Running shoes guide: How to find the best fit and 15 shoes to choose from

Save yourself from countless hours trying on running shoes—we’ve found the latest, greatest options, so all you have to do is lace up and go!
By Madeline Cravit
Running shoes guide: How to find the best fit and 15 shoes to choose from

Cheyenne Ellis/Alyssa Pizer

Fit guide

Good shoes make all the difference. Running expert Rick Wright breaks down what to look for to get it right:

Size: "Our feet swell through the day and when we're active," says Mountain Equipment Co-op's Rick Wright. Buy shoes with about a finger's width of room past your toes, and shop at the end of the day for the most accurate fit.

Fabric: Look for lightweight mesh nylon with a breathable toe bed to keep feet cool and prevent blisters.

Foot Arch
Arch: To find out what kind you have, step in water and compare your footprint to the pictures on the right. An average arch (left) can wear any shoe; choose a firm midsole and cushioning for a flat arch (middle); get a flexible sole for a high arch (right).

Sole: For road running, look for a more flexible shoe with a tougher outside edge and a softer midsole to give you better grip. A trail or walking shoe should have a more torsionally rigid sole for support.

Heel: The back of the shoe offers crucial support. "You shouldn't experience any heel lift as you walk, and the snug fit should continue all the way to the ball of your foot," says Wright.

Running shoes guide: How to find the best fit and 15 shoes to choose fromCheyenne Ellis/Alyssa Pizer

Most innovative debuts


Go the distance
Need extra support? This naturalistic shoe helps control over-pronation, improving your gait, with a comfy internal arch wedge. Plus, they just look so cool. Brooks Pure Cadence, $150, Brooks.

Asics Gel-Excel33

Need for speed
Inspired by the joints in your foot, this style mimics the tension of a footstep, and then amps it up, springing you forward — faster! Asics Gel-Excel33, $170, Running Room.

VivobareFoot Breatho Trail

Modern trailblazer
This barefoot runner boasts a sturdy multi-directional sole and a lining that wicks away excess moisture. Bonus: it's vegan-friendly. VivobareFoot Breatho Trail, $100, 1-800-465-9637.

Brooks Pure Cadence

Best for running


Back to basics
This lightweight option has a lower heel for a more natural stride. Saucony Progrid Guide 5, $145, Saucony.

Mizuno Wave Rider 15

Smoother ride
The 'wave technology' behind this best-seller runs a plastic plate down the shoe to improve durability — so your 100,000th step is just as cushioned as your first. Mizuno Wave Rider 15, $155, Mizunocda.

Adidas Supernova Glide 4

Train on
Ease knee and back pain with this pair of shock-absorbent kicks. The FitFoam interior molds comfortably to your foot for stress-free training. Adidas Supernova Glide 4, $145, Adidas.

Saucony Progrid Guide 5

Best for walking


Eco hip
These cool kicks are made from 95 percent recycled materials and mimic a barefoot sole for a feel that's equally at home in the grocery store and on the dance floor. New Balance NewSKY, $130, New Balance.

Keen Gypsum Light Trail Shoes

Great for all terrains, these lightweight hikers boast a water-resistant yet breathable coating, a wide platform for added stability and foam underneath to help absorb shock. Keen Gypsum Light Trail Shoes, $159, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Reebok easyTone Trend II

Fun firm-up
These sleek sneaks have built-in balance pods that help tone your butt and thigh muscles while you're out running errands or walking the dog. Reebok easyTone Trend II, $110, Reebok.

New Balance NewSKY

Best trail shoes


Improve your stride
An elastic tendon in these runners helps you stay in perfect form with smooth heel-to-toe transitions — even on challenging landscapes. Bonus: a quick–lace system makes them easy to slip on and off. Salomon XR mission Trail Running Shoes, $109, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Merrell Pace Glove Shoes

The naturalist
A shock absorption plate distributes pressure in these barefoot trail shoes. And say goodbye to any odour: An antimicrobial treatment helps beat stinky feet. Merrell Pace Glove Shoes, $115, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

La Sportiva Raptor Trail Running Shoes

Get a grip
Durable and well-cushioned, these neutral-platform shoes feature a roomy, rubber-capped toe box and a sticky sole for maximum traction. La Sportiva Raptor Trail Running Shoes, $119, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Salomon XR mission Trail Running Shoes

Best cross-trainers


Hit the gym
From lunges to squats, these comfy kicks have you covered. A neoprene heel and a raised foam arch help maintain stability without compromising flexibility. Nike Free TR Fit 2, $125, Nike.

Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport

Geek chic
Don't be afraid to show off your toes: a high performance sole and adjustable heel strap make these ideal for a variety of sports. Vibram FiveFingers Komodo Sport, $109, Mountain Equipment Co-op.

ecco Biom 1.3

Work out caveman style — these barefoot glove-like shoes have an ultra-thin, flexible outsole that helps strengthen the muscles in your feet. ecco Biom 1.3, $160, Ecco.

Nike Free TR Fit 2


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