8 Best Running Shoes for Men & Women

Running shoes are the most important piece of gear in your closet and everyone's ideal pair of running shoes will be different thanks to weight, height, foot strike, cadence, foot size, foot width, etc. No one brand will fit all runners for all purposes, but certain shoes can give comfort to a wider array of runners because they're just that good. Here are some of the ultimate running shoe crowd pleasers.

I came across a RizKnows video of his top 5 picks for running shoes—and his list is really solid for a wide range of runners so I wanted to highlight it. I'm going to add a few of my own picks below it, since I too, as a deputy magazine editor at Muscle & Fitness Hers have tried every brand imaginable and have few noteworthy ones myself. For pure performance.

RizKnows Highlights:

Altra Superior 2.0 - For the Speed Racer

Altra is known by avid runners everywhere but may not make the radar of most people because footwear stores are carrying many more of the brands we know already: Nike (which is bumping up its performance shoes), Saucony, Adidas, Under Armour, Brooks Running, New Balance, etc.

So why should YOU own a pair of shoes that marathon runners own? The Altra Superior 2.0 has so much of what even beginner runners need that it's time it made your list of sneakers to buy.

  • Versatile - road one day and trail the next? No problem! These lightweight riders are cushioned but not overly so, so you develop better running mechanics from the beginning.
  • Incredibly Lightweight - Seriously 7.5 oz? You wont feel like you're lugging your feet around due to heavy shoes; you'll feel the wind beneath your feet.
  • Super flat-packable (read: truly awesome travel sneakers!)
  • Promotes midfoot strike and shorter, easy strides
  • Wider toebox - if your feet can expand and arent crowded, that means two things, you have better control over your footfall  and speed. Plus your feet naturally expand anyway while running, so this design allows your feel to be more comfortable for longer, which may mean longer, stronger runs!
  • Great tread for road, track, or trail

Pearl Izumi Trail N2 V2 - For the Soon-to-Be Trail Master

Pearl Izumi Trail N2 V2 hugs the foot just right and has only a 4mm drop, which promotes a natural foot strike. This brand is also known but avid cyclists and runners already. so why should YOU know about shoe and pick it up for your next off road run?

  • Lightweight - Only 9 oz although they feel more substantial, so your foot feels protected on more involved, technical routes.
  • Great tread for the rocky, winding trail ahead.
  • Supportive but not overly cushioned so you lose proprioception, or body awareness.
  • Water- and dirt-proof - No need to worry if you're out on a wet day. Pearl Izumi is engineered to keep your feet dry.
  • 7.5 to 4mm offset - You're off the ground but not too far up that you're not foot aware
  • Decent arch support helps correct supination but is also suitable for a neutral runner.

Asics Gel Nimbus 16 - For More Pain-Free Runs, Finally!

Asics makes the BEST in running shoes. They make a full range of sneakers, from simple support to fully decked out for those who need support from all directions, like one of those fancy multi-head showers. The Gel Nimbus 16 is right smack in the middle. I love cranking out miles in these guys. They're cushy, so my knees feel virtually zero impact and they help subtly correct my stride. Like running on clouds for real but without too much cushion that your have no idea what's beneath your feet. What I love about these kicks:

  • Supportive from heel to toe. Whether you have or want to avoid plantar fasciitis, knee pain, hip pain, or worse, the midfoot on this shoe gives you support from the heel all the way to the toe, whereas some brands put more cushion in the heel but none in the tow or vice versa.
  • Versatile Correction - great for underpronator or overpronators
  • Foot stays securely in the shoe, no slipping around in this one.
  • A bit heavier (11 oz) but don't feel heavy at all.
  • Like running on clouds - Seriously, if you have knee pain or other aches that are due to form and time, try these or any of the other Asics Gel line on and see if those woes disappear or are lessened in these sneakers. They take the pain out of your running form quirks.