Regardless of how much you love your old pair of running shoes, it’s recommended you switch them out every 300–500 miles. Running shoes are nowadays lighter, more comfortable, and faster than ever before, resulting in speedier recovery from intense workouts and more enjoyment on easy runs. However, all these features can make the hunt for the ideal pair a daunting task.
So, if you are looking for a new pair of running shoes to start the New Year right, you’ve come to the right place. We have compiled a list of the five best running shoe brands that get better and better through the years and never seem to disappoint in terms of innovation and quality.
Altra: Best Overall
When it comes to distance running, the best way to run in comfort and style is with lightweight and breathable Altra running footwear. By employing their proprietary FootShape and Toe Box design, the brand has devised a footwear solution that allows toes to spread out naturally while providing runners with the cushioning and support they need for stability and control over their run.
With such a wide selection of quality and innovation, it’s no wonder Altra running shoes are the most popular option. For instance, their latest edition, the Torin 7 Road-Running Shoe, is the most popular neutral road-running design. Its upper is made of a jacquard-woven mesh for optimal breathability, while the lightweight EGOTM Max foam midsole provides a balanced blend of cushioning and responsiveness, keeping you comfortable on the go.
On the other hand, the Altra Lone Peak 7 Trail-Running Shoe has great characteristics for trail runners and hikers. The upper of the shoe is made of quick-drying air mesh, which allows for optimal ventilation while remaining sturdy enough to withstand tough terrain. TRAILCLAWTM lugs on the ball of the foot give traction and stability, while MaxTracTM outsoles deliver grip, traction, and durability.
Another great option is their popular Escalante 3 Road-Running Shoe, designed for runners who want a lightweight yet supportive ride. On this shoe, Altra’s distinctive design boasts a sock-like mesh knit upper. This allows your feet to breathe and move normally without restraint.
The EGOTM Max cushioning foam is also used. This gives you an energy boost every time your foot contacts the ground while also cushioning your feet from shock and impact. The outsole of the Escalante 3 also incorporates Altra’s FootPodTM technology. This improves foot stability by distributing pressure equally throughout the shoe. Regardless of the model you decide to get, each Altra running pair is a wise investment.
Nike: Best Performance
Nike needs no introduction given the brand’s popularity in the business. Besides their famous lifestyle sneakers and collaborations with pop stars, athletes, and champions, running shoes from Nike are no exception in terms of quality, durability and performance.
Their Vaporfly is a go-to for many serious racers. Nike has redesigned the Vaporfly from the ground up to make it the lightest yet. One attempt to reduce weight occurred in the midsole shape, with foam now being removed from areas where it is no longer required. The slab of rubber under the forefoot has also been replaced with a web of diamond-shaped lugs.
The shoes felt rooted in dry conditions, and the new construction reduces the noisy, slappy sensation experienced in almost all of the new Super sneakers. The Flyknit upper is exceptionally thin and breathable, but it does not stretch, so don’t lace up too tightly.
Hoka: Best Versatility
Another great name among runners is Hoka. The brand’s carbon-plated contributions to the running world have thus far failed to ignite passion. However, the Hoka Rocket X2 changes all of that, with a carbon-fibre plate sandwiched between two layers of super-responsive foam and an integrated midfoot cage for a locked-down fit. This is a lightweight racer built with personal bests in mind.
Additionally, it comes with a strong sense of propulsion—the rocker shape lifts you on your forefoot, and the carbon plate mixed with the new PEBA midsole creates a genuinely responsive feel underfoot. The substantial stack height of 36mm in the heel and 31mm in the forefoot would normally result in some lateral instability; however, this is mitigated by the comparatively wide footbed.
Cloudboom: Best Soles
The On Cloudboom is a new level of racing shoe from On Running, and it arrives at a time when other brands appear to be producing running shoes with Carbon-fiber-infused plates as well.
With On’s unique CloudTec technology, a full-length carbon speed board, and the new Helion HP hyper foam, the Echo 3 is an undoubtedly stylish shoe. The upper is made up of a single-woven construction with On’s signature minimalist style.
Since it is a race-only shoe, at race speed, the more energy you put in, the higher the energy return and sense of propulsion you receive. This in other words means that you won’t be able to feel the benefits of the carbon plate at slow speeds because of its stiffness.
Reebok: Best Affordability
Reebok has come a long way in its development and remains a major player in the running shoe category. The brand’s most popular models, the Reebok Zip Dynamica, Reebok Floatride Energy 5 Adventure, and Reebok Nano X3 provide adequate support and unique technologies at a reasonable price. Reebok also produces some of the most fashionable running sneakers on the market today. Keep in mind though that most Reebok running designs are suitable for long-distance and trail runners. This means that they may not be the ideal choice for your morning run routine.
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