Once upon a prophecy, God granted man legs so that he could run. In today’s world, we say that if you’re going to do it, do it with haste and unwavering precision.
The running crowd is no doubt a different breed of athlete who takes their pavement-pounding seriously. Choosing the right shoe to get the job done can, therefore, be near-impossible based on individual feel, running style, running environment and foot shape. Not to mention matching your fancy running shoes with the right running shorts, running tops or running jackets.
Regardless, for those who need some help in this department, we’ve compiled a list of the best running shoes for men today. Bear in mind these are all road running shoes, and so won’t be suitable for going off the beaten track. They also provide varying levels of support and cushioning, so be sure to check out each manufacturer’s full range of styles to find something that may be better suited to your particular needs.
Allbirds Running Shoes
The New Zealand born Allbirds brand are fast making a name for themselves for making the most comfortable shoes, sustainably made with natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber. Their latest release, the Tree Dasher, is perhaps their best looking shoe to date. It's wide fit and mesh upper combines stability and comfort. We hate to admit this, but we've tried this shoe and it's pretty damn good.
Swiss company On was founded to "revolutionise the sensation of running." The Cloudstatus is best suited to road-runners and is one of On's more premium offerings.
It features proprietary CloudTec technology in its construction (in this case there is a double layer for extra cushioning) to provide support all around your foot, while a Speedboard helps to cushion your foot and spring you forward. On says the Cloudstratus is an ideal shoe for long-distance and marathon runners.
US sports footwear producer Altra Running was something of a revelation when it was founded. Introducing a new design that sees the heel and toe kept the distance from the ground, providing a more neutral footing than other shoes, they have found legions of fans within the running community.
These Escalante Racer road running shoes has been specifically designed for optimum performance. Altra's own EGO midsole provides ample cushioning and the mesh upper is breathable and lightweight, and will keep your feet in place while you clock the KMs.
Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Phantom
APL positions itself as a luxury sportswear brand that is backed by research and development to deliver various technologies to help fuel your workouts and your runs. Founded in 2009 and based in Los Angeles, the brand focuses primarily on footwear, including the TechLoom Phantom.
The upper section has been carefully designed so that it moves with your foot through the entire stride motion, while the company's own Propelium midsole/outsole offers up serious comfort and cushioning that not only delivers from a performance point of view, but looks good in the process.
Not just a purveyor of comfortable dress shoes and boots, US shoemaker Cole Haan has also turned its hand to running shoes.
The Overtake model has been made with serious sprinters in mind, offering a mesh upper that perfectly conforms to your foot, a high-performance mid foot support system and foam cushioning to both absorb shocks and to give you energy return. They're rather handsome too, and can be had in a range of colours.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%
This futuristic-looking running shoe receives trickle-down technology from the model that allowed Eliud Kipchoge to run a full marathon in under two hours. A combination of a carbon plate, ZoomX cushioning and Zoom Air pods provide responsiveness, propulsion and comfort like you've never felt before. If you're a serious runner, you need these shoes.
Adidas Ultraboost 20
Adidas' Boost technology was a revolution in running when it launched in 2013. Originally developed for serious runners before trickling down into the lifestyle sector. Nowhere is it better implemented though, than in the Ultraboost shoe. The Boost sole is married to a knitted-upper that adapts to your feet and gives support in vital areas. A number of colour variations ensure you'll be able to find a style to suit you.
Asics GEL-Kayano 27
The Asics Gel-Kayano has been a mainstay in the running-sphere since its introduction in 1993. Named after designer Toshikazu Kayano, the iconic running shoe is consistently revered as one of the very best. It's stuck to the Japanese philosophy of kaizen, which means gradual improvement. As such, each iteration of the shoe has been an evolution as opposed to a revolution. This latest model is said to be ideal for runners who overpronate, while Asics' proprietary GEL is on hand to provide ample cushioning.
Under Armour UA HOVR Phantom 2
While Under Armour's UA Hovr Phantom 2 provides you with everything you'd want from a running shoe: cushioning, support and energy return (in this case from the UA Hovr foam), it's got a brain inside it too. This means it can connect to the companion MapMyRun app to give feedback based on your running metrics. We think it looks great too, no matter which colour you choose (there are 6) and Under Armour says the Phantom 2 is best suited to neutral runners who demand a balance between flexibility and cushioning.
Brooks Ghost 13
If plenty of cushioning is what you look out for in a running shoe, you can't go past the Brooks Ghost 13. The company's DNA Loft cushioning material extends all the way along the length of the shoe, instead of being reserved for just the heel. This allows the shoe to absorb shocks from whichever way your feet land, and provide enough bounce to send you off into your next stride.
Brooks Running Adrenaline GTS 21
Another model from Brooks – a company that has been manufacturing a variety of sports shoes since 1914 Since then it's remained one of the leading names and has attained several "Best Running Shoe" accolades. The Adrenaline GTS 21 is one of the company’s latest releases and utilises the company's DNA LOFT cushioning technology (of which there is a helping of in this shoe thanks to a newly designed midsole), as well as its GuideRails system which provides high levels of support to help prevent injuries.
Hoka One One Rocket X
There's no mistaking Hoka One One shoes. Not only do they have their company name emblazoned on the side, but a good proportion of its range sport chunky soles. The French company manufacturers shoes for all types of runners: road; trail and all-terrain, with the Rocket X featured here being best suited to tarmac surfaces.
This shoe benefits from a built-in carbon fibre plate that previously featured on the Carbon X to provide “maximal efficiency". That carbon fibre, alone with a perforated mesh upper allow the Rocket X to be remarkably lightweight, allowing you to shoot off the line like a rocket, the inspiration for its name.
Saucony Endorphin Pro
Saucony is an American athletic footwear brand named after the banks of the Saucony Creek in Pennsylvania on which its first factory was founded. The company produces shoes for various types of running and walking, and puts a strong emphasis on all aspects of individual runners' feet. The Endorphin Pro is a new release for 2020 and claims to be the company's fastest ever. This is thanks to a combination of Speedroll technology (elevated cushioning and stiff carbon fibre plate in the forefoot) to help propel you along, with Formfit, which wraps snugly around your feet. An knitted upper layer provides ventilation and comfort. The White Mutant colourway is also rather easy on the eye.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
Sportswear giant Nike was born with the very mission to assist and mould athletes. Its running shoes are developed based on countless hours of research to provide the wearer with the best possible support and function.
The Pegasus 37 is the latest iteration of the long-running running shoe that was first launched in 1983. It retains the same form factor as its immediate predecessors but now rocks more cushioning at the front for greater responsiveness and propulsion in each stride. It’s also quite possibly the best-looking running shoe currently available.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10
New Balance has footwear styles for all manner of sports, but running is where its heart truly lies. The Fresh Foam 1080v10 is the company's flagship model, offering a premium combination of comfort and support. The Fresh Foam midsole on this latest edition provides more energy return than its predecessor, assisting you even more with each stride. A Hypoknit knitted upper layer is on hand to caress your foot in comfort while New Balance's Ultra Heel design stays snug to the back of the foot to keep it well-supported.
Puma Hybrid Speed Orbiter
Puma is a company that strives to deliver high-performance products but without sacrificing on looks and the UltraRide Runner ID shoe is a prime example of that. Technology comes in the form of cut-out sections in the sole, but the result is a sole that provides utmost cushioning and responsiveness, thanks in part to Puma’s PROFROAMLITE. Runner ID technology allows the shoes to shine at night and be visible from a distance of three metres.
As for looks, well, we think they speak for themselves Sharp, angles lines, subtle pops of colour and Puma’s iconic side stripe design make for a pair of runners that could easily moonlight as a pair of must-have streetwear kicks.