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Best Running Shoes for Men: The Crucial Criteria Every Runner Should Know

man with runing shoes going trough forest
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

The right pair of shoes helps you run faster and pain-free, doesn’t it? Do you use high performance, lightweight sneakers when you go for a 2-mile jog or for a pair offering a more fashionable statement than those with comfortable step?

Feeling good in your running shoes will save you from repetitive stress conditions, injuries and sprained ankles over the long run, although looking good in your trainers may be high on your list of the best running shoes for men. Research attributes most injuries to faults in leg and foot strength, movement problems, and imbalances, as well as running in the inappropriate shoe.

Another study points out that wearing the correct running shoe will help you expend less effort and will increase your running economy. There are certain criteria you have to take into account as you choose your next running shoes.

Product NameWeightMaterialColorPrice
Newton Gravity V3 lbSyntheticBlue, greenCheck price on Amazon
Asics GEL Kayano 224 lbFabric, syntheticSilver, lime, charcoalCheck price on Amazon
Saucony Hurricane Iso 20.7 lbFabric, syntheticGray, orange, charcoalCheck price on Amazon
Brooks Launch 30.8 lbSyntheticElectric brooks blue, black, lime punchCheck price on Amazon
New Balance Zantev 20.5 lbSyntheticBlue, silverCheck price on Amazon
Asics FuzeX3 lbSynthetic, textileBlack, onyx, whiteCheck price on Amazon
Mizuno Wave Catalyst1 lbSynthetic, textileBlue, silverCheck price on Amazon
Nike Air Max 20172.6 lbUnlistedBlack, dark gray, whiteCheck price on Amazon

Most important features to consider

Read on for a closer look into the world that is men’s running shoes, and just what factors you need to consider before purchasing a pair for yourself.

Lightweight materials

Make lightweight materials a priority when choosing your sneakers. Look for one that lessens the impact on your joints and muscles by purchasing high-quality shoes made from lightweight materials.

Shoe width

Shoe shopping has often been a painful process for those with flat or wide feet. Fortunately, there are now a lot of quality running shoes that do not squish your feet, pinch your toes and result in nasty blisters.

taking foot measures

Search for wide shoes with wiggle room in the toe area, as feet usually swell when doing some physical activity. Most runners often get a pair that is a half-size bigger in their casual shoes and boots.

Foot flexion

It is natural for your foot to flatten mid-stance with each stride since your weight tend to shift onto your foot and flexes at your toe crease while you are pushing off. This is primarily attributable to the flexing of your calf muscle as you run. Your running shoes are expected to provide natural flexion in each of your stride.

Comfortable arch support

The arch serves as the structural feature of your foot that bears the full-body pressure brunt with each walking stride or running. You will be at risk for painful musculoskeletal issues if the arches will be unsupported.

man wearing shoes with arc support

We recommend that you select motion control sneakers as they have the capability to prevent inward rolling and collapsing arches for men with low arches. Shoes that come with built in cushioning or addition of custom insert are good for those with high arches, preventing outward rolling while inward arch strength is building up.

Shoe traction

Traction is a critical element for a grip and balance of your shoes in all possible conditions. A trainer with a blown rubber sole and a carbon rubber heel absorb impact on level terrain if you run on roads. Look for a sole made from durable carbon rubber if you run on trails with loose and unbalanced terrain for better balance and grip.

Heel support

You may be suffering from heel pain if you have plantar fasciitis or flat feet and wearing the incorrect shoes for running will only exacerbate such issue.

This is where the selection of a running shoe firmly holding your heel in place and preventing over-pronation becomes imperative. You need to test its heel counter and ankle support by running a few laps around the store.

Breathability and durability

Nylon, synthetic and lightweight leather running shoes are reputable for their durability. You should not compromise on their strength and durability.

It is best to get a pair that is strong, though lightweight as well as flexible yet still allow air in while keeping out the moisture. Seams are also common in running shoes featuring breathable windows. They can rub and can cause blisters.

Cushion your step

Cushioning every stride of your run is imperative if you expect to spring back rapidly following a strenuous run to avoid injury. Shoe cushioning will help absorb the shock to your joints, spine, and muscles every time your foot contacts the ground.

Cushioning still differ depending on whether your feet stay rigid or roll. Take note that midsole cushioning reduces ankle, toe and heel stress and prevents future back, hip or knee injury. There are various shoe choices when it comes to cushioning, but you should not let them overwhelm you since no amount of cushioning is ideal for runners.

Just decide based on the primary factors of shoe body frame and preference. Take note of all these criteria just presented, so you will know which of the following running shoes should be included in your shortlist from where you will be selecting your own pair for your next running activity.

Top product reviews

Below we listed some of the best scopes you can find on the market right now. We checked their features and reviewed their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Newton Gravity V

newton graviy v

Price: $85- $190

Weight: 3 pounds

Material: Synthetic

Specific features: 4-way stretch mesh in metatarsal panel, heel lace lock for snug, heel lockdown stabilization tongue, anatomical overlays for a secure fit, seamless engineered mesh offering lightweight structure and breathability in primary areas

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: The lightweight Newton Gravity V trainer provides you with a smooth run. Everything about this shoe is sleek starting from its neon green material and its smooth blue trim, to its soft yet sturdy inner-feel.

The shoe’s mesh was particularly breathable, but never caused any kind of issues when used in running through wet roads or muddy trails.  It is catchy and comfortable just like its previous models, but with a promise to leave your wallet a dent.

Newton Gravity V is the shoe believed by many runners as the most outstanding brand for men mainly due to its cushioning feature. Its tongue is improved from the previous model with rough edges.

There are also men who consider it non-durable, but only a small portion of the total consumers. This only suggests that Newton continues to do a great job in ensuring that all their shoes feel like a custom fit when compared to a mold.

Some users also have an issue with the toe fit, which is just not comfortable. Moreover, the quality in recent models seems to be deteriorating, especially with the non-existent ankle support that will require you to wear thick socks to prevent getting blisters.

The shoes also run small, so you might consider getting a bigger size for maximum comfort. Design seems to be an issue too, since some runners have complained about the insole slipping out when on the run.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to run in
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Tight fit around the toe
  • Rough interior that can give blisters
  • Insole slips out when running

Related: You can also consider buying the Elastic No-tie Lock Laces alongside your running shoes purchase. You will love the fact that it’s just one size that fits all running shoes, be it for children or adults.

Check the price on Amazon

Asics GEL-Kayano 22

asics kayano 22

Price: $80 – $175

Weight: 4 pounds

Material: Fabric or synthetic

Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 5 inches

Color: Silver, lime, charcoal

Specific features: Flexible running performance featuring color-pop and reflective details, rubber sole, fluidride bounce-back cushioning, gait-enhancing impact guidance system, fluidfit multi-directional reinforced stretch upper

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 feature a great blend of stability for runners in need of mild to severe over pronation with good cushioning for a comfortable fit. Their FluidFit seamless upper was updated with seamless material with a sole similar to their previous versions. Their stability and cushioning remain unchanged.

The mesh upper change and design updates to their heel counter offer improved comfortable fit around your foot. They serve as a daily trainer that has its best capability in high mileage running. Both the outsole and midsole of the shoes promise you soft and smooth transition.

Kayano’s long tradition in terms of performance and quality is continued with this model. The only thing most runners complain about ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 so far is its high price, which is in line with the other quality stability running shoes. So, if you are looking for a reliable and solid stability shoes, you might want to consider Kayano.

They also have a cool and sleek design that any runner would feel good wearing at any time of day. For the bigger runners, these shoes are perfect because they have a wide heel that can fully support your weight.

Durability is not as good with the Kayano’s. The padding might start coming off and the heel tearing after a few months of use, which may cause blisters. You might also want to fit the shoes before purchasing because some users have had problems with the size; they run a bit small.

PROS:

  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Great fit especially for heavy runners

CONS:

  • Inside lining splits open after long term use
  • Small toebox

Related: For a more comfortable running experience, why not pair up your running shoes with Asics Intensity Quarter Socks that will cost you just about $ 8- $36? They have been designed to focus on the toe cushion ensuring maximum comfortability as you run. What’s more? They have a soft sole and lace pad that gives you that extra comfort, a perfect fit and keeps your feet from getting blisters. You don’t have to worry about sweaty feet because these socks can manage moisture quite well; they will always keep your feet nice and dry. They also have a knit-in mesh that gives you proper ventilation and breathability.

Check the price on Amazon

Saucony Hurricane Iso 2

Saucony Men’s Hurricane Iso 2

Price: $64 – $170

Weight: 0.7 pounds

Color: Gray, orange, charcoal

Material: Fabric, synthetic

Specific features: Rundry collar lining, Tri-Flex outsole, everun cushioning top sole and PWRGRD+ platform, dual-density medial post, running shoe with ISOFIT upper that highlights floating support cage and inner sleeve Synthetic sole

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: Be impressed with the cushioned stability of the Saucony Hurricane Iso 2 especially to Hurricane shoe line fans. The shoe is comparable to the Zealots since they have similar overlays, external heel counters and lacing setups.

What makes it different from the other brands is the fact that it weighs more in order to pack more support, making it a stability shoe. It offers a cushioning scale, which ranks just 2 points away from maximum cushioning. Its outsole is made from rubber in the bottom.

Under its forefoot, there is a zigzag pattern that makes it more aggressive tread pattern than the previous model with patches radiating outward from forefoot’s inside. Although the new tread pattern will not be great for an intense trail run, it still looks as if designed with mixed trail and road running.

It has mildly stretchy lacing system that provides consistent fit. However, the overlays around its laces may be uncomfortable when you tighten it a lot.

Breaking them in might take a few days, but when you finally do, you will get to enjoy the plush comfort these shoes bring. However, you might consider purchasing about ½ a size larger because some users have complained about them getting firmer by the day, which restricts most of your movements. The toe box also runs a bit narrow, but it’s only a problem for the runners with big toes.

PROS:

  • Plush and soft for maximum comfort
  • Recommended for heavy runners
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Slightly small and narrow at the toes
  • Shorter length during purchase but might need you to go a size up

Related: At just about $13, you can get the Men’s Performance No-Show Socks that will enhance your running with the Saucony shoes. The best part? They come in a six pack. If you are keen on colors, these socks will give you a great variety to choose from. With a nice and thick padding at the bottom, and such a great value for your money, these socks pair up nicely with the runners.

Check the price on Amazon

Brooks Launch 3

brooks launch 3

Price: $50 – $160

Weight: 0.8 pounds

Color: Electric brooks blue, black, lime punch

Material: Synthetic

Specific features: Has synthetic sole, 1 inch heel, man-made outsole and mesh upper

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: Brooks Launch 3 is notable as a neutral lightweight trainer offering responsive and smooth ride for road runners. This is the best choice if you are looking for a shoe with fast feeling cushioned trainer that can deal with long and short runs. Versatility is primarily for this shoe at a very reasonable price tag.

It comes with 3D print seamless upper that looks great and enhances comfort and fit. Both its midfoot and forefoot are designed for energy return optimization while cushiony feel is afforded. The innovative BioMoGo DNA midsole is incorporated in its sole so that cushioning can adapt to certain force that is placed on it, tailoring your distinct needs.

Be cautioned that too much cushion may not always be good just like in the track surface. When it comes to breathability, expect no less than outstanding performance of this shoe. Moreover, Brooks continues to make this model more viable to runners of all types.

You will need a few days to break them in before you can use them for your runs. There are runners who have a problem with the heel, citing that it’s too stiff, and especially if you are a forefoot runner, the heel may not bend well. This ultimately overworks your foot muscles and may cause swelling and cramping.

Additionally, the toe box runs a bit small. If you need a wide toebox, you may need to look at other options.

PROS:

  • Performs well even in wet and tough courses
  • Great material that gives maximum comfort
  • High breathability levels
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Narrow toe box
  • Not ideal if you’re used to minimal heel toe drop

Related: If you use your Brook’s mostly for running, cross training and walking, the Sof Sole Airr Performance Shoe Insoles will come in handy. The insoles have a COOLMAX fabric that locks away all moisture to keep your feet cool and dry.

Check the price on Amazon

New Balance Zantev 2

new balance zantev 2

Price: $89 – $100

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Color: Blue, silver

Material: Synthetic

Specific features:  Rubber sole, lace-up running show with molded sockliner and fresh foam midsole

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: Men’s shoe filled with potential is what you’re looking for? New Balance has it for you with its New Balance Zantev 2. With its namesake, the shoe offers fresh foam technology packaged within its midsole.

It puts emphasis on the specific design of the shoe from runners, including the force patterns and wear tendencies and such information is directly used in creating its midsole.

Such is a smarter way of sole design as it pinpoints where runners exactly need cushioning and support. Its engineered mesh helps accommodate different foot volumes and instep heights and wraps the mid-foot securely. Actually, it is made from different interwoven mesh materials.

However, the thread attaching to its logo causes the mesh to become less flexible, making a hot spot, extending the midsole into the upper area. It also has a very comfortable upper, and a wide base, making it feel very stable.

It runs a little small, so you should consider fitting your shoes before purchasing or getting about one size up. The other alternative would be wearing very thin or no socks at all, though this is not a lasting solution. They also take some time to break but after that you get all the comfort in the world. They are quite durable too.

They are also lightweight and very responsive; you get to feel the ground beneath your feet, but it doesn’t hurt or give you blisters afterwards. If you are an over pronator, these may not be the right fit because they are not designed to give maximum support

PROS:

  • Provides maximum comfort
  • Highly durable and breathable
  • Stylish with great laces

CONS:

  • Narrow toebox
  • Runs small that you have to go a size up when purchasing

Related: The New Balance Men’s Performance Ankle Socks comes in a 3 pack and gives your feet maximum stability and arch support. The moisture wicking will keep your feet cool and dry for long periods of time with the antimicrobial treatment keeping any foot odors at bay.

Check the price on Amazon

Asics FuzeX

asics fuzex

Price: $50 – $125

Weight: 3 pounds

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 5 inches

Color: Black, onyx, white

Material: Synthetic or textile

Specific features:  FuzeGEL Midsole, ComforDry Sockliner for anti-odor and cushioning performance, AHAR Outsole: ASICS High abrasion rubber, ComforDry lasting with plush underfoot comfort, seamless construction that reduces irritation, rubber sole

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: The new Asics FuzeX combines fuze GEL foam and seamless uppers with lightweight cushioning. The shoe fits true to its size, which is wide through its forefoot and then tapered through its toe box. It has fairly simple upper with dual density mesh supported by welded overlay.

It comes with an overbuilt heel cup and well-padded heel collar and tongue. The Durasponge blown rubber outsole serves a more responsive combination of blown rubber and EVA, which is also used in GEL-Hyper Speed.

On the other hand, some runners who have used the shoe pointed out that the weight of the shoe does not live up to the GEL-Lyte III lineage.

They suggest to change the upper cushioning fit to weight ratio, as well as the heel cup. There are also those who find its FuzeGEL too soft and sloppy at faster tempos because of the low EVA durometer of this shoe.

They also give you a choice between a variety of very cool colors that are very stylish all at a great value for your money. They are perfect for gym use, but might not be the best for runners because of the design that’s incredibly stiff.

Most users have a problem with the sole, which feels like there’s an object rubbing you at the hell and causes blisters. The top part of the padding at the heel also moves which might get very uncomfortable especially when running.

PROS:

  • Good fit and excellent for running
  • Gives a great value for your money
  • Provides maximum comfort and arch support
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • Bottom padding moves and irritates the heel
  • Might run a little stiff
  • Uncomfortable interior lining

Related: Looking for low cut socks to pair up with your Asics shoes? The Asics Unisex Cushion Low Cut are the perfect fit for that extra feet support and cushioning. You have a choice between black, gray heather and white socks made of quality polyester and spandex material. They have a soft sole cushioning for extra comfort and a Y” heel gore fit.

Check the price on Amazon

Mizuno Wave Catalyst

muzino wave catalys

Price: $45 – $125

Weight: 1 pound

Color: Black, silver

Material: Synthetic and fabric

Specific features:  Rubber sole, lace-up shoe with breathable upper, padded tongue and collar, and D mizuno fit

Best use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sports events, outdoor activities

Description: Mizuno Wave Catalyst are good if you run without socks. It looks good with flame-inspired webbing on its lateral side. Although traditional in look, it has a nice upper feel in the middle part of Mizuno that gives you a good toe movement and secure heel.

Take note that the nice cushioning of the shoe is attributable to its wide and soft tongue. You will not be bothered in the course of your run as its medial or heel side overlays are set-up in an area where mesh material is reinforced and stitching cannot be felt directly on your foot.

There’s a complaint that the stitching on medial and lateral side can be felt by runners while they are doing a sockless run. The U4ic foam material of its midsole is firm, responsive and firm. This shoe also doubles up as a rigid shank under the ankle, which promises substantial torsional rigidity for cambered surface.

Very lightweight, good fit and responsive, and provides good arch support. You will find them extremely comfortable right from day one. Mizuno runners don’t have a lot of fluff though, so if you want heavily cushioned shoes, these may not work for you.

Some users have also complained that the shoes are a bit stiff, have a narrow toe box and the high heel doesn’t make things any better.

PROS:

  • Has a good fit for maximum comfort
  • Lightweight
  • Provides good arch support

CONS:

  • Narrow toebox
  • Feels a little stiff
  • High heel

Related: The Balega No-Show Running Socks are just what you need when wearing the Mizuno’s running shoes for that extra cushioning and comfort. At just about $8-$33, these socks will give you maximum performance and durability, without breaking your bank. Designed with a medium volume construction and a reinforced heel and toe, which allows for mesh construction that provides your feet with proper ventilation.

Check the price on Amazon

Nike Air Max 2017

nike air max 2017

Price: $160 – $300

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 5 inches

Color: Black, dark gray, white

Specific Features: Rubber sole,  Nike Aeroloft Vest-inspired upper design, engineered mesh to ventilate forefoot while supporting the midfoot, flexible grooves engineered into its midsole for greater flexibility in its forefoot mesh, laces integrated with its flywire cables for adaptive support, full-length maximum air for flexible cushioning

Best Use: Marathon running, road and trail running, sport events, outdoor activities

Description: The release of Nike Air Max 2017 continues the legacy of this most notable line. In this new model, the swoosh was moved to its front area and its flywire cables are straight aligned on its sides, giving better use of its benefits aside from its cleaner look. It has a secure fit that is combined with its lacing system that does not strangle in your feet.

It remains in trend, alongside some of the reflective elements of the upper construction. The cool effect of the shoe in the dark is made possible because of its tongue logo, swoosh and back heel. Some may consider this model more of a casual sneaker than a running shoe considering the significant number of available performances running shoes on the market.

However, there are still those who recommend it for running purposes because of its cushioning, cool looks and overall comfort. It is also best for every day and training use.

Most users have pointed out that these shoes lack in quality, were defective and they are most probably counterfeit. The sole starts falling apart, not to mention the color that starts fading away and yellowing. They also run a bit narrow at the toe box.

They still remain comfortable and a good fit, and it’s up to the user to make their own judgements.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Looks great
  • Comfortable sole

CONS:

  • A replica of the original Nikes.
  • Poor quality
  • Not durable; Parts start falling apart and discoloring

Related: You can pair up your Nike running shoes with the Nike Dri-FIT No-Show Socks that comes in a package of six pairs, and in two colors, both white and black. A reinforced heel and toe enhances durability and comfort. Additionally, they are made of a combination of polyester, spandex, cotton and nylon, which results in a very thin material that will give you maximum breathability.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping it up…

Looks may be deceiving at times, same is true when choosing a running shoe the next time you hit the road for a run. Which is why, the criteria for your trainer or runner are provided above to give you a vision on the right pair you should ride.

man tying running shoes

Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or a weekend jogger, the  sharp look at the best, right shoes and the comfortable and stable ride they offer are worth of the hefty price-tag for your pocket.

This post would be of great help for your next purchase then. There would still be a lot for you here, so notify us what else you want to know from running shoes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

  • Joshua Baker

    The padding and gel of the ASICS Men’s GEL-Kayano 22 gives my feet super comfortable cushioning while running. I am absolutely satisfied because my feet, knees, ankle don’t hurt at all after running. It also feels light, the shoes breathes well and the style is not bad at all. They run small though so you should get it a size or 2 larger than your older Asics.

  • Dennis Mitchell

    The Saucony Men’s Hurricane ISO 2 provides wonderful stability and cushioning and are remarkably light. It’s a plus that the elastic tongue and laces makes it easier to slide these running shoes on and off your feet. These shoes run a bit narrow and short, so order this a half-size larger to give your big toe some wiggle room at the end of the shoes.

  • John C. Porter

    The ASICS never disappoints and most of my buddies have the GEL-Kayano 22. They’re ultra comfortable and provides just the right kind of support for your heel and your back. Make sure to get the right fit since this can affect the quality of your running experience.
    Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • John C. Porter

    Comfort and durability is synonymous with the Saucony Men’s Hurricane. These shoes are really comfortable and they take the stress out of running especially during longer runs. They also provide the perfect fit for everyone and they look good, too!

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