Best Beginner 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.

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.

Last Updated: June 22, 2018
By Tess Bercan:

In this list of beginner's running shoes, we have taken the type to research the best possible footwear. Our list includes a diverse set of shoes so that you can find something to suit your specific needs. Be sure to check back regularly, as we are continually researching and adding to the list.

ASICS GEL Venture 6
  • ASICS GEL Venture 6
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • AHAR outsole rubber covering high-wear areas
  • Price: See Here
Asics GEL-Kayano 24
  • Asics GEL-Kayano 24
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable mesh upper with supportive overlays
  • Price: See Here
Brooks Ghost 9
  • Brooks Ghost 9
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • External TPU Heel Counter for proper support
  • Price: See Here

 

12 Best Beginner Running Shoes


1. ASICS GEL Venture 6

The ASICS Venture 6 are replacing the Venture 5 on our list. These kicks are the king of the hill when it comes to the best beginners running shoes!
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With thousands of positive reviews from runners of all walks of life, the Venture 6 has it all. Great cushioning, removable sock liner, AHAR outsole for durability, breathable synthetic uppers, trail rated with reversed traction grip, and an incredibly low price tag! Why are you still reading this? Go get your pair of Venture 6’s and start running like a pro!
Pros
  • Breathable, lightweight upper
  • Very affordable
  • Highest rated running shoes for overall comfort, shock absorption, and protection
  • Trail-rated and extremely durable
Cons
  • Nothing worth noting, 99% Satisfaction Rate


2. ASICS GEL Kayano 24

Asics is known for its rugged shoes and runners continually purchase them time and again. The Gel Kayano 24 is a heavy duty everyday trainer weighing 11.3 oz with a 10mm heel drop. As for the update from the Kayano 23, there is not much change for those who prefer the classic Kayano technologies. One small change Asics did make is the higher walls of the shoe around the heel so as to keep feet more secure in the shoe.
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First and foremost, the Kayano 24 is built for slower, long distance running. Some runners reviewed this model as rather stiff and more suited for lower speeds. The 24 contains mostly the same technologies as the 23, which include the Gel heel, Dynamic Duomax cushioning with shock absorption, guidance line for control at strike and lift off, and FlyteFoam.

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.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Sized approximately a half size small
  • Shoe may feel heavy and bulky
  • Stiff sole not good for speed


3. Brooks Ghost 9

Many running shoes are not designed with heavier runners in mind, that isn’t the case with the Brooks Ghost 9. These shoes are extremely comfortable with extra padding for the heavy footed runner. These shoes also have a remarkably short break in time, comfortable almost right after you put them on. The comfort and padding also mean less knee and joint pain for the wearer, common with new runners.
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The shoes also make sure you will have a great grip on the trail. Its easy and well designed lacing make sure the wearers foot wont slip or slide in the shoe. The tread on the shoe will also ensure the wearers footing is secure as it grips the ground, wherever you happen to be running.

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.
Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Easy laces
  • Well padded
  • Short break in time
  • Lightweight
  • Help relieve joint pain
  • Solid tread
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Tight fit
  • May have a small toe box

4. Nike Revolution 3

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 shoes on Amazon either.

5. Saucony Triumph ISO 2

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

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 9

The Nike Lunarglide 9 is a minimalist shoe, lightweight with a "barely there" feeling, and great for beginner runners. Additionally, the high arch support aides runners with plantar fascia or hammertoe issues.
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The updated upper of the 9 now has a knitted feel to it for softness and comfortability. The upper is breathable, supportive, and yet unrestricting.

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)
Pros
  • Minimalist design
  • Sleek and simple
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth contour pods on sole unit
  • High arch support
  • Knitted feel on upper for softness
  • Breathable upper
Cons
  • Lower durability of midsole and outsole
  • Some reviews described a "squish" noise

8. ASICS FuzeX

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 3

The Under Armour Charged Bandit 3 is a sturdy-soled, lightweight upper shoe that lives up to expectations. It is a neutral trainer great for beginner runners who are looking to run for fun, for exercise programs, or for marathon training.
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First, the Charged Bandit 3 is super lightweight with ample heel cushion. The knit material of the upper is extremely breathable for cool feet; however, it can be porous in wet conditions.

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.
Pros
  • Breathable upper
  • Super lightweight
  • Ample heel cushion
  • Antimicrobial Ortholite sock liner
  • Flex grooves
  • Full rubber outsole
  • Seamless upper
  • True to size
Cons
  • 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

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 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.

 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 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.

 

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

Support Levels

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.

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

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.

 

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FAQ

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.

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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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