The perfect pair of running shoes can be quite elusive. With models changing frequently and so many options available, how do you decide which pair is best for you?
There are many types of shoes – minimalist shoes, racing flats, spikes, cushioned trainers, and bulky motion-control shoes. The reviews here will help you make the best decision for your training and for your feet. I only publish running shoe reviews on shoes that I’ve worn and trained in personally.
Some of these running shoe reviews are for shoes that I bought personally. Others were provided to me. Regardless, every review is my honest opinion of the shoe and who it will benefit. I also try to explain how you can use the running shoe in your training to become a better runner.
If you’re curious why you should rotate through several different pairs of running shoes, make sure to watch this video (and get a tour of my own shoes):
This resource page is constantly revised as I post more running shoe reviews so make sure you sign up for my private list to get those updates. I also occasionally send exclusive discount codes for running shoes and other gear, so don’t miss out!
Running Shoe Reviews
Below are all of the running shoe reviews I’ve written on Strength Running. These don’t represent all of the running shoes I’ve worn, but the ones that I thought were worthy of a review.
While most are positive,I do include negative running shoe reviews. I think it’s a valuable experience to run in shoes I don’t like; it helps reinforce what shoes work for me, how I evaluate them, and helps me better understand the running shoe market so I can continue to write insightful running shoe reviews.
Alright, let’s get down to it! Here are all of SR’s running shoe reviews:
- ASICS Hyper Speeds (racing flat)
- Merrell Trail Glove (minimalist)
- Nike Zoom Streak XC (racing flat)
- Adidas adiZero Boston 3 (neutral trainer)
- ASICS Speedstar 6 (neutral trainer)
- K-Swiss Kwicky Blade-Light (neutral trainer)
- New Balance Minimus Road (minimalist)
- Skora Form (minimalist)
- ASICS Gel-Blur 33 (cushioned trainer)
- Newton Gravity (neutral trainer)
- Skora Phase (minimalist)
- Soft Star RunAmoc Dash (minimalist)
- Saucony Kinvara 4 (neutral trainer)
- New Balance 1400 (neutral trainer)
- Hoka One One Rapa Nui 2 (cushioned / maximalist)
- Adidas Adios Boost (lightweight trainer)
- New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Trail (neutral, cushioned trail shoe)
- New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail – Women’s (minimalist trail)
While I haven’t done too many video running shoe reviews, I made an exception for the Under Armour Hovr Sonic:
While I didn’t love them, they’re still in my rotation!
My Philosophy on Running Shoes
- The Spectrum of Minimalist Running Shoes
- Using Minimalism as a Tool Not a Way of Life
- How to Choose Running Shoes
- Running Barefoot for Injury Prevention and Mechanics Improvement
- 3 Shoe Features that Stop me from Buying
- What Shoes Should I Wear When I’m Not Running?
- How to Transition to Minimalist Running Shoes
I’m a “cautious minimalist” in that I pick my battles: a small amount of minimalism can help you improve your form, prevent injuries, and develop greater lower leg strength. There’s no need to be a 100% barefoot runner and ditch running shoes entirely (that’s a great way to find yourself injured!).
In fact, the best way to strike a balance between running barefoot and wearing shoes is to run like you’re barefoot while wearing running shoes.
So wear your shoes and wear them proudly!
Appropriate Shoes for Kids
I’m adamant about putting the right type of shoes on my kids. At early ages, their feet, mechanics, and soft tissues are still developing so it’s critical to let that development happen with as little interference as possible.
Kids need to be minimalists for that development to occur properly. They do not have the weaknesses and imbalances that require more structured shoes with a lot of support (not are they logging hard workouts and 20 milers!).
For that reason, I’ve put together a list of kids shoe brands that I trust and/or buy for my own kids:
These brands focus on the qualities that every children’s shoe should have: a zero or very minimal heel-toe drop, no arch support, a wide toe box, and little to no structure or support that will get in the way of how the foot needs to function.
Why I Don’t Recommend Running Shoes
I never recommend what shoes you should wear. That’s why when I write running shoe reviews, I say that a particular shoe might work for you if “xyz.” So please don’t email me for a shoe suggestion.
Every runner is an individual with a different stride pattern, gait, weight, use profile, injury history, and biomechanical flaws. What works for me may be a terrible choice for you so I try to review as many running shoes as possible so you can learn as much as you can before investing in a pair of shoes.
The best way to find what works for you is to test as many shoes as you can. You may find that a certain type works best on easy runs while you tolerate a very different style for faster workouts. Some runners love Nike – others can’t stand them.
Here is a quote from Runnah that sums up how I think about running shoe selection:
BE COMFORTABLE – this is the most important thing, find a shoe that you run comfortably in – one that you put on and forget about. Get beyond brand marketing, the salesperson’s prejudices or preconceptions, the running store’s limited selection and find the pair of running shoes that feel comfortable to you when you are running. No, this is not easy, yes you will try many running shoes and spend lots of money, before you find the style of running shoes that allow you to run comfortably.
Always read any running shoe review with a grain of salt and a critical eye. Remember that I’m less than 130 pounds and a relatively efficient runner. While I used to be injury-prone I’ve only had a single injury in five years. These factors allow me to run in many types of running shoes without too many problems.
Bottom line: experiment, test, try as many different types and styles of shoe as possible. And read lots of running shoe reviews so you know what other runners think of the popular models available today!
If you want to learn more about this topic, check out the infographic below by RunRepeat (they also have a shoe ranking resource). You don’t need the most expensive shoes out there…
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