10 Best High Top Running Shoes Rated
We have created this buying guide to focus on a style of running shoe that is becoming increasingly popular for several different reasons. High top shoes are on the rise in terms of fashion. They look like sneakers but function as running shoes-- they are in a world of shoes all their own and, trust us, this is a world you want to explore. Not only is the design outstanding but the features are too. In this guide, we will be looking at a few of the highest rated models that are currently available, with many of them being pretty new to the market.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Uppers have one-piece Flyknit construction
Contoured and layered midsole
Flexible and breathable
Laser cut outsole provides traction
Good combination of stretch and support
Close, sock-like fit
- Nike LunarEpic Flyknit
- Nike Free Train Instinct
- Merrell All Out Terra Trail
- Nike Zoom All Out Flyknit Runner
- Adidas Adizero XT Boost
- Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP Trail
- PUMA Ignite Evoknit Cross-Trainer
- Under Armour HOVR Cg Reactor Mid
- Adidas Tubular Doom
- Adidas Ultra Boost All Terrain
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite High Top Running Shoes
1. Nike LunarEpic Flyknit
Uppers have one-piece Flyknit construction
Contoured and layered midsole
Flexible and breathable
Laser cut outsole provides traction
Good combination of stretch and support
Close, sock-like fit
Almost built like a sock with a sole, these scream secure, conforming fit and a cushioned ride. The flyknit line has really taken off among many runners, offering a sock-like fit with the security and stability of a running shoe. Nike's Lunarepic has that high collar which wraps the ankle with added support for a confident run. Open up the full review to see what else this one has to offer.Read more
The innovations begin, but don't end with the upper Flyknit construction which conforms to the user's foot, while delivering breathability and support in a very lightweight package. Further enhanced by Nike's no fear approach to new and unique shoe designs, this model almost fits like a sock with laces.
The contoured Lunarlon foam midsole, laser cut pods, and Flywire cables only help to offer even greater comfort and support to the user. The layering of soft and firm sole construction makes for a plush surface to plant your feet on while you're running.
This one does run high with regards to price range, but it is a newer model form Nike which also incorporates a unique design with some already proven technologies. The contoured design of the sole also helps with promoting natural running motion for a better and more efficient stride.
2. Nike Free Train Instinct
Higher collar provides some added ankle support
Secure yet flexible fit
Durable rubber compound targeted on high wear areas of the outsole
Dual density midsole
May run small
Another new model from Nike, this is the Train Instinct. This one is built in more of a chukka design and is intended for cross training, but will get you down the road in comfort and style as well. From the Nike Free line, this shoe has features such as breathable knitted upper, Flywire fit adjustment and a Phylon midsole. Let's take a closer look and see why this one is doing so well.Read more
The overall low profile of the shoes allows good ground contact, which then allows good balance over various types of surfaces. The upper features Nike's Warp Knit material that gives the wearer multidirectional support, which make this model ideal for multiple uses.
This neutral runner Is built with a minimalistic design, yet still provides adequate cushioning for longer runs at faster paces. The upper, as you can see, appears similar to a chukka boot, which is an interesting concept for a lightweight runner. The dual density Phylon midsole offers cushioned shock absorption with excellent responsiveness. The flexibility of the Train Instinct gives the foot more natural motion and a less constricted run.
Not really a quality issue, but many wished that there was padding of some sort around the collar to make the shoes just a bit more comfortable above the ankle. There are some reported issues with these running about a half size smaller than many expected. These are reasonably new, so we haven't seen much regarding overall durability, but they seem to do pretty well.
3. Merrell All Out Terra Trail
Vibram outsole with deep lugs
Snug uppers keep out debris
Breathable and lightweight
They run a bit large
You probably won't want to try running on the road with these, the tread is a little too aggressive for that
It's easy to tell right away that these are made by Merrell. They just have that high speed trail look. With lightweight upper construction, plenty of trail protection, fairly aggressive tread, and that sock-like collar that looks like it is able to keep the debris out pretty well, There is no doubt what the All Out Terra was built for. That's right, they were meant to conquer those off-road runs. Let's dig a bit deeper and check out a little more about these high top trail runners from Merrell.Read more
The upper construction is a combination of different materials and technologies, all intended to work as a unit to protect the feet and carry the user through various types of off-road terrain. Mostly made of mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane, the upper offers some decent breathability as well as wrapping support which keeps the feet where they are supposed to be in the shoe.
The footbed is removable so if you use custom orthotics, you'll be able to easily do so with these. This model also uses their UniFly midsole. It also offers great impact absorption. Some added underfoot protection is provided by Merrell's TrailProtect pad.
The details on this shoe are reflective, making them a good choice for low visibility running. Ultra-defined rubber treads give that extra traction trail runners are looking for, but it might also make them a little too aggressive for treadmill or indoor running. We've looked through real user reviews and weren't really able to find any major durability issues. The only repeated concern is with the sizing. They seem to run a bit large.
4. Nike Zoom All Out Flyknit Runner
Designed with extra midfoot support
Durable rubber outsole
True to size
Flyknit uppers give a sock-like fit
Depending on color and size, may get a bit pricey
Another great design from Nike. The Zoom All Out Flyknit is a design that features the extremely breathable Nike Flyknit upper. They boast a lightweight design working together with very obvious stability features. The sock style collar is similar to that of Nike's LunarEpic, however these are not really a minimalist design.Read more
This shoe features a durable runner sole and mid-cut collar that provides a snug fit. The Flywire cables in the design work with the laces themselves for extra support in the midfoot.
The Flyknit upper material allows excellent airflow, keeping the feet dry and comfortable. Inflated heels provide an extra bounce and cutouts on the outsole allow greater flexibility for a much more natural running experience.
A textured rubber outsole provides good grip and flexibility. The Zoom Air design is results you can see, providing great responsiveness while running. We haven't seen any reports of durability issues, and even the sizing seems to be spot on. Reviewers have stated that they like the inflated heel and that the rubber outsole is very durable.
5. Adidas Adizero XT Boost
Close fit collar keeps out debris
Non-slip outsole meant to help grip even in wet conditions
This is the Adizero XT Boost, a high top shoe that is really intended to be used off-road. The high collar, designed much like a sock, helps to serve a couple of purposes. One is to provide a bit more support to the ankle, the other is to help keep trail debris out the shoes. They have a sporty, high-speed appearance and an outsole with treads that make it clear, these are not road running shoes. These were obviously designed to dominate rugged paths and off-road obstacles.Read more
These are ideal for neutral runners and really meant for trail use. There are a couple of synthetic overlays that wrap around, connecting through the laces, which provide an extra bit of support. Moving down to the midsole, these sport the Boost cushioning system that allows a more explosive launch, as well as premium comfort and shock absorption. The aggressive lug design of the TRAXION outsole allow the runner to maintain a confident grip, giving more stability to the run.
The upper has the sock-style fit that seems to be picking up in popularity among some runners. This design serves really well as a trail shoe, with the ability to keep rocks and other debris on the outside. Although these are fairly protective, they still remain pretty lightweight. The mixture of mesh and fabric for the upper offers pretty decent breathability, even with the weather resistant properties that this shoe boasts.
The only issues that we found is that the heel seems to be a bit large for many users. So, there may be a minor sizing issue there. It also seems that a trail runner like this should have some sort of underfoot protection pad, but this model doesn't.
6. Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP Trail
Protective toe cap
EVA molded midsole and footbed
Contragrip rubber lugs
Great for wet conditions
Snug fitting uppers keep out debris
2-year limited warranty
Not for all seasons or terrain
These high-top kicks keep you warm and dry in cold, wet weather. The nylon upper mesh provides great air circulation and provides waterproof protection.Read more
The midsole and footbed are EVA and are molded for your comfort and provide good stability. There's also a toe cap that will help protect your feet while you're running in more rough terrain. The close fit of the uppers and shielding ankle padding helps to support and stabilize your ankles.
The uppers are completely waterproof and have mudguards to help keep out moisture and mud. They have a close fit to keep out debris and the ripstop fabric holds up great to anything you'll encounter on the trail.
The outsole is made of rubber which is a very durable, long-lasting construction. It's molded with heavy-duty Contragrip lugs to give you extra traction in wet conditions. Some users reported that the sizing runs a little small, but it seems to be more of a preference issue than a quality control issue.
7. PUMA Ignite Evoknit Cross-Trainer
Support straps on the midfoot
Super comfortable knit uppers
Durable rubber sole
Unique and trendy design
Many colors available
Poor arch support
Runs narrow in the arch
Puma is one of the most leading brands in the world when it comes to the sports, lifestyle and fashion industry as it crosses our streets with great class. Gives a great knitted upper for form-fitting great comfortability and bold collar heights for a new fresh look.Read more
These shoes have a stylish strap on the heel that isn't just for aesthetics. Attached to the heel and the mid-foot, they add extra support to your foot and to the construction of the shoe itself. The evoknit uppers don't offer as much support as a textile build, but they are very comfortable and less restrictive than other high tops. You can easily fit sole inserts and may want to consider investing in a pair if you're a fan of these shoes because they are definitely lacking in arch support.
The knitted uppers are snug and form-fitting all the way through the collar, offering great comfort.
The outsole is made of rubber and is fairly durable with flexible gripping. These shoes have good return with a decent amount of bounce. Users loved the fit and the comfort, but unfortunately, they aren't the best for those with wide arches and may run a little small for some.
8. Under Armour HOVR Cg Reactor Mid
Coldgear makes them perfect for the winter or cold weather
Great for neutral runners
Good option for long-distance runners
Great energy return
A bit heavy
Will not work for warmer climates
The Under Armour HOVR Cg Reactor Mid is available for both men and women and offers lots of different features that have proven to be beneficial for many runners. They are available in an array of colors and are even available in kids sizes if you decide you want to get a matching pair for your favorite "mini-me."Read more
These shoes are designed to deliver what runners refer to as a "zero gravity" feel and they are neutral running shoes, so while they don't offer tons of support, they do offer just enough for those of you who are neutral runners that don't have to deal with any special issues.
These are "Coldgear" running shoes so, as their name suggests, they are perfect for the winter months--or just when you find it is on the chilly side. They are well cushioned and their midsole foam provides excellent energy return and adequate bounce back during your runs. These shoes are also incredibly responsive and comfortable enough for those of you who prefer long distance running.
These Under Armour shoes are great for long distance running and designed for the winter and cold weather. They will keep you warm while ensuring your feet stay dry to prevent any chafing or blisters from occurring. However, their Coldhear upper--which is really effective during the winter--will not work in the summer or in warmer climate since it will actually cause you to overheat.
9. Adidas Tubular Doom
Reviewers loved the sock style
Flexible ripple-textured sole
Leather and Synthetic materials
Available in many different colors
May not be supportive enough for all athletic activities
The Tubular Doom is a contemporary high top sneaker from Adidas. It features a slip-on silhouette with a breathable melange knit upper and unparalleled comfort.Read more
The rubber sole is lightweight and flexible, providing excellent cushioning and lasting durability. Some high impact athletes found that this shoe can be lacking in support, depending on the intensity of activity. The synthetic straps over the knit uppers do provide a little extra support, but these are definitely for less aggressive use as far as support goes.
This shoe features a super comfortable knit upper that offers a decent amount of breathability.
Overall, quality reviews have been positive however some reviewers found that the outsole wore down quickly for avid runners. Buyers thought they fit true to size.
10. Adidas Ultra Boost All Terrain
Great for low archers and plantar fasciitis
Stylish with wide color variety
Depending on size and color, can become expensive
Size runs slightly small
Some had problems with the liner staying in place
The Adidas Ultra Boost was designed to give you an unparalleled custom fit. It provides a sock-like design with a dynamic adaptive fit for optimal freedom of movement, endless comfort, and superior support.Read more
The arches on these shoes are dynamic and adaptive, making a great combination for personal comfort and stability when paired with the STRETCHWEB rubber outsole. The outsoles have decent grip while also being flexible.
The Primeknit upper is extremely comfortable and has a snug, sock-like fit with a high collar. The entire construction is seamless and water-repellent to keep your feet dry.
Reviewers liked that the high collar helps keep water and debris out. The Primeknit waterproof material really keeps water out. Users rave about the comfort of this shoe and were impressed at its gripping ability and superior arch support.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When it comes to shoes, support is everything.
If you are an avid runner, then you know that you will need a running shoe that gives you the support you need. This is especially important if you have any special needs or conditions regarding your feet--for example, if you overpronate you will want to make sure you have shoes that help correct the issue or if you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis then you will want to get shoes that prevent those symptoms from flaring up.
HIgh top running shoes are known for the great support they give--although nowadays you will find that some offer better support and stability than others. However, for the most part, they will always provide a bit more support and stability than the "traditional" running shoe. This is because they typically offer a more secure and stabilizing fit that will ensure your ankles don't wobble or roll around. Their insoles are also typically designed to provide additional cushioned support--which prevents injury from occurring and provides a comfortable ride.
When you look at support just make sure you get the right amount of support to fit your needs. Too much or too little support will prove to be detrimental and will not provide you with the benefits you need in a running shoe. Remember that there is no "One size fits all" when it comes to running shoes so just make sure you consider your own support needs. We often recommend you study your gait and see if you overpronate or underpronate--you can do this at any specialized running store that offers running evaluations to help you find the right shoe for you.
One of the most important factors to consider in a running shoe, high top or not, is the comfort they provide, so make sure to never compromise this factor. Luckily, you will find that all of the high top running shoes on our list prioritize comfort, even though they are designed for different types of runners, foot types, and needs. This means that they offer an array of feature combinations--some offer knit uppers, molded EVA midsoles, sock-like fits, and waterproofing--to ensure everyone's needs are covered.
As we mentioned in the previous section, it is really important to identify your running style as well as any issues you need to address. This is important because no shoe is designed to be a perfect comfortable fit for any runner, if there was one answer then we wouldn't have so many choices! That being said, all of the shoes on our list are highly rated and reviewed but they are all different in their own way. Some of them offer tons of cushioning and support while others are zero drop and provide a more barefoot feel. Make sure to identify your own special comfort needs when looking through are list and don't just shoe simply because it is at the top of our list.
Getting the right pair of shoes is especially important for all runners--so why wouldn't it be important to make sure to get shoes that fit the purpose you want them to fulfill? If you are a long-distance runner you need a pair of shoes that will keep you comfortable mile after mile and if you are a short distance runner you need a pair of shoes that will let you push yourself without sacrificing all of your other needs.
Although all of the shoes on our list our high top running shoes, they are definitely all intended for different uses. Some of them are great for trail running while others are better for indoor jogging. Be aware of what you'll be using your shoes for most and how they'll best fit your needs. Think about features like reflective details, breathability, and extra protective pads or caps. There are lost of other factors that may affect their use or performance as well, so make sure you check real user reviews. For each item on our list we combed through real customer reviews for common sizing issues, quality-control failings, and durability problems so you know what to expect while using your high tops.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you're a trail runner, the high top design works really well with keeping off-road debris out your shoes. For the roadrunners, these can often provide some extra stability and ankle support. If you need something even higher, or more secure, you can consider purchasing some running gaiters that will provide additional protection from the outdoor elements.
Reflectivity gives a lot to desire as this factor is why we are here, to take care of you and ensure that your security is well taken care of. Consider buying shoes with reflectivity if you know you will be running in dark or low-light areas. Reflectivity will give you additional peace of mind as well as ensure other people on the road see you and suffer near misses because they can't spot you in the dark. Keep in mind that not all shoes are reflective and they don't all have reflective features, so make sure to decide whether or not you will need it before making your purchase.
Other Factors to Consider
If you look at any shoe, clothing item, etc. you will find that there are tons of different materials they could be made from. While some are much better than others in terms of durability, you will also find that they all offer different beneficial features that apply to different needs, people, and wants. However, before we dare tell you what materials to look for before making your purchase, it is important to mention that you need to pinpoint what you are looking for specifically and what you need in a pair of running shoes.
When you look for running shoes you will find they are made out of lots of different materials as well--some include leather as well as nylon, polyester, mesh, and spandex materials. They may use all of these materials or any combination of them to make a perfect shoe for any given runner out there.
Leather not only provides you with a quality shoe but also boosts the overall durability of your running shoes and allows them to handle more during your runs. On the other hand, mesh will boost the breathability of your running shoe while nylon, polyester, and spandex allows your running shoes to be flexible, comfortable, and a perfect fit for more types of runs.
Size is a factor that you can never ignore when it comes to something that you are going to be wearing—and it is specifically important when it comes to your running shoes! If you are an avid runner or athlete, then you know just how detrimental—and outright annoying—it can be to wear something that is too small or too large. And you know what a difference it can make to wear something that fits just right!
The shoes on our list provide a great fit for users that require the needs they each provide. There are some designed for runners with wider feet and others that provide a more narrow fit, for those of you who have a smaller fit. However, make sure to look at our review, as well as those from other users, to see whether or not any of the sizing runs a little too small or a little too large. While the optimal way to figure it out would be to try them on before you purchase your shoes, we know it is a lot easier for our readers to order online.
Since high top running shoes also provide a more secure and stable fit, make sure to try them on once you purchase them (assuming you get them online). If they don’t fit, exchange them. Just because they fit you up top does not mean you can let go of the fact that they are too large on your foot so don’t confuse a secure fit up top for a shoe that fits you properly.
High tops have become a classic look in the fashion world and high top running shoes are the perfect combination of style and function. While the high collar look is trendy and adds a nice flair, it also can prevent debris from getting in your shoes and offer a little more in the way of support. Some shoes are definitely more trendy looking than others (the Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP Trail running shoes might be sleeker than most trail shoes, they definitely won't be breaking through in the fashion world any time soon) but the high top design brings a great touch to each item in our selection.
We also want to make sure to mention here, however, that you should never consider style over what you need in a shoe. Comfort is the most important thing you need to consider if you want to make sure you are investing in a pair of shoes you want to rely on for the long haul.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although high tops do offer some added ankle support, they absolutely will not replace the function of a proper ankle brace. While some of them do offer an additional bit of support, if you want a pair of high top running shoes but also need to wear an ankle brace then just make sure you can wear your ankle brace comfortably with your high top running shoes.
Every shoe model is different in comfort and fit. Some brands may fit tighter than others, while some may be looser. It is a really good idea to try on a pair before buying them, especially if you plan on purchasing from a site like Amazon. Even though they have a pretty good return policy, it will still save the hassle of waiting again for the correct size.
These models typically fit similar to a sock near the top. Most even have laces for further adjustment. We really have to go back to our “try it on first” answer for this one. The fact is that, although shoes come in different sizes, they may not all work well with different body types.
The easiest method is to mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with a cup of cool water. Then use a clean rag or cotton ball and wipe the solution on to the shoes in the affected areas. Then wipe clean with fresh water
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