The Importance of Good Running Shoes

People used to say that you needed to purchase running shoes that would limit the amount of impact on your joints. Additionally, you wanted shoes that would prevent your foot from rolling inward or outward (overpronation or underpronation, respectively).

Under or overpronation was generally believed to cause running injuries, including calluses, bunions, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendinitis.

Scientists have recently provided evidence that neither of these things are true. In fact, runners with pronated feet suffer fewer injuries than those without, and the type of shoes that you wear don’t really change the amount of impact your knees and other joints are receiving.

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Picking the Right Shoes

However, the study did show that comfort played a major role in preventing injuries. The team worked with soldiers to gather their evidence.

They gave one group a variety of shoe inserts and were told to pick the ones that were most comfortable to them. The other group, though, was given standard shoes. The soldiers who were able to pick the most comfortable shoe had fewer injuries.

Everyone’s body is different, so each person will be comfortable in a different type of shoe. The key is trying on lots of pairs and finding the one that is perfectly designed for your foot. Here are some options from Amazon that you’ll want to take a look at.

Please note, make sure you go to a brick and mortar store to try on the shoes before purchasing. Amazon will likely offer the best price, but you want to make sure you’re buying a shoe that you know is comfortable.

Running Shoes for Men

adidas Performance Men's Powerblaze M Running Shoe
629 Reviews
adidas Performance Men's Powerblaze M Running Shoe
  • Rubber sole.
  • Mesh. Imported.
  • Keep your run flowing in the power blaze featuring full-length adiprene.
  • Full length adiprene+ for optimized cushioning and rebounding.
  • Adiwear outsole for best durability in high wear areas.

Depending on the size and color you choose, these shoes run (pardon the pun) between $36.39 and $85.50. They have the following features:

  • Breathable mesh that gives you a sock-like fit
  • A padded tongue and collar
  • Three adidas designed technologies: Adiprene (for propulsion and efficiency), Sprintweb (for stability), and Adiwear (makes the outsole durable)

PROS

  • It has good cushioning.
  • Tread that makes the shoes good for slippery pavement.

CONS

  • Run small, so order a size up.
  • Too heavy for races.
  • Narrow, which is good for some people but bad for people with wide feet.

If you mostly go for short runs, these are good shoes. However, they’re so heavy, I wouldn’t recommend them for runs longer than three miles.

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New Balance Men's M470v4 Running Shoe
429 Reviews
New Balance Men's M470v4 Running Shoe
  • Synthetic and Mesh.
  • Mesh. Imported.
  • XLT performance footbed.
  • Running shoe with breathable mesh panels and an even-wearing traction outsole.
  • Injection-molded EVA foam midsole.

As usual, the price of these shoes depends on the color and size that you order. They cost between $36.59 and $64.99 on Amazon. They feature:

  • Breathable mesh panels
  • Traction
  • A New Balance technology called injected-molded EVA, which is a foam midsole

PROS

  • The mesh material will keep your feet cool.
  • It is comfortable.
  • Strong sole that will help you keep your balance.

CONS

  • Thin construction that is not made for bigger people who are logging a lot of miles.
  • They’ll start to fall apart after about a year.

These are relatively inexpensive shoes that can be used for light use. However, I believe that shoes should last longer than a year. I put serious mileage on my Altras and have had them for over a year, and they look great.

Another inexpensive offering from New Balance is the M750, which costs between $43.37 and $59.99. The difference between the two pairs of New Balance is that the M750 is lighter and has a slightly different styling. They feature:

  • Breathable mesh panels and a lightweight design
  • A New Balance technology called injected-molded EVA, which is a foam midsole

PROS

  • The light weight makes them good for races or a lighter training schedule.
  • Keeps your foot cool.

CONS

  • Contrary to what is advertised on the New Balance website, these are NOT good off-road shoes

It’s important to note that the heel is not as high in this shoe. It’s not even close to a zero drop shoe, but it will give you less padding.

This can be a good thing because, as I discussed in a previous blog, a lower heel will force you to land on the ball of your foot instead of your heels. This has done wonders for my knees, but it may not appeal to everyone.

PUMA Men's Carson Running Shoe
241 Reviews
PUMA Men's Carson Running Shoe
  • Made in USA or Imported.
  • Cushioned trainer in allover mesh featuring signature Formstrip and embroidered logo at tongue.
  • High-rebound EcoOrthoLite sockliner.
  • Lightweight IMEVA foam cushioning.
  • EverRide cushioning outsole.

These shoes come in a variety of colors and are a bit more fashion forward than the more traditional running shoe. They are priced between $35.99 and $69.99 and feature:

  • An EcoOrthoLite sockliner, which will help keep your foot cooler
  • A Puma engineered EverRide cushioning outsole
  • The Puma technology EverTrack high-abrasion rubber, which makes them okay on all surfaces (even though the bottom looks slicker than more traditional running shoes)

PROS

  • Perfect fit
  • The mesh keeps your foot cool

CONS

  • Are not good for those who have flat feet
  • Narrow fit

If you’re looking for a hip, comfortable walking shoe—look no further. However, these are not great for running, as they don’t have any cushioning in the front.

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Nike Men's Free 5.0+ Running Shoe
57 Reviews
Nike Men's Free 5.0+ Running Shoe
  • Synthetic-And-Mesh.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Textured mesh full inner sleeve for a dynamic, sock-like fit and easy on and off.
  • Asymmetrical lacing system for reduced pressure on the top ridge of the foot.
  • Diagonal cuts through the arch to encourage natural motion and help increase foot strength.

The price tag alone will help to explain why I hate Nikes. These cost between $74 and $199.99, and trust me when I say you’re paying for the name. If that’s important to you, here is what the 5.0 offers:

  • A mesh inner sleeve that makes these easier to put on and take off
  • An asymmetrical lacing system that reduces pressure on the top of your foot
  • A different arch design to help you run more naturally and increase foot strength

PROS

  • Lightweight so they are good for longer runs
  • You’re less likely to get blisters on the back of your foot due to the fabric they use on the back
  • Good in all types of weather
  • Offer good support

CONS

  • Run a bit small so order a half size up
  • Shiny material (though this is a style—not function—criticism)

This shoe is just not good enough to explain the expensive price tag, especially considering the fact that they fall apart in under a year.

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Men's Nike Revolution 2 Running Shoe
75 Reviews
Men's Nike Revolution 2 Running Shoe
  • Mesh.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Lightweight open mesh throughout the upper enhances breathability and comfort.
  • Strategically placed supportive leather overlays for support.
  • Environmentally preferred rubber in a modified Waffle outsole configuration.

I’ve already given my disclaimer about Nikes, so I’ll skip it here. These shoes are priced between $36 and $149.99, depending on the size and color.

A quick look at the options shows that most of them cost between $50 to $70. They have:

  • Good traction
  • A padded footbed and Phylon midsole to add comfort and support

PROS

  • Lightweight so they are good for longer runs
  • They are comfortable

CONS

  • Run a bit small so order a half size up
  • Not good for the long haul, these shoes fall apart in a short period of time as well

These are nice shoes that are good for longer runs, but they fall apart in just a few months. I just cannot recommend spending so much money on a shoe that won’t last you more than a year.

Saucony Men's Cohesion 7 Running Shoe
452 Reviews
Saucony Men's Cohesion 7 Running Shoe
  • Synthetic. Imported.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Stability Heel Grid System.
  • Neutral running shoe featuring decoupled heel and flexible forefoot.
  • XT-600 Carbon Rubber outsole.

These are priced between $32.93 and $82. They feature:

  • A neutral running shoe that features a decoupled heel and flexible forefoot. Neutral means that it’s built in a way that supports runners who overpronate. Overpronation is not actually an issue, so this is just a marketing technique.
  • Saucony engineered XT-600 carbon rubber outside
  • Stability heel grid system, which promises to deliver stable cushioning
  • Breathable mesh

PROS

  • Great for long distance runs, including marathons (26.2 miles)
  • Lightweight, which makes them good for competitions.
  • Good traction
  • Will keep your feet cool

CONS

  • Run large, so order a half size smaller

These are the best men’s shoes listed. As long as they are comfortable, I recommend you order a pair. The link below will take you directly to the order page.

Running Shoes for Women

Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe
2982 Reviews
Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe
  • Synthetic.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Insoles may vary from picture.
  • Designed to flow from roads to trails.
  • Breathable mesh upper reduces moisture buildup.

These are seriously some of the ugliest shoes I have ever seen. You may like the bizarre color scheme, though, so don’t let my opinion scare you off. These are trail shoes that cost between $69.83 to $125 and feature:

  • All-terrain tread, which uses Salomon’s Contagrip technology
  • A quicklace system that promises a snug fit
  • Breathable mesh
  • Foam bed that reduces friction

PROS

  • Good for off-road running
  • Good support
  • Comfortable

CONS

  • These shoes are too heavy for long runs
  • Run large, so order a size smaller

If you are looking for shoes to pound the pavement, I’d probably choose a different option. These are really great trail running shoes, though.

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Nike Women's Flex 2015 Rn Running Shoe
483 Reviews
Nike Women's Flex 2015 Rn Running Shoe
  • Mesh. Imported.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Internal forefoot bootie.
  • Soft Phylon midsole core for cushioning right where you need it most.
  • The Nike Flex Run 2015 is perfect for taking your run to the next level.

These cost between $58.03 to $200, depending on the size and color you order. Most of them seemed to run between $80 to $100. Nike advertises that they have:

  • Lightweight mesh that makes them breathable
  • A Nike midfoot webbing system that promises an adaptive, supportive fit
  • A partial mesh inner sleeve that makes the shoe plusher and more comfortable

PROS

  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and stable

CONS

  • Poor support, which makes them particularly bad for people who have flat feet or other joint problems
  • The tread breaks down, and they fall apart quickly

If you do buy these shoes, make sure you’re buying them from Amazon Prime. I skimmed the reviews, and many people were sold knock-offs through a third-party seller, and some weren’t even sent the correct shoes (wrong size and color). 

Ever if you were to order them from Amazon, I can’t really recommend them. They fall apart too quickly.

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Nike Women's Flex Experience Rn 3 Bl Grpht/Clrwtr/Clssc Chrcl/Wh Running Shoe 8.5 Women US
172 Reviews
Nike Women's Flex Experience Rn 3 Bl Grpht/Clrwtr/Clssc Chrcl/Wh Running Shoe 8.5 Women US
  • Synthetic-And-Mesh.
  • Rubber sole.
  • Simple pattern and reduced layering enhance flexibility.
  • Innersleeve construction provides great lockdown.
  • Natural motion, articulated Phylite gives a lightweight ride with great transition.

The Flex Experience Run 3 costs between $61.54 and $110. Nike promises:

  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Articulated Nike Phylite technology to make the shoes light
  • Rubber pods in the toe and heel areas so that they don’t breakdown

PROS

  • Supportive with good shock absorption
  • True to size
  • Good traction, so you don’t need to worry about slipping and sliding

CONS

  • The color is blindingly bright, which some may like
  • Seem a bit flimsy

Again, this is a common problem with the Nike. ONLY buy them through Amazon Prime. Many people reported receiving knock-offs. There’s no point in paying the Nike price if you’re not going to get the brand name.

That being said, as long as you buy off Amazon, these are good shoes for $60. I wouldn’t pay more than $80 for them, though.

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adidas Performance Women's Response Boost Techfit Running Shoe
283 Reviews
adidas Performance Women's Response Boost Techfit Running Shoe
  • Heel measures approximately 1.5″.
  • Platform measures approximately 1.00″.
  • Lace-up running shoe featuring stretchy techfit upper with padded tongue/collar.
  • TORSION midfoot system.
  • Grippy rubber traction outsole.

I love these shoes. First of all, I think they’re the best looking shoes in the list, and they have a low heel. I’ll mention again that you want a low heel to force yourself to run on the balls of your feet.

Your joints will thank you. These cost between $30 and $129.95 (most seemed to cost between $40 and $75). They feature:

  • A low heel (1.5”)
  • A toe bumper and padded collar (to avoid blisters on your ankles)
  • Techfit overlays for support
  • Sweat-wicking inner layer
  • Torsion stability system
  • Energy-return midfoot design
  • Angled heel, which will improve your gait
  • adidas Boost technology that will make sure you don’t lose as much energy as you do with an EVA padding

PROS

  • Support under the balls of your feet
  • Cushioned ankle
  • Reasonably priced
  • Sizing is perfect

CONS

  • Slightly heavy, but any shoe under $150 will be
  • The front of the shoe creases after use

I think these shoes are just great. To me, this is the best women’s shoe in the line-up. I suggest you order one right away if you’re serious about running.

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adidas Performance Women's Vigor 6 Tr W Running Shoe
517 Reviews
adidas Performance Women's Vigor 6 Tr W Running Shoe
  • Textile and Synthetic.
  • Air mesh upper for maximum breathability.
  • Synthetic forefoot for greater durability.
  • Comfortable textile lining.
  • Large adidas logo print on side.

Please note that this is another trail shoe, so it will not be good for road running (they’re just too heavy). If you like running off-road, though, these cost between $45 and $99.99 and feature:

  • Breathable mesh so that your foot won’t get hot
  • Lightly padded tongue
  • Shock-absorbing EVA midsole
  • Adidas Adiwear technology, which delivers more traction

PROS

  • Comfortable, even after wearing them all day
  • Great grips for hiking
  • True to size

CONS

  • Stiffer material at the top of the shoe
  • Rigid

If you would like a trail running shoe, I think you would be happier with these than you would be with the Salomons.

Reebok Women's Speed Rise Running Shoe
278 Reviews
Reebok Women's Speed Rise Running Shoe
  • Synthetic.
  • Imported.
  • Synthetic sole.
  • Made in USA or Imported.
  • Lace closure. Textile lining.

These cute, inexpensive shoes cost between $35.99 and $64.77. They feature:

  • Reebok’s Memory Tech sockliner technology
  • Lightweight midsole foam
  • Non-marking outsole (which means you can wear them on the basketball court)

PROS

  • Comfortable for walking
  • Good on many different terrains (though probably not great for super rocky areas)

CONS

  • Run small, so order a half size up
  • Not very comfortable for running

I think these are better walking shoes than running shoes. There’s just not enough padding under the balls of your feet. They are long lasting and inexpensive, though.

Saucony Women's Cohesion 7 Running Shoe
1054 Reviews
Saucony Women's Cohesion 7 Running Shoe
  • Flexible forefoot.
  • Imported.
  • Synthetic sole.
  • Decoupled heel.
  • XT-600 high-abrasion outsole.

These lackluster shoes cost between $46.99 and $79.99. In addition to a low price tag, they have:

  • Supportive overlays that hold your foot in place
  • Breathable mesh to keep your foot cool
  • A proprietary heel grid system to provide stable cushioning

PROS

  • Comfortable for walking
  • Good on many different terrains (though probably not great for super rocky areas)

CONS

  • The way they are padded encourages heel striking. You need to run on the balls of your feet
  • Run small, so order a half size up
  • Not supportive

I think these shoes would be a great, inexpensive option for a fitness class. However, there just isn’t enough support for running, and I don’t like that they’re designed to encourage heel striking.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you will probably get the best deal buying shoes on Amazon.

However, since it is important to have comfortable shoes so that you do not hurt yourself, I highly recommend trying on a few pairs at a brick and mortar store to find the perfect pair, and then you can order those on Amazon.

Last update on 2017-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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