The Spring season is almost here meaning it’s a great time to give every part of your wardrobe a refresh — including your running shoes. Whether you’re a new runner or a seasoned pro, the perfect shoe for you is out there. The right running shoe can make you feel strong, fast and completely in control, whether your training plan is for your first 5K, half marathon or working toward your third marathon. (And if the latter applies to you, we bow down.)
Here’s the biggest reason finding a solid pair of running shoes matters: A good pair that fits just right can help you run safely and prevent potential injuries — from blisters to shin splints and fractures — that could keep you off track for months.
We’ve put in the miles and found the best running shoes to keep you going all fall, even if you’re a new runner doing that 5K for the post-run brunch. If you like a slower pace, check out our feature on the best women’s walking shoes, too.
The Best Running Shoes for Women
This pair of comfy, cushy running shoes from Asics is a holy grail shoe for runners. They are easy runs, great for tempo or speed work, and wonderful for long runs due to their cushioning.
If you’re a seasoned runner, and you haven’t tried a Hoka shoe yet, you’re missing out. If you’re trying out different shoes, you’ll notice the thick midsole and broad outsole for a wider foot. They’re perfect for the long distance run, be it a 10K or prepping for a marathon. The extended heel in Hoka One One’s Clifton 8 is designed to provide some of the smoothest impact on unpredictable terrain.
With improved rebound and reduced weight, the Guide 15 is perfect for speed work, and the reformulated Pwrrun foam adds a softer, springier ride.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 running trainer has perforations for increased breathability, whether you’re a neutral runner or you like rough terrain.
lululemon Blissfeel is a successful running shoe for women because of its flexibility and cushioning.
For the best running shoe for flat feet, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 has soft cushioning for shock reduction and a carbon rubber outsole for durability.
The Allbirds Tree Dasher is a neutral shoe and is a highly rated women’s running shoe for just about any foot type. It has a knitted one-piece upper made from eucalyptus tree fiber for a comfortable, sustainable shoe.
Brooks’ Glycerin 20 features a new midsole, DNA Loft v3, which is even softer, more durable, and more responsive than the previous model.
The highly rated Asics GT is a lightweight shoe with excellent cushioning and it’s designed with moisture management in mind with the Ortholite X-40 Sockliner.
Truth: Some people’s feet sweat more than others. Thankfully, the mesh upper on these shoes help your feet breathe – even on super-hot outdoor runs. And with the extra cushioning in this running sneaker, you’ll feel like you’re running on marshmallows instead of hitting the pavement.
Whether you’re a sprinter or a marathon runner, this Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 road running shoe delivers cushion and lightness with every step on race day.
Not everyone needs a road running shoe — if you want the best shoe for hitting the trail, the Sense Ride 4 Trail Running Shoe from Salomon is a good bet.
If you haven’t tried Ryka, these über comfortable shoes are made specifically for women. They have an extra wide toe box, making them a stability shoe for a wide foot. They’re also cross training athletic shoes so you can use them for running, Zumba or as a walking shoe.
If you’re looking for a good trail running shoe, the Altra Lone Peak is the one trail runners stand by. It has cushioning to help position your heel and forefoot to encourage better alignment and a low impact landing. It also has enough room in the toe box for all your toes to splay, no matter what your foot type is.
With their ultra-durable rubber outsoles, these trail-running shoes are ideal for both beginners and experienced trail runners. With the protective toe caps, you won’t stub your toe on rough terrain, and the quicklace system makes it easy to slip on and off the shoes.