By Sarah Finley
Our round-up of the best running shoes brands will ensure you're properly kitted out for your next run.
Regardless of whether you’re new to the exercise or you’re already a seasoned runner, you’ll want a pair of the best running shoes for women to help you get the most out of your runs. However, finding the best running shoes brands on the market can be a bit of a minefield.
Some brands have been around (and perfecting the running shoe) for more than 100 years, while others are newer to the market, but have impressed runners and experts alike with their advanced technology.
Taking into account all the facts good running shoes should have, we've rounded up the best running shoes brands out there, and you'll run faster and for longer.
The best running shoes brands
Although the company launched in 1914, it didn’t start making running shoes until 1974 after being inspired by Olympic marathon runner Frank Shorter. Since then the brand has been developing its technology and is now one of the best running shoes brands. The brand looks at different aspects, such as cushioning and flexibility, as well as experimenting with different midsole technologies.
This year the brand launched the Levitate 4 running shoe, which has its latest DNA AMP midsole technology. It's said to be 20% lighter than the previous version.
Originally an all-round sports-shoe shop, Adidas launched its first official running shoe in the 60s. The brand continued to innovate and, in the 80s, introduced the The Micropacer. This was the first running shoe to have a fitness tracker that measured distances, average speed and calorie consumption.
Some of the brand's other notable running shoes since have included the Supernova Cushion M and the Ultraboost, which is said to be its most cushioned running shoe ever.
With more than 100 years’ experience in creating running shoes, Saucony was the first to experiment with 4mm heel-to-toe drops on its trainers. Plus, EVERRUN cushioning – which gives more cushioning in the midsole for better landings. The brand’s new range of trainers, the Ride 13, come in a range of very reflective colours. These are perfect if you’re running outside in the dark evenings.
One of the newer kids on the block, On launched in Switzerland 10 years ago. Now it exists in more than 50 countries around the world and is one of the best running shoes brands. The three creators of the brand (all athletes), have designed a number of shoes with two things at their heart (or sole). This means shoes with cushioned landings and a firm take off. In 2019, the brand launched the Cloudflow, multi-functional training and running shoes that are as lightweight as they are stable.
Originally a manufacturer of basketball shoes, Japanese company Asics switched its focus to running shoes in 1953. This is when it premiered its marathon shoe, which has continued to evolve through the years.
Today, Asics’ running shoes are known for support and stabilization, as well as good grip. The brand’s Nimbus line, which includes the latest incarnation of the Nimbus 22, is well known for its soft cushioning – ideal for long-distance running.
When the original brand (J W Foster & Sons) launched more than 100 years ago, the company now known as Reebok was famed for its running spikes. Over the years other brands overtook it in the running-shoe market, but Reebok has invested heavily to make a comeback in this field.
In 2017 it released its Floatride Run shoe, which was based around a lightweight foam called Pebax. This makes the shoe more responsive for the runner, but also lighter on the feet. The brand’s new lines since then have built on this technology, with each fresh iteration calling for further innovation.
7. Hoka One
Hoka One’s original goal was to create a shoe that helped long distance runners go downhill faster. It then went on to create shoes for all types of runners, including some of the best trail running shoes for women. Known for its cushioned midsole, the brand’s trainers also have an active foot frame, which embeds the foot into the midsole rather than sitting on top of it.
The Hoka One Clifton 7 was released in July 2020 and is said to be its most cushioned running shoe to date.
In 1972, one of the creators of Nike (then known as Blue Ribbon Sports) Bill Bowerman created one of the first waffle rubber soles on its shoes after a breakfast-time epiphany. Four years after this lightbulb moment, which changed the direction of the running shoe industry, the Nike Waffle Racer was one of the best-selling shoes on the market and Nike trainers continue to be loved by many.
Of course, the rest is history. Now Nike remains a market leader and the best Nike running shoes for women are constantly being updated. Elements, such as self-tightening shoes and futuristic designs, are really just the tip of the technical iceberg.
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