The 7 Best Neutral Running Shoes in 2024

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Check out the ultimate guide to the best neutral running shoes.

Finding the perfect pair of neutral running shoes that offer comfort, support, and a smooth ride may seem challenging.

That is why we deeply explored various options and discussed the ins and outs of the different brands and models. 

Best Neutral Running Shoes

Who Needs Neutral Running Shoes?

Not all runners need a neutral running shoe. Neutral running shoes are typically best suited for neutral or medium-foot strike runners. 

This means their feet naturally roll slightly inward when they land. This is known as pronation. This is typically followed by the foot rolling slightly outward when pushing off the toes. This is known as supination.  

Runners with a neutral foot strike are unlikely to pronate or supinate excessively.

Why is that important? Because this means that they would benefit more from a shoe that provides a balance of cushioning, support, and flexibility. 

Stability shoes are different from neutral shoes because they focus on keeping the foot in a certain position to avoid over-pronating or supinating, but runners with a neutral foot trike need their foot to have more range of motion. 

Neutral running shoes provide comfort and enough support for runners, which helps them maintain proper alignment better.

This reduces the risk of injuries caused by overpronation or excessive motion.

The need for neutral running shoes can vary and is best determined by a professional running shoe specialist or a podiatrist who can analyze gait. 

Doing this allows the professional to provide a personalized recommendation based on individual biomechanics and running style.

neutral shoes

The Best Features of Neutral Running Shoes

Neutral running shoes have many features that make them great for runners with a neutral foot strike.

They provide a good amount of cushioning that can absorb impact and promote a comfortable ride.

Neutral running shoes provide enough flexibility and support to keep the runner fast and uninjured. 

Cushioning

It is important that neutral running shoes have a good amount of cushioning. As with any running shoe, the more impact that can be absorbed, the better. 

This makes for a smoother and more comfortable ride which keeps running feet and joints happy, so there is no need to cut back on miles. 

The cushioning component of shoes is located in the midsole and heel area. Having ample cushioning in these areas helps minimize the risk of injury and fatigue during runs. 

running shoes cushioning

Flexibility

Neutral running shoes focus on having a good balance of flexibility.

This is an important feature because a neutral running shoe needs to allow for a natural range of motion during the running gait cycle. 

When the shoe is made from flexible materials, neutral runners will be more likely to enjoy a smooth and efficient stride, making them happy to run many miles.

running shoes flexibility

Support

While neutral running shoes are not designed to provide tons of support, they still offer some support to help maintain proper alignment during the foot’s natural pronation and supination. 

The level of support is less than s stability or motion control shoe, but it is just enough to help a runner avoid excessive inward or outward rolling of the foot.

The 7 Best Neutral Running Shoes

#1 Best For Road Running: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

Weight: 9.4 oz, Shoe Type: Neutral Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

The 7 Best Neutral Running Shoes in 2024 1
ProsCons
Durable OutsoleHeavier than other models
Provides a stable rideStack height may be too much for some
Affordable price

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 is a neutral running shoe that offers a springy ride and familiar comfort.

It provides responsive cushioning and support for runners of all types, whether you land on your heels or forefoot. 

The shoe features medium cushioning, which softens impact and delivers a consistent feel. With high responsiveness, it provides an energized and bouncy sensation during toe-off. 

The Pegasus 40 has an inviting fit and feel, thanks to a single-layer mesh construction and a redesigned midfoot strap for a molded fit. 

The shoe’s updates include an implemented midfoot band for added security and comfort, particularly in sensitive areas like the arch and toes so you can stay comfortable even during your most challenging runs.

This neutral running shoe also offers improved transition, durability, traction, and toe-off with its optimized heel area, waffle-inspired pattern, and extra flex groove.

#2 Best For Everyday Runs: Brooks Ghost 15

Weight: 8.8 oz, Shoe Type: Neutral Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 12 mm

The 7 Best Neutral Running Shoes in 2024 2
ProsCons
Lighter than the previous modelStack height is a bit high
Well equipped with ample cushioning Some users report that this newer model has a different feel than previous models
Certified Diabetic Shoe

The Brooks Ghost 15 is a women’s running shoe that will provide a smooth ride that will allow you to focus on nothing but your stride.

The fit is secure and seamless thanks to the refined 3D Fit Print.

This running shoe offers neutral support and high-energizing cushioning, making it a great option for road running, cross-training, and gym workouts. 

The midsole of this neutral running shoe incorporates DNA LOFT V2 cushioning. This cushioning is soft and lightweight, creating a balanced and comfortable feel. 

The Brooks Ghost 15 has a soft midsole and Segmented Crash Pad system, which absorbs shock and promotes a fluid transition from landing to toe-off. 

The upper is made of engineered air mesh for breathability, comfort, and the added structure of 3D Fit Print. 

This shoe is also certified as a PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

#3 Best For Running Long Distances: Asics Gel Nimbus 24

Weight: 10.2 oz, Shoe Type: Distance Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

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ProsCons
Wraps the foot with a soft feel Not ideal for flat feet or low arches
Excellent shock absorptionMay feel too snug for some users
Reflective accents for safety

The ASICS Gel Nimbus 24 is a distance training shoe that provides advanced impact protection. 

It features a softer landing and is lighter than its previous version.

The upper is made of soft engineered mesh and includes a flexible midfoot panel, offering enhanced comfort during long runs and a smoother stride. 

This shoe also includes Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System, which attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, allowing for movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

The FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning keeps this shoe lightweight but provides a soft underfoot feel and improved rebound properties at toe-off. 

On top of all that, the 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION feature improves compression at the footstrike. 

Worried about durability? The ASICS LITE rubber in the outsole is lighter, stronger, and more sustainable than standard rubbers. 

#4 Best For Training: New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 V12

Weight: 10.3 oz, Shoe Type: Neutral Training/Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm

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ProsCons
Fresh Foam experience for incredible comfortSome users report lack of bounce
Durable so lasts for many milesHigh price point 
Comfortable and snug fitting upperThis model runs large, compared to previous versions. 

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is the top running model from the brand, known for being versatile and stylish

This shoe comes equipped with a data-informed construction and is a great option for both serious and casual neutral runners.

A top-performing running shoe like this is great whether training for competition or going about daily activities. 

The Fresh Foam X midsole is designed to be soft and provides extra cushioning in the natural flex zones of the foot so you can run easily and not have to worry about your feet aching afterward. 

One major highlight of this shoe is the Hypoknit upper. This upper is lightweight, breathable, and offers targeted support. Users love the comfort and look of this upper. 

This neutral running shoe’s somewhat fancy features help achieve optimal performance. This allows for running more miles, more often, and with increased comfort. 

#5 Best For Speed Work: Saucony Ride 15

Weight: 7.8 oz, Shoe Type: Everyday Training/Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm

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ProsCons
Lightweight design May cause blisters
Improved fit and contouring from previous modelThe fit may be too snug for some users
High sidewalls

This redesigned version of the Saucony Ride has features that make it an exceptional choice for neutral runners seeking a cushioned and lightweight ride.

The PWRRUN formula introduces a softer stack of cushioning without adding extra weight to enjoy a plush and comfortable feel underfoot while experiencing a lighter shoe overall. 

The heel and forefoot beveling allows for a seamless stride, propelling you effortlessly from heel to toe. It also provides plenty of flexibility which is crucial for neutral runners. 

This smooth transition enhances your running efficiency and reduces the risk of discomfort or fatigue, allowing you to maintain a consistent pace and rhythm so your runs are faster and more enjoyable. 

Higher sidewalls of the shoe create a unique sensation where you sit in the shoe instead of on top of it. Making you feel secure and supported. Which will give you confidence with each step. 

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking to enhance your performance or seeking a shoe that prioritizes comfort, this model is a worthy companion.

#6 Best For Recovery Runs: Hoka One One Clifton 8

Weight: 7.3 oz, Shoe Type: Everyday Training/Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm

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ProsCons
Super lightweight design The toe box may feel snug for some users
Contains a medial gussetMay need to size up 
Plush Heel 

The Hoka One One Cliftons are a perfect choice for neutral runners who crave a balance of cushioning, support, and lightweight performance.

The cushioning is exceptional and the midsole is equipped with Hoka’s signature oversized cushioning, which provides plush comfort that absorbs impact with each stride. 

This generous cushioning protects your feet and delivers a responsive and energetic feel, allowing you to maintain a steady pace and enjoy a smooth ride.

The shoes’ construction utilizes lightweight materials, reducing unnecessary bulk and making them feel featherlight on your feet.

This benefits neutral runners who value a nimble and agile shoe that doesn’t weigh them down, promoting a more effortless and efficient running experience.

A perfect balance of support and flexibility, these shoes cater specifically to neutral runners.

They offer a stable platform that promotes a natural foot motion, allowing your feet to move freely and adapt to the terrain. 

Durability is another strong suit of the Cliftons.

The shoes are crafted with high-quality materials, so you can rely on them for long-lasting performance, making them a worthwhile investment for your running endeavors.

#7 Best For Trail Running: Salomon Speedcross 5

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Weight: 11.6 oz, Shoe Type: Trail Running Shoe, Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

ProsCons
Great for rugged trailsMay feel too narrow and snug for some users
Excellent traction for slick conditionsThe aggressive grip is less efficient on harder surfaces like pavement or compact trails. 
Equipped with responsive cushioningHeavier shoe modell

The Salomon Speedcross is a great option for a neutral trail running shoe. It gives you everything you need to get through the toughest terrain with confidence.

Designed for off-road adventures, this shoe combines exceptional grip, cushioning, and durability to elevate your trail running experience.

One of the most impressive features of the Speedcross is its aggressive grip.

The shoe’s outsole is equipped with multidirectional lugs that dig deep into the ground, providing superior traction on a variety of terrains.

From muddy trails to rocky surfaces, the Speedcross ensures you stay surefooted and in control, even in challenging conditions.

When it comes to cushioning, the Speedcross delivers optimal comfort and impact protection.

Thanks to a midsole engineered with just the right amount of cushioning to soften landings and reduce fatigue during longer runs. 

The Salomon Speedcross is a reliable companion for neutral trail runners seeking a shoe that excels in grip, cushioning, and durability

With its aggressive traction, responsive cushioning, and robust construction, the Speedcross empowers you to tackle any trail with confidence and enjoy the thrill of off-road running to the fullest.

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I am a UESCA-certified running coach, psychology PhD student, and competitive obstacle racer and trail runner. Once 100 pounds overweight I found fitness and fell in love with an active and competitive lifestyle. My passion for inspiring others and fitness come together seamlessly in the world of writing where I get to share the thing that changed my life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, my dogs, as well as baking and cooking.

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