WHETHER YOU’RE A lifelong runner who regularly partakes in marathons for fun or are just beginning your running journey and find the idea of logging more than a kilometre without a break daunting, the right shoe can make all the difference—not only in terms of comfort, but also performance. Finding a shoe with such capabilities is no easy feat.
When weighing up potential running shoes, a few factors need to be taken into consideration. Running style, foot composition, goals, fit and, of course, budget, should all influence your decision. The ideal running shoe will be different for everyone, and given the expenditure involved in purchasing a new pair, it’s important that you know what to look for. Luckily for you, we’ve already done most of the work.
In 2024, we must be approaching the peak of running shoes, because the footwear landscape can’t get much better than what it currently is. With a number of big brands and smaller scale operations combining cutting-edge technology with innovative design to cater to every runner’s needs, these days there’s something for everyone. Here, we take a look at the absolute best running shoes on the market, all of which have the potential to be your next pair.
Nike Vaporfly 3
Nike is a big name in the running scene, and for good reason. As one of the world’s largest brands, Nike has earned the enduring respect of consumers with a history of shoes that fulfil their performance promise and don’t compromise on comfort. The Vaporfly 3 is the latest in a long line of top-quality Nike running shoes. Engineered for elite performance in road racing (marathon runners, pay attention), these shoes feature an upgraded ZoomX foam midsole, offering exceptional energy return. The sleek, aerodynamic design also enhances speed, making them a great option for runners hoping to improve personal bests.
On Running Cloudtilt
If nothing else, the unique design of On Running’s Cloudtilt will certainly catch eyeballs. But thankfully, the Cloudtilt is much more than a conversation starter. Engineered with precision and crafted with innovation, the Cloudtilt embodies On Running’s commitment to merging performance with style. Boasting a sleek, modern design, this shoe features On Running’s signature CloudTec cushioning system, which delivers unparalleled comfort and support for kilometre after kilometre. Its responsive yet cushioned ride ensures a smooth transition from heel to toe, making it ideal for casual joggers and athletes alike.
New Balance Fresh Foam X Trail More v3
For those who prefer blazing trails on off-road adventures, the New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v3 is a luxury you can afford. Whether you’re a veteran of the trails or just there for the scenery, these kicks will ensure you’re performing at the peak of your powers with feet that are as comfortable as they are cool. With a rugged upper, synthetic mesh outsole and Fresh Foam midsole, these shoes provide superior traction and cushioning on uneven terrains. Safety is another strength of the Trail More v3, with innovative toe protect technology and the highest stack height in the New Balance range. The durable and protective design ensures stability, making it the go-to choice for trail runners.
Adidas Ultraboost 23
Having spent years honing the power of energy return with 22 previous Ultraboost iterations—which are all staples in the closets of many runners—Adidas takes a leap into the future with the Ultraboost 23. As their name suggests, the Ultraboost 23s are all about giving you a boost. Fittingly, Adidas have also named the shoe’s expansive cushioning BOOST. Boasting an evolved and highly adaptable PRIMEKNIT+FORGED upper, these shoes are a snug fit, but are flexible enough to move as you do. The Ultraboost 23s reset the standards for everyday running shoes by infusing energy in every stride.
Brooks Glycerin StealthFit GTS 21
Brooks are specialists in high performance running shoes and you’ll be hard pressed to find a shoe that offers better support and cushioning than the Glycerin GTS 21. The latest in the Glycerin line, the GTS 21 has an updated midsole with more nitrogen-infused (yes, nitrogen-infused, a hallmark of the Glycerin line) DNA LOFT v3 cushioning than any other shoe in the range. The Glycerin GTS 21s are all about supreme softness. With a 3D printed upper and an adaptable foot-moulding fit, these kicks deliver maximum cushioning and support. If you’re the type of long-distance runner that could happily go the rest of their life without another blister, the Glycerin GTS 21s are ideal.
Asics MetaSpeed Edge+
Asics raises the bar with the MetaSpeed Edge+, a shoe designed for precision and peak performance. Engineered with an innovative carbon plate and FF BLAST Turbo technology, these shoes offer optimal energy return, bounce and propulsion. The lightweight and breathable upper provides a snug fit, while the precision-designed sole enhances stability. The MetaSpeed Edge+ is a game-changer for runners seeking a competitive edge, be it in a fun run or a marathon.
Hoka Clifton 9
Hoka continues to excel in the realm of cushioning with the Clifton 9. The Clifton 9 has stripped back excess weight and added stack height to create an eminently light running experience. Featuring an updated EVA midsole and a refined upper, these shoes offer cloud-like comfort without compromising on responsiveness. The Meta-Rocker technology ensures a smooth transition from heel to toe, making the Clifton 9 an ideal choice for a plush and supportive ride on any terrain.
Reebok Floatride Energy 5
Dependable, durable and effective. The Floatride Energy 5 has everything you want in a running shoe, all for a startlingly low price. With a lightweight design and responsive cushioning, these shoes will get the job done on the pavement, at the track or off-road. A jack-of-all-trades of a shoe, the Floatride Energy 3’s are perfect for the runner who likes to shake things up on a variety of terrains.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11
New Balance’s Fresh Foam cushioning is a lesson in innovation, cradling your feet to offer a plush and supportive ride. Meanwhile, Ultra Heel technology will be hugging the back of your feet, ensuring stability and support. The shoe’s sleek design also adds a touch of sophistication to your sweaty endeavours, ensuring you look as cool as you feel.
Nike Invincible 3
The Nike Invincible 3 is aptly named, as a run in these strikingly supportive shoes will make you feel invincible. The Invincible 3s are designed to promote longevity, endurance, and durability. Those are three attributes you should look for in a shoe, but they’re also qualities runners will find in themselves, should they look inwardly. The Invincible 3s have honed a level of comfort that will keep your body in pristine condition, attaining a level of support that ensures you’ll always be ready for your next run.
Saucony Peregrine 14
Named for the peregrine falcon—the world’s fastest bird—the Saucony Peregrine 14 is all about rugged speed. These shoes were crafted to be the ultimate trail running companion, with unrivalled versatility and performance. The Peregrine 14 boasts a secure fit suitable for varied terrains, a treaded outsole guaranteeing superior grip on wet or dry surfaces, a reinforced upper which promises enhanced breathability, and an innovative PWRRUN foam midsole providing lightweight cushioning and optimal balance. The Peregrine 14’s are a do-it-all pair that goes the extra mile so you can too.
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