It’s marathon season, which means the search is on for the best running shoes for women. After all, it’s not only our endurance that carries us through each pounding of the pavement to the finish line but the shoes on our feet. And while finding the perfect fit is never an easy feat, we’ve consulted experts to ensure you’re equipped with the proper sneakers for the 5Ks, half-marathons, and 26 miles that lie ahead.
To aid in my own training—I rediscovered the joys of running during the height of the pandemic last year—I sought out Nike Run Club Master Trainer Traci Copeland, who explained that the best running shoes for women and men really depend on what your foot does while you run. “Some pronate or supinate,” Copeland says, explaining the difference between runners who place their weight on the inside vs. the outside of their feet. “Sometimes, you need more support based on this.” Determining your foot type is key, and there are several fundamental tests you can perform to do so in the comfort of your own home. The simplest being the “Wet Test,” in which you wet the sole of your foot and step onto a blank piece of paper. The damp footprint left behind will help establish whether you are a neutral runner or over or under pronator. As a neutral runner, I’ve found the various Adidas Ultraboost prototypes to fit my everyday running needs best. Their supportive heel and midsole design provide just the right amount of cushioning to protect my fragile ankles from the daily pressures of urban running.
Vogue Fashion Assistant and avid runner Kathleen Thomas, on the other hand, found her perfect pair after seeking advice from her aunt, a long-time marathon runner. “About five years ago, my aunt suggested the brand Hoka and told me that their running shoes would change my running,” Thomas says. “I started with Hoka’s Arahi 5’s and have since transitioned to the Bondi 7’s for running and the Clifton styles for walking and everyday use.” Needless to say, her aunt was not wrong, as Thomas’ beloved Hokas are currently prepping her for the City of Oaks Half Marathon in Raleigh, North Carolina, taking place in early November.
From the supportive, lightweight shoe for the everyday jog to the high-performance sneakers designed for elite runners and everything in between, try these 24 best running shoes to incorporate into your routine below.
Designed for the road, the CloudTec technology of On’s Cloustratus sneakers makes running on concrete feel like running on, well, a cloud. Their lightweight, modern silhouettes create a sleek design without compromising the styles’ top-of-the-line energy return and cushioning, making them perfect for the New York City streets. Or, take a lap in APL’s Streamlines and test the styles designed to push you to move forward and faster.