Top 10 Best Specific Running Shoes

The right shoes are the most important investment for a runner. The ideal pair can shave minutes off of your best time, and help avoid sprains and other injuries. When choosing a pair, consider the terrain you'll be on and personal needs (such as cushioning or stability). All of the shoes listed below are available for both men and women.

Best Lightweight

Nike Flyknit Lunar 2: Nike made it's editor-favorite Flyknit Lunar even lighter and stronger, according to Sneaker Report.

Saucony Mirage 3: The ultralight weight of the Mirage makes it well suited for speedwork and racing, as well as everyday training, according to Running Shoes Guru.

Saucony Virrata: The Virrata made Outside's Gear of the Year list, calling it a featherlight option with traditional fit and feel.

Best for Trail Running

Brooks Cascadia 4: The Cascadia 4 won top spot for trail running shoe at Fitness magazine for the grippy silica coating found on the outsole, to improve traction on loose surfaces.

The North Face Single Track-Hayasa II: Rock protection and a trail-specific outsole make this shoe a top pick, according to I Run Far.

Saucony Outlaw: Backpacker testers made the Outlaw their favorite shoe for long trail runs because it has an almost barefoot feel.

Best for Cushioning

Saucony ProGrid Triumph 6: Fitness Magazine rated the Triumph the best cushioned shoe owing to it's extra shock-absorption in the midsole.

New Balance 890 v3: Blog Critics most liked the snug and secure fit, with additional protective foam around the ankles.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980: Not only do these feel like slippers, they hold up on the pavement according to DC Fit Crasher.

Adidas Energy Boost: Gizmodo listed the springy midsole as living up to its hype.

About the Author

Jill Dombrauckas currently writes for a biotech company in San Diego. Her work is published in scientific journals such as Biochemistry and medical websites such as Genetic Engineering News and Medical News Today. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Dayton and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.