If you’ve taken up running in the last few months, you aren’t alone. Since sheltering in place, many of us have taken to the streets (in masks, of course, safety first,) Your goal is to get some exercise and get those feel-good endorphins going. Or maybe you’re just running for a 30-minute break from spending 24 hours a day with your kiddos. No judgment here!
Whether you’re a newbie to the sport of running or one of those seasoned marathoners who busts out 15 miles on a Saturday morning “for fun,” you know the importance of having a high-quality pair of running shoes for women— specifically. For some serious miles, your usual gym trainers aren’t going to cut it. Nope! You need comfort, you need support and you need sneakers that offer strength and stability. (Worn out sneaks just will not provide the support you truly need when running.)
Here are some of the best running shoes so you can keep pounding pavement this summer. Don’t forget good-looking compression leggings to complete your training look. (After your run, be sure to cool down with some stretching on your yoga mat, which may involve the obstacle of kids crawling over you. Carry on.)
These sneaks are perfect for newbies who are on a walk/run combo or “couch to 5K” program. They are also great if you plan to cross train with other workouts. With almost 8,000 positive 4.5 star reviews on Amazon, they are easily a crowd-favorite for comfort and cute design. So why are they a best-seller? The comfy, float-on-a-cloud like feel is certainly one reason. One reviewer says, “They are super comfortable. I bought these sneakers to use at the gym, especially walking in treadmill because my other sneakers were making blisters on my feet. These one are amazing. It feels like walking on clouds. They are also super light.”
Arches need some extra love? These popular shoes from Brooks are ideal if you have medium to high arches. They offer plenty of cushioning for carrying you through all the miles. You’ll enjoy the soft landing thanks to the extra padding on the cushy inserts, too. These would be ideal for runners who train for multiple distances like a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or full marathon. (And more power to you if you are training for a longer distance!) Now, if you pronate, you might need additional inserts, but if you are a pretty neutral runner, you’ll appreciate this shoe as is. Over 4,000 reviewers on Amazon rave about them. One loyal Brooks fan wrote, “These are a neutral running shoe that offer just the right amount of cushion and support for either long runs, daily walks, or just being on your feet all day, such as for nursing and veterinary professions. I am a neutral runner and have used these for multiple run short distances (3-10 miles), and longer distances (15-20 miles). They’re perfect. Even when I was running a marathon in the pouring rain, I didn’t get blisters from sopping wet socks and shoes.”
Asics are a pretty solid choice if you’ve got any foot issues and need some extra stability. For example, you run neutral or over-pronated (your foot rolls inward after landing) or you have low or flat arches. These shoes will help correct that imbalance so you can avoid injuries like Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, or heel spurs (ouch). They also will hold up through all the miles you run, so they are a good fit for longer distances. Power on! One other nice feature is that Asics designs their women’s shoes with midsole compression specifically with our bodies in mind—another reason you might find yourself getting injured less. Almost 1,600 reviewers are pretty satisfied with these shoes, with one on Amazon writing, “These are just truly worth every penny. I like (or should I say need) arch support and these are great for that. They are very cushy but provide tons of support.”
Want to get a pair of Asics, but can’t swallow the usual over $100 high price tag? No worries. You can still get Asics for a reasonable price. The Gel-Excite 6 shoes are made to keep you going on a variety of surfaces, whether that’s the sidewalk, a treadmill, or a trail. Reviewers who are nurses or caregivers also gave them high praise for helping them get through a long day standing or running around at their jobs without back or foot pain. How great is that? One wrote, “I spent an 8 hour day in these puppies with little or no time off my feet and they did the job–my feet were supported, cushioned and comfortable. As a bonus, they are very sharp looking with the colored flares over the white background. And they clean up great! Soooo happy!”. It’s also worth a mention that they come in fun color options like sour yuzu or ice mint, if that sort of thing motivates you!
Here’s a special shout out to all you trail runners out there. Way to get that dose of nature in on every single run and make all us city dwellers jealous. If you’re looking for a high-rated trail shoe to support your craft, the Speedcross 5 shoe from Solomon is full of high reviews. These are known for a tough grip to allow you to run over rocks or other terrain with ease. Plus you still get plenty of cushioning so you’ll land soft wherever you go. There’s even a mesh system to keep debris from getting in your shoe and irritating you as you run. These are, of course, great for running, but you can easily use them for any hiking or climbing you do, too. Reviewers say they are comfortable but still stand up to tough conditions. One wrote, “Love them! Went running in very muddy area today and no slipping. Shoe is very comfortable, fits well, and no rubbing. Definitely recommend.”
Some running shoes can feel heavy, like they are going to weigh you down with every step. As if running wasn’t hard enough! Luckily that’s not the case with the Nike Air Zooms, which are light and airy to run in. These are designed for neutral and under pronators (a.k.a. your foot rolls outward when you run.) Even though they feel lighter than some other shoes, you’ll actually get lots of cushioning and support for any distance you run in these. Reviewers like them for the comfy fit and ability to run on multiple surfaces, or just stand for a long period of time at their jobs. One wrote, “Love the look and feel of these. I’ve already tried them on the treadmill and on an outdoor run. They feel super light and airy just like all the Nike Air Zooms I’ve owned in the past. The best part of these is the shorter tongue. It makes them very comfortable on the top of my foot.”
Running can cause all kinds of injuries in the best of us, like plantar shin splints, ankle or knee pain. If you’re especially injury prone every time you start running, training in a pair of Hoka’s may be the solution you’ve been hoping for. These are some of the most uber-cushioned sneakers out there. Warning: If you’ve never run in these before, you may have to get used to the extra support in the heel area. On the other hand, they have over 478 four and half star positive reviews on Amazon. One glowing reviewer writes, “I used to be a Brooks fan only. But now I’ve switched. These are the best lightest, most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever had!”
Adidas wasn’t originally known for their running shoes. Their technology has improved ten fold over the past few years, though, and you can now feel confident you are getting shoes that are truly made for runners here. The Ultraboost gets high praise for being lightweight (ideal if you plan to sign up for any races or want to improve your speed work.) They also have a sock liner insert that molds to your foot, so you know they are going to be comfortable to run in. They got high praise from almost 1,000 reviewers who were novice and veteran runners alike. One wrote, “I had no idea I could love a pair of running shoes so much! Adidas is generally not my go-to brand, but on a whim, I tried on a pair of the Ultraboost 19’s. I was amazed by the cushion and support this shoe provided. Immediately upon putting on the shoes, I could feel the firm yet soft support under my arches, support cupping around my heels and under the balls of my feet. The cushion of the shoe reminded me of memory foam, but more supportive, not squishy.”
Looking for other ideas for some self-care these days? Check out our other mom needed and approved wellness essentials.