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8 best running shoes for men in 2024, according to a competitive distance runner

I run competitively — here are the best men's running shoes in 2024 from HOKA, New Balance, Nike and more.

man running in black shorts, white running shoes and black tank top near beach in winter, best men's running shoes in 2024, I run competitively — here are the best men's running shoes in 2024 for marathons, casual runs and competitions (photo via Alex Cyr).
I run competitively — here are the best men's running shoes in 2024 for marathons, casual runs and competitions (photo via Alex Cyr).

Runners, take note: Spring is here, and so are countless new editions of running shoes, all lighter and faster than those of years past. This year promises to be pivotal for running brands as they showcase top-notch trainers and racers in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics. That's not only great news for the Olympians but for the rest of us runners — we're getting better sneakers!

Road running shoes come in three categories: racing shoes (super-light and pricey kicks with carbon plates), classic trainers (standard, durable running shoes), and hybrids (shoes in the middle meant for hard runs). In this review, I list my eight favourite types of classic trainers: the types of running shoes that you can trust for everyday runs. I've tried dozens of them, but here are the eight pairs that I thought performed best.

newbalance.ca

Weight: 9.2 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm

If I had to choose a training shoe of the year, it’s the New Balance 1080 V13. It’s as though the company created a shoe with all of its classic perks and then made them bigger and better. Long-time wearers will notice that this shoe is more cushioned than its predecessor, the V12; first-timers will like how lightweight it is despite its plush construction. It has a thick layer of Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning that makes mid-foot landing and push-off feel comfortable and natural, and around it comes a Ndurance runner outsole to prevent wear and tear. It’s everything that New Balance does well in a shoe — just more of it.

Pros
  • Soft landing
  • Light for size
Cons
  • Could be bouncier
  • Fits wider than previous 1080 models
$210 at New Balance
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$210 at Foot Locker

Weight: 10.9 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 9mm

The Nike Invincible Run 3 is the most expensive shoe on this list, but it makes a solid case for selling at a premium. While many trainers lose their pop after 600 kilometres, these sneakers live up to their name and remain bouncy and responsive for more than 1,000 km. So, the price bump is worth it. The truth is, with its super-light Flyknit upper and huge chunk of Zoom X Foam (the best energy-return material Nike has yet to create), they’re quite souped-up for training shoes. If you don’t mind a bit of distance from the ground, you won’t regret the price bump.

Pros
  • Durable
  • Pleasantly rigid
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Wide heel
$245 at Nike
on.com

Weight: 9.9 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm

On calls its Cloundmonster their “OG Weirdo” — and I don’t disagree. At first, I was confused as to what, exactly, this shoe was: its lower base, curved to rock you forward and made rigid to explode off the pavement, makes it feel like a racer. I also found it clunkier than the more plush, traditional training shoes on my first few runs. But then, on run three, something happened: I broke them in, and the landings became softer. Now, I feel like I steamroll over the pavement, finishing my runs with a pop and happy joints. It’s one of the few trainers on this list that excels on easy runs and workouts, graduating from Weirdo to Everything Shoe.

Pros
  • Forward rocking
  • Substantial cushioning
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Takes a while to break in
$210 at Foot Locker
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$210 at Altitude Sports

Weight: 7.5 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm

The FuelCell Rebel V4 is New Balance’s counterpart sneaker to the 1080 V13: it’s as responsive as training shoes come and, with any more pop, it would find itself in the racing shoe category. The shoe features a layer of rigid FuelCell foam (similar to what is used in New Balance’s racing shoes) meant more for propulsion than shock absorption, and its breathable upper mesh weighs next to nothing. While they are a comfortable ride for easy runs, the Rebels especially shine at faster paces. They are perfect for weekly up-tempo runs and will easily last you a few seasons.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Propulsive
Cons
  • Less cushioned
  • Tighter fit on top of foot
$180 at New Balance
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$180 at Sport Chek$180 at Running Room

Weight: 9.8 oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm

Their name and number reveals it: the Glycerin is the longest-running shoe line on this list. Version 21 is not an immense departure from previous models (it has two extra millimeters of foam and overall is three ounces lighter), but Brooks understands that it’s best not to fix what isn’t broken. Over the last few years, the shoe game has trended towards maximalism, with racing and training shoes alike becoming larger and increasingly cushioned. The Glycerin, with their high heel-to-toe drop and reasonably cushioned DNA LOFT foam, will feel more like training shoes of old. And old doesn’t mean bad: if you aren’t a fan of marshmallow-like sneakers, and prefer more fitted kicks, these are a surefire pick for you.

Pros
  • Lighter and more cushioned than previous version
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Limited specs and fanfare
  • Does not double as a workout shoe
$200 at Brooks Running
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$200 at Running Room
asics.com/ca

Weight: 9.2oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm

If the Glycerin 21s are a nod to our past, the ASICS Novablasts 4 are from the future. Featuring a huge 41.5mm chunk of FF Blast cushioning, they are the most plush sneakers on this list. The underfoot even has a trampoline-like shape and design to encourage more bounce. Somehow, ASICS has managed to design this moon shoe to weigh no more than 9.2 ounces. Keep in mind that more cushioning does not always indicate a better shoe. Some people, like fans of the Glycerin, for example, might eschew the Novablast for a more pared-down sneaker that offers more connection with the ground; it really comes down to personal preference. At the very least, the Novablasts are worth a try; they’re pogo sticks for feet.

Pros
  • Extremely cushioned
  • Highly comfortable
Cons
  • Disconnect with the ground
  • Awkward for sprinting
$180 at ASICS Canada

Weight: 9.8oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm

Compared to their cutting-edge innovation in the world of racing shoes (including the world-beating Pro Evo 1, built to last just one marathon), Adidas’ latest training sneaker appears rather ordinary. It isn’t super tall and doesn’t come with a winged back like the Invincible Run or Novablast 4; it looks more like the shoe your dad would wear at the gym. But there is more than meets the eye. The Supernova Rise conceals a Dreamstrike+ midsole of tightly packed foam that spares your joints the pressures of pavement pounding. Then, the midsole attaches to a network of support rods made of even denser foam and designed to mirror the metatarsals. I quite like their feeling: the Supernova may not be fancy, but they have everything you need.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Responsive foam
Cons
  • Tight fit
  • Could be lighter
$180 at Adidas
hoka.com

Weight: 8.7oz

Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm

I don’t recommend running in the shoes you wear all day because you might wear out their bounce and risk injury. But, if you’re going to do it anyway, these are the ones you want. The Clifton 9s are beloved by runners, walkers, nurses, teachers and more because they are incredibly comfortable. I’ve seen many people wear them around the clock and then keep them on for their daily runs. They are, after all, running shoes above all: their small heel-to-toe drop encourages a midfoot landing, and their lightweight construction is an antidote against late-run sluggishness. They’re also a bit lighter and taller than their previous model, the Clifton 8. Their biggest downside is durability. Mine usually lose their pop after 500 kilometres.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Encourages mid-foot strike
Cons
  • Not super-durable
  • Limited space to lift toes
$180 at Hoka

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