Best Beginner Running Shoes to Get You Going
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.
Choosing to start running is a powerful first step, and the RunnerClick team is excited to help you get started. From its obvious physical gains to its more subtle therapeutic ones, the benefits of running is almost immeasurable. You will begin to feel the shift in your life after the first few sessions, be they early morning runs or afternoon jogs, and after that, we know you will be hooked.
One of the most important pieces of equipment for a runner is their shoes. Being a beginner in the running community can be tough and it all may seem overwhelming. Having to sort out cushioning, support, tread, durability, breathability, etc.can be a lot. That is why Runnerclick is here to help with this list so that you can make an informed decision. With the right shoes, it will make the best decision you ever made even better.
If you are unfamiliar with online shopping or running shoes then finding the shoes you are considering in local shoe or sports stores and trying them on ahead of time is something Runnerclick recommends.
- ASICS GEL Venture 6
- AHAR outsole rubber covering high-wear areas
- Asics GEL-Kayano 24
- Breathable mesh upper with supportive overlays
- Brooks Ghost 9
- External TPU Heel Counter for proper support
12 Best Beginner Running Shoes
1. ASICS GEL Venture 6
- Breathable, lightweight upper
- Very affordable
- Highest rated running shoes for overall comfort, shock absorption, and protection
- Trail-rated and extremely durable
- Nothing worth noting, 99% Satisfaction Rate
2. ASICS GEL Kayano 24
The sole of the Kayano 24 handles well so runners strike and lift off on the midfoot for safest running posture, even with the 10mm drop. While this sole is not structured for speed, the 24 is better for slower runs, long distance, and recovery days.
- Heavy duty trainer
- Cushioning for long distance
- Higher sides around heel
- Gel Heel
- Guidance line
- Soles handles for midfoot strike and liftoff
- Same reliable sole as Kayano 23
- Sized approximately a half size small
- Shoe may feel heavy and bulky
- Stiff sole not good for speed
3. Brooks Ghost 9
Although the Ghost 9 might be a bit of a tight fit for some, it is a running shoe that provides a comfortable and easy run to its wearer. This makes this Brooks design a great choice for up and coming runners.
- Very comfortable
- Easy laces
- Well padded
- Short break in time
- Help relieve joint pain
- Solid tread
- Tight fit
- May have a small toe box
4. Nike Revolution 3
5. Saucony Triumph ISO 2
- 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
- Expensive, But Lower Priced For Smaller Sizes On Amazon
6. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v2
- Breathable lining
- Comfortable padded mesh tongue
- Cradles foot for great support
- EVA footbed for comfort and support
- IMEVA midsole for comfort and support
- Some Testers Had Issues With Durability
7. Nike Lunarglide 9
The shoe fits best with a medium-width heel. Reviews said the general fit of the shoe is as expected.
The Lunarglide now has smooth contour pods on the sole unit to fit the contours of the foot on strike and liftoff. This allows stability, protection of the foot, and flexibility. The sole is very malleable, which does lessen the durability of the shoe. This is definitely a road or treadmill shoe.
Overall, the Nike Lunarglide 9 is definitely worth the slightly higher price tag. (Up to $180)
- Minimalist design
- Sleek and simple
- Smooth contour pods on sole unit
- High arch support
- Knitted feel on upper for softness
- Breathable upper
- Lower durability of midsole and outsole
- Some reviews described a "squish" noise
8. ASICS FuzeX
- 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
- Some testers felt they were a little narrow
9. Under Armour Charged Bandit 3
Similar to the Bandit 2, the 3 has Antimicrobial Ortholite sock liners, solid rubber outsoles, and flex grooves. The stable cushioning remains constant after multi-day running. The full rubber outsole provides ample traction. The seamless upper also makes a reappearance in the Bandit 3.
When laced, the foot locks into place in the shoe. While reviews said the shoe fits true to size in length, the snugness of the upper can be uncomfortable.
- Breathable upper
- Super lightweight
- Ample heel cushion
- Antimicrobial Ortholite sock liner
- Flex grooves
- Full rubber outsole
- Seamless upper
- True to size
- Lack of arch support
- Knit upper material can be porous
- Less traction on wet surfaces
- Snug upper can be uncomfortable
10. Mizuno Wave Rider 20
- 3D Mizuno fit is snug yet comfortable
- Breathable upper
- Parallel Wave tech for smooth transitions and healthy gait
- U4icX strobel board for underfoot comfort
- Some beginners may find this one a bit expensive
The Criteria Used To Find The Most Suitable Shoes:
We searched through a multitude of reviews and data to bring you a quality list of running shoes for beginners that offers 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 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 is important in every type of climate and is especially important as your workout mileage increases.
When you’re focusing on endurance and distance, you don’t want to worry about a hot foot. We paid attention to which shoes wick moisture and allow proper ventilation. Runners generally agree that a breathable shoe makes for a happy and healthy athlete!
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.
Our buying guide provides running shoes for all types of terrain. 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 can handle the pavement. Regardless of your terrain, our goal was to bring you the best of both worlds.
There is no need to have a painful running experience. Running shoes are made to support specific types of arches and amount of pronation, among other factors. 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 peace 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.
Other Important Things to Consider When Selecting Your Beginning Running Shoes
There are many additional things to consider beyond the metrics above when selecting a running shoe to meet your needs. Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice.
Know When It’s Time To Replace Your Footwear
Running shoes typically last 300-500 miles before needing replacement. Some materials have different lifespans, which can affect the durability of your shoe. Wearing a shoe after it is well worn out can cause injury, especially to your joints.
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.
Still have questions? Take a look at the list of common questions we compiled below- we might just have an answer for you!
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 types of specialized clothing can I expect to need?
A: There are plenty of clothing options for runners that can suit a plethora of specialized needs. While it is really up to the runner to determine their needs and how to best suit them, there is one thing we suggest you avoid: cotton. Clothing made from cotton does not breath as well as other fabrics and they retain moisture, two attributes that generally don’t make for good runner wear.
Q: I’ve found a pair of running shoes that feel perfect for me. How do I make sure that all my other running shoes feel just like this one?
A: The first thing an experienced runner will tell you to do when you find a shoe you love is to buy a second pair. Perfect shoes are a rare occurrence and it is a shame if the shoes you love are discontinued or marked up. The second thing we’d recommend is looking into shoes of the same brand. Often you will find that brands have similarly designed products. Look to fans of the brand, they will be able to tell you what lines are similar to one another.
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.
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:
- REI, Running Website, ,
- Runner’s World, Running enthusiast website, ,
- Amazon, Product Reviews, ,
- Ask the Gear Guy: How to Buy Your First Running Shoes, Running enthusiast website, Oct 26, 2015 ,
- New Runner: Buying Your First Pair Of Shoes, Running website, Jun 02, 2014 ,
- How to choose beginner running shoes, Running website, ,
- How Long Before You Have to Replace Running Shoes? , Running website, ,