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Compare the best running shoes in 2021

Go the distance to find the right pair for your skills and budget.

Running shoes are designed for comfort and performance. The perfect pair can help you improve your run times, extend your endurance and prevent injury. Look for the best support, cushion and weight your budget can support.

Editor's Pick

New Balance

New Balance

Sleek, lightweight running shoes with low-key cool designs.

New Balance isn't trying to compete with the loud, neon sneakers that other brands push. Instead it's focused on creating supportive, flexible running shoes that'll fuel your fitness focus. We also like that some of its running shoes are made in the USA.

  • Free shipping over $50
  • Free returns
  • No financing options

Shop now

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Top 7 running shoes in 2021

NameAvg. price
(USD)
TypeBest forPurchase
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
Reebok Harmony Road 2
$130Road runningRunners looking for extra cushionShop Now
Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged
Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged
$180Road runningUnrestricted movement and a flexible feelShop Now
Salomon Speedcross 5
Reebok Harmony Road 2
$115Trail runningRunning off-road where added traction is neededShop Now
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
Reebok Harmony Road 2
$250Road runningSpeed training and runners looking for a lightweight shoeShop Now
Puma Tazon 6
Reebok Harmony Road 2
$70Cross trainingAdded support and cushion for both running and weight trainingShop Now
Adidas Powerlift 4Reebok Harmony Road 2$100Cross trainingWeight lifting with a classic styleShop Now
Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Reebok Harmony Road 2
$85Minimalist runningA more natural running styleShop Now
Data obtained January 2020. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Types of running shoes

When shopping for a running shoe, you’ll find several types designed for different environments. Consider where you’ll wearing your new pair.

If you’re a novice and aren’t sure yet how you’ll use your new kicks, read our beginner’s guide to running.

TypeDescriptionDesigned for
Road runningLight and flexible with cushion and stability for hard surfaces.Running on pavement and packed surfaces.
Trail runningAdditional tread for traction and stability on uneven surfaces.Off-road running on such uneven surfaces as mud, rocks and gravel.
Cross-trainingMore contact with the ground for added balance.Balance-based gym or cross-fitness workouts.
Barefoot or minimalist runningMakes the midfoot hit the ground first, forgoing the elevated cushion of traditional trainers that causes the heel to strike first.Those who pronate or prefer a more natural running style.

What is foot pronation?

Pronation refers to the side-to-side motion of your foot that occurs naturally as you walk or run. Different types of running shoes are designed to correct or complement one of three pronation types:

  • Overpronation. An exaggeration of the inward rolling of the foot. Overpronation can lead to knee injury if left uncorrected.
  • Neutral pronation. When the foot does not excessively roll inward or outward.
  • Underpronation or supination. An exaggerated outward rolling of the foot. Those who underpronate need shoes with additional cushioning, as they land on the outside edge of the foot, causing more pressure on the leg. Underpronation is less common than overpronation.

    Knowing how you run or walk, check out the best types of running shoes for your pronation type.

TypeBest forFeatures
Maximum support or motion-control shoes
  • Overpronators
  • Severe overpronators
  • Offers the most support and control.
  • Designed to reduce overpronation.
  • Often includes dense materials on the inner sole to stop the foot and heel from rolling as much.
Stability or structured-cushion shoes
  • Neutral pronators
  • Mild overpronators
  • Offers a blend of control and cushioning.
  • Lighter than maximum-support shoes.
  • Most popular type of running shoe.
Cushioned shoes or neutral trainers
  • Underpronators or supinators
  • Neutral pronators
  • Does not provide motion control.
  • Lightweight and soft.
  • Not ideal for those who are overweight.

How much do running shoes cost?

A good pair of running shoes can range anywhere from around $60 to $250 or more. But a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily indicate a better shoe. Make sure the shoe fits comfortably and doesn’t rub your foot or ankle anywhere and stays on your your foot when you move.

Pro tip: If you’re looking to save on a name brand, check out last year’s version of the shoe you like. There aren’t often huge changes between versions, but older models are often deeply discounted.

When should I replace my running shoes?

Most manufacturers suggest that running shoes last from 300 to 500 miles. Lightweight shoes can wear out at around 250 to 300 miles, while more durable models can last 500 miles or more.

To keep track of your miles logged in your runners, let apps like Strava and Runkeeper do the hard work for you. They’ll even send alerts when it’s time to consider a new pair of shoes.

Top sites to buy sneakers online

Bottom line

A pair of properly-fitted running shoes can mean the difference between a good run and a great one. Compare your options based on type of shoe for your running style, the fit on your foot and your budget.

If buying American-made products is important to you, check out our list of over 75 shoe brands that are made in the USA.

How did we choose these products?

We performed independent research to determine some of the most popular running shoes in 2021, choosing our top picks for a number of running styles. We narrowed our search by weighing the quality of the shoe, materials, weight and support against the price. We also factored in our own personal experiences with some of these products.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best running shoes for beginners?

Many of the top footwear brands make midrange models that can be great picks for beginners. Asics, Nike and New Balance are only a few leading brands that offer more affordable options for first-timers.

What are the most popular running shoe brands?

Top-selling sneaker brands include:

  • New Balance
  • Nike
  • Asics
  • Salomon
  • Saucony
  • Brooks
  • Adidas
  • Mizuno

How are trail running shoes different from road running shoes?

Trail runners typically offer deeper treads for a better grip on rough terrain. They’re also stiffer than road runners to offer extra protection when running on uneven ground.

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