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Finding the best running shoe for men of all shapes, sizes and fitness goals is sort of like falling in love. It doesn’t happen all at once and can take a bit of trial and error before you find a great fit. Plus, even after you think it’s going really well, a relationship (or your ankles) can take a sudden, painful turn. This—we’re talking shoes, here—is especially true for men with specific needs, like extra ankle support or for those who will only run on a treadmill.
But finding the perfect shoe doesn’t have to be difficult. Fitness professionals and athletes who train for any number of sports are intimately familiar with the intricacies of running shoes and know firsthand why some are best for any given need or preference. From extra support to feeling like you’re running on clouds, check out the seven sneakers they chose as the best running shoes for men, below.
Best Running Shoes for Men Overall
The Most Stable Shoe Of Them All
Whether you’re dealing with overpronation, need extra support for your joints or just want a pair of sneakers that will last longer than a few months (and feel great to boot), this pair of stable and supportive sneakers from Brooks checks all the boxes.
Running sneakers are typically differentiated by offering different kinds of stability, says April Gatlin, ACE, CPT and Master Coach at Stride Fitness—such as for those with “normal arches who only need mild control,” motion control for “flat-footed and heavy runners who tend to overpronate” and high-cushioning for “runners with high arches who tend to underpronate.”
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 addresses all of these needs with cushioned material in the sole and around the opening to add stability and control to every part of the foot. It’s softer than previous models thanks to foam dubbed DNA Loft and the shock absorption in the rubber sole is unmatched.
Pros: Arch support and a patented “GuideRails system” mean everything from your feet to your ankles, knees and hips is secure.
Cons: The cushion might feel a little heavy for speed runners.
Best Nike Running Shoes For Men
The Top Nike Pick By A Marathoner
It’s no surprise that Nike is the sneaker of choice for Jerry Kroll, CEO at Jevitty Life Science Corp. Kroll is a five-time Boston Marathon finisher who’s currently training for his sixth. This particular sneaker was built with races in mind and is “backed by data,” says Kroll, to help runners stay comfortable and energized for runs both long and short.
“The new Nike Alphafly Next% has a carbon fiber sole, which does an amazing job of both returning energy and cushioning,” Kroll says. “It’s the most significant step in running shoes in 20 years and is my weapon of choice.”
That sole is specially made to make each run feel smooth and is responsive to the movement of the wearer, providing that boost of energy with each step and when it’s needed the most.
Pros: Responsive design helps keep energy up during long runs.
Cons: Lightweight fit and feel isn’t especially padded for runners who need extra support.
Best Running Shoes For Heavy Men
A Sneaker For Athletes Of All Shapes And Sizes
For heavier runners, finding a sneaker that’s designed to support them throughout their workouts can be difficult—and knowing what to look for before making a purchase can be a mystery. But it shouldn’t be. “Heavier runners should look for a shoe with more cushioning and a little more bounce,” says Jennifer Conroyd, founder of Fluid Running, certified A.C.E. trainer and Team USA Track and Field coach who has completed 15 Boston Marathons. “Finding a running shoe with a wide toe box and a breathable mesh upper will be a lot more comfortable.”
This Hoka was created to suit runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities and even received the Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association, which “recognizes products that have been found beneficial to foot health.”
Pros: Premium stability and plushness for a cushioned ride.
Cons: Snug fit may be uncomfortable for some runners.
Best Waterproof Running Shoes
An All-Weather Superstar
Marathoners (and anyone who doesn’t like buying new sneakers every six months) should appreciate the durability for the Cumulus 23 GTX, which was made for all-weather runs. “Outdoor running calls for more cushioning,” Kroll says, and, when factoring in wet and potentially slick conditions, sneakers “should have a more knobby sole for better traction.”
The thick padding and deep treads in the grippy outer sole of the sneaker resist slipping and sliding on any surface through wet conditions and the Gore-Tex lining and mesh on the outside keep feet comfortably dry.
Pros: Generous cushion and a deep tread plus grippy outsole prevent slipping, plus Gore-Tex lining and mesh upper keep feet dry.
Cons: Thick materials are warm year-round.
Best Road Running Shoes
The Tech-Savvy Option
The newest iteration of this runner-loved shoe, the Ghost 14 is even more advanced than its predecessor thanks to what the brand calls “DNA Loft” cushioning. This is designed to keep feet stable while absorbing the shock that comes with hitting the pavement. After slipping them on, the cushion responds to your unique stride and the padding adjusts to conform to your foot, giving you support where you need it most. Plus, the outsole is especially durable and thick to perform well through the elements.
“The Brooks Ghost is just a great all-around running shoe,” says Conroyd. “They are comfortable and have just the right amount of cushioning for ramping up miles. It has a decent sized toe box and a breathable mesh upper, as well.”
Pros: Cushioned sole and shock-absorption made for outdoor runs.
Cons: Runs warm.
Best Cushioned Running Shoes
The From-Heaven Cushion
New Balance’s Fresh Foam line offers industry-leading cushioning, and the 1080v11 is the brand’s flagship model. “New Balance is probably my favorite brand,” says Zack Nagle, Director of Performance and Professional Running Coach at TrueForm Running. “The 1080v11 is often my recommended running shoe because it offers a good, middle ground heel drop and enough material under the foot for most runners to feel comfortable running in.”
The brand’s signature Fresh Foam cushioning technology is lighter than you’d expect in an ultra-cushioned shoe for a running-on-clouds feel that’s breathable and supportive at the same time.
Pros: Ultra-cushioning throughout to make any runner comfortable.
Cons: A snug fit in the heel might rub some runners the wrong way.
Best Running Shoes With Ankle Support
The Ones That Hug Your Ankles
The gel cushion in the Asics GT-2000 10 runs all the way up to the top opening for a level of support that runners with wonky ankles or past injuries should truly appreciate. Asics’ FlyteFoam Propel foam is extremely light, especially given the level of support it offers, so it won’t weigh you down during runs. All that added ankle support also doubles as a guard against under- and over- pronation.
“People who pronate, meaning their feet roll in slightly will want to find a running shoe with more stability and arch support,” Conroyd says, highlighting the benefit of the ankle support here.
Pros: Ankle support and enhanced cushioning for runners with flat feet or low arches.
Cons: A thinner sole might wear out quicker with continuous use.
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