The Best Road 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.
Best In Class
Hoka One One MachCushioned Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
The Mach is one of the best well-rounded road shoes we’ve tested and as one tester put it, “If I could only have one road shoe this would be the one.” It had the whole package; it’s lightweight, responsive, cushioned and just whole lot of fun to run in. A direct descendant of the Clayton, the Mach maintained everything people enjoyed about the Clayton, while fixing everything people didn’t like. Hoka’s new dual density ProFly midsole delivers seemingly opposing forces of a soft landing with a firm take off.
Brooks LevitateCushioned Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
As a newcomer to the Brooks cushioned lineup, the Brooks Levitate proves it already earned the right to sit alongside best sellers like the Glycerin and Ghost. Boasting a brand new midsole compound called DNA AMP, the Levitate blends a uniquely springy and fun cushioned ride with a snug fitting, secure upper. While our testers raved about how comfortable and enjoyable this neutral everyday trainer was, they also found the shoe to be one of the slowest in the cushioned class. Tipping the scales at 11.2oz for men and 9.7oz for women, the Levitate is best suited for days when speedy times aren’t a priority and comfort rules.
Best for Faster Running
On CloudflyerCushioned Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
On’s approach to the Cloudflyer is simple, freedom of movement with added cushioning while still maintaining a touch of stability. The Cloudflyer is a lightweight, flexible trainer that has characteristics of both a minimalist shoe and stability trainer. Most suited for lighter runners who appreciate a less-restrictive shoe that rides close to the ground, it lacks the structure most comfort trainers have. The flexibly and minimal design decrease durability, causing it to be one the least durable shoes tested.
Best Lightweight Cushioned Trainer
Altra DuoCushioned Running Shoes, Road Running Shoes, Running & Running Shoes
As the newest addition to the Altra line of zero drop road shoes, the Duo brilliantly strikes the ultimate balance of cushioning-to-weight ratio. Despite a the massive full length 31mm stack the Duo tips the scales at an astonishing 7.9oz for men and 5.3oz for women, making them one of the lightest and fastest shoes in the cushioned category. The Duo, like all Altra shoes are headlined by Altra’s unique Foot Shape design, to allow the toes to splay out naturally and a zero drop for a more naturally balanced run. While this rather non-traditional approach does take time to adjust too, the ride is easy going, responsive and cushioned. The only downside is some my find the excess space to feel insecure, giving the shoe a loss fit.
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.