As with other forms of footwear, the best running shoes for men are those that look and feel good. But, unlike your trendy sneakers, a good pair of running shoes must be able to protect against injury caused by the impact of every stride. Finding the right pair of men’s running shoes can be tough, as every person’s feet and activities are different. But with help from the guide below, you can streamline your shopping experience and narrow down your options so that you get the optimal fit.
Shopping Guide: Finding the Best Running Shoes for Men
Features can vary depending on the brand and style of running shoe you’re looking at, but the following characteristics are important to look for in every pair:
Water-Resistant Synthetic Leather
The majority of reliable running shoes are crafted out of synthetic leather. This offers a high level of durability that is essential to the demands of the sport but doesn’t take long to break in. Good pairs will feature textiles that are water resistant to prevent puddles and rain from getting inside the shoe and causing discomfort.
Breathability is important for two reasons: it allows the foot to stay cool and allows sweat to escape, reducing the risk of blisters. Running shoes typically feature some configuration of nylon mesh to allow for breathability.
The type of tread you should look for will depend on the type of surfaces you’ll be running on. If you’re a city or suburban runner, choose a road running shoe that is ideal for paved surfaces. If you’re running on trails or rough terrain, look for an off-roading shoe.
Running shoes for men contain an ideal level of EVA foam cushioning to help absorb shock and prevent strain on the body. Not all cushioning is the same, however, and the best type for you will depend on the way you run. For example, if you overpronate when you run, a running shoe for greater stability will feature a firm midsole to help prevent your foot from rolling inward. Motion control shoes, on the other hand, are heavier than most other varieties but feature extra cushioning that’s ideal for those with flat feet.
A well-designed running shoe will bend at the same point as your toes do when they hit and lift off the ground.
While running shoes may not be as flashy as other types of footwear, there are still a variety of styles and colors available. The type you choose is totally up to your own preference, but it’s important to consider those that incorporate reflective overlays to help improve your on-road visibility.
Getting a Perfect Fit
In order to prevent injury and enjoy maximum comfort, the best running shoes for men should fit securely but not be overly tight. When you’re trying on a new pair, the following tips can help you make sure you optimize the fit:
Try On, Later On
Feet tend to swell throughout the day and with physical activity, which can minimize the room within the shoe. For that reason, it’s recommended that you try running shoes on later in the day when your feet present a more accurate representation of what they’ll be like on the trail.
Use Your Thumb to Gauge Toe Space
Referring to your other shoe measurements isn’t always a good idea when shopping for footwear, as size can vary between brands and styles. To make sure you have the right length, you should instead look at the space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe—it should be about the width of your thumb. This space in the toe box should allow you to move your toes around.
Watch the Width
Shoes aren’t just measured by length, but often come in different width options. While the shoe should hold your feet in place along the midsole, your foot should be overlapping the insert. If it is, look for a wider option.
Choose Heels that Hold
A good running shoe will allow you to slip your heel out until it is completely tied. When the laces are tied, make sure the heel doesn’t slip too much. If there is any unusual lift, your shoes may be too big and create the risk for irritation—and blisters—from running.
When to Replace Running Shoes
When you replace your running shoes will ultimately depend on the quality of the material and the extent of your exercise. In general, however, foam cushioning tends to lose its power between 300 and 500 miles. Once that happens, you subject your foot to greater risk of injury.
If you run a few miles a day, you can count on your footwear to last up to 6 months. If you’re a competitor entering a marathon, you may end up using a pair only a few times before they have to go.
Since it can be hard to base shoe wear on mileage alone, keep an eye on the physical signs of deterioration. If you experience new discomfort, notice balding tread, or feel a weakened insole, you likely need to replace your fitness footwear.
Top Brands for Men’s Running Shoes
Although preference does play a part in selecting the best running shoes for men, some brands offer peak performance that consumers can’t find elsewhere. If you’re looking to shop for the top pairs of running shoes, you may want to consider products from:
- Altra for their roomier, “foot-shaped” design.
- Nike for their expansive variety of styles ranging from lightweight runners to more casual-use sneakers.
- New Balance for a foam material that allows for lightweight speeds, but doesn’t cut down on long-distance comfort.
- Reebok for ultra-responsive foam cushioning.
- Under Armour for superior breathability at a competitively-low price.
- Mizuno for high durability that can withstand extra-long marathons.
While cost is usually a factor in finding the best running shoes for men, it shouldn’t be what prevents you from finding the best pair for your feet. If you spot a pair that’s perfect for your feet, be sure to look for coupon codes, sales promotions, and dependable warranties that can help you get more for your money.