If you’ve been considering picking up running, then you’ve probably heard about how important it is to have the right kind of shoes. No matter who you are or what kind of running you’re doing, having the right equipment, from clothes to your shoes is important, but since your feet are going to bear the brunt of your workout, you should really make sure you have the right pair for you.
We’ll go through the best shoes available to you and then go through how you might want to look for shoes if the ones on our list don’t end up working out for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 12 Best Running Shoes for Women 2020
- 1.1 1. Best Overall Shoes – Brooks Ghost 10
- 1.2 2. Best Cushioned Shoes – Hoka Bondi 5
- 1.3 3. Best for Durability – Saucony Triumph Iso 4
- 1.4 4. Best for Price – Skechers Go Ride 7
- 1.5 5. Best for Distance Running – ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20
- 1.6 6. Best for Trail Running – New Balance Hierro V3
- 1.7 7. Best for Road Running – Challenger ATR 3
- 1.8 8. Best for Neutral Running – Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
- 1.9 9. Best for Plantar Fasciitis – Mizuno Wave Rider 19
- 1.10 10. Best for Maximal Training – Skechers Go Run Ultra Road 2
- 1.11 11. Best for Support – HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota
- 1.12 12. Best for Weight – Altra Timp Trail Running Shoes
- 2 Choosing the Best Running Shoes for Women
- 3 5 Tips For Choosing Running Shoes For Women
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 FAQ – Running Shoes for Women
12 Best Running Shoes for Women 2020
|Brooks Ghost 10||Mesh||4.9|
|Hoka Bondi 5||Fabric||4.9|
|Saucony Triumph Iso 4||Textile, Synthetic||4.7|
|Brooks Ghost 10||Textile||4.6|
|ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20||Textile, Synthetic||4.8|
|New Balance Hierro V3||Synthetic||4.8|
|Challenger ATR 3||Fabric||4.7|
|Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35||Fabric, Synthetic||4.7|
|Mizuno Wave Rider 19||Synthetic||4.6|
|Skechers Go Run Ultra Road 2||Fabric||4.9|
|HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota||Fabric||4.8|
|Altra Timp||Mesh, Synthetic, Textile||4.9|
1. Best Overall Shoes – Brooks Ghost 10
When it comes to getting the most out of your shoes, you might want to go with something that will let you do the most. While no shoe is perfect for absolutely everything, this shoe will be great for those that want to try and get into a number of different kinds of activities for running.
However, that comes at a price. While this iteration is a little bit less expensive (because it is a previous model), you’ll still be paying quite a high price compared to some shoes that are out there. But if you’re serious about getting into running, these shoes will probably be a great first step in the right direction.
- Great overall shoe
- Works for a variety of different tasks
- Will last for a decent amount of time
- A little more expensive than other shoes out there
- Might not be as great for people that want to do very specific activities
2. Best Cushioned Shoes – Hoka Bondi 5
For those people that are very serious about running but need a lot of cushioning (whether because of a medical need or because it just feels better), there is a shoe out there for you. A lot of runners like having plenty of cushions on the shoe as it makes the run a little bit more comfortable. More cushioning can make it feel quite different to run, which is something that you need to be aware of if you haven’t used cushioned shoes before.
However, this brand of shoe can be a little bit wider than others out there which means that narrow feet might have way too much room in your shoes. Another concern is that the way that the shoe is worn may mean that your soles might actually get beaten up well before the rest of the shoe is close to falling apart.
- Great amount of cushioning
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- Quite a lot of colors
- Quite expensive
- The sole tends to be the first part to wear down
- Soles can sometimes be a bit squeaky
3. Best for Durability – Saucony Triumph Iso 4
Getting a set of shoes that are going to be able to handle a lot of running is incredibly important. The materials and the build of the shoe are going to play into this for sure, but that’s just part of it. The materials of this shoe are great, but you will find that it might be a little difficult to get the ideal fit.
Without an ideal fit, the shoe may feel a little bit heavy and not be quite as fit to the kind of and amount of running that you’ll be doing. However, if you get the right one and are ready to pay the higher price for the better materials, then these shoes can be great for those people that are going to be running often.
- Comes in a number of colors
- Once you have the right fit, they’re extremely comfortable
- On the expensive end
- Fit is different from previous iterations of shoe
- Can feel a bit heavy
4. Best for Price – Skechers Go Ride 7
When it comes to getting a good price for your shoes, you’ll, of course, want to look at some more common brands like Skechers. While the company makes lots of sneakers that are suited for everyday walking around, they also make several lines of running shoes. This particular kind runs from the average price for shoes to pretty cheap. This is great news for someone who wants to get into running without worrying about expensive shoes.
The downside to getting these shoes is that their materials are going to be much cheaper than what you would see in running shoes made by a more serious brand. However, you might not consider that a terrible thing if you’re not sure if running will be your thing or what kind of running you want to do.
This is another good shoe to start with, but it will definitely be one that you don’t regret purchasing.
- Reasonable price
- Will last for a bit longer than you would expect
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Slightly lesser quality materials than other shoes
- Not suited to all running
- May not last quite as long for serious runners
5. Best for Distance Running – ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20
While you might think that getting shoes for distance running might be just about getting something that can put up with all the strain that you’ll put it through, there’s a lot more that goes into getting something suited for distance running.
You’ll want a shoe that is made out of a material that is able to breathe. Your whole body will be sweating when you’re running for a long time and you don’t want your feet to be trapped with all the sweat and stink that will build up there. As well, you will want something that has a good cushion in the shoe that will be able to bounce back with every step you take.
These shoes do just that. The cushion inside of the shoe is incredibly comfortable and will be perfect for those longer runs that you are worried about. However, you may want to be wary if you have already been wearing this particular line. This version (version 20) is still great, but many runners have said that this model doesn’t live up to its predecessors. However, that’s up to you to decide.
- Good cushioning inside
- Great material to allow your feet to breath
- Not as good as previous models
- Pretty expensive
- May run a little small
6. Best for Trail Running – New Balance Hierro V3
Getting ready to run on trails is quite different than trying to get good shoes for running just about everywhere else. The shoes that you get need to be able to stand up to rough terrain and keep your feet safe even if you run into something you don’t quite expect on the trail.
One way of tackling this is also by letting the inside of the shoe have a little bit of a bounce. This means that you’ll be able to jump off of the rocky or rough terrain without any problems. You’ll have to watch out though when you’re wearing these on warmer summer days. The upper material isn’t that breathable, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll really have the worst time when running, but your feet might be a little bit uncomfortable.
- Not too bad of a price for better inner workings
- Bouncy cushioning means easier jumping off things
- Upper material isn’t all that breathable
- Could be made of some better materials overall to make sure that the shoe will work well on trail for longer
- The upper isn’t of the same quality as other parts of the shoe
7. Best for Road Running – Challenger ATR 3
When you’re looking for something that can handle being against the pavement all the time, you’re going to be looking for something that’s slightly different from what you look for in a trail shoe. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t find a shoe that can do road running well and still support your needs to run offroad when you see an interesting trail.
This Hoka shoe does a lot and it does it well when it comes to road running. The amount of cushion in the shoe ensures that you’re going to be able to run hard without sacrificing most of your comfort. This shoe is an incredible deal sometimes as the lower prices you see will put it at a very affordable price point for running shoes.
If you can find the perfect fit, then these shoes will serve you well. However, with repeated wear from running you might see some sores develop quickly. If the fit isn’t perfect, then you’re going to find that it can leave some sores on your feet.
- Works on all sorts of terrains
- Has good cushioning
- Can be a great deal
- Doesn’t come in a lot of colors
- Can be hard to find the best fit
8. Best for Neutral Running – Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
Neutral running is the kind of term that you might hear thrown around in different groups when you’re getting started running. This kind of running is right in the middle of all the other kinds of running activities out there. You’ll find that these shoes will often be a good overall fit for your running.
However, as neutral as these shoes are, you will be paying for that balance of features. These shoes can be on the higher end of price to just above the average price. This can be a big turn off to people that are just starting out and aren’t sure if they’re going to stick with it.
However, these Nike shoes are great to walk on as well. So if you’re considering running, then get a pair with colors that you wouldn’t mind wearing more often. If you decide to not run with these shoes, you’ll at least have a cute pair of comfy shoes to wear while you’re on your feet all day.
- Balanced between lots of cushion and making sure that you’re getting good feedback through the shoe
- Plenty of colors to pick from
- Comfortable fit all around
- A little bit on the expensive side
- Has a higher arch than some other shoes
9. Best for Plantar Fasciitis – Mizuno Wave Rider 19
If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis but love running, then you might be wondering what you can do for your shoes. You might have special insoles for all of your shoes that make it reasonable to get on your feet when you need to. You’re going to need something with a little more support in order to make sure that you can run for any period of time.
Shoes like this one offer plenty of support that you can supplement with the insoles that you need in order to make sure that you’re getting the right kind of support. You won’t want to sacrifice that support because it can mean the difference between a bearable and a terrible one.
- Plenty of support in the shoe
- Very reasonable price
- Comes in a number of interesting colors
- Can wear out a little more quickly than you would expect
- The overall quality of the shoe seems to be less than previous versions of the shoe
10. Best for Maximal Training – Skechers Go Run Ultra Road 2
You might know what minimalism is, but have you heard about the opposite and in the context of running? Maximal training is all about pushing the limits that you have. You push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself before. This means that you’ll be testing the limits of your shoes as well.
These Skechers may be cheap, but they’re going to be nice when you’re trying to really push yourself hard. There’s plenty of cushioning there and that means that you’ll be able to bounce back from each step with the ferocity that you need in order to be the best runner that you want to be.
However, because they are cheaper shoes, you have to be prepared for when they start falling apart. It will likely come before others will. But any shoe that you use for maximal training will be pushed to its limit and likely fall apart well before it otherwise would have had you been doing neutral running.
- Very reasonable price
- Variety of colors
- Can feel very cheap at times
- Might not last forever, especially when it comes to this training type
11. Best for Support – HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota
When it comes to support, it isn’t just for people that are suffering from plantar fasciitis or have other issues that they have medical supports for. Most people need the right amount of support. Getting it from the shoe itself can be difficult because of the different ways that your feet are made. However, these Hoka Shoes can still be great for support, even if all feet are different. If you can’t find any shoes that will support your feet the way that they are built, you will need to turn to getting support from insoles.
However, these Hoka Shoes are great. They have mid-foot support that not many other shoes really have. They’re going to be a little bit expensive, but if you’re looking to make sure that you have support and don’t have problems later on with your feet, then the price might be worth it.
- Offers support in a number of spots
- Made out of good materials
- Can be a little bit expensive
- While it works well for most, it can be not the greatest for others
12. Best for Weight – Altra Timp Trail Running Shoes
Some people like me are extremely concerned by the weight of a shoe. Anything too heavy can make you feel like you’re thunking around in your shoes. This can be bad when it comes to just walking, so imagine how terrible it feels when you’re running.
This pair of running shoes is extremely light. They are also intended for trail running but that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to want to wear them when you’re running everywhere. These shoes can fit extremely well and make you feel like you’re barely wearing a shoe. The biggest downside is that there aren’t a ton of colors for this shoe. This can make it hard to match your outfit the way that you want. They’re also a little bit expensive.
- Extremely lightweight
- Stable shoes made for a variety of environments
- Can be a little bit of an odd design
- A little bit expensive
- Not available in a ton of different colors
Choosing the Best Running Shoes for Women
While we’ve shown you some of our favorite shoes, we know that everyone has different needs. In order to help you figure out what you need, we’ve got some criteria that you might use if you’re a little confused about what kind of shoe will really do the best for you. So if none of our shoes have quite done what you want, here are some others to look at.
1. What Kind of Running You’ll be Doing
Obviously one of the first things you should take into account is the kind of running you’ll be doing. Are you going to be on the road? Are you going to be everywhere? Are you doing it to be ready for a marathon? Are you doing it just to get a little more in shape?
The kind of running that you will be doing will really affect what you look for. You don’t want to buy gear that’s geared towards marathon runners when you’re going to just be doing an afternoon jog in the neighborhood as a way to work off those extra calories from the really good lunch that you had that day.
2. Distance v. Intensity
This is another major factor. There are a variety of different levels at which you can do running. If you’re planning on going for distance, then you’re going to want something that’ll be able to stand up to constant wear and tear at a more minor level, but working on intensity training means that you might need shoes that can take more at one time and have a generally stronger material.
3. How You Run
Another thing to be aware of is you run. How you run changes a little bit about the wear and tear that your shoe will see.
Having shoes that are made for a specific type of style of running or that are more appropriate means that you’ll be less likely to destroy your shoes early on in your running.
4. What Kind of Foot You Have
Obviously, on top of making sure that the wear and tear of the shoe is going to survive the way you run and how much you’re going to run, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting the correct amount of support for your foot. There might turn out to be a shoe that you really like, but you’ll need to get insoles to make sure that it provides you the right support.
5. Shoe Size
This may seem very obvious, but it’s something that you will want to consider. Not every brand will have the same range of sizes. If you have larger feet, then you might need to be extra careful with this. You won’t be able to get all of the same sizes in all of the same brands.
Some will be better than others, so if you’ve got feet that are wider or narrower, then you might want to make sure that you consider the different sizes of your feet when you really make your list. Having a backup or two may mean the difference between a successful trip to the store or a disappointing drive home.
6. Terrain You’ll be On
This goes back to the kind of running that you’ll be doing, but it can affect things like the bottom of your shoe. If you’re going to be on rough hiking trails, then you’ll want something a thicker sole that can stand up to more and possibly save you from damage that you might face from unexpected obstacles. If you’re going to be more on roads, then a lighter, thinner sole might be better.
Of course, when you’re looking at your shoes, you’ll want to know what they’re made out of. This will let you know how they’ll stand up to other things. It will also let you if you can wash it in the washing machine (if it becomes necessary) or what time of year your shoes will work best. You won’t want very breathable materials during cooler weather. You’ll want to have that material more during the summer months when your whole body will be close to overheating.
There are little extras that you might see when you’re looking at shoes. Maybe they have insoles that are easy to change out or different ways to lace them that fit different ways of running better. The material might even be waterproof so that you can wear your shoes on rainy days without worrying about soaking through your foot when you step in a puddle that you couldn’t see.
Of course, you should consider how much the shoe costs when you’re looking at getting a nice pair of running shoes. Often, paying more means that you’ll get a shoe that is better. They might be more durable or have more features. They might have other features such as better soles that are capable of gripping to more surfaces. However, you’ll be the judge of how much you’re willing to spend on the shoes.
5 Tips For Choosing Running Shoes For Women
When it comes to finding that perfect pair of shoes, you’ll have to trust yourself to find something that fits your needs. Some people know exactly when they’ll be running and where and that will make the process a lot easier. If you’re planning on doing running in a bunch of places, then you might find it harder to pick something out. We’ve given you a great place to start, so get out there and get running!
FAQ – Running Shoes for Women
Q: Won’t all running shoes by good for all kinds of running?
A: Definitely not. While it would make your life so much easier to have fewer choices, there are so many shoes out there for so many different ways of running. Not every shoe will be ready to take on tough mountain trails and not every shoe will be able to stand up to distance training. While most shoes will probably work across types of running, they may perform better or worse.
Q: Trying on shoes early in the morning will let me know if they’re the best fit, right?
A: If you want the absolute best fit for your fit, then you’ll actually want to try on shoes towards the end of the day. This means that you’ll be able to see how the shoe feels when your feet are a little bit more swollen. When you run, your feet will swell a bit and you wouldn’t want to get a pair of shoes that will feel like they’re constricting your feet.
Q: You should consider how the shoe fits before insoles and then worry about insoles later.
A: While it is always an option to find insoles later, you might not want to risk it if you have serious foot problems that require special insoles. Bring those alone to try with the shoe if it is at all possible. While you won’t be able to completely set up the shoe how you like, it will give you a chance to see if the shoe is going to actually work. Insoles might add a little bit of height in odd places, so making sure that everything will still fit is very important.
Q: Will all running shoes by one brand will be good for one kind of running?
A: Nope! Most brands will try to make a variety of different shoes for different kinds of running. You may find that some brands make better shoes of particular kinds compared to others. This might be due to the other things that the company produces, but it doesn’t limit what the company is capable of doing.
Q: Should I try on the shoes at all if I’ve bought this kind before?
A: While you can always risk it, you might not want to avoid trying on your shoes. Trying them on can ensure that nothing has happened to the make of the shoe since you last bought them and that that particular shoe still fits correctly. However, if you’re willing to risk it or you bought the shoes very recently, then go for it!