If there’s ever been a sport you could really play anywhere (and with just about anyone), it’s running. Forget dumbbells, resistance bands and the gym, all you need is the road and the right exercise equipment. For women, this includes a sports bra, sportswear, and a great pair of sneakers. But buying the latter is a task in itself, especially when the best running shoes for women can cost well over $ 100. However, finding the right pair is worth the investment and will lead to a healthier and more comfortable run overall.
It should be noted that there are key differences in construction between men’s and women’s running shoes. A woman’s heel tends to be narrower compared to the sole of the foot, which affects the shape of the shoe. Additionally, women tend to be lighter than men, so women’s running shoes often have a softer midsole. And because women typically have wider hips than men, they also tend to overpronate (rolling feet inward when running). To compensate for this, the female version of a shoe will have a thicker wall on the inner part of the shoe.
Below you’ll find the best running shoes for women, from beginners to pros, speed demons to everyday joggers, and stability seekers to fans of lightweight cuts.
Best Supportive Running Shoes for Women
Structured sneakers with optimal stability
- Advantages: Support in the heel and midfoot allows for a smoother run; can usually be found on sale for $ 100 or less
- The inconvenients: Heavy
The Kayano is a good choice for those with excessive pronation or for anyone who needs a stability shoe. A structured heel and stiff midfoot work together to help control inward twist, while two different densities of foam in the midsole provide arch support to flat feet. The gel heel also helps absorb shock to give you a smooth run. At 9.2 ounces, the Kayano is definitely on the heavy side, but if stability is what you’re looking for, those extra few ounces are worth it.
Best stability running shoes for women
Lightweight shoes that provide support
- Advantages: Pods in the sole provide support and cushion; unique lacing system adapts to different foot widths
- The inconvenients: Debris can get caught between the pods; the size is a little short
This running shoe has a more stable construction than its popular cousin, the Cloud X, but it takes a more flexible approach to pronation support than real stability shoes. The medial side of each shoe has added support to guide pronation instead of stopping it completely, and at 7.4 ounces it’s ultra light for its caliber of support. It’s a good shoe for someone who’s looking for the right balance between neutral and stability – it feels nimble and streamlined, but certainly helps with injury prevention.
The sole is constructed with a dozen lugs, one of the features that sets the On apart. These provide cushioning and guidance, as well as a small increase in speed when compressing. As for the fit, the shoe is a bit short and some may find the heel a bit narrow, but the unique lace design accommodates a range of foot widths. Shoes also have lasting power: if you’ve ever owned On shoes, you know you’ll have them for years to come.
Best running shoes for speed
Sneakers for serious runners
- Advantages: The elastic foam midsole and thin carbon fiber plate propel you forward; lightweight with a glove-like fit
- The inconvenients: Dear; often exhausted
These shoes can help fast runners go faster. (Example: When Eliud Kipchoge set a course record in the London Marathon, he wore a cousin of this style.). What Nike calls its “fastest shoe ever,” the Next% 2 have a thin carbon fiber plate wedged between layers of responsive foam, providing the wearer with constant forward propulsion. Most of the shoe body is in the sole; the barely visible upper is made from a thin, lightweight, water-resistant fabric that conforms to your foot.
Despite its light weight, the Next% 2 is still quite robust. You can wear them for a few hundred miles of training runs and quick runs, instead of just keeping them on for race days.
Best running shoes for all-purpose training
A cushioned trainer ideal for beginner and seasoned runners
- Advantages: Stretch upper and cushioned sole provide comfort and support for long runs over different types of terrain
- The inconvenients: Firm foam feel may be too firm for some runners
It’s everyone’s shoe. The upper is an incredibly comfortable and stretchy fabric that keeps your foot in place, prevents blisters, and allows air circulation, while the sole has a solid amount of firm cushion underfoot, providing support and speed. These characteristics make the 1080v11 particularly useful for traveling long kilometers on any type of terrain. Plus, Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioning, lightweight ride.
Best running shoes for beginners
A neutral training shoe for a smooth and stable run
- Advantages: Slightly fitted fit and cushioned sole provide support and shock absorption for new distance runners
- The inconvenients: Very little propulsion
The Brooks Ghost 13 is ideal for new runners due to the narrow toe box, the padded upper that hugs the feet, and the plush, responsive sole that provides support and comfort for those who find their rhythm. The foam-filled midsole helps absorb shock and stretches from heel to toe for all-around cushioning. While suitable for beginners, these sneakers can still go the distance; they are ideal for beginner marathon trainers or anyone with high weekly mileage who favors long or recovery runs.
Best lightweight running shoes for women
A fast and lightweight training shoe made from recycled materials
- Advantages: Lightweight with an elegant and agile design; made from recycled materials
- The inconvenients: Not enough midsole cushioning for heavier runners who frequently start long runs
The AdiZero Boston 9s were great, but the 10s are even better. In recent years, a lot of fast shoes have gotten big (see: the thick, sculpted foam soles of the NEXT% 2). For runners after a more minimal, but still super fast shoe, this is the choice for you.
And it turns out it’s a choice for a lot of serious runners. “I’ve been running a lot in the Adizero Boston for a few seasons now,” says David Jou, doctor of physiotherapy and co-founder of the Motiv NY physiotherapy studio in New York City, a favorite of runners trying to amplify themselves. their recovery game. “As for ‘Boost’ in Adidas shoes, this one has it, without being too cushioned, it still gives some ground feel. I feel like I can take it off for runs. higher mileage, but still holds also for speed training.
The Adizero is green too. It’s made from a series of high-performance recycled materials (50% of the upper is recycled content), making it a shoe you can happily buy.
The most versatile running shoes for women
A versatile shoe that’s suitable for both training and running
- Advantages: The beveled heel and breathable glove-like upper work together to improve speed; good durability over time
- The inconvenients: May not offer enough support / stability for some runners
Here is another sneaker popular with athletes. “I only run with the current Pegasus shoes that Nike has to offer,” says New York-based runner Coffey, a Nike trainer and the founder of DeFine New York Run Club and Running to Protest. “They are very comfortable with lots of cushion and I can go about 500 miles with each pair.” There are tons of Nike Pegasus options you can’t go wrong with, but you probably won’t take a spin on your local track without spotting the Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2.
An ultralight upper with a glove-like fit holds your foot in place without overheating or constricting, while bouncy Zoom foam and beveled heel help you push off quickly. It’s a quick shoe, but that doesn’t mean it’s just right for race day. Faster runners love it for its cushion and versatility on speed work and long runs, but any runner will appreciate the propellant kick of these shoes.
Best cushioned running shoes for women
A plush training shoe for relaxed looks
- Advantages: Incredibly smooth ride; super light for the amount of cushioning
- The inconvenients: Foam can wear out over time; not super fast
This is an incredibly plush shoe that is versatile, so much so that you might be concerned that it will feel heavy underfoot. Either way, this thick layer of foam is elastic and provides good support, thanks to a full compression EVA midsole, which adds stability and distributes weight throughout the sole. It also features super soft memory foam collars to fit your ankle and accommodate a narrower heel, cradling your Achilles. And while you might think that such cushioning would result in an uneven ride, the brand’s signature Meta-Rocker construction provides stability.
While HOKA markets the Bondi 7 style for everything from recovery joggers to races, they may not be the best choice for race day. For recovery, however, they’re the perfect shoe when you’re feeling a little sore and want to give your joints a break so you don’t hammer the pavement with firmer shoes. Another bonus? They come in incredibly wacky and retro color options that live up to their California surf break inspiration.