10 Best Running Trainers Reviewed & Tested
If you want to start training for that marathon or 5K, we’ve got you covered with our list of reviews. Not only are these trainers perfect for all types of dedicated runners, but we have also made sure to include options for all types of budgets—so there is something on our list for everyone.
The best running trainers should be versatile—all of the shoes on our list are great for other workouts, so you can just have one good all-around shoe to get your running and strength training in. They should also be comfortable, durable and provide you with adequate support
Take a look at our top picks below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Great for speed work
Lots of colors available to choose from
Best Running Trainers
1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36
Great for speed work
Lots of colors available to choose from
Without the padding, users find that the tongue bunches up
The 36th reiteration of the Air Zoom Pegasus shoe model by Nike remains one of the best-selling and most recommended selections on our list—hence why it is at our number one spot! Not only do they shoes look great (they are available in a variety of color options) but they are also exceptionally durable, effective, and really comfortable.Read more
These shoes are really comfortable and provide you with a secure and comfortable fit. It is not as bulky as its predecessors and is sleeker and more compact in terms of design.
As far as the overall breathability of these shoes, the Pegasus 36 model is extremely breathable and offers additional ventilation thanks to the perforations that Nike placed on the running shoe’s upper. To make it even better, the mesh used to ensure the shoe’s breathability also specifically ventilates every part of your foot—especially where you are more likely to develop hot spots.
Perfect for the road and for runners who want to work on their speed, you will love these shoes if those two things sound like you. Although these shoes are not designed for the trails or technical terrain, if you keep them on the road they will definitely last you the long haul.
For additional support, these shoes have a narrower heel collar as well as a minimal tongue. This provides a more secure fit which boosts support. The use of the Flywire cables also ensures your feet don’t slip around in your shoe. Nike also included their full-length version of their Zoom Air, which boosts the overall responsiveness of the shoe. These shoes also feature Nike’s Cushion ST foam for even more support, stability, and responsiveness.
If you want to increase your speed and really move, then you will love how flexible these shoes are. Not only do they allow for a full range of motion, but you will also get a pair of shoes you can easily switch from activity to activity—perfect for interval training.
2. New Balance Zante V4
Has a removable insert
Not as durable as previous models—you will get 200 miles on these if you keep them on the road
If you want a sleek and good looking shoe, then you will love the New Balance Zante V4 running shoes. This model is a great option for runners who want to improve their speed and take their training seriously so they can push themselves to the limit.Read more
As far as features, these running shoes offer a seamless construction for a more comfortable fit that will prevent chafing and blisters from occurring. They are really breathable, flexible, and a perfect option for those of you want to run faster!
Thanks to their breathable and well-ventilated mesh, these shoes will definitely keep your feet cool and dry when you run in them. So, on top of being lightweight and comfortable, these running shoes will also prevent any chafing or blisters from occurring.
Made for the road, these running shoes are perfect for those of you training for your next road race. If you keep them on the road, they will last you the long haul and really help you push your training to the next level.
The Zante V4 running shoes by New Valance offer additional cushioning and a removable insert for some additional support. They feature a bootie design and construction and feature a HypoSkin upper to ensure you get a secure fit so your feet and ankles are securely kept in place.
Thanks to the use of a Hyposkin and a bouncy midsole, these running shoes will ensure you have the full range of motion you will need to improve your performance and get the speedwork you need to get better, faster, and stronger.
3. Mizuno Wave Creation 20
Comes with a sockliner
Provides optimal support
Heavy and bulky
Too much support for some runners
The Mizuno Wave Creation 20 running shoes may be pricey, but they are worth every penny. Not only is this model comfortable, durable, and breathable but they are also a versatile pair of running trainers.Read more
If you want a pair of shoes with additional features that will help you train and push yourself to the limit, you will love what these shoes have to offer. They feature a Wave Knit upper that provides you with a secure and adjustable fit. They also have a sock liner for additional comfort and support.
These Mizuno running shoes are made to be incredibly breathable and well-ventilated. If you are worried about dealing with chafing, blisters, or hot spots, with these shoes you won’t have to deal with any of those things one bit.
Made for the road, the Mizuno Wave Creation 20 running shoes are still versatile enough for light trail running or off-road running—but not for technical terrain or difficult trails.
As far as support goes, the Wave Creation 20 running shoes offer a lot of cushioning to provide you with additional support, stability, and comfort. This additional cushioning also ensures the shoes are responsive and able to provide you with the bounce back you need to train for longer runs.
Although these running shoes feature a rubber sole for added durability, they are also really flexible as well. While they have a break-in period, these running shoes still allow for a full range of motion so you can comfortably run at the speed you want to run in.
4. Brooks PureFlow 5
- High marks on comfort and support
- Brooks high quality materials an design
- Best minimalist shoe for neutral and mild overpronators
- Great color selection
- a little expensive
Part of the PureProject Collection from Brooks, the PureFlow is high on our list for a number of reasons. Which include: They are packed with exciting and effective tech, they’ve got a sharp design aesthetic, and are produced by a highly ethical company. What’s not to like?Read more
Comfortable durable, these running shoes are built to last and perfect for training for longer races.
These running shoes are really breathable and well-ventilated to ensure that your feet stay cool and dry no matter how much or how far you run.
Perfect for the road, these will hold up great as long as you keep them on the road when you train.
These running shoes have a BioMoGo DNA midsole to provide additional support and stability. It is well-cushioned and made of environmentally-friendly material.
Thanks to their Omega Flex Grooves these running shoes offer a lot of flexibility and will allow you to have a full range of motion with each and every stride.
5. Saucony Triumph ISO 3
Lots of room in the toe box
Great for neutral runners
If you are a neutral runner, the Saucony Triumph ISO 3 may be the perfect pair of running trainers for you. They are a great option for those of you training for long distances or working on increasing your speed. On top of that, these running shoes also look great without sacrificing comfort or responsiveness!Read more
With an 8mm drop, these running shoes are great for runners who like to be a little closer to the ground. These shoes are also really responsive and a great pair of minimalistic running shoes.
Not only are these running shoes incredibly lightweight, but they are also really breathable. They are well-ventilated and will ensure that your feet do not develop any blisters, chafing, or hot spots when you run in the hot weather.
The best part about these running shoes is how versatile they are when it comes to the terrain you can use them. You can use them on the road, on really light trails, or on the treadmill. While we don’t recommend you take them on wet or technical terrain, you can definitely take them on the paths at your favorite parks. The shoes also have a zig-zag outsole pattern to provide you with great traction for the road—although not enough for when it rains.
These running shoes feature a Tri-Flex outsole, an Everun midsole, and an Isofit upper to provide runners with optimal support levels—specifically enough for neutral runners. The use of the Everun cushioning system also makes these shoes more comfortable and gives you just the right amount of stability.
When we run, it is important to have a pair of running shoes that we can move in freely. To provide you with flexible shoes, these running shoes feature a Tri0Flex outsole. The running shoes don’t really have a break-in period, so they are comfortable almost from the get-go.
6. NIKE Free Rn Flyknit
- Good for short, medium and long distances -- highly responsive trainers
- Features X10 carbon rubber infused soles, which helps this aspect of the shoe over the long term
- The Hitogami 3 an ultra light shoe
- Borderline minimalist style with a number of dynamic features
- Has four aesthetically pleasing color combinations.
- The exceptional design makes it a really great footwear outside of training purposes
- Affordably priced
- The relatively high heel offset may turn off a few runners who prefer a lower drop shoe
- Not the most water resistant shoe in the world
The final shoe on our list is the NIKE Free Rn Flyknit. This brand is known throughout the running community for quality shoes and these shoes are no different. They are stylish, comfortable, flexible, and durable. The price tag can vary greatly depending on the style and color you choose but you should easily be able to find one that fits within your budget!Read more
With a wide range of styles and colors and accompanying price tags, you may have to do some searching for one that is within your budget but they are out there and fairly easy to find. There are dozens of colors and styles to choose from! The NIKE Free Rn Flyknit is a decent choice for runners and is our final choice for our top ten running shoes.
Much of the shoe is made of breathable mesh fabric which is unique among running shoes and sets this model apart. The NIKE Free Rn Flyknit also is very flexible because of its mesh material and allows for a greater range of motion and more durability with rough terrain and high impact running.
The quality is on par with most shoes from this brand and it is a popular shoe among runners who love looking stylish!
One of the best features of this running shoe is that it has removable foam insoles so you can tailor your fit and support to your unique wants and needs at any given time.
The NIKE Free Rn Flyknit running shoe is made to be flexible and comfortable to wear and while it lacks stability compared to other shoes on this list it does provide good traction and grip support.
7. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo
- Blown rubber sole, nicely gripped outsole
- 4 mm drop: with some slight variances during the manufacturing process, all references to 4mm drop are meant to be approximate
- Carefully designed bootie construction
- Features a breathable mesh upper
- Lace-up running shoe, has a no-sew upper, removable insole and a molded sock liner
- Not the truest in terms of sizing
Designed specifically for road running the New Balance Fresh Foam is loaded with springy cushioning. These are an award-winning pair of shoes that incorporate exciting technique with solid common sense. The result is a premium pair of trainers.Read more
Overall the long-term these shoes seem to stand up quite well in areas of common failure: toe, sole and the upper. In addition to this, you’ve got Fresh Foam under the arch making the fit firmer and comfortable.
Really breathable and well-ventilated so your feet will stay cool and dry.
Perfect for the road, these shoes will last you if you keep them on the right terrain.
The base of these shoes is wide, straight, and flared in the forefoot for added support.
Incredibly flexible, these running shoes will ensure you get a full range of motion.
8. Adidas Edge Lux W
- Featuring EVERUN Topsole and an EVERUN Landing Zone in the heel to match
- High grade TRI-FLEX outsole design for smooth contact with the ground and an improved ride
- Has an ISOFIT upper to wrap your foot in a snug and comfortable fit
- Very light, weight: 8.6 oz. | 244 g.
- PWRGRID+ midsole, excels as a shock absorber and improves overall feel
- Known to be a little bit narrow, not ideal for all foot types
- The sole on these trainers is quite firm, does not match perfectly with all needs
For runners who want a reliable, comfortable and innovative running shoe form a brand they know and trust, the Adidas Edge Lux W running shoe is a great choice. This shoe features the quality and comfort and reliability you would expect from Adidas and brings in a whole new design for running shoes that is turning heads and winning people over left and right!Read more
There are as any styles of running shoes are there are types of runners out there and Adidas has always taken pride in developing shoes to meet the wants and needs of its customer base.
Incredibly breathable and light, these shoes are comfortable and perfect for the hot weather.
Adidas is among the most respected names in the running shoe game. With a growing number of customer reviews and a lot of praise form experienced runners, this model is showing to be a popular choice for many runners. It is made of quality materials and has the support features you want and need in a running shoe with new lace features and an improved heel and sole design for improved performance!
The Adidas Edge Lux W running shoes offer the comfort and stability you want and need while offering a whole new styling look for runners who do not want to sacrifice flare for functionality.
We all know that we get what we pay for in the end and it is important to remember that an investment now will pay off tenfold down the road. This is especially true of quality running shoes and the Adidas Edge Lux W shoe is quickly proving to be a popular option that is worth looking into!
9. Reebok Crossfit Nano 6
- Great traction for movement in every direction
- Tough NanoShell for strong support
- DuPont Kevlar for extreme durability
- Comes in huge amount of different color options
- 99% Customer satisfaction, no significant cons.
Reebok joined forces with Crossfit and created a monster! They have great reviews and are considered a “must get” if you are into the Crossfit world.Read more
Nano skeleton hard TPU padded sole pod for average/parallel assistance. Formed heel surface.
These are pretty breathable, although they certainly are not the most breathable pair on our list.
It's an all-round fit-enlivened coach with an anatomical plan worked for lifting and brisk cuts. Kevlar durability, mixed upper for assistance and assurance.
The Nano 6’s feature a polyurethane shell for abrasion protection and extra support, a raised lug outsole for great traction in every direction, and a 3mm toe to heel drop for great stability.
Although these shoes have a break-in period, they are still flexible once you break them in.
10. Nike Fs Lite Trainer 3
- Features no-sew mesh plus synthetic-skin uppers with internal 1/2 booties allowing you feet to fit comfortable and securely
- Seamless upper construction helps reduce the likelihood of irritation
- Multisurface outsoles combine rubber and foam for solid protection and decent traction as well
- Standard high quality lace closures
- Dual Fusion midsole technology offers responsive and effective cushioning
- Low-top design, perfect for cross training
- Some reports of issues regarding the toe box cropping up, be careful to size properly
- The top mesh is not completely stressed has a minor wave when worn
If you’re looking for a small percentage bump in your run performance the Nike Fs lite Trainer 3 is one way to get it. This shoe is a synthesis of a number of Nike’s best performing technologies and design ideas. It's good indoors or outdoors and has a wide range of color schemes to select from. Highly recommended.Read more
Positioned just above the “cheap” range these trainers present good value in that they don’t hit you too hard in the wallet but you still get a good value out of them.
Pretty breathable and well-ventilated enough to ensure that you don't chafe or develop any blisters.
Nike is a known commodity when it comes to quality and durability, there are no guessing games here. These shoes certainly won’t last forever but you will get quite a good bit of use out of them.
This pairing offers responsive cushioning, and superior fit, while a parametrically designed, multi-surface rubber foam outsole offers unbeatable traction.
These shoes really excel in the comfort department, due in part to their internal 1/2 booties and Dual Fusion midsole technology.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Running trainers are more than just running shoes--they need to be versatile, and comfortable for other workouts too!
Experts agree that selecting the right shoe can help runners who have issues such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis be more efficient when they work out, without unneeded pain. A solid pair of training shoes will provide you with the motivation and comfort that you need to go the distance.
Injury and Pain Prevention
Additionally, when properly selected, a pair of trainers can help eliminate pain and discomfort when runners push themselves to reach goals. Experts agree that selecting the right shoe can help runners who have issues such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis be more efficient when they work out, without unneeded pain.
How versatile are the running trainers?
The running trainers on our list are more than just running shoes. They should be able to be used for other workouts or circuit training that also involves running. These shoes should be responsive and easy to transition between activities or movements, depending on what you are doing.
Your shoes should provide you with enough breathability and ventilation for all of your workouts!
Whether you’re training for your first 5k or starting a new high-intensity boot camp, you’re about to increase your movement, and with that the amount you sweat. A proper trainer should allow for great ventilation while still allowing for freedom of movement. This is why we made sure that our selections are constructed with light and airy materials, especially on the upper section of the shoes.
Tester feedback shows that when uppers are constructed with synthetic fabrics and lightweight materials, the results are very cool and breathable shoes. We know there are quite a few to choose from, so we have compiled some personal preferences that you should consider before choosing your next pair of trainers.
With a little guidance, you’ll be sure to find yourself maximizing your strengths and eliminating your weaknesses on your next run. Once you figure out the level of breathability that you need and prefer, you will be able to easily choose your next pair of running trainers. Take your time and make sure you make the right decision the first time.
Whether you are a road runner or a trail runner, you need to make sure your running trainers will work for the terrain you want to use them on!
Our selections reflect these design requirements and all have a great amount of freedom of movement. We looked at several factors when we evaluated the type of terrain the shoes were for and how they perform in the terrain they are designed for. Take a look below at what we took into consideration here.
Road Running VS Trail Running
Although the running trainers on our list are not running-specific and can be used for many other workouts, that does not mean that they don't do better on the road or technical terrain--or that they can't be used for both. The running trainers for more technical terrain will have additional reinforcement add-ons to ensure you stay comfortable and protected.
On the other hand, if you stick to the roads, you can get away with the more lightweight running trainers on our list since you won't need the additional grip and traction that trail runners offer.
Outsole traction and grip ability
While most running shoes are designed around forward movement, any training shoe worth their cost should provide several different ways of giving the wearer traction in all directions. The ideal design, according to runner feedback, should incorporate individual pods on the outsole that are independent of each other.
How much shock absorption does the running trainer have to offer?
Naturally, you’re going to want to take into consideration what type of environment you will be training in. If you are planning to remain indoors, then an ultra-lightweight training shoe with a synthetic fabric upper is the best choice. Not only will you get the benefit of added breathability, but you will also get additional comfort.
If you are going to be doing a lot of outdoor training, then you’re going to want a pair of shoes with a stronger rubber sole for added durability. Also, look for a more aggressive pattern on the sole for better traction in case you run into uneven terrain. We have selections that run the gambit, so you can make the perfect match.
The best looking shoe is worthless if it does not give you the support you need each and every time you put it on!
We know from experience that different users may need varying levels of support when it comes to their footwear. While going through user feedback and recommendations, we were sure to note which models offer the maximum amount of support, and which offer a less amount.
This is because support is a significant factor in making a customized selection, and it’s not always “the more, the better”. We wanted to make sure our readers know just how much support is found in each model and what they can expect. Choosing the right trainer means you are no longer just selecting a pair of shoes “off the rack”; it means you're choosing a shoe that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in.
As such, the shape of your feet is the most important factor to consider. There are three basic shapes: Flat, Neutral, and High Arched.
If you have fallen arches and are prone to over-pronation (inward rolling when you land), then chances are you fit into the flat shape. You are going to be looking for a training shoe with high stability. This will prevent inward rolling and offer a more forgiving strike.
High Arched shaped feet are characterized by a strong, defined arch; which leads to landing on the outside edges of the feet (supination). This needs to be addressed, especially when considering long-distance or high endurance running. Look for trainers that offer above-average cushioning and more midsole padding.
Neutral shaped feet are right in the middle, sometimes called the “Goldilocks” of fit. Neutral runners should look for a moderately stable shoe and have a little more freedom when selecting footwear. This little bit of knowledge can make a world of difference and is what seasoned runners everywhere look for in their selections.
High-performance footwear should allow you to feel secure on your most intense of workouts, and that’s what we have provided.
According to users that train consistently, there’s good flexibility, then there’s bad flexibility. In other words, you want your shoes to be flexible and “snap back”, not feel like your shoes are falling apart on you while you're wearing them. Our selections feature quality materials and durable construction.
Make sure they allow for you natural movement
Whether you are using them for running more, training more, or both, you need to make sure that the running trainers you get won't hinder your range of motion and allow for your foot's natural movement. Although they don't have to offer a barefoot feel, they should provide you with the support and stability you need without hindering the flexibility you need to run or do your other workouts.
Flexibility should not sacrifice durability
Although the running trainers on our list offer a good amount of flexibility, you will also find that they are also durable and built to last. They won't break down at a moment's notice and will last you for the workouts you need them to.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It's always good advice to wear your new shoes around the house for a couple of days before you're completely decided on fit. That way, you can ensure that you get the best feeling and fitting shoe for your feet without fully committing.
You should carefully consider your lifestyle and who and where you run when you are looking for a pair of running shoes. The terrain you run on and the type of running you do will have a huge impact on what type of shoe is best for you.
Things like support, heel drop, insole support, cushioning, and so forth will affect hat kind of shoe you need to look for.
Other Factors to Consider
Don’t feel that because you will be diving into a new training regimen, discomfort is something that should be expected. If this is your first time at our site, you will find that we place a lot of emphasis on the comfort levels of the footwear that we recommend. This is because our research shows that there is a common misconception in the athletic world.
It’s crucial that your daily trainers give you the comfort you need when you count on them the most. Runners found that trainers with seamless upper construction generally help to fight away the chances of skin irritation. The trainers that we have listed all feature either seamless uppers, proper padding around the Achilles, or both.
This is because testers consistently look for these factors when they are looking for trainers that can go the distance. Our selections reflect that.
Make sure they fit!
Take a moment to consider the fit; don’t assume your size. Trainers are typically used for extended periods of time and longer distances. Because of this, runners generally go up a half size from their street shoes for a little more wiggle room. Be careful to choose an option that boasts a roomy toe box and a snug heel and not the other way around.
This will optimize both traction and comfort during a mix of workout routines. If you have too much room in the heel, you will get slippage. Likewise, if your toe box is too narrow, you will get discomfort over extended periods of time.
While is common for runners and athletes in general to have brand preferences, we focus on user experience, buyer feedback, and real-world application when making our selections. This is especially true for workout specific footwear such as training shoes. For indoor aerobic exercises, we listened to what those users had to say.
For marathon training shoes, we followed users throughout their training, leading up to the big event. This attention to footwear performance is the best way to make an educated decision that will give you the best chances of success, not branding or marketing. If you are trying to increase your distance, you will need to pay close attention and make sure you get the right pair of shoes.
On the other hand, if you just want a pair of running trainers that will work for your runs and other workouts, you will need to make sure the shoes are designed to be able to easily transition between exercises. Not all of the shoes on our list are able to do that, so just make sure to pay close attention before you make your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Should I look into getting a minimalist pair of shoes?
There has been increased popularity as of late to minimalist and barefoot-inspired footwear. We would never recommend any runner to choose footwear based on trends. In fact, most podiatrists agree that when runners go from a stable shoe to a minimal shoe, they may increase their chances of injury.
Instead try moving to a “halfway there” shoe first, so the change isn’t as dramatic for you. But remember, that a trainer running shoe gets increased usage and most runners don’t like putting a lot of miles on shoes that are purely minimal.
q: In terms of durability, is there a difference between running trainers and running shoes?
There is a difference. Most standard running shoes should be replaced when you start to notice unevenly worn soles or the heel visually looks broken down. Seasoned runners tend to replace them after 300 miles. However, the durability of training shoes is typically measured in terms of time rather than miles. You should replace trainers after 100 hours
q: Can I use trainers as walking shoes?
You can. Trainers are versatile by nature and are designed to be worn comfortably within a range of activities. However, if you are looking for a pure walking shoe for extended periods of time, you might want to look for something with thinner soles since you won’t be impacting the ground with the same force as when you run.
q: My trainers will be used for my first 10k race, what should I look for?
You’re going to want to pick a pair that has proper padding around the Achilles area. The picks found in this buying guide are all good choices; just remember to break them in first with some shorter runs the week before to avoid blisters. The golden rule is: no new gear on a race day. That goes for the best running trainers as well!