No matter if you’re a marathon runner or light walker at the gym, a proper pair of running shoes is an absolute necessity for providing traction, support and lessening the strain on your joints. They can prevent light injuries, such as blisters, and long-term injuries that could tragically shorten your running career.
The best running shoe for you will depend on various factors: whether you’re a new or seasoned runner; your loyalty to a specific shoe brand; the type of running you’ll be doing; and the support your feet will need. If you run various distances and races, your race-day sneaker will most likely be different from the pair you slip on for your training runs.
Wearing the wrong shoes can put you at risk of injury, blisters or overall discomfort. When in doubt, stop by your local running shoe store and get professionally fitted.
In the meantime, CNET has gathered a list of some of the best running shoes for men in 2023. This list is based on professional recommendations from a running coach, thousands of online reviews and customer ratings. It’s updated periodically.
Brooks remains one of the most popular running shoes in the running community. The latest version of the Brooks Ghost sneaker series brings the features well-loved in the Ghost 13s, with some additional upgrades. Similar to its predecessor, the Ghost 14 is good for stable neutral support, and still maintains its 12mm heel-to-toe drop.
The latest model’s greatest improvement is the midsole that is made up entirely of DNA Loft cushioning, making it feel softer from heel to toe (without being too mushy), and generating a smoother run. It is also Brooks’ first carbon neutral shoe.
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CrossFit enthusiasts will enjoy the latest Nike Metcon 7. This cross-training shoe is the upgraded version of the highly acclaimed Nike Metcon 6, and Metcon continues to be the sneaker series that many athletes turn to. The Nike Metcon 7 is a sturdy shoe with good stability and support, with a rubber tread that gives you enough traction during your workout.
This shoe is ideal for CrossFit’s Workout of the Day, bootcamp and even a strength training workout. The inside of the shoe features Nike’s React foam, which makes your foot feel cushioned and supported during strenuous workouts. On the Nike website, reviewers raved about the shoe and said it was even better than the Metcon 6 because it is lighter, has more support and various colors to choose from.
Since the rise of minimalist running shoes, many sneaker brands have released their own versions. Merrell, which is known for its hiking footwear, also has collections intended for minimalist running. Their fifth edition of the Vapor Glove is a fan-favorite because it is light, easy to slip on and feels like you’re running barefoot.
Reviews for the shoes show that runners appreciate their versatility and found that they can be used for both running and weightlifting at the gym. Buyers who have purchased previous versions of the Vapor Glove are just as satisfied with the latest style to fit their needs.
The Hoka is a popular shoe brand among runners because it was designed to make running easier using high-tech materials and designs. The Hoka Rincon 3 is a favorite among runners who need stable neutral support and an all-around sneaker that they can use both for training runs and on race day.
It is a lightweight shoe that doesn’t sacrifice speed and has a cushioned marshmallow-like midsole, which makes running double-digit miles a comfortable journey.
Saucony’s second edition of the Endorphin Speed collection is the best option when you’re looking for a shoe that can handle long-distance runs or high mileage. It’s considered a versatile shoe because besides being able to cover lots of ground, its SpeedRoll technology helps you pick up the pace during any run, effortlessly.
One runner on the Saucony website raved about this shoe and said they usually log 180 miles a week and managed to run five marathons in the first two weeks of wearing them. Other runners expressed similar praise, claiming that these shoes helped them hit new PRs during a number of races.
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Salomon has a large number of great trail running shoe options. It’s one of the best-known brands in the trail running and hiking communities because of the quality and durability of its shoes. Certified running coach Mollie Millington says she’s had great success with the Salomon Sense Ride 3, although the most recent version is the Salomon Sense Ride 4.
These trail runner shoes are constructed of tightly knitted mesh and a grippy outer sole, outfitted with Salomon’s Quicklace shoelaces and built with an 8mm heel-to-toe drop for support on the trails or on the road.
As for what to look for in trail running shoes in general, Millington says she prefers her trail shoes to be waterproof. “You also need good stability due to varying terrain,” she says. “A reinforced toe will protect you from roots and rocks, and deep tread will help you grip the mud.”
How we chose these running shoes
Personal experience: I’ve been a recreational runner for approximately 10 years and during that time, I have tried many different running shoes. I’m familiar with what qualities to look for when shopping for a pair of running shoes and which are the best brands on the market. Having run various race distances over the years, and my first marathon three years ago, I know the right footwear makes a big difference in running anywhere between 3 to 26.2 miles.
Highly rated: Each pair of running shoes on this list was top-rated for factors like comfort, support, quality and durability — everything you should look for in a good running shoe. I browsed buyer reviews on Amazon, Google, runner blogs and brand websites to choose the running shoes on this list.
Latest releases: Since CNET periodically updates this list, we also make sure the most recent list reflects the latest version of sneakers on the market. Sneaker brands replace old models annually or phase them out as newer versions are released. Newer styles tend to be similar to their older versions with upgraded features, which is beneficial if you log many weekly miles and replace your shoes frequently.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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