Running is a relatively easy sport to take up, especially with the minimal gear one needs invest in. No matter how serious of a runner one is—long or short distance, slow or fast, and casual or competitive—the right running trainers not only help with performance, but also in ensuring that one is able to run for a long time.
Every runner has different individual needs and thus, the right kind of trainers is dependent on tackling those needs. And with there being a plethora of running trainers with just as many different technologies engineered to bring out the best in your running abilities, it can be daunting to figure out what works. It's always a case of trial-and-error, especially with newer technologies always in the horizon.
To narrow down your search, we've compiled a list of some of the best running trainers out there in the market.
Overpronation while running is an issue that should be tackled in order to prevent ankle injuries. Thankfully, the GEL-KAYANO 27 is designed to help such runners thanks to its calculated cushioning and support enhancements. The ASICS GEL technology has been packed at high impact zones so that shock to your joints are reduced. The shoe's more stable midsole helps to prevent the ankle from rolling inwards for a more neutral arch during runs.
It's all about stability with this one. New Balance's Fresh Foam 860v11 is engineered with a mesh upper that seamlessly moulds around the contours of your feet for an enhanced fit so you won't feel any restrictions to your movements. The Fresh Foam technology lies in the shoes midsoles where cushioning has been specifically targeted in that area to deliver lightweight support, no matter how far your run takes you.
If you're an avid runner, you'd probably already be familiar with the Ultraboost 20. It's a classic that all-rounded trainer suited for both long and short casual runs. This particular iteration is an environmentally conscious one that's made from recycled materials and topped off with colours that make sure you stand out from the pack. But most importantly, it's packed with that dependable Boost midsole (super responsive) and adidas' revolutionary Stretchweb outsole for maximum flexibility.
Swiss brand On has been around since 2010 but it's not until it partnered up with tennis legend Roger Federer this year that its brand recognition has picked up. The Cloudflyer is part of its line of running shoes that's built for support and for any type of runner. Whether you're more focused on either long or short distances, or strike the ground using different parts of your foot, the Helion superfoam and On's Speedboard technology (meant to flex and return energy from impacts) come together to make your runs as smooth as possible.
Super streamlined at every angle, the Clifton Edge looks fast. The outsole may look deceptively bulky, yet the Clifton Edge is one of the lightest trainers in HOKA ONE ONE's recent roster. It's also the brand's most advanced running shoe to date and is packed with all the best technology that it has to offer, and more. Ankle support is enhanced with a padded collar while a new foam technology provides even springier cushioning with every strike.
The HOVR Phantom 2 may be a tad on the heavy side for a pair of running shoes (it weighs about 327g) but the cushioning and support is quite formidable. The shoe relies on the Under Armour's HOVR technology that's designed to provide a 'zero gravity feel'—less impact when you're running with an energy return that's maintained throughout. It no doubt has a bulkier silhouette, but that extended heel counter provides even better stability and support that any runner would appreciate.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%
There's only one thing to know about Nike's most controversial running shoes: they narrowly avoided a World Athletics ban. That pretty much sums up just how phenomenal this pair is. It's best for long-distance runs, and if you're aiming to be the next Eliud Kipchoge.
For something less heavy-duty to the aforementioned Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% is almost identical except that it's a sleeker fit without the two Zoom Air pods. It's poised to give you greater energy return and comfort as you take on both short and long distances. If the Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is one you'd take to break your personal best during a marathon, this is one pair you'd take for everyday trainings.