The Best Beginner’s Running Shoes to Get You Going

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Searching for Running Shoes for beginners? Take a look at the best picks, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store

First And Foremost, Congrats!

From the entire RunnerClick team, congratulations! We are passionate runners and genuinely get a kick (pun intended) from helping fellow runners of all skill levels with their regimen. Beyond the obvious health and cardiovascular benefits of running, the therapeutic aspects alone are enough to positively change your life. Don’t believe us? Go for a nice run the next time you feel stressed out and let us know how you feel when you get back. Feeling tired around mid-day at work? Try an early morning run.

ASICS GEL Venture 5
  • ASICS GEL Venture 5
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • AHAR outsole rubber covering high-wear areas
  • Price: See Here
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Asics GEL-Kayano 23
  • Asics GEL-Kayano 23
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable mesh upper with supportive overlays
  • Price: See Here
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Brooks Launch 3
  • Brooks Launch 3
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • External TPU Heel Counter for proper support
  • Price: See Here
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The truth is, there are very few things that running can’t fix and we at RunnerClick want to be a helpful voice whenever you need advice, so don’t be afraid to ask. If there’s a topic or piece of equipment that you would like to see covered, send us an email and we’ll get on it. For now, let’s help you make a great selection that matches your needs and get you running. Welcome to the club!

The Top Rated Choices For Beginners


1. ASICS Venture 5

Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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The ASICS Venture 5 are the king of the hill when it comes to the best beginners running shoes! The race wasn’t even close. Over four thousand positive reviews from runners of all walks of life, the Venture 5 have it all. Great cushioning, removable sock liner, AHAR outsole for durability, breathable synthetic uppers, trail rated with reversed traction grip, and to top it all off: an incredible low price tag! Why are you still reading this? Go get your pair of Venture 5’s and start running like a pro!
Pros
  • Breathable, lightweight upper
  • Very affordable
  • Highest Rated Running Shoes In Terms Of Overall Comfort, Shock Absorption, and Protection
  • Trail Rated And Extremely Durable
Cons
  • Nothing Worth Noting, 99% Satisfaction Rate


2. ASICS GEL Kayano 23

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Thousands of runners have tried ASICS and are coming back for more. The brand is super trustworthy, and the Kayano are some of the best running shoes ASICS has to offer. These shoes are durable! Because they’re so protective and rugged, they make really versatile running shoes that can easily take over the trails or other sporting activities.
Pros
  • AHAR outsole rubber in high-wear areas for increased durability
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Great for trail runners with traction lugs on the outsole – fantastic grip
  • Rearfoot GEL cushioning
  • Removable insoles for custom orthotic support
  • Score high for trail runners, neutral pronators, and ASICS all around
Cons
  • Narrow fit


3. Brooks Launch 3

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Looking for a shoe that matches your gadgets in capabilities and high-tech features? Look no further. Brooks Launch are highly attractive shoes available in a wide array of color and pattern options. Think geometric patterns, multicolored soles, and, if you’re a bit more minimalist, clean black on black. It’s the technology, though, that really puts the Launches on the best beginner’s running shoes list.
Pros
  • Great forefoot blown rubber for springy take-off
  • Heel Segmented Crash Pad for shock absorption
  • HPR Plus durability for high-impact parts of the outsole
  • Full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole for true-to-your-foot cushioning and bounce
  • Full-length S-257 Cushsole midsole compound with an insole board for plushness and flexibility
  • Midfoot Transition Zone and Segmented Crash Pad for quick and smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Moisture and heat managing upper
  • Seamless 3D Fit Print upper for a snug but flexible fit
  • Fairly lightweight
Cons
  • Runs small

4. Nike Revolution 3

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If you’re looking for a stylish and smooth running experience, try on the Revolution 3. They’ve got you covered when it comes to supportive technology. What makes these shoes really unique, though, is that they’re extremely light, super breathable, and really affordable. It doesn't hurt that they’re one of the top rated nike running shoes on Amazon either.
Pros
  • Enhanced Cushioning In A Lightweight Package
  • Outsole is great for traction and protection while remaining flexible
  • High Marks On Breathability
  • Lace-up closure
Cons
  • Very Few Testers Found Them To Be Narrow

5. Saucony Triumph ISO 2

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New runners need support to avoid developing injuries or pain that stops them in their tracks. While some ultra-supportive and cushioned shoes can become heavy, the Triumph's have a moderate weight. Thanks to shock-absorbing and stabilizing materials, these are some of the most supportive running shoes you could buy. These protective qualities place them at number 5 for the best beginner’s running shoes.
Pros
  • Dual Density SSL EVA for increased stability
  • Highly cushioned
  • ISO fit upper
  • Open Mesh offers breathability and comfort that’s cool and dry
  • Security through Sauc-Fit system and Heel Support Frame
  • PWRGRID midsole and SRC Impact Zone absorb shock for a smoother run
  • Super durable with XT-900 and IBR+ outsoles
Cons
  • Expensive, But Lower Priced For Smaller Sizes On Amazon

6. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2

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So you’re just getting into running. You’re not looking for something flashy with too many bells and whistles to weigh you down. What you need is a simple training shoe to get you into the groove. If this sounds like you, the NB Fresh Foams v2 are a great, highly affordable choice. New Balance is a trusted brand, and these running shoes fit the bill as some of the best beginner’s running shoes.
Pros
  • Breathable lining
  • Comfortable padded mesh tongue
  • Cradles foot for great support
  • EVA footbed for comfort and support
  • IMEVA midsole for comfort and support
Cons
  • Some Testers Had Issues With Durability

7. Nike Lunarglide 8

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Going for the minimalist shoe isn’t always the best option for a runner just getting started. At the same time, though, minimalist running shoes are popular for a reason. They give you this free, near-barefoot experience, and some argue that they’re better for your feet. They will, for sure, strengthen your feet and legs fast. They may just take some getting used to. When it comes to the best beginner’s running shoes that can introduce you to a more minimalist running shoe, the Lunarglide 8 steps in. These running shoes are a fan favorite, and for so many reasons.
Pros
  • BreatheTech lightweight mesh and foam for breathability on upper as well as midfoot
  • Asymmetrical design for secure, natural and anatomical fit
  • Phylon mid-sole unit has pressure mapping for perfect responsiveness
  • Flex grooves on entire sole for natural foot flexing
  • Available in plenty of fun and stylish colors
Cons
  • Some Testers Felt They Ran a Half Size Small

8. ASICS FuzeX

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These running shoes are highly rated among novice runners that don’t have all the knowledge about features, but feel a great difference using them. The FuzeX offer fantastic cushioning and support to keep your feet in place, free from injury, and happy all around. You’re not going to want to take these off when your workout’s over. Every runner should experience running in ASICS, you may not ever go back!
Pros
  • High Marks For Comfort
  • DuoMax support system for support and stability
  • SpEVA midsole absorbs shock and adds even more support
  • Vertical flex grooves for natural running feel
  • Whole foot GEL cushioning absorbs shock
Cons
  • Some testers felt they were a little narrow

9. Under Armour Charged Bandit 2

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Testers agree that this is a great starting sneaker that can be a starting point that will keep you motivated. Under Armour moved into the running shoe market with great success, and the all new Charged Bandit 2 has all the bells and whistles. Lightweight uppers that stay breathable, great support, and external heel counter for great foot alignment. These running shoes leave nothing to be desired.
Pros
  • Very Breathable
  • Affordable
  • External Heel Counter Gets High Marks On Support
  • Tongue Stays In Place When Running
Cons
  • They need some time to break in

10. Mizuno Wave Rider 20

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The Mizuno Wave Riders are the ultimate shoes when it comes to a happy medium. They’re not too heavy, not too light, and they’ve got support and cushioning but don’t lose out on flexibility. While Wave Riders are a bit understated for Mizuno, understated in Mizuno’s terms is colorful, bright, and exciting compared to all other brands. These are some attractive shoes that will have you excited to start your beginner’s running career.
Pros
  • 3D Mizuno fit is snug yet comfortable
  • Breathable upper
  • Durable
  • Parallel Wave tech for smooth transitions and healthy gait
  • U4icX strobel board for underfoot comfort
Cons
  • Some beginners may find this one a bit expensive

 

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The Criteria Used To Find The Most Suitable Shoes:

 Multi-Dimensional Research

We researched through countless user reviews and recommendations to bring our readers a comprehensive list of running shoes for beginners that offer a well-rounded introduction into the running world. It’s important to remove any unnecessary, superfluous buzzwords that don’t contribute to the run.

The important thing is to remember is that a running shoe should match the wearer’s heel arch and running style. Matching user reviews to their gait and stride is a great way to determine what selections could be the best match. We waded through the hype and made sure that we selected the absolute best running shoes for beginners to take the guesswork out of making a great choice.

 Breathability.

The last thing you want when you’re getting into running for the first time (or after a long hiatus) is a wet, sweaty running shoe during those crucial first miles of your run. Remember that the breathability of running shoes isn’t just an important factor for runners in hotter climates. According to most runners, they report “running hot” on longer runs and that it starts to cause significant discomfort for them.

This is why it’s crucial for all runners in terms of comfort and moisture control. When you’re focusing on endurance and distance, you don’t want to worry about a hot foot. We listened to what testers had to say about the ability of the footwear to wick away moisture and control temperatures to eliminate hotspots. All runners agree that a light and breezy running shoe can make all the difference in the world.

 Selections For Varied Running Surfaces.

For our readers who are lucky enough to live around great outdoor trails, we made sure to include selections that can be taken off of the treadmill and out to the great outdoors. Runners tell us that running outdoors is much “easier” for them because they are not concentrated on the digital numbers on the treadmill.

Out buying guide provides running shoes for all terrains, and with such a wide selection to pick from, there’s no need to settle. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast already, you are going to love the trail runners on our list. They are top rated selections for a reason. For city and treadmill runners, we have perfect offerings that come with the highest runner ratings and proven performance. Whatever your terrain, our goal was to bring you the best of both worlds.

 

Outdoor cross-country running in early sunrise concept for exercising, fitness and healthy lifestyle

Support Levels.

For runners with severe over-pronation or flat feet, there’s a strong need for maximum support to compensate for the lack of natural support. According to runner’s that tend to have more inward rolling when they run: the loner the distance, the higher the discomfort. There is no need to have a painful running experience. Most novice runners don’t know that choosing a supportive running shoe can give them a much more pleasant experience. We made sure to note these models on our buying guide, if support is something you’ve been looking for; you’ve come to the right place!

Features That Work In Harmony

With the amount of selection out there, it can be a daunting task to select a pair of running shoes that are right for you. It’s not a good idea to read the box, listen to the salesman, or buy into the athlete paid sponsor. User feedback on how cushion, protection, heel drop, and support work together is what can really tell you how well a running shoe performs and what it means to you. Our buying guide is clear and concise in order to let you know which models can highlight your natural strengths, and eliminate your weaknesses. For example, if you need additional support, we made sure to note which options rank the highest in that category. If cushioning levels is something that important to you, we provided models that score high in responsive cushioning. We know that it can be overwhelming, so breaking features down into their simplest terms will let you make a stress-free selection while still giving you the piece of mind that you’re getting the absolute best.

 The Latest Looks And Styles

We know that wearing a visually appealing running shoe is important. In fact, research demonstrates that when runners are happy with the looks of their shoes, they are twice as likely to take them out for a run and even run for longer distances. That being said, we would never suggest buying a running shoe on looks alone; it’s a cardinal sin in the running world. But take a look at our list; these selections are the latest and greatest in terms of design and style. Today’s runners no longer have to choose between a good looking running shoe and a high performing piece of running equipment, as long as they know what to look for.

2011 ING NYC Marathon NYC, NY, November 6, 2011 Photo: Jean-Pierre Durand@PhotoRun Victah1111@aol.com 631-741-1865 www.photorun.NET

 Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Beginning Running Shoes.

As you can see, we left no stone unturned when looking for the absolute best beginner running shoes. The wide range of feedback and data we went through when compiling our selections is merely a starting point. What matters to us is that this will help you choose a running shoe that’s right for you. It’s important that you make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.

Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Footwear.

You know those old tennis shoes sitting at the back of your closet? Please don’t run in those. All running shoes, no matter the brand name should be replaced after three hundred to five hundred miles. This is important for your safety and to prevent unnecessary injuries. Remember that even if your running shoes look like they’re in good visual condition, the amount of wear on the outsoles and midsole fit can significantly lose their integrity beyond three hundred miles. Most seasoned runners keep a detailed journal with the approximate mileage and time of ownership of their running shoes. We know it’s tempting to stretch out the lifespan of your running shoes, but it’s not worth an unnecessary injury.

Get To Know Your Feet.

Another factor to consider can best be summed up in a well-known runner’s motto: “Know Thy Feet”. Take a look at your arches, this is important for all footwear selections. If you have flat or lowered heels, chances are that you may be rolling your feet inward when you land (overpronation), don’t worry, it’s quite common.

Look for shoes with higher support levels and that feature roll bars. If you notice that your heels are very high and that your shoes tend to wear along the outer edges of the sole, you should look for more cushioning and shock absorption. It’s important to disperse the force when you step. Thinking about your foot strike is the first step in selecting a perfect running shoe for your individual needs.

Selecting The Right Size.

Take a moment and don’t make the mistake that novice runners make most often. Select the right size running shoe. Almost everyone’s feet tend to swell a little bit towards the end of the day or after strenuous exercise. This is why choosing a size that’s similar to your dress shoes can be a mistake.

Seasoned runners typically run in a half size larger and are always aware of a shoe’s tendency to run larger or smaller. We noted which runners are slightly larger or smaller to help you make a selection. We also suggest sizing your feet at the end of the day or after you’ve gone out for a nice run.

 

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FAQ

We’re confident that by taking some of these factors into consideration when making your choice, you’ll find a running shoe that is perfect for you. Before you get out there, we’ve also compiled some frequently asked questions that commonly arise when searching for a new running shoe.

Q: As a beginner, should I be more concerned with speed or with distance?

A: Most seasoned runners agree that increasing distance should be the primary focus and our list reflects running shoes that offer that consideration. As you build up endurance, you will start to notice improvements in your speed. If your goal is to have faster times, give yourself about two months of consistent running before you start pushing for faster times.

Q: Other than running shoes, what other type of specialized clothing can I expect to need?

A: Here’s what you DON’T need: 100% cotton. It get’s very hot, very quickly and retains dampness and sweat. When selecting socks, tops, and shorts look for bamboo or smart wool materials. Runners also enjoy nylon or Lyrca. These fabrics allow moisture to evaporate leading to less irritation, chaffing and blistering.

Q: I’ve found a pair running shoes that feel perfect for me. How do I make sure that all my other running shoes feel just like this one?

A: Buy a second pair, especially if it’s a perfect fit that feels great. Think about it; you’re going to have to buy another running shoe eventually. However, there are no guarantees that the same one will be available. After the model has sold out or your available sizes are depleted, you may not find it again. Most seasoned runners buy two pairs when they come across an exceptionally good deal that fits then perfectly. It’s a way to save more in the long run.

Q: I’ve heard that some runners go without socks while some swear by them; what’s the verdict?

A: This question has been asked time and time again. The truth is, that it’s a personal preference. You need to try both options for yourself to see what works best for you. If you will be running in socks, never go with cotton because of moisture retention and weight. There are thin running socks that wick away sweat and will keep you dry. If you enjoy going sockless but get skin irritation or blisters, don’t give up! Get some Leukotape and place it on trouble spots. It’s cheap, waterproof, and stays on no matter how long your run. Best of all, it will prevent blisters and irritation before it becomes a problem.

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This was our approach when selecting the right pair of running shoes for a beginner. Remember that selecting the right pair of running shoes is an investment and making a selection that is based on personal use and needs is crucial. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between form and function. Thanks for following along with us. Now make the perfect selection for you and keep running!


 Here are some sources which we used while conducting our research:

It’s important to use a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted running enthusiasts and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide:

Sources

  1. REI, REI, Running Website,
  2. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Running enthusiast website,
  3. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  4. Runner's World, Ask the Gear Guy: How to Buy Your First Running Shoes, Running enthusiast website, Oct 26, 2015
  5. Competitor.com, New Runner: Buying Your First Pair Of Shoes, Running website, Jun 02, 2014
  6. Running Technique Tips, How to choose beginner running shoes, Running website,
  7. Runners Connect, How Long Before You Have to Replace Running Shoes? , Running website,

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