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If you haven’t heard of it before, the first Wednesday of June has been designated Global Running Day — a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. Now more than ever, the event is an important reminder of the power of unification that brings runners together in the spirit of the sport.
This year, instead of gathering to celebrate together, runners worldwide are taking part in a virtual event by pledging to get moving. If you’re planning to lace up and hit the streets as well, you can sign up to run any distance, with or without a specific team or inspiration.
While running consistently can be a great way to stay active, it can also be challenging for your body if you haven’t got the right equipment. The right pair of shoes can mean the difference between a pain-free jog or a potential injury, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the top-rated running shoes on the market to help the next time that you’re in need of a new pair.
Whether you’re a newbie to running or are an endurance athlete, scroll through to find a selection of runner-approved kicks.
Thanks to an ultra-light Floatride Foam sole, these running shoes can keep pace on days when you’re speed training. Their breathable mesh upper has midfoot overlays and a heel counter, giving you stability where you need it most, and extra cushioning for added bounce.
Promising review: “I love the Floatride Run Fast shoes so much for speed days. This second version got an upper update that looks so much more stylish and streamlined. They're still lightweight but more cushioning around the heel in the upper for a snug fit. I love doing tempo work in these!”
If you’re after the latest in running technology, look no further than the Carbon X. Featuring a specially engineered carbon fibre plate and an aggressive Meta-Rocker, these shoes are designed to provide an efficient, propulsive ride.
Promising review: “Light and comfortable. Use for training about 50 miles per week. They are somewhat expensive, but I am willing to pay for comfort. Have good arch support. Toe box is generous.”
If you’re prone to injury or recovering from one, these are the shoes for you. Designed specifically with running-related injury prevention in mind, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit features a wide base for stability, and 24% more foam than the Nike Epic React 2 for extra cushioning.
Promising review: “Took me getting used to the bounce on them compared to my turbos that I had before but they are amazing to run in after the first run. Had so many knee and ankle issues but they don’t hurt at all with these shoes”
Although many runners enjoy the spring and comfort of a softer sole, others prefer a more firm base for long distance. These New Balance runners certainly fit the bill, and were engineered with a pronounced curve in the soles that rock to support your gait.
Promising review: “I do lots of long runs and I think they have pretty much perfected the 1080! They hug your feet just right and the cushioning, these [are] amazing. I have a stretched out plantar plate and I feel great in these shoes. I have my custom made insoles under the shoe insole and off running with no problems.”
An editor’s pick from Runner’s World, these running shoes were designed with marathon runners in mind. This style is the brand’s most cushioned ever and boasts a luxurious fit that conforms to your feet to provide comfort from every angle.
Promising review: “I noticed a significant improvement in my comfort while running. Lots of cushion in every step. Rolls from heel to toe very smooth, powerful launch with every push.”
Packed full of plush cushioning, these shoes were designed to absorb shock with every step. Gel technology reduces impact as you move, and padding throughout guarantees comfort. All that cushioning does add weight though, so these are a bit on the heavier side compared to others on this list.
Promising review: “I’ve used Gel-Nimbus for quite some years now and I love the way they feel during my runs. I wouldn’t use them for any kind of speed work with turning, but for longer runs they are the best.”
For those who aren’t dedicated runners and are looking for an affordable pair of shoes that holds up for the occasional jog as well as training at the gym, then these are the shoes to watch. These breathable runners feature a mesh upper and a cushioned sole that responds to your every move.
Promising review: “I was looking to replace my trusty Sequence Boost trainers for my road runs - I don't run lots (around 4k every couple of days) so don't need anything too tech. These trainers are great, they're so comfy I've been wearing them on my off-day during lockdown walks too.”
Looking for a versatile running shoe that does it all? The Ghost 12 holds up during tempo runs, long runs, and speedwork thanks to its balanced ride suitable for all levels of runners. It also features a Segmented Crash Pad to absorb shock and cushion every stride.
Promising review: “There's really no other shoe I would run in. I've tried lesser priced Brooks, but nope. I have a very wide foot and the D width are perfect. Nice roomy toe box. Cushioning is awesome! They are worth every cent you'll spend!”
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.