No matter what your personal preference in styles it’s vital you have a supportive, cushioning running shoe for both comfort and safety. It’s the most important purchase you will make as a runner.
Depending on the biomechanics of your particular gait, you may do better with certain shoe designs above others, so it’s important to give this vital purchase some serious thought. Our brand guidelines below will help you get the perfect fit.
So how do You buy a quality men’s running shoe?
It’s important to consider your individual needs as well as the purpose for the trainer. There’s a few different types of running shoe, designed to cater to different support and gait needs as well as overpronation and personal tastes.
You may also have wider, narrower or slimmer feet then average [those last two aren’t the same thing, by the way], and you should always choose a shoe for your comfort, not branding or gimmick, even if they’ve worked well for others.
With that said, here’s a few purchasing tips:
- Don’t be cheap. Buy the most worthwhile shoes your budget can accommodate. Poorly designed or worn-out shoes will increase your risk of injury and wear-and-tear on joints and can literally rob you of health and wellbeing down the road. Spend the money now to ensure you don’t need it for medical bills later. Even if your budget is tight, do the best you can. And remember that your shoes will need to be changed regularly- they suggest no less then every 500 miles, although 300 miles is probably a better ballpark.
- Bring your bells and whistles with. Chances are, almost any shoe will feel good in the store. And there’s no point in trying a shoe on with your stockinged work-day feet if you don’t run like that. Bring your usual socks, arch supports, padding and anything else you’d habitually use on your run to make sure the shoe works as needed with everything else you need.
- Try a specialist if possible. It’s usually a better idea to use a specialist running shop then a simply a chain that carries sportswear, particularly if you’re new to the sport. You’ve a far better chance of getting meaningful help and great inside tips. Specialised online vendors- like Amazon shops that specialise in running shoes- should also prove useful sources. Do your research
- Don’t go by what it says on the box. As with dance and any other sport, you might not always wear your ‘usual’ size in your running shoes. Remember, these are pieces of specialised equipment-think of them as your tools- and you need a far better fit then the one that does ‘just alright’ for day wear. Even when you know your running shoe size, it’s a good idea to be re-measured whenever you buy new shoes. Sizes do change with time and brand.
Get the most from your running shoe
Remember that nothing can last forever- and that’s very true of running shoes. Even the best shoe will start to show wear and tear- and lose their protective features- after a while, and it’s recommended that you change them between 300 and 500 miles of use. In the meantime, take good care of your shows by:
- Use your running shoes only for exercise.
- Change shoes, especially if you like to alternate styles.
- Store them in a cool and dry place that will let them breathe. If your shoes got wet, make sure to dry them gently and out of the way of direct heat.
- Undo the laces when you take them off- ripping them on and off intact is the easiest way to damage them.
- Shoes aren’t made for washing machines- use an old fashioned scrubbing brush and some mild soapy water instead.
Take extra care if you’re prone to overpronation
It’s wholly natural for the foot to roll in slightly as you land. This is referred to as pronation, and for most people it stops before there’s any risk of injury. A large segment of people are prone to overpronation- the foot rolls too far down- however, and this can lead to injury and weakness in the ankles.
You can usually tell if you over pronate by looking carefully at a pair of shoes you wear regularly, whether normal shoes or running shoes. If there’s a distinct inward tilt in the wear of the heel, you’re an over pronator.
A runner who’s prone to over pronation should wear a shoe designed to stabilise the ankle, such as motion control shoes. You’re more prone to over pronation if you’re tall, heavy and have low arches.
Running shoes don’t stop at supporting overpronation. There are a few other types of shoe, too.
- Neutral shoes, also called cushioned shoes, are designed with mid- to forefoot strikers in mind. They’re not for those who overpronate, and accommodate mid- to high arches well, proving maximum cushioning.
- Motion control shoes, as we mentioned, are designed to support those prone to overpronation or with low arches.
- Stability shoes offer arch support and cushioning. They’re great for mild overpronation and a durable choice for any runner.
- Think of performance shoes as light and well-balanced all-rounders designed for fast runners with efficient movement.
- Racing shoes [designed for the really serious track racer who needs super light shoes] and trail running shoes are niche shoes that we won’t be including in our reviews below- look for the specific articles for these specialist shoes.
Whatever your category, there’s a great shoe out there for you. Below, we look at some of this year’s top picks.
Some of the top men’s stability shoes
Starting with this stalwart of the runner’s wardrobe, if you’re looking for the greatest stability shoe out there you couldn’t go far wrong with the Saucony Hurricane 15. This powerhouse of stability is fabulous for runner’s who want that cushioning coupled with a tight heel grip. It uses a blend of it’s mid and upper section designs to ensure the foot remain well held. It’s a fairly light shoe for a support shoe, too. Even heavier users found it a comfortable choice, and it earns an impressive 4.5 star rating on online vendor Amazon.
The Saucony Hurricane 15 is an enduring hit among users who find gel padding too stiff and non-conformative, and it strikes an interesting balance between a reduced toe to heel drop whilst still maintain its cushioning. Some runners do mention a tightness in the toe box, so it may not work well for wider feet.
The Brooks Men’s Trance 12 Running Shoe, alas, is not as lightweight as the Hurricane 15, but don’t let this stop you. It carries forward the same Brookes quality runners trust. Another shoe that’s ideally suited to the road, it uses its internal crash pad in the midsole to create an effective [and proprietary] impact reduction system. Intriguingly, the midsole is also biodegradable, making this a top choice for ethical and green consumers.
Even larger users found the Trance a comfortable running companion. Again, they tend to a narrow fit, but a wider toe box accommodates a range of feet.
Our best men’s neutral running shoe picks
If you’re looking for a lightweight neutral shoe, the Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ is for you. It’s unique 1 piece upper makes for a novel and an unbeatable experience. If you’re concerned about a loose fit, don’t be, as the technology is developed to offer good conformity too. The flex grooves on this model are gendered specifically to suit men’s feet and offer a maximum of flexibility. To top it all, the price isn’t bad!
Some users do complain of a slightly quicker wearing in the tread, but that’s almost to be expected from a shoe as lightly balanced as this one. If you’re a Nike fan, though, don’t rest on your laurels and assume it will fit. This line tends to fit a ½ size bigger than other Nike shoes. Luckily, a roomy toe box means it’s easy to fit.
Surprisingly, though, one of the best neutral shoes you could invest in is still an old favourite. The Asics’ Men’s Gel Cumulus 15 has not varied significantly from previous offerings in the line, but runners still vote it tops. They’ve boosted the gel technology and the pad density, without putting extra weight onto the shoe. Its flexion has also been vastly improved. A moisture-wicking lining ensures your feet remain comfortable all through your run. They’re a great corrector for runners prone to supination- the opposite of overpronation, and are particularly well suited to wider feet.
Performance shoes that beat the pack
The Avia Avi-Lite 2 offers a light run that’s difficult to match. It balances support and flexibility in that light package, too. It offers an antibacterial insole for foot health, and a high abrasion outsole to keep you on the road longer. For safety, it also features reflective bars.
If you’d like a better known brand, try the Saucony Triumph 10 on for size. Lighter and with less support then the Hurricane, this is a performance not a support shoe, but users were pleasantly surprised by the cushioning offered. It’s re-designed ‘crash pods’ don’t do badly either, but it’s the arch support that seals the deal.
The toe box is slightly redesigned from earlier models, and can seem tighter, but users find the difference negligible. Some do recommend taking a higher size, however.
Motion Control shoes to move you
If you’re an overpronator, these are the shoes for you. The Brooks Addiction 10 remains a stalwart of the genre, and is designed to maximise smoothness on your front-to-back motion without allowing overpronation. It’s well cushioned with special tri-density foam, and holds your foot snugly. It’s a mesh shoe that allows for breathability, which is great too.
Users love the snug design the lacing allows, and the wide toe box is well appreciated.
An underappreciated range, the New Balance 1260 series [they’re up to version 3 now] offers maximum stability. Some find the density foam a touch unresponsive, but the higher cut is appreciated by many others. If you’re a dangerously heavy heel striker these are the shoe for you, although they won’t help you save weight.
The best budget buy
Last, but not least, is the budget-buy top pick. After all, while making the best investment you can is essential, not everyone can break the bank over a pair of shoes. While a great budget shoe might not give you all the features of a higher-priced shoe, the Puma Faas 800 S may have a silly name but it’s not a silly shoe.
From a company better known for its walking then running shoes, it’s a surprisingly great running shoe with decent support for overpronators in a lightweight package They’re slightly higher than usual, but users appreciate this shoe- and the price tag that comes with it. They’re even durable.
There you have it. Whatever your need in a shoe, the best running shoes for men are not far from your fingertips-get clicking!