Home > Footwear

The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024

Hitting the road or trail this year? Here’s what to wear, from Nike and New Balance to Asics and Hoka!
GJBG Running Shoes For Men Featured Image
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Running is an exceptionally simple sport. You just lace any old trainers and head out the door. The more you run, though, the more you’ll realize that having the right gear, specifically the right shoes, will make a difference. The best running shoes for men will not only help you capture elusive runner’s high, but they’ll also keep you comfortable on your feet, help prevent injuries, and flex your personal style. 

Running shoes don’t have to be anything special to help you get your miles in, but with the right pair you’ll find yourself seriously looking forward to each and every workout. There are shoes for every type of runner — and every type of run — so it’s important to have at least a passing understanding of what’s out there, whether you’re prepping for your first 5k or pushing yourself through a 20-week marathon training plan.

Almost every brand in the sport makes a shoe optimized for a different type of run: long runs, speed workouts, recovery days, 5ks, marathons, ultra marathons — the list goes on and on. 

Runners have more shoe options than ever, which is definitely a good thing. However, it can make choosing the perfect pair quite the undertaking. To make this decision easier for you, we tested dozens of pairs to pick out the best of the best. When it comes down to it, the choice is yours, but this is a great place to start your search. 

You can skip right ahead to our comparison chart, buyer’s guide, and frequently asked questions. Or, read on for a thorough review of our top picks.

The Best Running Shoes for Men

Best Overall Running Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13


  • Weight 9.2 oz (Size 9.5)
  • Stack Height 38mm / 32mm
  • Drop 6mm
  • Best Use Tempo workouts, easy runs and long runs
Product Badge The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Generous stack height is great over long distances
  • Efficient toe off and rocker geometry make them great for faster efforts
  • Upper is breathable and supportive


  • Stack height isn’t optimal for runs with a lot of change in direction
Best Budget Running Shoes

Asics Novablast 4


  • Weight 8.9 oz (Size 9)
  • Stack Height 41.5 mm / 33.5mm
  • Drop 8mm
  • Best use Long runs, easy days, and tempo efforts
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Comfortable upper supports foot while leaving room for toes
  • Tall stack height still provides great ground feel


  • Heel area can be too tight and shallow for some
Best Everyday Running Shoes

Hoka Skyward X


  • Weight 11.3oz
  • Stack Height 48mm / 43mm
  • Drop 5mm
  • Best use Easy runs, long runs, road-based tempo work
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Maintains a super plush ride over long distances
  • Responsive foam and carbon fiber plate combo keeps legs energized


  • Heavier than most shoes in their category
  • A big hit on your wallet
Best Running Shoes for Marathon Racing

Nike Vaporfly 3


  • Weight 7.1oz
  • Stack Height 38mm / 30mm
  • Drop 8mm
  • Best use Marathon racing, track runs, speed work
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Incredible energy return
  • Higher durability than the previous iterations
  • Very comfortable upper


  • Narrow midfoot
  • Expensive
  • Tricky to use with custom insoles
Best for Speed Workouts

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4


  • Weight 7.5oz
  • Stack Height 39.5mm / 31.5mm
  • Drop 8mm
  • Best use Speed work, track workouts, racing
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • More comfortable than most speed shoes
  • Goldilocks combo of energy return and cushioning in the midsole


  • Less squish and bounce than many of its racing competitors
Best Trail Runner

Norda 001


  • Weight 9.45oz (Size 8.5)
  • Stack Height 26mm / 21mm
  • Drop 5mm
  • Best use Trail running, ultra racing
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Dyneema upper is virtually indestructible
  • The midsole and outsole last 750 miles or more
  • Major style points


  • Takes a few runs to really break in
  • The most expensive shoe on our list
Best of the Rest

Nike Invincible 3


  • Weight 10.9oz (Size 10)
  • Stack Height 40mm / 31mm
  • Drop 9mm
  • Best use Long runs
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Cushion feels great for runs 10-15 miles (and beyond)
  • Wide base and sturdy construction inspire confidence


  • Footfall can feel sloppy
  • Heavy, even for a long run shoe

La Sportiva Prodigio


  • Weight 9.5oz
  • Stack Height 34mm / 28mm
  • Drop 6mm
  • Best use road-to-trail
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Great for road-to-trail situations
  • Super grippy rubber provides traction across all surfaces


  • Outsole isn’t as aggressive as others
  • Some prefer more padding around the ankle

ON Cloudmonster Hyper


  • Weight 10.3oz
  • Stack Height 37.5mm / 31.5mm
  • Drop 6mm
  • Best use Long runs, easy runs or workouts
The Best Running Shoes for Men in 2024


  • Super plush and energetic
  • Substantial, high-volume upper cradles the entire foot


  • Expensive for a training shoe
  • Some may want a more snug upper

Running Shoes for Men Comparison Chart

WeightStack Height DropBest For

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13

9.2 oz (M US9.5)

38mm / 32mm

6 mm

Tempo workouts, easy runs, and long runs

Asics Novablast 4

8.9 oz (M US9)

41.5 mm / 33.5 mm

8 mm

Long runs, easy days, and tempo efforts

Hoka Skyward X

11.3 oz

48 mm / 43 mm

5 mm

Easy runs, long runs, road-based tempo work
Nike Vaporfly 3

7.1 oz

38 mm / 30 mm

8 mm

Marathon racing, track runs, speed work

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4
7.5 oz

39.5 mm / 31.5 mm

8 mm

Speed work, track workouts, racing

Norda 001

9.45 oz (M US8.5)
26 mm / 21 mm

5 mm

Speed work, track workouts, racing

Nike Invincible 3

10.9 oz (M US10)

40 mm / 31 mm

8 mm

Long runs

La Sportiva Prodigio

9.5 oz

34 mm / 28 mm

6 mm


ON Cloudmonster Hyper

10.3 oz

37.5 mm / 31.5 mm

6 mm

Long runs, easy runs, or workouts
GJBG Running Shoes for Men Norda 001
A look at Norda’s bombproof upper and Vibram outsole; (photo/ Will Porter)

How We Tested Running Shoes

Every runner is different, so we also solicited feedback from a diverse group of runners. For this review, GearJunkie tasked a test team with logging miles and weighing in with their perspective as competitive runners, physical therapists, and former shoe designers.

We tested the latest shoes from every brand, and all testers were asked to rank each shoe numerically and write short-form reviews of the top-ranked shoes. Armed with our testers’ feedback and our own impressions, GearJunkie picked the best running shoe in the most popular shoe categories.

Why You Should Trust Us

Our lead tester and writer for this guide, Will Porter, is a multi-hyphenate runner who just likes to get out and run for as long as possible. He relishes the Sunday long run and will hit the local Boise foothills a few times a week for a trail run. Right now, he’s training for both a road half marathon and a trail 50k, so it was the perfect season to put a number of shoes to the test. 

He’s partial to a plush shoe with a decent drop, but for midweek speed sessions, he likes something light and barely-there — he says it reminds him of his high school track days. 

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Running Shoe

Running shoes have their fair share of complexity. Sorting through today’s shoe stats like stack height, heel drop, weight, and now carbon fiber plates can give anyone a headache. Luckily, we’re here to cut through the noise and give it to you straight.

Over our years reviewing shoes, GearJunkie testers have run in just about every running shoe produced. More than that, we’ve recruited teams of testers for feedback and talked with shoe engineers, podiatrists, and specialty running store owners.

Armed with this knowledge, we’ve picked the best shoes of the season based on our editors and test team’s input paired with head-to-head comparisons.

It’s worth noting that this guide focuses specifically on road running shoes. Be sure to check out our comprehensive guides on the best trail running shoes and the best hiking shoes — if that’s more your pace.

GJBG Running Shoes for Men Nike Vaporfly
The Vaporfly is diminutive, but that midsole packs a punch; (photo/Will Porter)

Comfort Is King

After talking with many physical therapists, running store owners, and shoe experts, they all agree on one thing — pick a running shoe based on comfort. The shoe that feels, fits, and runs the best is most likely going to be the best shoe for you.

Fortunately, most of today’s online shoe retailers allow a full refund or credit on used shoes within a 30- or 90-day window. This allows you to buy a pair of shoes, try them out for a few runs, and make the decision. This is also a nice feature to ensure that you get the correct sizing.

Sizing Properly

In our experience, most people wear running shoes that are too tight. The rule of thumb (literally) is you should have a thumb-width of space between your longest toe and the edge of the running shoe. For most, this will be half to three-quarters of an inch.

You need this space for two reasons. First, as you run, your feet will slide slightly forward. This extra space prevents your toes from consistently banging up against the inside wall of the shoe. Second, if you run long enough and in higher temps, your feet will swell. Again, extra space is necessary. The thumb’s width rule is a great way to size your shoe while accounting for how much your feet may swell during a long run.

GJBG Hoka Skyward X
The Hokay Skyward X offers a whopping 48mm stack height; (photo/Will Porter)


Finding the proper width is a little trickier. Shoe width varies from brand to brand and even within the same brand between models. There are brands that are known for being wide or narrow.

Altra and Topo are known for favoring runners with wide feet. Aside from these two, it’s hard to make absolute assumptions across all models of a brand as being wide or narrow.

The Details: Stack Height, Drop, and Weight

If you want to geek out on the stats of a shoe, that’s fine. But we would steer clear of making decisions solely based on them. Pay attention but don’t obsess.

Sure, there is a pretty big difference between a 12mm drop and zero drop, so much so that we don’t suggest making such a drastic change. But between a 4mm and 6mm drop, it’s marginal. To put it in perspective, it’s the difference in the thickness of a nickel.

Stack Height

This is usually the measurement of the bottom of the shoe to the bottom of the inside of the shoe. It gives a measurement of how much material there is between your foot and the ground.

The higher the stack height, the thicker the sole. We say “usually” because some brands will not include the insole as part of the stack height measurements.


Drop is the difference in measurement of stack height between the heel and toe. It ranges from zero to 12 mm. The higher the drop, the less strain on the Achilles, soleus, and calves. Zero-drop shoes are associated with a more natural barefoot running feeling.


The weight of a shoe can give a good insight into the type of running for which the shoe is best suited. Lightweight shoes — ones weighing less than 8 ounces for men and 7.5 ounces for women — are typically designed for faster running and racing.

Heavier shoes — 10 ounces for men and 9 ounces for women — are more suited for everyday training. In most cases, we’ve found weight to be a good insight into the durability of a shoe. Lighter shoes with less foam tend to wear out more quickly than the thicker, heavier ones.

GJBG Asics Novablast 4
The Asics Novablast 4’s Superfeet insole and stack height offer plenty of comfort; (photo/Will Porter)

Neutral vs. Supportive

Should a shoe correct over/underpronation or not? Some say yes; others say no. Most of the experts we’ve spoken with say it depends. Those needing a supportive shoe look for a sturdy heel cup, multi-density EVA midsoles, and a mid-foot truss or bridge that stabilizes the shoe.

Bottom line

Comfort is king, and if you’re still unsure, we recommend taking a trip to your local specialty running store to get their advice. With proper footwear and proper training, you, too, can pound out the miles on the pavement in relative comfort.

A Note About “Super Shoes”

We do want to add a couple of caveats when it comes to carbon-plated super shoes — our top pick, the Nike Vaporfly 3, included. If you’re going to wear these in a race, definitely do not wait until race day to lace them up for the first time. They will definitely take some getting used to, so we recommend logging a few miles in them per week for the last month of your training, even if that means taking just them out for a nice jiggle-jog on a rest day. 

Jiggle-jog: yes, full-on training: no. Super shoes should be broken in, no doubt about it. But we don’t recommend wearing race day shoes on your long runs or easy runs throughout the week. Not only will they lose some of their race day pep, they can be hard on your feet. 

And, finally, carbon-plated shoes really do require speed to provide the best benefits. Based on our testing, carbon-plated shoes only really start to make you faster if you’re running faster. Don’t believe us? Studies have proven that the speed and energy return provided by carbon-plated shoes is directly proportional to how fast you’re going.

The quicker the pace, the greater the benefit. Slower runners (this writer included) may find that they perform better in their favorite speed or long-run shoes on race day. 

GJBG Saucony Endorphin Pro 4
The Saucony Endorphin Pro 4 is super fast and supportive; (photo/Will Porter)

More Than One Pair

Do you really need more than one pair of running shoes? Think of it this way — do you really need more than one pair of shoes in general? Technically, no. But if you start to pull away the layers, you have work shoes, workout shoes, comfortable shoes, slippers, flip-flops, etc.

Just like all your other shoes, running shoes perform best in certain scenarios. For example, the HOKA Clifton 9 makes a great recovery run shoe but not so much a great speed workout shoe. On the flip side, a carbon fiber shoe makes a great race day shoe but not a great recovery run shoe.

One solution is to own at least three pairs of road running shoes: a durable everyday trainer, a speed or race day shoe, and one super-comfortable recovery run shoe. By rotating between shoes, you’ll be less likely to get overuse injuries from your shoe.


Do running shoes actually matter?

Yes, absolutely. The soles of running shoes are made with a special type of foam that is designed to withstand the higher ground impact forces exhibited while running. This foam underfoot, called a midsole, makes running more comfortable and offers more durability over non-running shoes.

Furthermore, a running shoe’s upper will hold your foot in place better and offer more breathability than a non-running shoe. In general, it is not recommended to run in casual sneakers.

Is more cushion better for running?

Cushioning is a matter of personal preference and does not necessarily make one shoe better than another. Cushioning refers to the level of firmness of the foam underfoot and can be largely subjective. What one runner finds firm, a heavier runner may find soft. It was previously thought that a more cushioned shoe reduced the impact on your legs.

However, it’s been found that your body will adjust forces based on the firmness of the surface you are running on. The bottom line is to buy a running shoe that feels comfortable to you.

Should I buy a size up for running shoes?

The ultimate question is a size up from what shoe? Running shoes should have a thumb width of extra space in the toe. The reasoning behind this is that as you run, your feet will naturally slide forward a little. The extra space will prevent your toes from jamming against the front of the shoe.

Should running shoes be tight or loose?

A properly fitting shoe should be somewhere between tight and loose. Shoes that are too tight can cut off circulation and cause your feet to go numb while running shoes that are too loose can cause hot spots and generally feel uncomfortable.

We recommend a shoe that fits snugly enough to prevent your heel from lifting and provides a thumb’s-width of room in the toes. It’s important not to tie your laces too tight. We like to tie them loose enough that we can remove our shoes with a small amount of force without untying the laces.

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!