Cloudvista

  • List price: $139.99
  • Surface: trail
  • Cushioning: medium
  • Heel-toe drop: 7 mm
  • Weight: 9.88 oz

Cloudvista may be most suitable for people who trail run over short or medium distances.

This shoe has medium cushioning and a Missiongrip tread that may help reduce impact and improve grip on off-road runs. It contains 70% recycled polyester and has a durable mudguard.

Best for longer-distance runs: On Running The Cloudmonster

  • List price: $169.99
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: high
  • Heel-toe drop: 6 mm
  • Weight: 8.11 oz

The Cloudmonster trainers may be most suitable for people who intend to road run for longer distances, such as 20k runs.

The company states that the shoe’s design may help propel a person forward with each stride. It features 90% recycled polyester, and the material is temperature resistant to make it suitable for use in all seasons.

Best for bio-based materials: hylo RUN

  • List price: $170
  • Surface: road
  • Cushioning: high
  • Heel-toe drop: 9.5 mm
  • Weight: no information available

These trainers reportedly have a low impact on the environment. It contains 60% bio-based materials, such as sugarcane-derived PLA, water-based glue, and algae bloom. These trainers are also recyclable.

The company states that these trainers are suitable for all road runs, regardless of the season or weather. The toe guard has durable materials, and the knitted upper can help insulate people from colder weather while providing breathability.

The following table compares the trainers in this article on their surface suitable, cushioning, and more.

PriceSurfaceCushioningHeel-toe dropWeight
Brooks Ghost 15$140roadmedium12 mm286.3 g
Nike Air Zoom
Pegasus 39
$130roadno informationno informationno information
New Balance
Fresh Foam
$134.99roadsoft10 mm290 g
Hoka Rincon 3$125roadmedium5 mm7.7 oz
Supernova 2
$100no informationno information9 mm275 g
Altra Lone
Peak 6
$140trailmedium0 mm10.6 oz
Nike Glide
$120no informationno informationno informationno information
Cloudvista$139.99trailmedium7 mm9.8 oz
Cloudmonster$169.99roadhigh6 mm8.11 oz
hylo RUN$170roadhigh9.5 mmno information

The American Podiatric Medical Association suggests that appropriate running footwear should ideally provide shock absorption and match a person’s foot arch type.

A 2020 study notes that important qualities in a running shoe may include shoe mass, material breathability, and stiffness. Another 2020 study also lists important features as including:

  • Heel-to-toe drop: This is the difference between the heights of the heel and the toes, and it primarily affects how the foot strikes the ground.
  • Midsole support: Shoes with thicker midsoles may protect against shock, while softer midsoles can help reduce impact.
  • Heel cup support: This feature may help reduce impact while running, particularly when the heel strikes the ground first.
  • Cushioning: Minimizing shock to the feet and legs may help prevent injury in some cases.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests that people may also wish to consider the following factors:

  • the terrain they typically run on and whether this means they require shoes with extra grip
  • a comfortable feel, with no pinching or rubbing
  • quality materials for durability
  • regular or wide fit options, depending on foot size

It also recommends that people visit a store to get accurate measurements of their feet and buy different shoe sizes if their left and right feet are not the same size.

According to the ACSM, people may wish to avoid the following when choosing a running shoe:

  • selecting shoes based on their walking gait, as foot motions are different when running
  • using foot shape or arch height to indicate which type of running shoe to buy
  • choosing shoes with too much cushioning, which may worsen running motions and increase the impact on the joints

The organization also advises people to avoid shoes with “stability” features, such as additional arch support. These features stop pronation, which is the natural inward motion of the foot when running, and this may cause problems with the feet or knees.

People who are new to running and those training for their first long distance or speed events may wish to seek advice from an expert. Many running stores will have staff with a good knowledge of running shoes who will be able to recommend suitable options.

Some running stores may also offer gait analysis. The staff may ask the customer to run on a treadmill to help them determine the person’s running style. This service is often free of charge.

A person may need to see a foot expert, called a podiatrist, if they have any injuries or specific requirements.

Here we answer some common questions about running shoes.

Do running shoes really make a difference?

Companies manufacture running shoes to lower the impact on a person’s joints and feet when running.

Trainers that are suitable for everyday activities are unlikely to offer the same support, cushioning, and tread, as running shoes.

Are sport shoes the same as running shoes?

There are differences between sports and running shoes.

Running shoes lower the impact on joints when a person hits a hard surface.

Sports shoes generally support multi-directional movement without the extra shock absorption of running shoes.

Does it matter where I run when choosing running shoes?

People should try to purchase running shoes that are suitable for the surface they most often run on.

For example, trail running shoes are more likely to have better tread and a mudguard, whereas road running shoes may be more flexible.

A good quality pair of running shoes should provide support and comfort during running, and they could help improve performance and reduce injury risk compared with an ill-fitting pair.

People can choose from a wide range of running shoes to meet their budget and running needs. Those who are unsure about which running shoes to choose can consult staff at running stores or fitness experts for help.