The Best Running Shoes for Every Runner (2024)

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Running is always in season, which means the search for the best running shoes for women is always on; they’re the ultimate running essential for women after all (yes, even more so than leggings!). It’s not only our endurance and months of training that carry us through the finish lines, but the shoes that push us forward with each pounding of the pavement. And while finding the perfect fit is never an easy feat, I turned to the experts to make sure we are all equipped with the proper sneakers for the treadmills, tracks, and marathons that lie ahead.

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How to Choose the Best Running Shoe

Through my own journey in rediscovering the joys of running last year, I sought out Nike Run Club Master Trainer Traci Copeland, who explained that the best running sneakers for women and men really depend on your running style and what your foot does while you run. “Some pronate or supinate,” Copeland says, explaining the difference between runners who place their weight on the inside versus the outside of their feet. “Sometimes you need more support based on this.” Determining your foot type is key, and there are several fundamental tests you can perform to do so in the comfort of your own home. The simplest being the “Wet Test” in which you wet the sole of your foot and step onto a blank piece of paper. The damp footprint left behind will help establish whether you are a neutral runner, or whether you overpronate or underpronate while running.

As a neutral and injury-prone runner, my doctor recommended the various Hoka prototypes to best fit my everyday running needs. The symmetrical cushioning bed and foam midsole design on the Clifton 9s provide just the right amount of support to protect my fragile ankles from the daily pressures of urban and treadmill running.

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From the cushioned, stability shoe for the everyday jog to the high-performance sneakers fashioned for elite runners’ race days and everything in between, these are the best running shoes for every type of run.

Shop Running Shoes by Category

  • Roading Running Shoes
  • Shoes for Long Distance
  • Shoes for Light Training
  • Trail Running Shoes

Best Road Running Shoes

Designed for a reactive run, On combined its CloudTec and Speedboard technologies to create the Cloudstratus 3; its latest iteration that makes slow running (or sprinting!) on concrete feel like running on, well, a cloud. Its lightweight nature and superfoam midsole are perfect for the New York City streets, providing softer landings and maximum energy return. Or, take a lap in Nike InfinityRN 4s, a new style combining Copeland’s shoe family of choice, the Flyknit, and Nike’s iconic ReactX foam. APL’s Techloom Dream on the other hand comes as a new generation of their one of a kind technology to provide maximum shock absorption and cushioning for easy runs or long-distances. Tracksmith’s Eliot runner, a neutral everyday runner, aids in a similar running experience with its best-in-class materials—a Pebax insole and engineered mesh upper. New to the performance shoe game, both Lululemon and Veja entered the world of running with lightweight and durable sneakers for smooth, speedy, and swift steps that propel you forward.

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Asics

Gel-Nimbus running shoes

Why We Love It: Another Asics loyalist, senior editor Chloe Schama says “she has been a devotee of the Gel Nimbus for more than two decades of running; my many, many pairs have served me well as trends for barefoot running have come and gone.”

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Brooks

Glycerin 20 running shoes

Why We Love It: Vogue special events manager, Sache Taylor, is loyal to Brooks’ Glycerin 20 lightweight and respsonsive runners, which she says “are always on her feet.”

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APL Athletic Propulsion Labs

TechLoom Dream sneakers

Why We Love It: Go straight from your run to the rest of your day with a shoe that transitions between activities seamlessly.

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Nike

InfinityRN 4 road running sneakers

Why We Love It: With more energy return, these sneakers bring a bounce to every step. A supportive spring and soft upper makes it one of the comfiest pairs around.

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Tracksmith

Eliot Runner sneakers

Why We Love It: Grounded in its New England roots, Tracksmith crafts a neutral everyday trainer that is inspired by the brand’s surrounding nature.

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ON

Cloudstratus 3 sneakers

Why We Love It: Senior shopping editor Talia Abbas says she was first introduced to On via its Cloudstratus sneakers. “I've only tried the first two generations of the Cloudstratus, but the latest iteration is said to have all the same cushioning and support, improved for more comfort and energy return.

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Lululemon

Blissfeel 2 running shoes

Why We Love It: Lululemon is known for its high-quality, thoughtfully-designed athletic wear for women; traits that transcend clothing and inform the brand’s footwear. Exhibit A: Blissfeel, a smooth runner for every day.

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Veja

Marlin sneakers

Why We Love It: Lightweight, dynamic, and eco-minded in its design, Veja delivers the trifecta in this knit kick that marries performance with sensible design. You’ll love all the colorways, too.

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Long Distance

Anyone keen on—or already training for—a race should prioritize shoes that offer durability, stability, and fine-tuned cushioning to support the miles ahead. Brands like On, Adidas, New Balance, and Saucony, are a great place to look. The Adidas’ Adizero Boston 12, Fresh Foam X 880v13, and Tempus trainers all provide the stability and support for mid to long-distances. Likewise, Brooks’ Ghost 15 and Adrenaline GTS and On’s Cloudrunner and Cloudmonster are editor-approved picks that deliver that I-could-run-forever feeling.

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ON

Cloudrunner sneakers

Why We Love It: Longtime runner and Vogue senior shopping editor Talia Abbas says she's tried various On models in the past, but is most faithful to the Cloudrunner model which she described as “a solid, neutral road running option with ample support and cushioning, and a rocker that propels you forward.”

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New Balance

Fresh Foam X 880v13 sneakers

Why We Love It: New Balance gives the classic white sneaker a plush upgrade with a supportive midsole to help stabilize runs for people with high arches (and therefore prone to supination or underpronation).

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Brooks

Ghost 15 running shoes

Why We Love It: A tried-and-true pick for Vogue.com editor Chloe Malle, who has been running in Brooks Ghost models for the last 20 years says she updates her every 300 miles for optimal performance.

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Cloudmonster running shoe

Why We Love It: Senior editor Corey Seymour told Vogue previously that “he pretty much lives in On Running’s shoes, whether I’m just hanging out or on an airplane or out for a run.” His favorite pair? The Cloudmonster, which he says “are like fluffy clouds for the feet.”

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Adidas

Adizero Boston 12 running shoes

Why We Love It: Built for mid to long runs, these shoes go the distance. A propulsive feel coupled with midsole layering ensures that.

Saucony

Tempus running shoes

Why We Love It: Personalization is at the core of Saucony’s design. Instead of sitting on top of the shoe, your foot sinks in for optimal cushioning.

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Brooks

Adrenaline GTS 22 running shoes

Why We Love It: Similar to the Ghost 15 (and its previous iterations), Brooks’ GTS 22 provides medium-cushioning and more stability for runners with flat feet and a tendency to overpronate.

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Nike

Vaporfly 3 road racing shoes

Why We Love It: Race-day speed meets long distance durability in Nike’s versatile running shoes. Whether you’re running a marathon or hitting a few miles in training, this is the shoe that will get your through it (and quickly, too.)

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Light Training

Whether planning a quick HIIT run of sprinting or a 5K, treadmill running requires styles sufficient in higher energy return and shock absorption to push you forward farther and faster. Opting for supportive, lightweight workout shoes with breathability will help counteract the repetitive stress on your body from the belt’s machinery. Test my personal go-to running sneakers for women, Hoka’s Clifton 9s and On’s Cloudsurfer for shoes that promote a lighter run without compromising on ample cushioning. Both have a great rocker as well. APL’s Techloom Zipline and Nike’s Pegasus 40 styles excel in responsive and long-lasting comfort, adding a springy step to an otherwise rigid ride. For a more stable and balanced stride, try Adidas’ Ultraboost family or Asics Gel-Kayano 30 sneakers for an extra push with each tread.

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ON

Cloudsurfer sneakers

Why We Love It: Partially constructed from recycled materials, On’s Cloudsurfer sneakers are a neutral pick with plush cushioning, plus a seriously smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

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APL Athletic Propulsion Labs

TechLoom Zipline mesh sneakers

Why We Love It: APL’s lifestyle sneaker is also great for those days when you just want to get out and move. The mesh upper provides breathability during your workout.

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Nike

Pegasus 40 road running shoes

Why We Love It: The universally-pleasing Pegasus is ideal for all levels of runners (and running styles). It’s as good as it gets.

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Hoka

Clifton 9 sneakers

Why We Love It: Immediately identifiable in its chunky shape and high heel collar, Hoka's Clifton 9s are are made with maximum arch support in mind. For those getting back into a groove post-injury, these might be the right running shoes for you.

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Adidas

Ultraboost Light running shoes

Why We Love It: While these sneakers are comfortable and light, also notable is its fully sustainable design, from Parley Ocean Plastic.

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Asics

Gel-Kayano 30 sneakers

Why We Love It: Whatever distance you desire (a mile or a marathon), stay stable and supported with these Asics beloved for their versatility and wide toe box, ideal for runners with wide feet.

Best Trail Running Shoes for Women

Trail running is a different beast of its own, with unpredictable terrain challenging the durability of sneakers at each stomp of the foot. A running hack for women? Outsoles with gripping that enhance your ground connection and motion control, and keep you on your toes for the uneven surfaces just up the hill, are essential in finding the perfect fit. Lululemon’s Blissfeel Trail runners (based on measurements of actual women’s feet) will certainly live up to the challenge of terrain running with traction inspired by the bulbous treads found on mountain bikes. Stability gripping is also tested on Salomon’s XA Pro 3D V9 Gore-Tex sneakers, designed for the great outdoors with a waterproof membrane and sturdy toebox. Dare to tackle the rain or shine of cross country running? Hoka’s Challenger 7 GTX, Nike’s Zegama, and Merrell’s Agility Peak 5 Gore-Tex have waterproof functionalities and increased stack heights for a plusher feel.

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Lululemon

Blissfeel trail running shoes

Why We Love It: Made for women, by women, Lululemon’s trail shoes have a protective film and directional traction that enhance movement.

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Nike

Zegama trail running shoes

Why We Love It: Advanced gripping and stability was key in the making of these shoes. Oh, and the ankle gaitor keeps your ankles clean(ish) from mud.

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Arc'teryx

Norvan LD 3 GTX shoes

Why We Love It: The purveyor of high performance outdoor wear has a pair that can handle the elements. These comfortable GORE-TEX shoes get the job done.

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Salomon

Xa Pro 3D V9 Gore-Tex sneakers

Why We Love It: Thanks to a waterproof membrane and grippy lug sole, no terrain is too wet or wobbly.

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Hoka

Challenger 7 GTX sneakers

Why We Love It: For a pair that goes from the streets to the trails, look no further than Hoka’s Challenger. If you are only in the market for one pair, what's better than a two-in-one?

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Merrell

Agility Peak 5 Gore-Tex sneakers

Why We Love It: With ample foam and grippy soles, these sneakers make that next trail run easy. Almost.

The Best Running Shoes for Every Runner (2024)
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