When I started off running, I didn’t know we needed to get the best running shoes for beginners! I used to think that all we needed was strong shoes or slippers to start. But ever since I was advised to select the right pair of running shoes for my individual needs, I was amazed by the change.
However, choosing the best shoes isn’t a walk in the park. There are so many things to consider, which makes the ultimate choice confusing to make! That’s why I didn’t just add the best running shoes for beginners here, but I also made a guide on how to choose one.
So read on as I show you the 12 best running shoes for beginners and more information on how to select the optimum pair.
- 6 Best Men’s Running Shoes For Beginners 2021
- 1. The Smooth and Lightweight: Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoes
- 2. The Well-Cushioned and Comfy: Brooks Ghost 10 Running Shoes
- 3. The Breathable and Flexible: Adidas Originals Ultraboost Running Shoes
- 4. The Bright and Responsive: Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Running Shoes
- 5. The Simple and Soft: Nike Revolution 4 Running Shoes
- 6. The Ultimate Runner’s Shoe: Altra Escalante Running Shoe
- 6 Best Women’s Running Shoes For Beginners 2021
- 1. The Colourful and Great Traction: Adidas Ultraboost Running Shoes
- 2. The Quick and Well-Ventilated: Under Armour Dash 2 Running Shoes
- 3. The Cooling and Supportive: ASICS GT-2000 7 Running Shoes
- 4. The Reliable and Durable: Brooks Ravenna 10 Running Shoes
- 5. The High-Tech and Unique Design: ASICS GT-1000 6 Running Shoes
- 6. The Stable and Snug Fit: Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 Running Shoes
- The Importance Of The Right Running Shoes
- How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions: Running Shoes For Beginners
- Wrapping It Up
6 Best Men’s Running Shoes For Beginners 2021
1. The Smooth and Lightweight: Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoes
What makes the Brooks Ghost 11 running shoe my editor’s choice is how it gives out the smoother ride and transition. Because it’s made of a lightweight design, it gives off the better heel-to-toe drop, which helps with your running performance. Even as a beginner runner, you can feel a change compared to your usual walking shoes.
Besides this, it feels like they are made of the durable materials to last longer. As a Brooks shoe, you get higher quality at a moderate price, and I have no complaints about it whatsoever. Plus, the material feels softer with its stretchy and breathable fabric, adding to its comfort!
Overall, I see it truly worth the investment for beginners if you’re focused on comfort and a lightweight feel.
- There are many attractive colors to choose from
- Lightweight design for smoother runs and transitions
- Stretchy and breathable fabric for extra comfort
- Complaints of receiving a damaged shoe box
- Might have a looser width for those with narrow feet
2. The Well-Cushioned and Comfy: Brooks Ghost 10 Running Shoes
The second choice goes out to the Brooks Ghost 11’s predecessor, the Ghost 10. Sure, some may find it a “downgrade,” but if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, you get your money’s worth. It offers the similar smooth ride as you strike your feet, though it’s more known for its cushioning.
It’s a neutral running shoe that offers the high-energizing cushioning, which makes it more responsive to your feet. The shoes are made best for the road or tracks, as well as those with medium to high arch support. As a beginner runner, I haven’t had any trouble with the shoes and do appreciate its simple yet efficient features.
- Extremely comfortable and can help relieve heel pain
- It offers high arch support to prevent injuries
- Plenty of room around the toe box, great for wide feet
- Some have wondered about the heel pilling quickly
- The durability isn’t as long as other Brooks Ghost shoes
3. The Breathable and Flexible: Adidas Originals Ultraboost Running Shoes
Adidas is highly known for its athletic products, and their Ultraboost Running Shoes are no exception! What’s great about these shoes is how it comes at so many different colors and an attractive design, looking sleek and professional.
Besides its looks, I appreciate its extra flexibility, made for those with little to no pronation. It’s made with a flexible StretchWeb outsole, which adapts to your feet as you run. The outsole is also made of quality Continental Rubber, which provides even better traction regardless of the weather condition and surface you run on.
If you plan to run on different trails and need something more flexible, you can benefit from the Ultraboost.
- More flexible and adaptive to your feet for extra comfort
- The shoes are breathable and durable material to last for miles
- StretchWeb and Continental Rubber outsole for great traction
- Customer service answers very slowly or never at all
- The shoes get dirty easily and a bit hassle to clean
4. The Bright and Responsive: Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Running Shoes
Honestly, the first thing I looked at with the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 was its bright color. Of course, there are other toned down designs to choose from, but it’s the brightness to it that made it suitable for day and night runs, which I needed!
The next good feature was its very durable material at its price. It’s made with mesh for extra ventilation, as well as the usually imported materials and rubber sole that keeps the shoes lasting with minimal damage even with daily use. The shoes are also made with the cloud wave sole and a quality midsole foam, offering not just a nice plushness, but better response as you run!
- Great response with the U4IC midsole foam and cloudwave sole
- Attractive and bright design to use for night runs
- Smooth and softer landings with the effortless heel-to-toe transition
- The sizing is a bit off, need to other half a size up
- Some complaints of colors not being as accurate
5. The Simple and Soft: Nike Revolution 4 Running Shoes
Nike really deserves to be at one of the top spots of my list, considering they’re one of the most reputable athletic companies out there! They don’t hold true to their name with the Revolution 4 Running Shoes, best for those who want the lightweight design and comfort.
The shoes are built with a softer foam midsole compared to other shoes, which makes it more responsive as you run. Its uppers are made of breathable yet water-resistant mesh for your feet to stay ventilated even during the heat or rain. If your comfort is mostly in mind, then you’ll love these Nikes and can enjoy miles of running without much of the usual pain.
- Has a mesh upper with excellent ventilation for cooler feet
- Lightweight and responsive cushioning adapts to your feet
- Durable traction made best for roads, tracks, and treadmills
- It isn’t as durable than others but good for its price
- They may squeak and make some noise when on the treadmill
6. The Ultimate Runner’s Shoe: Altra Escalante Running Shoe
The Altra Escalante Running Shoe offers the complete features necessary for all types of runs. Whether you’re aiming for running for training or racing, you get the durability to last for the long run. It’s built with a rubber sole and the simple yet strong material, having breathable mesh in the right places for cooler running around your feet.
It’s also lightweight with the zero drop platform, ensuring a smoother transition with fewer chances of pain. Running with these shoes almost feel like you’re running on clouds, and it has a unique Altra Ego midsole, giving you better response and an individual fit. For the natural alignment and less impact as you land, you get a good shoe at an affordable price.
- Great balance with plush cushioning for improved energy return
- Wider toe box for that relax your toes and natural spreading
- Zero drop platform for softer and comfy landing
- Not the best in the cold weather, feet feel very cold
- The shoelaces are short and can only be tied in one knot
6 Best Women’s Running Shoes For Beginners 2021
1. The Colourful and Great Traction: Adidas Ultraboost Running Shoes
Just like the men’s Ultraboost, the Adidas Women’s Ultraboost Running Shoes offer the amazing features that all runners can benefit from. Beginners will love the abundance of colors it offers and the professional design, encouraging them to run. The materials are also durable enough to use for walks and causal settings, making them versatile.
I use them solely for running and see that it can be used in almost any setting. Whether you plan to run on easier trails, roads, tracks, or treadmills, it has a good grip and traction to prevent any slips. It also has the StretchWeb outsole for adequate flexibility and support as a neutral runner. For the neutral runners or even under pronators, these running, shoes can help you run a bit more comfortable than others.
- It offers the snug fit and stays true to size for easier selection
- Amazing response with StretchWeb outsole for energy return
- Stretchy knit mesh upper for better ventilation around sweat zones
- It’s not as much lateral stability if you wear orthotics
- Has a looser fit around the toe box, not the best for narrow feet
2. The Quick and Well-Ventilated: Under Armour Dash 2 Running Shoes
Another great choice is the Under Armour Dash 2 Running Shoe, made for beginners who like to increase their speed. It’s built with high-quality imported materials, having a mesh upper and stitched leather for both durability and support. Plus, I appreciate the lowkey design, which has a variety of colors to look into.
These shoes have the EVA sockliner if you need extra support and comfort, having better and softer cushioning. This is above the EVA foam midsole, which is light and responsive for a smoother transition during heel-to-toe drops. It’s simple yet it does the job for sprints, especially if you’re on a tighter budget and need something more affordable.
- Has both a soft EVA foam midsole and sockliner for a plush feel
- Stitched leather construction and quality uppers for durability
- Lighter and responsive cushioning for improved speed
- Inconsistent sizing, you may need to order half a size larger
- Not so much room around the toes and might require breaking in
3. The Cooling and Supportive: ASICS GT-2000 7 Running Shoes
I’ve been a loyal fan of ASICS (along with the brands I mentioned here) forever, and the GT-2000 7 doesn’t disappoint! Coming at a moderate price, you actually get more than what you pay for with its cool design and the many features beginners will appreciate. Simply built and constructed, I see these shoes built for the beginner who’s planning to take the sport seriously.
It’s built with a GEL Cushioning system for better shock absorption (optimal for heavier weights), as well as smoother transitions when coming into midstance. The shoes also offer a removable sock liner to make way for orthotics, and the ComforDry sockliner for cushioning as needed, and the moisture-wicking properties for cooler and drier feet. For those who live in hotter climates and need orthotics, then you’ll want to consider getting these shoes.
- Extremely breathable and well-ventilated keeps feet dry
- Has a removable sockliner to accommodate all runners
- Unique GEL Cushioning System to accentuate great shock
- It’s a bit too tight around the toe box but good sizing
- Made best for overpronators, not neutral or under pronators
4. The Reliable and Durable: Brooks Ravenna 10 Running Shoes
The Brooks Ravena 10 offers the reliability and simplicity a beginner runner will want. It isn’t the cheapest, but you get the durability to last for at least 300 miles, provided that you care for it well. Catering to the eye of women, they have bright and attractive colors to choose from, as well as the lighter weight to run even better, whether for speed or distance.
These shoes also offer great support, having the GuideRails support system to have you move comfortably without excess movement. That way, your feet stay protected and free from injuries.
It also has a Midfoot Transition Zone for quicker transitions, making you run even faster. Pair that with a bouncier cushioning for better energy return and rebounding, adding an extra lift for speed. For all these features and durability, you get more than what you pay for and I see this best for those focusing on speed.
- Gives you a better bounce and support for intense runs
- It offers excellent support to prevent pain and injuries
- Lightweight and durable design with a lot of colors to choose from
- It may feel a bit stiff and they aren’t completely flat
- The laces don’t hold tightly and may untie itself
5. The High-Tech and Unique Design: ASICS GT-1000 6 Running Shoes
Last but not least, the ASICS GT-1000 6 Running Shoes, a predecessor of the GT-2000 7. Don’t think of it as a downgrade, but a more affordable version of the more upgraded shoe, with the similar features. These shoes are unique as it comes with the Impact Guidance System technology, enhancing your feet’s natural gait and movement as you run.
Besides this, it has a better bounce back and energy return, decreasing the amount of effort you need to exert. Because of that, along with its ComforDry removable sockliner and cushioned spEVA midsole, I see it best for long-distance runs. For those who are on a budget and looking for something affordable, supportive, and meant for more distance, then these ASICS are the best choice for you.
- Promotes a more natural movement for your feet
- Good energy return and lessens the effort exerted
- Great for long-distance runners with fewer chances of injury
- It might be too narrow and tight despite the correct sizing
- The foam may feel a bit too squishy for some runners
6. The Stable and Snug Fit: Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 Running Shoes
For those who want to focus more on speed and zoom forward without the discomfort, you’ll love the Air Zoom Structure 22. It’s built with breathability and support in mind, with the excellent and unique materials only coming from Nike. The shoes have Flywire cables for security around your feet, as well as engineered mesh uppers for support and ventilation.
Besides this, it also has dynamic support to prevent any pain or injuries as you run. And being the Air Zoom, it comes with the Zoom Air unit around the forefoot for low-profile and more responsive cushioning to have you feeling like you’re running on clouds. It’s one of the quality Nike shoes with a snug fit, as well as the ease of putting on and off.
So if response, speed, and stability are what you need most, these Nikes are for you.
- Gives comfortable and snugger fit that’s easy to take on or off
- Comfortable and with removable sockliner for orthotics
- Responsive and breathable, extra comfort in mind
- Takes time to break into, at least a week or so
- The front flap is sewn high, may be difficult to slip on for some
The Importance Of The Right Running Shoes
As I mentioned a while ago, I used to think we didn’t have to care much about running shoes, especially as a beginner. After all, we can walk properly in any shoe, so can’t we run just as well until we improve our stamina before investing in actual running shoes?
That is VERY wrong! Getting the right running shoes as a beginner runner has amazing advantages and will do wonders for your runs and health, such as:
Prevents Any Pain and Injury
Even if you use other shoes meant for athletic or walking purposes, you end up feeling sore after running. This is because these shoes don’t offer the right support for running, which puts on a lot of pressure on ANYONE’S feet, including beginners! The right running shoes will offer the best support made for your feet’s needs, keeping you free from pain and any chances of shoe-related injuries.
Improves Your Running Performance
When you use slippers or regular walking shoes, it slows down your performance as your feet have limitations, from the right support to breathability to keep going. With the right running shoes, it improves your athletic performance with smoother transitions and added support to lift off.
Besides this, you won’t need to exert as much effort into your running stance compared to using other types of shoes not meant for running. Because of the right amount of support and comfort, you can run even faster and/or longer!
Better Fit and Comfort For All Runs (And More!)
The right type of running shoes will fit according to your individual feet size, which then offers better comfort. Besides this, running shoes are also usually built with breathable material for better ventilation as you put pressure and into your feet, especially during hot weather.
Add the cushioning to it, you have the optimum fit and more comfort during all types of runs, whether during cold or warm weather conditions. This is compared to using slippers or heavy, stuffy shoes which can even discourage you from running.
How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Beginners
Now that you’re familiar with why it’s extremely beneficial researching your running shoes, how can you choose the best one? Remember, it isn’t just about getting something that looks flashy or the most expensive! Here are the following crucial factors to consider as a beginner runner looking for shoes:
The Shape of Your Foot
Your feet shape is actually the deciding factor when selecting running shoes since this determines what support you need. You can have it checked by the doctor or using the wet test, by wetting your feet and stepping on paper or the floor. When you study the footprint, check:
- If there’s a distinct inward flare, then you have a neutral foot shape. You can get a neutral running shoe, which offers more cushioning and arch side support
- If you can see your entire foot without that inward flare or curve, you have flat feet. It’s best to get stability shoes if you have mild or moderate overpronation, offering good support and cushioning. If you have moderate to severe overpronation, you’ll need motion control shoes, which have stiffer heels
- If you see a wider flare with little to no connection between your heel to forefoot, then you might have high arches. It’s best to get neutral running shoes that offer more cushioning and flexibility
Types of Running Shoes
Other than the three main types of running shoes based on your arch, two others are growing in popularity:
- Minimalist running shoes are extremely lightweight with little to no arch support. They give you a more natural feel with a bit of cushioning and is NOT recommended for beginners
- Barefoot-style shoes offer only a very thin layer of protection from your feet to the ground, having you feel as if you were barefoot without any cushioning or drop. Again, not recommended for beginners
Avoid getting swayed by salesmen or advertisements that try to get you to buy these shoes. These are made best for more advanced runners as it requires more time to strengthen your feet muscles.
Besides this, you should also consider the types of running shoes based on what kind of surface you run on. There are shoes made for the tough trails, track, and treadmills, or roads, made with specialized outsoles for better traction on the specific ground.
Get the Proper Fit
While it’s important to base your fit on shoe size, some manufacturer sizing standards vary, making it confusing! That’s why it’s important to have it fit before you go running. Test out the fit by having your feet measured for more accuracy in sizing.
Try on shoes with any orthotics you may need. When trying it on, the upper area should feel snug but not too tight, which can be irritating. Also check out the shoe width, particularly if you have narrow or wider feet, as your feet shouldn’t hang on the insole or rest on its edges.
The toes shouldn’t feel crowded or rub against the shoes, it requires a bit of wiggle room. The same goes for your heel, which shouldn’t slip off.
Cushioning and Foot Strike
Your running shoes should have proper cushioning and should be made of breathable material for extra comfort during hot days. It should have the right amount of cushioning according to the support you need, as well as the high-quality construction to last you for hundreds of miles ahead.
Also consider the way you would run, which is the foot strike. There are three main foot strike patterns, which is the heel, midfoot, and forefoot strike. Make sure that you select shoes according to how you land on your feet so you have enough cushioning in certain areas to absorb the impact of the landing.
Comfort Over Features
A lot of people get tempted to invest in running shoes that come with a ton of frills. But don’t get talked into all these useless frills and fancy designs for a higher price! Even simple mid-ranged running shoes do well, especially for beginners who only need something that can support and provide enough comfort.
I recommend that you get a neutral running shoe for the equal amount of flexibility and feel of the surface, without too much control. This is only if you have a neutral arch though, and if not, consider what I mentioned above.
Brand Reputation and Price
While the brand and price isn’t the most crucial thing to consider, it’s also a part of your choice. After all, you have to look into how much you can shell out for running shoes and also have the assurance from the brand you buy.
With that said, quality entry-level running shoes come from brands like Nike, Asics, New Balance, Adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Under Armour, among others. I tackled all these high brands in my review section up there!
As for your budget, I would look for a moderately-priced show between $80 to $200. You can get excellent quality shoes for up to $500, but there’s no pressure in spending that much! Just avoid getting the cheapest ones and hoping it lasts long, as they are usually poorly constructed and/or with improper support.
For those who are still a bit confused with how to choose their first pair of running shoes, this informative video can show you three more things to look into:
Frequently Asked Questions: Running Shoes For Beginners
Besides how to choose a good beginner’s running shoe and why it’s important, there are other questions people have asked. Here’s a short FAQ to learn more about using your running shoes as a beginner:
1. How long do running shoes usually last for?
This all depends on two factors: The quality of your shoes and the way you run (where and how intense). Usually, high-quality running shoes can last for up to 300-500 miles, more or less. That’s about a year or two, again depending on how long you usually run for in one session.
You’ll know it’s wearing out when you see any visible damage or if you don’t feel as comfortable and run as fast or longer as you used to without feeling some pain.
2. Why should I start running in the first place?
There are so many advantages to running that you can reap, whether you just began or are getting back to it!
- Running can help you burn those calories even better than other exercises, having you lose weight in the process
- It can improve your overall health, being a cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens the heart and helps keep the oxygen and blood flow going to decrease the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Furthermore, it improves your immune system and works on your bone density
- You can meet a lot of new people and create new connections, as well as run for causes to contribute to society
- Running can help with your mental health, from boosting your concentration and memory down to improving your overall mood, known to help with symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety
- Besides increasing stamina, running also boosts your energy, giving you more of it for the day ahead
- It’s cheap and versatile, you can run practically anywhere without the need for expensive entrance fees or equipment, just the right shoes, and gym clothes!
3. What tips can you suggest as a beginner runner?
If you’re still confused as to how you can begin running, follow these tips:
- Find the motivation and make sure you set a consistent schedule you can follow. This can help your body get used to running and condition it for sessions at the same time and day
- Consider rewarding yourself each time you run or if you break a personal record, may it be through small food treats or massages
- Have a support system or running buddy to keep you accountable and motivated to keep going
- Avoid going too fast and hard on your first few runs, which can tire your body too much to the point you can’t or don’t want to run at all! Start with walk-runs for about half an hour, and only gradually make your way to faster speeds or longer distances, raising the intensity by only 5% a week
- Make sure that you have your rest days every other day for your body to recover, also pairing it with a healthy diet to keep the energy up and your entire body working properly for the next runs!
Wrapping It Up
Running shoes are an absolute essential for all runners, whether you’re a beginner or professional athlete. Sure, it can be a bit confusing learning what you need and want, but once you do, you can enjoy miles of comfortable running! Plus, you get to reap the many benefits of running and break records!
Of all the different men’s shoes tried and tested, the Brooks Ghost 11 is the best one. This is because of how well-cushioned it is, giving the smoother transition that keeps you comfortable throughout. Plus, we like the abundance of designs and the breathable construction for extra coziness!
As for the women, the Adidas Ultraboost Running Shoe is our best bet. There aren’t just a ton of colors to choose from, but it’s made with flexibility and versatility in mind. With soft material and the StretchWeb outsole, you can use it to run on any surface and enjoy the breathable shoes for the warmer weather.
I hope this article on the best running shoes for beginners gave you an idea on what to invest in. So start looking for the ones suitable for you and begin the journey of running now!
If you have any questions or want to share reviews and experiences as a runner starting out, do comment below! Your thoughts are much appreciated.