Best running shoes for women
The pandemic has been in the country for over 9 months now, and people are in terms with the “new normal”. This sedentary lifestyle has surely taken a toll on the physical health of many and it has become really hard to stay in the pre-lockdown shape with the closure of gyms and fitness centers. Running can be a really good solution in this situation. It is a full body, minimum-hassle workout and is suitable for people of all skill levels. It might seem like a challenge but the sheer good looks of some of the best running shoes for women will do a good job in fueling the athlete in you. Let’s shrug off the boredom and look at the best running shoes for women with the coolest looks.
How are running shoes for women different?
Running shoes for women are different from those made for men and so are the choices. The differences like smaller and narrower foot size, lesser muscle mass and wider hips are group tendencies which are counted to make women’s shoes.
These factors tend to contribute in making women’s running shoes, more lightweight and have thinner midsoles and support higher pronation tendencies.
Apart from these, there are common features, based on which you should buy your pair of cleats. They are fit, weight, construction, cushioning, support and stability, grip, purpose and motion control.
We have also answered a few faqs that buyers may have, at the end of the article.
1. Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 (Best fast trainer)
A top daily trainer from Nike, the Turbo 2 has every good bit from the past edition and delivers even more cushioning. It gets the bouncy and best-in-class(85% energy return), ZoomX foam midsole featured in Nike’s racing cleats, along with the durable, React foam. A combination of these makes these shoes pretty comfortable and cushioned while having a lot of bounce. The upper mesh is padded minimally, reducing the shoe’s weight. If you are a serious runner and want a new pair of trainers, grab a pair. They are probably the best uptempo running shoes for women.
- Super soft and responsive, best-in-class ZoomX midsole
- Long-lasting React Foam midsole for increased life
- Better energy return.
- Good for a serious runner
- Less durable than the last edition
- Cannot be a daily trainer for any runner.
2. Asics Dynaflyte 3 (Best Support)
A very lightweight shoe from one of the top brands, renowned for making cushioned, supportive shoes, Asics’ Dynaflyte 3 SP does not leave anything to complain about, though. Featuring the FlyteFoam midsole, which is 55% lighter than the industry standard EVA, this shoe is very durable despite the light weight. The bouncy midsole foam and solid outsole ensures comfortable runs.
The fit is snug and appreciated for its comfort. It also features a redesigned stretched mesh upper, a thick collar and tongue, a solid heel counter and Asics’ GEL cushioning to provide ample support. Another advantage, compared to other Asics’ shoes is the small break-in period. So, if you are a beginner, looking for a pair of running shoes for women, particularly that will ease you into running, here is the pair for you.
- Thick and bouncy foam provides a sprightly run
- Very durable
- Small break in period
- Good for a beginner runner
- Attractive colour schemes
- Foam can feel too thick sometimes
- Experience runners will not choose this as their daily trainer
3. Reebok Floatride Run 2 (Best allround deal)
An evolution from the Floatride Run, this shoe from Reebok is well appreciated. A thicker, protruded collar and wider laces provide ample comfort and protection to the ankle and bridge.The Pebax-based, 100% Floatride foam is very soft and offers loads of cushioning to log the miles. It also gets a much improved fit and the UltraKnit upper strikes a good balance between soft feel and functional stability.
A TPU midfoot cage and heel cup gives structure to the stretchy upper and provides a good amount of stability to the foot. It receives a new outsole and better lugs, which are more durable and grip better onto the road. The cool looks of the knitted upper also makes it a great fashion choice for other casual activities. Looking for a shoe that does everything? You already know it.
- Great cushioning with 100% Floatride foam
- Softer and breathable Ultraknit upper
- Attractive looks and colours
- Good for both beginner and experienced runners
- Extremely versatile. Can be an everyday trainer as well as tempo runners
- Upper can be too stretchy for some
- TPU cage is somewhat uncomfortable.
4. Adidas Ultraboost Parley (Most versatile)
We cannot miss out on this one if we are talking about the best everyday running shoes. The best till date in Adidas’s famed Ultraboost lineup, these shoes are supportive, comfortable and make tarmac seem as soft as cotton. Ideal for the road and indoor treadmill, this shoe is praised extensively all over the world for its quality of materials, design and versatility.
Adidas offers the Boost midsole for supreme comfort and good energy return (55%), while the Stretchweb technology on the durable rubber outsole for protection and grip. The Primeknit upper, made from recycled materials is breathable and offers a sock-like fit. A TPU midfoot cage, 3D heel counter and stitching on the upper, aid in stability and breathability.
- Great cushioning and responsiveness with Boost midsole
- Breathable Ultraknit upper
- Multipurpose and attractive design, available in 72 colours
- Good for both beginner and experienced runners
- Grippy outsole
- Quality of materials is top-notch
- Not true to size, take a size larger
5. Asics Gel-Kayano 27 (Best for stability)
In the running arena, Asics means superior stability. Asics’ Kayano 27 is the latest in the legendary Kayano lineup. The shoes have a perfect, sock-like fit and a wide toebox. The new, flexible mesh upper is very well-ventilated and has a deep groove on the outsole for stability to overpronators. The heel cup is rigid yet lightweight and provides a lot of support.
The brand uses gender-specific SPACE TRUSSTIC system for managing different levels of pronation among both genders. The midsole has ample cushioning and the trademark GEL technology in the impact positions like toe and heel for shock absorption. The strong structure and SPACE TRUSSTIC system makes it a bit heavy for a daily trainer. If are someone who overpronates and demands a performance-oriented, durable stability shoe, this is the one to go for. Obviously, if you have the money. This can be one of the best running
- Great cushioning and use of Gel in the midsole for comfort and shock absorption
- Breathable, flexible engineered upper
- Attractive design, available in 72 colours
- Good for overpronating runners
- SPACE TRUSSTIC stability management system
- Slightly heavy for a trainer (310 gram for women)
- Shallow heel cup leads to heel slippage in some runners
6. NB FuelCell Impulse (Great for uptempos and races/ wide feet athletes)
If you do not want an Adidas, Nike or Asics but still desire a seriously good lightweight and fast shoe, New Balance has one up their sleeves. The FuelCell Impulse is a really lightweight and comfortable shoe. Everything about the shoe oozes top quality.
The outsole has blown rubber and REVlite foam and provides great grip on the road. The upper is a premium woven, jacquard mesh which is soft and the heel counter has a suede-like premium finish.It provides optimum support and structure to the shoe. But the best bit is the nitrogen-infused, TPU FuelCell + REVlite foam midsole.
It is supremely soft and provides a good bounce and sprightly run. There is a slight lateral curvature on it, to ensure it takes the first impact as the foot hits the ground. The biggest positive is its impressive performance for handling intense speeds and wide-width, suiting athletes with wide feet.
- Premium quality of materials and feel
- Personalized fit
- Breathable, woven upper
- Attractive design
- Impressive performance at intense speeds
- World class Fuelcell + REVlite midsole foam
- The exposed outsole is not durable
- Cushioning is light
7. Adidas Lite Racer 2.0 (Great for pronators, women specifically)
A very well-appreciated budget shoe from Adidas, has got a very secure fit and reliable performance. The biggest feature is its women-specific design with ample support on the heel and toe. It is equipped with a breathable, mesh upper which aids in adaptive comfort. The shoes packs in a standard midsole midsole from Adidas and being true to its name provides a high degree of flexibility and an ultra responsive gait cycle.
The high arch, decently wide toe width and supportive structure is specifically helpful for neutral pronators. Many women users have worn these for indoor uses like in a gym or treadmill and really appreciate the shoe. It is also pretty versatile in looks and goes well with lots of casual fashion wear.
- Very supportive structure
- Designed for women
- High arch design, suitable for pronators
- Attractive design and versatile
- Impressive responsiveness
- Suitable for everyday running.
- Not as popular as the costlier Ultraboost and Adizero series
- Not suitable for neutral runners at all
- Unsuitable for intense training
Asics GT-2000 7 | Credits: AmazonA classic shoe from Asics, this is one of the best running shoes for women available. Based on stability, it gets a very strong midsole with the Guidance Trusstic system and Duo Max Support technologies. This is complemented by a jacquard mesh upper, which is more durable and synthetic overlays which secures the midfoot and prevents heel slippage.
The outsole is a typically resistant and grippy unit, featuring a mix of AHAR and AHAR+ rubber for added grip and protection near the toe. A standard laceup closure ensures your feet are in place always, locked and secure.
Additionally, it gets an EVA sockliner with anti-bacterial properties for added comfort.
- Super soft and responsive,
- Recycled, environment friendly upper mesh
- No fatigue even on long distances
- Good for a marathon runner
- Highly flexible outsole
- Durability of the outsole is questionable
- Slightly priced higher than competitor shoes
9. Asics GT-1000 6
One of the most balanced and versatile running shoes in this list, the sixth edition GT-1000 is a very durable shoe made with top notch materials. A typical Asics shoe, this gives excellent midfoot arch stability from its Guidance Trusstic system and good energy return from the SPEVA midsole, without giving up on a cushioned ride.
The other standout features include the Rear foot Gel cushioning to enhance shock absorption. It also gets Duo Max Support in the medial foot area of the midsole for additional stability and support. The upper is an engineered mesh with supportive synthetic overlays, which allows excellent breathability and gives a solid structure. A cushioned tongue, tight lacing system and a blown out AHAR+ rubber in the outsole and front of the toe, helps in providing a locked in feel, great grip and protection, respectively.
- Soft and responsive SPEVA foam
- Secure glove like fit
- No fatigue on long distances
- Lots of stability for overpronators
- Very durable rubber on outsole
- Some might feel it is too supportive.
- Slightly heavy
10. Nike Downshifter 9 (Best for long distance)
An excellent budget option from Nike, the Downshifter is a very popular series. A sleek looking, performance running shoe this is suitable for any purpose, be it daily runs, casual wear or gym workouts. An excellent phylon midsole is complemented by a durable outsole that can deal with anything, even light gravel. The midsole is really cushioned very soft and the ride is softer than the previous editions.
A double mesh upper adds to the running experience by the enhancing the ventilation and structural integrity of the shoe. The rubber outsole offers decent protection to your shows along with decent grip on any surface. And all of this comes in just 283 and a dirt cheap price. This is something everyone wants, a trusted name for which they do not need to break the bank.
- Soft cushioning
- Sleek fit
- Comfortable run by phylon midsole
- Very durable outsole material
- Comfortable ride
- Heel counter is very bad and wears quickly
- Toe box could have been better
11. UA Charged Rogue
Under Armour has quickly emerged as a popular sportswear and equipment brand, especially among the youth. This shoe, the Charged Rogue is admired by its users for lightweight construction and ideal fit. The upper is breathable while extra support is provided by the strong heel counter, which keeps the foot locked.
It is the midsole, where this shoe just blows you away. A mix of the durable and plush Micro G foam along with the explosive, Charged Rogue foam makes running in this an easy job. To make a complete design, UA uses rubber in high impact points like heel and medial part of the foot and a removable sockliner for added comfort.
- Lots of cushioning
- Good for short and long distances
- Dual foam on midsole for balanced run
- Durable and lightweight
- Comfortable ride
- Looks great
- Too tight construction for some runners
- Upper can wear off over time
Puma NRGY Asteroid | Credits: AmazonThe NRGY Asteroid is an entry level running shoe from Puma. A contemporary and sleek look is combined with Softfoam sockliner in the midsole, which is amply cushioned for your daily jogs and runs. The latter makes the shoe supremely comfortable as soon as you step in. While the EVA midsole offers nice bounce and giving a smooth ride, the fit+ lacing system does a good job of locking the tongue securely
Offering these plush features in a sleek, lightweight design at such an affordable price, is what makes this shoe the one to buy. But remember, this is a beginner level shoe and is better used only for daily short runs. Do not expect this to bear the brunt of intense and speedy runs everyday.
- Comfortable shoe
- Bouncy and smooth ride
- Softfit sockliner adds a lot of comfort
- Better stability expected
- Cannot use for long intense runs
- Sizing is slightly short
Skechers GoRun Ride 7 | Credits: PinterestThe GoRun Ride 7 is a supremely cushioned, lightweight shoe for neutral runners. It is slightly tapered towards the toe giving a rockered geometry. Among the features, it has Skechers’ FLIGHT GEN foam in the midsole and a midfoot strike zone. The latter is a piece of enhanced rubber landing pad on the lateral side of the midfoot to encourage midfoot landing.
The FLIGHT GEN cushioning is really responsive and the ride is nice and firm. The upper is a seamless, breathable, knit unit delivering a sock-like fit and thin tongue.
Overall, this is a whole package! A lightweight, cushioned shoe with a nice ride and excellent fit.
- Breathable upper with a sock like fit
- Flight gen foam is very responsive
- The whole shoe is very roomy
- Lots of cushioning but a nice ride
- Excellent value for money
Nothing really stands out
Common FAQs about running shoes
1. What are neutral and stability shoes?
Neutral shoes are for neutral runners, i.e. those who feet do not tend to pronate during running. This is what majority of us are. Stability shoes are specifically for them who undergo overpronation and even underpronation during running. But, these can alternatively be used by normal runners, who prefer more stability in training.
2. Is a more cushioned shoe better than a lesser cushioned one?
Not necessarily. Cushioning helps in having a soft landing impact, thus reducing the chance of injury and having a smooth running experience. But, excess of cushioning can make your running very slow and tiring. The thicker the cushion, the more amount of downforce is needed to generate speed.
For this reason, energy return is an important factor in a foam. Foams for racing shoes like the ZoomX from Nike or LightStrike for SL20 are very bouncy and have high energy return. On the other hand, foams like New Balance’s FreshFoam X is more cushy, giving a softer ride. Thus, it is important to have lightly layered, responsive foams for racing while you can use thicker cushioned shoes in training.
3. What is uptempo?
Athletes train and race in different shoes for different stages of training. For regular training, they generally use a comfortably cushioned daily trainer, which lasts long. For races, they use the lightweight, fast and bouncy racing cleats. Uptempo is the training they do for increasing their speed. Shoes designed for these are generally lightweight, very responsive but more cushioned and bulkier than racing cleats. Examples of such a shoe is Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 and NB FuelCell Impulse.
4. How to choose your running shoes?
- Decide the purpose for which you are buying.
- Choose a everyday trainer if you are looking for daily jogging. If you are into serious training, have 2-3 pairs of trainers and uptempo shoes.
- Prioritize your comfort while buying a shoe. ALWAYS, wear socks while testing.
- Check the flexibility of the shoe. Do not opt for a stiff shoe as it will hinder your feet’s flex.