The Best Running Shoes
Looking for reviews of the best running shoes? Each season, our experts test the best road running shoes and trail running shoes head to head against each other. Two dozen experienced wear testers spend approximately 2-3 weeks running in each shoe, providing objective feedback on comfort, cushioning, fit, ride quality and other criteria. Each shoe is compared against other similar shoes for fair comparisons. And we never let our advertisers or brand biases influence our reviews in any way, so you get unfiltered, candid assessments directly from our experts.
Road Running Shoes
If you are looking for thicker, plush, more cushioned road running shoes, check out our “Cushioned Running Shoes” category. For a lighter, faster, and more efficient experience, you’ll want to pick from our “Lightweight Running Shoes” category.
Trail Running Shoes
If you’re looking for the best trail running shoes, check out our reviews of thicker, more cushioned, and more protective “Cushioned & Protective Trail Running Shoes” or our reviews of thinner, lighter, more agile “Lightweight Trail Running Shoes.”
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Best in Class
Saucony Kinvara 10Lightweight Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The top rated shoe of this round, the Saucony Kinvara 10 returns as the top lightweight trainer. For races to long runs, this shoe has everything comfortable with a disappearing upper along with a fast and protective sole.
Skechers GOrun Razor 3 HyperLightweight Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
A fast, lightweight trainer and racing shoe. The Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper is ready to handle any pace with ease. Although not quite the Vaporfly 4% killer, this shoe comes close with a very responsive and smooth ride.
Best For Easy/Long Runs
Salomon Sonic RA 2Lightweight Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The Salomon Sonic RA 2 is a protective lightweight trainer best for long training miles and mild up-tempo work on a variety of surfaces. For those looking for a lightweight comfortable fit combined with a stable ride without traditional stability methods, this may be a shoe worth considering.
Best in Class
Hoka One One Evo MafateCushioned & Protective Trail Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The Hoka One One Evo Mafate is a lightweight, fast, and maximally-cushioned shoe that’s ideal for ultramarathons and other long-distance trail running. It’s a ground-up revamp of the Mafate Speed 2, with a new midsole material and completely redesigned upper. Our wear-testers were impressed with the level of lightweight, responsive cushioning and the Evo Mafate’s agility across a range of terrain and trail conditions. There were some concerns about the fit and materials of the upper and a few runners noticed small rocks getting caught in the outsole, but overall, our team was very impressed with this shoe.
Most Plush & Comfortable
Saucony Xodus ISO 3Cushioned & Protective Trail Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The Saucony Xodus ISO 3 is a durable trail runner that our wear-testers described as “bombproof.” There are major, bottom-to-top updates from last year’s Xodus ISO 2, including a totally redesigned upper and a full midsole made from Saucony’s responsive EVERUN (the same material as the Saucony Freedom and Liberty road shoes). Our wear-testers found the Saucony Xodus ISO 3 extraordinarily responsive and comfortable, and praised the durable, sticky outsole. However, the Xodus ISO 3 tips the scales at 12.9oz (for men’s size 9), which made it the heaviest shoe in this round of testing. One described it as “lumbering.” The weight worked against what would have otherwise been a Best in Category trail shoe.
Salomon Sense Ride GTXCushioned & Protective Trail Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The Salomon Sense Ride GTX is a brand-new waterproof version of the previously-released Sense Ride. Overall, our wear-testers thought it offered a good balance between cushioning and performance, with a vibrant visual design. “I need two pairs of Sense Rides: one for the trail and one for the rest of my life,” said one of our wear-testers. Although there were some concerns about the narrow fit and speed-lacing system, our runners felt like the Salomon Sense Ride GTX is an excellent choice for trail runners looking for a speedy, responsive waterproof shoe.
Brooks Cascadia 13Cushioned & Protective Trail Running Shoes, Running, Running Shoes & Trail Running Shoes
It’s hard to go wrong with the Brooks Cascadia 13, the newest iteration of Brooks’ flagship trail running shoe. The 13th version of this popular trail shoe gets a tweaked and modernized upper, but keeps the midsole, outsole, overall fit and most details of the previous edition. However, the Brooks Cascadia 13 is relatively heavy, and our wear-test team found its ride and responsiveness to be average at best. In an era where trail runners expect even well-cushioned trail shoes to be light, lively and nimble, the Brooks Cascadia 13 is starting to feel dated.