SHOES & BOOTS

Best Running Shoes for Women: The Top Ten Products to Keep You Running

A female jogger on her run
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Why should you consider buying the best running shoes for women? After all it’s easy enough to walk into a shoe store and choose a pair of shoes. If they are comfortable and you like the style, you are off to the register so you can take them home, right?

This is not the case when choosing running shoes, however. Yes, it’s true that any pair of shoes can feel terrific on your feet for the first few minutes while you are wearing them in the store. Even more, the same shoes may even offer comfort and support through casual use, but they may not be able to carry you through comfortably when you run your first mile!

Running is a high impact exercise demanding footwear that delivers full support and is capable of absorbing the intense impact of a run session. This is why it is absolutely essential to buy a great pair or running shoes.

If your pair of shoes doesn’t fit you well, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable very soon. Your feet will feel worn out and tired, and you may even end up damaging them.

Our Top Picks

Product NameMaterialSoleCushioningSpecial FeaturesPrice
Brooks Ghost 7Synthetic and meshRubberMidsole provides great cushioningOmega Flex Grooves, flexibleCheck price on Amazon
ASICS GEL Cumulus 16Fabric/ SyntheticRubberFuid-Ride mid-sole cushioningComfort Dry SocklinerCheck price on Amazon
Mizuno Wave Inspire 11SyntheticSyntheticGoodSupportive Fan-Wave technology provides excellent supportCheck price on Amazon
ASICS GEL Kayano 21SyntheticRubberRear foot and fore foot GEL cushioning systemHeel clutching system, Ortholite SocklinerCheck price on Amazon
Saucony Virrata 2SyntheticSyntheticComfortableQuick-dry upper, padded tongueCheck price on Amazon
Brooks Arial 14SyntheticRubberAdvanced cushioningGreat supportCheck price on Amazon
Saucony HurricaneSyntheticRubberPWRGRID + cushioningPronation control, ISOFIT stabilizing supportCheck price on Amazon
HOKA One BondiMeshRubberGoodLycra comfort upper, oversized midsoleCheck price on Amazon
ASICS GT 2000 3SyntheticRubberComfortableComfort Dry sock liner, Heel clutching systemCheck price on Amazon
Nike Flynit Lunar 3SyntheticSyntheticAdequateDurable, round toeCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider When Buying Women Running Shoes

Before we go into the detail of the best running shoes, you should first consider the different properties of these shoes. These factors will then help you decide which shoes will be the best for you and your needs.

Where You Will Be Running

Your personal running style will have everything to do with the shoes you buy. If you have more than one kind of running you partake in, then it is best to invest in separate pairs of running shoes so you will have them on hand whenever you need them.

black running shoes

Considering the environment where you run will help you get shoes that will prove durable in your run location. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the gym or performing Crossfit workouts, your feet will have a greater amount of ground contact and will therefore benefit from a shoe featuring a thicker sole; cross-training shoes prove ideal in this situation.

In contrast, if you spend your time running on the roadside, you’ll benefit from road running performance shoes since they are made to deal with the repetitious impact of your foot against the sometimes irregular roadways and paved areas.

Then you’ve got the option of choosing trail run athletic shoes if you happen to run in areas where there are numbered obstacles, mud, rocks, roots, and off road running opportunities; the trail running sneakers will give you the extra support you need and superior traction for dealing with more difficult terrain.

Fitting

Make sure you try on the shoe, even if the shoe is in your size. This will assure your lasting comfort and that your foot has enough breathing room. When laced, the shoe should not feel tight, but comfortably snug. The toe area needs to have a bit of space to allow for movement of the toes and to prevent the toes from jamming up against the front of the shoe.

Running shoe on one leg

The heel of the shoe should be snug against the foot and it should lend minimal support, unless it is a high top shoe offering a greater degree of support. The upper should be snug, but again, it should not make your foot feel hot or too constricted.

Your Running Mechanism

People may have different running styles, which is why different shoes may serve them well. Here a few types of running shoes along with a description of what kind of style they suit best.

  • Barefoot: If you partake of small or short-run sessions and you are comfortable with little in the way of cushioning or impact absorption, you may find barefoot shoes ideal. They are lightweight and have a zero drop, meaning there is no difference between the height of the front of the shoe and the shoe’s heel: This allows for an impact and foot strike right in the middle or forefront of the foot when you are running.
  • Minimalist: If you want a shoe that is light in terms of its design and you do not feel you need extra support for your arch, a minimalist pair of running shoes may suit your needs. These shoes often have a heel drop anywhere between four and eight millimeters. The shoes serve up an impact at the middle of the foot, but you still get considerable flex and impact absorbing comfort. These shoes are built to last to a promised lifetime of up to 400 miles.
  • Motion-Controlled: If you have an issue with constant wear on the inside edge of your shoe, you can benefit from buying motion-controlled running shoes. These shoes are specifically designed in order to straighten out the feet when you run and therefore counteract the wear down of the inner edge of the shoe.
  • Neutral Shoes: If you tend to wear down the shoe at the ball of the foot or along the outer edge, neutral running shoes help to counteract this type of natural wear and tear while stabilizing the foot and helping to absorb impact. The neutral running shoes also help in providing some side arch foot support.
  • Super Cushioned: These running shoes are made with impact runs extra cushioning, as much as 50 percent more than standard shoes have to offer supreme comfort and impact absorption.

A female jogger on her run

Top Ten Shoes Made For Running

Now we will talk about the best running shoes in the market for women. These shoes are comfortable and durable, and will serve you well during your running sessions.

Brooks Ghost 7 ShoesWomens Brooks Ghost 7

Price: Approx. $55

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches

Size: 5B T0 7AA Medium to Narrow

Specific features: Synthetic and mesh exterior, durable rubber sole

Best use: Medium and long distance runs

Brooks Ghost 7 Shoes are made of durable mesh materials.  The shoes are designed to go the distance and provide the maximum in comfort, stability, and support.

The upper level of the mesh is part of the shoe’s moisture management to keep your feet cool as you exercise and remaining dry during your run will ensure your lasting comfort. The DNA Midsole is designed in such a way it gives up adaptive cushioning and the shoes have Omega Flex Grooves that give the cushioning an even greater degree of flexibility.

These shoes last about six months with high wear and tear usage and long distance running before they have to be replaced, which is the recommended time for shoe replacements.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Comfortable and stable
  • Will keep your feet dry and cool
  • Good level of flexibility
CONS:

  • Have to be replaced after 6 months
  • Some people might find the rubber strip at the level of toes a little uncomfortable

Related:  The producers of these shoes also offer Women Brook Ghost 8 which are very comfortable and come with a synthetic sole. Women Brooks Ghost 9 is another option. It has rubber soles, a full-length crash pad and engineered mesh. All these features allow perfect breathability while maintaining flexibility and strength.

Check the price on Amazon

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 Running ShoesASICS Women's GEL-Cumulus 16 Running Shoe

Price: $59.95 – $189.95 depending on shoe size and where the shoes are ordered

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches

Size: 5 to 13

Specific features: FluidRide midsole, Impact Guidance System, ComforDry sockliner, open mesh design

Best use: Casual everyday wear, short or long runs, counteracting over-pronation and under-pronation

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 16 Running Shoes is aptly named after a cloud in the sky. Due to the super soft cushioning, the shoe provides for conditions affecting the feet like Plantar Fasciitis. The shoes are made of synthetic breathable fabric and feature a thick rubber sole for impact absorption.

These sneakers feature sewn seamless overlays, Guidance Line Flex Grooves, Impact Guidance System that enhances the wearer’s gait and a Gel Cushioning System for the heel and forefoot.

The FluidRide midsole provides impact bounce-back and superior cushioning and you get maximum odor control from the sock liner. This line of performance shoes is part of the GEL Cumulus award-winning series.  The open-mesh upper part of the shoe is suited to over and under pronators best.

PROS:

  • Very comfortable, with seamless overlays
  • Will keep your feet dry
  • Mid-sole cushioning is present
CONS:

  • Sizing may be a problem as the shoes run on the small side. You should try on a pair before you buy it.
  • Width is not very much and the shoes are narrow

Related: ASICS Women GEL Venture 5 is another pair of running shoes offered by this manufacturer. It has a synthetic sole and a great cushioning system. The sock liner is removable. The shoes offer amazing traction and are quite comfortable.

Check the price on Amazon

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 ShoesMizuno Women's Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoes

Price: $49.99 – $119.99

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Size: 6 to 12

Specific features: Platform measuring about 0.75 inches and a heel measuring 1.75 inches. When marked with a W it is a reference to women’s and not a “wide” size. Shoes also have a U4ic midsole that is light and supportive throughout one’s complete gait/walk/run cycle.

Best use: Everyday wear, long runs

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Shoes are an attractive buy. The shoes have a clean, Vegan-friendly, synthetic material and serve up an excellent fit for comfort and secure footing with the Dynamotion Fit feature.

The sole is synthetic and offers perfect traction; you won’t slip while running in these shoes. The shoes also offer a great deal of stability so you can run for a long time without tiring your feet out. These shoes have special straps inside that make them fit securely, and Fan Wave technologies contribute to the superior support the shoes provide.

PROS:

  • Provide good support
  • Keep your feet comfortable on long runs
  • The heel provides perfect cushioning
  • Made of synthetic material
CONS:

  • Sizes run a little small as compared to regular shoe sizes
  • Laces are short
  • A little tight

Related: Mizuno Women Wave Catalyst is another shoe which is made of textile and synthetic material. It has Fan Wave technology and a very breathable upper. Mizuno Women Wave Inspire 12 is made of synthetic material with a synthetic sole. It provides better support to the heel and is quite breathable.

Check the price on Amazon

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 ShoesASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe

Price: $59.95 – $189.95

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches

Size: 5 to 13

Specific features: Heel clutching system, moisture wicking sock liner, rubber sole, FluidFit upper

Best use: Distance runs and for counteracting moderate to mild over-pronation issues

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 Shoes have everything you need for sure-footed running sessions. The Gel Cushioning system supplies shock absorbing properties to the forefoot and rearfoot so that the impact on the feet, ankles, and knees is minimized with every step.

The FluidFit upper combines stretch reinforcements and stretch mesh so you get an ultra-snug fit while the Dynamic DuoMax Support lends extra stability and support. The moisture wicking Ortholite sock liner keeps your feet cool and dry the entire run session.

PROS:

  • Good traction
  • Rear and forefoot GEL cushioning system
  • Will keep your feet dry
  • Comfortable and provide good support
CONS:

  • A little narrow, particularly from the toes
  • The heel is not very durable

Related: ASICS GEL Kayano 22 is another shoe in the same series and offers the same level of comfort and stability. It has a textured outsole which provides excellent grip.

Check the price on Amazon

Saucony Virrata 2 ShoesSaucony Women's Virrata 2 Running Shoe

Price: $69.95 – $162.96

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches

Size: 5 to 12

Specific features: Synthetic materials, stripped down trainer, padded tongue and collar, lace up closure. Heel measure approx. 2 inches; platform measures 0.25 inches

Best use: Long distance runs and also great for daily short runs

Saucony Virrata 2 Shoes is actually an award-winning design. They combine style with efficiency.

Built to last up to 300 miles of running session, these shoes offer up an excellent fit, clean design, decent style, and a nice amount of padding on the collar and tongue to ensure comfort during long wear.

The shoes have a synthetic sole which offers comfort as well as traction. There is 0 mm heel to toe drop. The shoes are very comfortable to wear and will not tire your feet even after a long run. Cushioning is quite adequate as well.

PROS:

  • Comfortable
  • Good cushioning
  • Snug fit with perfect closure with laces
  • Lightweight
CONS:

  • Narrow
  • Some people might find the sizes to be too small

Related: Saucony Cohesion 10 are another great pair of running shoes for women made by this manufacturer. The shoes are made of synthetic material and textile and have a rubber sole. They are very comfortable as well as durable.

Check the price on Amazon

Brooks Ariel 14 ShoesBrooks Womens Ariel 14

Price: $129.93 – $165.00

Dimensions: Heel measures approx. 1.75 inches

Size: 6 to 9.5 with wide and extra wide sizes

Specific features: Rubber sole, mesh upper, cushioning midsole

Best use: Extra traction makes them perfect for wet sidewalks and slippery roads

Brooks Ariel 14 Shoes are made of a superior mesh material upper, a sole made of rubber material so the wearer will find the sneakers breathable and comfortable.

The midsole of the shoes serves up energy boosting support while the insoles are removable and the sneakers work well in countering issues related to Plantars and over-pronation.  A roomy toe box ensures comfort in the forefoot. The shoes look quite nice and are very comfortable to wear.

PROS:

  • Breathable upper
  • Is not a tight fit and is rather roomy
  • Easy to wear for long runs

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • The area of laces can be a little uncomfortable

Related: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 14 are a stylish pair of running shoes which combine style with comfort and efficiency. They have a rubber sole and provide great cushioning as well as traction. You may also consider Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 17, which is very comfortable as well as breathable.

Check the price on Amazon

Saucony Hurricane ISO Running ShoesSaucony Women's Hurricane ISO Running Shoe

Price: $44.99 – $178.99

Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 5 inches; Shaft measures approx. 2 inches from the arch.

Size: 5 to 12

Specific features:  Rubber soles, ISOFIT stabilizing support, support frame, PWRGRID+ cushioning, 8mm heel to toe drop

Best use: Moderate pronation control

Saucony Hurricane ISO Running Shoes is one of the more affordable running shoes. The rubber soles on the shoe ensure solid stance and good road grip. You won’t slip while wearing these shoes, no matter what kind of ground you are running on.

The shaft is about two inches from the shoe arch. The PWRGRID+ technologies ensure the shoes deliver maximum stability and excellent comfort through a high-quality cushioning system. Your feet won’t be tired and will not start aching even after long runs.

PROS:

  • The shoes provide perfect support
  • Very stable and comfortable
  • Great traction
CONS:

  • The toe box is narrow
  • The point where the tongue meets the shoe can be uncomfortable.

Related: Saucony Women Guide 9 offers the perfect exoskeleton support and has a breathable upper. It provides good traction as well as stability.

Check the price on Amazon

Hoka One One Bondi 4 ShoesWomens Hoka One One Bondi 4

Price: $100.93 – $157.45

Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 5 inches

Size: 6 to 11

Specific features: Upper mesh fabric, solid rubber sole, lycra comfort frame shoe upper, large midsole

Best use: Endurance walking

Hoka One One Bondi 4 Shoes are available in a wide range of sizes and color schemes, but besides being fashionable, these neutral running shoes are flexible and perfect for off and on road usage.

The big midsole is up to 2.5 times bigger in terms of volume when compared to other running shoes in the industry. The firm rubber sole ensures good road gripping and the upper mesh material makes the shoes breathable.

These shoes are ideal for dealing with foot conditions like arthritis, flat feet, as well as shin splints, thanks to the superior cushioning and flexibility.

PROS:

  • Many sizes available
  • Flexible and perfect for all terrains
  • Provide a good grip
  • High level of cushioning
CONS:

  • Narrow toe box
  • Run on the small side

Related: Hoka One Women W Arahi Running Shoes have a rubber sole which allows for good traction. The tongue is padded. This shoe will stabilize your feet while you run in comfort. Another option to consider is the Hoka Women Bondi 5 Running Shoe. It has a molded Ortholite footbed which provides an amazing level of comfort. The toe box is also roomier.

Check the price on Amazon

ASICS GT-2000 3 ShoesASICS Womens GT-2000 3 Running Shoe

Price: $38.99 – $195.81

Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches

Size: 5 to 13

Specific features: AHAR rubber outsole, gel cushioning, soft, supportive midsole, heel clutching system, and ComforDry sock liner, shaft measures 2.12 inches from arch

Best use: Distance running, everyday wear

ASICS GT-2000 3 Shoes are super light shoes offering very little break in time, maximum comfort, and superior style.  These shoes are the GT-2000 series in its third generation and are ready to help the runner really go the distance.

With ASICS standing for “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (“A sound mind is a sound body” from Latin), you can count on these sneakers being built based on that philosophy.  The shoes feature a heel clutching system, impact guidance system, forefoot and rear foot gel cushioning, and they are lightweight and comfortable.

PROS:

  • Will keep your feet dry
  • Heel clutching system will stabilize your feet during running
  • Lightweight and easy to wear
CONS:

  • A little too soft
  • Shoes are small for the size
  • Narrow

Related: ASICS Women GT 1000 4 is another shoe in the same series. It has minimum overlays and a mesh upper. Impact Guiding System is present which ensures that your foot is comfortable while you run.

Check the price on Amazon

Nike Flynit Luanr3 Running ShoesNike Womens Flynit Luanr3 Running Shoes

Price: $135 – $139

Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 5 inches

Size: 6.5 to 10

Specific features: Lunarlon cushioning midsole, contoured sock liner, rubber sole, light, breathable Flyknit material.

Best use: Long runs, casual wear

With Nike’s Flynit Luanr3 Running Shoes you’ll break out in your run in spectacular style and superior comfort. The Flynit upper is a redesign to improve the feel of the shoes whether you are heading out for a light run or you are practicing for your next marathon race.

These shoes are even comfortable and fashionable enough for everyday wear so you can really get the most out of your investment. Speaking of investment, the price range of the Flynit Luanr3 shoes is unbeatable, ranging between $79.97 and $140.00. The design of the shoes is light, ultra supportive and they hug the feet comfortably as you move.

Nike’s Flynit Luanr3 delivers superior impact absorption as well, with a tongue that stays in place and a Lunarlon underfoot for serious cushioning of the feet as you run. The Lunarlon material is a foam core that is both resilient and soft. This core is inside a foam carrier that not only lends additional support, but also has a springy support and response with every step.

PROS:

  • Ultra-light
  • Very supportive
  • The tongue is not uncomfortable
  • Good cushioning
CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Run a little small

Related: Nike Women Flex Experience Running Shoes are created out of mesh material with a rubber flexible sole. The shoes are extremely comfortable and will support your feet during long runs.

Check the price on Amazon

Let Run Mechanics and Style Determine Your Needs

Ultimately, the best shoes for your running sessions will not be solely defined by comfort and visual appeal.  Run mechanics will play a huge role in the lasting comfort you experience and, as long as you choose shoes that support your feet, ankles, and help in impact absorption, you can rest assured in knowing you can run your next mile in maximum comfort.

A female runner tying her shoelaces

So, after going through our choices, which of these shoes you think will be the best fit for you?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Chynna Lambert

    I love running as it makes me healthier but recently, I got hired on my new job, so I only have weekends to enjoy running. Because I don’t run as much as I did before I don’t have the same physical fitness so I bought these neutral shoes from Nike LunarGlide. These work great for beginners too.
    When it comes to beginners, I would advise against any barefoot or minimalist shoes as they will put unnecessary stress on your legs . You need proper support and the shoes must be fit to the surface you are running on

  • Jerry Mueller

    That’s right. Having the proper running shoes is important to prevent injury. I wouldn’t recommend running barefoot especially in difficult terrain. I use a Nike, too and I only have good words for this dependable and trusted brand.

  • Annie McClellan

    My friend who’s a runner just really loves the Saucony Virrata. She bought another pair of Virrata because of the big shift in design. These are said to be super comfortable despite being very lightweight. Although it seems to have lesser support on the ankle part, the quality and price are on point. She recommends getting a larger fit as it might fit smaller.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Hi there Annie!
    Those are great-looking shoes and the design is really awesome. It’s quite a popular product since the price is just right and the features are excellent. Those shoes are great for long distance running and give adequate support and protection for the feet. Good choice for her!

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