Unleash your potential: The best running shoes for men

Man kneeling down to tie a black running shoe
Closeup shot of a man tying his shoelaces while exercising outdoors

Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you like to push yourself to reach your full potential when working out (and maybe even a bit beyond), you need the right athletic footwear to match. When it comes to men’s running shoes, there’s certainly a lot to choose from. 

Do you go with something lightweight? Is speed training important for your workouts? Would extra soft cushioning help you to run like the Daft Punk song: harder, better, faster, and stronger? 

Knowing how to choose the right pair of running shoes is an important first step, but then comes the real challenge: picking out the best pair of running shoes to really unleash your full potential — whether you prefer the pavement,  treadmill, a track or a little bit of everything.

That’s where we come in. We put together a list of the absolute best men’s running shoes available to buy today. Find top-quality, well-reviewed shoes from brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and more below. 

Best men’s running shoes to transform your run

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, and we say that applies to your footwear as well. From comfortable shoes that pad your run to footwear that works on different terrains, we put together the following list of quality running shoes depending on your needs.

Before you hit the ground running, take a look through our picks for the best men’s running shoes. You may just find the perfect sneaker to unleash your full potential.

Saucony Men's Endorphin Speed 3
Saucony Men’s Endorphin Speed 3


This running shoe by Saucony might be a great place to start your search. The simple design can offer a smooth ride, thanks to a nice balance between comfort and support.

“With a lightweight, breathable upper mesh and a technology they call Formfit, which helps the shoe hug your foot for a more customized experience, [this shoe] will help pump all those feel-good endorphins after a solid run,” says Andrew Blakey, a certified personal trainer and director of Your Future Fitness.

These come in a variety of vibrant colors, so finding something that matches your look and style should be easy.

Saucony Men’s Endorphin Speed 3, starting at $127

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13
New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13

New Balance

“If having a lot of cushion is something that’s important to you, you’re going to want to check out this shoe,” Blakey says. 

If the name isn’t a big enough clue, this shoe is all about cushioning your steps with comfort. The soft midsole foam is this shoe’s main claim to fame, but don’t ignore the mesh upper (great for breathability) and rubber outsole, which makes for a durable shoe. 

Find several unique color designs and styles for this New Balance shoe, from the popping Blue/Pixel Green design (pictured) to the out-of-this-world Cosmic Pineapple/Silver Metallic look.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13, starting at $124

Nike Pegasus 40 SE
Nike Pegasus 40 SE 


Nike is an iconic brand for a reason, and this latest version of the Nike Pegasus running shoe proves it’s not all just talk. With an average rating of 4.7 stars from reviewers, this is a popular running shoe. 

“The Nike Pegasus 40 is such a good everyday running shoe,” one reviewer says. “The sole provides grip even in [wet conditions] and there’s just enough cushion to provide support, but not too much to make the shoe feel heavy.”

The neutral design of this running shoe offers a crisp responsiveness while you move. Nike says it improved upon the design of the previous Pegasus shoe to add improved comfort to key areas (like the arch and toes).

Nike Pegasus 40 SE, starting at $170

ON Cloudrunner
ON Cloudrunner


“This lightweight shoe is perfect for those who need an extra boost during their runs,” says Dr. Gregory Alvarez, a podiatrist at the Ankle and Foot Centers of America. “It features a midsole that provides superior cushioning and shock absorption, while its outsole ensures excellent grip on all surfaces.” 

Marketed as a hybrid running/lifestyle shoe by On, this sleek men’s running shoe has a bit of everything: good shock absorption, a foam midsole for a cushioned landing, and a synthetic mesh upper for added breathability. 

This shoe also moves naturally with your foot at every turn, according to On, thanks to the brand’s patented Speedboard construction.

On Cloudrunner, $150

Adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoes
Adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoes


Looking for something to keep up with you on those long runs? This supportive and lightweight shoe by Adidas may be the perfect fit.

“This running shoe is perfect for those who need an extra boost during their runs,” says Alvarez. “It features a midsole that provides superior cushioning and shock absorption, while its outsole ensures excellent grip on all surfaces.”

Alvarez also pointed out the mesh upper, which is great for keeping sweat to a minimum — which can be a big deal when your runs are the opposite of short and sweet. 

Adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoes, $190

Hoka One One Men's Tecton X
Hoka Men’s Tecton X


“This shoe is perfect for those who need a lot of cushioning and support,” says Alvarez. “Its Profly X midsole offers superior shock absorption, while the seamless mesh upper ensures maximum breathability.”

On a list full of men’s running shoes that offer great comfort and cushioning, this shoe by Hoka wins out over the competition as our choice for best shock absorption. Its durable, full-length midsole is just too good when it comes to offering comfort and stability.

As an added bonus, this shoe can work great on multiple surfaces and in different environments.

“Its outsole provides plenty of traction on any surface, so you can enjoy your run to the fullest,” says Alvarez.

Hoka Men’s Tecton X, starting at $170

Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14


The Ghost line of running shoes by Brooks is a popular one among professional and casual runners alike. 

“This running shoe is perfect for neutral runners,” says Alvarez. “It features a ‘BioMoGo DNA’ midsole that offers superior cushioning and shock absorption, while its engineered mesh upper provides plenty of breathability and support.”

Find an eye-popping selection of different colors and styles when you shop this shoe on Amazon. If you’re interested in how the newer model of Brooks Ghost running shoes compares, well, read on.

Brooks Ghost 14, starting at $80

Brooks Ghost 15
Brooks Ghost 15


Featuring a lighter cushioning than the previous model, the Brooks Ghost 15 seems to have figured out a design for maximum comfort. Brooks advertises this shoe as a more refined version that creates a more seamless and secure fit for your foot.

“[It’s] said to have good cushioning and heel stability, which works well for longer runs,” says Dr. Marc Matarazzo, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. 

This combination of a stable design and cushioning that’s built upon previous Brooks Ghost models might be the shoe for you if comfort is at the top of your list.

Brooks Ghost 15, starting at $99

Best lightweight shoe: Hoka Mach 5

Hoka One One Mach 5
Hoka Mach 5


The streamlined design of this running shoe by Hoka offers up a sleek fit. It combines a lightweight build, thanks to a single mesh upper that’s designed for maximum breathability, with a responsive foam midsole.

Matarazzo recommended this shoe for its simple, yet comfortable, design that offers lots of cushioning. 

Find a number of styles and designs when shopping this men’s running shoe on Dick’s Sporting Goods. There are a number of vibrant, almost neon-color designs, such as the White/Scuba (pictured), cool Ceramic, or Radiant Yellow styles.

Hoka Mach 5, $140

How we picked the best men’s running shoes

  • Customer reviews: We read through verified reviews from customers just like you to see what all the hubbub was about for some of the best men’s running shoes (and to make sure the hubbub was legit).
  • Expert recommendations: We checked in with a number of professional sources to learn about the best men’s running shoes. This includes certified personal trainer and Your Future Fitness director Andrew Blakey; podiatrist at the Ankle and Foot Centers of America Dr. Gregory Alvarez; and orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine Dr. Marc Matarazzo.
  • Star rating: Nothing under four stars here. We prioritized only the most well-loved shoes when picking out athletic footwear.
  • Your needs: We picked running shoes that catered to different needs, from comfort to style, to make sure there was something for everyone.

Related: Read more about how we review products

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