Best Running Shoes for Women 2022

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If there’s one sport you can do anywhere, it’s running. Forget dumbbells, resistance bands and the gym, all you need is the road and the right gym equipment. For women, this includes a sports bra, sportswear and a great pair of sneakers. But buying the latter is a task in itself, especially when the best running shoes for women can cost well over $100. However, finding the right pair is worth the investment and will lead to a healthier and more comfortable run overall.

It should be noted that there are key differences in construction between men’s and women’s running shoes. A woman’s heel tends to be narrower in relation to the ball of the foot, which affects the shape of the shoe. Also, women tend to be lighter than men, so women’s running shoes often have a softer midsole. And because women generally have wider hips than men, they also tend to overpronate (rolling their feet inward when running). To compensate for this, the women’s version of a shoe will have a thicker wall on the inner part of the shoe.

Below, you’ll find the best running shoes for women, from beginners to pros and speed demons to everyday joggers.

Best Running Shoes for Women Overall

Structured sneakers with optimal stability

  • Benefits: Heel and midfoot support allows for a smoother run and provides arch support for flat feet
  • The inconvenients: Heavy

The Gel-Kayano27 is a good choice for those with overpronation or those who need a stability shoe. A structured heel and stiff midfoot work together to help control inward twisting, while two different densities of foam in the midsole provide arch support for flat feet. The gel heel also helps absorb shock to give you a smooth ride. At 8.8 ounces, the Kayano is a bit heavy, but if stability is what you’re after, those extra few ounces are worth it.


Best Stability Running Shoes for Women

Lightweight shoes that provide support

  • Benefits: Lugs in the sole provide support and cushion; unique lacing system adapts to different foot widths
  • The inconvenients: Debris can get stuck between the pods; the size is a bit short

This running shoe has a more stable construction than its popular cousin, the Cloud X, but it takes a more flexible approach to pronation support than true stability shoes. The medial side of each shoe has added support to guide pronation instead of stopping it altogether, and at 7.4 ounces it’s ultra light for its caliber of support. This is a good shoe for someone looking for the middle ground between neutral and stability – it’s nimble and streamlined, but definitely helps prevent injury.

The sole is constructed with a dozen pods, one of the features that set the Cloudflyer apart. These provide cushioning and guidance, as well as a small speed boost when they compress. As far as fit goes, the shoe is a bit short and some might find the heel a bit narrow (they come in Wide cut, too), but the unique lace design accommodates a range of foot widths. Shoes also have lasting power: if you’ve ever owned On shoes, you know you’ll have them for years to come.


Best running shoes for speed

Sneakers that help fast runners go faster

  • Benefits: The springy foam midsole and thin carbon fiber plate propel you forward; lightweight with a glove-like fit
  • The inconvenients: Expensive; often exhausted

These shoes can help fast runners go faster. What Nike calls its “fastest shoe ever”, the Next%2 has a thin carbon fiber plate wedged between layers of responsive foam, providing the wearer with constant forward propulsion. Most of the shoe’s body is in the sole; the barely there upper is made from a thin, lightweight, water-resistant fabric that molds to your foot.

Despite its lightness, the Next%2 is still very sturdy. You can wear them for a few hundred miles of runs and quick training runs, instead of just saving them for race days.


Best Running Shoes for Versatile Training

A padded trainer ideal for beginners and seasoned runners

  • Benefits: Stretchy upper and cushioned sole provide comfort and support for long runs on different types of terrain
  • The inconvenients: Firm foam feel may be too firm for some runners

It’s a shoe for everyone. The upper is an incredibly comfortable, stretchy fabric that locks your foot in place, prevents blisters and allows airflow, while the sole has a good amount of firm cushion underfoot, providing support and speed. These characteristics make the 1080v11 particularly useful for covering long kilometers on all types of terrain. Plus, Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride.


Best running shoes for beginners

A neutral training shoe for a smooth and stable run

  • Benefits: Slightly snug fit and cushioned sole provide support and shock absorption for new distance runners
  • The inconvenients: Very underpowered

An upgrade from last year’s Ghost 13s, the Brooks Ghost 14s are ideal for new riders. They have a narrow toe box, a cushioned upper that hugs your feet, and a plush, responsive sole that provides support and comfort for those who find their groove. The foam-filled midsole helps absorb shock and stretches from heel to toe for all-around cushioning. Although suitable for beginners, these sneakers can still go the distance; they are ideal for beginner marathon trainers or anyone with a high weekly mileage who prefers long or recovery runs.


Best Lightweight Running Shoes for Women

A fast and lightweight training shoe made from recycled materials

  • Benefits: Lightweight with a sleek, nimble design; made from recycled materials
  • The inconvenients: Not enough cushioning in the midsole for heavier runners who often run long runs

The Adizero Boston 9s were great, but the 10s are even better. In recent years, a lot of fast shoes have gone big (see: the thick, sculpted foam soles of the NEXT% 2). For runners looking for a more minimalistic, yet still blazing fast shoe, this is the pick for you.

And, turns out, it’s a choice for a lot of serious riders. “I’ve been running the Adidas Adizero Boston a lot for a few seasons now,” says David Joudoctor of physical therapy and co-founder of New York’s NY-pattern physical therapy studio, a favorite of runners trying to amp up their recovery game. “As far as ‘Boost’ in Adidas kicks, this one has it, without being overly cushioned, it still gives some feel to the ground. I feel like I could use it for longer runs, but still hold up for speed training.

The Adizero is also green. It’s made from a series of high-performance recycled materials (with 50% recycled content in the upper), making it a shoe you can happily buy.


Most Versatile Women’s Running Shoes

A versatile shoe that is suitable for both training and racing

  • Benefits: The beveled heel and breathable, glove-like upper work together to improve speed; good resistance over time
  • The inconvenients: May not provide enough support/stability for some runners

Here is another sneaker loved by athletes. “I only run in current Nike Pegasus shoes,” says the New York-based runner CoffeyNike pacemaker and founder of Define the New York Run Club and Run to protest. “They are very comfortable with lots of cushioning and I can go about 500 miles with each pair.” There are tons of Nike Pegasus options you can’t go wrong with, but you probably won’t take a lap around your local track without spotting the Air Zoom Pegasus 38.

An ultralight upper with a glove-like fit cradles your foot without overheating or constricting, while bouncy Zoom foam and a beveled heel help you push off quickly. It’s a fast shoe, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for race day. Faster runners love it for its cushioning and versatility on speed work and long runs, but any runner will appreciate the propulsive kick of these shoes.


Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Women

A plush training shoe for relaxed rhythms

  • Benefits: Incredibly smooth ride; super light for the amount of cushioning
  • The inconvenients: The foam can wear out over time; not super fast

This is an incredibly plush, versatile shoe, so much so that you might worry about it being heavy underfoot. Somehow, though, that thick layer of foam is springy and supportive, thanks to a full-compression EVA midsole, which adds stability and distributes weight across the sole. It also features super soft memory foam collars to conform to your ankle and accommodate a narrower heel, cradling your Achilles. And while you might think such cushioning would result in an uneven ride, the brand’s signature Meta-Rocker construction provides stability.

Although HOKA markets the Bondi Style 7 for everything from recovery jogs to runs, it might not be the best choice for race day. It’s a great shoe for recovery, however, when you’re feeling a little sore and want to give your joints a break from pounding the pavement in firmer shoes. Another bonus? They come in incredibly wacky and retro color options that live up to their Californian surf break inspiration.

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