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The 20 Best Running Shoes for Travel & Sports in 2024 [Men & Women]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

789 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

35 Published Articles 3222 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Running shoes are designed to move with you and improve your performance. Whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned pro, a good pair of running shoes will help you to run harder for longer while offering support, traction, and comfort in every step.

Running shoes also make for some of the most comfortable walking shoes for traveling, making them extra versatile.

Things To Consider With Running Shoes

The perfect running shoe offers a practical blend of versatility, support, and cushioning. There are so many options to choose from — before you become overwhelmed, consider the following:

Size and Fit

Running shoes size
The perfect running shoe offers a practical blend of versatility, support, and cushioning. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

It may sound obvious, but it’s super important that your running shoes fit you properly before you head out in them. If they’re too big, your feet will rub up and down and cause blisters. If they’re too small, they’ll squeeze your toes.

Instead, running shoes should feel snug to offer your feet and ankles the support they need while also fitting just like a glove.

Cushioning

Running shoes cushioning
Cushioning helps to minimize the strain on your body while you run. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Your running shoes have to feel comfortable, and cushioning is a big part of that. Cushioned liners and midsoles are primarily there to absorb the shock of pounding the sidewalks and are designed to bear the brunt of the impact each time your foot hits the ground.

Bottom Line: Cushioning helps to minimize the strain on your body while you run (or walk) and adds to the overall comfort of the shoe, leading to a more satisfying workout.

Midsole

Located between the heel and the toe, the midsole is where you will find the majority of the cushioning in your running shoes. Most manufacturers include a layer of close cell foam called EVA that is comfortable underfoot and offers incredible support and stability while you run.

Outsoles

Running Shoes Outsoles
The outsole will need to grip well and offer traction. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Usually made from rubber, the outsole (or bottom of the shoe) is important for keeping you upright without slipping and sliding around in damp conditions. When it comes to your running shoes, the outsole will need to grip well and offer traction without being too rigid.

Different types of running shoes each offer a unique feel, and you can choose how soft or firm you need your new sneakers to be.

The torsional rigidity — which refers to how well the soles twist and turn with you — makes an impact on how the outsole performs, and the lug depth (or sole pattern) will dictate how much traction your running shoes offer.

Let’s take a look at some of the best running shoes out there:

The 10 Best Running Shoes for Men

1. Big-brand Running Shoes

Check on Kohl's

New Balance Men’s 680v7 Cushioning Running Shoe

Featuring dual-density Fresh Foam midsole, these awesome New Balance running shoes are designed to absorb impact through an effective combination of cushioning and compression.

With a no-sew construction, they offer a sleek, blister-free fit, and the molded insert is comfortable and supportive to help improve your performance.

With a rubber outer sole for increased traction, these shoes come in sizes 7 to 16 in a choice of wide or regular fittings.

What We Like

  • You’ll feel like you’re walking on air

What We Don’t Like

  • They tend to run small

2. Comfortable Running Shoes for a Smoother Ride

Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe

Offering balanced and even cushioning, these comfortable running shoes feature the Brooks Segmented Crash Pad technology — an integrated system of shock absorbers that offers a smoother “ride” with each step.

With neutral support, these shoes are ideal for road running, cross-training, and working out in the gym, and the engineered mesh and 3D design allow the shoes to mold to the shape of your foot for increased comfort.

Available in a choice of colors, these Brooks running shoes are available in sizes 5 to 15 in regular, wide, and extra-wide options.

What We Like

  • Offers just the right amount of bounce

What We Don’t Like

  • They are quite expensive

3. A Great All-around Running Shoe

Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes

These iconic sneakers are as suitable for long runs on sidewalks and trails as they are for wearing in the gym.

With an updated design that features multiple perforated inserts for increased ventilation, these running shoes are made with engineered mesh on top to help keep your feet feeling fresh.

With a slimmer tongue and collar portion, they offer a neat, slimline fit on your foot, and the durable, non-slip sole offers enough bounce and flexibility to keep you stable on any terrain. These shoes are available in a choice of trendy colors and come in sizes 6 to 16.

What We Like

  • These shoes offer plenty of comfort and a sporty design

What We Don’t Like

  • They aren’t the most supportive shoes for your ankles

4. Everyday Running Shoes for a High-energy Return

Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 21 Running Shoes

Cushioned and responsive, these sporty running shoes offer a high energy return for increased performance.

In addition, according to the manufacturer, the innovative torsion control system provides a 15% increase in forefoot bending stiffness for a more responsive run, and the continental rubber outsole offers excellent traction, even in wet conditions.

Made from recycled materials, these shoes feature the patented Primeknit+ textile upper for better breathability. These sharp-looking running shoes are available in a choice of colors and in sizes 6.5 to 14.5.

What We Like

  • They’re very well-cushioned

What We Don’t Like

  • They feel a little heavy until you get used to them

5. Flexible Running Shoe for Mixed Terrain

Check on Under Armour

Under Armour Men’s Charged Pursuit 2 Running Shoe

Offering support where you need it the most, these running shoes are an excellent choice for anyone looking for flexibility and comfort.

The lightweight design with an engineered mesh upper is extremely flexible and made to let your feet breathe, and the foam padding around the ankle and the collar will help to reduce the risk of unwanted blisters when you run.

The sock liner molds to the shape of your feet for enhanced comfort and support, and the cushioned midsoles with molded foam provide optimal cushioning and an efficient energy return.

Sleek and fashionable, these running shoes come in a variety of colors, in sizes 7 to 15, in regular or wide fits.

What We Like

  • An excellent running shoe for those who suffer from foot pain or plantar fasciitis

What We Don’t Like

  • The sizing is a little on the snug side

6. Adaptive Running Shoe for Year-round Running

ASICS Men’s Gel-Excite 8 Running Shoes

Featuring the Asics AmpliFoam midsole, these running shoes have been engineered to maintain durability at softer densities to help provide increased flexibility and comfort while you run.

Adaptable and designed to move with you, the GEL technology provides incredible shock absorption with every step. In addition, the Ortholite sock liner has built-in moisture management to keep your feet feeling fresh, and the no-sew overlays improve support and comfort while you run.

Available in a choice of colors, these awesome running shoes for men are available in sizes 7 to 15, in regular and wide fits.

What We Like

  • The GEL technology

What We Don’t Like

  • They have a high arch, which may not be suitable for all wearers

7. Fashionable Running Shoes

PUMA Men’s Axelion Perf Running Shoe

Sharp looks pair perfectly with practical design in these lightweight and breathable running shoes. The fabric upper portions allow your feet to move when you do and help to keep them fresh, and the TPU shank in the mid-foot offers support and control through the heel for a more comfortable run.

The full rubber outsole provides excellent level traction and grip, and the extended lacing system offers a secure fit and feel. Available in a choice of on-trend colorways, these awesome running shoes are available in sizes 7 to 14.

What We Like

  • They are soft, stylish, and super comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • They’re a little narrow

8. The Eco-friendly Pick

Adidas Men’s Ultraboost DNA Running Shoe

These lightweight high-performance running shoes feature the patented Adidas Ultraboost technology and boast breathable textile uppers and high-traction synthetic soles.

The mid-foot cage and heel counter provide excellent support, offering an almost sock-like fit. The stretch web outsole flexes naturally for an energized ride, and the Continental rubber soles offer superior traction even in wet weather.

Made from recycled materials, these shoes are eco-friendly and comfortable. And available in a choice of colors and sizes, they’re as perfect for use when pounding the sidewalks as they are for use in the gym.

What We Like

  • These shoes are comfortable enough to be worn every day

What We Don’t Like

  • They run a bit small

9. Running Shoes for Increased Shock Absorption

ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 29 Running Shoes

These running shoes offer shock absorption that lets your feet move freely while you run. The FF BLAST™ PLUS midsole offers enhanced stability and support, and the foam formulation provides supreme bounce back for a more responsive run.

The mesh uppers are made from 50% recycled materials and allow your feet to breathe as you run, and the low profile heel cradles and your foot for superior support. Available in a selection of colors, these shoes come in sizes 6 to 16 in regular and wide fits.

What We Like

  • The incredible support

What We Don’t Like

  • The toe box tends to crease when you run

Brooks Men’s Levitate 4 Running Shoe

These lightweight running shoes feature the Brooks DNA AMP midsole technology that puts a spring in every step you take. The sock-like fit is secure and comfortable, and the Fitknit uppers are more breathable than ever before.

With an arrow-point pattern on the outsole, your foot can move quickly from heel to toe, and available in a choice of colors and sizes, this is an excellent pair of running shoes that are comfortable enough to be worn every day.

What We Like

  • Great-looking and incredibly comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • They run small

The 10 Best Running Shoes for Women

1. Breathable Running Shoes for Use in All Types of Terrain

ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 29 Running Shoe

With engineered mesh uppers, these running sneakers are designed to keep your feet cool while you run, and they’re available in a range of sizes and colors.

The gel cushioning system offers shock absorption to protect your feet and ankles every time you hit the ground, and the innovative design allows for movement across your foot.

Featuring FF BLAST™ midsoles, they offer exceptional bounce-back and responsiveness on all types of terrain, and the low profile heel support helps with stability and support, even in wet conditions.

What We Like

  • They offer performance-enhancing comfort all day long

What We Don’t Like

  • You’ll pay for the privilege of running in comfort

2. Great for Increased Shock Absorption

Check on Walmart

Brooks Women’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe

Perfect for runners that are looking for a reliable sneaker that feels smooth and soft underfoot, these awesome shoes feature an integrated system of shock absorbers for incredible protection.

The neutral support increases cushioning, making them an excellent choice for road running, cross-training, or use in the gym. Loft cushioning feels nice and soft without ever losing responsiveness while you run.

With an engineered mesh upper and 3D print fit, these awesome running shoes have been designed to mold to the shape of your feet. Available in a multitude of colors and designs, they come in sizes 5 to 13, in wide and regular fits.

What We Like

  • These shoes are comfortable enough to wear all day long in any conditions

What We Don’t Like

  • The arch support is pretty high

3. Slim and Flexible Running Shoe

Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes

Available in a wide range of colors and designs, these on-trend running shoes are an excellent choice for running, walking, and working out.

The 100% synthetic sole is flexible enough to move with you, and the perforated mesh uppers offer targeted breathability across high-heat areas.

The slim heel collar and tongue help to keep them feeling slim and never bulky, and the high-resiliency sock liner adapts to the shape of your foot to offer increased support as you run.

What We Like

  • The beautiful colors and incredible comfort

What We Don’t Like

  • The sole can feel a little slippery on some surfaces

4. All-terrain Shoe for Serious Runners

ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoes

These awesome running shoes let you take on even the toughest terrain with their EVA midsole that protects against impact.

Durable and practical, they feature Asics GEL technology in the back of the shoe that provides shock absorption when you need it most.

The Ortholite sock liner molds to the shape of your foot for a custom fit and the sturdy uppers in synthetic leather can be used in all kinds of weather.

Available in a choice of colors and sizes 5 to 12 in regular and wide fits, these shoes would make an excellent training partner for beginners and seasoned pros alike.

What We Like

  • Suitable for running on all types of terrain

What We Don’t Like

  • As is often the case with Asics, they run a little small

5. The Best Sneakers for Neutral Runners

Brooks Women’s Launch 8 Neutral Running Shoe

Available in a selection of cool-looking colors, these running shoes are a great choice for neutral runners who are looking for a fast, lightweight ride.

They feature plenty of internal cushioning, and the Brooks BioMoGO DNA midsole doesn’t add any extra weight while you run.

The one-piece mesh upper molds to the shape of your foot and offers increased breathability, and the mid-foot transition zone helps to propel you forward for increased performance. Available in sizes 5 to 12, these shoes come in regular and wide fits.

What We Like

  • Incredible performance without ever feeling heavy underfoot

What We Don’t Like

  • They run large

6. Slip-on Running Shoes for Easy Access

Check on Kohl's

Adidas Women’s Puremotion Adapt Running Shoe

These innovative running shoes have a laceless design that allows them to be slipped on and off your feet in an instant.

The elastic straps help to secure your feet while you run, and the sleek and fashionable good looks make these as suitable for a day on the track as they are for a night on the town.

With 100% synthetic-textile uppers, they move with you while you run, and the patented Cloudfoam midsole offers incredible cushioning to support your feet and absorb shock with every step.

Available in a variety of colors and in sizes 5 to 12, they feature a synthetic outsole for increased grip, even in wet conditions.

What We Like

  • Great looking and very comfortable

What We Don’t Like

  • They may not be the best for longer runs

7. The Most Supportive Running Shoes for Your Joints

Brooks Women’s Revel 4

Versatile and easy to wear, these fashionable running shoes are designed to deliver a responsive ride. The BioMoGo DNA cushioning adapts to your stride and weight, and the impact-deflection system offers additional protection for your joints.

The arrow-point pattern on the outsole lets your foot transition from heel to toe without incident, and the Fit Knit uppers offer a secure and fashionable fit.

Designed to provide a fluid motion while you run, these are excellent running shoes from Brooks that come in a variety of colors and in sizes 5 to 12.

What We Like

  • The out-of-the-box comfort

What We Don’t Like

  • They run narrow

8. Running Shoes for Wet Conditions

Nike Women’s Zoom Winflo 8 Running Shoes

Perfect for running in all conditions, these Nike running shoes are made from weatherproof materials to help keep your feet dry.

The streamlined and lightweight design enhances performance without adding bulk. Well-cushioned to offer an efficient return on energy, the sticky rubber sole provides traction even on wet surfaces, and the Zoom Air unit in the heel offers responsive, low-profile cushioning for everyday wear. These Nike running shoes come in a variety of colors and in sizes 5 to 12.

What We Like

  • Well-suited to longer runs and all-day wear

What We Don’t Like

  • They have a high arch

9. Excel on High-impact Terrains

Check on Under Armour

Under Armour, Women’s Charged Rogue 2.5 Running Shoe

With an engineered mesh upper and a chunky sole, these running shoes from Under Armour are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear.

Featuring a dual midsole with plenty of cushioning for the ultimate blend of comfort and an effective energy return, these shoes feature a removable sock liner that molds to the shape of your foot.

The solid-rubber outsole helps you to cover high-impact zones with ease and offer increased durability without being bulky. They come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit anyone’s foot and style.

What We Like

  • They’re great for walking or running

What We Don’t Like

  • They run small

10. Versatile Sneakers for All Running Styles

New Balance Women’s 840 V5 Running Shoe

A great choice for runners of all abilities, these shoes feature the New Balance ABZORB midsole that has been designed to absorb impact through a combination of cushioning and compression resistance.

The blown rubber outsole offers great traction, and the choice of 2 different lace options ensures a secure fit while you run.

With mesh uppers for breathability and an almost custom-made fit, these sneakers come in sizes 5 to 13 in a choice of narrow, regular, wide, and extra-wide fits.

What We Like

  • The choice of widths makes it easy to find the perfect fit for your feet

What We Don’t Like

  • They’re pricey

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re running many miles at a time or simply looking for an extra spring in your step, a good pair of running shoes will make all the difference.

Try on as many pairs of running shoes as you can to ensure they suit the size and shape of your foot, and consider the type of terrain you’ll be running on before you buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are running shoes really necessary?

While technically you could run in any shoe, the risk of pain and injury is very high in anything other than running shoes. They’ve been specifically designed with runners in mind and provide impact-absorption to protect your feet and knees.

Is it OK to walk in running shoes?

What makes running shoes great for running also makes them great for walking. For that reason, many people use running shoes for travel.

Should running shoes be tight or loose?

Running shoes should feel snug so they provide enough ankle support, but there should be some wiggle room in the toe area to avoid pain or cramping.

How do I know if I overpronate or underpronate?

The quickest way to tell whether you over-pronate is to look at an existing pair of shoes and see where they’re worn down the most. If the wear is predominantly on the inside of your foot and near your big toe, you more than likely over-pronate.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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