In light of new data, we revised our top picks for this year's running shoes on December 16, 2022. All sold-out or discontinued pairs have also been replaced.
Our wear-test team of over two hundred and eighty runners is always putting the newest running shoes through their paces in the lab. There are about as many men as women among those runners, and they come from all walks of life. Men range from those who are blazingly fast and logging ultramarathon distances to those who are either new to running or coming back from injury. Anyone from full-time English teachers and new dads to night-shift nurses and grandfathers can be found among our ranks of runners.
All of these individuals share a common interest in running and put at least 25 miles per week on each pair of test shoes. There's bound to be a pair of shoes here that you'll enjoy just as much as they do, and if you keep scrolling you'll find a wide selection that accommodates varying needs in terms of support and comfort.
Twelve of the Finest Men's Running Shoes
- How Runner's World Puts New Gear to the Test
Stability, in the context of running shoes, is the degree to which a shoe encourages and enables efficient stride mechanics. That normally entails a degree of pronation that is just right (discover more about that here). Overpronators (people whose feet roll inward excessively) who value stability will appreciate these footwear options. Features like the GuideRails on Brooks' Adrenaline GTS and firmer foams in strategic areas of the midsole, like a medial post, help keep the foot from twisting while running. If you don't overpronate, a "neutral" shoe that doesn't provide any additional stability features will be most comfortable for you to wear because it won't alter your natural gait.
GuideRails provide a more passive method of stability, making them suitable for neutral runners who still need the added safety net.Dr. Trevor Raab
The PEBA-based foam pellets that make up the Endorphin Speed's durable and springy midsole cushioning are fused together by steam and pressure at Saucony.Gambill, Lakota
Different people have different ideas on how to approach this problem. Those who are solely concerned with speed may benefit from a firmer shoe that provides excellent ground feel. Others prefer a softer, more shock-resistant material. To find a pair of shoes that felt lightweight enough to help shave off tenths of a second from your finish time, you typically had to compromise on comfort in the past. It used to be like that, but modern foam technology has changed all of that. One of the most cushioned shoes we've tested, the Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 5, weighs in at a feathery 8 ounces. Weight of a men's size 9: 7 ounces This is particularly useful for longer runs, as the additional padding can ease the strain on your feet and other joints.
Procedures for Evaluating and Choosing
We relied on the advice of our Runner-in-Chief, Jeff Dengate, to find the best running shoes for men, and on the observations of hundreds of male runners who participated in our wear-testing program. After putting a ton of pairs through their paces and analyzing the results, we've selected a few that have stood out as particularly well-liked by our male testers. (Here is an even more in-depth explanation of our testing procedure: how we rate footwear. Advice on finding the right size and cost When it comes to selecting your next favorite pair, we've got you covered, too.
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The Finest Budget Footwear Available
The Newest Model of Nike's Air Winflo
Presenting a 40% Discount
- Sturdy, yet pliable, ankle collar
- Stronger than average outsole toughness
- Over the course of a marathon, cushioning becomes less responsive.
The latest Winflo is hard to beat if you're looking for running performance and style for under $100; despite an improved midsole and a reworked upper, the price hasn't changed. When it came to the Cushlon midsole, Nike made some adjustments for version 9. While it still isn't as responsive as the brand's high-end ZoomX or React models, reviewers have said that the latest iteration of the Winflo offers a more comfortable ride than its predecessors. Additionally, the transition from the heel to the forefoot is facilitated by a larger Air unit that runs the length of the shoe.
The cushioning is not overly springy, but it is incredibly light and effective at dispersing impact. One runner who tested them said, "I have a strong heel strike, and comparing them to my favorite Hokas, it's a draw." In terms of comfort and fit, this shoe gets my highest recommendation. There was plenty of room in the toe box, the collar padding kept my ankle stable, and my wide foot was not uncomfortable in any way. ”
FRESHEST NEWS, BY FAR
Razor 4 by Skechers GOrun
- The new sockliner is more supportive of the arch.
- Goodyear rubber strengthens the durability of the sole.
The Razor 3 was a hit with us, so much so that we even presented it with some trophies. Skechers had faith in its breakthrough design, and the company didn't make many changes to the shoe for four years. In a field where changes are made to recipes on an annual basis, that is unheard of. However, the Razor 4 is virtually an entirely different animal. And it's something you'll notice when you step on it. The new TPU-based Hyper Burst Pro midsole adds weight, but it is more durable and responsive. Long distance runners will appreciate the temperature resistance and consistent cushioning that this shoe provides. The Razor features Skechers' signature H-shaped construction and a carbon-infused forefoot plate. Skechers uses thin pieces along the edge with a band that extends across the forefoot of the midsole instead of a full-length single layer of carbon fiber like you see on typical plated shoes. Although the shoe is still very flexible (much more so than plated shoes), the addition of this component makes the forefoot feel slightly more responsive than it would with just TPU foam.
A+ FOR THE STRETCH
GlideRun 3 by Asics
- Having a lower weight than the GlideRide 2
- Effortless ride with lots of oomph for your buck
- Longevity and traction in the outsole
- Upper mesh is thick and can get hot.
- Long laces
I always fall back on tried-and-true favorites like the Asics Nimbus and the Brooks Glycerin when I'm in the market for a pair of luxury cushioned shoes. However, the GlideRide 3 is leagues ahead of the competition. One runner who tested it (he runs 50Ks and 10-hour backyard-style challenges) exclaimed, "It's just an absolute joy to run in."
What, then, separates the GlideRide from the pack? Asics' "GuideSole" design contributes greatly; it's made up of two different kinds of soft foam and a very extreme rocker profile. The TPU plate inside curves the toe upward like a ski slope, providing superior protection. While the GlideRide 2 maintains the same general outline, it features softer foams (with the FlyteFoam Blast underfoot) and a more pliable base plate. GuideSole is designed to limit ankle motion, which has been shown to improve running form and reduce energy expenditure for some athletes. Our trials showed it to be effective; however, it may take some practice before you get used to the sensation. We advise the Gel-Cumulus 24 for those who prefer a more conventional cycling experience.
EXCELLENT CHOICE FOR A DAILY WORKOUT
The newest version of the Fresh Foam X 880 from New Balance is v12.
- Ample space for your toes.
- Comfortable ride with ample padding
One reviewer concluded, "The 880 is my favorite line of shoes." The 12th iteration is the softest yet thanks to a new two-layer midsole, the upper is great for runners with wide feet, and the generous blown rubber outsole is great for marathon training. This is especially true if the majority of your runs take place on slick roads and sidewalks. It's not the featheriest sneaker, but it's nimble enough to keep you flying along comfortably for miles and miles. (Those who want a little less stability but more zip and verve should check out the new FuelCell Rebel v3. )
In addition, New Balance has recently adjusted the 880's Fresh Foam X cushioning's durometer (a measurement of firmness) to make it feel a little softer. This is a fantastic option if you frequently switch gears from your daily run to a long day of standing on your feet.
THE ULTIMATE IN QUICKNESS
13-inch Saucony Kinvara
Save Up to 48%
- Enhanced airflow and a snugger fit in the upper
- Toe-off range of motion and solid grounding
For the Kinvara, the twelfth edition felt like coming home. The Kinvara 12 nudged the shoe back toward its racer roots after the 11 made it more rigid and heavy, giving off vibes of a "daily trainer" with its super plush tongue and thick upper. The pattern persists in number 13. The current Kinvara is the lightest it has ever been. For responsive toe-offs and solid ground feel, it features a snug midfoot lockdown and a more minimalistic ride, just like the shoe's earliest iterations. Pwrrun foam, a new blend of material used by Saucony in their midsoles, is an EVA and polymer blend that increases the shoe's ability to return energy. The Endorphin series has more kick, but this one feels more than adequate for tempo runs on dry roads and oval laps.
Three-speed Saucony Endorphin
- Foam made from polyethylene butadiene terephthalate (PEBA) is cushiony and resilient.
- Faster rotation is encouraged by the nylon plate.
- Exceptional performance at both training and race speeds
- Costs $10 more than the Speed 2 did before.
While the Endorphin Pro and Nike Alphafly Next% are still the go-to options for the fastest runners, the Endorphin Speed is a good option for most of us as well. It's still stiff, though the winged nylon plate is much more flexible than carbon fiber, and snappy, and the padding is great for sprints all the way up to the marathon distance. However, the Speed really shines in regular workouts. When compared to the more expensive models used on race day, this one is a steal for tempo runs and interval training.
All of the most noticeable improvements made to the shoe for its second iteration are welcome. A new plate shape, wider platform, modified Pwrrun PB formulation, and additional midsole foam contribute to a more cushioned, supportive, and responsive ride. Additionally, Saucony upgraded to a mesh upper that is more elastic, resulting in a more forgiving fit in the toebox, according to our wide-footed testers.
FINALIST FOR BEST MARATHON RACER
Shoes: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT % 2
- Improved forefoot width and comfort over the original model.
- Superior efficiency in terms of energy returned
The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next % 2 is a fast pair of shoes with a carbon-fiber plate and responsive ZoomX foam. Professional marathon runners can break the five-minute barrier with the help of this cutting-edge technology. The shoe provides a surprising amount of propulsion and vitality even when moving slowly, making each step more economical and less strenuous than before. The Vaporweave upper is now made of a flexible mesh that keeps runners feeling good even as the race winds down. However, whether you're in a race or just trying to beat your friends to the finish line, this shoe's comfort and durability make it a great choice for sprinting over shorter distances. All things considered, they are arguably the most nimble and springy footwear we have tried.
THE VERY BEST FOR BROAD FEET
Sporting Spectacles, Topo
- Better in terms of flexibility than most plated racing shoes
- High-cushioned, bouncy rides with excellent stability.
- Lower drop and a roomy toe box promote a more natural gait.
- Certainly not as quick as running in shoes made of carbon fiber
- Although it was widely praised in everyday use, the spacious toebox was criticized by some racers who tried it.
Topo's Specter is a unique take on the popular "super shoe" genre. Because it lacks a midsole plate, this max-cushioned shoe provides a springy ride that will appeal to runners who are looking for a high rate of return on their energy expenditure without compromising Topo's barefoot-inspired aesthetic. The secret lies in the combination of a rockered EVA midsole and a premium Pebax foam midsole. To paraphrase the Specter experience, consider the words of one fast tester who routinely trains at 6:45 pace for his daily miles.
"When you put on the shoes and go for a run, your stride will feel like you're floating." He said, "The shoe's shape and flexibility allowed for a very smooth transition from heel to toe, and I felt good energy return despite my soft footstrike." To quote the product description: "The cushioning is on the softer side, but not so soft that you sink down into it, which can make some shoes feel slow." Instead, it's a joy to ride for extended distances, easily handling ten or more miles without issue. ”
IDEAL FOR WET PATHS
- Superior wet-weather grip.
- Compact and quick-moving vehicle
- We recommend sizing down a half size.
Sometime in the early morning of a July day, I went for a run with a friend in the Adirondacks. He was sporting some unreleased kicks by the name of Spark. Dengate, recalling his first encounter with VJ's Spark, remarked, "We had 5,000 feet of vert over the first seven miles and a 3,000-foot descent over the final three miles, and he was stuck to the wet rocks on Giant Mountain like a gecko the whole time." As soon as we had access to the sample, we were able to put it to the test. This is due to the butyl rubber outsole that VJ uses. The 5mm lugs aren't particularly long or sharp like YakTrax, but they are tacky and flexible, allowing for good traction on wet and muddy surfaces.
The Spark is built for speed, so while the foam may not be sufficient for an ultramarathon, it is more than adequate for trail runs and obstacle course competitions. Although the Spark's cushioning, a fairly standard and dense EVA, isn't as responsive as the latest nitrogen-injected TPU options, that's not why you buy it. You get it because of how well it grips, and that's what allows you to swiftly sidestep roots and rocks, or even to leap over a fire pit and up a rope wall on an obstacle course.
TOP MINIMALIST WORKOUT PLAN
The Hoka Mach 5
- This new version of the Profly midsole is cushy and very responsive.
- In comparison to Mach 4, this is a lot lighter
- Slippery when wet and icy.
The new Mach 5 has replaced the Mach 4 as our favorite Hoka to date because it is a cushioned road shoe with the responsive feel of a race shoe and the durability necessary for long training runs. Hoka omitted the carbon plate from the race-ready Carbon X and Rocket X in favor of lighter materials and a more flexible design in order to create this versatile trainer. However, the most exciting development for v5 is an improvement to the brand's traditionally thick padding. The shoe's midsole foam has been upgraded to a modified version of Profly, which results in increased responsiveness and responsiveness.
There hasn't been any alteration to the Meta-Rocker's (the shoe's) initial stage, so it still helps you transition swiftly from heel to toe. While the absence of the large heel tab that made the Mach 4 so convenient for slipping on and taking off your feet allowed the 5 to shed nearly half an ounce of weight, not everyone was pleased with the trade-off. It's a fantastic shoe for any type of running, from short intervals on the track to long distances on the weekend to slow recovery runs during the week.
The Most Comfortable Hiking Boots
Ultra Glide from Salomon
THE MOST SUPPORTIVE HIKING BOOT
TOP-RATED MIDSOLE HIKING BOOT
- Modifications can be made quickly thanks to the fastening system.
- Adaptable to both flat paths and tight singletrack
- The rock surface causes slight slipping when wet.
Traditionally, Salomon's fast kicks have earned their reputation for speed, but they are also very firm, aggressive, and narrow, making them more suited to elite runners than those in the middle of the pack. In terms of comfort, the Ultra Glide is Salomon's most approachable and wide-ranging trail shoe. During the fifth day of his 327-mile FKT run in April 2021, videographer Pat Heine wore the shoe. More than 250 miles in, the cumulative effects of hills, rocks, and hours were starting to take their toll, so he was grateful for the Ultra Glide's assistance in the home stretch.
When asked what helped him get through the last 75 miles, he said, "The upper provided enough protection for my tired feet when I inevitably kicked rocks and roots, and the rocker design and extra cushion underfoot took the sting out of pavement and extra-rocky sections." The lightweight EVA and Olefin midsole provided a more forgiving, durable, and springy ride that won over even our team's Hoka devotees.
SUPERIOR STABILITY SHOE
Adrenaline GTS 22 by Brooks
- Effective arch support
- Better handling than earlier models.
- Not as good for sprint training
The Adrenaline GTS is a popular stability shoe from Brooks. It uses the company's GuideRails system for support instead of a medial post, which makes the shoe lighter and less obtrusive. That design, which features material along the sole's edges to keep your feet in alignment, has returned in its 22nd iteration. (Because the additional support kicks in only when it's needed, this makes it usable by overpronators and neutral runners alike.) As a result of the DNA Loft foam running the length of the midsole, this shoe has a softer, smoother feel than previous iterations. For runners who put in a lot of miles, the Adrenaline maintains its superior shock absorption and the rubber outsole provides outstanding traction and durability.
As Michael Charboneau
Michael is a freelance writer who has spent many years covering outdoor gear and activities for Runner's World and other publications. When he's not writing, you can find him biking, hiking, or running in the beautiful Los Angeles Mountains.
As Runner's World's Runner-in-Chief, Jeff oversees all content related to running, including shoe and equipment reviews. He's the real deal when it comes to shoes, having spent over a decade doing so. He ran in 285 different pairs of shoes in 2017, with one run spanning 257 consecutive days in a row in which he wore a different model.