There are several different points in a runner’s career where the interest in finding the best running shoe brand comes into play.
Beginner runners often want to know, “What are the best running shoe brands for beginners?” If you’ve been running for a while but have been dealing with injuries, you might ask, “What is the best running shoe brand to prevent injuries?”
Then, if you are changing the type of training or running you are doing, you might ask questions such as “What are the best running shoe brands for trail running, or what are the best brands of running shoes for marathon runners?”
Given the sheer number of popular running shoe brands, the search for the perfect pair of running shoes can be extremely daunting for beginners and experienced runners alike.
In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best running shoe brands for runners of various training levels, body sizes, cushioning needs, pronation control requirements, training surfaces, budgets, aesthetic appearances, and more.
Keep reading for our picks for some of the best brands of running shoes to find the one that will be a good match for your own training.
We will look at the following:
- What Is the Best Brand of Running Shoes?
- Here’s Our List Of The 14 Best Running Shoe Brands Out There
Let’s get started!
What Is the Best Brand of Running Shoes?
It is important to establish that there is no single best brand of running shoes for all runners.
Most of the top running shoe brands offer high-quality running shoes with models that span the gamut from minimalist running shoes with very little cushioning to maximalist running shoes for those who want a plushy ride.
The top running shoe brands are also accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
There are also running shoe models that offer different levels of support and pronation control for those with flat feet, high arches, a pronated running gait, supination, heel strikers, forefoot strikers, midfoot strikers, trail runners, etc.
Generally, the primary difference between all of the best running shoe brands is the fit and feel of the shoes. This refers to the actual shape of the shoe relative to your foot (narrow overall, wide, wide toe box, etc.).
But, there are also differences in the focus of some of the best running shoe brands, be it trail running shoes, maximalist running shoes, zero-drop running shoes to promote a natural running gait, lightweight running shoes, running shoes available in wide widths, and more.
That said, let’s jump into our list!
Here’s Our List Of The 14 Best Running Shoe Brands Out There
Note that rather than having a hierarchical ranking within this best running shoe brands list, we have chosen to present the list in alphabetical order since we do not necessarily feel like there is an overall “best“ or even “better“ running shoe brand for all runners relative to any of the other top running shoe brands that made our list.
Here are some of the best brands of running shoes with a brief description of the notable features of each:
Adidas running shoes are designed for everyday runners with many budget-friendly models.
Adidas primarily uses its Boost technology for cushioning. This material is made from a thermoplastic polyurethane material formed around air pockets to distribute forces from the impact shock.
Adidas running shoes tend to run true to size.
Altra running shoes have a signature FootShape™ fit with a wider toe box to allow your toes to splay out. This is thought to best mimic the true foot shape and support a natural running gait.
Altras also tend to be zero-drop running shoes and are often favored by trail runners.
ASICS running shoes are often chosen by runners looking to take advantage of the GEL Technology, which is a type of proprietary cushioning that provides a plasma-like consistency to help spread out impact forces to reduce shock.
ASICS makes running shoes for runners of all levels and training needs, and most of the models run on the narrow side, especially through the heel and midfoot.
That said, even the toe box region is more tapered rather than squared off and wide, like you might find in a Brooks running shoe, so if you have a narrow foot, ASICS may be one of the best running shoe brands for you.
Brooks is arguably one of the most popular brands of running shoes on the market.
Beloved by runners of all ability levels, body sizes, and foot shapes, what separates Brooks running shoes from many of the other top running shoe brands is the dialed-in focus on running shoes rather than general athletic shoes with a dedicated running shoe line.
The brand is known to have a wider toe box than some competitors, which helps promote natural foot splay when you land and is better suited for runners who have a bunion, wider forefoot, metatarsalgia, or Morton’s neuroma.
Brooks also makes themed running shoes for different holidays and events, which can add pizzazz to the look of your running shoes to help motivate you to get out the door and train.
HOKA One One
HOKA One One, as a running shoe brand, is probably most recognizable for its focus on maximalist running shoes.
HOKA shoes were originally designed primarily for trail and ultramarathon runners looking for maximal cushioning and a more stable platform for long miles on uneven surfaces.
However, HOKA One One running shoes have become very popular amongst masters runners looking for more cushioning for achy joints as well as everyday runners who like the wider base of support, higher stack height, and “marshmallow softness“ in the cushioning.
Mizuno originally made baseball shoes but is now known for making lightweight, high-tech running shoes.
Runners choose Mizuno running shoes primarily to capitalize on features such as Mizuno Wave® technology, which helps provide a smooth and springy ride by redistributing shock in a wave-like dispersion of forces along the heel-to-toe transition when you run.
New Balance running shoes are among the best running shoes for runners with particularly wide or narrow feet. The brand offers a wide and even extra wide width in most of its models as well as a narrow option.
New Balance also makes some of the best stability and motion-control running shoes for runners who overpronate.
Nike is one of the most popular brands of running shoes for runners of all ability levels and training needs.
Nike running shoes use premium materials and cutting-edge technology to enhance performance and comfort for everyday runners as well as elite runners.
Nike is known for its air technology, which involves injecting air cells or air bubbles into the outsides of shoes to enhance cushioning. Note that Nike running shoes notoriously run narrow.
On Cloud running shoes are designed and manufactured by the Swiss company On Running.
The On Cloud lineup is mainly neutral shoes designed to support a natural running stride rather than having many corrective stability and motion control running shoes that offer a lot of pronation control and gait correction.
On Cloud running shoes have pods in the soles called CloudTec, which is said to reduce muscle fatigue and heart rate by promoting energy return to support forward propulsion and reduce impact stress.
Reebok running shoes are great for runners looking to optimize energy return and performance due to the Floatride+ foam and carbon plate propulsion.
There are also Reebok cushioned running shoes for recreational runners.
Salomon running shoes are ideal for runners looking for a firmer, more responsive running shoe rather than a lot of cushioning.
Sketchers is not usually the first brand of running shoes that most people think about when coming up with a list of the most popular running shoe brands.
However, although lots of runners associate Sketchers with more casual streetwear or the rocker sole walking shoes the brand released many years ago, Skechers running shoes have truly skyrocketed in quality and technology over the past several years.
In fact, running legend Meb Keflezighi became the official ambassador for the SketchersGO RUN collection in his last several years of professional running.
Saucony Running shoes are known to be lightweight and super responsive due to the proprietary PWRRUN technology for cushioning.
This material is touted to be lighter, more flexible, springier, and more durable than EVA foam, helping reduce the weight of the shoe and help it feel as if it is just an extension of your foot rather than an external, foreign object interfacing between your foot and the ground.
Saucony running shoes tend to be on the narrower side.
Like Altra running shoes, Topo running shoes are designed to support natural biomechanics with a roomy toe box and a zero drop or low heel drop to help prevent overstriding and heel striking.
All of the aforementioned running shoe brands offer excellent running shoes with different models suited for runners of different needs. There is no “best running shoe brand“ for all runners.
Rather, the best brand of running shoes for you will be the one that fits and feels the best, and most closely matches your preferences and needs for budget, training, sizing, materials, appearance, and heel-to-toe drop for running shoes.
Want some specific recommendations for the best running shoes for marathon runners? Check out our marathon running shoe roundup guide up here.