You may notice that our site does not have many ads and all of our content is free. Instead, if you make purchases through certain links that we provide, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). We appreciate your support. You can learn more here.If you make purchases through certain links that we provide, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). We appreciate your support. Learn more here.
A recurring guest on this list, the Adidas Ultra Boost are still among the best running shoes you can buy. They are incredibly comfortable, flexible and breathable. The booty-like construction wraps your foot extremely well and the lockdown is solid. Perhaps the shoes best feature though is the Boost Foam – It does a great job of absorbing impact and provides tremendous energy return. We are huge fans of this. On the downside, the laces can cause some pressure points on your foot and the heel does slip sometimes. The Ultra Boosts also carry a crazy price tag (MSRP is $180). Overall though, these are killer running shoes if you can get over the high price.
The Ghost 9s from Brooks are a great option for someone looking for neutral running shoes that also provide quite a bit of comfort. Brooks’ DNA foam cushioning definitely delivers on the comfort aspect and also provides solid bounce-back. The Ghost 9s feature a new mesh upper, which is much more breathable than the Ghost 8s. On the downside, we did notice that the new toe configuration caused some discomfort after a while, but that’s all a part of breaking the shoes in. For this reason, we think these are best suited for casual runners that usually run between 4-8 miles at a time. Still, these are solid neutral running shoes in that mid-tier price range of $90-$120.
A newcomer to the list this year, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3 are surprisingly pleasant running shoes and we’ve seen them rise in popularity among consumers lately. The v3s are super lightweight (8.6 oz) yet still have quite a bit of structure and support. That means, yes, obviously they are great when it comes to quicker, short-distance running but they can also handle those long-distance runs and half-marathons. The V3s also sport a new mesh upper, making them more breathable than past models. On the downside, the tread can wear down a little quicker than other shoes on this list. But at a price point of $80-$100, they are a great budget option for the avid runner.
The LunarEpic Low FlyKnit 2s are quite possibly our favorite shoes from Nike (although technically we’d say the Air Zoom Pegasus 33 and Air Zoom Vomero 12 are betters runners overall). They have come a long way from the original LunarEpic model – you know the one with the really awkward sock that went above your ankle. Regardless, these are one of the most comfortable shoes you will ever put on – it truly feels like you are standing on a pillow. We really like the complete bootie design and the LunarFoam does a great job at absorbing impact while running. The lockdown is also surprisingly decent given the shoes construction. Another thing we really like about the LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2s is that they are pretty stylish, meaning they can easily double as your casual, walking around shoes. On the downside, little rocks and pebbles can get stuck in the pod design on the bottom of the shoe and we do have durability concerns with the Flywire lace loops. Also, price is a little high with a MSRP of $160. Overall though, you can run in these and then use them as everyday shoes – super versatile.
Taking the place of the popular Gel-Kayano series this year are the Gel-Nimbus 19s from ASICS. To be fair, the Kayano and Nimbus shoes are very similar, however the Gel-Kayano 23s are more of a stability shoe, while the 19s are more neutral. The Gel-Nimbus series has long been a go-to shoe for high mileage runners. ASICS did add their new FlyteFoam in the midsole of the shoe (also seen in the Gel-Kayano 23s) in addition to the old gel system the shoe is known for. And although this combination does make for a lighter shoe than previous models, I will say I prefer the softness of the cushioning on the Adidas Ultra Boosts. They are also a little pricey at a MSRP of $160, but overall, the 19s are still a great option for avid runners that run long distances.
Jeff is a big fan of these and uses them weekly. And although we did like the Gemini 2s, Under Armour made some nice improvements with the 3s. First and most obvious is in the style department. The 3s just look much nicer and there are better color options available this time around. The 3s are super comfortable and have a much better fitting tongue than other SpeedForm shoes from UA. We also really like the Charged Cushioning – great for short, medium and long distance runs. On the downside, we wish there was a little more heel lockdown and the insoles are non-removable so there’s no way to add correction. But the reason we really like these shoes is because they also come in a Record-Equipped version. The RE version is slightly more expensive but has a chip inside the shoe that automatically recognizes when you start running and will estimate distance, duration, split times, and average pace. That way you don’t need to have your phone with you while you run – just pair the shoes with the MapMyRun or MapMyFitness app when you get back and you can see all your running metrics – pretty cool stuff.