10 Best Women’s Running Shoes Tested & Reviewed
However, with so many products out there, finding the perfect shoe can be overwhelming. 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.
If you're on the hunt for the best running shoes for women, check out our detailed list below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
- GEL cushioning and Dynamic Duomax cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
- FlyteFoam for additonal cushioning
- FluidFit marerial for perfect fit and interior irritation reduction
- several color options
Top 10 Women's Running Shoes
1. ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5
- GEL cushioning and Dynamic Duomax cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
- FlyteFoam for additonal cushioning
- FluidFit marerial for perfect fit and interior irritation reduction
- several color options
- Sizing runs small
- High cost
- A bit too bulky for speed
ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 is one of the best women's running shoes today and this is why it has earned the number one spot on our top ten list. Durable, comfortable, supportive, and affordable; these shoes are great for runners who want to protect their feet and get the most out of their runs.Read more
The ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 has superior insoles and outsoles that offer a high level of support and stability for your feet and ankles as you run. Whether you are running on the road or the trails these shoes will help protect and support your feet! Making them perfect, not just for running, but for any cross-training activities you go with.
The V5 offers a high level of flexibility that is hard to find in many other sports shoes. With good traction and flexibility, you are sure to keep your footing even in less than perfect conditions.
ASICS shoes are known for their superior design and high comfort levels. The ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 is no different. You will love the way they wrap around and hug your feet with every step you take.
The ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 shoes are made to last and will hold up to the wear and tear or indoor and outdoor running and are a smart investment for any runner.
You will be hard pressed at finding running shoes for women better than these when it comes to durability, protection and support at a great price. So, make the smart investment today!
2. Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 18
Grooves can collect stones
Almost too soft
Rated on Brooks as their number one runner, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 has the trifecta: Support, cushioning, and they are lightweight. These womens running shoes have been said to be a shoe based more on actual functionality than looks. However, they do come in quite an array of colors to accent the sleek design. Also, let us not forget all the added flexibility while still reigning high in stability making them one of the best womens running shoes.Read more
Brooks updated the upper bigtime in the GTS 18, enhancing fit and breathability. The new design has proven to be more flexible while hugging the foot precise without constriction. Flexibility was also upgraded with the BioMoGo DNA midsole. This foam is soft, durable and allows the foot more natural mobility when in action. Every update has truly added more stability while still enhancing flexibility. Brooks added a roll bar, making this shoe a dream for those with overpronation. Taking away the pain, the roll bar gives a more secure heel-to-toe transition, also making for a more efficient run. New grooved treads added some much-needed grip while also adding some more responsiveness and durability to the shoe.
These are the full package and you don't have to worry about being late on rent. They are lower than the average cost for a shoe of their caliber when it comes to best shoes for running women models and will carry you through some serious miles.
3. Salomon Women's XR Mission
- Full length crash pad for maximum shock absorption
- Several color options available
- A bit on the expensive side
The Salomon XR Mission is a prime example of a quality shoe with style and a well thought out design and lands on n. 3 on our best ladies running shoes list. Not only are they great looking, but they are also easy to wear, durable, and supportive - everything you want and need from a pair of quality running shoes for women. These womens running shoes are popular among runners of all skill levels and rank high in many reviews as well as here on our top ten list.Read more
The Salomon Women's XR Mission is made to engage your feet with every step that you take. The soles are designed to be supportive and reduce shock for a better running experience!
The Women's XR Mission's may not be as flexible as other shoes on our list but they make up for it in support and durability. They are more designed for maintaining balance and traction while running.
The Salomon Women's XR Mission was designed with comfort and stability in mind. Extra cushioning placed throughout the bed of the shoe makes for a softer and more controlled ride, making these a go to no matter how long your workouts last.
As a runner, you want a pair of shoes that can take what you put into them without a speedy breakdown. These were definately made to last and handle whatever your running style throws their way.
With a great value and great benefits, the Salomon XR Mission running shoes for women offer the superior protection you want and need in a pair of high-quality shoes.
4. Under Armour Speedform Fortis GR
- SpeedForm construction eliminates distractions often experienced with upper portions of other shoes
- Upper gets added support from seamless overlays
- Heel contains a lock down strap for an even more improved fit
- Some felt it was a bit expensive
- They run large
These comfortable running shoes for women are super cozy due to 4D foam layering which conforms to the shape of the runner's foot. Comfort equals more distance without foot fatigue.Read more
4D Foam is used for comfort, as well as a more natural running experience. The charged cushioning absorbs shock so you can run longer and farther. These UnderArmor shoes have an overall lightweight construction. They are made with thicker rubber in high-wear zones increases the shoe's durability and longevity of use. The build of the Under Armour Speedform Fortis GR's upper is durable, stretchable, lightweight, and breathable.
The quality of these shoes makes them very much worth the price and there extremely high durability mean that they will last a long time before they need to be replaced. They truly are one of the best sports shoes for women.
5. Saucony Ride 10
- Breathable upper mesh
- Midsole foam for additional comfort
- Narrow toe box
- Traction could use some improvement
With these running shoes for women called Ride 10, Saucony delivers an excellent product. These shoes are durable, comfortable, and breathable--and reasonable priced. Perfect for short to mid-range runs, these shoes will not slow you down and offer you a high level of comfort during your runs.Read more
The ride 10 offers additional cushioning and features a midsole foam for additional comfort--without having to sacrifice its lightweight features or flexibility.
The mesh incorporated in the upper portion of the shoe provides additional breathability and will keep your feet cool and dry for your entire run.
These shoes provide great shock absorption and are best for short to mid-range runs.
As mentioned above the quality of the shoe being provided evens out to the Ride 10 being reasonably priced.
6. Adidas Women's Cloudfoam QT
- For long distance
- Lots of color options
- Great shock absorption
- Neutral shoe
- Encourages natural running
- Pricey for some runners
- Only for runners with high arches
If you want good running shoes for women that are from a brand you know and can trust then you should consider the Adidas Women's Cloudfoam QT running shoes. They are stylish, easy to wear, durable, and supportive- everything you want and need to form a pair of quality shoes!Read more
The Adidas Women's Cloudfoam QT is made for optimal support and cushioning of your feet as you run. The interior soles are soft and supportive while the outside of the shoe is designed for shock absorption.
These shoes offer a decent range of flexibility, though not as much as some of the other shoes on our list. They do let you move easily which helps with maintaining balance and traction while running.
Adidas is brand runners have trusted for years and the Cloudfoam QT running shoes for women are no different and keep your feet comfortable, even on the longest runs and help fight pain and fatigue.
Runners put their shoes through a lot day in and day out, so it is important to find running shoes that are made to last. These shoes are built tough and can handle anything you throw at them!
You will find it difficult to find running shoes better than the Adidas Women's Cloudfoam QT if you are looking for quality and excellence at a fairly affordable price. So get yours today to see the difference a great shoe can make.
7. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
Multiple width options
More Narrow Heel
Seems to get softer when the foot heats up
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 are fast, light shoes and deserve a place on our top rated womens running shoes list. Redesigned from the 34, it has a softer ride with a stretch back heel to help alleviate unwanted Achilles pressure. The sole grooves are also smaller in the front, which actually gives the shoe more of a lift on each stride.Read more
Designed for speed and versatility, the Pegasus 35 look sleek and vibrant on the foot. The new upper knit fabric allows for air to swoosh through and gives a kind of fresh street look. The snappy toe grooves add a lot to the lift-off and with the added toe bevel, you'll look as fast as you feel. The responsiveness is also extra; they packed a lot of bounce in this shoe, which makes it great for gym use as well. The increased padding lets you get more distance, leaving your feet feeling great. Nike did take out the tongue, side and heel padding, but this makes the shoe more idea for fast movement. Making up for that support is the Flywire cables built into the interior of the shoe. These can be felt lined within the midsection of the shoe and is ideal great for trackwork.
Decently priced - below average for its design- the Nike Pegasus 35 is everything we hoped it would be compared to the beast that is the Pegasus 34. If racing is your thing and you still like the distance factor, you have that versatility packed into a light, well priced running shoe.
8. Altra Intuition 4.5
Roomy Toe Box
Wider in the Heel
Altra is known for its Foot Pod design, mapping out the foot and balancing weight and pressure on tendons and bones. This technology married with the comfort and responsiveness of the Altra Intuition 4.5 is what sets it a notch above the rest. The Intuition 4.5 has a 0mm drop, allowing for your body to align properly while feeling the road under your feet. It's a great shoe for a long run, the kind that clear your head.Read more
As mentioned, Altra's Footpod Innerflex grid is mapped out on the shoe, which identifies by color where the shoe enhances the foot and adds more flexibility. This rubber is attached across the bottom of the whole shoe also heightening durability. The EVA midsole offers an incredible shock absorbency and response while keeping the foot cushioned with a soft landing. The cherry on top is the weight. These shoes are lighter than the 4s’ and seem to allow for a faster feel on the pavement. Due to the Innerlex grid design, we would not suggest running any technical terrain. The upper 3D printed mesh is thick and supportive. It breathes very well and cradles the foot all the way into the heel cup.
Winning a Top comfort Award and winning with us in versatility, the Altra Intuition 4.5's womens running shoes are a steal. Although they are made for the road they will impress those who are looking for a well-ventilated trainer. These are a low budget shoe with a high budget feel.
9. New Balance 890v6
Good Lacing Lockdown
Lacks flexibility due to the firmness
Smaller Toe Box
It's been a few years in the waiting, but the New Balance 890v6 is a whole lot of upgrade in one jump of a shoe. Less aggravation and more comfort is offered in the 890v6. It is plushed up with a new midsole design and has new added durability to the outer sole. The mesh was reworked to be less abrasive. Honestly, we are glad to see the comeback because New Balance has something to prove.Read more
The mesh update is dreamy and has been upgraded to anew no-sew design, which eliminates seams. It is softer and breathes extremely well, keeping your feet cool and dry. These wrap around your foot like an extra layer of skin and give a very natural feel to your running movement. New Balance added the RevLite midsole cushioning to the full length of the shoe, enhancing the cushioning and support. They also delivered in the outer sole with grippy and strategically placed rubber. This adds durability and responsiveness to the shoe without adding any weight. An extra bonus is the small curvature that replicates the shape of the foot. It makes the 890v6 that much more comfortable.
These are a mid-ranged price running shoe with a top dollar feel. When New balance decided to relaunch the New Balance 890, you can tell they put a lot of thought into the design and listened to their reviewers. It took them a while, but these have shown to be well worth the wait at a price range you cannot ignore.
10. Hoka One One Bondi 5
- SpeedFrame construction to reduce irritation caused by long distance running.
- several color options
- Wide fit
- Sizing runs small
- Some users don't like their bulky look
The Hoka One One Bondi 5 are shoes that have proven to be one of the best long-distance shoes currently available for women. The fact that they are number 10 on our women's running shoes reviews list, doesn't mean they are not good enough like the rest. While they still look a bit bulky or awkward, don't let that fool you. These shoes deliver exceptional heel to toe cushioning--providing you with comfort and protection you need when logging in those long-distance run miles.Read more
They are made for long distance runs, especially marathons. They are made with a synthetic mesh that makes them both breathable and lightweight.
Their Speed Frame 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!
If you are shopping on a budget then the Bondi 5 is probably not a great pick for you but the quality shoes that Hoka One One provide means that this shoe is worth your consideration even if it costs a bit more.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
...support levels were crucial when compiling our list of best running shoe for women.
Women tend to have wider Q-Angles (hips) when running, which often leads to overpronation. So, we listened to what women 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.
...running shoes must have a deeper groove that can provide greater flexibility...
In general, women tend to have 15% lower body mass than men, this means 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.
...it’s important to provide our readers with a selection that reflects the individual needs...
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.
Unlike most running blogs and jogging shoe retailers, 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.
...this way we could provide you with the most accurate information in regards to durability.
Every female runner deserves the best women running shoes - a pair of durable sports shoe. To determine the overall durability of a shoe we took a look at the outsole, midsole, and upper constructions. Durable running shoes for women have an outsole made of materials that will hold up to outdoor elements, rugged terrain, and are capable of withstanding hard impacts. Midsoles need to maintain a solid level of comfort, even when miles begin to pile up. The upper portion of the shoe should also be breathable AND made of strongly constructed materials. It’s crucial to us that we 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--this way we could provide you with the most accurate information in regards to durability.
...each shoe it best suited for will give you the best fit, response, and protection.
Safety should always come first. With that in mind, we made sure to include selections that fit any situation you may encounter. While it may be "trendy" to have a specific marathon shoe, it may not be the ideal situation to take those very shoes on a rugged trail run. 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
12 marathons run in 12 different countries (18 to go!)
Over $7,000 raised so far to support local organizations
I'm in my running shoes a lot: I've set out to run a marathon in 30 different countries, raising money for local organizations in each one. Running race after race, I look for comfort and reliability in a shoe. I want to be sure every day that I'm getting the same fit as I did the week before, and that my feet are happy after 18 months of travel and running.
While we see more brands offering unisex sizes, it is important to be picky about every little thing when it comes to the overall comfort of the shoe. If there is even one irritation, no matter how small, make sure it isn't something that won't turn into a bigger problem.
Sure shoes eventually break in, but not always enough to make up for a noticeable miss in the overall fit.
When you narrow down your choices, really take a little time to research what others are saying about their own experience with these shoes.
While you might find some feedback that doesn't seem to apply to you personally, you will find some that do.
Other Factors to Consider
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 will give you the breathability you need 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.
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 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 is 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.
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 shoes, and never assume your shoe size. It’s best to size your foot at the end of the day or after anextended time walking or running (especially if you're looking for the best long distance running shoes for women). 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.
Once your shoes have been worn down it is highly important to replace them--even if they don't look like you need to. It's essential to have a fresh pair 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 sports 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 for women. This allows the shoes to dry out properly and for the midsole to recover before the next year.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is there really that much of a difference between mens and women’s running shoes?
If you need shoes for short distances i.e. shoes for light walks, not a noticeable difference. However, this guide is focusing on footwear 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 performing shoe.
q: I’m training for my first 5K race, what should I look for in my first pair?
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?
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?
This is a common complaint that can be easily remedied. First, look for running shoes for women 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.
q: What are the best running shoes for women?
The answer to this question is pretty much the same when it comes to men's running shoes too. Look for the model that matches your foot's needs. Determine if you're a runner with neutral, high or low arches. Do you overpronate and underpronate? Do you require additional cushioning? There isn't one single quality you can ake into account when searching for the best female running shoes. You need to find the ones that are best for you!
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