Best Running Shoes In 2020 Reviews – Nike, Adidas, Hoka One One, & More!

Time for a new pair of runners? Running shoe technology has come a long way in recent years so you’ll have plenty of great options to choose from. But with so many options and terms like, “DNA Cushioning,” “Heel to Toe Drop” and “Meta Rockers,” it can be hard to know which to choose. 

Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy for you. We put in the work by pouring over page after page of spec sheets, comparing features and getting feedback from runners like you. Hands down our best pick is the Brooks Ghost 12. It’s the best combination of all the features you want in a running shoe like responsive cushioning, neutral support, smooth transitions and proven quality.

Check out the full Brooks Ghost 12 review below, along with tons of other great options depending on what you’re looking for. You’ll be surprised at some of our options. One shoe even won a Runner’s World Magazine award. Which one will it be?

Top 3 Comparison Table
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Brooks Ghost 12
  • Features: BioMoGo DNA cushioning, 3D fit print and neutral support for all runners
  • Benefits: The best balance of everything; soft yet responsive cushioning and smooth transitions
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Adidas Ultraboost 19
  • Features: Dual-density boost cushioning, torsion spring embedded in the midsole, and a sockliner fit
  • Benefits: You get a second-skin fit and extra propulsion at toe-off. The dual-density foam gives you support where you need it.
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Skechers Unisex GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
  • Features: Hyperburst foam, lightweight construction and a durable ripstop mesh upper
  • Benefits: Light, fast and responsive. You get speed without sacrificing comfort.
CHECK LATEST PRICE

15 Best Running Shoes

1. Brooks Ghost 12 – Best All-Around Road Runner

Brooks makes some of the best running shoes, hands down. Of the top 10 best-rated running shoes on Amazon, half are usually Brooks. 

The Brooks Ghost 12 is our top overall pick. With Brooks’ DNA cushioning and 3D Fit Print, you get a perfectly balanced combination of comfort and responsiveness that allows the Ghost 12 to adapt to almost any kind of run or runner.

Want to go for a fast 5K? The Ghost 12 will do it. Maybe tomorrow you’re planning a long, slow marathon? No need to switch shoes, the Ghost 12 will adapt.

The fact that no other shoe excels so well in so many types of runs and is backed up by hundreds of 5-star reviews made this an easy choice for our #1.

Features: BioMoGo DNA cushioning, 3D Fit Print and neutral support

Pros

  • Perfect balance of comfort and responsiveness
  • Smooth ride
  • Consistently great fit
  • Adapts to almost any kind of run (5k, marathon, ironman)

Cons

  • Other options have a flashier design (But who cares? It’s an amazing shoe!)

2. Adidas Ultraboost 19 – A Close Second

As one of the top athletic shoe brands, Adidas makes some great running shoes.  The Adidas Ultraboost 19 is their top reviewed running shoe. 

Their dual-density cushioning gives you the right amount of support where needed, is responsive and still feels like you’re running on a road of firm marshmallows. Their combination of support, comfort and good energy return make these a versatile choice for whatever your daily training requires.

Don’t hassle with a tongue that moves around while running. The Ultraboost 19’s tongueless sockliner fit keeps your foot held in place while still providing adequate flexibility. 

Features: Torsion spring embedded in the midsole, dual-density boost cushioning and a sockliner

Pros

  • Easy to slip on
  • It feels like you’re running on firm marshmallows
  • Responsive and energetic

Cons

  • The sockliner style may take some getting used to if you’ve never had something like it before.
  • Sizes tend to run smaller, so you may want to order a half-size larger than normal.

3. Skechers Unisex GOrun Razor 3 Hyper – Not Your Normal Sketchers

Did you know Sketchers had a performance running line? The Gorun Razor 3 Hyper are truly performance running shoes. They even won the 2019 Runner’s World® Gear of the Year Award. It’s not often you find a pair of shoes that are this light and fast, and work for anything from a 5k to a marathon. 

Their Hyper Burst foam midsole is 30% more responsive and 15% lighter than Sketcher’s UltraFlight midsole. They’re also quite durable thanks to the ripstop mesh upper and the strategically placed rubber outsole.  

Features: Ripstop mesh upper, Hyper Burst Foam midsole, lightweight

Pros

  • Responsive cushion and “springy” feel
  • Very light, only 173 grams
  • Great for speedwork or long runs

Cons

  • The word SPEED written on the side. (I think it’s kind of retro-cool)

4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is a versatile daily runner with do-it-all capabilities. The newest model features improved breathability in the upper while still providing the just-right Zoom Air cushioning and responsive ride of previous models.

The outsole is quite durable as well and you should be able to get 450+ miles with this shoe.

Features: Full-length Zoom Air unit, engineered mesh upper with extra perforations, Flywire cables

Pros

  • Good for everyday training
  • Enhanced breathability
  • Snug fit thanks to the Flywire cables

Cons

  • Some feel the fit is too narrow

5. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 22 

It’s hard to beat ASICS GEL technology for long run shock absorption. The Nimbus 22 features GEL shock-absorption technology not just at the heel, but also in the forefoot. On long runs, your feet will love this. 

The GEL combined with ASICS’ FlyteFoam Lyte midsole and the Heel-Clutching system make this a great shoe for high mileage runs.  

Features: Rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology, FLYTEFOAM Lyte midsole and Heel-Clutching system

Pros

  • Excellent shock absorption comfort
  • Good heel support
  • Increased flexibility over previous models

Cons

  • If you have really high arches, these may not be the best for you.

6. New Balance Rebel V1 FuelCell 

The Rebel V1 FuelCell is another great option if you’re looking for speedy comfort for those 5 and 10k runs. They use New Balance’s FuelCell foam, the same foam used in New Balance’s 5280 high-performance track shoes. It might take a few minutes to get used to the feeling, but you soon realize how fast and springy it is.

You May Also Like: Best Neutral Running Shoes  

The bootie-fit upper is really comfortable and adapts nicely to your foot. It doesn’t provide the support you might want for a long marathon, but these are designed more for shorter runs where speed and comfort are the objectives.

Features: Lightweight sock-fit upper, FuelCell foam, neutral support

Pros

  • Super light and springy
  • Designed to go fast
  • Sock-fit upper is very comfortable

Cons

  • Not the best option for long runs (better for 8-10 miles and under)

7. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6  

If you’re looking for soft cushioning and a smooth, smooth ride, you’ve come to the right place. The Clifton 6’s have plenty of cushion, but are also engineered to be fast. They’re softer and lighter than their predecessor, the Clifton 5.

You get HOKA’s classic EVA midsole, Meta-Rocker for smooth transitions and high-quality mesh outsole. This combination gives you a great fit and comfortable ride whether you’re going. 

Features: EVA foam midsole, Meta-Rocker and excellent build quality

Pros

  • Lighter than the Clifton 5
  • Smooth ride
  • Improved durability

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

8. New Balance 1080v9 Fresh Foam

These shoes were engineered with comfort in mind. New Balance’s legendary Fresh Foam technology extends from heel to toe. The 1080v9 even has some extra foam placed in the midsole for the runner who needs a little extra arch support. 

The breathable textile upper keeps your midfoot secure, allows your foot to breathe on hot runs and still adapts to your foot’s movements. These are a great option if comfort is your top concern. Check out more info on midfoot and forefoot running shoes.

Features: Extra  cushioning, full-length Fresh Foam midsole and a 3D heel design

Pros

  • Good midsole support
  • Additional foam for increased arch comfort
  • Plush ride

Cons

  • Not our lightest option (it’s all that extra foam)

9. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

The Brooks Adrenaline has been one of Brooks’ most popular running shoes over the years. The Adrenaline GTS 19 features a new GuideRails support system which makes running easier on your knees. You may also like the best running shoes for bad knees.

If you’re used to the Adrenaline 18, the new design of the 19s may take some getting used to, but give it time, as it’s worth it. The Guide Rails and the DNA LOFT cushioning make these a great choice for your daily road runs. 

Features: DNA LOFT crash pad, innovative GuideRails support system

Pros

  • Comfortable, stable ride
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • New Guide Rails support system

Cons

  • Some report they take a while to get broken in.

10. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V4 

Need some extra comfort and support for those long runs? The Fresh Foam Vongo V4 has a thick layer of New Balance’s Fresh Foam for comfort while still being designed to give you plenty of support.

This, along with the sock-style upper make it a good choice for those long runs when you want to give your feet all the comfort they deserve. New Balance shoes have been known to provide great shoes for plantar fasciitis, which we also did a review here.

Features: Stable yet comfortable upper, Fresh Foam midsole, tongueless design

Pros

  • Plenty of cushion for long-run comfort
  • Flexible yet secure sock-style upper
  • No movable tongue

Cons

  • Thick sole is too squishy for speed runs

11. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6

The Bondi 6 is HOKA ONE ONE’s maximum cushioning road shoe. If you imagine the roads of running heaven being made of marshmallow clouds, then the Bondi 6 is for you. The StayonTrails team did a recent review of the most comfortable running shoes, in which HOKA happens to be one of them.

You won’t break any speed records in these, but the full-length HOKA EVA midsole and smooth ride give you unmatched comfort, mile after mile.

Features: Full-length EVA midsole, plush cushioning and a redesigned heel area

Pros

  • Plush, cloud-like cushion
  • HOKA’s full-EVA midsole
  • Smooth, soft ride

Cons

  • A little expensive (similar to other HOKA ONE ONE shoes)

12. ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 24 

The ASICS Gel-DS Trainer shoe has been around for decades. It has to be a good shoe to make it to its 24th version. This version continues to be light, incredibly responsive and super-grippy. In fact, it has one of the most grippy outsoles you’ll find on any running shoe.

It also features ASICS’ first-ever performance knit upper to really lock your foot in for those fast 5Ks.

Features: FLYTEFOAM LYTE midsole, durable outsole and rearfoot GEL shock absorption

Pros

  • FlyteFoam Lyte midsole cushioning
  • Decent amount of support for this shoe type
  • Very clingy grip
  • Light and snappy

Cons

  • Some complain about the upper lacking breathability

13. Mizuno Wave Sonic

Although the Mizuno Wave Sonic may not be as fast as some of the other racing options on our list, it’s hard to beat what you get for the price. It’s light, relatively fast and quite durable, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.  

Its good stability and natural feel make this a nice option if you’re looking for a racing shoe on a budget.

Features: Improved stability, low profile, X10 outsole

Pros

  • Stable fit
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Does not feel as fast as some of our other racing shoe options (but you really can’t beat the price)

14. Saucony Guide ISO 2 

If you’re looking for long-run comfort that gives you some extra stability, you’ll like the Guide ISO 2. You get Saucony’s EVERUN topsole with PWRFoam to get just enough cushioning while still maintaining the responsiveness for good energy return.

Although the ISOFIT upper may lack some breathability, it provides good stability for your feet and adapts quickly to your movements. You can check more of the best stability running shoes on this page.

Features: EVERUN topsole, plush cushioning and mid-tier stability

Pros

  • Smooth and natural ride
  • Good daily stability trainer
  • EVERUN topsole with good responsiveness

Cons

  • Some wish the upper had more breathability

15. Skechers GoRun Forza 3 

The GoRun Forza 3 is a great option for overpronators. Its combination of stability and the FLIGHT GEN cushioned midsole is designed to prevent moderate overpronation. 

It’s comfortable, responsive and surprisingly lightweight. The affordable price point and excellent durability will make sure you get your money’s worth. You could easily get up to 500 miles out of these.

You May Also Like: Best Running Shoes for Supination

The GoRun Forza 3 is a great option for overpronators. Its combination of stability and the FLIGHT GEN cushioned midsole is designed to prevent moderate overpronation. 

It’s comfortable, responsive and surprisingly lightweight. The affordable price point and excellent durability will make sure you get your money’s worth. You could easily get up to 500 miles out of these.

Features: 3-D mesh upper, FLIGHT GEN cushioning and up to a 500-mile life-span

Pros

  • Excellent durability
  • FLIGHT GEN midsole cushioning
  • Lightweight and breathable upper

Cons

  • Some runners have complained of blisters (They probably didn’t have it broken in yet.)

Road Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide

Roads are unforgiving. They’re hard, slippery and filled with potholes that’ll eat you alive if you’re not careful. You can check out the best running shoes for beginners here. Choosing the right pair of shoes for running on the road will help protect your feet and joints so you can enjoy your runs to the max. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing. 

  • Your Running Goals
  • Your Feet
  • Cushioning
  • Positive Reviews

Your Running Goals

Do you run for speed, distance or both? Are you looking for waterproof running shoes for trail running? Do you want a pair for your daily runs or for an upcoming marathon? Do you want marshmallowy comfort or max speed?

All of this can affect the type of shoe you choose. If you’re looking for maximum speed, then you should opt for something lighter with more responsive cushioning. If you want long run comfort and don’t care about setting speed records, then more cushion is better. 

Your Feet

How well do you really know your feet? An ancient Chinese proverb says, “Know thy feet and you will run a 1,000 miles”. Not really, we just made that up, but the principle is still true. You’ll run farther and better if you choose the right pair of shoes for your feet. You may also be interested in a recent guide we did on insoles for running and best insoles for flat feet.

Do you have low or high arches? Do you land first on your heel or toes? Are you an over-pronator (your feet roll in when you run)?

On your next run, pay attention to these details and then keep them in mind when choosing one of the options on our list. We’ve made sure to include something for every type of runner. You may also like the best running shoes for high arches.

Cushioning

Depending on the shoe type like 4mm drop running shoes. Each cushioning will vary. cushioning is the part of the shoe that can make the biggest difference for your comfort and speed, so it’s good to pay attention to what’s said about the cushioning. 

Is it plush? Then you’ll get comfort and good shock absorption, but it won’t have as good of an energy return to boost you forward when running for speed. Is it responsive? This means it may be a little firmer but will give you better spring back for a quicker run. You may also like the best running shoes for flat feet.

Some shoes have specially made cushioning that gives a balanced combination of both comfort and responsiveness.

Positive Reviews

No pair of shoes is perfect, so you’ll always find someone who isn’t happy, but the best ones should have plenty of 4 and 5-star reviews. 

Pay special attention to what other runners have commented, especially ones with similar running goals to yours. If you’re looking for a pair for long runs, look for comments like, “These worked great for my last marathon”. Or maybe you’re searching for the best pair for short speed runs, so look for comments like, “I ran my fastest 5k ever with these”.  You may also like the best running watches guide here.

You don’t have to worry about the shoes we’ve put on our list. Each one has received tons of positive reviews from road-runners just like you and from our comments, you’ll easily be able to decide which is best for you. Check them out below!


What is the Best Running Shoe on the market? – Final Thoughts

Don’t let the road beat you down. Fight back with the right pair of road running shoes to conquer your sprints, 5Ks and marathons, all while keeping our feet happy and healthy. Don’t forget to consider your personal running goals, feet needs, shoe cushioning and runner reviews when choosing.We know you’ll love the Brooks Ghost 12. Their classic Brooks quality, neutral support and adaptability to any type of run easily make these our #1 top pick for you. What are you waiting for? Get more out of your runs by choosing the best shoe for road running.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Brooks Ghost 12
  • Features: BioMoGo DNA cushioning, 3D fit print and neutral support for all runners
  • Benefits: The best balance of everything; soft yet responsive cushioning and smooth transitions
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Adidas Ultraboost 19
  • Features: Dual-density boost cushioning, torsion spring embedded in the midsole, and a sockliner fit
  • Benefits: You get a second-skin fit and extra propulsion at toe-off. The dual-density foam gives you support where you need it.
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Skechers Unisex GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
  • Features: Hyperburst foam, lightweight construction and a durable ripstop mesh upper
  • Benefits: Light, fast and responsive. You get speed without sacrificing comfort.
CHECK LATEST PRICE
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Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

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