10 Best Running shoes for Women Tested & Reviewed
Searching for the Best Running shoes For Women? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2018, Pros & Cons & what to be aware of before buying them in a store
Searching For The Best Running Shoes For Women
Bette Midler famously said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” However, with so many products out there, finding the perfect shoe can be overwhelming. We can easily spend hours scanning Amazon or jumping from one shoe store to another looking for a shoe with the right look, fit, and reputation–this ends up being exhausting for both women and men. So, we have compiled “the best-of list” to help you find the right shoe for you. Shopping for the best running shoes can be a painless experience and this is the place to start (and streamline) the process, giving you more time to get out there and conquer–whether it be on the track, treadmill, or trails.
So, what makes a truly great running shoe for women in 2018? Of course, there’s comfort, style, durability, and support… But these days, this question is even more difficult to answer–it all depends on who you are and what you want. For this reason, we bring you the “Best of 2018” Collection for women’s running shoes. We have ten of the best of the best, but they each win in their own way. From minimalists to maximalists, splurgers to cheapskates, and sprinters to marathoners, we’ve got the line-up for you. Many may wonder why Adidas didn’t make the list, but we were not impressed with their lineup of shoes the last few years.
Asics Gel Kayano 23
Nike Pegasus 33
Altra Torin 2.5
ASICS Noosa Tri 11
Saucony Cohesion 9
Our rating 9.2/10
Our rating 9.0/10
Our rating 8.8/10
Our rating 8.5/10
Our rating 9.0/10
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11.5 oz / 326g
9 oz / 255g
7.5 oz / 213g
8.1 oz / 229g
8 oz / 227g
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10 Best Running shoes for Women
1. ASICS Gel Kayano 24
The Kayano 24 also brings back the FlyteFoam ASICS introduced in the Kayano 23. The FlyteFoam provides adequate cushioning, without adding significant weight to shoe. While you won't be able to hit your top speed, this cushioning provides you with the ideal comfort for longer rubs.
While their sizing still runs on the smaller side, the ASICS Kayano 24 have improved their toe box--widening in order to address complaints with the previous toe box standard.
These shoes use Fluidfit material, which provides you with a shoe that perfectly fits your foot.
The comfort, stability, and durability these shoes provide are perfect for longer runs, where time isn't your main concern, as well as for logging those extra miles you need during your training period.
2. Brooks Ghost 10
This shoe's mid-sole incorporates Brooks specially designed BioMoGo DNA foam to provide runners with increased shock absorption, pressure displacement, energy transfer, and--of course--comfort.
The crash pad used in the Ghost 9's were also kept for the 10's. The use of this full-length crash pad provides runners with further shock absorption and provides you with a stable run--no matter how far you are going.
The same Seamless Engineered Mesh Brooks used with the Ghost 9 is also used on the 10. However, the Ghost 10 updated it to provide runners with a little more stability, flexibility, and breathability.
3. ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 11
These are, as intended, an outstanding choice for the triathlon participants out there. Of course they are equipped with the well known GEL cushioning system in the rear and forefoot for extended shock absorption.
From technologies such as the DuoMax Support System, Solyte midsole material, and even the Impact Guidance System, which guides the foot through a more natural gait, these have it all.
The list of pluses goes on and on for these. The best way to see how they work is to simply try them out for yourself.
4. Hoka One One Women’s Bondi 5
They are made with Synthetic-And-Mesh that makes them both breathable and lightweight.
Their SpeedFrame construction increases shock absorption and comfort, while also reducing irritation in your forefoot
These shoes also come equipped with a wide fit--perfect for those longer runs!
5. Nike 5.0+
Enough support and protection for longer runs, not just short ones
Lauded for their high comfort factor
Lightweight yet well-cushioned
great traction on various surface types
High marks on durability
Very flexible for a natural running feel that’s near-barefoot
6. Saucony Ride 10
The incorporated air mesh in the upper portion of the shoe provides additional breathability, and will maintain your feet cool and dry for your entire run.
These shoes provide great shock absorption and are best for short to mid-range runs (10K).
7. ASICS Gel Nimbus 19
This model introduces a new sole--ASICS new, lightweight, FlyteFoam midsole. This Flytfoam midsole maintains the same great cusion and bounce--and also weighs less than the previous cushioning system that was used.
This shoe also delivers exceptional traction and has increased it's lightweight feature.
8. Asics Women’s Venture 5
Great all-around running shoe. It’s neutral by design, however, it comes with a removable sock-liner to accommodate orthotic inserts. That way if you’re flat arched or have high arches, you can customize the shoe to fit your individual needs.
9. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34
Their flexible fabric ad additional cushioning provide you with a comfortable and perfectly fit running shoe.
This durable, comfortable, and flexible shoe also comes at a reasonable price with various color options to choose from.
10. Under Armour Speedform Fortis GR
4D Foam is used for comfort, as well as a more natural running experience.
Charged cushioning absorbs shock so you can run longer and farther.
Lightweight overall construction.
Thicker rubber in high-wear zones increase the shoe's durability and longevity of use.
The build of the upper is durable, stretchable, lightweight, and breathable.
When it comes to a good running shoe for women, much like anything else, it’s subjective. There’s nothing wrong with choosing the shoe that makes you look good, and there’s nothing wrong with splurging or sticking to the cheap options, either. Just make sure you test yourself running on a treadmill in a store or run around on pavement at home if you buy your pair online.
Before you go shoe shopping, take into consideration whether you want to splurge on trail running shoes or marathon-strong shoes or whether you just need a basic pair of running sneakers to get you through the day. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. If you want to go all out, though, by all means: go for some paint-splattered ASICS. Happy shoe shopping and cheers to running harder, faster, and stronger!
Finding the best pair of running shoes for a woman is not very easy, but things can be learned. There are several types of shoes available today for diverse purposes. The main types of shoes are categorized as formal shoes and the other is casual shoes. The formal shoes are most appropriate to wear in the office and when attending formal gatherings or events. Casual shoes, on the other hand, are best to use for daily activities and other non-formal purposes. Elegantly designed shoes, which are made from fine materials, are fashioned for a stylish look. Other types of shoes are made to provide essential protection to the feet during strenuous activities such as running.
Sports shoes are a special type of shoe created for various sporting activities such as basketball shoes, football shoes, tennis shoes and running shoes. Female running enthusiasts who are looking for the running footwear for any activity, have to consider some important aspects in order to get the shoes suitable for their needs. The aspects to consider for good running shoes are the outsole, midsole, and the upper of the outer body. The outsole, which composes of two types of rubber is responsible for supporting the movement of the feet and allow the heel to run efficiently. The midsole, which composed of two types of cushioning materials properly support the running shoes. Finally, the outer body; it is made using heavy-duty leather together with a lightweight mesh. This upper part of the shoes brings stability, comfort, and right fitting. It is composed of the heel counter, Achilles notch, and toe box.
The Criteria Used When Searching For The Best Running Shoes For Women:
Support Levels Of The Midsole
Women tend to have wider Q-Angles (hips) than their male counterparts when running this leads to pronation outside of the normal range. We listened to what female runners had to say about the shoe’s support levels when it came to midsole control. Taking a women’s biomechanics into consideration can help alleviate unnecessary stress on the foot and help prevent injuries. In fact, reports indicate that females suffer from runner’s knee almost at twice the rate than males. This is why support levels were crucial when compiling our list.
Amount of Flex and Toe-off
In general, women tend to have 15% lower body mass than men, this means running shoes must have a deeper groove that can provide greater flexibility, which, translates to a smooth and natural toe-off motion through the running patterns of the foot. Seasoned runners agree that a little less foam in the overall cushioning of a running shoe goes a long way for female runners.
The arch, ball of the foot, and toes of women have different shapes and sizes when compared to male feet. In addition, men’s feet tend to be wider and longer on average. This is why it’s important to provide our readers with a selection that reflects the individual needs of a female’s natural foot shape. Responsive sole units can ensure a proper fit and a more customized overall feel.
Both men and women alike require and deserve a solid, durable running shoe; and the most durable of running shoes are constructed from the ground up. When we were determining the durability of a running shoe, we started by taking a look at the outsole material and how well it holds up to the elements and harder than average impacts. Midsoles need to maintain a solid level of comfort while not giving out as more miles are added. The uppers should be comprised of strongly constructed materials. It’s crucial to listen to what female runners from all walks of life had to say in regards to how much wear and tear their shoes could take after they’ve put several miles on them.
Form and Function
Unlike most running blogs and jogging shoe retailer, we didn’t comprise our selection based on looks alone. While we understand that everyone likes making a personal selection when it comes to choosing what they put on their feet, we made sure that our picks come with the most cutting-edge features and shoe-tech currently on the market. Yes, these selections look fashionable and come in a wide variety of colors and styles that fit every runner’s personal sense of style, but performance is still a top priority.
Safety should always come first. With that in mind, we made sure to include selections that fit perfectly into whatever situation they may be best utilized for. While it may be “on trend” to have a sneaker that can run in a standard marathon and go on a trail, it’s not the ideal situation and just not safe. Having the choice to make an educated selection based on what type of running each shoe it best suited for will give you the best fit, response, and protection. After all, the easiest way to deal with an injury is to never have it in the first place.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE REASONS WHY RUNNING IS SUCH A POPULAR CHOICE AMONG WOMEN.
More women today are showing great interest in running than any other time in the past. It is evident by the outpour of products for women that are related to running. There must be some good reasons why women have become inclined to run. These reasons are important in considering the best running shoes for a woman.
RUNNING IS CONVENIENT
Women like running because it is simple to do and only requires a running outfit and a good pair of running shoes. When running, you do not have to be in perfect form at once. The form can be developed with constant practice.
RUNNING IS A GOOD WORKOUT
There are no other aerobic exercises that match running. Exercises using expensive equipment can make your workout hard, but running delivers the most sweat and calories burnt in a relatively short amount of time. Running also provides an effective workout. It encourages the heart to work harder by squeezing blood towards the heart every time you make a stride.
Running does not harm your joints. Accordingly, the factors that contribute to the occurrence of osteoarthritis are age and body weight. It is one reason that obese women are more at risk of osteoarthritis. Running also bolster cartilage through increased oxygen flow, flushing out of toxins, and strengthening ligaments around the joints. Running strides boost the bones that help in preventing osteoporosis.
Runners can testify about their stress being busted by their running. According to one runner, his running effectively released tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. As everything starts to loosen up, it makes him think clearly. In fact, mental health experts used running to help in the treatment of clinical depression and various psychological disorders.
Experts concur that exercise, when done regularly, can reduce the risk of various kinds of cancer including breast, colon, lung and endometrial. A study concluded that people who are active have lesser chances of developing colon cancer. Moreover, vigorously active women (those who do aerobics, sports, running) have lower risk (30-percent) of breast cancer. Joggers have protection against stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, running can lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, and strengthen immunity to viruses and colds.
One surprising benefit of running is the chances of living longer. A study is made where two groups of people over 50 years old (one group are runners and the other group are not) are asked to fill-out questionnaire every year concerning certain activities within 21 years. The conclusion is that in the group of runners the disability level was lower every year.
Therefore, if running is beneficial to women, it is a very good reason why they should continue to do it and pick a pair of shoes that makes them feel good and look beautiful while doing it.
The tedious part of knowing the best running shoes for women is the testing of the foot. This is necessary in order to get the correct shoes for your feet. One important aspect to finding the best running shoes is to know the level of pronation.
Pronation is the act of the arch lengthening, which results in an inward roll of the foot upon contact with the ground. When the foot rolls inward than expected outward, it is overpronation and it may lead to injury. Running neutral or supination (outward roll) needs neutral shoes. Moderate overpronation require support shoes, and for sever overpronation a motion control shoe is necessary.
In order to choose the best running shoes we have three different tests that we can use in getting the level of pronation.
1. WET FOOT TEST.
This is done by placing any of your foot in a bucket with water and stepping on a piece of cardboard afterwards. Take the piece of cardboard with the resulting footprint and match it with the much similar shape found in the pronation control chart. This will determine which type of shoes is fit for you.
2. THE WEAR TEST
Observe the forefront area of the shoe’s outsole (from your current shoe you are using). The wear that is concentrated at the pinky toe area tells that neutral shoe is needed. If the wear is toward the big toe area, you may need a support shoe.
3. TREADMILL TEST
In performing this test, you need to place a video camera behind the treadmill that is focusing on your feet and legs. Watch the resulting video in slow motion in order to see the amount of inward rolling of the feet during the running cycle. If the foot and leg are in a straight line, no additional support is needed for your feet, other than what the present shoes provide. If the leg and foot are at a different angle, there should be an additional support. When looking for the best women’s running shoes, it is advisable to choose pronation support according to the foot that shows the most degree of pronation.
With the purpose of getting the best running shoes for women, we can choose among the different types of shoes used for running. The running shoes that you may be looking for can fall into one of the several shoe categories according to their construction and intended use.
These shoes are built for those biomechanically neutral runners. Cushioned shoes have a small amount of added stability than that of stability or motion control shoes. If your foot is characterized by high arches and does not overpronate, cushioned shoes are definitely for you.
These shoes give the slightly overpronate runners mild to moderate support. If you are more on cushioning and durability, these are the shoes for you. Although pronation is a foot’s natural motion, many runners pronate more than the normal. Therefore, runners need shoes to support their overpronation. Stability shoes are recommended for people with regular foot arches. These shoes are also for those that demonstrate mild to moderate overpronation and do not have any concern with motion control.
MOTION CONTROL SHOES
These shoes are best in support and the most rigid shoes with efficient control and reliable stability features. The motion control shoes are recommended for runners with low arches and exhibiting moderate to excessive overpronation. The shoes are also for heavier runners that require shoes with high durability.
These shoes are made for fast-paced training. Runners who do marathons can also use lightweight shoes. Comparing with standard shoes, lightweight shoes response better, and they offer cushioning and stability as well.
These shoes are very light and have minimal cushioning. Racing shoes are made for fast training and short distance racing.
NATURAL MOTION SHOES
Natural motion shoes supports running style that is the same with running barefoot. These shoes allow foot muscle and joints to move naturally and encourage mid-foot strike. Natural motion shoes have several types and some of which are worn like gloves in the foot. The other types look similar to traditional running shoes and offer minimal cushioning and flexibility.
Trail shoes are best shoes if you are doing off-road running. The shoes are built with traction to protect runners who run on rocky, uneven and wet terrains. Some designs are made to meet particular conditions such as mountainous or muddy terrain.
Spikes running shoes have two types, the cross-country spikes and the track spikes. The track pikes are further classified to distance spikes, sprint spikes, and jumping spikes. The cross-country spikes offer superior grip over grass, mud, and snow. Spikes shoes are lightweight and have less cushioning.
Running shoes are distinctly designed and categorized to serve every purpose. It will be less difficult to get the best shoes by applying shoe categories on your selection.
Important Things You Should Consider When Choosing Your Running Shoes.
Whether you’re selecting your first pair of running shoes or your next pair of long-distance runners, we’re sure that you are excited to go out and start running! Before you do, take a moment and take a look at some of the information we compiled from runners just like you that were making their selections. These questions may help you pick a running shoe that’s perfect for your needs.
What Type Of Running are you into?
The terrain on which you run is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of shoes. You’re going to want to look for a more aggressive outsole that can provide you with additional grip if you come across wet terrain or loose dirt and dust. Additionally, a more breathable upper can give you a cool and breezy feel as the temperatures rise. Remember, that comfort levels have shown to aid in achieving both long term and short term running goals. Likewise, if you are planning for longer distances, such as marathons, make a selection with stronger cushioning that lasts longer, before it starts to give. Having the right shoe for the job can make all the difference in the world.
Make A Selection Based On Your Foot Type
While a minimalist running shoe might be all the rage, it may not be the best selection for you. This is why making a selection based on your foot type is crucial for a smooth and pain-free running shoe. If you have higher arches, then look for a running shoe that gives extra support in the midsole. This will ensure that your feet don’t roll inward when they strike the ground. If you have flatter feet then running shoes with more cushioning are the way to go. Having extra material to absorb impact on ground strike will translate into more distance and less fatigue. Runners with a more neutral foot type can make selections that are considered more “middle of the road”. Make sure you also check the way that your old shoes wear on the outsole, this can tell you a lot about the way you step.
Choosing The Right Size For You
Believe it or not, this is frequently overlooked, particularly by novice runners that are new to long distance running. Both men and women’s feet tend to swell throughout the day. Additionally, women with sodium retention issues may be affected even more so. This is why it’s important to take your time when sizing your running shoes, and never assume your shoe size. It’s best to size your foot at the end of the day or after an extended time walking or running. Most seasoned runners might go a half size larger depending on how many miles they plan on putting on their running shoes at a time.
Be Aware of When Your Shoes Need Replacing
You know that old pair of tennis shoes that are at the back of your closet? They are not the best shoes for running in. Just from a safety standpoint, it’s essential to have a fresh pair of running shoes that you can count on and that can keep your feet and ankles safe from injury. Additionally, support levels and cushioning greatly diminish when shoes are kept past their time. Keep in mind that typical running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, regardless of how they look. Also, if you planning for long distances or on consecutive days, you might want to consider having two pairs of running shoes. This allows the shoes to dry out properly and for the midsole to recover before the next year.
We’ve created a list of some frequently asked questions that arise when searching for a new running shoe that might further help you along the way.
Q: Is there really that much of a difference between women and men’s running shoes?
A: If you are going short distances and on light walks, not a noticeable difference. However, this guide is focused on running shoes for women, and the fact is that women’s bodies are much different from men’s. Shoe companies understand that women represented 58% of all the 5k races in the US last year, and providing options that are tailored to their needs is important. Significant feedback has shown that when shoe manufacturers take the differences in biomechanics and physiological composition into consideration with their design, it provides women with a better preforming shoe.
Q: I’m training for my first 5K race, what should I look for in my first pair?
A: First off, you should be interval training in a lightweight shoe to help you gain distance and endurance. However, for the 5K itself, you’re going to want a pair of running shoes that have a little more stability and cushioning, even if it means that they are slightly heavier. If you feel that you’re transitioning to more serious running, you must consider having a solid rotation of running shoes instead of just one. Remember that all cushioning (gel, foam, composites) require some time to recover from being used.
Q: What should I look for when I need a significant amount of grip on wet surfaces?
A: You are going to look for an aggressive tread pattern, and deeper grooves that could allow for the water to disperse when you land on a puddle. However, thanks to significant advances in materials, the outsole of most quality running shoes are substantial enough to handle wet surfaces without slippage.
Q: My last running shoes really irritated my skin on longer runs, is there anything I can do to keep this down to a minimum?
A: This is a common compliant, and it’s also easily controlled. First, look for shoes that have uppers that are as seamless as possible. This keeps skin irritation down be not having seams that can rub on your feet as you run. Secondly, if you know you ankle area is a trouble spot, look for additional cushioning in that region to help keep your feet comfortable. Finally, runner’s best friend: Leukotape. Place on problem spots before they cause discomfort, it stays put through the entire run and won’t unstick because of sweat or rain.
We hope this guide helped you in your search for running shoes that meet your unique running needs.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research
Women are a large part of the running population, and for quite a long time shoe companies have been very interested in developing shoes and products that can be a great fit for women as well. We looked at a wide variety of sources to ensure quality information tailored specifically for our female runners. We like to utilize trusted outdoor 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:
- What is the difference between women's and men's running shoes?, Athletic Website, Jan 19, 2014 ,
- Amazon, Amazon Reviews, ,
- The physiological differences between male and female runners, Running Website, Jan 18, 2016 ,
- REI, Running Website, ,
- Running 101: How To Select The Best Pair Of Running Shoes, Running website, Sep 09, 2014 ,
- How to find the right running shoe, Running website, ,
- Find The Best Running Shoes For You, Running App & Website blog, Jul 09, 2014 ,