You have a hard time searching for the best pair of running shoes with the most competitive price. And you don’t know the things you should consider to purchase the right shoes. If you’re in these situations, you should look at the following review and buying guide for 10 best running shoes for women.
Top 10 best running shoes for women
No universal standard of running shoe is applied for all types of female you. It depends on three variable factors that are easy to determine by a wet test. Also, I would thoroughly review ten best women running shoes, along with specific pros and cons. So, the review may be helpful for your decision-making of running shoes for women.
1. Brooks Women's Launch 6 - Best for lightweight design
This Brooks Launch 6 running shoe can be the most advisable option for neutral runners who prefer a pair of lightweight shoes. It weighs only 8.0oz, which is lighter than most models of Brooks. The mesh upper and the internal bootie are also soft and breezy enough for you to comfortably engage in long-distance running races.
In terms of its features, it boasts an updated midsole of the already successful Launch 5 model by adding foam under the forefoot, which facilitates a longer energized feel when running. You can also experience a springy feel underfoot with the BioMoGo DNA cushioning, and the included rebounding rubber.
Unfortunately, the midsole seems not to come up to most of the users’ expectations. It might be too stiff to some in terms of the transition from their heel to toe.
2. Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 - Best for tailored seams
The Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 is an update to its successful predecessor, the Ultraboot 19. It’s equipped with the fiber seams, a characteristic feature of the Ultraboost series. These tailored seams waving above the midsole can support the shoe’s upper in making the shoe sides more stable with the elastic top.
Additionally, the Primeknit upper, made of up-cycled plastic waste, offers an outstanding ability to adjust itself to be suitable to your food size. This also supports your feet, creating a smooth movement with a comfortable feeling in every step.
However, the Adidas Ultraboost 20 model is not a light pair of shoes. Actually, it’s not as light as the Ultraboost 19, which turns out to be a bit of a disappointment to some who are familiar with lightweight shoes.
3. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus - Best for a close fit
This model, a signature product from the reputed Nike brand, owns a design that can perfectly fit your feet. Thanks to the new FlyWire lacing system, your feet will be securely and snugly embraced, which is most suitable for neutral runners. Although it seems a bit tight at first, the more you move, the more comfort you’ll have.
Another noticeable aspect of this product comes from the React foam in the midsole. Compared to the Zoom one, this React foam is not inferior and still offers brilliant performance. Hence, you can partake in any kind of running with great ease, given the soft feel it gives to your foot.
Still, for a pair of running shoes from a famous brand like Nike, the price you have to pay is not low. Hence, it’s understandable that this Women's Pegasus model is not affordable to those who have a limited budget.
4. Under Armour Women's Charged Pursuit 2 - Best for mesh upper
The Under Armour Charged Pursuit 2 shoe boasts a compact and breathable mesh upper that facilitated your foot ventilation. There’s also a removable comfort sock liner that adds in-step support and cushioning for your ride within this upper. Thus, you can feel great comfort and free of potential irritation.
Besides, the midsole has a compression-molded foam that improves the responsiveness and allows you to run for even long distances. Meanwhile, the solid rubber outsoles are beneficial for the prevention of abrasion in the high-impact areas of the shoes, contributing to their durability and optimal performance.
The only drawback of this running shoe model comes from the insoles. They look a bit thin, so their durability is not up to par. However, it’s possible for you to replace it with the new ones.
5. PUMA Women's Enzo 2 - Best for color options
One of the fascinating things about this PUMA Women's Enzo 2 model is that it comes in a diversity of colors for users to select. Since it’s mainly made of synthetic fabrics, it offers up to 20 color options, which is quite unrivaled compared to other products of other brands.
Decent design aside, as an exciting way to bring a sense of comfort to the users and promote the brand image, PUMA equips it with a TPU piece on the midsole and the side quarter panel. Also, the included rubber coverage is carefully made to help the outsole create more traction and the shoes look more durable and special.
Despite their above features, this pair of running shoes is slightly elevated at the heel, making it a bit strange for your foot to fit into it. On some occasions, you may feel like your feet don't fit the shoes and are likely to slip out of them.
6. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 - Best for integrated technology
The ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 is a smart choice for runners who prefer a pair of shoes with many integrated technologies. Its unique cushioning system with GEL Technology and the DuoMax system helps decrease the shock during your toe-off phases, allowing you to obtain a comfortable and stable foot transition.
With the FlyteFoam midsole technology, this pair of shoes can reduce the common problem of backing out and offers excellent responsiveness regardless of the distance. You may also be fascinated with the increased bounce of this product thanks to the FlyteFoam propel technology.
Despite the attractive sole shape, it seems that this shoe model is not up to par in terms of quality. It is not durable enough for daily tear and wear, so you may have to replace it after some period of use.
7. Brooks Ghost 13 - Best for smooth movement
The Brooks Women's Ghost 13 running shoe is suitable for those loving shoes featuring smooth movement. It offers significantly enhanced foot transitions for you to concentrate on running without any distraction. The BioMoGo and LOFT cushioning also contribute to the soft movement without affecting the responsiveness and durability.
Moreover, regardless of how you move your feet, the integrated system of shock absorbers called Segmented Crash Pad will cushion all your steps and strides for a comfortable transition from heel to toe. As a boost to the comfy feeling these shoes provide, the new mesh upper also offers a nice hug around your feet and is very breathable for your long run.
However, despite its smooth transitions, this pair of shoes has no highlights in its design. Simply put, they feature standard color, brand logo, lightweight structure, etc. - all the things that are no different from those of any other shoes.
The Brooks Ghost 13 can be a cushioned shoe for neutral trainers as it keeps propelling the users forward while making you feels well cushioned and fast for all longer runs.
8. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 - Best for the updated upper
This Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 16 model features an updated engineered upper that’s more exceptional than its Wave Inspire 15 predecessor. It’s equipped with a new modern mesh upper that contributes to an eye-catching look. This seamless upper is also very necessary to prevent the irritation of your feet.
In addition, the manufacturer decided to make the shoes lighter and sleeker for women by using the internal toe cap instead of the stitched one as in the Wave Inspire 15. This feature will give you a comfortable running experience since it provides an optimal and stable hold for your feet.
The only downside of this shoe may be the grip performance because it remains the same as the previous version. Thus, when running in rainy conditions, you will be prone to slipping.
9. Saucony Hurricane 22 running shoes - Best for the cushioning
The Saucony Hurricane 22 is mostly suitable for those who are seeking a pair of running shoes with a lot of cushioning. It is an ideally cushioned stability shoe that features plenty of support for your long run. More importantly, however long you may run, the PWRRUN+ cushioning will provide you with a more comfortable underfoot feel than before.
Besides, the rocker-like heel and high toe spring help you always feel fresh and enthusiastic with every step on the road. Your feet will be perfectly hugged with comfort from every angle thanks to the FORMFIT 360, which serves as a bucket seat for your feet.
However, due to its cushioning feature, this kind of shoes is a bit heavier and less flexible than others. So, when running, you may experience some discomfort with the weight added to your legs.
This PUMA Women's Prowl running shoe is one of the best running shoes for women considering its dynamic lacing system. This system entirely wraps around the shoe body with the dynamic lacing stemming from the upper’s lower sides. It enables you to have an unrivaled sense of comfort when running.
In addition to its lacing feature, this product also boasts the mesh uppers that can increase the shoe’s flexibility, so you can run without any hindrances. It’s also possible for you to run as long as you want with great comfort thanks to its incredible cushioned Softfoam feature.
The most obvious downside of this kind of shoe is that it’s not reasonably priced. With a bit higher price than average, this sort of running shoes may be unaffordable for those on a limited budget.
11. Nike Women's Air Zoom Structure 22 Running shoes
This pair is one of my best favorite running shoes as it can handle different workouts and running routines, especially my road and light trail running. Importantly, as a supinator runner, I could count on it due to its excellent delivery of comfort, arch support, and protection. Also, thanks to a great provided durability and breathability, my feet feel at ease despite long-hour running.
The Nike Women's Air Zoom Structure is the well cushioned running shoe for high mileage training. It offers high to moderate support for women having the over-pronation. The shoe has several direct competitors like the Asics GT-2000 series, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS, the Mizuno Wave Inspire, and the Saucony Guide. This version was entirely rebuilt from its ground-up. However, its feel does not change much from its previous versions.
The Nike Zoom Structure 22 can be a great shoe for over-pronating users as it offers responsive toe-off and soft cushioning, considering a realible option for the daily trainer.
12. Nike Women's Air Zoom Vomero
Based on my experiences so far, with a lofty and plush cushioning, the Vomero significantly comforts the foot during long running. Indeed, it gives me a significant softness and high responsiveness bounce when landing on the ground. Besides, thanks to its internal boot, the shoe grants my feet the sock-like fit. And the Flywire cable with its adaptive features assists me substantially in tying shoelaces. Specifically, the pair is suitable for the neutral runner, especially when running on a road surface.
Honestly, there is no sign of wear so far thanks to the durable rubber outsole and enduring upper. Plus, a humble weight of 266gm is seriously a good point. This shoe utilizes a combination of both Air Zoom and Lunarlon technologies. It is considered the first Nike Vomero version I have ever tried with the flexible midsole material. Besides, the Nike Women's Air Zoom Vomero 12 has several grooves across its outsole which allow it to flex freely.
The Nike Women's Air Zoom Vomero 12 can be considered a stable update or redesign to one of the most cushioned models of this brand.
13. Merrell Women's Pace Glove 3
If you are a fan of minimalist shoe or greatly interested in barefoot-like running, the Merrell 3 totally is an ideal choice. In comparison with its last two versions, Merrell 3 has done extremely well at delivering a quality casual footwear with superior durability and exceptional easefulness. Besides, the Merrell 3’s remarkable versatility allows you to wear daily from running errands, structured workouts to casual cycling or long backpack trips. However, due to few provided cushioning, you could not look for an increase in speed at the Merrell.
In my opinion, this well-designed minimalist shoe easily attracts people who get used to the barefoot with a low heel-to-toe transition and highly value the shoe's longevity. As for its zero drops, it provides completely more real ground contact. Also, it is guaranteed to keep your feet stay uninjured and healthy. Its’ mesh and TPU synthetics material helps the foot stay dry and cool. The Vibram® outsole delivers confident grip even on a slippery terrain and also enhances the shoe’s durability.
Having ultra-light upper mold, the lightweight (167 gm) and decent breathability, you would feel like nothing on feet with the Merrell Women's Pace Glove 3.
The Best Running Shoes For Women Buying Guide
If you’ve read these above reviews and still sit on the fence about how to pick the best running shoes for women, you can refer to the following buying guide. Here are the five simple steps for you:
Step 1. Figure out your pronation
You should determine your pronation level, which is the rotation of the sole of your foot with the inner part directed downwards, before making any pair of running shoes. You can take a simple treadmill test at a local running store to see your pronation pattern. Depending on your stride and arch, there are three pronation types: normal pronation, under-pronation, and overpronation. For further information, you can refer to this pronation guide.
Step 2. Determine your arch type
Your arch type can be easily identified by a wet test, in which you step your wet feet on a piece of paper. When you step off, you can see your imprint pattern and then compare it with the following chart.
Step 3: Know your preferred cushioning
Cushioning level is the determining factor for your comfort level, the shock absorption, and shoe mileage. Typically, maximum cushioned shoes allow for the highest shock absorption level, which is ideal for runners wanting great comfort and having larger frames or weight. Meanwhile, minimally cushioned shoes have a thin underfoot protection layer that works best for those who hope to strengthen their feet during training.
Step 4: Pick your best running shoe
At this step, you could depend on your pronation level, your arch type, and your preferred cushioning level to figure out which one best serves your needs.
Neutral Running Shoe
This kind of running shoes offers an extraordinary running experience for you with natural foot movement for those with normal pronation or under-pronation. Normal pronators with high arches can choose neutral shoes with more added cushioning. For under-pronators, a shoe model with a more flexible upper and midsole would be a smart choice.
Stability Running Shoe
This sort of shoe comes with various arch support levels and cushioning features that best suit moderate overpronators. It’s not as heavy or stiff as its motion control counterpart because it doesn’t have to control overpronation entirely.
Motion Control Running Shoe
This type of shoe features a structured platform to save your feet from overpronating, so it’s mostly designed for extreme overpronators. It’s often the heaviest and stiffest in these three kinds of shoes since it has to guide the food and control your motion ultimately.
Frequently asked questions
What are the best women’s running shoe brands?
There is a wide range of brands on the current market that produce the top women’s running shoes. But in fact, some brands have a long-lasting tradition in the production of footwear and shoes such as Brooks, Nike, Adidas, ASICS, PUMA, etc.
Does the running surface impact how I wear my shoes?
Your shoes will wear more quickly when you use them for road running instead of trail running, but, of course, the way you run is also a determining factor. For instance, a 100-pound road runner will not be likely to ear out his shoes as early as a 200-pound heavy heel-striker on trail running.
Is it possible for normal arches to wear motion-control shoes?
It depends on your weight and your pronation level. If you’re from 140 to 160 pounds in weight (for women) and belong to the overpronator group, then you can go with a pair of motion-control shoes.
Can shoes with the same model and manufacturer fit differently?
It can happen because, despite the shoe manufacturers’ rigorous efforts into control quality, no pairs of shoes are entirely the same. In fact, the same shoe models can turn out in many factories with varied quality control levels. So our advice to you when choosing a running shoe is to try it on.
Best trail running shoes for women
In our below collection of top best trail running shoes for women, we will introduce with you some typical shoes. All of them can be your good companion over a wide terrain range in all-weather kinds. They comprise of tackling rocky trails of weather in the Peruvian Andes high alpine, conquering about 30 mile missions in some superb mountains like the San Juan, and running a river walk right after work.
Our list is based on verified traction and test from authorized users and also, ourselves. We made it all by a nasty surface slew, trudging through the mud, and soggy snowfields. We also dunked as well as dried each of them to see the one held the least water and the one dried in the fastest time. After such exhaustive checking period, we truly rated each shoe based on the weight, foot protection, sensitivity, stability, comfort, and traction.
Best stability running shoes for women
When mentioning the best stability running shoes for women, we should firstly look at the cushioning. Nowadays, the zoom air which was revered is used in almost all stability shoes from Nike, Brooks, New Balance, etc. These units of the air have excellent rebound features. There are two factors you should pay attention when picking a stability shoe for running, comprise of:
Insoles. Many shoemakers have created different types of stability shoes. All of them provide enough room for you to accommodate orthotics or Footbeds without compromising comfort and fit. Along with the usage of the customized insoles, their shoes’ medial support and built in shoe arch would be able to handle well all overpronation tendencies came from you.
The shoe’s medial structure. You should select the shoes which use multi or dual density foams directly in their midsole to offer the shoe’s medial support and excellent arch. A typical example of that midsole foam can be the patented Stock Fit. Such foam is high density enough to be extremely useful for you to correct the overpronation and is still lightweight.
Let’s look at our top stability running shoes for women for further considerations.
Best cushioned running shoes for women
A lot of running shoe shops offer models with cushioning, stability and motion control features. However, many people question and doubt these factors. A lot of athletes even ask if they need them. Well, you indeed need to have cushioning shoes with the motion control and stability shoes, especially if you are a woman.
Some you can still function well with neutral running shoes when training. However, for enhanced performance during running, you may opt to get these features. You may want to start with the stability shoes before you switch with the neutral running shoes. You see, what you need to remember is that works for you may not work for other people. Above all, the best cushioned running shoes for women still be the top targets of many you today.
Types of Running Shoes for feet problems
Here are the kinds of shoes to purchase for you who have several problems with their feet:
Flat Feet Dynamics
As the feet strike toward the ground along with the arches and flat feet fall then, your ankles will rotate inward. Your knees may try hard to overcompensate during your run as well. So, people with flat feet have the apparent tendency to do overpronating. This matter means that some of them roll the feet inward a bit excessively as they run. So, that is the point when runners with flat feet require the significant features for the stability. Such characteristics will assist to them balance the feet as well as avoid added movements which are unnecessary.
People who now suffer from any sign of overpronation can take full advantage of their motion regulation through the added features as well. It will restrict other movements related to your feet.
Besides, support is vital for all flat-footed runners. They may require more cushioning dedicated for the basic and adequate training. Here is the brief list of running shoes for flat feet.
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As a matter of fact, Shoes with features to secure and monitor movements offer enough support and dedicated arches to the feet. By this way, these additions can be critical for overpronators, and overweight athletes. If you are dealing with the serious flat feet, let’s consider putting sufficient arch support to your efficient run.
Furthermore, you have to ensure that the chosen running shoes were not too loose or tight when inserting them. But, let’s allow the toes to own more room for moving, and you will not develop blisters.
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Running Shoes having Motion Control functions
Motion control Shoes may assist athletes with extreme overpronation and dangerous. In fact, the best shoes with motion control functions can support you lots in your training. Furthermore, they may help you do running everyday errands. The only thing you must do now is to select the best running shoes with motion control functions and lightweight feature in this market segment for optimum performance and comfort.
For people having arched feet which can collapse during their training, several shoes have special designs that may come with some layers of the polyurethane materials. In fact, you may notice them quickly on the shoe arches. The primary purpose of these features is to offer support and stability.
Stability shoes for running may correct all signs of the overpronation by limiting other various motion of the feet. So, they help individuals with flat feet more, especially when running. Also, you should know that all types of stability footwear may tend to bring you the less heavy feeling than running shoes with motion control functions.
Almost all shoes for running and the corresponding manufacturers generated technologies with the purpose to assist athletes having flat feet do training with comfort, ease, and safety. The three important concepts for such innovations are motion control, support, and stability.
Support is considered the primary requirement for runners with flat feet. So, you have to find some labels like “extra support” when searching for your best pair of running shoes for the flat feet.” Another thing you should consider is their stability. It can be a term which manufacturers set in order to help all people with overpronated feet.
Last but not least, let’s find shoes which offer stability. Such running shoes can be designed for individuals who are having extreme overpronation.
What’s more? You have to remember that the primary innovation for all types of stability footwear can be its’ density foam. Many manufacturers of shoes try their best to incorporate the dense foams right below your feet arches’ middle part. Also, there are times that some shoemakers think of extending them a bit longer to the heels. You may often see this innovation as the thick foam part on their mid-sole interior.