Running shoes are worth the investment for beginner joggers and seasoned sprinters alike. Not only will a quality pair offer much-needed support but they’re versatile for running errands and matching any athletic outfit you so choose.
The problem? There are hundreds online to choose from — some splurges and some affordable. The most important factor, however, is how comfortable they are (especially if you have flat feet) and their features, especially if you’re looking for a pair akin to hiking shoes.
“Generally speaking, most sneakers are specialized for a specific sport, such as tennis or basketball,” Bruce Pinker, DPM, foot and ankle surgeon and board-certified podiatrist at Progressive Foot Care, told the New York Post. “Running shoes typically have a mesh material over the toe box to allow for an exchange of air which helps reduce excessive moisture in the foot; this helps reduce conditions of Athlete’s Foot fungus (tinea pedis) and toenail fungus, specifically.”
Ahead, the New York Post turned to board-certified podiatrists — much like we did in our expert-backed guide to the best women’s running shoes — to outline the 18 best pairs you can buy right now. So, all you have to do is click, buy and shop. Yes, it’s that easy.
Following our top picks, check out our in-depth FAQ section outlining more you need to know about men’s running shoes to better understand your next best pair. Oh, and check out our expert guides to the best walking shoes for both men and women.
Click to jump to a specific category:
Best Men’s Running Shoes Overall
Brooks Running Men’s Ghost Max Running Shoes
“With a 6mm heel to toe drop but additional cushioning, this shoe is perfect for overall comfort for most any runner or non-runner looking for a neutral shoe with some additional cushioning,” Elizabeth Bass Daughtry, DPM, physician in FASMA/USFAS with more than 17 years of experience treating a variety of foot ailments — and specializing in sports medicine issues such as plantar fasciitis, sprains, surgery and fractures — told The Post.
Not to mention, Brooks Running is also our podiatrist-approved “best overall” pick in our guide to the best women’s running shoes.
Best Budget Men’s Running Shoes
New Balance Men’s ROAV Running Shoes
“With the Fresh Foam midsole cushioning and full ground contact outsole, this versatile runner will keep you comfortable while on the go,” Daughtry notes. “This shoe offers a lightweight ride with an 8mm heel to toe drop.”
Not to mention, the sneakers are less than $100 and come in a variety of colors that are all oh-so-comfy.
New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Arishi V4 Running Shoes
“The Arishi v4 is a versatile athletic shoe that you could wear just about anywhere with New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole and durable outsole it will offer all day comfort and excellent performance at a reasonable price,” Daughtry notes, recommending the pair.
Not to mention, its cushioned midsole, breathable mesh upper and durable rubber outsole makes it suitable for all-day comfort and performance.
Best Men’s Running Shoes Worth the Splurge
New Balance Men’s 993 Running Shoes
“The New Balance 993 is one of the best overall running shoes as it offers excellent comfort and support, coupled with a classic design,” Pinker notes. “It’s ideal for runners or walkers.”
Hailing from the brand’s legendary 990 series, the 993 features responsive cushioning and premium materials for ready-to-run wear.
“Built with high rebound cushioning and PEBA foam which is more resilient than the CarbonX foam, this shoe is comfortable enough for endurance running but also responds equally well to an increase in your running pace,” Daughtry notes.
What’s more, HOKA is one of our favorite brands and this style, specifically, comes in a variety of colors.
New Balance Men’s FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 Running Shoes
The New Balance Men’s FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 Running Shoes are a surefire splurge — but a good one at that. It was designed with a dual focus on energy return and lighter weight, complemented by a breathable, engineered knit upper. You’ll also appreciate its built-in tongue for a secure, locked-in fit.
“Extremely lightweight and offering a cushioned ride that sets you in the mood to run and even race through your day,” Daughtry said. “The FuelCell foam assists with your propulsion and the Energy Arc system will promote dynamic energy return. These shoes will power you through your marathon of the day.”
Coincidentally, Daughtry said she was “currently wearing a pair of these myself at the moment” as she was recommending them to us, and she can “personally vouch for the comfort of these shoes.”
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Trail Running
Saucony Men’s Peregrine 13 Running Shoes
“Saucony’s PWRRUN foam midsole is lightweight and cushioned for an extremely comfortable yet supportive feel,” Daughtry said, recommending the pair. “Due to the ultra lightweight nature, it offers more speed on the trails.”
More, the PWRTRAC rubber outsole and rock guard will ensure maximum traction and grip on rugged terrain.
Topo Men’s Ultraventure 3 Trail Running Shoes
“The Vibram XS Trek EVO outsole offers optimal durability and excellent traction and the Zip FOAM midsole compound is springier than EVA with more rebound over the life of the shoe,” Daughtry notes.
With a breathable, all-around comfortable fit, you’ll want to wear these practically everywhere you go.
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Long Runs
“Consisting of five carbon fiber rods (ENERGYRODS), this shoe offers lightweight stiffness for an efficient ride, but the ultralight LIGHTSTRIKE PRO cushions provide two layers of resilient foam to help maintain energy for those really long runs,” Dauhgtry explains.
The adidas Men’s Adizero Adios Pro 3 Running Shoes also offers excellent wet surface traction for those rain day runs.
“If you enjoy the bouncy and cushion feel of Hokas, the Clifton 9 has 3mm of extra cushioning in the midsole but has less total weight for faster races,” Daughtry said.
In addition to the pair coming in a suite of hues to choose from, its toe box remains generous but also comes in wide width.
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Road Racing
“The Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning is built for smooth transitions from heel strike to propulsion,” Daughtry said, vouching for the style. “The mesh upper is breathable yet supportive.”
What’s more, the combination of high performance and reliable comfort offers versatility that assists with the transition from everyday to a long run. “Its Ndurance rubber outsole is built for durability in high wear area,” she adds.
The FF BLAST PLUS technology of the ASICS Men’s Gel-Cumulus 25 Running Shoes, according to Daughtry, “offers cushioning to provide lightweight impact absorption and a responsive rebound.”
Additionally, you’ll appreciate its PureGEL technology provides softer landings, excessive cushioning and handsome look.
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Speedwork
“This is a great option for those who prefer a shoe insole that forms to your foot after a few runs and offers plenty of arch support,” Daughtry said, recommending the Nike Men’s Pegasus 38 Road Running Shoes.
The shoe’s midsole has lots of thick React foam, too. As a result, it provides a soft responsive feel to the foot and a gender-differentiated cushion.
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Arch Support
ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 24 Running Shoes
“This shoe brings a trifecta of plush midsole padding with Flytefoam, Flytefoam Propel and its gel pods at the forefoot and heel to absorb impact and help with propulsion,” Daughtry said.
Also this shoe offers a gender-specific medial plate. “Its forefoot designs provide targeted support based on slight differences between men and women,” she adds.
Skechers Men’s GO WALK Speed Walker Running Shoes
“This style of shoe offers the patented Sketchers Arch Fit insole system with podiatrist-certified arch support,” Daughtry highlights, recommending the Skechers Men’s GO WALK Speed Walker Running Shoes.
Its Hyper Burst cushioning midsole offers a highly responsive and ultra lightweight experience. “For enhanced traction, stability and durability, its Goodyear rubber Outsole is a nice touch,” she adds.
Best Men’s Wide Running Shoes
Altra Running Men’s Lone Peak 7 Running Shoes
“The Altra Lone Peak 7 has an upgraded MaxTrac outsole with the addition of canted lugs placed under the metatarsals assists with excellent grip underfoot, and the Altra EGO midsole helps to achieve the perfect combination of comfort and responsiveness,” Daughtry notes.
More, Altra’s FootShape comfort gives your feet more space to sit naturally and address the biological difference in men and women’s shoes.
Altra Running Men’s Rivera 3 Running Shoes
“To encourage proper, low impact form through the run, this shoe has balanced cushioning that places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground,” Daughtry notes. “Its Innerflex midsole technology ensures increased flexibility and performance.”
Its Altra EGO foam is designed to provide added energy return and responsive yet soft comfortable feel, too.
Best Men’s Running Shoes for Every Day
NAOT Men’s Galaxy Running Shoes
“This is an everyday knit sneaker that is lightweight and offers NAOT’s removable latex and cork footbed — one that molds and conforms to the foot while offering excellent support for everyday use,” Daughtry notes.
Impressively, this NAOT shoe boasts the APMA acceptance seal for promoting good foot health.
An FAQ on Men’s Running Shoes
Ahead, our team of podiatrists share the 411 on what to look for in a quality pair of women’s running shoes — including materials, support levels and more.
How do running shoes differ from traditional sneakers?
Running shoes traditionally are lightweight and made to propel a person faster than traditional shoes.
“Depending on the sport, the treads vary depending on the activity,” Daughtry told The Post. “For example, cross trainers have treads that make side to side motion easier while trail shoes have deeper and stronger tread to help with uneven terrain.”
Some sneakers are more casual and lack adequate arch support or fail to offer enough room to accommodate for needed additional arch support or orthotics. “Running shoes also have better cushion for shock absorption needed to protect the foot from the rigors of the repetition of pounding on the ground that occurs with running,” she adds.
What are the benefits of wearing running shoes?
According to Pinker, running shoes will “provide support, shock absorption and cushioning, which can help prevent injury and allow for more enjoyable and efficient running.”
Additionally, running sneakers are lightweight, better arch support/orthotic-friendly and improved shock absorption. They typically have mesh material to allow for a more breathable style of shoe as well as allowing stretch for toe deformities.
When should I wear running shoes (besides running, of course)?
According to Pidick, most running shoes are excellent choices for walking. However, there are additional ways you can sport your new favorite running shoes.
“Most any athletic activity such as cross training, gym workouts, walking, aerobics and even work are ideal to use running shoes for, in my opinion!” Daughtry lists. “But the advanced, more specific running shoes should be reserved for the running course.”
More, a neutral or basic running shoe is a great foundation for those who have orthotics due to foot ailments or congenital foot deformities.
What materials are running shoes typically made from?
“The outsole is made of carbon rubber which is the durable component of the sole of running shoes while the forefoot outsole usually is created by using blown rubber, a less durable than but more cushioned feel for shock absorption,” Daughtry explains. “The midsole of athletic shoes are typically made from ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane.”
Additionally, the midsole may also contain cushioning elements such as gel or encapsulated air or foam to assist with shock absorption, especially in the more cushioned version of running shoes for long distance running.
What materials make running shoes “waterproof”?
“For waterproofing, Gore Tex is often the material of choice,” Pidick shares. Specifically, this material is the “most popular waterproof material in shoes and is similar to three layer raincoats,” according to Daughtry.
Why is it similar to a triage of raincoats? There’s a waterproof membrane sandwiched between the liner and the outer fabric. “However, The problem with waterproof shoes is that they are great at keeping water out but also keeping water inside so this type of shoe does not breathe as much and causes excessive sweating and moisture to feet,” Daughtry notes.
Your podiatrist-backed guide to shopping for running shoes online:
When choosing a shoe, the planned activity should be considered because different activities necessitate different shoe needs.
“Even within running, the options vary tremendously based on whether you are a long distance runner or a sprinter,” Daughtry shares. “In general, the best option is to choose a shoe that has the best fit for you and your needs.”
What to know? More cushioning is needed for long distance running while “less is more” is better for those wanting to add speed and shave time off their run. “The shoe should fit properly from heel to toe and feel comfortable with regular stride, be it walking or running,” she adds.
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.