The Best Running Shoes

If you’ve ever read the book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” you know running shoes don’t matter. Yes, I said it. If the indigenous Tarahumara people of Mexico’s Copper Canyons can run upwards of 100 miles in sandals, yeah, you probs don’t need fancy new running shoes.  

 

But: do you want them? If you’re anything like me, the answer is yaaaas. There’s simply nothing more motivating than new workout gear, especially if trusted fitness fiends recommend it. So, we pulled together all the best running shoes on Swearby—and each pair of kicks is ready to help you go the distance.

Adidas Ultraboost Shoes

I have these sneakers in 3 different colors. They’re lightweight and so comfortable!” says Susan Hay, who cross-trains in them. “Adidas just fits my feet perfectly so every time I try to stray I always come back here. With over 20 different colors to choose from there is something for every style!” Did we mention these aptly-named Ultraboosts were designed in partnership with NASA—and were made using recycled Parley Ocean Plastic? I’m sold. 

Hoka One One Clifton 7 Running Shoes

Known for their soft, airy quality and firm, Achilles-supporting collar, it’s no wonder HOKA’s Clifton’s are so beloved by serious runners. “After Christmas, I always like to get a head start on my fitness goals for the year ahead, and I know these will come in handy!” says Jessica Leigh Mattern. “These lightweight, but incredibly supportive running shoes are my go-to for all kinds of activities. Whether I’m hitting the pavement to log a few miles, working up a sweat in an OrangeTheory class, setting out for a long walk, or hiking my favorite trail, these comfy sneakers keep my feet happy for hours.” Bonus: they come in a veritable rainbow of color options, including coral and misty rose. Swoon. 

APL | Women's TechLoom Bliss

Okay, so APL’s ain’t cheap. But comfort is everything, right? Right. “These are super comfortable and lightweight running shoes! They stay on my feet (even without laces) and provide a smooth and cushion-y ride,” says Dee Hake, who has two different pairs—including one she reserves exclusively for travel. Christie Calucchia loves them too. “These are by far my most-reached-for sneakers. They’re super comfortable and easy to slip on and off. I always wear them when I’m running errands or doing a light workout at the gym.” Best of all: no fiddling with shoelaces. 

Allbirds Women's Wool Runners

When I saw that these are made of merino wool, my first thought was: [insert monocle-eye WTF emoji here]. But then I thought about it, and realized wool is one of humanity’s secret weapon fabrics—antimicrobial aaaaand warm aaaaaand soft. Plus, of course sheep run through their misty emerald fields! Why wouldn’t it make the ideal running shoe fabric? “They market them as ‘the world’s most comfortable shoe’ and I have to agree,” says SwearBy founder Kate Foster Lengyel. A whopping 13 SwearBy editors have raved about them as of press time, and we think Shireen Shakouri put it best. “When they told me it’d be like stepping on clouds, I figured it was an exaggeration. It wasn’t!” When the soles are made from a carbon negative Brazilian sugarcane foam, it’s not just cloud-like—it’s angelic.

Asics GEL-Cumulus 20

When something’s been around for two decades, it’s safe to say it’s been proven. And yes, the GEL-Cumulus is, as Abraham Lincoln would say, “a score” (20 years). “I’ve run 6 full marathons in these shoes and they’ve never let me down,” says Caroline Schiff. “Finding the right running shoe is personal, and you need to try a few to see what’s best for you. However, I feel like Asics offer the most versatile shoes for both beginners and advanced runners. They offer support which prevents injury, and hold up even with heavy use.” Also: they’re currently on a major sale.

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.