Running shoes are built around something called a “last,” which is simply a mechanical form shaped like a human foot. And most brands use molds based on men’s feet, no matter what gender the shoes are for. Translation: When it comes to choosing running shoes, male runners have options.
That said, most runners (male or female) will want to avoid trendy shoes sold for the race — unless, of course, you’re buying them for the race — and stick to a daily training routine. These shoes are versatile and can handle both sprints and long runs done at easy to moderate paces. Typically, everyday sneakers have a lot of cushioning and are designed with slightly heavier materials for durability. That’s because these are the shoes you’ll run most of your miles in.
We asked the experts for their favorite picks, and while some of their picks may not be the lightest shoes on the market or without the latest technology, these more versatile men’s running shoes will let you pick up the pace when you need it — while providing support Ideally, these features will keep your training injury-free.
best for power
The New Balance 880, a classic fan favorite, is now in its 12th edition. “The heel is softer (and arguably more comfortable) than previous models, while the forefoot is composed of denser foam, resulting in greater propulsive energy at toe-off. Additionally, the upper provides ample ventilation, while the rubber The outsole has excellent traction and durability,” said Rami Hashish, PhD, DPT, a physical performance and injury specialist.
Hokas are known for maximum cushioning, making them workhorses of shoes that can handle tons of miles without kicking your legs (they have the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of acceptance). “The shoe’s lightweight construction combined with Hoka’s well-known firm footbed make the Hoka Clifton 8 a great choice,” says Matt Tanneberg, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based chiropractor and certified strength and conditioning specialist, who works with U.S. Track and field athletes cooperate. “For a neutral shoe, it still provides plenty of support, which is why I recommend it to most runners.”
best for sprinting
The third generation of Asics’ Novablast is a lightweight, padded sneaker that improves only on the original; it’s 30g lighter than its predecessor and has a more supportive heel. “The Novablasts are light enough to feel like a sprint shoe, even though the pads can hold up to any competitor,” says Tanneberg.
The Ghost has long been a favorite among runners, and for good reason: “For runners who need more support, this shoe is a great option,” says podiatrist Jamila A. Butcher. “It has a comfortable fit, a responsive midsole and a durable outsole.” For the latest iteration, the company has updated the midsole with lightweight cushioning using a mix of rubber, air and less dense foam , for a softer ride.
Best for shock absorption
Nike’s Invincible is designed for maximum shock absorption, and the brand has raised the bar with its latest iteration—er, stack height, with 40mm of the lightest and most responsive foam under the heel. “The biggest advantage of the Invincible 3 is the softness and elasticity of the shoe,” says running coach Jonathan Poston. “Stepping into the shoe is like stepping into a cloud, yet the shoe has enough bounce and bouncy that it doesn’t feel like running through mud.” A wider forefoot offsets the towering height and adds stability.
best for long distance
On Running shoes are known for their simplicity, but the Cloudmonster is its biggest challenge to everyday sneakers. “I would recommend Cloudmonster to runners who typically run 5Ks to half marathons,” says Lalitha McSorley, a physical therapist at Brentwood Physical Therapy Center in Calgary. It has great support and promotes a natural gait, making it ideal for the strength we see in these distances. ”
best for neutral feet
After 26 iterations, the Wave Rider remains Mizuno’s most classic everyday training shoe. It has no bells and whistles, says Ashley Lee, reconstructive ankle surgeon at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, but “for runners who don’t overpronate and like a shoe that’s cushioned but still sturdy. Said very well.” “The high heel drop—12mm—allows for more heel strike and better arch, Achilles and calf protection.”
best for beginners
When reimagining the Adidas Ultraboost for 2022, the company turned to gender-specific designs. The men’s version is similar to the previous bestseller, with an updated heel counter and more padding on the inside. Overall, “The Ultraboost is very soft, lightweight and has a grippy sole, making it an ideal shoe for everyday running,” says Lev Kalika, owner of Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy in New York.
Best for energetic runners
Puma have been catching up to some of the biggest names in the industry, but the Deviate Nitro is their big win. Carbon plates—a feature usually reserved for lightweight racing shoes—are embedded in the midsole for high energy return, but “they also have enough cushioning to stay comfortable, so they can be used for anything from easier runs to Go to the game.”
best for speed
One of Saucony’s best sellers, the Kinvara 13 is a minimalist training shoe built for speed. “A low-heel drop promotes midfoot and forefoot strikes, and a low-heel drop shoe, like the Kinvara 13, can help relieve IT straps, knee pain, and glute overuse,” says Lee. She adds that while it’s a lighter shoe, it still has a well-cushioned heel and a roomy toe box that blister-prone runners will appreciate.