The Best Running Shoes for Women 2022

woman lacing up running shoes


Those runners' high endorphins are great and all, but can we talk about the euphoria of finding the perfect pair of running shoes? However, considering the myriad of sneaker choices available, settling on a pair may be easier said than done. Fortunately, when it comes to exercise endeavors, running isn't equipment-heavy. In fact, if you have a good pair of running shoes, you can be on your way.

It doesn't matter if you're training for your first marathon or if you want to explore your local trails, and an enjoyable running routine starts from the ground up. Once you have your foundation in place, the rest will be a run in the park…or on the track, on the greenway, or on the treadmill.

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The 10 Best Running Shoes for Women

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What You Should Know When Buying Running Shoes

There are several questions to ask yourself before lacing up your sneakers:

  • Gait: Are you a neutral runner or do your feet pronate or supinate when you pound the pavement?
  • Running surface: Where will most of your running take place: Pavement, treadmill, dirt paths, tracks?
  • Cushioning: Do you like to feel your running surface under you, or do you prefer feeling like you're running in a field of marshmallows?
  • Drop: Are you more comfortable with a high or a low drop (the angle between your heel and the forefoot)?
  • Size: Does the shoe fit? This may seem silly but running shoes should not need to be "broken in".
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a pair of shoes? Reminder, your running shoes may need to be replaced every 400-500 miles.

Best Support Running Shoes for Women - Hoka ONE ONE Clifton 8

Hoka ONE ONE Clifton

SPECS

  • Weight: 7.6 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular/Medium, D Wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Everyday training
  • Colors: 6 available (3/6" wide)
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 5 mm

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When it comes to giving your feet the support that they need, the women's Hoka ONE ONE Clifton 8 running shoes are here for you. The latest iteration of this lightweight shoe offers a supreme amount of cushioning. The latest version of this very popular pair of Hokas uses a healthy heaping of midsole foam that makes your feet feel like they are wrapped in clouds. Also, thanks to this version's newly extended heel crash pads, runners will experience smoother landings and transitions.

The breathability of the Clifton 8's mesh uppers keeps your feet cool and comfortable even when you're bringing the fire on your runs. And the extended pull tab makes it a breeze to pop these shoes on your feet so that you can be out and on your way with a quickness.

PROS

  • Incredible overall cushioning
  • Lightweight yet supportive
  • Smooth landings
  • Breathable mesh keeps feet cool
  • Offered in wide width

CONS

  • Some complaints that the arches are too stiff
  • Narrow toe box

BUY: Hoka ONE ONE Clifton 8

Best Lightweight Running Shoes for Women - Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros

Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros

SPECS

  • Weight: 6.7 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Long distance, interval training, everyday use
  • Colors: 4 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 9mm

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The Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros comes in at a feathery 6.7 ounces, but they are anything but lightweights. Reebok designed nearly weightless kicks that are still extremely cushioned and have springy responsiveness. Furthermore, you don't have to worry that you're trading weight for support because these shoes have your back…er, feet. The breathable mesh upper of the Floatride Energy Symmetros running shoes offers a snug, supportive fit for a variety of foot shapes that helps keep your feet cool and comfortable.

Best suited for neutral runners who prefer flexibility, the lightness and cushioning of these sneakers leave you feeling refreshed and energized during long runs and interval training. Additionally, the design of the heel keeps your heels snuggly locked in place and helps protect your Achilles tendon.

PROS

  • Cushioned and responsive
  • 3D-molded heel design provides secure fit
  • Breathable

CONS

  • Tight toe box
  • Some complaints about the outer sole being damaged quickly
  • The insole can feel spongy

BUY: Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros

Best Trail Running Shoes for Women - Altra Lone Peak 6

Altra Lone Peak 6

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.7 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Trails
  • Colors: 5 available
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Drop: 0mm

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The Altra Lone Peak has something of a cult following in the trail running community. And, we can kind of see why. If you're looking for trail shoes that are comfortable, functional, and lightweight, you will want to check out the Altra One Peak 6. The comfort is provided by the heel-to-toe Altra EGO (get it?) foam that is both cozy and reactive.

However, if you're concerned that a shoe as comfy as this one can't handle rugged terrain, don't be. These trail runners offer aggressive outsoles called MaxTrac that are aggressive enough that you can feel comfortable over various terrains. One of the coolest features of the Altra Lone Peak 6 is that there is a Velcro attachment on the outer heel that allows you to attach a trail gaiter to your shoe to keep out the evil villains of trail running—rocks, twigs, and other natural elements.

PROS

  • Lightweight for trail runners (especially compared to earlier versions of this shoe)
  • Wide toe box (might be a con for those with narrow feet)
  • Quick-dry uppers
  • Ample cushioning
  • Velcro for gaiter attachment

CONS

  • Shoe width can make shoe feel insecure
  • Some complaints of midsole durability

BUY: Altra Lone Peak 6

Best Women's Running Shoes for Flat Feet - Saucony Echelon 8

Saucony Echelon 8

SPECS

  • Weight: 10.8 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular, Wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road running
  • Colors: 4 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 8mm

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If you have flat feet, it is imperative that you find shoes with firmly cushioned insoles and a stable, supportive base. The Saucony Echelon 8 brings these goods and more to runners with flat feet. Also, the Echelon 8 has a sweet orthotic-friendly sock liner, but if you're partial to after-market insoles, these can be removed to accommodate the ones that you prefer. The cushioning of these feet whips protects the foot from impact and the fitted upper makes you feel secure when pounding the pavement.

These shoes are not ideal for people with narrow flat feet because they are spacious. However, for others, you'll find a highly supportive shoe that will be durable through intense training sessions and long road runs.

PROS

  • Orthotic-friendly
  • Stable base
  • Roomy
  • Durable
  • Secure, comfortable fit

CONS

  • Not for those with narrow feet
  • Can get slippery on wet surfaces
  • On the heavy side for running shoes

BUY: Saucony Echelon 8

Best Running Shoes for High Arches for Women - ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.7 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road running
  • Colors: 9 available
  • Cushioning: Plush

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The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24 is the latest version of this highly lauded, O.G. running shoe. Those with high arches will be particularly happy about these because they are built for neutral runners, and they don't have a lot of supportive features which can sometimes be problematic for those with high arches. However, the lack of supportive features doesn't mean that these aren't incredibly well-cushioned shoes. After all, they are named after a cloud.

The Nimbus 24s are not afraid of long road runs. In fact, that is where they flourish. The foam cushioning provides a soft, responsive ride even when you are ticking off mile after mile. Furthermore, the 13-millimeter drop offers additional support for your arches. Although this doesn't have anything to do with high arches, we like that ASICS uses 20 percent recycled materials which reduces waste and carbon emissions.

PROS

  • Immediately comfortable
  • Breathable upper
  • Heel plug rubber prevents wear
  • Gel-like pads absorb shock in toes
  • Great for long-distance and up-tempo runs

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Not as durable as other versions
  • It may be too heavy for track work

BUY: ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24

Best Women's Running Shoes for Wide Feet - New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v11

New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v11

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.7 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular, Wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road, long and short distance
  • Colors: 13 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 10mm

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The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v11 is a responsive and cushioned running shoe that hits its stride for those with wider feet. When you slip these sneakers on, you'll immediately notice the secure fit and solid foundation. Runners with wide feet will appreciate the comfort of the roomy forefront and the stability provided by the solid structure of the midfoot. Additionally, the adaptable midsole allows a wide-footed runner more flexibility during their runs.

The Fresh Foam 880s are durable and can hold up to anyone from daily joggers to marathon runners. One thing to note, while the mesh uppers are soft and comfortable, they do tend to track towards the hot side. Therefore, they may not be your coolest bet in the summer or if you live in a warmer climate as the uppers are not very breathable. However, given the cushioning, stability, and responsiveness, these shoes are still a great pick for runners with wide feet.

PROS

  • Overall comfort
  • Secure fit
  • Responsive
  • Handles wet surfaces well
  • Durable
  • Several colorways

CONS

  • Hot
  • Some complaints that foam cushioning breaks down quickly

BUY: New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v11

Best Women's Running Shoes for Pronation - Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

SPECS

  • Weight: 10.2 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular, Wide, Extra Wide, Narrow
  • Gait: Pronation
  • Best for: Long runs, road runs
  • Colors: 7 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 12mm

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If you find yourself lamenting about how your overpronation causes your trainers to wear around the toe quickly, you'll want to check out the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. The latest offering of these popular running shoes has earned a gold medal with its secure structure and upgraded midsole. The midsole's improvement means that these kicks are comfortably cushioned to absorb shock, which pronators should enjoy.

Additionally, one of Brooks's signature pieces of technology is found in the Adrenaline GTS's heel box. Guide rails on both sides of your heels further help you to cut down on rolling your foot inward when you run. When you lace up these shoes, you'll find a reliable pal who offers you a soft place to land.

PROS

  • Secure midsole and heel
  • Soft cushioning
  • Breathable uppers
  • Fairly lightweight for a stability shoe

CONS

  • May take a few sessions to full break in
  • Complaints of heel guide rails cutting into feet
  • Could be more responsive

BUY: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Best Running Shoes for Supination for Women - adidas Solarglide 4

adidas Solarglide 4

SPECS

  • Weight: 9.7 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road
  • Colors: 3 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 10mm

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If you supinate when you run, it simply means that you run with the majority of your weight on the outside of your foot. This puts more stress on the outer part of their feet, and more wear and tear on the ankle side of your shoes. Supinator's need to look for running sneakers with plush cushioning, a wide toe box, and ankle support, and they will find those attributes in the adidas Solarglide 4.

The ample toe box is cushioned by foam, while the forefoot and mid-section have a supportive rim that provides runners with stability during their runs. These shoes are responsive and fast. Plus, the Solarglide 4's soles are grippy. Runners will not have to worry about slipping.

PROS

  • Great grip
  • Responsive
  • Breathable uppers
  • Quick

CONS

  • Narrow
  • Questionable durability
  • Some complaints about being overly rigid

BUY, Adidas Solarglide

Best Treadmill Running Shoes for Women - Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

SPECS

  • Weight: 8.28 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Treadmill, track, road
  • Colors: 10 available
  • Cushioning: Plush
  • Drop: 10mm

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Do you do most of your running on a treadmill? If so, it is important to make sure that you have shoes, like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Premiums, that are designed to maximize your treadmill sessions. The latest version of these Nike running shoes has an even more responsive midsole due to the designers opting for a new kind of foam. And, for the women's model Nike lowered the air pressure to make these shoes even softer as you pop off a treadmill's rotating belt.

The stability of this shoe allows for a wide variety of treadmill training sessions, from long-pacers to up-tempo sprints, to be performed at optimal levels. Plus, these shoes have garnered a reputation as a workhorse for a reason as they have 400-500 miles on them. And, as always, Nike offers a lot of fun colorways.

PROS

  • Added width in toe box
  • Very responsive
  • Fun colorways
  • Durable
  • Overall comfort
  • Reliability

CONS

  • Heavier than past versions (and many other running shoes)
  • Can feel hot

BUY: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Best Cheap Women's Running Shoes - Under Armour Charged Assert 9

Under Armour Charged Assert 9

SPECS

  • Weight: 9.9 oz.
  • Available widths: Regular
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road
  • Colors: 6 available
  • Cushioning: Foam
  • Drop: 10mm

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One of the best aspects of running is that all you need to invest in to get started is a good pair of running shoes. With that being said, we know that running shoes aren't always extremely budget-friendly. Thankfully, the price tag of the Under Armour Charged Assert 9 is as light as the shoe. These shoes are breathable and durable—especially considering the cost.

Although they are best suited for training sessions under 10 miles, the durable rubber outsoles provide comfort for a variety of different running drills. You will find that these shoes are ready to roll the minute that you unbox them and that they are stylish enough to transition from running your miles to running your errands.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Ample cushioning
  • Used for multiple running exercises

CONS

  • Collar can cause ankle blisters
  • Heel can slip
  • Heavy

BUY: Under Armour Charged Assert 9

Why You Should Buy "Good Running Shoes"

Although what is considered good when it comes to running shoes differs from runner to runner, it is important to find ones that are best suited for their foot structure, running gait, and the kind of surface where you will be running. Good running shoes should be looked at as safety gear. Just as a helmet protects a biker's head, proper sneakers not only protect your feet, but your joints, knees, back, and hips. Additionally, investing in a good pair of runners can help cut down on stress fractures and tendonitis.

FAQs About Running Shoes


Why are women's shoes lighter and softer?

Women's shoes are lighter and softer because on average women weigh less and have less muscle mass than men of the same height and shoe size. To make women's running shoes more comfortable, manageable, and effective, they are designed to sustain less impact per strike. Generally, this means that they will be manufactured with midsoles that are lighter and softer than their men counterparts.

How do women run differently than men?

When it comes to the difference in how men and women run, you could say that it comes down to the fact that "the hips don't lie". Women's hips are angled, and it causes them to twist side to side, but men have relatively straight angled hips that keep their body centered. Also, women are generally more flexible and have less muscle mass. Therefore, women's bodies are more limber and move with less restriction.

Is it bad to walk in running shoes?

It is not necessarily bad to walk in running shoes because shoes designed for running and walking shoes have many similarities. Running shoes tend to be more durable because of the demands of running. Therefore, they may last longer if you use them for walking shoes.

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