Whether you're pounding the pavement in preparation for a marathon or clocking a few leisurely miles around the neighborhood, a great pair of running shoes are a must for boosting your performance and limiting the risk of injury. Whatever your running requirements, just know that you don't have to sacrifice style for performance. Leading brands, from Nike and Adidas to Hoka and APL, prioritize aesthetics while delivering on technically advanced design. Keep scrolling for tried-and-tested running sneakers that we love. Make sure to do your warm-up stretches—because once you put these on, it'll be easier than ever to keep going.
What should you look for in a running shoe?
When it comes to specs, more established runners should lean on personal preference. But as a rule of thumb, you should look for a sturdy fit to prevent rolled ankles; cushion insoles; and breathable materials, because things will heat up. If you know you'll be running in the cold, seek out slip-resistant soles that can withstand wet or icy conditions. Plus, warmer fabrics to help insulate those toes. (Pro tip: In cold weather, opt for wool socks.)
Asics GEL-Kayano 28 Running Shoe
Asics are beloved by the running community and fitness pros alike. The Gel Kuyano's are failsafe running shoes for the mega-support you need during high-impact movement, fusing stability and cushioning technologies for a comfortable stride.
Adidas Ultraboost 22 Shoes
Adidas continues to update this bestseller year after year with the latest in running sneaker technology. The re-engineered Ultraboost 22 was informed by 1.2 million foot scans to improve things like fit and the responsive rubber outsoles. As for the knitted upper—it's made with yarn, containing 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic diverted from remote islands, beaches, coastal communities, and shorelines, helping to prevent pollution.
Nike Zoom Winflo 8 Shield
Don't let the rain stop you from logging those miles. Nike's weatherized Winflo sneakers feature tire-inspired soles for major traction and grip on slick terrain. Plus, bonded seams to help keep water out and softly cushioned Air Zoom units to maximize comfort.
Brooks Revel 5
For road and indoor training, Brooks' Revel 5 running sneakers are the way to add style to your run without sacrificing performance. These feature a sleek knit design with responsive cushioning for a modern look that propels you forward when clocking those miles.
This Swiss-born shoe brand is much like running on a cloud. In the next generation of the Cloudstratus sneaker, a full cushion foundation makes for a super-soft landing without overheating those feet. So even if you're dealing with runner's knees and tight hamstrings, this shoe puts an extra pep in just about every stride.
Saucony Kinvara 12
Saucony continues to refine the Kinvara running sneaker to make the most out of every run. The 12 is the lightest to date, featuring a simplified but structured upper with tons of flex for increased speed while striding toward those goals.
APL: Athletic Propulsion Labs Streamline Sneakers
APL is a go-to for trendsetting running sneakers. While the TechLoom's are a brand signature for low-impact workouts, the recently-launched Streamline is where it's at for runners. The overbuilt soles, while on-trend, is designed for optimal performance from innovative FutureFoam material with supportive cushioning. Plus, compression and rebound at the midsole and outsole. They're also unbelievably lightweight with a sheer rip-stop upper made from AeroLux material for top-tier breathability and airflow around the foot. Oh, and they come in lots of fun colors.
Reebok Dynaminca Sneaker
These Reebok running sneakers are comfy and supportive, featuring foam-cushioned midsoles with a soft and pliable upper, allowing your feet to flex with ease. What's more, the heritage style looks as cool with jeans and dresses as it does with your running leggings. Plus, they're available in six different colors at DSW (love options!).
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoes
This foam sneaker has a super-responsive underfoot with a stretchy knit upper for all-around comfort during long runs. Also, if you've dealt with slipping heels, consider the problem solved. This pair is designed to hug the back of your foot for an ultra-snug fit.
Hoka Rincon 3
Hoka's may be orthopedics, but honestly, who cares when they feel and look this good? Featuring a "stupefyingly light silhouette," The Rincon is made from 100-percent vegan materials, including an asymmetrical tongue, thin pull tab, and vented-mesh upper.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 Running Shoe
Stiffer than other sneakers on this list, the Mizuno is for someone who wants a more responsive ride, with the Wave Inspire being best suited to overpronators. Expect tons of stability, shock-absorption, and a super-springy feel while crushing a 5K or half-marathon.
Puma Magnify Nitro Running Sneakers
Okay, these sneakers are great for performance, but we can't kick things off without discussing the fire hot pink shade. Now that that's out of our system, we can point out the impressive Pumagrip soles that provide all-surface traction, making this a top pick for those who train on a mix of terrain.
Salomon Predict 2 Road-Running Shoes
Salomon has changed the road-running game with this elite anatomic sneaker. The design reduces stress on joints for an ultra-smooth ride with a sock-like forefoot to increase comfort.
Merrel Moab Flight Trail Running Shoe
Trail runners, this one is for you. Thanks to the shock-absorbing and grippy Vibram soles, Merrel—who obviously knows all about outdoor training—made this protective mesh sneaker for runs of all kinds, no matter the weather condition.
Veja Condor Sneakers
You love Veja's court sneakers for leisure, but did you know the brand offers a sustainably-made running sneaker? It features a breathable mesh upper made from recycled water bottles, insoles crafted from sugar cane and recycled plastic, and Amazonian rubber, rice byproduct, and synthetic rubber soles—that's a whole lot of eco-conscious innovation.
Under Armour Charged Breathe Bliss Running Shoe
Yep, Under Armour makes running sneakers equally as great as the brand's coveted base layers. This pair was built for a stable and shock-absorbing run, whether you're setting out for a quick mile or two or a long run while marathon training.
Skechers Go Run Elevate Live Elevated
These Sketchers aren't the sneakers you wore in middle school. The lightweight and responsive running shoe is designed with breathable high-rebound cushioning and a parametric midsole for support and stability.
Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a freelance writer and editor covering fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, and lifestyle topics, including beauty, home, fitness, and travel. You can see her work across various outlets, including VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, Glamour, Town&Country, InStyle, Esquire, Women’s Health, Brides, Refinery 29, Coveteur, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, Byrdie, WWD, Footwear News, Well+Good, The Editorialist, among other titles and brands. Laura has worked in the fashion industry for over 11 years and held senior fashion editor positions at Popsugar and The Zoe Report, with additional experience as a copywriter and fashion publicist.
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