If you are a decently dedicated runner, you’re likely pounding the pavement at least four to five times a week with distances ranging from four miles a run to maybe a longer ten or twelve on weekends. If we’re on the conservative side here, that is about 20 or 30 miles a week. And if you are consistent, by the end of the year you’d have run around 1,000 miles. No shoe, however good, can last that long.
The general rule of thumb is that you’ll want to replace your running shoes anywhere between 300 or 500 miles – so at least once a year. This high turnaround is part of the reason why every year shoe companies come out with updates and new takes on their flagship running shoes. Runners are never far away from their next pair; big hills need solid traction, and long runs aren’t accomplishable without responsive and decent cushioning. And to top it off, running on worn down shoes not only decreases performance, but it can put you at risk of injury. All of this factors into why every year we update our list of best running shoes for men. This year’s list is full of great grabs for both trail running, minimalist runners, and your 10k warriors. Take a scroll through and check it out.
Merrel Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe
Designed for trail runners who prefer heading out for their runs without a whole lot between them and the road, the Merrell Vapor Glove 2 features a thin Vibram sole and a no-drop heel. Along with being designed specifically for the barefoot runner, these shoes feature a mesh upper that is designed to keep you cool even on the hottest days this summer. Thanks to the simplistic design of the shoe, it is easily washed with just cold water and a gentle cycle in either the dryer or some time set outside.
Adidas Performance Adizero Boston 6
Weighted in at just 8.5 ounces and featuring a 10mm drop from the heel, this dynamic runner is good for everything from a marathon to more casual weekday jogs after work. One of the real benefits of this shoe is the BOOST midsole – a popular technology that cushions each step while also returning energy on each foot strike. For constant stability while on the go, Adidas also included a special Torsion System for a tough midfoot, and a stretch web rubber outsole designed to provide all the grip you could wish for without adding too much weight.
Adidas Performance Supernova Glide 8
For those looking to conquer more long distance runs with a shoe from the three striped German brand, the Superglide 8 is a great pick. It weighs in a little bit heavier at 11-ounces and features a thick BOOST midsole that provides a 10mm drop from heel to toe – ideal for those runs that go over 10 miles long. The upper mesh material is engineered to provide the maximum amount of breathability while also providing a snug and non-constricting fit. And for runs in the rain, the Continental rubber outsole offers up a lot of surface area to grip the pavement.
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3
Usually, when you come across a shoe with substantial cushioning, it’ll end up being on the heavier side of the spectrum. This runner from New Balance, however, manages to barely make a mark on the scale while also providing a good deal of comfort. The award winning shoe from the Boston-based company has a 6.5mm drop from heel to forefoot, and thanks to its lightweight Fresh Foam midsole, can be used for anything from quick sprint workouts to longer runs.
Under Armour SpeedForm Gemini 3
If the big run you are looking to train for this year is a half marathon, you should consider these shoes from Under Armour pretty seriously. They use a special Charged Cushioning midsole for dampening impact while the embedded Micro G heel unit increases stabilization. These two factors combined wth the snug fitting SpeedForm construction and relatively light 9.85-ounce weight mean you can go for miles and miles without feeling weighed down or like your knees are being ground to dust.
North Face Ultra 109 GTX
For those who couldn’t care less about running on the pavement, there is the North Face Ultra 109 GTX. This waterproof trail running shoe from North Face is built to absolutely conquer any trail you’re heading out on thanks to its GoreTex membrane, ESS midfoot shank, and EVA midsole. All of these things combine to make for a running shoe that can take just about anything you throw its way. Whether it be loose gravel or steep inclines, the Ultra 109 will grip and grab at the trail while providing a good deal of support.
Nike Free RN Flyknit
You can’t write a list of best running shoes without including Nike’s Free RN Flyknit. The shoe combines both the famous lightweight, formfitting Flyknit upper with an incredibly responsive outsole to provide an almost natural feel while running. The outsole can flex in an almost natural way thanks to a special tri-star cut that flexes in just about every way possible. For support, the shoe employs a foam midsole and Flywire cables along the midfoot so all of that natural feel is paired with some real support.
Puma Ignite evoKNIT Lo
A stylish runner with the tech needed to conquer the streets, the Puma INGITE evoKNIT shoe boasts a breathable mesh upper with the popular sock-like fit, and a molded IGNITE foam midsole for a high amount of energy return on each foot strike. The EverTrack outsole is designed for a high amount of durability on the heel and toe while the substantial drop provides the perfect amount of propulsion to crush your P.R.
Saucony Kinvara 8
One of their most popular running shoes, the lightweight Kinvara 8 offers up some substantial improvements on the previous models of the shoe. Primary among these changes is the EVERUN mid that gives runners a higher amount of returned energy on each foot strike. Other parts of the shoe, like the featherlike 7.9-ounce weight, the 4mm offset, and the FLEXFLIM overlay on the mesh upper have been improved but for the most part, offer the same advantages to runners as they did in previous models. All things said these creatively engineered running shoes are a stripped down beast of a shoe fit for the minimalist runner.
Asics Gel DS trainer 21
An ideal shoe for the runner who wants to find the sweet spot between speed and stability. The GEL-DS Trainer 21 makes use of a special SOLYTE midsole material for a lightweight but cushioning feel, while it also employs the use of the special GEL cushioning systems in both the rearfoot and forefoot make it so your longer runs aren’t accompanied with sore knees and hips. And because having cool technology in the bottom of your shoe just isn’t enough, the team at Asics also developed a seamless upper material to reduce friction and irritation common on runners feet.
Reebok Harmony Road
If you had asked us about Reebok just a few years ago, we probably wouldn’t have had a lot of nice things to say. While Nike and Adidas were continuing to develop new technologies in both their athletic clothing and footwear, Reebok felt like it was just stagnant. Now, however, they’ve made up a lot of ground. Probably because they’re wearing their Harmony Road shoes. These running shoes feature a synthetic mesh upper for a lightweight and breathable fit, while a tri-zone midsole paired with their KooshRide foam absorbs shock evenly throughout. All things said this is a great debut from Reebok.
Newton Running Fate II
Designed to have a minimal drop (just 4.5 mm), Newton’s Fate II is a great shoe for the runner looking for a more minimal fit. The upper is made from a seamless open weave mesh that allows for the maximum amount of breathability while also keeping the shoe fit snug over your foot. The midsole boasts a biomechanic metatarsal sensor plate for stability, while the high rebound EVA foam gives a bounce to every step. For supreme traction, the outsole also features 5 substantial lugs that will grip while you rip through the streets as well.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
The big improvement on this iteration of the classic runner from Mizuno is the upper. Made from a breathable and flexible mesh these running shoes provide a lightweight and flexible fit. For a better ride, the midsole boasts a custom U4IC midsole that is both more durable and responsive than others on the market. Stability is enhanced as well, thanks to a ‘double fan wave’ between the mid and the grippy X10 outsole. To top it all off, all of this cushioning and stability weigh in at only 11 ounces.
Brooks Ghost 9
An award winning shoe from the dedicated running brand, the Brooks Ghost is a great all around pick for mid to long distance runners. The running shoes feature something the brand calls a Biomogo DNA midsole that adapts not only to your specific foot – but for each step and stride. For heel-strikers, Brooks has also included a crash-pad on the back of the outsole that provides for a smoother transition. For breathability and flexibility on the go, the shoes also boast a mesh upper. All things said you get a lot of shoe here for something that just weighs 10.6 ounces.
Vasque Constant Velocity
Whether you want a shoe for a solid day hike, or something more catered towards trail running, Vasque’s Constant Velocity is a great pick. Featuring an Enduralast EVA midsole these shoes will protect from tough rocky trails while the integrated ESS rock plates provide more targeted protection along the forefoot. Because everyone needs a little bit of help when it comes to grip on the trail, Vasque also included their ultra grippy AxisGrip outsole for slippery rocks and loose gravel. And to keep you cool and dry on hot days in the woods, the shoe also boasts a moisture-wicking textile lining along the inside of the shoe.
Altra Lone Peak 3.0
For trail runners looking for something a little more lightweight and paired down, the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 is a good pick. This updated version of the shoe features a new upper for improved mobility and breathability, along with a midsole made with EVA and an A-Bound Top Layer to soften foot strikes while providing a degree of responsiveness. Thanks to a zero drop platform, the shoe also provides a more natural fit that is ideal for minimalist runners and boasts a tough and grippy outsole.
Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2
One of Nike’s best runners, the Lunarepic Low boasts both a sock-like fit and wildly smooth transition from heel to toe. This is due in large part to their incredible Lunarlon mid and unique outsole. This proprietary technology makes use of two raised rubber sections along the heel and toe that shift and move with the runner – providing a more dynamic feel that doesn’t compromise on durability. Of course, the shoe’s upper features both flyknit and flywire tech for a lightweight and form fitting feel.
APL TechLoom Pro
Athletic Propulsion Labs is not your common shoe company. They first gained notoriety after getting their shoes kicked out of the NBA for being designed to help athletes jump higher. Instead of letting that get them down, they’ve expanded their line to include running shoes like the TechLoom Pro. This runner features a special Propelium midsole that literally propels runners down the track or street.
The On Cloudflyer combines a unique outsole technology with a lightweight construction that lets you push it harder for longer. The upper of the shoe is made from a breathable mesh, while the mid and outsole boasts something you won’t find in any other shoe – CloudTec. This system is essentially made up of a special foam with a hole through the center – allowing for it to flex and move with your footsteps while still providing traction. All things said, it’s an incredible shoe.
Salomon S-Lab Amphib
Just about every shoe on this list has some version of a ‘lightweight and breathable mesh’. Salomon has something a bit different. The upper on this shoe from the outdoor brand not only flexes and breathes along with the best of them, but the slots in the side of the upper are designed to evacuate water more efficiently – making those annoying puddles you hit on the trail no big deal. Along with this new tech, the shoes boast a wet traction Contagrip for hitting the road in the rain, and an internal sleeve built to keep your foot in place throughout your run.
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