Running, something most of us weren’t fond of in gym class. But, as we get older, more of us run to live a healthier life and relieve stress. Or maybe you’ve always loved running, and are looking for a pair of shoes to accompany you on your next ultramarathon.
Either way, we’ve found the best running shoes for men who run often. We narrowed it down to the top ten and found our winner: The Altra Escalante Racer. Described by many as the most comfortable pair of shoes they have ever worn, it stood out from the pack and stormed into our top spot.
Before searching for a new shoe, do you see those slightly old, crumbling apart pair of sneakers in your closet? Try not to use those again. Every stride you take while running applies a pressure twice the weight of your body, onto your joints. If your knees are cracking from getting up, imagine tomorrow if your run in those raggedy sneaks. Get some new running shoes, so you don’t clickity clack from your knees to your toes during a date.
Running shoes are made of higher quality materials, using lightweight fabrics, mesh and cushion to ease the impact. You may find some of them expensive, but in the long run these shoes provide comfort and spare a potential trip to your local physiotherapist or chiropractor.
Here are our top three winners choices to think about when you are buying your fresh new pair of running shoes that’ll make the whole neighborhood block jealous.
The Running Shoes For Men We RAVE About
Growing up my family didn’t have much money. I wore the same shoes day in and day out for gym and school, until the front lip began to yap like the cookie monster and the outside fabric looked like it got hit by shrapnel. Glancing at some of the shoes kids are wearing today, I think that wear-until-tear method is still alive, with the adults too. Some seriously need a new pair because I smell them before I see them!
But, persisting with using older shoes didn’t help my growth as a child, or my left knee as an adult. It created an imbalance in my gait, so this list of the 10 best running shoes for men is to help anyone looking for a fresh new pair of running shoes, and find the right pair for them, hope they can look fresh and feel fabulous.
The products listed in the winners boxes above and the rest in the list below are the best reviewed running shoes for their type. Whether you are bow-legged, walk like a duck or a model down the catwalk, we’ve tried and tested the best shoes and provided a top-notch review for you.
But wait, there’s more! We’ve picked out shoes for those who are on a budget, environmentalists, marathon runners, and those with the extra bit of buying power. But we also put forth an effort to educate and inform everyone.
So, we tried each pair, ran them through rain, snow, mud and sunshine (mostly sunshine) and compiled a list of stand-out favorites with other top performers to provide you with plenty of choices. We pride ourselves in giving you the best options, looking out for your best running interests.
Running shoe categories and types
Believe it or not, running shoes are designed in various ways to suit your specific running technique. Even if your feet are flat, crooked, sideways or backwards.
They initially fall into three basic categories:
- Road running shoes: Made for pavement and the occasional detour into routes with packed surfaces and a bit of unpredictability, these shoes are designed to be light and gymnast level flexible. Their design is to cushion your feet during your continuous strides on hard, flat surfaces.
- Trail Running shoes: It’s like these shoes were created by the gods of the outdoors for off-road routes, muddy terrain and obstacles. These shoes are given an aggressive tread that provides strong traction, offering greater stability, support and underfoot protection.
- Cross Training shoes: These are the shoes that the average person buys (like myself), designed for everyday use at the gym or Crossfit workouts. Since your feet are on the ground most of the time, the soles for these shoes are thinner.
If you have a really old pair of running shoes forgotten under your bed, take a look at the wear pattern on the soles. This will help tell you what your running mechanics are:
- Over-pronators: Motion Control running shoes have been made to help flat foot hobbits like myself and anybody else who may be suffering from the Frodo syndrome.
- Supinators: Widely known to have a bow-legged appearance where your feet point inward. Cushioned running shoes have been designed to provide more comfort and stability for supinators to aid their knees and surrounding muscles.
- Neutral Pronators: Stability running shoes are the go-to for the runners of the world who already have a balanced stride. The shoes are made stable simply not to put them off their tracks.
Running is usually done either on the road or on a trail. Each shoe is designed to provide the best experience for their respective terrains, meaning don’t try to use road shoes in the mountains because they don’t have as much grip. If you do try that, then I hope you don’t meet any slippery slopes or wild animals looking for their breakfast.
For trials, we tested classics like Nike and Adidas, to lesser known but high quality products such as Hoka and Altra. We’ve spared no expense and burned all the calories to help you with your purchase, because nobody wants to be let down by a product. That’s what reviews are for, to prevent you from getting a McDonald’s burger when you ordered filet mignon.
In addition, anyone have ankle issues? No worries. We’ve made sure to find shoes that fit nice and snug to prevent your ankles from rolling as your run. Need more comfort? Then keep reading because some shoes felt like I was wearing pancakes on my feet.
If you’re a complete newbie to the running world, check our FAQs and shoe anatomy sections to better understand how to pick the right shoe for you. I bet you didn’t know that the soles of your shoes were made with the same material used for tires, I sure didn’t.
- Upper: This part is crucial to hold your foot in place and to prevent rocks, dirt, and glass from scratching up your feet. Not only does a shoe’s upper protect how your feet look, but also how they smell. Synthetic leathers are added for durability and a mesh is added to the mix for breathability, put in place to prevent you from stinking out the house when you take off your shoes.
- Midsole: This is the most important part of the shoe. There are three materials that make up the midsole:
- EVA: A lightweight, foam-based cushioning called ethyl vinyl acetate, is put in place so the shoe doesn’t feel like you’re walking on rocks.
- Dual-Density EVA: Doubling up on the EVA pays big time. Your shoes will be stronger, heavier, and firmer (twice the mass in the same space). The dual-density EVA works as a medial post because it’s based inside the shoe. The length of the post determines the amount of control it has over the shoe.
- Polyurethane: This is an upgrade on EVA, providing the same stability and durability as a cushion but with a little more weight. However that can be a hindrance if you’re looking for something lighter.
Look for brand name EVA foams like Mogo, Solyte, Acteeva and others as they are being developed as lighter and more durable versions than previous EVA’s
- Outsole: Made with tread for traction, flex grooves provide flexibility (it’s in the name) while also protecting your feet from dirt, rocks, glass and rogue mosquitos. The outsole is made of two materials:
- Carbon Rubber: This is the most durable and the tires on your car are made with the same materials.
- Blown Rubber: This is a lighter, more flexible and cushioned version of its carbon counterpart, though not as durable.
7 extra tips to make sure you’re choosing the right shoe
Once you’ve established the best type of shoe for your gait, whether you run like a duck or penguin, these tips can help pick out the best fit for you.
1. The perfect flex
Nobody likes a stiff shoe, it’s all the more troublesome to break in. You test this by checking the shoe’s “flex point” (where the crease appears when you press the toe into the floor). Be sure it bends the same place as your foot to assure your stride flows naturally.
Check for seams in the upper, since they can cause blisters and who needs that? When trying on your shoes, be sure they hug the top of your foot comfortably.
3. Space for toe length
When you run, your feet swell. It sounds pretty gross, but it is a fact. Aim for a thumbnail-length of free space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This means your running shoe should be slightly larger than your typical shoe size.
4. Sufficient toe width
Squished toes lead to blisters and blisters lead to expensive pedicures. Give your toes some wiggle room and keep your feet feeling fabulous.
5. Firm feel
Don’t get distracted by a pillow-like, Tempur mattress feel in your running shoe. If you are returning from an injury due to overuse or impact (very common with runners), a firmer shoe will provide better springback, limiting the amount of stress on your joints.
6. Hold your heels
Before donating your hard-earned money to the store, make sure the shoe’s heel stays in place prior to purchase with a quick jog around the store. Just don’t run past the security check, that’s a felony.
7. The right arch
It doesn’t have to be golden, but this arch should match the shape of your foot. However, if you’re dead-set on a certain shoe that lacks the right support, you can always add an insert for a better experience.
The Best Running Shoes For Men
Altra Escalante Racer
Been conquering the streets across the globe and looking for that shoe that is on your level? The Altra Escalante Racer more than makes up for it’s tongue twister of a name. Providing comfort beyond belief from it’s feather-light construction, flexibility, fancy-fit to your feet, you will be tricked into thinking you’re going on holiday.
The midsole made by the fresh and new Altra Ego tech gives you a soft sensation that responds so well to each stride that I’m shocked people hid this secret from me. Sure, it may be a bit expensive for some but it’s designed to stay strong and last long like the Energizer bunny. With the oddly sounding Footpod technology used for the outsole, this shoe aids in your natural movements, feeling less robotic as you run.
For breathability, another technology called a Static Engineered Kit is utilized for that extra layer of comfort.
This shoe possesses a quality feel about it that comes in multiple colors and I say this is an amazing return on investment if you plan on running regularly, which is why the Altra Escalante Racer should be a marathoner’s first choice.
If my feet could choose a coffin, this would be up there on the list alongside bubble wrap and cotton. It’s light so I know my feet won’t struggle for eternity and smell like roses because of the positively lovely airflow running through the shoe.
- Great color options and design
- Soft and responsive midsole
- Durable and also light
- Thin upper coverage
Hoka One One Gaviota
The Hoka One One Gaviota is our top choice for runners with pronation. Proving a comfortable feel for those with duck feet like me, this shoe also looks smooth while a thick underfoam offers additional stability and velvet-like cushioning. The toe box offers enough space to move around because it runs true to the size you buy. Your feet won’t be shuffling from side to side or feel constricted. This shoe fits and fits well.
A durable High-Abrasian Rubber is used for the outsole, shielding the midsole foam unit from surfaces that can cause damage. Flex grooves make up the surface, providing a more flexible shoe that moves in line with your gait cycle. To prevent over pronation or excess duck feet, an RMAT J-Frame is used in the midsole so you can run like a human.
The upper, in addition, keeps your feet cool, dry, and aromatically fresh using a lightweight fabric that will make your pillow jealous. If you’re like me and struggle taking off and putting on your shoes with ease, the Hoka One One Gaviota supplies a pull-tab with the shoe, effectively making it safe and simple for anyone who needs to always be on-the-go.
- Handles impact well
- Great cushioning and stability
- Supportive upper and breathable
- Expensive to some
- Non-responsive underfoot
Adidas Ultra Boost ST Parley
If you got a nice bonus, have that extra cash, and like to create envy in the streets, the Adidas Ultra Boost St Parley has the look and feel to make runners stop and stare.
Designed for those with overpronation, a dual-density foam on the medial sides supports your arch and prevents buckling during runs. The outsole keeps traction on both dry and wet surfaces using Continental running, so you don’t slip and injure yourself. A Primeknit for the upper looks a bit like a sock in design, but that is so the fabric can match the shape of your foot. All while making it extremely airy and lightweight.
The light blue design, recycled plastic on the upper unit, and smooth touch made me feel like a champion runner with a conscious message to spread. Adidas made the effort to sign with the ocean charity Parley to help spread awareness, and so can we.
Because of this partnership, each shoe bought saves 11 bottles from going into the ocean. Purchasing this shoe helps in efforts to aid wildlife and protect reefs, including the Great Barrier reef which loses more color by the day, so let’s make a difference and look fresh to death.
- Eye-catching and comfortable
- High quality build
- Environmentally helpful
- Not for overpronators
Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Moc
Putting on the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Moc made me feel like Will Smith in Men in Black. The color and design are so slick all I needed were the suit and sunglasses to complete the cosplay. Not to mention they felt so comfortable that I would gladly chase aliens through the streets of New York in them.
With Rubber pods placed in areas that historically wear down in an effort to diminish the effect, the outsole shields well from rough and tough surroundings. VaporMax Air tech in the midsole provides a responsiveness that sets the bar for many shoes. All while using Flyknit construction in the upper for a super snug and soft fit. For extra durability, no-sew overlays were integrated so you won’t have to worry about stretch marks in your new alien hunters for a while.
Honestly, if I were a millionaire I would buy ten of these shoes all in black and line them along my closet like a cartoon character. Just because they felt so nice, a couple extras wouldn’t hurt.
- Stylish design
- Fantastic cushioning
- Lightweight and supportive
- Poorly designed heel
North Face Ultra 109 GTX
When I think of North Face, I usually think of coats and hiking gear, not running shoes. That’s why I was surprised as to how well the North Face Ultra 109 GTX performed when I was being chased by a black bear. They truly care about your survival, comfort and lifespan.
The UltrAtac rubber units outsole provided the best grip of all the shoes I’ve tried. EVA is used for the midsole to give the North Face Ultra 109 GTX a bouncy feel and enhance comfort underfoot.
Due to the terrain it’s designed for, a midfoot shank is used to provide stiffness under the arc, making the shoe more resistant to torsion. Unlike other shoes, this one requires more protection in the upper, thus a polyurethane coat was used on the leather. Helping to keep it dry.
North Face did a tidy job with this one, I wasn’t expecting much, if anything, prior to hearing about the shoe. But they know their strengths and stick to them. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend this shoe for a marathon, but if you’re planning on going camping, hunting or running with wild animals, the North Face Ultra 109 GTX is the shoe for you with its blend of toughness and flexibility.
- Comfortable and waterproof
- Good breathability and traction
- Weak upper durability
- Outsole can wear off quickly
- Shoe imbalance
Inov-8 Trail Talon 250 Trail Runner
Made for the off-road trails, the Inov-8 Trail Talon 250 is designed to provide good traction and lighter feel so you don’t get bogged down in the forest or slip down a hill. With the wide variety of obstacles you will encounter trail running, I was happy with the space in the toe-box for my toes to move around. Because if your toes swell up like mine, that is a very welcomed quality.
The outsole worked well for the trails, using two sticky rubber compounds to prevent you sliding out onto your face and scraping your knee. Because of its loose structure, the shoe is made to last while providing the grip you need for an adventurous run, with a Metaflex sole offering the flexibility.
The midsole is made of a Powerflow material that cushions the foot, this works in tandem with a Dynamic Fascia band that helps propel you forward. The upper has a synthetic mesh to allow your feet to breathe.
All in all, these complicated factors work together so you can run fast, without tripping. What I can say in the end is if a mountain lion started chasing me in the woods, this would be my go-to shoe.
- Lightweight and good traction
- Great toe-box room
- Forefoot is well protected
- Low drop
- Better for short runs
- Too warm in summer
Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
To honor the Raptors first ever NBA championship, I went through the streets wearing the black and red edition of my new Mizuno Wave Inspire 13s. These shoes fit so nice they might just make Kawhi Leonard crack a smile. Fitting like a glove, my Mizunos inspired me to go an extra block as it felt so light, I thought I was riding a Nimbus cloud buzzing around corners.
So, how did they make it so airy and fabulously fresh?
Mizuno put thought into the outsole, as Flex Controllers placed in high-flex areas give extra pliability without adding weight, helping you glide through your running experience. Wave Technology in the midsole offers extra cushioning for a run that responds on-call faster than Batman’s butler.
On top of that, for the pronators, a double fan wave is used to provide a more stable ride. The upper breathes well with an AIRmesh and stitched overlays that help secure your feet in place.
The level of comfort this shoe provided me on the road was surprising. My dodgy knees felt pain free as the shoe gave that extra bit of confidence in its ability to absorb shock with each stride. I was light and swift like a Raptor.
- Great for road running
- Responsive cushioning
- Durable and light
- Inflexible midsole
- Weak laces
- Loose fit
Adidas Ultra Boost Street
If you’re looking for a shoe that will kickstart your run, the Adidas Ultra Boost Street is the one. With a simple but aesthetically pleasing look, mesh covers most of the shoe to offer a flexibility and comfort not seen outside of yoga class. This level of cushion works well if you are looking to perform the ultimate running feat–a marathon. Adidas certainly made the effort to match a high-performance runner’s goals with this shoe design.
Built for the road with a continental stretch web taking up the outsole, and a midsole-given boost of TPU energy pellets to be more responsive, this combination allows for a more dynamic run and smoother transitions. The upper is completely covered by a mesh, making it lighter than zero fat yoghurt and more breathable than mountain air.
Adidas sets off strong from the start and completes a photo finish with this shoe. The Ultra Boost Street is definitely not a bad option if you’re looking to provide comfort for your feet, while the rest of your body breaks down during this test of your endurance.
- Great support and stability
- Premium cushioning
- Durable outsole and Primeknit
- Slightly heavy
- Oversized heel tab
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10
You can’t talk about running shoes without mentioning Nike. They’ve been dominating the streets since before Michael Jordan defied gravity. The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10 does exactly what it said it would, and goes zoom, zoom, zoom! It’s feather light, with gelato smooth transition, mixed a good grip and plush fit and of course comfortability.
The grip was so good I wouldn’t be surprised if you could use the same material to drift cars. This reliable lightweight shoe was able to handle long distance runs as well as short ones with just as much flare.
With soft blown rubber in the forefoot, carbon rubber in the heel, and a vertical groove to separate the guide rails, this combination helped provide a nice smooth running cycle. A combination of an EVA and full-length Lunarlon foam also gave this shoe a quick response and shock. They can’t be Nikes unless they breathe well, with a single-piece mesh blended with double looped flywire cables to add durability and help provide a customized fit.
With a glowing Logo to represent all the sauce you get from your fresh new Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10’s, you can feel safe in knowing you bought a high quality running shoe that is meant for the road.
- Firm and comfortable
- Smooth transitions
- Light with excellent traction
- Expensive to some
- Outsole wears out fast
- Needs break-in time
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
Luckily with shoes, sequels don’t get worse the longer they go on. Well, at least not in this case. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS’ 18th episode gets a positively fresh rating from me. Learning from previous mistakes, unlike the X-Men series, this running shoe made me feel like Usain Bolt going through the streets. Pumped up on adrenaline like the name suggests, you can choose from up to 20 different styling options to match your level of sass.
This outsole is made of a rubber compound called HPR Plus, which is made to be resistant to abrasion with reinforced segments of blown rubber in the heel and forefoot. The midsole is soft and adapts well because of its BioMoGo DNA foam, which is made of biodegradable materials. The upper also has moisture control capabilities from an Element Lining that makes up the sleeve.
Along with the usual breathability, flexibility and comfort. I was surprised to see that the price wouldn’t mean donating blood at the hospital just for me to afford it. Although the shoe doesn’t look as fresh as other shoes on this list, the performance makes up for it as I felt like I could run a marathon, until I reached the tenth block and reality struck.
- Good arch support
- Sleek, lightweight design
- No break-in needed
- Heel kept pulling down socks
- Less padding
- Toe box not durable
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What is the best running shoe?
Ultimately, the best running shoe depends on you and what you are looking for. We’ve provided our list above but what matters most is your comfort and what you intend to use the shoe for. In our opinion, the shoe that rose above the rest was the Altra Escalante Racer.
However, be mindful of the longevity you need and type of shoe that suits your style, as there is no one answer, but a suggestion of many good ones.
How often should I change shoes?
Your shoes will definitely need to be replaced over time, but how quickly depends on the individual. Some may run on their heels and wear down the rear of the shoe faster than others. Heavier runners apply more pressure onto the soles with each stride, adding to cumulative stress on the shoe.
But, typically, the rule is that shoes last between 300-500 miles, so if you run 80 miles per month, they should last around 6 months. If you intend to run daily though, it would be best to purchase a second pair to alternate, that way they can share the load and potentially last you the full year.
How important is the arch of your foot when buying a shoe?
Arches are one of the most vital factors to be considered when buying a shoe as they can be the difference between having healthy legs and serious knee issues in the future. I’ve had countless therapy clients who have undergone knee replacement surgery, so trust me when I say the recovery period is not fun.
So prior to buying, make sure to figure out what type of gait you have, as the decision you make can have a huge effect on your future running condition.
How can you tell what type of feet you have?
There are two ways to tell what type of shoe you need, the first is to inspect an old pair of sneakers you have. The other option is to wet the soles of your shoes and to look for the following patterns:
- Normal arch: Half an arch is shown in the footprint.
- Flat arch: You can see a print of your whole foot, a sign of over-pronation.
- High arch: The prints only of the heel and ball of your foot, possibly with a line going along the outer side.
If you’re sticking your face in your shoes, firstly hold your breath, and then look for the following:
- Over-Pronation: Inward sag
- Under-pronation: Wear and tear on the outer edges
- Neutral: Even wear and tear throughout the shoe.
Now that you know the 10 best running shoes for men. It’s only right that we provide you with some recommendations to help boost your performance, comfort and recovery. Here are the products we recommend to accompany your brand new pair of shoes:
- Fitbit Charge 2: Everyone and their mom has a Fitbit now, even Granny Susan down the road. That’s because there’s something to it that motivates people more than some trainers ever can, it’s worth giving a go.
- Baleaf Unisex Rainjackets: If you live in a region with poor weather like me, these waterproof jackets should come in handy and they’re at an affordable price. You can also buy them as gifts for loved ones as they’re uni-sex.
- Telaleo Men’s Compression Pants: Be streamlined during your run as these pants work as a second layer of skin. They’ll keep you warm and dry during runs, while also proving useful for other sports such as basketball and snowboarding.
- Sof Sole Sneaker Balls: If your shoes begin to smell bad, buy them some balls. Sof Sole one’s to be exact. They do a marvellous job at absorbing stinky odors and replacing them with a fresher aroma.