Shopping for the best running shoes in 2021 can be a daunting task if you're not sure what exactly you're looking for. The market is seemingly oversaturated with hundreds of different choices, meaning it can be difficult to work out exactly what type and style you need. If you're not an experienced runner, the task of finding the correct shoes can be so intense that it may even put you off running in the first place. Here at The Sole Supplier we want to change that, so we're putting together this easy to read list to showcase the absolute best running shoes for all abilities.
Truth be told, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when buying running shoes. Do you opt for Nike, adidas, New Balance, Saucony, Hoka One One, or one of the plenty other different brands out there? Are they properly cushioned? Are thy breathable? Are they trail running shoes? Are they for long-distance or short-distance? We're answering all these questions below and will showcase you the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to men's running shoes, so read on for more advice on finding the best running shoes and keep it locked in right here at The Sole Supplier!
Best All-Round Running Shoes:
adidas Ultra Boost 21 "Core Black"
Whether you're an experienced marathon runner or a lockdown jogger, most of us can agree that the adidas Ultra Boost is an all round excellent running shoe.
Next on our list the adidas Ultra Boost 21 "Core Black" comes in, and it's one of the best running shoes if you're a casual runner. You absolutely need a pair of Ultra Boost in your rotation! The Boost midsole provides the ideal support for the everyday jogger, plus it's complemented with a rugged outsole that will make sure you get plenty of kilometres out of these before they wear thin!
They're crafted with a Primeknit mesh upper that offers all the breathability one could want, meaning they're absolutely good for use all year round. If you're looking for stability shoes these are most definitely a great option for building up your muscles, as the cushioned midfoot and stretchy toe box are plenty forgiving, you could even add an extra insole to ensure that you're doing everything you can to support your legs!
Whether you're an experienced marathon runner or a lockdown jogger, most of us can agree that the adidas Ultra Boost is an all round excellent running shoe that will tackle a whole variety of situations, whether it's a fast road race or an off-road trail!
Check out our full range of adidas sneakers right here.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit "Black University Red"
Get on a specific running app such as Strava or Mapmyrun and head out on a jog, it will do wonders for both your mind and body!
Another strong contender for the best all-round running shoe has to be the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit "Black University Red". Following on from the hugely successful Epic React Flyknit, the Inifinty Run is one of the comfiest sneakers on Nike's current roster and is aimed at the non-professional runner who tackles any sort of terrain.
The cushioning runs all the way across the forefoot and midsole and is courtesy of Nike's famed React technology that's designed to give shock absorption, making each stride easier and less painful than ever before. While this sneaker isn't as high-spec as say the Alphafly Next%, you have to remember that it's designed for a totally different purpose. It's similar in many ways to the legendary Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, but geared more to those whose pronation may not be totally in order, and also designed to prevent any sort of pronation injuries.
If you're heading out on training runs the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit is about as good as it gets, so get on a specific running app such as Strava or Mapmyrun and head out on a jog, it will do wonders for both your mind and body!
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Many new runners get sucked in by the hype and will purchase race day sneakers straight away, only to be held back by injury later on - these are a much safer bet!
For all those new runners, experienced runners, marathon runners, or even light joggers, there's one pair of sneakers that will just always do the job. For many, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is that sneaker. Nike's Pegasus line has been popular for years now, offering stable and supportive trainers that also come equipped with enough cushioning for a comfortable ride. If you're sticking to road running you can seldom go wrong with Air Zoom Pegasus, it's simply one of the best lines on the market right now.
This new variation is an absolute workhorse of a pair of sneakers, combining a mid-weight mesh upper with padding around the heels and ankles to stop any discomfort whilst running. They're both lightweight and breathable to ensure that they're ready for all weather types and of course they showcase classic Nike styling to ensure you're looking good. They offer a wider fit than a lot of other runners which makes them ideal for beginners and those with wider feet, and the Air Zoom cushioning system is extremely forgiving and injury-preventing. Many new runners get sucked in by the hype and will purchase race day sneakers straight away, only to be held back by injury later on - these are a much safer bet!
If you're searching for a plain and simple do-the-trick runner then opting for the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a no-brainer, so why not pick a pair up today? Head out and hit the roads and work on your running while you can, you'll be hitting up the races within no time!
Parley x adidas Ultraboost 21
Save the planet and improve your health at the same time - a match made in heaven!
Here at The Sole Supplier we realise that sustainability is becoming more and more prevalent in the sneaker world, and in recent market-research carried out by us we also noticed that many of our consumers are increasingly interested in sustainable products. Therefore we thought that the Parley x adidas Ultraboost 21 would make the ideal candidate for this list - a totally sustainable pair of runners that also offer unparalleled daily performance? Sounds like an instant winner to us! If you're not already familiar with Parley then let us bring you up to speed, the label is famed for recycling ocean plastics and turning them into usable everyday objects, including sneakers. It's held a partnership with adidas for many years now and the duo create some of the best sustainable sneakers on the market.
Crafted entirely from ocean plastics, the uppers of the sneakers are totally renewable and they also offer all of the usual support and breathability you'd expect from a pair of runners. They follow a neutral-hued colourway that's easy to clean and bound to look great with the rest of your running gear too. Most importantly, it all sits upon adidas' signature BOOST cushioning system, a tried-and-tested technology that's ideal for casual runners hitting the road. Top this off with a well-gripped outsole and you've got a winning pair of sneakers that will see constant use!
So if you're one of many of us who are actively looking to take a step in the right direction when it comes to sustainability then why not give these a road test? Save the planet and improve your health at the same time - a match made in heaven!
Best Performance Running Shoes:
Nike ZoomX VaporFly NEXT% 2 "Ice Blue"
These are a stand out pair that you need to buy in order to smash those personal best times!
First up we have the Nike ZoomX VaporFly NEXT% 2 "Ice Blue", easily one of the most technologically advanced sneakers in the running game at the moment. This pair pack in everything you need from a lightweight race day sneaker and offer all the cushioning you would expect to find in sneakers made specifically for longer runs.
Based on Air Zoom technology, the silhouettes is marketed as Nike's fastest sneaker ever and is created specifically for experienced runners. If you're just starting out on your running journey then these likely aren't the pair for you, as they don't have the most durability and aren't too versatile. Rather than your traditional training shoe, these are a pair of shoes created specifically for races and shouldn't be used for regular road running.
If you're searching for a pair of high-performance racing shoes then look no further, as these are the stand out pair that you need to buy in order to smash those personal best times! The ZoomX foam will have you performing better than ever, with these being one of the lightest road shoes on the market.
Check out our full range of Nike Running Shoes right here.
Nike Free Run "Trail Green Glow"
While these aren't the original iteration of the sneakers, they were so good Nike decided to reissue the pair over ten years later.
Designed to act as a lightweight trail running shoe, the Nike Free Run Trail "Green Glow" is ideal for trail runs in warmer climates, where you won't meet wet weather or mud. If you're a trail runner you'll know just how frustrating it can be running in heavy waterproof sneakers when they're unnecessary, you really need the right shoe for the job. The Free Run Trail is packed full of responsiveness and cushioning, with the EVA foam midsole adding an extra layer of comfort to ensure you're ready for the big day.
Unlike a lot of the other best trail running shoes, the good thing about this pair is that they are so lightweight they can also act as training shoes and can even be used on the road. While these aren't the original iteration of the sneakers, they were so good Nike decided to reissue the pair over ten years later.
The minimalist design aesthetic seen here also made these sneakers an instant hit with streetwear fans and sneakerheads, making them prevalent across plenty of style blogs and frequently seen on the street in fashionable parts of cities.
Check out our full range of Nike sneakers right here.
New Balance 1080v11 Fresh Foam "Wave Blue"
While they offer near professional levels of performance, the New Balance Fresh Foam series also come in at a very affordable price point.
One of the standout running shoe releases, we've had to include the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 in this list. While there were many other brands such as On Running, Under Armour and Brooks that very nearly made the list, it was New Balance that scooped the final spot in the end. The 1080v11 is a relatively new silhouette that combines incredible style with high-end performance technology for the best possible mix.
The sleek uppers showcase New Balance's classic N logo for traditional branding, along with many Fresh Foam logos which point to the technology used in the exaggerated midsole unit for optimal cushioning. Whether you're a casual runner or a regular road racer, there's no denying that these sneakers will more than likely provide you with what you need. While they offer near professional levels of performance, the New Balance Fresh Foam series also come in at a very affordable price point, meaning they're great for those just starting out.
If you're looking to upgrade your current running sneakers them what are you waiting for? Step outside of your comfort zone and try a new brand today, New Balance could just be the one you've been looking for.
Check out our full range of New Balance sneakers right here.
Nike Wildhorse 7
Whether you're hitting dusty dunes or muddy forest tracks these are guaranteed to perform.
Up next is Nike's flagship trail runner, the 7th iteration of the Nike Wildhorse. If your bag is wet and wild trail runs that will have you really challenging anything that the elements throw at you then these are the sneakers for you. Trail runners are notoriously difficult to find as they need to provide all the same cushioning yet also other weatherproof solutions and excellent grip. The Nike Wildhorse 7 provides all of this as well as showcasing cutting-edge styling that will have you standing out from the competition when on the track.
Whether you're hitting dusty dunes or muddy forest tracks these are guaranteed to perform. It's also worth noting that these are suitable for all abilities, if you're just starting out on the trails don't be put off, as if anything these will help you get to grips with the demanding sport. While the upper is indeed weatherproof, it also remains breathable, which is an essential feature amongst sneakers like these, as sweaty feet can become incredibly uncomfortable and decrease performance massively. Plenty of cushioning is present inside the midsole, as well as rugged laces and a pull-tab at the heel to keep these firmly on feet.
If you've been searching for the perfect all conditions sneaker then end your search right here, as these will fit the bill. Head out onto those trails and make a run for it, you'll be sure to feel good rocking these!
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0
Whether you're heading out to tackle a full marathon or simply after your 5K PB, these are a serious pair of race shoes that will help you slice off those all important seconds.
Once again we're circling back to race day sneakers, as any serious runner looking to smash PB's will be equipped with a half-decent pair of race shoes. This time around it's the adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0 that takes the spotlight, the latest high performance pair by the three stripes brand. As one of the longest standing names in the industry, it's clear adidas know what they're doing when it comes to creating a good pair of running sneakers. Decked out with all the latest technology and made for speed, these will elevate your running to a brand-new level.
They're made to be as lightweight as possible, as this is a huge factor when it comes down to the real competitive business. The uppers are crafted from a technical mesh titled Celermesh 2.0 that is breathable and showcases the signature three stripe branding on each side for an instantly-recognisable look. Combine this with energy rods that keep the sneakers structured and encourage an anatomically-friendly stride and you have a match made in heaven. The design is topped off with Lightstrike Pro foam technology in the midsole that is created to bounce back and provide optimum energy return.
Whether you're heading out to tackle a full marathon or simply after your 5K PB, these are a serious pair of race shoes that will help you slice off those all important seconds. If you're just starting out these might not be the ideal running trainer for you, so leave these for the seasoned runners. They're also easily one of the most stylish sneakers included here, which for many runners is also a huge factor, because why not look good while you're on the track?
New Balance FuelCell RC Elite V2
If you're really ready to perform and smash your records on race day then look no further as these will tick all the boxes!
As we round off the list it's only right we include another big race shoe, after all they are easily the most exciting sneakers for runners! New Balance have really pulled it out the bag with their latest effort titled the FuelCell RC Elite V2. The pair offer up everything you'd expect to see on a high-end performance sneaker and combine this with slick looks that will make you look like you're there to win on race day. New Balance have been making cutting-edge running sneakers for a hell of a long time now, so you know you're in safe hands when it comes to purchasing these.
The breathable knit upper is lightweight and comfortable and the classic design of the collar section secures these firmly onto your feet. New Balance branding is boldly printed across the toe box of the sneakers and swoops round the the lateral side depicting speed, while the label's all lower-case typeface logo features on the medial side. This all sits on top of an ultra-cushioned midsole unit that's reinforced with a carbon fibre plate to ensure stability at all times. If you're really ready to perform and smash your records on race day then look no further as these will tick all the boxes!
Like most race day sneakers these come with a higher price point, but if you're searching for top quality product that will perform as desired then you shouldn't expect anything less. Here at The Sole Supplier we're big New Balance fans and these sneakers offer everything we could want and more! Whether you've signed up to an epic marathon or you're simply trying to up your fitness game with a few local runs, New Balance has something for all skill levels available over at their website, so don't be afraid to check out the options!
How do I know if I need new running shoes?
While all running shoes in this day and age are built to last, if you're covering high mileage they will inevitably burn out in the long run. It's worth noting however that a decent pair will last you a hell of a long time! Experts recommend changing running shoes every 500-750km, so if you've just got a new pair you won't have to worry anytime soon. Obviously, there are steps you can take to prolong the life of your runners, such as cleaning them after each use, and alternating between different pairs for different purposes.
For example, if you're heading out on regular trail runs it might be a good idea to invest in a pair of trail runners that are kept separate from your road running sneakers, as they aren't built for trails specifically and will therefore wear out faster. Race shoes (also the most expensive type of running sneakers) should not be trained in regularly and saved for those big race days, as they are likely to be more lightweight and in turn less durable.
By taking all these steps you can easily have your running shoes last several years, and this is all totally dependent on your mileage too. If you start to see physical wear or damage to your running shoes before the suggested mileage, we also suggest looking into investing in a new pair. If you continue to run with shoes that aren't functioning correctly you may risk damaging your health and running incorrectly. After all, upgrading to a new pair of running sneakers means you get to start the epic journey all over again, so what's not to love?!
Can you wear running shoes for the gym?
Many people seem to think that running shoes and gym shoes are the same thing, and while this is a common misconception, it's actually not true. Of course there is a lot of crossover between the two categories, but ultimately it depends what type of activities you'll be undertaking in the gym. If you're just heading there to stretch, take a jog on the treadmill or ride one of the exercise bikes, most running sneakers should be absolutely fine. The danger here is when the wearer is lifting weights in the gym. If you're planning to lift any sort of weights, running shoes are really not the correct footwear for the said activity.
When lifting, totally flat sneakers should be worn as this avoids any unwanted muscle damage due to the body being unbalanced. As most running shoes are cushioned at the heel and other places, they're totally unsuitable for this sort of activity and can even cause injury in the worst case scenario. If you're serious about both activities and undertake them regularly, we'd strongly advise buying separate footwear for each, that way you totally rule out the risks. Feel free to mix your running and gym clothing though, it's fully interchangeable!
How do you tell if you overpronate or underpronate?
If you're a regular runner you may have heard the phrases overpronate and underpronate thrown around, but the truth is you may not know exactly what they mean. Pronation is the physical act of how your foot rolls from the heel to toe, which is a pretty important factor during running. Overpronating is this movement happening too much, whereas underpronating is the opposite. From the average person's point of view, it can be pretty hard to tell if you're under or over pronating.
Our best advice would be to head to a specialist running store and getting a gait analysis. They will put you on a treadmill and professionally analyse your running technique, which will in turn help you improve technique and pick your next pair of running shoes. Even if you don't plan to buy shoes from that specific store, it can still be a good idea to get yourself checked - there is no harm in doing so! Once you find out how you're performing, you can then get some expert advice regarding which pair to buy, as different pairs are made specifically for different running styles, although that's a whole other section in which we'd need to take a deep dive into.
Should running shoes be a size bigger?
There is a well-known theory that runners should buy the sneakers a size larger than they would with normal shoes, and while we can see the logic here, unfortunately this isn't correct. By sizing up in running sneakers they might feel more comfortable, however this will allow the foot to move around inside the sneakers more freely. If you're running regularly with this motion happening, it can begin to cause pain and even injury on the feet. Also, no-one wants their sneakers falling off while they're on a run!
For maximum effectiveness, we'd advise buying your running sneakers in your usual size. That way your feet will stay firmly inside the sneakers at all time, for optimum results. If you're worried about sizing we suggest heading to your local sneaker or running shop and trying on several pairs for size. Even if the store doesn't have the exact pair you're after, trying a pair from the same brand or line can be a great indicator. Make sure you get the right fit, as after you've ran in them you won't be able to return them anymore!
When it comes down to it, picking a pair of the best running shoes is still not going to be an easy task, even after reading this guide. It's a very personal choice that the individual has to make, followed by the initial bonding with your chosen shoes. There's so many different models, brands and variations, it can seem impossible to choose at times. While we can't tell you exactly which running trainers to choose, this guide has hopefully pointed you in the right direction to a few hopeful candidates. Make sure to pick a pair that you resonate with and like too, you want to feel good while you run as it will keep you motivated and happy. Running is an activity that can be hugely beneficial to humans, both in mental and physical ways. While it's not the easiest sport there is, it's well-known that it feels incredibly good after a run. There will be times you hate and times you love it, so if you're considering taking up running make sure you're ready to head into a complicated relationship that will change your life!
If you don't have the correct footwear from the start, it's a whole lot less likely you'll remain interested in running. The wrong sneakers can make it uncomfortable at best and painful at worst. Running should be kept as a stress-free relaxation zone that helps you escape from all the perils of life, so the last thing you want is discomfort while you run. By following the list you've just read you should be able to hand-pick the perfect pair of running sneakers, meaning you've already got a head start. The most important part is to stick with it, so whether you're heading out on your first 5k or competing an ultra-marathon, make sure to give it your best! On that note, we'll let you lace up your sneakers and head out onto the road or track for a run, enjoy!
It's important to bear in mind what sort of running you'll be doing and what level you're at. If you're a total beginner you're obviously going to need a different pair to a marathon champion, and if you're heading out on wet and wild hilly trail runs a pair of road running shoes will be rendered useless. Make sure to shop around for the best deal and above all once you have you sneakers in hand make sure to enjoy running! It should always be a pleasure and never a pain, do it for yourself and nobody else.
Keep it locked in right here at The Sole Supplier for all the latest footwear news and updates and make sure to check out our list of the Best Waterproof Running Jackets while you're here too!