The 7 Most Comfortable Running Shoes Of 2024

Each product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Running shoes are an important purchase to get right.

Unlike flimsy sandals that you only wear in the garden or sliding on to pop to the shop – running shoes are the main piece of gear that will get you through hundreds of miles as you train, race and endure across various terrains and weathers.

Running shoes need to be able to provide you with durable, comfortable support during intense activity.

There are several boxes that need to be ticked, and of course, much of it comes down to the individual.

That’s why in this article, we’ll be covering the most comfortable running shoes for men and women, giving you plenty of options depending on your needs and requirements.

We’ll be looking at:

  • Why Is Comfort So Important?
  • What To Look For In A Running Shoe
  • The Most Comfortable Running Shoes For Men
  • The Most Comfortable Running Shoes For Women
  • Take Your Exercise To The Next Level

Let’s dive right in.

most comfortable running shoes in 2023

Why Is Comfort So Important?

A recent study published in the European Journal of Sports Science made clear the benefits of wearing comfortable running shoes.

It found that runners who wore comfier shoes ran faster and more efficiently, with reduced oxygen consumption compared with those using less comfortable footwear.

Some athletes are keen on ‘super shoes’ designed to propel you forward and put less strain on your body, but the truth is, without comfort, you’re in trouble.

Running shoes need to be able to provide cushioning, support, stability, and breathability. By combining these qualities, trainers can set up the perfect conditions for high-level running.

But ultimately, the word ‘comfort’ means different things to different people. Some runners equate a soft midsole with comfort, while others are more interested in ensuring they have a plush and roomy upper.

Despite the fact that choosing the most comfortable running shoe for you is a personal process. There are, however, some key things to bear in mind.

The 7 Most Comfortable Running Shoes Of 2024 1

What To Look For In A Running Shoe

At times, running shoe comfort is activity-dependent. For example, a shoe that works for a 5k run may not be ideal for a marathon, and vice versa.

In this article, we’ll cover a range of shoes designed for different purposes. That being said, there are some important things to look for, whatever your running plans.

Here are the most important thing to look out for when making your purchase:

  • Thick foam midsole – this will help give you plenty of cushioning.
  • Wide toe box – in order to prevent blisters and crowding and give your toes plenty of space to splay naturally, a wide toe box is crucial.
  • Breathable uppers – shoes made from engineered mesh and open-weave knits provide runners with better stretch and airflow, keeping sweaty feet cool and ventilated. Ideally, the upper should be made of soft-touch materials for a plush over-the-foot experience
  • The right fit – this is absolutely crucial. If your shoes are too small, your feet will be uncomfortable after just a few kilometers, while oversized shoes will cause you to lose performance. Try to find the sweet spot between the two.

Keep fit, cushion and comfort in mind when making your process – and you’ll be in good stead.

Men running

The Most Comfortable Running Shoes For Men

So what’s the most comfortable running shoe on the market? There are tons of options out there, all suited to different needs and running styles.

Let’s take a walk through some of the best.

#1. New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe

Weight: 292 grams (10.3 oz); Drop: 8 mm

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe
High-volume midsoleA bit expensive
Thick, soft heel

Designed for a smooth ride on any run, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12 is a stylish and super comfortable sneaker.

The Hypoknit upper gives you a soft, breathable and supportive fit, while Fresh Foam X provides comfy cushioning underfoot throughout your run.

A high-volume midsole delivers serious comfort during both quick 5ks and marathons, and it’s this level of versatility that makes the NB Fresh Foam X 1080v12 one of the most popular comfy running shoes on the market.

In terms of price, they’re around the mid-range, but you’re definitely getting bang for your buck here.

#2. Altra Men’s AL0A5471 Paradigm 6 Road Running Shoe

Weight: 306 (10.8 oz); Drop: 0 mm

Altra Men's AL0A5471 Paradigm 6 Road Running Shoe
Guide-rail system for stabilityZero drop needs some getting used to
Quick-drying breathable upper

Inspired by the feeling of tired feet at the end of a long race, the Altra Paradigm 6 is a race-day shoe built for ultimate comfort and support.

A FootShape™ toe box allows your toes to relax and spread naturally, allowing for more comfort and stability during uphill climbs and downhill descents.

With thick, balanced cushioning (including a thick slab at the midsole) and a guide-rail system for stability, these shoes are well suited to both recovery runs and standard everyday workouts.

And in terms of breathability, the Altra Paradigm 6 have a quick-drying engineered knit upper to let your feet really breathe.

#3. Asics Gel-Nimbus 24

Weight: 290 g/10.2 oz; Drop: 10 mm

Asics Gel-Nimbus 24

Great for distance trainingNarrow fit
Lightweight feel

For those who are into distance training, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 24 are an excellent choice.

With a lightweight feel (approx. 20g lighter than the previous edition) and advanced impact protection that creates a softer landing in every step, these are a light, comfortable shoe for long-distance running.

The upper’s soft engineered mesh and flexible midfoot panel also supports you here. FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning keeps the shoe lightweight and provides a soft feeling underfoot.

#4. Saucony Kinvara 12 Running Shoe

Weight: 7.5oz (213g); Drop: 8 mm

Saucony Kinvara 12 Running Shoe
Great valueLaces too long
Lightweight responsiveness

The most affordable item on our list, the Saucony Kinvara 12 is a trusted trainer designed to make you speedy and light.

A simplified upper and PWRRUN cushioning maintains the lightweight responsiveness that has made this shoe popular. It offers comfort whether you’re running daily 5kms or racing longer distances.

These running shoes are super cost-effective, so it’s not surprising that there are a couple of potential drawbacks. For instance, the heel pull-tab is useless, and the laces are needlessly long.

However, they’re still a great comfy option for those who don’t have an enormous budget.

The Most Comfortable Running Shoes For Women

Many of the products featured in this article are available in both men’s and women’s styles, but let’s spend some time focusing specifically on the comfiest women’s running shoes out there.

#5. Brooks Glycerin 20 Supportive Road Running Shoe

Weight: 9.1oz / 258.0g; Drop: 12 mm

Brooks Glycerin 20 Supportive Road Running Shoe

DNA LOFT v3 cushioning technologyHeavy
Super supportive

Good in both wet and dry conditions, with a durable and flexible rubber outsole that gives you strong traction and grip, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is a versatile shoe.

They feature a breathable air mesh upper that fits securely, a comfy textile lining, and a cushioned removable insole.

A nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 super soft cushioning midsole provides serious comfort and stability.

#6. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe

Weight: 292 grams (10.3 oz); Drop: 8 mm

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe
Incredibly versatileNot for narrow feet
Breathable, supportive fit

Yes, they’ve already featured on this list, but it would be wrong not to also include these sneakers on our list of the most comfortable running shoes for women.

According to NB, “If we only made one running shoe, that shoe would be the 1080.” Its versatility is what makes it a cut above the rest.

Available in a wide range of colors and designs, and built with a breathable, supportive fit and a thick heel that’s one of the softest around, you can’t go wrong here.

#7. Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 22 Running Shoes

Weight: 289 g grams

Adidas Women's Ultraboost 22 Running Shoes

AffordableTight in the toebox
Designed to boost energy levels

If you don’t want to break the bank, these running shoes are a great option.

The Adidas Ultraboost fuses together energy capsules in order to give you the power and energy needed to keep your feet moving.

They’ve got a Stretchweb outsole, which flexes naturally during your ride. Meanwhile, Continental Rubber provides serious traction.

The upper of these shoes is also made with a high-performance yarn containing 50% Parley Ocean Plastic and 50% recycled polyester, meaning less damage is done to the planet than many other trainers.

The 7 Most Comfortable Running Shoes Of 2024 2

Take Your Exercise To The Next Level

Grabbing a pair of super comfortable running shoes will take your mind off how your feet are coping and allow you to focus your energy on performance.

The main things you want to focus on are getting the fit right, ensuring that there’s a right level of midsole cushioning for your preference, and finding a shoe with a wide toe box and extra breathability.

Ticking those boxes will ensure that whether you’re training for a 5K or working towards an ultramarathon, you’re well-equipped to take your performance to the next level and smash those PBs and PRs.

Our site is packed with loads more product guides to ensure you’re running with the best possible gear.

Next up, why not check out our article on the best lululemon running shorts?

Photo of author
Fred is a London-based writer who works for several sport, fitness and wellness sites. He's a keen runner and amateur footballer, who also writes regularly for Jobs In Football and follows his side Norwich City home and away.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.