Best Running Trainers Reviewed & Tested
Here we’ve compiled the best running trainers of 2017.
The Top Rated Running Trainers
1. Asics GEL-190 TR
Highly comfortable, features a trusstic system® midfoot and duomax® support system for stability, while asics rearfoot gel® cushioning system provides exceptional shocks.
Durability / Quality
Our experience with Asics has shown them to be very durable over the long term, often lasting long past their expected sell by date.
Cost or value
The price point for these shoes is relatively modest, and we’d consider them extremely high return in terms of cost-to-value.
- Bouncy gel infused rubber sole
- No nonsense lace-up training shoe, has a padded tongue and collar, soft fit
- Patented DuoMax dual-density midsole design, comfortable ride
- GEL cushioning system keeps the heel protected
- Has SpEVA midsole for additional support
- The padded tongue is known to feel a bit constricting in some cases
2. Reebok Crossfit Nano 6
It’s a Crossfit-inspired trainer with anatomical design built for lifting and quick cuts
Durable Kevlar-infused upper for support and protection
Nano shell hard TPU midsole shell for medial/lateral support
Contoured heel counter
- Great traction for movement in every direction
- Tough NanoShell for strong support
- DuPont Kevlar for extreme durability
- Comes in huge amount of different color options
- 99% Customer satisfaction, no significant cons.
3. Brooks PureFlow 5
Full-length BioMoGo DNA is a blend of earth-friendly
Omega Flex Grooves allow for more natural forefoot movement and fluidity
Minimalist without losing comfort and support
- High marks on comfort and support
- Brooks high quality materials an design
- Best minimalist shoe for neutral and mild overpronators
- Great color selection
- a little expensive
4. Nike Flex Trainer 6
Injected units sole Pylon midsole provides lightweight cushioning
Engineered multidirectional flex grooves designed to enhance flexibility specific to training
Phylon outsole combined with minimal rubber pods provides traction
- Testers loves the multi-directional traction
- Great cushioning
- Comes in several color options
- Some testers needed more support
5. PUMA Meteor Cross-Trainer Shoe
They key to these shoes feel is their soft and springy soles. They offer up a comfortable ride, but are not the most supportive shoes in the world.
Durability / Quality
Given their price point, you can’t expect quite the same level of craftsmanship in these kicks as some others. They are no slouches however, and stand up pretty well considering.
Cost or value
These shoes are all about value. A shockingly small price tag makes them a great deal every day of the week.
- Made from synthetic fabric the uppers are breezy and let the air flow
- Rubber sole, contains PumaCell technology
- Has a few minimal overlays, for looks and stability
- Ultra lightweight, a very fast pair of shoes
- On the lower end of the price spectrum means a shorter lifespan
- Not the most supportive trainers in the world
6. Saucony Omni 15
Lace-up running shoe with padded tongue and collar featuring logoing at each side
EVERUN topsole construction for smoother heel landings and reduced forefoot pressure
Tri-Flex outsole design for flexibility
- Great for moderate to severe pronators
- High marks on cushioning
- Flexible outsole
- EVERUN topsole worked to take the pressure off tester’s feet.
- Some testers found them to be a little heavier
7. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo
The base of these shoes is wide, straight, and flared in the forefoot for added support. In addition to this you’ve got Fresh Foam under the arch making the fit firmer and comfortable.
Durability / Quality
Overall the long term these shoes seem to stand up quite well in areas of common failure: toe, sole and the upper.
Cost or value
In terms of the fresh foam Vongo we feel that the price-to-value ratio is quite favorable. If you can get them on sale even better!
- Blown rubber sole, nicely gripped outsole
- 4 mm drop: with some slight variances during the manufacturing process, all references to 4mm drop are meant to be approximate
- Carefully designed bootie construction
- Features a breathable mesh upper
- Lace-up running shoe, has a no-sew upper, removable insole and a molded sock liner
- Not the truest in terms of sizing
8. Saucony Triumph ISO 2
There are a number of different types of technology built into these shoes which drastically effect the comfort and stability levels. ISO fit morphs to the foot for a custom feel. TriFlex soles work to magnify dispersion over a greater surface area (also helps with traction). Lastly, you have iBR+, which is a supremely lightweight but durable outsole rubber that greatly adds to the cushion value of these shoes.
Durability / Quality
Saucony is among the most respected names in the running shoe game. A thorough review of user comments and the general consensus appears to be that few/almost no durability or quality issues exist with these shoes.
Cost or value
As the saying goes...you get what you pay for. Not the budget option by any stretch of the imagination, but worth their price tag in our estimation.
- Featuring EVERUN Topsole and an EVERUN Landing Zone in the heel to match
- High grade TRI-FLEX outsole design for smooth contact with the ground and an improved ride
- Has an ISOFIT upper to wrap your foot in a snug and comfortable fit
- Very light, weight: 8.6 oz. | 244 g.
- PWRGRID+ midsole, excels as a shock absorber and improves overall feel
- Known to be a little bit narrow, not ideal for all foot types
- The sole on these trainers is quite firm, does not match perfectly with all needs
9. Nike Fs Lite Trainer 3
These shoes really excel in the comfort department, due in part to their internal 1/2 booties and Dual Fusion midsole technology. This pairing offers responsive cushioning, and superior fit, while a parametrically designed, multi-surface rubber foam outsole offers unbeatable traction.
Durability / Quality
Nike is a known commodity when it comes to quality and durability, there are no guessing games here. These shoes certainly won’t last forever but you will get quite a good bit of use out of them.
Cost or value
Positioned just above the “cheap” range these trainers present a good value in that they don’t hit you too hard in the wallet but you still get a good value out of them.
- Features no-sew mesh plus synthetic-skin uppers with internal 1/2 booties allowing you feet to fit comfortable and securely
- Seamless upper construction helps reduce the likelihood of irritation
- Multisurface outsoles combine rubber and foam for solid protection and decent traction as well
- Standard high quality lace closures
- Dual Fusion midsole technology offers responsive and effective cushioning
- Low-top design, perfect for cross training
- Some reports of issues regarding the toe box cropping up, be careful to size properly
- The top mesh is not completely stressed has a minor wave when worn
10. Mizuno Wave Hitogami 3
Many users report a light, but sturdy feeling when wearing the Mizuno Wave Hitogami’s. This is likely down to the U4ic midsole foam which acts as the foundation for your feet. This style of foam is 30% lighter than most of the company’s premium foams without losing its natural ability to provide comfort and stabilize.
Durability / Quality
A large portion of the upper on these trainers is made from mesh and while this is great for thermodynamics it isn’t always the best for durability. You can run into some issues with stains or snags, but this doesn’t happen that often and overall the quality of these shoes is quite high.
Cost or value
Not Mizuno’s most expensive or cheapests shoes, the Wave Hitogami’s tend to fall right in the sweet spot. Available in both men’s and women’s.
- Good for short, medium and long distances -- highly responsive trainers
- Features X10 carbon rubber infused soles, which helps this aspect of the shoe over the long term
- The Hitogami 3 an ultra light shoe
- Borderline minimalist style with a number of dynamic features
- Has four aesthetically pleasing color combinations.
- The exceptional design makes it a really great footwear outside of training purposes
- Affordably priced
- The relatively high heel offset may turn off a few runners who prefer a lower drop shoe
- Not the most water resistant shoe in the world
There are few things that can jumpstart your training better than a new pair of kicks. Not only from a performance standpoint, but also from a psychological one too. If you’ve got a really nice pair of trainers, you’re far more likely to want to use them
The Criteria Used When Choosing Running Trainers
Time To Train!
A solid pair of training shoes will provide you with the motivation and comfort that you need to go the distance. Additionally, when properly selected, a pair of trainers can help eliminate pain and discomfort when runners push themselves to reach goals. Experts agree that selecting the right shoe can help runners who have issues such as shin splints and planter fasciitis be more efficient when they work out, without unneeded pain. We know there are quite a few to choose from, so we have compiled some personal preferences that you should consider before choosing your next pair of trainers. With a little guidance, you’ll be sure to find yourself maximizing your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses on you next run.
Breathability For Movement.
Whether you’re training for your first 5k, or starting a new high intensity boot camp, you’re about to increase your movement, and with that the amount you sweat. A proper trainer should allow for great ventilation while still allowing for freedom of movement. This is why we made sure that our selections are constructed with lighter and more airy materials, especially on the upper section of the shoes. Tester feedback shows that when uppers are constructed with synthetic fabrics and lightweight materials, the results are very cool and breathable shoes.
Traction In All Directions.
While most running shoes are designed around forward movement, any training shoe worth their salt should provide several different ways of giving the wearer traction in all directions. The ideal design, according to runner feedback, should incorporate individual pods on the outsole that are independent of each other. Our selections reflect these design requirements and all have a great amount of freedom of movement.
Support And Stability.
We know from experience that different users may need varying levels of support when it comes to their footwear. While going through user feedback and recommendations, we were sure to note which models offer the maximum amount of support, and which offer a less amount. This is because support is a significant factor in making a customized selection, and it’s not always “the more, the better”. We wanted to make sure our readers know just how much support is found in each model and what they can expect.
Quality In Flexibility.
According to users that train consistently, there’s good flexibility, then there’s bad flexibility. In other words, you want your shoes to be flexible and “snap back”, not feel like your shoes are falling apart on you while your wearing them. Our selections feature quality materials and durable construction. High performance footwear should allow you to feel secure on your most intense of workouts, and that’s what we have provided.
Other Important Factors to Consider When Selecting The Best trainers for Running For You.
We know how exciting it can be right before you start a new training plan. All the plans and goals are waiting there for you, and you are eager to get out there and train! While we have laid out what we have looked for in our screening process, we want you to make a selection based on your personal needs.
Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice. These training shoes should be an extension of you and your exercise; so our buying guide is provided with the goal in mind on helping you make a smart decision that is tailored to you.
Make A Selection Based On Your Foot Shape
Choosing the right trainer means you are no longer just selecting a pair of shoes “off the rack”; it means you are choosing a piece of equipment that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in. As such, the shape of your feet are them most important factor to consider. There are three basic shapes: Flat, Neutral, and High Arched. If you have fallen arches and are prone to over-pronation (inward rolling when you land), then chances are you fit into the flat shape. You are going to be looking for a training shoe with high stability. This will prevent inward rolling and offer a more forgiving strike.
High Arched shaped feet are characterized by a strong, defined arch; which leads to landing on the outside edges of the feet (supination). This needs to be addressed, especially when considering long distance or high endurance running. Look for trainers that offer above average cushioning and more midsole padding. Neutral shaped feet are right in the middle, sometimes called the “goldilocks” of fit. Neutral runners should look for a moderately stable shoe and have a little more freedom when selecting footwear. This little bit of knowledge can make a world of difference and is what seasoned runners everywhere look for in their selections.
Get The Right Fit For Your Training Regimen
Take a moment to consider the fit; don’t assume your size. Trainers are typically used for extended periods of time and for longer distances. Because of this, runners generally go up a half size from their street shoes for a little more wiggle room. Be careful to choose an option that boasts a roomy toe box and a snug heel and not the other way around. This will optimize both traction and comfort during a mix of workout routines. If you have too much room in the heel, you will get slippage. Likewise, if your toe box is too narrow, you will get discomfort over extended periods of time.
Where Will You Be using your running trainers?
Naturally, you’re going to want to take into consideration what type of environment you will be training in. If you are planning to remain indoors, then an ultra lightweight training shoe with a synthetic fabric upper is the best choice. Not only will you get the benefit of added breathability, but you will also get additional comfort. If you are going to be doing a lot of outdoor training, then you’re going to want a pair of shoes with a stronger rubber sole for added durability. Also, look for a more aggressive pattern on the sole for better traction in case you run into uneven terrain. We have selections that run the gambit, so you can make the perfect match.
Demand Comfort, Don’t Settle.
Don’t feel that because you will be diving into a new training regimen, discomfort is something that should be expected. If this is your first time at our site, you will find that we place a lot of emphasis on the comfort levels of the footwear that we recommend. This is because our research shows that there is a common misconception in the athletic world.
It’s crucial that your daily trainers give you the comfort you need when you count on them the most. Runners found that trainers with seamless upper construction generally help to fight away the chances of skin irritation. The trainers that we have listed all feature either seamless uppers, proper padding around the Achilles, or both. This is because testers consistently look for these factors when they are looking for trainers that can go the distance. Our selections reflect that.
It’s Not About Brands, It’s About Performance.
While is common for runners and athletes in general to have brand preferences, we focus on user experience, buyer feedback, and real world application when making our selections. This is especially true for workout specific footwear such as training shoes. For indoor aerobic exercises, we listened to what those users had to say. For marathon training shoes, we followed users along their training leading up to the big event. This attention to footwear performance is the best way to make an educated decision that will give you the best chances of success, not branding or marketing.
The great news is that today’s runners no longer have to settle for “one size fits all” when it comes to their footwear. Manufacturers provide several categories to help runners of all types. We hope that the above considerations help you choose the training shoe that is right for you. Once you match your feet and running style to the right shoe, you should feel that it becomes a part of your foot. Before you get out there and run, we have put together some frequently asked questions that most runners have before they select a new pair of training shoes.
Q: Everyone at my gym and all over the media is “going minimal”; is this a good idea when selecting my new pair of trainers for running?
A: There has been increased popularity as of late to minimalist and barefoot inspired footwear. We would never recommend any runner to choose footwear based on trends. In fact, most podiatrists agree that when runners go from a stable shoe to a minimal shoe, they may increase their chances of injury.
Instead try moving to a “halfway there” shoe first, so the change isn’t as dramatic for you. But remember, that a trainer running shoe gets increased usage and most runners don’t like putting a lot of miles on shoes that are purely minimal.
Q: What’s the difference between “running trainers” and a standard running shoe in terms of durability? When do I know it’s time to replace them?
A: There is a difference. Most standard running shoes should be replaced when you start to notice unevenly worn soles or the heel visually looks broken down. Seasoned runners tend to replace them after 300 miles. However, the durability of training shoes is typically measured in terms of time rather than miles. You should replace trainers after 100 hours.
Q: Can I use trainers as walking shoes as well?
A: You can, trainers are versatile by nature and are designed to be worn comfortably in within a range on activities. However, if you are looking for a pure walking shoe for extended periods of time, you might want to look for something with thinner soles since you won’t be impacting the ground with the same force as when you run.
Q: Any tips for correctly sizing my foot in regards to selecting a training run shoe?
A: If you are unsure about what conditions affect your feet, measure them at the beginning of the day, then again at the end (or after a long run). Most runners’ feet swell up a little after prolonged activity. This is the size you’re going to want to use when selecting your training shoe.
Q: My trainers will be used for my first 10k race, what should I look for?
A: You’re going to want to pick a pair that has proper padding around the Achilles area. The picks found in this buying guide are all good choices; just remember to break them in first with some shorter runs the week before to avoid blisters. The golden rule is:
no new gear on a race day. That goes for gels and other foods as well.
This was our approach when selecting the right training running shoes for you. Remember that size and fit can give you the perfect amount of comfort; while taking your endurance levels into consideration will help you hit those goals. 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 get out there, keep running!
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research
It’s important to use the widest range possible when selecting sources to ensure quality information. We enjoy utilizing trusted feedback partners 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: