Defining the best running shoes for men can be a challenge. There are hundreds of great options to choose from, and testing all of them is an eternal process.
Experts are constantly searching, testing, and writing about the best men’s running shoes to understand whether they fit their intended purpose: to deliver a comfortable running experience.
We have gathered several models of shoes that cater to different needs in terms of stability and cushioning. After assessing hundreds of models and comparing their characteristics, we’ve made up the list of some standouts that received high marks and praise from different male customers. We’ve also added brief descriptions of both these features to help you better understand how we assess shoes and define your next best purchase.
Stability means a shoe’s ability to support good running form. Typically, that refers to an optimal level of pronation. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that takes place during foot landing while walking or running. If your foot turns down and rolls inward excessively, it means that it requires stability, and you need shoes featuring it to help balance the movement. These represent firmer foams in key areas of the midsole or additional material on the edge of the foot to prevent it from bending. If pronation is not your issue, you’d better take a “neutral” shoe, which doesn’t offer extra support features and won’t interfere with your movements.
This is a field where experts’ opinions vary significantly. Athletes who focus on speed choose a firmer shoe that gives them a good feel for the ground. Others like something soft that mitigates impact forces. That’s crucial for long-distance runners because the extra cushioning can reduce pain in tired feet and joints. As a rule, less cushioning also means a lighter shoe, which is essential when cutting down fractions of a second off the finish time.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
The updated Peg 37 is a lightweight, agile everyday shoe perfect for runners putting them on daily miles or training for a tournament. The midsole is updated, with Cushlon ST replaced by flexible React foam and a forefoot air unit. The air unit gives the Peg its unsurpassed dynamic ride, as the surrounding material quickly compresses and springs back to its initial shape. Nike has also reduced Peg’s weight, so the trainers still feel light, even though they now have more foam underfoot than the 36 version. The final result hits a sweet spot that so many trainers adore. The ride is comfortable, responsive, and you get everything you need from shoes.
Saucony Kinvara 12
Light, speedy, and durable to withstand thousands of miles, the Kinvara is a go-to trainer for men who like to change the rhythm and distances throughout the day. This 12th version of the shoe is more lightweight and flexible, with a comfy midfoot to hold you in place and a mix of EVA and polymers to force energy return. It feels like an uptempo shoe but has the versatile cushion to manage your training plan, including long-distance races. Kinvara 12 is a good purchase for the number of miles you can get out of the trainers. Currently, you can get a pair for approximately $100. Remember that the exposed foam outsole will have signs of wear long before the shoe is ready to retire.
New Balance Fresh Foam X Beacon v3
There’s much to love about the Beacon v3. It’s lightweight and extremely comfortable. It can go fast, but it has plenty of cushioning to enable you to go through long runs. According to some testers, the third version significantly improves the fit compared to the second version that felt a little loose. New Balance has also equipped the Beacon with Fresh Foam X cushioning, which gives it a slightly softer feel this time. If you regularly switch from speedwork to long distances and need a pair of shoes that suit both, this is a great option. The Beacon is undeniably worth being listed as one of the favorite athletes’ models.
Saucony Endorphin Speed
While most professional athletes will still stick to pricier models with carbon fiber, like the Nike Alphafly Next%, the Endorphin Speed is a great racing option for most customers. It’s still stiff, though the nylon plate is far more flexible than carbon fiber, and the cushioning performs well for different runs all the way up to the marathon distance. However, where the speed matters is in daily training. The Endorphin Speed offers all the power you need while saving you some money compared to those more expensive fancy models for quick runs and interval workouts.
Puma Deviate Nitro
Over the past few years, Puma has done its best to improve itself in the competitive running shoe market by presenting several new models with updated performance characteristics and design. The goal has been finally reached with the Deviate Nitro, a carbon-fiber-plate race shoe with a nitrogen-infused foam midsole that feels resilient and flexible underfoot. The shoe is made with TPE, not with the pricier Pebax foam that other brands offer. But it’s significantly cheaper than most pricey carbon-fiber-plated models and is far more durable. The low-profile, sock-like upper is also light and airy, with an overall Nike-like aesthetic. Best for everything from a 9-minute-per-mile cruise to a 10K PR, and Deviate Nitro feels fully competent doing both.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v10
The 880 v10 has everything you want in an excellent running shoe. It is designed to last, comfortable, and provides a tight fit. The v10 comes with some important updates. The most notable is a shift to Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole for improved softness and a new mesh upper designed for better midfoot protection. Like the previous version, its oversized rubber outsole delivers dependable control and durability, so it’ll hold up through an intensive training routine. The summary is that the 880 v10 is undeniably a complete running shoe, with the breathable and stretchy upper material that enables you to run higher mileage without fear of getting injured.
Altra Lone Peak 5
The testers often describe the Lone Peak 5 as a shoe that splits the difference between ultra-soft and minimalist trail experiences, adding just the right volume of the lightweight and flexible cushion. The previous version of the shoe was a hit, particularly for its fit and comfort. This new version has its forerunner’s spacious, foot-shaped, and well-fitted design. However, it is not over-cushioned; in other words, it doesn’t add unnecessary volume that makes the shoe feel heavy or clumsy. Still, Altra has also provided a new StoneGuard rock plate at the toe and a more balanced Ego midsole that gives many happy miles of running on technical tracks. Those who tried the Peak 5 also noted its reliable traction, particularly the grippy MaxTrac outsole with angled TrailClaw lugs perfect for everything from rock faces to mud.
Hoka One One Mach 4
A cushioned Hoka One One Mach 4 feels like a rocket-fueled race shoe but still strong enough for long training distances — the new Mach 4 has been created to be your favorite Hoka ever. Hoka added speedy features from the brand’s new racing Carbon X and Rocket X, like impulsive energy return and a sporty, more smooth upper that embraces your foot, to design this flexible trainer. The lightweight, double-density Profly foam midsole offers plenty of dynamics and resilience, while the Meta-Rocker sole helps you roll through fast heel-to-toe movements. Customers who already loved some of Mach 4’s minimalistic external features will also like an oversize heel tab that makes it convenient to pull your feet in and out. It’s a shoe that performs well at everything from interval track workouts to long-distance runs and relaxed jogging. It’s no surprise that numerous runners who have dozens of other options available run exclusively in Mach 4 for months on end.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
A favorite among sophisticated customers, the latest version of the Speedgoat includes Hoka’s legendary cushioning with a more protective and long-lasting upper. The rocker sole on a wide platform provides a smooth, rolling ride that feels stable even at its exalted stack height, making it one of the best models for comfortable training during light workouts and for covering ultra distances. Compared to its predecessor’s features, the Speedgoat 4 measures are very soft in the heel and forefoot, and 5mm lugs create reliable footing on all kinds of curved terrain. Although the Speedgoats may seem a bit heavier than most trail shoes, they are worth paying that price for the comfort they give you during numerous races.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
The Adrenaline GTS 21 is a model well-loved by many customers with a lighter and stable GuideRails system to provide incredible support. The 21st version features that same design, which places material along the edges of the sole to keep your feet centered. This makes it suitable for both overpronators and neutral athletes since the extra support acts only if you need it. Overall, the shoe feels a bit softer and smoother than previous versions due to the DNA Loft foam that now covers the entire length of the midsole. The Adrenaline still gives excellent cushioning, and the rubber outsole provides excellent traction and durability for high-mileage runners.