10 Best Running Shoes Overall Rated for Performance
All of us have certain things we look for when picking our next set of running shoes. Today, we will examine these attributes for ten of the most popular models currently available, rate them for you and let you decide. Among the criteria we shall examine are the style, the fit, the weight, the durability and the price.
There are additional sub-categories that will no doubt also come to play . . . the fashion, the comfort, the ease of putting your foot into the shoe and lacing it up. We’ll take it all into consideration. For trendsetters out there, you can rest assured that we are reviewing the freshest, leading edge, high-tech models on the market today and any of these running shoes would serve you proudly on your daily workout.
For some, the price will be of less concern than the comfort or some other factor. Don’t worry! We’ll cover all the bases!
10 Best Running Shoes
1. Brooks Ghost 9
One of the most common factors people like about these shoes are the natural, form-fit that they provide. Seasoned runners, particularly those with foot issues like plantar fasciitis immediately recognize the comfort this shoe affords them. This is probably why Brooks running shoes are most highly recommended by podiatrists.
Cushioning and Rebound
The leading edge materials science in the Brooks Ghost 9 includes lightweight yet wonderfully shock absorbent inner linings. Not in the least bit squishy, they act like springs fine tuned to the average weight of the user and the impact that moderate jogging places where your foot impacts with the ground. As their ads imply these shoes will put miles of road behind you without the hardship you might endure from ordinary running shoes.
Cost and Value
There’s a saying that you get what you pay for but in the case of the Brooks Ghost 9 you really get more than you pay for. That is to say that compared to the rest of the field, the craftsmanship is superior for the price. While some running shoes are designed in a way to provide maximum comfort and performance yet wear out quickly and others are designed to last longer with some sacrifice on the part of the user, the Brooks Ghost 9 makes the best of both worlds.
- Orthotic-grade fit.
- Technologically advanced construction
- High tech materials
- High value vs. cost ratio
- Certainly not the lowest priced shoe in the market
- Fashionable but not considered the “Cadillac” of running shoes
2. Saucony Ride 9
These are really good looking running shoes! If you’re out on the local jog trail among your peers, this shoe will not disappoint. If you do fall in the category of those with slender feet you really don’t want unnecessarily wide shoes and this shoe will provide you with both a really good look and the added performance of freedom from shoes that are too wide or bulky for your preference.
Choice of Styles
You can select from a variety of Saucony Ride 9 styles any of which is sure to please. Some folks that do lots of running want to have a variety of running shoes. It could be for pure style reasons or it could be for utility. On days when you feel particularly energetic, you might want a shoe that suits that mood . . . or you may want a shoe to match a different outfit you choose to wear on a particular day. The variety of Saucony Ride 9 running shoes will provide you with the latitude you need to complement all your outfits and all the varying degrees you may choose when seizing the day!
Cost and Value
The Saucony Ride 9 made it near the top of the top 10 here because their design achieved all the major hallmarks a good shoe should have, and . . . Saucony did so is a way that brought the price in near the bottom of the pack! These are good looking, well functioning shoes that will serve you well and not break the bank!
- Highly attractive and stylish
- Well priced
- Especially great for those with slender feet
- Variety of styles
- Inner sole can be removed for cleaning
- Historically, folks with wide feet might want to try these puppies on in person, first!
- Some like the tight fit but for others, it is uncomfortable. Take the time to check your fit!
3. Asics DynaFlyte
Those Asics aficionados who have long followed the brand will also love the Asics DynaFlyte! The long run this company has had in the market space has fine tuned their craftsmanship. Side-by-side comparison of the Asics DynaFlyte with every other shoe in this competition showed the Asics DynaFlyte having superior construction from the overall shape of the design right down to the stitching of the components.
When you speak of brand recognition, you are usually someone marketing a product. However, when you’re jogging down a trail, you don’t want to be caught wearing the off-brand Chinese jogging shoes. Asics is a solid, proven purveyor of quality sports shoes and the Asics DynaFlyte is no exception! Along with the reputation, there is an anticipated quality you can expect with Asics and the DynaFlyte series of running shoes certainly fills that bill!.
Cost and Value
While it’s always a choice that must be weighed, the Asics DynaFlyte while about 20% higher in cost than its competitors in this shoe challenge comes out pretty good because of its good looks, it’s better than average performance and the high degree of craftsmanship of the shoe. The popularity this brand has gained over the years is a result of the detail they put into crafting their product and it is a brand you can rely on.
- Excellent, long lasting construction
- Durability, possibly the best of the group
- A brand you can be proud to wear
- Enough variations on the style to complement your other apparel
- Excellent reviews throughout the running community
- A wee bit more pricey than the competitors
- As an industry leader, ever to be outdone by upstart competitors
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
Running shoe designers have used science to create their products for over twenty years now and as the new guy on the block (respective of Nike) Brooks burst into the market space looking to do one better. For those with foot ailments, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS baths the foot in comfort and over time, literally makes some of these foot problems disappear!
Comfortable and Airy
They grace the feet! They are wonderful to walk on and the webbing that surrounds the enclosure of the shoe makes them breathe like sandals vs. shoes! From an engineering standpoint, it is difficult to obtain this compromise between structural integrity and openness but the Brooks Adrenaline GTS hit the mark with great accuracy!
Cost and Value
Brooks shoes cost slightly above the curve from low to high among their competitors. They are excellent shoes and the ever so higher cost should be considered with the great value they provide in return. Overall, these are time-proven, industry solid competitors in the market place seeking your business as consumers. Good shoes, reasonable price, good value!
- A proven design that runners come back again and again for
- Optimal comfort and airy design
- Excellent styling and a company among the new leaders in running shoes
- Pricey, but not too pricey when considered along with the competition
- Probably more than you would want to spend
- Slightly the old model, an oldy but goody, not the best for trend setters
5. Asics GT-2000 5
When a design closely matches nature, it’s hard to go wrong and the Asics GT-2000 5 inner sole matches the underpart of your foot extremely closely. Almost nobody wants to run with a heavy shoe and the GT-2000 5 combines form and function using the latest synthetic polymer formulations to create excellent support and proper rebound as needed.
Tried and True Design
Asics is a proven company with millions of shoes produced and purchased by happy consumers. The model GT-2000 5 has become another hallmark in a series of very successful model running shoes. If you are seen on the running track with these shoes on, you will no doubt be considered someone who is experienced in the field and are among the most demanding.
Cost and Value
The price of the Acis GT200-5 falls right in the middle of low to high with their competitors so you be the judge. There are so many different designs and versions of this shoe that from a style standpoint, you could find just about anything you seek to embellish your running ensemble. You can’t go wrong with Acis!
- A proven leader in performance footwear
- A shoe that nestles the foot in comfort
- Takes the impact of running and provides good shock absorption
- A brand name you can be proud to wear
- Extremely well made and durable
- Possibly more than you want to pay
- Not the newest of designs, many upstarts are seeking to knock Acis off!
6. Brooks Transcend 4
No other shoe can brag that it underwent the depth of research and design of the Brooks Transcend 4 which arguably had more R & D than any other shoe in history! The result is one of the most anthropomorphically friendly running shoes ever invented!
The Brooks Transcend 4 weighs in at less than half that of its competition. For those that enjoy a lightweight shoe on their feet, this is definitely a model you should consider! Jammed full of special components, Brooks makes use of a variety of structural materials strategically arranged in key areas of the shoe to max out performance and reduce the overall weight. A truly inspired design!
Cost and Value
Again, it’s not the cheapest but for all you get, it’s not the most expensive either. This is why the Brooks Transcend 4 made this list and why Brooks is conspicuously mentioned in our review. It’s really an outstanding brand forging its way to the top of the industry.
- Famous Brooks orthotic grade design
- Very Lightweight
- Wide variety of designs
- Amazing combination of structural components
- Near perfect combination of form and function
- Priced about 50% higher than the competition
- Efforts to disassemble the shoe into component part for washing not recommended
7. Hoka One One Bondi 5
Nobody likes a hot, sweaty shoe and that’s why most designers formulate breathable mesh into the construction of their products. The Hoka One One Bondi 5 does one better. They’ve fabricated an impossibly thin membrane which is highly permeable and transmissive over a spongy middle core and created a shoe that wraps your foot in ultimate comfort and maximum breathability. That along with a very science-based lower design makes it pretty much the perfect shoe!
Leading Design and Style in the Field
The sporting shoe industry is big. Bigger than many industries. The players in this field are highly competitive. Hoka has created a shoe in the Hoka One One Bondi 5 model that exceeds all other competitors in the industry. People’s feet differ from person to person and some will attest to other shoes mentioned in this review but the Rolls Royce of all these has to be the Hoka One One Bondi 5.
Cost and Value
Who can put a price on the best in it’s field of competition? Were you to sit down and try on all the shoes in this review, I think you might come to the same conclusion I did. Hoka wraps your feet in love, really! You have to pay for it! This is why most mortals, myself among them have placed some of the Brooks models ahead of Hoka in this review for overall value. If money is of no object for you, check out the Hoka One One Bondi 5!
- Forging its way to dominance in the sports footwear industry
- Top of the line design and innovative construction
- Highly stylish, comfortable and trend-setting
- Super comfortable and high performance
- Double the cost of nearly similar competitors
- Relatively new brand yet to be proven with the test of time
8. Nike Zoom Vomero 12
Are you old enough to remember how much old Nike’s weighted? Unfortunately for me, I am and let me tell you, it was a little bit like putting boat anchors on your feet. What a great pleasure it was in the 90’s when the industry began using lighter weight, high-tech materials to fabricate their shoes. Nike has leveraged its long-standing industry dominance here and produced what might be the lightest weight running shoe in it’s class.
Good for Pronators
You pronators know who you are and this shoe does a great job compensating for that. Veteran runners who know their way around like this shoe and come back to it again and again. You owe it to yourself to give the Nike Zoom Vomero 12 a look see!
Cost and Value
This shoe brings a price tag with it commensurate with the famous reputation of its brand. Folks, that means it ain’t cheap. Depending on where you shop, it could be the most expensive shoe among the crop we reviewed today. That my friends is why this great running shoe is near the bottom of this top ten list. However, if price is no issue for you, please give it a look-see!
- The most well known creator of shoes in this industry
- Decades of experience producing winning products
- Stylish and functional
- Possibly the lightest weight shoe in it’s class
- If you had to ask, you can’t afford it
- Those Nike loyalists still swear by it (maybe not a Con)
9. Hoka One One Arahi
If you’ve read through our entire review, you will see that we gave Hoka great ratings before. They are great shoes and the Hoka One One Arahi also makes our list. I probably don’t have to tell you that runners go out every day and literally run their feet off achieving that endorphin high. It’s kind of a healthy thing to do but it can take a lot out of your feet without the benefit of good footwear and the Hoka One One Arahi would be one of those shoes that can provide you with the protection you deserve.
Hoka and the Hoka One One Arahi employs the latest datasets available about human biometrics to create the ultimate running shoe. Hoka designers are obsessed with creating the ultimate, perfectly designed running shoe and the Hoka One One Arahi model shows it!
Tailored for a Special Group
If you have a wide foot and have always gravitated towards wider shoes, the Hoka One One Arahi is probably not right for you. On the other hand, if you have a long, slender foot, then this is probably a great shoe for you. This is the general summary of hundreds of user comments on this shoe design and we wanted you to know!
Cost and Value
The Hoka One One Arahi comes in a hair above the price of it’s closest competitors. It is a truly a shoe of advanced design and in my humble opinion, worth every penny. If you’re ready to plunk down a nice chunk of change on a pair of running shoes that could literally rock your world, you should give the Hoka One One Arahi a good looking over!
- Highly rated manufacturer
- Industry leading and science-based designs
- Comfort and style
- Moderate price for the value
- Not for the weak in the wallet
- Limited designs compared to competitors
10. Skechers GOrun 5
Skechers were always the quintessential makers of shoes that approached orthotic type design and favored the foot like no other shoes ever had. That general design has permeated every Skecher shoe including the Skechers GOrun 5. These shoes are fabulous for walking and moderate jogging. Great for the price!
Stylish and Comfortable
At speeds under ten miles per hour, Skechers GOrun 5 shoes are as good as it gets in the business and that’s why they're on this list. Truth is, it is only for runners that work up to sprinter speeds where these shoes have ever caused issues like heel slipping. For everybody else, they are a smart buy.
Cost and Value
Skechers GOrun 5 shoes made this list as the last entry, number ten. They are probably the least expensive shoes on the list. They still fit very, very well and feel good on your feet and are wonderfully performing shoes. If you are jogging at a moderate rate, the heel slippage reported by some might not be a consideration. Don’t buy a running shoe without giving the Skechers GOrun 5 a look-over.
- Proven, orthotic foot design
- Excellent price point
- Variety of models
- Durable product
- Not the best performers particularly at higher speed
- A few buck more will buy you Brooks
What can you conclude from our up-to-the-minute review of current running shoes? I offer you a quick summation: If you have some extra change and want extra cushion, go with Hoka. If you want a good shoe but don’t have the extra to spend, go with Skechers. The differential between the two is not wide, they and those between them are all great shoes. If you have wide feet vs. slender feet, this is a real consideration for some of these shoe models. Don’t order them over the Internet without the ability to return them should they not feel right on your feet. Brooks shoes are the biggest up-and-comers on the list so if you are a trend-setter, you must keep that in mind! I can attest that no shoe company had any influence on my opinions in this article.