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The Best Running Shoes for Men

🕚 Updated May 2023

No matter your experience, your running shoes affect your performance and physiological health. A pair of old Converse won't cut it, so get a reliable pair of running shoes. Here are some of the best for men.

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  Top Choice Best for Trail Running Best Slip Ons Most Breathable Most Color Choices
Men's Gel-Venture 7
New Balance
Men's 481 V3 Trail Running Shoe
Under Armour
Men's Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe
Men's Ultra Lightweight Shoes
Men's Lite Racer Adapt 3.0 Running Shoe
Our SummaryThese trail running shoes have gel cushioning and a sock liner to protect your feet and increase breathability.This New Balance trail shoe offers comfort and stability, featuring a CUSH+ foam compound midsole and AT tread.A trendy slip-on shoe with a breathable mesh upper and twenty-one colors options.A pair of shoes to slip on and off, wear for light exercise, and step up your fashion game.A pair of shoes to slip on and off, wear for light exercise, and step up your fashion game.
Pros✓ Rearfoot GEL® technology
✓ EVA midsole
✓ OrthoLite® sock liner
✓ Absorbs shock
✓ Thermal protection
✓ Reputation for comfort and stabilizing
✓ AT tread
✓ CUSH+ foam compound midsole
✓ Durable
✓ EVA sock liner hugs feet
✓ Slip on and off
✓ Neutral support
✓ Charged Cushioning midsole
✓ High performance
✓ High EVA, molded outsole
✓ Breathable, knitted mesh upper
✓ Elastic insole
✓ 21 colors
✓ Aerodynamically design
✓ Cloudfoam heel pad in the midsole
✓ Supportive cushioning
✓ OrthoLite® sock liner
Cons✗ Feet still get hot in warm weather
✗ Narrow toe box
✗ Too wide
✗ Too narrow
✗ Rubber outsole wears down quickly
✗ Heel doesn't lock in
✗ Heavier than other mid-level running shoes
✗ Runs wide
✗ Shoe weight isn't provided
✗ Not a running shoe
✗ More of a trainer than a running shoe
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The Best Running Shoes for Men

A man ties his running shoes.

Buying Guide for Men’s Running Shoes

Closeup of a man running on a trail in running shoes.

Why buy running shoes for men?

You can injure yourself from running in improper shoes. Blisters, tendonitis, stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and corns are just some of the potential ailments you can get. You’ll need a pair that supports and cushions your feet, joints, and posture for healthier, more comfortable, and more successful running.

What should you look for in running shoes for men?

  • Outsole: The outsole is exactly what it sounds like, the bottom of the outside of the shoe. This is an important characteristic to consider because of the running surface you plan to run on most. If you’re going to be running primarily on trails, you’ll want to look for great traction and durable material to protect your feet against rocks and debris. Long lugs on the outsole provide grip, as do rubber compound materials.
  • Midsole: It’s not the middle section of the outsole but the inner layer between the insole and outsole. You’ll find running shoes with EVA or PU midsoles, brand-name gels, and airbags. Typically, runners look for the lightest midsole that provides cushioning but also bounce or energy return.
  • Support: The standard test to find the type of support you’ll need in a running shoe is to submerge your bare feet in water, then stand on dry concrete or paper. What you see will reveal high arches, flat feet, or a neutral arch. If you see about half of your arch with a slim band connecting the ball of the foot and heel, lucky you! You’ll find shoes easily and are less likely to suffer injury. And if you see a full footprint, you’re looking at flat feet.

What should you know about the heel-toe drop?

It’s identified as the height between the heel and forefoot of a running shoe. The various degrees of heel-toe drop impact a shoe’s comfort, heel strike, footswitch, or your feet turnover rate as you move forward. On average, it’s about 10 millimeters for running shoes. Ever heard of zero-drop shoes? These flat running shoes are newer inventions that can be a good fit for some since they’re so lightweight and promote a natural, almost barefoot feel. However, many people need more support than zero-drop shoes can offer. Ultimately, you’ll have to find the right heel-toe drop for your feet.

Our Picks for the Best Running Shoes for Men

Top Choice

ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 7

These trail running shoes have gel cushioning and a sock liner to protect your feet and increase breathability.

Pros: With rearfoot GEL® technology and EVA midsole, this pair of ASICS cushions and stabilizes your feet as you bound up and down trails. Shock absorption is important for street running and even more so for crossing over outdoor terrains like rocks, sand, and forest floor debris. The EVA midsole takes care of that and even increases rebound. Inside the shoe is an OrthoLite® sock liner, a PU foam with aerogel for thermal insulation. The sock liner adds more cushioning right at the foot, molding to your feet for extra comfort the more you wear them.

Cons: The sock liner fails to keep feet cool in warmer temperatures. Also, the toe box is narrow.

Bottom Line: The ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7 shoes have a great track record, especially among those who want less expensive yet high-quality trail shoes. They’re particularly good for beginners. Advanced runners may want to find high-mileage trail shoes for technical trails.


Best for Trail Running

New Balance Men's 481 V3 Trail Running Shoe

This trail shoe offers comfort and stability with a foam compound midsole and sturdy tread.

Pros: Ask any runner or walker what they know about New Balance shoes, and they’ll probably say something about great support. The men’s 481 V3 offers that and more. The AT tread, rubber outsole, and CUSH+ foam compound midsole combine to ensure a durable and cushioning off-road running shoe. While some running shoes are truly built for running only, the 481 V3 lives up to its comfort and stabilizing qualities for walks, work, and leisure.

Cons: The rubber outsole wears down more quickly than, say, EVA.

Bottom Line: These trail running shoes make a better hybrid than a trail-specific shoe. Even with the AT tread, the soles won’t stand up to rugged trail running. But don’t be scared off if you’re looking for a great running, walking, or gym shoe. New Balance has a good reputation for a reason!


Best Slip-Ons

Under Armour Men's Charged Assert 9 Running Shoe

A neutral support shoe noted for its flexibility, cushioning, and wide range of color options

Pros: A men’s running shoe with a touch of luxury? Yes, the Charged Assert 9 features an EVA sock liner that gently hugs the feet. Once you’ve tied them just right, you can slip them off and on, tightening the laces as needed. This neutral support shoe provides a nice balance of flexibility and cushioning. As alluded to in the name, the shoe features a Charged Cushioning midsole, a compression molded foam that’s meant to give superior responsiveness and durability.

Cons: Perhaps due to the sock liner fit, the heel has a poor fit and allows the foot to move around. The shoe is also heavier than other mid-level running shoes.

Bottom Line: While it’s unlikely they’ll cut time off your personal record (PR), the Assert 9 running shoe offers flexibility, comfort, and durability. It’s also reasonably priced, which is noteworthy for running shoes.


Most Breathable

VAMJAM Men's Ultra Lightweight Shoes

A trendy shoe with a breathable mesh upper and 21 color options.

Pros: These men’s running shoes meet both fashion and function standards. They feature a high EVA molded outsole, a breathable, knitted mesh upper, and an elastic insole. While they look as comfortable as slip-on shoes, they do have laces. We were most impressed by their good looks, low price, and that they come in 21 different colors.

Cons: If you have narrow feet, you may want to select a half-size down because the VAMJAM runs wide. However, doing so may also make them shorter. They may be lightweight, but their actual weight isn’t provided, just the packaged weight. Be aware that these shoes aren’t technically for running but walking, light jogging, or as casual wear.

Bottom Line: These sneakers make a low-cost, high-fashion option for light exercise and everyday wear. Buy them to up your wardrobe or give your feet extra cushion at work.


Most Color Choices

adidas Men's Lite Racer Adapt 3.0 Running Shoe

A pair of shoes to slip on and off, wear for light exercise, and step up your fashion game.

Pros: This aerodynamically designed sneaker looks fast and performs sublimely. First, though, let’s clarify a few terms. It features a Cloudfoam heel pad in the midsole, a new proprietary EVA compound that provides remarkably supportive cushioning. An OrthoLite® sock liner hugs the foot and provides temperature regulation. Another adidas term, PRIMEGREEN, is the name of a performance fabric made of 100% recycled polyester. The Racer Adapt 3.0 upper is 50% PRIMEGREEN. The synthetic rubber sole provides flexibility and a waterproof grip.

Cons: This shoe is described as running-inspired, suggesting that it’s more of a trainer than a shoe made to endure high mileage. Also, the slip-on, slip-off fit is less than ideal for running.

Bottom Line: You won’t have to stop and tie your laces with the Racer Adapt 3.0. They have those bungee-like laces that you pull to tighten and kick off when you get home. If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of sneakers and prefer a wide color selection, this adidas shoe may be the answer.

Final Thoughts

You need good running shoes to run your best. It doesn’t hurt if they make you look the part, either. The running community recommends you buy new shoes every 300–500 miles as well, so take a look at these top picks and make sure you have the right shoes for you.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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