The Best Neutral Running Shoes Reviewed & Tested

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

When you’re looking for the best neutral running shoes, the happy medium is your friend. Maximalist shoes can be a problem when they become too heavy, weighing you down. Minimalist shoes can be trouble when they lack cushioning and support to protect the feet from injury and pain. Shoes right in the middle, though, are perfect for training and competition alike, as they protect the feet but allow them to move naturally and smoothly.

 Top 3 Picks
Nike Air Zoom Elite 8
  • Nike Air Zoom Elite 8
  • 5 out of 5
  • Beveled heel
  • Price: See Here
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Asics Gel Nimbus 18
  • Asics Gel Nimbus 18
  • 4.7 out of 5
  • FluidRide technology
  • Price: See Here
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Mizuno Wave Creation 18
  • Mizuno Wave Creation 18
  • 4.5 out of 5
  • Flex grooves
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1. Nike Air Zoom Elite 8

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An extremely versatile neutral running shoe that is quite comfortable, provides good support, and is highly durable.
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Comfort / Stability
The Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 is a comfortable neutral running shoe that provides stability. It is extremely versatile to use as you run, train, or walk. It fits comfortably snug, has an EVA sockliner that provides good support, and a Flymesh upper that provides excellent breathability. Its padded tongue adds comfort, it has a full-length Phylon midsole foam that provides good cushioning, a beveled heel which is great for landings and toe-offs, and its Zoom Air technology provides great responsiveness. Its heel counter wraps the foot for stability, and it has a crash rail for smooth transitions.

Durability / Quality
This is a quality and durable running shoe that will last a long time. It has a Waffle-pattern outsole that provides great traction.

Cost or value
The price of the Nike Air Zoom Elite's runs average to expensive in price depending on where you purchase them at.
Pros

Extremely versatile

Comfortable snug fit

EVA sockliner provides good support

Flymesh upper provides excellent breathability

Padded tongue for comfort

Waffle-pattern outsole provides great traction

Full-length Phylon midsole foam provides good cushioning

Beveled heel great for landing and toe-offs

Zoom Air technology provides great responsiveness

Heel counter that wraps the foot for stability

Crash rail allows for smooth transitions

Cons

Sizes may run 1/2 size small

Seam on toe may be irritating

2. Asics Gel Nimbus 18

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A great neutral running shoe that provides excellent cushioning, support, and responsiveness.
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Comfort / Stability
Most users found the Asics Gel Nimbus 18 quite comfortable, with a few reporting it was too tight, and the toe box was a too narrow. The Gel® Cushioning System absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground, it has a full-length cushioning platform that provides good responsiveness, and
a midfoot support system that helps with gait. It's highly breathable helping to keep sweat away, and its DuraSponge technology provides flexibility. Its FluidRide technology adds comfort while its heel clutching system wraps the foot for good support.

Durability / Quality
This is a quality made and durable running shoe with just a few reports of the inner heel area wearing. It has high abrasion rubber outsole that allows for great traction and durability.

Cost or value
The Asics Gel Nimbus 18 is a quite expensive neutral running shoe, but it will be well worth your money spent.
Pros

Gel® Cushioning System absorbs shock

Full-length cushioning platform provides good responsiveness

Great durability

Midfoot support system helps with gait

Highly breathable

DuraSponge technology provides flexibility

FluidRide technology adds comfort

Heel clutching system wraps the foot for good support

Cons

Toe box may run narrow

May be too snug for some users

3. Mizuno Wave Creation 18

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A neutral running shoe that provides good arch support, is flexible, absorbs shock, and has a good amount of cushioning.
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Comfort / Stability
If you don't mind a running shoe that's a bit on the heavy side this will be comfortable and provide good stability. It has great breathability, provides good arch support, and has stretchable material in the forefoot and collar that provide flexibility. It will absorb shock when your feet hit the ground, the flex grooves in the forefoot assist with great toe-offs, and its figure-eight shaped midfoot area adds additional cushioning to heel for comfort.

Durability / Quality
This is a highly durable and quality made neutral running shoe that will last a long time.

Cost or value
The Mizuno Wave Creation 18's can be a bit pricey, but are worth the money spent.
Pros

Great breathability

Provides good arch support

Stretchable material in the forefoot and collar provide flexibility

Absorbs impact

Flex grooves in the forefoot assist with great toe-offs

X10 carbon rubber is highly durable

Figure-eight shaped midfoot area adds additional cushioning to heel

Cons

Is a bit heavy

Can be quite pricey

4. Nike Flyknit Racer

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Nike makes a slam dunk when it comes to their Flyknit line. They’re super stylish and fun in multiple bright color combinations. The Flyknit weave is gorgeous and fashionable and simultaneously high-tech for breathability and flexibility. This means dry and naturally flexing feet. Although Flyknits are somewhat minimalistic, they still make some of the best neutral running shoes. They’re not quite barefoot running shoes and they do offer some support and cushioning.
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Comfort / Stability
The only complaint of comfort is of the toe box running a bit narrow for some users, other than that most users find it quite comfortable. Its flyknit stretchy, polyester yarn upper is very breathable & flexible, It's flywire cables provide good lightweight support, and the underfoot is responsive and springy. It fits snug and comfortable, and is seamless for less irritation.


Durability / Quality
It has great durability when it comes to the outsole of this running shoe, but there were a few reports of wear on the forefront of the shoe after a few months of use. The Waffle rubber outsole provides traction & durability that should hold up for some time.

Cost or value
The Nike brand in generally can be quite pricey, but you do get what you pay for.
Pros
  • Flyknit stretchy, polyester yarn upper is very breathable & flexible
  • Flywire cables for lightweight support
  • Super lightweight at 6.3 oz. (W) and 7.5 oz. (M)
  • Underfoot is responsive and springy
  • Waffle rubber outsole provides traction & durability
  • Snug comfortable fit
  • Seamless for less irritation
Cons
  • They’re expensive
  • The toe box runs narrow in size

5. Brooks Glycerin

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If you're looking for a durable, comfortable running shoe that absorbs impact, has good arch support and flexibility the Brooks Glycerin is the one for you.
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Comfort / Stability
The Brooks Glycerin is a comfortable and stable neutral running shoe, although if you are looking for something that is well ventilated this may not be the one for you. It has a full-length cushioned midsole that absorbs impact when your feet hit the ground, it provides great arch support, has good flexibility, and its seamless 3D stretch upper provides stability.

Durability / Quality
This is a durable and quality made running shoe that will last a long time. There were few to no complaints about its durability.

Cost or value
The price of this neutral running shoe can be quite expensive, but it will be worth it.
Pros

Cushioned midsole absorbs impact

Provides great arch support

Has good flexibility

Seamless 3D stretch upper provides stability

Rubber pods and flex grooves provide great traction

Comfortable and lightweight

Cons

Sizes run small

Does not breathe well according to some users

Expensive

6. Nike Air Zoom Vomero

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This is a highly flexible running shoe, that will fit comfortably while providing breathability.
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Comfort / Stability
Most users report that the Nike Air Zoom Vomero is a very comfortable and stable running shoe. It's highly breathable, has flywire cables that provide a snug comfortable fit, has a very smooth heel-to-toe transition, and its deep anatomical flex grooves & rubber crash rail provide flexibility. Additionally, the Lunarlon cushioning provides comfort, as well as the padded tongue.

Durability / Quality
The durability of the outsole is quite excellent and will last a long time. It is made with quality materials, however a few users reported fraying of the upper.

Cost or value
The Nike brand in general can be quite pricey, but you typically get a running shoe that is worth your money.
Pros

Extremely durable outsole

Highly breathable

Flywire cables provide a snug comfortable fit

BRS 1000 carbon rubber provides great traction

Smooth heel-to-toe transition

Deep Anatomical Flex Grooves & Rubber Crash Rail provides flexibility

Lunarlon cushioning provides comfort

Padded tongue for comfort

Cons

May be narrow in size

Some experienced fraying of the upper

7. Adidas Supernova Glide Boost

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A neutral running shoe that provides amazing comfort, stability, and support. It works well on wet and dry surfaces and is quite durable.
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Comfort / Stability
The Adidas Supernova Glide Boost is a running shoe that provides much comfort and stability while you run. It has good support, a foam platform allows for smooth transitions, and Boost™ technology that absorbs impact when your feet hit the ground. It is well ventilated to allow your feet to breathe easily, has a cushioned underfoot platform that provides comfort, and is good for use on dry & wet surfaces.
Additionally, its EVA Cradle supports the arch, its Geofit technology secures the heel, and the RespoEVA Sock Liner provides comfort.

Durability / Quality
There were little no no signs of wear and tear of this running shoe. It will last a long time and be quite durable. ADIWEAR™ provides great traction.

Cost or value
The price of these running shoes varies from average to expensive in price.
Pros

Has good support

Foam platform allows for smooth transitions

Boost™ technology absorbs impact

Well ventilated

Cushioned underfoot platform provides comfort

Good for use on dry & wet surfaces

ADIWEAR™ provides great traction

EVA Cradle supports the arch

Geofit technology secures the heel

RespoEVA Sock Liner provides comfort

Cons

May take some time to break in

Lacing on tongue too tight

Not ideal for wide feet

8. Saucony Cohesion

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Saucony's Cohesion frequently tops the list when it comes to the best running shoes. These are high on the list for the best neutral running shoes, too. Think of a running shoe that pulls together the best of all Sauconys in comfort, stability, and style. Even better? They’re totally within your budget and very affordable. These are top sellers for a ton of reasons.
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Comfort / Stability
Most users found this to be a comfortable and stable running shoe. It is highly breathable with a lightweight upper. It comes in regular and wide sizes. It has a Heel Grid System for stable cushion, and its Injection Molded EVA absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground.

Durability / Quality
Most users found the Saucony Cohesion to be quite durable and made with quality materials. This shoe will last you a good amount of time.

Cost or value
This is a very affordable running shoe.
Pros

Breathable, lightweight upper

Likable color schemes

Comes in regular and wide fits

Heel Grid System for stable cushion

Famous for their comfort

Very affordable

Highly durable

Injection Molded EVA absorbs shock

Cons
  • Not flexible enough for some
  • Not a great choice for minimalists
  • sizing runs half-a-size small

9. Merrell Bare Access Arc 4

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A highly durable running shoe that is quite comfortable and flexible with seamless construction to reduce irritation.
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Comfort / Stability
Most users found the Merrell Bare Access quite comfortable. The mesh upper provides good breathability, it has a snug comfortable fit, and its flex grooves provide flexibility. Its MBound cushioning provides comfort, The CMEVA provides support, and it is seamless to prevent irritation.

Durability / Quality
It is a durable running shoe made with quality materials that will last a long time. This is a highly durable running shoe made with Vibram outsole technology.

Cost or value
These running shoes are typically quite inexpensive.
Pros

Vibram outsole technology is highly durable

Mesh upper provides breathability

Snug comfortable fit

Flex grooves provide flexibility

MBound cushioning provides comfort

CMEVA provides support

Seamless to prevent irritation

Cons

May run narrow in size

Some experienced issues with the shoe securely wrapping the foot

10. Nike Free Flyknit

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This popular running shoe can provide you with a comfortable and stable run while allowing your feet to breathe.
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Comfort / Stability
This is a pretty comfortable running shoe that provides some stability while you run. It is Well ventilated so your feet can breathe easily, it has good flexibility, and its underfoot cushioning provides comfort. Its Flywire cables provide stability, and its Phylite mid-sole is responsive.

Durability / Quality
The Nike Free Flyknit is a durable and quality made running shoe that will last a long time.

Cost or value
The price can be expensive, but well worth your money spent.
Pros

Well-ventilated

Good flexibility

Underfoot cushioning provides comfort

Flywire cables provide stability

Phylite mid-sole is responsive

Cons

May run narrow in size

Some wanted more arch support

This list is complete with some minimalistic options like the Nike Flyknits and also some heavier, more protective models like ASICS and Sauconys. Think stylish, supportive, protective and flexible when it comes to the best neutral running shoes. Read on to discover some real winners.

woman-stretch

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of the Best Neutral Running Shoes:

We don’t blindly select shoes with popular names. In fact, it’s not a random selection process where we just pick some shoes that might fit those who need neutral style running shoes. We have sifted through thousands of neutral running shoe customer reviews to determine which ones are the best for runners.
Below we have broken down and explained each of the points we keep our eyes on when sifting through the many options that are out there.

Do they provide neutral support?

If you are looking for a neutral running shoe that probability that you have high arches or flat feet is nil to none. It is more likely that you have feet that just slightly overpronate which is quite normal for runners. A good pair of neutral running shoes are shoes that provide adequate support, and flexibility and allow your feet to move naturally.

Are they Comfortable?

Comfort is very important when selecting the best neutral running shoes. Is the toe box roomy enough, do the sizes run big or small, or are they narrow? We let you know all of this within our neutral shoes.

Do they provide Stability?

For a neutral runner, a proper amount of stability is important. We will let you know how much stability these running shoes will offer you.

How Breathable is it?

Nobody wants feet that sweat. It’s important that your feet are able to breathe easily while you run.

Does the Outsole provide good traction?

Of course, good traction will also depend on the type of surface you intend to run on. We let you know what type of weather these neutral shoes are good for, and if they have good traction.

Is there enough Support?

If you are an avid runner, you may have noticed you need support in specific areas. Our detailed outline of each of the top neutral shoes will tell you how much support each shoe has.

How Durable are they?

A good pair of running shoes should last between 400 and 600 miles. We want you to know if these neutral running shoes meet that criteria as far as durability goes. We typically select shoes that will last a good amount of time.

running-woman

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Neutral Running Shoes:

If you ar looking at neutral running shoes you should be aware that there are 3 types of running shoes for different types of feet. Depending on your foot type the shoe that fits you best will vary. Here are the 3 types of shoes and what shoes are best for them:

Neutral Support

People that have neutral feet have an average arch. If you are looking at our best neutral running shoes then you probably have an idea that you have an average arch. Your running action and gait is efficient. Runners with neutral feet tend to pronate the correct amount, not too much, and not too little.

Pronation

People who are flat footed pronate too much.  This causes your foot and ankle to roll inward. If you overpronate you will typically find wear and tear on the insides of your shoes. Many have problems and injuries of their ankles, and lower legs.

Supination

If you have high arches this is the foot type you are in. You will notice wear patterns on the outside of your running shoes. You’ll need shoes that have a good amount of cushioning. You’ll also want to find a shoe that absorbs a good amount of shock.

feet

FAQ

Q.  What is plantar fasciitis?

A. Pain in the heel. It’s the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes and can cause pain when you walk or stand.

Q. How can I tell what type of feet I have?

A. You can take the wet feet test. Simply wet your feet and leave you imprints on a piece of paper. If you see hardly any arch then you are most likely have high arches, if you see all your arch you are most likely flat footed, and if you see an average amount of arch then you have neutral feet.

Q.  If I’m a neutral runner what types of shoes should I be looking for?

A. You should look for shoes that provide stability, and help absorb shock. This will enhance your already proficient running stance.

Q. How can I prevent blisters?

A. 3 things that contribute to getting blisters are heat, moisture, and friction. With that said you’ll want to find a shoe that breathes well and is not too snug that it rubs your feet.

Q. How can I know if my feet are considered “wide”?

A. Everyone’s feet are different. The best thing to do is to measure your foot width. You should also be aware that feet to seem to scientifically get wider with age.

You may also like: The Best Overall Running Shoes

 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:

In wanting to provide the best and most accurate information, assisting in your search for a running shoe that best fits both your running style and your feet, we used several different sources. Here are some of those sources to check out if you wish.

Sources

  1. WikiHow, wikiHow to Tell if You Pronate, Informational site,
  2. FootScientific, The Three Types of Foot Strikes: Pronation, Supination, and Neutral, Informational Foot site,
  3. Running Shoe Types, Running Shoes For Neutral Feet, Running shoe blog,
  4. WebMD, Plantar Fasciitis - Topic Overview, Medical information site,