The Best Running Shoes for Men

new balance mens shoe
The Best Running Shoes for MenRunner's World; New Balance

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Editor’s Note: We reviewed these shoe selections on May 8, 2023 and updated our recommendations to reflect our most recent round of testing. In addition, we have replaced any pairs that are out of stock or no longer available.

We’re constantly testing the latest running shoes in our lab and on the feet of our 275-runner-strong wear-test team. About half of those runners are men—and most importantly, they’re an extremely diverse group of guys. Some are seriously speedy dudes hitting sky-high mileage and knocking on the door of the Olympic Trials; others are just getting into running or coming back from injury. We have runners of all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, and backgrounds—from full-time English teachers and new dads to night-shift nurses and grandfathers.

The one thing they’ve all got in common is that they’re passionate about running, and log at least 25 miles per week in their test shoes. Chances are, there’s a shoe here that you’ll love as much as they do, and you can scroll deeper for a variety of shoes that cater to different preferences for stability and cushioning.

The Best Running Shoes for Men


In terms of running shoe design, stability refers to a shoe’s ability to support good running form. Typically, that means an optimal level of pronation (more on that here). If you’re an overpronator—your feet roll inward excessively—and prefer stability, these shoes have features to help counter that movement. These include firmer foams in key areas of the midsole, like a medial post, or additional material on the edge of the sole to prevent the foot from twisting, like the GuideRails on Brooks’s Adrenaline GTS. If you don’t overpronate, you’ll likely prefer a “neutral” shoe, which doesn’t have extra support features and won’t interfere with your stride.


This is an area where opinions vary widely. Runners who focus on speed may prefer a firmer shoe that gives them a good feel for the ground. Others like something plush that absorbs impact forces. In the past, you usually had to sacrifice some cushioning in order to find a shoe that felt lightweight enough to help shave fractions of a second off your finish time. Thanks to newer foam technology, that’s no longer the case. The Asics Superblast, one of the most cushioned shoes we’ve tested, tips the scale at only 8.6 ounces for a men’s size 9. That’s important for longer runs, because the extra cushioning can reduce aches in tired feet and joints.

How We Test and Select

To select these shoes, we consulted Runner-in-Chief Jeff Dengate for his recommendations on the top running shoes for men, and we also relied on feedback from hundreds of male runners on our wear-test team. After putting countless pairs through the wringer and evaluating the data, we’ve rounded up some of the standouts that have received especially high marks and praise from our male testers. (For an even deeper breakdown of our rigorous testing process, check out how we evaluate shoes.) Seeking tips to get the best fit and price? We’ve got you covered there, too, on how to choose your next favorite pair.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Mach 5</p><p>$140.00</p><p></p>

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Mach 5


A cushioned road shoe that feels as light and explosive as a race shoe—but still sturdy enough for long training runs—the new Mach 5 replaces its predecessor as perhaps our favorite Hoka ever. To build this versatile trainer, Hoka kept speedy design features from the brand’s race-oriented Carbon X and Rocket X (like propulsive energy return and a sportier, more streamlined upper that hugs your foot) while forgoing the carbon plate. But the big news for v5 is an upgrade to the brand’s usual generous cushioning. The shoe now uses a tweaked formulation of Profly+ midsole foam, which provides plenty of zoom and bounce.

The early-stage Meta-Rocker (a curved sole shape) hasn’t changed; it still rolls you through heel-to-toe transitions quickly. Some of us missed the Mach 4’s oversized heel tab that made it easy to get your feet in and out, but the omission helped the 5 drop nearly a half ounce in weight. Overall, it’s a shoe that excels at everything from interval track workouts to weekend long runs and recovery jogs.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>GlideRide 3</p><p>$149.95</p><p></p>

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GlideRide 3


“When I think of a luxury, cushioned shoe, I go back to my standard bellwether like an Asics Nimbus or Brooks Glycerin, two of my favorite shoes. But they don’t compare to the GlideRide 3. It’s just an absolute joy to run in,” said one tester, who runs 50Ks and 10-hour backyard-style challenges.

So, what puts the GlideRide in a class of its own? Much of it is Asics’s “GuideSole” design, a combination of two soft foams and a super-aggressive rocker shape. Inside is a TPU plate that curves the toe upward like a ski slope. That geometry is the same on the GlideRide 2, but both of the foams used are softer (the material closest to your foot is now bouncy FlyteFoam Blast+), and the plate is more flexible. The purpose of GuideSole is to reduce ankle motion, which has been shown to help some runners stride more efficiently and expend less energy as a result. According to our testers, it works—but it can take a few runs to adjust to the feeling. For a more traditional ride, we recommend the Gel-Cumulus 25 below.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Gel-Cumulus 25</p><p>$139.95</p><p></p>

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Gel-Cumulus 25


Gel-Kayano, Gel-Cumulus, Gel-Nimbus. These titans all have the same first name, and it just got an upgrade. Pure Gel is the lighter, softer version of the brand’s hallmark cushioning. It’s still a bit heavier than midsole foam, so you’ll see it used in workhorse trainers rather than racing models, but not much is needed to reap its benefits. Asics puts a small wedge of the new material in the heel, just enough to smooth landings and absorb shock without weighing you down. Only, you won’t see the squishy gel peeking out like in prior versions of the shoe; Pure Gel blends in with the rest of the midsole, now made of Flytefoam Blast+. Swapping in the light and springy foam lets Asics add 4mm to the midsole, but actually reduces weight from the Gel-Cumulus 24.

Testers said the Cumulus is surprisingly light for its “nice, thick, and foamy” workhorse sole, but it does sacrifice some pep underfoot. “When I wear racers like Asics’s Magic Speed or Saucony’s Endorphin Speed, I feel like I’m being rocked onto my toes, making me more efficient and pushing me forward. While I didn’t feel that sensation in this shoe, it’s one of the most comfortable I’ve worn,” said one tester.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2</p><p>$250.00</p><p></p>

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ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2


<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Vaporfly 3</p><p>$250.00</p><p></p>

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Vaporfly 3


Nike overhauled the Vaporfly from the rubber up, looking to make the third version the lightest yet. In our men’s size 12, we see only a 0.1-ounce drop from version 2 (our pink pair of the first Next% was 0.4 ounces lighter still). So, it’s not the lightest ever, but it’s still lighter than competitors like the Asics MetaSpeed Sky+, Saucony Endorphin Pro 3, New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3, and Puma Deviate Elite 2.

One attempt to shave weight came in the way Nike shaped the midsole. It’s still using the same Peba-based material for the foam (Nike calls it ZoomX), which delivers top-of-the-line energy return. That foam is already exceptionally lightweight, but Nike added a cutout on the lateral sidewall—your foot doesn’t need support there—and a small channel under the midfoot to reduce material and shave a couple grams.

The shoe is also equipped with a carbon-fiber plate. This high-tech combination of plate and foam allows elite marathoners to race under a five-minute pace, but it’s not just for the pros. Even at slower speeds, the shoe still feels exceptionally propulsive and energetic, making every stride a little more efficient and less taxing. Overall, it just might be the speediest and bounciest shoe we’ve tested yet.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Winflo 10</p><p>$100.00</p><p></p>

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Winflo 10


For running performance and style for under $100, it’s tough to beat the newest Winflo—despite the plusher collar padding and new engineered mesh upper, the price hasn’t budged. For v9, Nike tweaked the formula of the shoe’s Cushlon foam. (It’s still not responsive as the brand’s more premium ZoomX or React, but testers noted a softer ride when compared to the Winflo’s previous versions.) Plus, a larger Air unit now spans the full length of the shoe for a smoother transition from heel to forefoot. Those midsole updates in the v9 carry over unchanged to the v10. Our favorite adjustment to this year’s model? A roomier forefoot and toebox.

“The cushioning is not exceptionally bouncy, but it has a perfect balance of lightness and shock absorption. Side by side with my favorite Hokas, it’s a draw,” said one tester, who reports having a strong heel strike. “Fit and comfort is where this shoe scores its top rating from me. My wide foot found no pressure points, there was plenty of toebox space, and the smooth collar padding held my ankle securely.”

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Fresh Foam X 880 v13</p><p>$139.00</p><p></p>

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Fresh Foam X 880 v13


Last year, New Balance gave the 880’s midsole a substantial, carefully-considered update. Its new dual-density construction overlapped a softer portion of Fresh Foam in the heel with a firmer, denser layer of EVA-based material beneath the midfoot that carried you through toe-off. The result was a ride that comfortably soaked up shock for heel strikers—the vast majority of runners—while keeping turnover smooth and peppy. That much is unchanged for the v13. For this update, New Balance focused on the upper, swapping in engineered mesh with a snugger fit to lockdown the foot noticeably better than its predecessor. (Testers told us this version does feel narrower. But, it’s available in several widths to accommodate a variety of foot shapes.)

“The 880 still takes the prize for being my favorite line of shoes,” one tester said. The generous blown rubber outsole handles high-volume marathon training well—especially if the bulk of your runs are on slick roads and sidewalks. It’s not the lightest shoe, but it’s nimble enough to keep you cruising without clunkiness through double-digit mileage. And if you regularly bounce from your daily run to long hours on your feet, this is a great candidate that can keep up for both. (For those needing less support but a bit more speed and pep, we recommend the new FuelCell Rebel v3.)

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>GOrun Razor 4</p><p>$135.00</p><p></p>

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GOrun Razor 4


We loved the Razor 3 and gave it awards. Skechers knew it was on to something great because it left the shoe largely untouched for four years. That’s unheard of in an industry that tweaks the recipe annually. The Razor 4, though, is almost an entirely new beast. And you can feel that on foot and underfoot. The new TPU-based Hyper Burst Pro midsole is heavier, but it’s also bouncier and more durable. It delivers consistent cushioning all the way to the end of your long run and is resistant to temperature—it won’t get harder on a cold day.

Also new to the Razor is a carbon-infused forefoot plate in the H-shaped construction that Skechers has been using. Rather than a full-length single layer of carbon fiber like you see on typical plated shoes, Skechers uses thin pieces on the edge with a band that extends across the forefoot of the midsole. The shoe is still quite flexible, far more so than plated shoes, but that extra component helps the forefoot to feel just a little snappier than you’d feel from TPU foam alone.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Challenger 7</p><p>$145.00</p><p></p>

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Challenger 7


Hoka gave the Challenger ATR 6’s outsole a massive overhaul. The shoe’s seventh version is now more capable on both roads and trails. A combination of angular and squarish lugs grip uneven and chunky terrain, while more exposed triangles of foam and tiny, tight squares near the center roll the shoe smoothly along pavement. Wide spaces between the 4mm lugs also help sluice water and shed mud more quickly. The material itself is also now a tough, slightly sticky rubber. Testers found that the design kept trail gunk from clogging the tread, making the roads home from the trailhead feel light and easy.

“I was skeptical that it would actually do well on multiple surfaces, but it passed the test. In the running for my new favorite pair. These shoes were grippy enough for trails but didn’t feel awkward on roads. I even used them for speed intervals on the treadmill,” one tester said. “The lugs could be more aggressive for really rocky and challenging technical trails, but then I suspect they would be uncomfortable on roads. Overall, I feel like the traction is the perfect compromise.”

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Kinvara 14</p><p>$119.00</p><p></p>

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Kinvara 14


Saucony wanted the Kinvara 14 to be more of a “do-it-all” shoe that could run the gamut as a lightweight daily trainer and even a budget racer. For that reason, the brand added 3mm of cushioning, giving the midsole a similar setup to its hallmark neutral daily trainer (the Ride). But Saucony also lightened this version for the start line by borrowing the same airy, fishnet-like mesh from its top-tier speedy model (the Endorphin Pro 3).

“This shoe is very well-balanced for an everyday comfortable ride that can still respond if you want to drop those last miles of your long run with a little bit of extra spice,” said one tester. “The work is on you to keep this shoe upright and get your foot on the ground in an efficient way. If you need extra support and guidance, look elsewhere.”

Since both shoes use Pwrrun foam and a Pwrrun+ sockliner, it’s not surprising that the Kinvara 14 feels like a stripped-down version of the Ride 16. The experience is nimbler and firmer underfoot—one that’s fun because it’s lean and fast and snappy, not bouncy and squishy-soft.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Endorphin Speed 3</p><p>$167.88</p><p></p>

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Endorphin Speed 3


While most of the fastest runners will still reach for pricier racers with carbon fiber, like the Endorphin Pro and Nike Alphafly Next%, the Endorphin Speed is a suitable racing option for most of us. It’s still stiff—though the winged nylon plate is far more flexible than carbon fiber—and snappy, and the cushioning works well for short, fast races all the way up to the marathon distance. Where the Speed shines, however, is in everyday training. For tempo runs and interval sessions, it delivers all the hustle you need for your workout, while saving you some cash versus those more expensive race-day models.

The most notable changes from the shoe’s second version are all good ones. The ride is bouncier, softer, and stabler (due to a new plate shape, wider platform, tweaked Pwrrun PB formulation, and more midsole foam overall). And, Saucony swapped in a stretchier mesh upper; our wide-footed testers said the fit around the toebox now feels more accommodating.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>FuelCell SuperComp Pacer</p><p>$149.99</p><p></p>

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FuelCell SuperComp Pacer


Some runners don’t want to experience that sinking feeling you get from thick, soft foam. They want the shoe to let their foot react the moment the sole strikes the pavement. If that’s you, reach for the Pacer. This shoe delivers a snappy performance, but feels considerably softer than thin racing flats. That’s due, in part, to what New Balance calls “Energy Arc.” They’ve placed a carbon-fiber plate that’s curved like an arch between two layers of compression-molded EVA foam. But the bottom layer has been hollowed out, so there’s a void that the plate sinks into, boosting the cushioning power from the thin sole. The effect is kind of like a trampoline: The curved plate flattens and then snaps back to shape, returning energy to the runner—without the void, the plate wouldn’t be able to flatten.

“I really enjoy these shoes. I used to run track races in New Balance racing flats, which I liked, but the Pacer is much lighter and has higher energy return,” one tester said. “The carbon-fiber plate feels like the shoe helps push my foot off the ground, leading me to run faster and have quicker turnover!”

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Via Olympus</p><p>$169.95</p><p></p>

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Via Olympus


The Via Olympus provides an über-cushioned ride with a generous platform of foam for long-distance running—very long-distance running. The midsole is Ego Max, an EVA-based compression-molded foam that you can also find in the Paradigm 6 and Timp 4, two other max-cushioned Altra shoes. (The Paradigm, a stability shoe, has a linear, more parallel geometric profile to the ground. It also uses Altra’s standard last. In contrast, the Via’s sole is curved to promote a rocker motion, and its foot shape is wider and more accommodating.) The molded heel collar and pillowy tongue amplify the comfort factor.

While the weight teeters past 10-ounce territory (men’s size 9), the Via still feels surprisingly lightweight and smooth. “I absolutely loved this shoe. As of today, I’ve logged 113 miles in it. The wide toebox was extremely comfortable, especially on runs over seven miles,” one tester said. “In the beginning, I found the heel cushioning cumbersome running uphill. But after I adjusted to the shoe, it became almost effortless.”

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Specter</p><p>$159.95</p><p></p>

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Topo put its own twist on the current “super shoe” trends and created the Specter. Without a midsole plate, this max-cushioned shoe mimics a similar bouncy ride that pleases energy-return-seeking runners while letting Topo remain true to its barefoot-inspired roots. To pull it off, the design team uses a unique rockered EVA midsole with a core of more premium Pebax foam. One speedy tester who regularly trains at 6:45 pace for his daily miles accurately summed up the Specter experience.

“Running in the shoes, your stride feels like you are just gliding along. My footstrike was soft, but I felt good energy return, while the shoe’s shape and flexibility allowed for a very smooth transition from heel to toe,” he said. “The cushioning is on the softer side, but not so soft that you sink down into it, which can make some shoes feel slow. Instead, it’s a great ride on long runs—more than adequate for double-digit miles.”

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Spark</p><p>$150.00</p><p></p>

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“I ran with a friend up in the Adirondacks one morning in July. He was wearing a shoe not yet released called the Spark. We had 5,000 feet of vert over the first seven miles and a 3,000-foot descent over the final three miles, and he was stuck to the wet rocks on Giant Mountain like a gecko the whole time,” Dengate said, recalling his first encounter with VJ’s Spark. When we got our test samples, we experienced it ourselves. Credit that excellent grip to VJ’s butyl rubber outsole. The 5mm lugs aren’t super-long, and they’re not sharp like a set of YakTrax, but they’re tacky and flexible to grip slick terrain.

The Spark is designed to be super-lightweight and fast, so while you won’t get cushioning for an ultra, the foam is ample for trail runs and obstacle races. The fairly standard and dense EVA isn’t on par with the latest bouncy nitrogen-injected TPU offerings out there, but you don’t buy the Spark for its cushioning. You buy it for the grip to dodge roots and rocks at speed, or heck, even hop an OCR fire pit and scale a rope wall.

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<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Ultra Glide 2</p><p>$140.00</p><p></p>

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Ultra Glide 2


Traditionally, Salomon’s trail shoes earned a reputation for being fast, firm, aggressive, and narrow—better suited for elites than midpack runners. More recently, however, the company has expanded its lineup to include plusher shoes like the Ultra Glide 2. It’s a soft and accessible trail model with supportive cushioning that most runners will appreciate. (If you’re seeking even more foam underfoot, the Glide Max TR adds an additional six millimeters of foam in the heel, making it Salomon’s tallest and cushiest trail shoe to date.)

Videographer Pat Heine wore the Ultra Glide’s first version on day five of a 327-mile FKT run in April 2021. After more than 250 miles, the hills, rocks, and hours piled up, and he appreciated the Ultra Glide’s support for the final stretch.

“The upper provided enough protection for my tired feet when I inevitably kicked rocks and roots, while the rocker design and extra cushion underfoot took the sting out of pavement and extra-rocky sections, enough for me to make it through the final 75 miles,” he said. The lightweight midsole combines EVA and Olefin for a more forgiving, durable, and springy ride that even impressed the Hoka fanatics of our wear-test squad.

All that cushioning and protection remain in the second version. Salomon rebuilt the shoe’s upper with a more breathable mesh and less padding around the ankle and tongue. And, the insole is now glued inside the shoe. During trail runs well into double-digit mileage, we found these tweaks helped dial in the upper’s fit and lacing; the hold around the midfoot and arch feels snug and secure without creating any hotspots or rubbing.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Adrenaline GTS 22</p><p>$119.95</p><p></p>

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Adrenaline GTS 22


The Adrenaline GTS is Brooks’s well-loved stability shoe that has a lighter, less obtrusive GuideRails system, rather than a medial post, to provide support. The 22nd iteration has that same design, which places material along the edges of the sole to keep your feet in alignment. (This makes it accessible for both overpronators and neutral runners, since the extra support engages only if you need it). Overall, the shoe feels slightly softer and smoother than previous models, thanks to the DNA Loft foam that spans the full length of the midsole. The Adrenaline still provides excellent shock absorption, and the rubber outsole delivers great traction and durability for high-mileage runners.

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