If you are one of the many people who have made a New Year’s resolution to get healthier and lose weight, you might be wondering how to achieve your fitness goals. As the new year unfolds, resolutions to adopt a healthier lifestyle and shed those extra pounds take center stage, and one of the best, easiest, and most accessible ways to do so is by setting realistic fitness goals, which often involves incorporating an accessible and effective exercise routine. Running fits the bill perfectly. Running is a simple, effective, cost-efficient, and enjoyable way to burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health, and boost your mood. But before you hit the road, you need to invest in a good pair of running shoes.

Running shoes are not just a fashion accessory. They are a crucial piece of equipment that can make or break your running experience. The right running shoes can provide comfort, support, stability, and protection for your feet and legs, while the wrong ones can cause pain, injury, and frustration. That’s why you need to choose your running shoes carefully, based on your personal preferences, running style, and goals.

To help you find the perfect pair of running shoes for 2024, we have compiled our buying guide and must-read list of the best running shoes available on the market based on expert reviews, customer feedback, and market research. Whether you are looking for a cushioned daily trainer, a lightweight racer, a stability shoe, or a trail shoe, we have something for you. Here are the best running shoes for 2024.

Things to consider when buying the best running shoes

Before we deep dive into the best of the best, here are a few things to consider when purchasing new running shoes. While there are numerous things to take into the buying equation, these factors should be considered to ensure a comfortable and effective running experience and that your money is well spent. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Foot type and pronation:
    • A good starting point is by understanding your foot type and pronation (the way your foot rolls inward) as it influences the type of support and cushioning you may need. Many local running shoe stores offer in-person evaluations to help give you insight into this. Common types include neutral, overpronation, and underpronation (supination).
  2. Cushioning:
    • Another great consideration is looking into the amount of cushioning you may need based on your running style and the type of terrain you’ll be running on. More cushioning is often preferred for longer distances or hard surfaces, giving you a plush run experience.
  3. Running surface:
    • Look for shoes suitable for the surfaces you’ll be running on. Different shoes are designed for road running, trail running, or a mix of both.
  4. Shoe weight:
    • Consider the weight of the shoe, especially if you’re looking for lightweight options for speed work on tracks or more substantial shoes for support and durability.
  5. Online reviews:
    • A stellar thing to always consider when purchasing products is to read reviews about the brand and specific model you’re interested in. Consider the reputation for durability, comfort, and performance.
  6. Budget:
    • Set a budget range for your running shoes. While it’s essential to invest in quality, there are excellent options available at various price points.
  7. Try them on before you buy:
    • Whenever possible, try on the shoes before purchasing. Walk or run in them to assess comfort and fit (some running shoe stores have treadmills to accomplish this). Many specialty running stores offer gait analysis to help determine the right shoe for you, as well as certain brands giving you up to 30-60 days to take them home and see if they are the pair for you before returning them.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect pair of running shoes that align with your unique needs and preferences. Luckily for you, we already did the hard work for you.

The best running shoes in 2024

Here are our picks for some of the best running shoes to pick up in 2024.

Everyday runner: Hoka One One Mach X – White/Blue Glass

Hoka One One Mach X - White/Blue Glass colorway on a light gray background.

The Hoka Mach X is a lightweight and versatile shoe designed for various runs, including speed training and long distances but our winner for those seeking the best daily runner. Featuring a Pebax plate in the midsole for a responsive ride and dual-layer foam for soft cushioning, it delivers comfort and support. The breathable upper secures your foot in place, while the durable and grippy outsole ensures stability on different terrains.

With a blend of comfort, support, and a propulsive Pebax plate, the Mach X is a pace-pushing trainer suitable for both endurance efforts and quick pace increases, making it an all-encompassing choice for runners. With a more reasonable price tag for some of the best running shoes on the market today, it definitely fits the bill over being one of our favorite overall shoes.

Best running shoe for speed work: Tracksmith Eliot Runner – Navy/Ivory

Tracksmith Eliot Runner - Navy/Ivory colorway on a white background.

Maybe cranking out miles after endless miles really isn’t your thing. You love to run, but would much rather tear up a track doing speed work. If that’s your cup of tea, these are the best running shoes for you. The Tracksmith Eliot Runner stands out as our top pick for speed work, seamlessly blending classic style with cutting-edge performance.

Boasting a Supercritical Pebax midsole for a smooth and responsive ride, coupled with a flexible and breathable upper that molds to your foot, the Eliot Runner prioritizes both comfort and agility. Whether you’re tackling roads, trails, or sand, this versatile shoe allows you to connect with the natural feel of the terrain. Designed for various paces, from easy jogs to swift sprints, the Eliot Runner is a testament to the essence of running, making it an ideal choice for those focused on speed work.

Best road racing shoes: Nike Vaporfly 3 – Luminous Green/Crimson Tint/Volt/Black

Nike Vaporfly 3 - Luminous Green/Crimson Tint/Volt/Black colorway on a light gray background.

When it comes to running shoes, it’s hard to have a list without including Nike on it. If you’re gearing up for a 5K or marathon and aiming to maximize speed and efficiency on the wide-open or winding roads, the Vaporfly 3 is your new go-to choice. Tailored specifically for road racing, it features a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole, delivering a springy feel that propels you forward and enhances running economy. The ZoomX foam, Nike’s lightest and most responsive, ensures exceptional energy return and shock absorption.

The engineered mesh upper offers breathability and a secure fit, complemented by a cushioned foam heel for added comfort and support. The updated outsole pattern provides improved traction on both dry and wet surfaces, and the durable rubber ensures a solid grip. Weighing in at a mere 7.24 oz, the Vaporfly 3 is exceptionally lightweight, making it an ideal companion for achieving your personal best in any road race. For those who embrace the pursuit of speed on roads, this edition stands out with its vibrant color palette, embodying the spirit of fast-paced excellence.

Most durable shoe: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RUNSHIELD Road-Running Shoes – Runshield Murk

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RUNSHIELD Road-Running Shoes - Runshield Murk color on a white background.

At times, you need a shoe that can take it all — different terrains and ever-changing weather conditions can try and throw you a curveball on your run, and quite frankly, you need to be prepared. This exceptionally durable shoe is not only versatile, fast, and comfortable but also excels in handling diverse weather conditions. Featuring a nylon plate and the lightweight PWRRUN PB midsole foam, it delivers a responsive and snappy ride, making it perfect for both racing and training across various paces.

The two-layer mesh upper ensures breathability and structural support, while the RUNSHIELD water-repellent coating keeps your feet dry and warm in wet and cold conditions. The widened base enhances stability and comfort, and the XT-900 rubber outsole provides reliable traction on different surfaces.

What sets the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 RUNSHIELD apart is its remarkable durability, making it a highly cushioned, flexible, and fast companion that effortlessly adapts to your needs and the ever-changing weather. With lightweight, breathable mesh uppers, water-resistant ripstop fabric, and innovative SPEEDROLL and PWRRUNPB foam technologies, this shoe redefines durability, ensuring it withstands challenging environments without compromising on performance or style.

Best for maximal cushioning: ON Cloudeclipse – White/Sand

ON Cloudeclipse - White/Sand colorway on a light gray background.

For those seeking the best running shoes when it comes to feeling like you’re running on plush clouds, you need a maximal sneaker — the ON Cloudeclipse is that shoe. Engineered for easy and long mileage, this shoe combines Helion Foam and Cloudtec, creating an exceptionally tall and cushioned midsole that maintains a surprisingly lightweight feeling.

The underfoot sensation is both extremely cushioned and subtly firmer than anticipated, providing a balanced feel. The two-layer mesh upper is breathable and water-repellent, featuring a wide and high-volume forefoot that allows for natural toe splay. The shoe ensures a secure midfoot and heel fit, incorporating a flexible heel counter and a gusseted tongue for added comfort.

With durable rubber pods on the outsole, the Cloudeclipse delivers reliable traction on various surfaces. Ideal for runners seeking a maximalist shoe that strikes the perfect balance between cushioning, weight, and firmness, the On Cloudeclipse is versatile enough to handle any weather condition.

Crafted with Helion superfoam, the ultra-thick midsole provides protection against heavy impact without compromising on weight. The flexible Speedboard adds stability, and the engineered mesh upper offers a breathable and secure fit, ensuring a plush, pillowy ride on even the longest runs. Elevate your comfort levels to new heights with the Cloudeclipse — the pinnacle of maximal cushioning excellence.