Best Running Shoes for Beginners
If you are new to running and you’ve started selecting your gear in your excitement to get started with the process, then know you’ve found one of the best ways to be active and stay in shape. While all the necessary running gear is important to keep you healthy and happy as you run, you’ll need to select a great pair of running shoes to really get yourself lifting off as you progress towards your goals with running. When you are looking for a good pair of running shoes for beginners, you’ll want something reliable and with a nice fit, because if the shoes don’t feel good on your feet, you’ll probably wind up never using them and wasting your money. So make sure your running shoes fit and have fun getting into a great past time that will give your body results inside and out!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Top Ten Running Shoes for Beginners
1. Nike Free Run Flyknit
Not a lot of support or cushioning
Nike’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes bring you a well-designed shoe from a great brand. Nike is well-known for producing high-quality sporting products, and these shoes fall right in line with that description. You get a nice, durable pair of shoes with these that come with an average price range, so they aren’t overly expensive and still work great for those that are new to running. These shoes offer a lot of support and also have a decent cushioning system that will help absorb shock while you are on the go. You’ll get all the stability you need when you start on the trails.Read more
Nike’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes are designed with comfort in mind, but they are also a more minimalistic shoe. You’ll get cushioning with these shoes, but not as much padding as some of the other options on our list. However, the cushioning system that Nike uses here still helps absorb shock and will take a lot of stress off of your muscles and joints. That means you’ll experience less stress and fatigue as you get used to running.
Nike’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes come with a well-designed upper that helps offer support with Flywire cables. The uppers are also designed to provide a lot of ventilation, so these shoes breathe well and will keep your feet dry. That means you won’t need to worry about feeling like you are overheating with these shoes. Also, you’ll get a durable rubber sole on these shoes that will help prevent damage to other areas of the shoes.
Nike’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes feature a lot of high-quality materials in their design, something that’s very typical of Nike as a brand. You get a lot of durability with these shoes, which means they can take a lot of abuse on the trails. They have a durable rubber outsole that helps prevent wear and tear as you run, and it also extends the lifespan of the shoe. Plus, you’ll wind up with a comfortable, supportive shoe you’ll get to use for a long time.
Nike’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes fall in the moderate price range, so you get an average price here with this well-designed shoe. These shoes are still a nice value choice for new runners since they won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Plus, they come designed with a lot of durabilities, so you’ll have the shoes for some time before you’ll need to buy new ones.
2. Altra Escalante
Great heel support
Shapes to your foot
Could have more cushioning
Altra’s Escalante Running Shoes give you an affordable option in high-quality shoes that are designed with durability and responsiveness in mind. These shoes are a cost-effective choice for people that are new to running and are also great for people that are shopping on a budget. The midsole in these shoes offers a nice design and works to be very bouncy and responsive. You also get plenty of decent cushioning and shock absorption built into these shoes, and you’ll love how fast you can run in them.Read more
Altra’s Escalante Running Shoes feature a nice cushioning system with a midsole that provides a lot of lift and bounce. With an effective cushioning system, you get a nice feel inside these shoes, and it feels almost as if you aren’t wearing them. Plus, they are quite lightweight, and the responsive midsole allows you to spring up with ease so that you get a lot of sprint in your running stride.
These shoes come with a nice, breathable mesh upper that provides great ventilation. You won’t need to worry about your feet feeling like they are overheating in these shoes since your feet will stay dry in them. Also, you get a low heel-to-drop at 1.1 millimeters, which makes these shoes a bit minimalistic, but they still have a good design for those that are new to running.
Altra’s Escalante Running Shoes are designed with several high-quality materials, even though they have a lower price. That means you’ll get a lot of durabilities packed into these shoes. They are built to last and can handle a lot of abuse on the trails. They give you the reliability and durability you’d want when you are new to running on the trails.
Altra’s Escalante Running Shoes come with an affordable price tag, which makes them a nice value product, especially for people who are new to running. Plus, they feature a nice design with a lot of great, high-quality features that make them a durable product.
3. Brooks Ghost 10
Can feel heavy
Brooks’ Ghost 10 Running Shoes are an award-winning shoe that offers a lot of durability and reliability at an affordable price. The inexpensive price of these shoes makes them a great choice for new runners or those shopping on a budget, but it also helps to explain why the shoe is so popular. Combined with its excellent performance features, you get a shoe that is very versatile. Plus, these shoes offer all the cushioning and stability most new runners will want to have to experience less soreness and fatigue when they first start running.Read more
Brooks’ Ghost 10 Running Shoes feature a lot of comforts and cushioning. With these shoes, you get a lot of cushioning underfoot, which is a bit different than some other shoe designs. That helps to provide a lot of arch support, and it also envelops your feet in comfort. Plus, these shoes do a great job of absorbing shock and impact while you are on the go, and that brings down the potential for you feeling muscle soreness and fatigue. That type of design will also help you avoid injury.
Brooks’ Ghost 10 Running Shoes are designed with a breathable mesh upper that helps provide a nice ventilation system in these shoes. That means these shoes breathe very well, and you won't overheat in these shoes. Also, you get a durable rubber sole added to the design of these shoes that helps extend the lifespan of these shoes.
Brooks’ Ghost 10 Running Shoes feature a durable rubber outsole on the outside of the shoes, and that outsole helps to prevent excess wear and tear on the shoe, making the shoe last longer. With all the nice features these shoes offer and the comfort you’ll enjoy, it’ll be nice to be able to enjoy them for a while.
Brooks’ Ghost 10 Running Shoes come with an affordable price tag, and that makes them a good, inexpensive choice for those that are new to running. They are also a great choice for people that are shopping on a budget and need to spend money carefully. You get a well-designed show that has won awards in the past, and it is made with durability. Plus, they offer all the comfort and stability any new runner would love to have on the trails.
4. Hoka One One Bondi 5
Lots of cushioning
Cushioning might feel like too much for shorter distances
Hoka One One’s Bondi 5 Running Shoes offer a quality shoe from a great manufacturer that is well-known for making excellent running shoes. Hoka One One feature ample amounts of cushioning. If you want a well-cushioned shoe as you start out with your running journey, these might be the product for you. They fall in the average price range, which is helpful for new runners or those shopping on a budget. These shoes are made to help reduce stress and impact on your joints and muscles as you run, and they do a great job of absorbing shock.Read more
Hoka One One’s Bondi 5 Running Shoes are packed with solid cushioning and support features. These shoes are well-padded and designed to absorb impact well, taking some of the stress and pressure off your muscles and joints so you don’t experience as much muscle soreness and fatigue. That’s certainly a nice bonus if you are new to running. Plus, you’ll get a shoe that will make you feel great no matter how often you decide to hit the trails.
Hoka One One’s Bondi 5 Running Shoes are designed to help absorb shock and have a lot of padding and cushioning inside the shoes. They feature a nice, breathable upper mesh that provides a lot of ventilation, meaning your feet will stay dry even as you sweat. You won’t need to worry about soaking in your own sweat while you are on the go. You’ll also get a nice fit, as well as a shoe that offers plenty of comfort and protection.
Hoka One One’s Bondi 5 Running Shoes are comprised of very solid materials and have a great design. They can resist abrasions and tears while you run, and they are designed to handle a lot of abuse while you are on the trails. That means they are a durable, long-lasting shoe that will give you reliable performance for a long time. You’ll also love how comfortable and well-cushioned they feel each time you run, and you get plenty of impact protection designed into these shoes as well.
Hoka One One’s Bondi 5 Running Shoes come priced in the average price range, which means they are still a good choice and aren’t too expensive. They won’t burn a hole in your pocketbook, and they are great for both beginners and those shopping on a budget. Plus, they offer a lot of durability by design. They can handle a lot of abuse on the trails, so you won’t need to replace them quickly. Plus, they offer great support and cushioning for those that are new to running.
5. Reebok OSR Harmony
Can feel heavy
Reebok’s OSR Harmony Road Running Shoes are a very popular product among runners today because they are versatile and comfortable. Reebok is also a great manufacturer that has been known to create quality shoes for decades. You’ll get an affordable price tag with these shoes, which makes them nice for beginners or those shopping on a budget. Also, you get shoes that feature a nice, comfortable foam padding on the interior of the shoe that will help make you feel great while also absorbing shock well as you run. That will take the stress off of your muscles and joints and you’ll feel less fatigue and soreness as you get used to running.Read more
Reebok’s OSR Harmony Road Running Shoes offers a lot of comforts and cushioning. These shoes have a 3D IMEVA foam insole that helps absorb impact while you are on the go. Also, insole offers a lot of padding and cushioning on the inside of the shoes to keep your feet happy while you run. You also get a nice cushioning system that is designed to bounce back as you run, meaning these shoes have a nice spring to them.
Reebok’s OSR Harmony Road Running Shoes offer several features most new runners will love. First, they are very versatile, and they offer quality cushioning and support. Since these shoes absorb impact well, they are very easy to run in. Also, they feature a breathable mesh upper that provides a nice ventilation system. That means your skin can breathe in these shoes, and your feet will stay dry while you are on the go.
Reebok’s OSR Harmony Road Running Shoes come designed with a durable rubber outsole that helps prevent wear and tear on the shoes, meaning these shoes are built to last. They can take a lot of abuse on the trails and will keep going strong. Since you’ll be able to use them for a while, you’ll enjoy all the comfort and the stability you get while you are getting used to running on the trails.
Reebok’s OSR Harmony Road Running Shoes come with an affordable price tag, which means they are a nice, inexpensive choice for runners that are looking to just start out on the trails. Also, these shoes are great for runners shopping on a budget because they won’t drain your bank account. With these shoes, you’ll also get a high-quality, durable product design that is meant to last. Plus, you’ll love the comfort and support you’ll get on the trails with these shoes.
6. New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3
Not too durable
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante v3 Running Shoes offer you a versatile option and a lightweight shoe design that comes with an average price, so they still offer a lot for what they cost. That means they can still be bought on a budget, and you’ll get some great, well-designed running shoes that are built to last. These shoes are great for beginners and help to offer you a lot of cushioning and support. You also get plenty of shock absorption, which should help when you are just starting out with running.Read more
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante v3 Running Shoes have a great feel to them and are designed for comfort. You get nice cushioning with these shoes, and the padding in the shoes doesn’t feel bulky or weigh the shoe down. They also offer great protection since they are built to absorb shock. You also get a nice outsole design and a pair of great running shoes.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante v3 Running Shoes are designed with a lightweight and flexible outsole that makes them easy to run in. They also offer good arch support which can help if you have any problems with your feet. Plus, they feature a nice mesh upper that breathes well, so you get plenty of ventilation and you won’t need to worry about feeling like your feet are overheating in these shoes. There is a nice fresh foam midsole included with these shoes that provides a lot of comforts.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante v3 Running Shoe pack in a lot of high-quality materials into this well-designed pair of running shoes. You get a lot of durability with them since they can handle a lot of abuse on the trails, and they won’t tear or wind up with abrasions. You’ll be able to use these shoes for some time before you’ll need to worry about replacing them.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam Zante v3 Running Shoe comes with an average price, so they aren’t too expensive considering all the great features they offer. They still make a good choice for a beginning runner even if you are shopping on a budget. Also, these shoes have a lot of high-quality materials packed into them that make them quite durable and long-lasting. That means you’ll have them for a while before you’ll need another pair of shoes.
7. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
Can feel stiff
Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes offer another popular running shoe choice from a well-known manufacturer. Brooks is a popular brand for runners, and they make great shoes that offer a lot of comfort and support, which also helps new runners. These shoes offer a lightweight, durable design that is made to offer a lot of support and stability. Plus, you get cushioning and support to help with any potential foot problems. These shoes do a great job of absorbing shock well. With their affordable price tag, they are also a great option if you are shopping on a budget.Read more
Brooks’s Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes have a lot of great comfort features packed into their design. You get shoes that give you a lot of arch support and also help to straighten out your stride. Their cushioning system is effective for cradling the feet and also does a wonderful job of absorbing shock, so they take the stress off your joints and muscles. That means you’ll experience less fatigue and soreness as you run. Also, the interior lining of these shoes feels very soft to the touch, which helps boost the overall comfort of these shoes.
Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes features a breathable mesh upper that helps boost ventilation. The ventilation in these shoes is excellent and helps keep your feet dry while you are on the go. That means you’ll feel more comfortable while you run. Also, you get an adjustable mid-foot saddle so that you can adjust these shoes to fit you the way you need them. The foam lining on the interior of these shoes is also designed to be removable, and you also get a durable rubber sole packed into these shoes.
Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes features a nice, durable design that packs in high-quality materials into the shoes to boost their lifespan. That means you get a lot of durability with these shoes, and you’ll be able to use them for a long time. That’s great news if you are getting used to running since you’ll have these for some time. Also, you’ll love all of the comforts they give you while you get accustomed to hitting the trails.
Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoes come with a very inexpensive price tag, which makes them a nice value product when you consider all that they offer. First, it’s nice that they are affordable, especially if you are shopping on a budget, or if you are new to running. Also, you’ll get shoes that have a very nice design, and are built to last. That means they’ll save you money in the long run. With all their cushioning and support, they are an excellent product choice for a beginner.
8. Saucony Ride 9
Not enough cushioning
Saucony’s Ride 9 Running Shoes come from an excellent manufacturer that is well-known for producing high-quality running shoes. These shoes are a very popular option among runners, and a lot of that has to do with the performance that is packed into these shoes and the inexpensive price tag. These shoes have an affordable price option, which makes them a nice choice for somebody new to running, or a person shopping on a budget. You’ll wind up with a nice, durable shoe that can perform well as you learn the trails.Read more
Saucony’s Ride 9 Running Shoes offer a lot of comfort in the shoe design. You get decent arch support with these shoes which also helps better absorb impact, so your joints will feel great, and you’ll have what you need if you have foot problems. The cushioning is average in this shoe, and it still does a good job of padding your feet and absorbing impact. Also, the shoes are about average in weight and work well for runners that are just starting out.
Saucony’s Ride 9 Running Shoes offer some neat features that any new runner would love. These shoes come with Everun top sole construction, which helps make these shoes return energy well and also makes it smooth for you to hit the pavement. You get a pair of shoes that feature a mesh upper for good ventilation, so you get the breathability you need. Also, these shoes have a padded tongue and collar for extra comfort.
Saucony’s Ride 9 Running Shoes offer a lot of high-quality materials in their design, which means they are built to last. You’ll wind up with a pair of very durable shoes that can help support you on all or your runs as you learn and start off your running journey. You’ll be able to use these shoes for some time, and you’ll get a lot of comfort and support for when you are just starting out.
Saucony’s Ride 9 Running Shoes bring you an affordable price option, which makes these shoes a nice option for beginning runners, or runners that are shopping on a budget. You’ll get shoes that have a nice value price but are also designed for durability. That means they’ll last you for a while before you’ll need to worry about getting new shoes. You get an all-around good pair of running shoes that are built to last.
9. Asics GT-2000 6
Can feel stiff and heavy
Asics’ GT-2000 6 Running Shoes offer a well-cushioned option at an affordable price for new runners. You get a lot of help with these shoes since they take the stress off of your body and prevent muscle soreness and fatigue as you get used to running. You get a lot of great cushioning packed into these running shoes for beginners, which will also help wrap your feet in comfort. With so much support and stability, your feet will feel great as you are on the go.Read more
Asics’ GT-2000 6 Running Shoe offers a nice cushioning system that uses Rearfoot Gel technology to help offer support and cushioning on your heels. Plus, these shoes also have a Spevafoam midsole design, which means the midsoles are padded and can also bounce back as you run. You’ll get all the cushioning and support you need in these shoes to keep you going strong on the trails.
Asics’ GT-2000 6 Running Shoe offers a lot of great features in the design of these shoes. You get a breathable mesh upper that provides a lot of great ventilation, meaning your feet will always stay dry while you are on the go. Plus, you get a durable rubber outsole that helps extend the life of the shoes while also absorbing shock.
Asics’ GT-2000 6 Running Shoes feature a lot of high-quality materials in their design which helps make them a long-lasting shoe. You get a durable rubber outsole with these shoes that are designed to protect other parts of the shoe, preventing wear and tear and making these shoes last for quite some time. Plus, you’ll love how comfortable these shoes feel each time you run.
Asics’ GT-2000 6 Running Shoes come with an affordable price tag, which makes them an inexpensive option for beginners. That’s a nice bonus if you are new to running, and it also works well if you are shopping on a budget. Plus, these shoes have a lot of high-quality materials designed into them that help make them a durable shoe.
10. Adidas Ultra-Boost
Could be more comfortable
Adidas’s Ultra-Boost Running Shoes offer a stylish shoe that also comes with an affordable price tag, and that’s a bonus considering the fact that Adidas has long been known for creating high-quality sports products. These shoes look great and are inexpensive, so they are a good option for beginners or those shopping on a budget. Plus, you get fifteen color choices and a shoe that is designed with a great cushioning system. These shoes can absorb impact and take the stress off of your joints and muscles so you feel less fatigue and muscle soreness as you start out on your runs.Read more
Adidas’s Ultra-Boost Running Shoes are packed with a comfortable design. Adidas uses Boost cushioning in these shoes, which helps to make your landings easy so that you don’t feel the stress from the impact. You get a nice cushioning system that can absorb shock as you go. The Primeknit upper in these shoes have added extra support and help to make the shoes fit well. You won’t need to worry about slipping around in these shoes, and you get a lot of comforts.
Adidas’s Ultra-Boost Running Shoes come with a lot of nice features that help make this shoe a comfortable, stable option for new runners. You get a breathable mesh upper with these shoes, so you have the ventilation you’ll need to stay comfortable on your runs. You won’t need to ever worry about your feet feeling like they are soaking in your own sweat while you run. Also, you get a removable insole with these shoes, as well as a durable rubber sole that helps to extend the lifespan of the shoe.
Adidas’s Ultra-Boost Running Shoes are designed with high-quality materials and a solid rubber outsole that helps protect the outer area of the shoe, extending the life of the shoe. Also, you get a shoe that can resist abrasions and tears while still taking plenty of abuse on the trails. These shoes are built to last, and you’ll love how great they feel when you run. With such good durability, these shoes are a very nice choice of footwear.
Adidas’s Ultra-Boost Running Shoes offer you an inexpensive option of high-quality footwear, so these shoes are a great value purchase for those that are new to running and want to try something out. Also, if you are shopping on a budget, these shoes are a great choice because you won’t have to drop too much money on them. Since these shoes come with high-quality materials packed into a great design, you also get a pair of shoes that are built to last. You won’t need to worry about replacing these shoes any time soon, and that means you’ll also save money in the long run. With their great design and wonderful comfort, you’ll be happy to have these shoes for a long time.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Comfort is an important factor with running shoes, and on our product list, we discussed the comfort level of all of the shoes. Cushioning, padding, and shock absorption are the major concerns here when you are looking for comfort and support in shoes. Some shoes are designed to conform to your feet, and those tend to be some of the most comfortable shoes you can get.
Another important factor, especially if you tend to have the type of feet that require a little more stability. It is important to know your feet. Do you have any issues with arches, plantar fasciitis, overpronation, etc? These are all things that should be considered when choosing your pair.
In addition to neutral support, we also made sure to include shoes on our list that provide proper support and stability for other types of feet that require it. The proper amount of support not only prevents quicker fatigue but also helps to prevent possible injuries that can come from not having it.
Different shoe brands and styles mean that shoes are going to come with different features. However, when we looked at features, we discussed ventilation, fit, and the soles of the shoes. This is where we examined include ventilation systems, outsole design, and other protection features that can be found in the shoes. When you examine features, make sure the running shoes you purchase are breathable and also offer you the support you’ll need on the trails.
Durability becomes an important concept to consider when you are purchasing running shoes and starting out because you want something you can use for a while as you get used to running again. Also, the more durable the shoes, the less money you will spend in the long run. The issue is important because these beginner's running shoes are going to have to take a lot of abuse on the trails. When looking at durability, check the cushioning system for responsiveness, make sure the rubber outsole is durable, and also look at the quality of the mesh upper.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Make sure you buy shoes that have a good ventilation system. Breathability is something that a lot of newcomers can overlook, but it’s actually quite important for foot health. You want your feet to breathe well so that they stay dry, and that means less rubbing and other potential foot issues.
Other Factors to Consider
When you are selecting a good pair of running shoes to get yourself started out with running, you’ll want to make sure you purchase shoes that offer a fit that works for you. Fit becomes very important because if the shoes don’t fit right you won’t get the support and comfort you really need. That means you’ll probably never use the shoes and you’ll wind up wasting your money. Make sure you get your feet measured by a professional so that you are able to buy the right size of the shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do I need to worry about getting a less durable shoes if I am shopping on a budget?
Not necessarily. On our product list, we provided several options for affordable running shoes for beginners that are also durable.
q: If I have to buy an affordable shoe, will it be less comfortable?
Again, probably not. While it will depend on the shoe you buy, there are plenty of affordable shoes on our list that still offers fantastic comfort features.
q: Is it better to start running with minimalistic shoes?
That depends on you and how comfortable you are with these shoes. Some people love running in them right away, while others don’t while they start out. Really, it is a matter of personal preference, and if you aren’t sure, you can always try running shoes on at a local store to figure out what you like.
q: Is it important to buy shoes that have a ventilation system?
Yes, it is. Running is the type of activity that makes you sweat often, and if your feet get wet with sweat, they might rub on the shoes and you may also wind up with other foot problems, like the bacterial build up and foot odor. Ventilation keeps your feet healthy and happy.
q: Does brand matter when I am buying my running shoes?
It can really make a difference, mostly in quality, to get name brand shoes. You’ll get a lot better durability and reliability out of running shoes that come from a brand.
q: Is it important for shoes to have a good outsole?
The outsoles on your shoes matter in two ways. The first is for extra durability, and the second is to help with impact absorption. So if those two things matter to you, then yes, it is important.